Affiliate marketing is one of the most misunderstood concepts. Some people think they can create web pages exclusively of affiliate links. Viewers will flock to his or her web site and click away. Nothing can be further from the truth in that regard.

Affiliate marketing is about complimenting. You are selling or distributing a product; however, you do not have the expertise or stock requirements to meet all your customer needs. A prime example of that would be restaurants and condiments. Sure, a restaurant could make their own ketchup and mustard, but the cost-per-unit does not justify the expense. So, to fulfill customer requirements a restaurant will purchase condiments.

Affiliate marketing should be viewed in the same manner. I worked recently with a flower shop owner to design their web site ( Our goal was to keep the design simple to highlight the flowers and pleasant atmosphere of the flower shop. A topic that eventually arose was affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing in this case dealt with accessories in addition to purchasing flowers. One great idea that was produced was an affiliation with a national flower dealer. The rational behind this was to create a kiosk so that people ordering flowers locally could also order flowers to be sent around the World. Now remember the flower shop is a small local business; however, the affiliation enabled the owner to satisfy her customer's overall requirements and make a commission for extended services.

Affiliate marketing should not be thought of as making money with a bunch of links. Affiliate marketing should be viewed as complimentary services to enhance your customers experience. I encourage people to examine affiliate marketing links, because they are one more source to finding what you are looking for and not settling for less.

Mikhail Kniaziewicz, MIS