Business opportunities come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. One that you may have heard a lot about, especially nowadays, is affiliate marketing. Whether you’re looking to expand your current business, or you’re looking to get your start as an entrepreneur, affiliate marketing is something that you need to know about and understand.

So, what is affiliate marketing, exactly? We’re going to be breaking it down to the basics so that you have a starting-off point for researching it more yourself.

What Are the Broad Strokes?

In essence, affiliate marketing provides an avenue for a business to expand its market reach. Rather than handling all of its marketing efforts itself, a business brings on other entities – anything from blogs to other businesses – to market its products or services to those entities readers or customers. It’s an old marketing model, to be sure, but it’s one that’s become exceptionally popular.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work for a Business?

If you’re a business owner, then affiliate marketing may be something you want to look into. It will provide you with an opportunity to reach untapped markets.

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To do this, you will seek out other entities that operate within the markets that you’re trying to reach. For example, say you’re a company that manufactures exercise equipment. If you’re looking to find affiliates to market your products, you may start with popular fitness blogs. These blogs, in exchange for monetary compensation, may agree to market your products toward their readers.

Now, you don’t necessarily need to do all of that legwork yourself – the legwork being finding potential affiliates. There are, in fact, affiliate networks that you can work with, which will match your business with the right entities.

How Can I Become an Affiliate Marketer?

Just the same as affiliate marketing provides an opportunity for business, so too does it provide an opportunity for the enterprising entrepreneur. Rather than marketing your own business through affiliate marketing, you can become an affiliate marketer yourself.

Take the reverse of the example that we outlined above. Say that you’re a fitness guru who runs a successful fitness blog. You can supplement the income that you’re already earning through banner advertisements by entering into an affiliate relationship with a fitness-related business.

Just the same as businesses themselves, though, you can also seek out a relationship with an affiliate network. This network will relieve you of the duty of seeking out businesses to market and will instead push those businesses your direction. Of course, they will take a cut of the proceeds for providing you with this service.

Sounds Good, Right?

Affiliate marketing is everywhere you look these days. You’ve likely noticed how ads will follow you around the Internet as you move from page to page. That’s affiliate marketing at work! So, don’t just stand on the sidelines. Whether you’re looking to expand your businesses reach or to earn extra income, affiliate marketing is something you should look into.