Affiliate marketing is taking over the Internet.
According to HostingTribunal, the Affiliate Marketing industry is worth $12 billion and it’s growing fast.
Companies like Peerfly and Awin handle billions in revenue for countless clients by providing affiliate publishing services and top affiliate programs including Clickbank, Amazon Affiliates, eBay Partner Network and Rakuten Linkshare. Even if you’ve never heard of these affiliate programs, odds are your friends, family or favorite influencer has either made or spent money through an affiliate link.
This blog will answer the question, “What is affiliate marketing?” by giving a full overview of the history and current state of the AM industry.
The History of Affiliate Marketing
Any marketing program that uses a third party (affiliate) to reach customers is using affiliate marketing. Instead of paying the affiliate up front for spreading their message, companies will pay a percentage to the affiliate after each transaction. This exchange is low risk and high reward for both sides.
The business does not have to go through the effort of creating engaging advertisements and delivering them to viewers. Instead, they can outsource the job to influencers and content creators who already have the attention and trust of their target audience.
For the affiliate, they are getting paid to deliver authentic reviews and advertisements of products they are already passionate about. They can make the ads non invasive and low maintenance while still turning a huge profit via passive income.
According to SkimLinks, Modern affiliate marketing was the creation of William J. Tobin in 1989, whose PC Flowers and Gifts went on to make $6 million in 1991. Other affiliate programs evolved throughout the 90’s as technology developed. CDNow and Refer-It were successful in the late 1990’s and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission published its first guidelines for Internet Marketing to begin regulating the rapidly growing industry.
The Current State of The AM Industry
Popular markets including Fashion, Retail, Media, Finance, Travel and Leisure are all heavily involved in the current AM industry. Large and small retailers and businesses will reach new clients with offers through micro or macro influencers for no up front costs.
Why is Affiliate Marketing so Effective?
The science behind AM’s success is simple.
Every customer and owner knows that word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertisement. But affiliate marketing is even more powerful than word of mouth.
The Internet has made it possible for customers to review and rate every business on the planet. The networking effect that makes social media addictive and causes memes to go viral also applies in AM. When you connect all those factors, you have a powerful formula for reaching customers with valuable products and services at scale. And that sounds like every business owner’s dream.
Even if you don’t own a business that needs to advertise with affiliates, you can create passive income by becoming an affiliate yourself. If you have a small following on social media, a respected podcast in your niche community, or a topic you are passionate about, you can find an affiliate product that leverages your skills into passive income.
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We really hope this article has been extremely helpful to you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section below or just say hello 🙂
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