Understanding Affiliate Marketing To Avoid Common Scams

by WorkFromHome on November 28, 2011

It is almost impossible now to do an Internet search about work from home opportunities without being bombarded by offers of making thousands of dollars per month through posting advertising links on websites and blogs. The vast majority of these offers are affiliate marketing structures. While it is possible to make money through affiliate marketing, it is important to understand that it often takes years to build a livable income stream through these structures. The best way to realistically approach affiliate marketing is through understanding what it is, how you will be paid and ways to avoid scams.

What Is Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an advertising structure in which a business rewards affiliates for each visitor or customer brought to their business as a result of the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Although this type of business marketing has been has been in existence for years, it has seen tremendous growth since the development of the Internet. Whereas businesses used to be limited to working with just a few affiliates in small local areas, they can now have an affiliate base that numbers in the hundreds of thousands throughout the entire planet. This has been a major benefit for businesses because they have been able to greatly expand their marketing base through no cost of their own.

Affiliate marketing includes four major components. The first is the business that is offering a product, service or reward. The second is the network, such as the Internet, through which the business is linked with the customer. The third component is the affiliate, also called the publisher, that provides the advertising and the forth is the actual customer. By placing banner links or ads on a website or blog you, as the affiliate, can generate income through each customer that links to the businesses you are promoting.

How Affiliate Marketing Pays

Not all affiliate marketing structures work in the same way or pay the same rates. In fact, understanding the best approach to generating income through ads can be very confusing due to the widely varied ways that you might be paid. The most common forms of payments to affiliates include the following three structures.

Pay-Per-Click: This structure will pay you a flat rate for each visitor to your website or blog that clicks on a banner link or advertisement. The rate will normally be in the range of a few cents or less for each click. In recent years this structure has become mainly channeled through third-party advertising companies like Google AdSense.

Pay-Per-Sale: Under this structure the affiliate is paid when a customer who has clicked through an ad purchases goods or services from the business. Payments are usually in the form of a percentage of the sale or a flat fee.

Pay-Per-Lead: This structure pays the affiliate for a customer who is willing to provide information to a business such as completing a survey or providing an email address. The payment for these leads can vary greatly depending on the business gathering the information.

Generating a steady, livable income through affiliate marketing relies on a lot of factors. These factors include:

  • The amount of visitors to your site
  • Finding relevant businesses to promote
  • Finding quality products and services to promote
  • Building trust with your visitors
  • Being able to write good sales promotions when necessary

The best approach to affiliate marketing is to provide banner links and advertisements that are relevant to the topic of your website or blog. It is very unlikely that someone will be interested in an RV product when your site is offering information on the latest fashion trends. There are now marketing companies that will custom design an affiliate marketing campaign for you for a fee, but keep in mind that they will usually also take a percentage of your payouts for acting as your broker.

Avoid The Scams

Unfortunately, the largest number of work from home scams are centered around affiliate marketing. One of the biggest attractions to these scam advertisements is the promise of being able to make thousands of dollars per week with very little work. In reality, that is not going to happen. Building an income through affiliate marketing takes time, research and patience. Never provide a company that is promoting the opportunity to make huge money fast with an up-front fee or personal information because that is all that they are after. Always keep in mind that if an offer sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

The best way to approach affiliate marketing is with a long-term vision. Although the income generated during the early stages may be small, these structures do provide opportunity for a lifetime of residual payouts.

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