LinkShare est un autre joueur important dans le monde du marketing d’affiliation. LinkShare a été fondé en 1996 et son siège social est à New York. Walmart, Champion, iTunes, Toshiba et ToysRus ne sont que quelques-uns des annonceurs de LinkShare. À moins de générer plus d’un million de dollars par année en vente en ligne, vous devrez vous contenter d’être éditeur chez LinkShare. Le programme LinkShare est réservé aux grands annonceurs seulement. LinkShare se concentre surtout sur les produits physiques.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.
Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.
The only difference with the offline middleman and affiliate business program is that the online affiliate does not need to get hold of the actual product to earn revenue. He doesn’t need to shell out money to buy the product that he has to sell. All he has to do is create a site that markets the products of the producer. Every time he makes a sale, the producer will take over to send the actual products, receive payments and extend customer support, when necessary. A special web-based script records this process and thus the affiliate is paid for every successful sale he makes.