Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]
Can you make money with affiliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
Merchants receiving a large percentage of their revenue from the affiliate channel can become reliant on their affiliate partners. This can lead to affiliate marketers leveraging their important status to receive higher commissions and better deals with their advertisers. Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are a lot of high paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are in the driver’s seat.

Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort. 
I would personally agree with linkshare.com as a great affiliate marketing platform to join as a publisher. Here’s why. Back in 2005 when I knew nothing about affiliate marketing and was using blogger.com as a free blogging platform without any experience whatsoever and joining Walmart.com as my first official affiliate program, I was able to insert Walmart affiliate in its in my blogger blog and earn a $72 commission. I was onto affiliate marketing for life from there.
ShareASale is another larger affiliate network that has more than 4000 merchants listed where a thousand of them are exclusive to ShareAsale. One of the features that may make you fall in love with this program is the ease of use. As a beginner either a seller or an affiliate marketer, this site is extremely easy to use. Additionally, the platform offers various features such as Average Commission, Reversal Rates, Average Sale Amount, and Earnings per Click. With these payments, it is possible for you to access a campaign and let you know where to put more efforts on.
The warmer your visitors are, the more likely they are to convert on the offer you're promoting. Sometimes, they need more time and more attention. That's the purpose of a Multi-Step Pre-Selling funnel. You're not just sending people to your optin page. Once they join your list, they are redirected to a 2nd page, delivering more content, educating them on the offer and thus pre-selling it for you! This is a highly effective weapon that can 3x your sales.
Compared to other more popular affiliate marketing networks, Commission Junction (which is also known as CJ affiliate network) does two things better than others: one is, it offers you a wide range of products to promote and the other is giving you access to a ton of tools ranging from dashboards, charts, graphs, metrics and so on to increase your sales.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.[citation needed]
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