Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005. MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.
You may have heard of ClickBank, one of the oldest and most popular affiliate networks. A billion-dollar company, ClickBank specializes in digital products like e-books and software, as well as membership sites. If you are comfortable selling information and don’t want the management and administration hassles of “real” businesses, this may be a good starting point. Its commissions can be anywhere from 10% all the way to 75%.
The Commissions Report table gives you information about your sales. You can see on what date they were created what type of plan was purchased, and the campaign from which the sale has originated. If you only refer clients with your affiliate link directly without using campaigns, you will see that in the column "default". The last 2 columns show what the status of a sale is and what commission you can expect for it.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
If you do not know already, an online or Internet affiliate promotes items in exchange for a commission on sales. Becoming an affiliate is easy. All you have to do is sign-up with a company or its agent. For example you can become an Amazon.com affiliate on Amazon.com. Or, you can become an Apple Store or Sony affiliate through Commission Junction. After signing-up your affiliate manager will give you a codes to place in your links to stores. When a web surfer clinks on your link the store will recognize your code and set a cookie in the visitor’s Internet browser. Then, if the browser buys anything the store will know to credit you and pay you your commission.
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