Many Ways to Run a Successful Affiliate Marketing Business

If you’re reading this article, then odds are you want to be good at affiliate marketing or at the very least, you’re interested in what affiliate marketing is all about and how to use it.

But here’s the thing… if you want to run a successful affiliate business, you need to understand what it’s about, the different business models, the ones successful at it, and what you can do to be good at it.

So, it’s a good thing that you stumbled on my article because I’m going to share with you all the juicy secrets about affiliate marketing: what’s it about, who the players are, the different types, etc.

Breaking Down and Understanding Affiliate Marketing

What is affiliate marketing business?

In a nutshell, it’s where you (the affiliate marketer) promote a product or service that can be tracked via links, codes, phone numbers, etc., that’s unique to you. You then earn a portion of the revenue when a sale happens through your unique link.

But that’s just a surface level look of the model. If you truly want to understand how it works, we need to break it down further.

So, let’s take a look at 4 main components that make up the affiliate business model: the merchant, the network, the publisher, and the consumers.

What is a Merchant?

Otherwise known as the advertisers, vendors, creators, retailers and so forth, they are the ones who are creating the product/service.

They can be big companies, such as Kinsta, or solo entrepreneurs as well. Basically, if they have a product to sell, then they can be a merchant.

What is a Publisher?

Typically known as the affiliates, the publishers are the ones that promote, attracts, and convince potential customers on the value of the merchant’s products or services and ultimately land a sale.

A big misconception is that publishers are often individuals or bloggers, but that’s not always the case. Even big companies can be a publisher or an affiliate.

What is a Consumer?

An important piece of the affiliate marketing puzzle, the consumer or customer is the reason why everything works. Without them, there would be no commissions, no revenue to share, no reason to do this at all.

While they are an important part of the affiliate marketing system, a publisher can decide to share that information or not to their customers. Nowadays, more and more publishers/affiliates are letting consumers know that their marketing is financially incentivized in order to be more transparent. Not to mention the fact that a lot of times you’re required to provide an FTC disclosure.

What is a Network?

A network is often the platform that acts as an intermediary between an affiliate and the merchant. It’s part of the affiliate marketing equation that tends to get left out, since most affiliates deal with the products/services directly, but is still an important information to know.

Generally, an affiliate network is often used by merchants to manage their affiliate program and also acts as a database for their products. Publishers can then choose the product that they want to promote, depending on their market.

The Different Models of Affiliate Marketing

While the affiliate marketing business will always be comprised of these four parts, how you go about doing it can be done in various models.

Maybe you start a website and put up affiliate links all over it. Maybe you run a weekly podcast to talk about and sell the products or services.

Heck, you can write an eBook or promote and “soft-sell” your affiliate products on social media platforms. There are a ton of ways that you can run your affiliate marketing business.

But, out of all those different models, here are the few that I believe to be effective and works extremely, along with their benefits and challenges.

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