Much like Amazon’s case, potential buyers will click the affiliate’s link and be directed to your website. Your software will document the visitor’s session ID, which is a fancy term for a number assigned to each unique visitor that enters your site. If a visitor from an affiliate link makes a purchase, your software will credit their account and handle the payout.
Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.
Affiliate marketing occurs when advertisers organize third parties to generate potential customers for them. Third-party affiliates receive payment based on sales generated through their promotion.:22 Affiliate marketers generate traffic to offers from affiliate networks, and when the desired action is taken by the visitor, the affiliate earns a commission. These desired actions can be an email submission, a phone call, filling out an online form, or an online order being completed.
Let me give you a personal example – When I was first really trying to make money online, I spent every moment I could growing my online business. At the time, I was a truck driver working very long hours, but that didn’t stop me. If my trailer was being loaded or unloaded, I’d work on my site. If I was waiting for my next load assignment, I was working on my site. If I had any downtime at all I was working on growing my online business. IT took me 6 months before I earned my first $7 commission and another 6 months before I was earning enough to quit my trucking job, and honestly, I found success much sooner than most people. Even now, most of my sites take about 2 years to earn any real significant income.
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.