Affiliate marketing is one of the top ways to sell a product or service over the web – it also happens to be one of the easiest ways to make a profit with your website. Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between a merchant and a site owner where the site owner (the affiliate) allows the placement by the merchant of links to their site on the owner’s.

The merchant pays the affiliate a commission for every sale made to a customer the affiliate has referred.   These affiliate marketing programs are beneficial to all parties involved – the merchant gets increased sales, the affiliate gets commission and both get increased web traffic which boosts their search engine rankings. Affiliate marketing allows the merchant to get exposure for their product in markets they may not otherwise have reached. And of course, the more affiliates there are marketing a product, the more the merchant will sell.

For merchants, it’s like having a huge staff of sales persons who work on a commission-only basis.   And given the win-win nature of affiliate marketing, the affiliate also reaps a number of benefits. First is having an easy revenue stream. All the affiliate needs to do is have the link to the merchant’s site – of course the more traffic the affiliate can drive to their site, the higher this income will be.  Affiliate marketing also provides people with a great way to make an income from home.

There is close to no overhead – the product is entirely taken care of by the merchant, with the affiliate’s only responsibility being to bring in as many prospective customers as possible – this is what will create income for merchant and affiliate alike. Almost all affiliate programs are free to join, so there is no startup cost involved either. There are thousands of products and thousands of programs to choose from, with a program being available for nearly any product or service you can think of.  This makes it easy to find an affiliate program which is relevant to the topic of your website.

There is also no sales experience needed. The majority of affiliate programs offer all the support you need to get started, including excellent marketing materials. Affiliate marketing is very simple to get started in and you can work from your own home in comfort. You never have to worry about inventories, shipping or order processing in affiliate marketing, just bringing prospects to the merchant – everything else is the merchant’s responsibility.

Since the web is a global marketplace, there are more than enough products to choose from. You can use new and innovative marketing tactics like viral marketing to increase your traffic. Remember, the more prospects you can attract, the more money you’ll be making. Another benefit of being an affiliate marketer is that there is zero risk to getting involved in this business – if you are marketing for a product and it’s not getting you anywhere, you can always just ditch it in favor of another one. There’s no contract binding you to one particular program.

The best thing about being an affiliate marketer is that you can make money even if you don’t have a lot of time to invest in the business.  While you’ll need to put in some serious effort to really make it big as an affiliate marketer, you can make money even with the smallest amount of time and labor – affiliate marketing really can be easy money and is one of the best business opportunities currently available online.