What exactly is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a cost effective business model for e-commerce that actually generates a profit. 

A webmaster or owner simple join an affiliate program, insert the affiliate links and codes and then turn their current visitors into affiliate customers.

Although affiliate marketing in South Africa is in its infancy, there are already successful affiliate programmes running and it become a major new trend for companies wishing to reduce spending on traditional advertising and improve the bottom line income and results with the pay-per-performance model.

The ideal affiliate program for a website is that affiliate programs that integrate with your own website content without compete with it.

An example is where you provide information and services on your website regarding pool cleaning and then add affiliate program links related to pool products on your website.

Through expert advice and information provided on this website regarding any pool related issue visitors trust the website as a solid knowledge source. 

Having searched the website initially for advice and then also find links to related suppliers, customers are able to purchase products online through those suppliers. As affiliate the website owner is then paid a commission on such sales.

Internet markets are enormous but also intensely competitive. In order for an entrepreneur to ensure traffic to his website, he needs to understand the importance of search engines and related things.

Apart of the benefit of affiliate programs is that it ALSO help you to increase your website ranking due to the additional related data and links. A website with only internal links and information related to that website itself will rank much lower than one with a broader perspective.

The South African market is growing rapidly and when consumers start to experience true convergence of technology in the next few years, the on-line market will expand hugely. Those who are set up and running now, will reap the benefits now and then.

So if it's that easy, what are the steps involved?

The merchant provides a signup and login area where you -- the new affiliate – can apply and then select advertising materials to place on your site.

These advertising materials consist of buttons, banners and text links, which are embedded with your pay codes, so the merchant can track your performance and send you a check each month. (Many offer direct deposit into your bank account)

All that you then need to do is to place those affiliate marketing material on your website with the link codes and forget about it.

You can now simple focus on the marketing of your own website, your products and/or services.