Brief Background to Affiliate Marketing and 3 Popular Networks

Affiliate Marketing is one of the most popular ways of doing business online these days and a great way for publishing and writing companies
as well as bloggers to make some extra cash. So what exactly is affiliate marketing and how does it work you ask? It is basically a network which acts as a middle man or to put it more technically an intermediary between those who write and publish content and the vendors or online retailers who sell those products being written about. When people read about certain products, if they are interested in buying it they will be directed to the vendor; this process increases sales and returns and the returns are split between the two parties on a mutually agreed upon basis.

Parties involved in Affiliate marketing:

The parties i.e. affiliate merchants and marketers perform different functions. The affiliate marketers have to make sure their content is interesting to read and engages the user so much so that they are forced to at least look at the product. The merchants on the other hand are responsible for tracking payments, orders and refunds and are in charge of managing the whole affiliate marketing process.

As mentioned before, this affiliate marketing strategy is becoming increasingly popular and they are a large number of affiliate programs available online. Most of these programs are free to join for marketers where as the merchants have to pay a fee depending on which program they join. Affiliate programs normally charge a small fee when they set up the program for a merchant and most also have a monthly fee that needs to be paid if a merchant wants to continue using their service. Another common practice seen in most affiliate programs is that the company chargers the vendor some mutually agreed upon percentage of the revenue earned from commission paid to affiliates.

Top 3 Affiliate Networks:

The most frequently asked question by most people looking to join an affiliate network is which is the best program to join? There are a large number of affiliate networks to choose from these days, so to help you choose the best one and jump on the affiliate marketing bandwagon, we have compiled a list of the top 3 affiliate networks for you to join in 2018:

1. Amazon Associates:

In the 21st century, Amazon is a household name. They sell literally anything that you can imagine; from a washing powder, to necklace to a professional photography camera, Amazon has it all. Due to the various niches it covers, Amazon too has an affiliate network by the name of Amazon Associates. If you join this network, you get 10% of the profit from a qualifying sale of a product that comes from your link. The
purchases made by traffic referred to Amazon go towards you even if it wasn’t through the product you linked to.

The downside is that the affiliate cookie lasts for a mere 24 hours.

2. ShareASale Affiliates:

ShareASale Affiliates have been in the affiliate marketing business for more than 17 years now and I doing a great job of keeping up with its competition. It is a great platform for any merchant to promote their products. ShareASale has a variety of payout options both standard and digital and they carry a wide selection of products.

The downside is that setting up initially takes a lot more time compared to its competitors.

3. Shopify Affiliate Program:

When it comes to E-commerce software which is popular among online stores and retailers, Shopify takes the cake. With Shopify, you can earn a lot more for each referral compared to what other affiliate programs pay.

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