The Affiliate: An Unexpected Journey
So I was attempting to watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey but my digital download was corrupted and while being bummed that I was getting to immediately go to Middle Earth I started to think about how you get into the affiliate business. Bilbo was definitely given quite the push to go on his journey without all the information and that's really how most of us get into this. It'll improve your life, work when you want, and avoid the trolls at work but what is affiliate marketing?
There are 2 parts of affiliate marketing: The content creator and the affiliate
The Content Creator.
Continuing with our Hobbit theme King Oakenshield would be the publisher. He financed the expedition, he in effect created the product or service. The publisher does the same thing in the affiliate marketing world. They spend the time, money, and energy created the product that they want to sell to the world. They identified where there was a need in the market and they have attempted to fill that need.
Just like Oakenshield couldn't have made it to the Misty Mountains and taken on Smaug alone the Publishers can't sell their product on their own either, at least not to as many people. That's where the affiliates come in, or Thorin's Company. Affiliates have many different skills and assets at their disposal: some have killer email lists, some a large Facebook following, and others may be just starting out but have a dedicated following. The affiliates sell the product to the publisher and get a part of the profit just like each of the dwarves and Bilbo were for their part in their journey.
In a nutshell affiliate marketing is selling someone else's product or service. When you're the content creator you don't have all the resources that the marketer does. And when you're the affiliate you don't have the product that your customers want. By working together we go on a very deliberate journey together and hopefully more times than not we get some of that gold back from the Misty Mountains!