What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing

So you want to start earning money in adult business? No problem. You don’t even have to shoot your own content.

All you have to do is to participate in affiliate marketing, and this is how it works:

Company M is selling some kind of Product X. This could be a physical product or a virtual one (such as access to a website). To sell that Product X Company M brings in a sales person A who in turn will get in touch with potential customers.

Ideally the sales person (a.k.a. affiliate) A will find a customer who is willing to buy the product. The company is happy because they get money for the product they are selling and they in turn pay the affiliate a commission per sale. So he’s happy, too, and will continue to recommended the product to earn more money.

From this example we see the basic system as is used in affiliate marketing. There are some variations of this system, but usually it all comes down to this.

Merchants, Affiliates and how affiliate marketing works

So in this simplest type of affiliate marketing we have two parties participating on the business side:

  • Merchant (also called Advertiser) = Company M
    The Merchant is the manufacturer or developer of a product. He pays a commissions for it when someone helps them sell one of his products.
  • Publisher (also called Affiliate) = Sales Person A
    The person serving products to potential customers – for example by placing links, banners on his website or even publishing full web sites (landing pages) recommending the product.
Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing

Lets for example say there is a bondage blog and the person running that blog has signed up as an affiliate for a matching topic – for example at Kinky Dollars.

A prospective buyer comes to the blog (eg. by doing a search on google), clicks around for some moments. He’s interested in more bondage videos – So he clicks on the banner of one of Kinky Dollars sites.

After clicking on the banner of the visitor will be redirected to the website of the merchant. If the site of the Merchant is appealing and convincing the prospect signs up.

The company Kink.com gets the money from the customer (lets say a fictitious example of $100) and the webmaster gets 50% commission – which means he’ll get $50 for bringing a customer to the website.

So this is a simplified example of how affiliate marketing works.

As mentioned there may be some variations to this. For example there are other options than using a blog and you don’t need to use banners. Direct links in texts often work even better. Also there are several payment models, not just percentages (usually referred to as Revenue Share).

Advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing

Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing.

Pro

  • With affiliate marketing, you have several ways to generate revenue. As indicated above, you can set up advertisements it a blog, create a site specifically tailored for a product (Landing Page) or set up a portal around a product. It’s all up to you – be creative!
  • No initial purchase and no production of products required. It only need to sell products manufacturers my others, which keeps the investment low.
  • Due to the lack of investment it’s easy to experiment a lot. You don’t need to stock up on anything. Either it sells or it doesn’t. Just give it a try. If you don’t cash in – don’t worry, go to the next product.
  • It’s usually relatively easy to to measure your success. There are many tools to help you optimize your efforts
  • You can earn good money while not being bound by anything.

Contra

  • You can optimize your side, but you’ll always be dependent on the site of the merchant. If he converts bad, you’ll loose money and can’t doo much about it.
  • You can’t be sure how long the product will be availeble. Especially for special small niches that means that you’re on your own if the affiliate sponsor pulls the plug.
  • You’re very dependend on a continuous stream of visitors. If you get most of your visitors from Google and they decide that you’re a spammer and take your page out of their search results – you’re practically screwed. That’s why it is important to play in more than just one field at the same time.
  • You unfortunately have no control over payments or chargebacks. You just have to trust the merchant.
  • Even if affiliate programs often tell you that you’ll get rich in no time (especially in adult biz), that’s not true. It is true that you can earn a lot of cash, but it takes a lot of hard work and time to really get success in affiliate marketing.

As usual it’s not just all gold, but it’s worth a try. You just have to have patience and perseverance.