Affiliate networks are intermediaries between merchants that sell products and affiliates that promote them. Joining one benefits merchants and affiliates alike. Affiliate networks allow publishers the ability to search through merchants (advertisers) and join them in one place. Furthermore, they allow merchants to reach a larger audience and promote them to all affiliates in the network.
A cookie is a value stored on an end user’s computer and is used to track affiliate sales. The duration is the length of time the cookie stays on the computer after clicking an affiliate link. For example, with a 30-day cookie duration, this means that if a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 30 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.
Since you’re essentially becoming a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.
The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network. Many affiliate networks exist, some of which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
Additionally, you'll receive promotional materials, a tracking dashboard, and personalized support to help you succeed with the affiliate program. Constant Contact is used by major brands including Facebook, WordPress, and Shopify. If you believe your clients or prospects could benefit from email marketing tools, this is a good partnership to consider.
The reason you need to understand this before you learn how to start affiliate marketing is because you need to choose your interest (or interests) wisely. You’ll be spending a lot of time researching and writing about your chosen topics, and so they need to be something you’re passionate about, not just something you think is popular and will get you a lot of traffic. You may be right, but you’ll quickly burn out as you either run out of things to say or you begin to hate your topic instead.