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Affiliate marketing is known to all internet marketers. But, outside of this tribe, folks go “huh”? at your mentioning it.

As soon as you explain what affiliate marketing is, and how much money and business is generated from it, their blank stare turns into a big smile — and the inevitable question: “how can I do that”? Before explaining the details, you share the concepts of a business networking model, partners and splitting of transactions.

And, you further explain that things are easier to accomplish in business if you’ve got friends.

After all, remember when you were just a business startup?

Did you ever call on a friend to help you file some last-minute paperwork or maybe even throw you a few dollars – or even help you get a loan in a moment of need? If not, well, congratulations, but for most of us the course of business never did run smooth.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
-Winston Churchill

What does affiliate marketing have to do with friends?

Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

Building connections.

Essentially, affiliate marketing takes the concept of a friend and applies it to the business environment. Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so in affiliate marketing, your affiliates will get some profit out of it as well, not just a smile and eventual payback on the loan with no interest. That’s why they call it “affiliate” marketing, and not “friendship” marketing.

Enough kidding around: affiliate marketing is when you network around (generally through the World Wide Web… you do have a website, right?) and find businesses or persons who might be interested in making some money off of your products by advertising. You can reverse this, and do the same as well.

Here’s an example:

Website A talks to Website B, and Website A convinces Website B to put an advertisement on its page for Website A. If a visitor to Website B sees the ad for Website A and clicks on it to go to Website A, Website B gets a percentage of revenue for sending Website A the traffic (and/or purchasing something).

Advertising & traffic.

In this example, Website A gets a little bit of very cheap advertising, while Website B gets a commission for every time it sends a visitor to Website A. Everybody is happy. Also, having a one-way link to a relevant site can help Website A in link-building. (depending on how it’s set up).

There are tons of ways to go about affiliate marketing – the revenue that Website B gets could be a flat rate, or it could even be percentage based off of what that customer from Website B buys from Website A.

Money is being made!

Something as simple as a $7.00 e-book can start an avalanche of activities and revenue streams for a business, and especially if you have a great follow up system. There are super-affiliates that are generating thousands of dollars ($$$$$) per day and growing every day. Once you reach a certain critical mass, you have a real sustainable business. Young and old can start this business. But, don’t get sucked into the hype. There’s a bunch of it for you to spend your money on. Start simple (see list below).

You may not know it – but is one of the biggest affiliate marketing networks on the planet. You can start by selling their products, if you want to – and make money on those transactions.

Finally – when you promote for others, you are showing them value and interest, helping them to grow their list and business. You also have bought the product or service, tested it, enriched your own life – and can now fully (and ethically) recommend it. You are building a friend network that will do the same for you – a built-in reciprocal exchange of favors. It’s good to have friends, isn’t it?

And, search for more information and join forums for affiliates discussions and research. Start with the Warrior Forum.

Top affiliate sites to begin:


If you have questions on how to use, or set up an affiliate system, don’t hesitate to contact me.


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.