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Affiliate Marketing Guide

Affiliate Marketing Guide
Sumidakshi Rao
April 17, 2017

If you just want to start with affiliate marketing because you listen to it somewhere on the internet then that is not a good reason to begin a business doing this. It is not something that will make you millions overnight. It actually takes skill. If you really want to gain knowledge on the affiliate marketing, which you can add as a new skill that can possibly turn into a new career, that is what affiliate marketing guide is about.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a performance based marketing procedure by which an online merchant pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales made from its referrals. The idea behind affiliate marketing is that endorsing other people’s products, regularly through an affiliate network, making a commission if people really end up in buying. It’s based on profits sharing. If you have a product and want to sell more, you can offer promoters a commission through an affiliate program. If you don’t have a product and would like to make money, then you can promote a product that you feel has value and earn an income from it as an affiliate marketer.

Affiliate Marketing Strategy

Affiliate marketing is principal and agent relationship. Merchant acts as a principal and affiliate marketer acts as agent. Affiliate marketer receives the commission for completing task delegated by the merchant. The task can be anything such as sale completed, from signup, click on merchant link etc. Reward varies depending on the task required. A task involving more risk of non-payment such as sales completed carries higher commission. A task such as a click on merchant link carries lower commission per task performed. Usually, affiliate marketing includes commission per sale completed. Affiliate marketing is one of the internet marketing strategies available to merchants.

However, affiliate marketing is the monetization strategy for affiliate marketers. Affiliate marketers have approved other internet marketing strategies to make money via affiliate marketing.

The Purpose of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing requires very low or in some cases zero investment business. Merchant pays all the charges for payment processing. You do need to create your own product or pay money to buy reseller rights of products. Even if you create your own products, you may run a risk of not attracting enough consumers to generate sufficient of revenue. In affiliate marketing, you can choose among thousands of products. If one product does not work well you can rapidly switch to other product without losing any money.

Creating your own product takes a time to research and resources. Affiliate marketing provides you an instant product.

The Key Players of Affiliate Marketing

Key Players of Affiliate Marketing

The Merchant
The retailer, brand, vendor or seller. Who creates the product and look to earn revenue from the sale of their products or services, pay affiliates (publishers) who want to earn revenue from the placement of product banners or text links on their site. Merchants only pay affiliate partners for results, such as a lead or purchase “pay-for-performance”. Allows merchant to successfully expand reach and brand marketing, while at the same time managing marketing ROI.
Merchant

The Affiliate
The Affiliate is also known as publisher this guy driving traffic that he wishes to paid for.

Affiliates are

  • Publishers or partners
  • Blogs or forums
  • An online Marketing Sales Force

An Affiliate creates a website which contains links that connect customers to a Merchant’s website for the purpose of making an E-commerce transaction.
Affiliate

The Consumer
The unsuspecting consumer that browsing the website attracts to the affiliate link and does something; lead, sale or download etc. Whether the consumer recognizes that they are part of an affiliate marketing system or not is mostly up to the affiliate. The customer can follow the purchase process just as usual and the affiliate still ends up being paid a commission.

The Network
The middle man between the affiliate and the brand. Often a software solution provider.

  • Allows Merchants to find Affiliates which are suitable for their site.
  • Allows Merchants to find Affiliate sites that expand reach to their target audience.
  • Services include tracking technology, reporting tools, payment aggregation and processing.
  • Provide a creative bank or repository for storing and accessing creative assets.
  • Is no cost for an Affiliate to join.

Network

How to Start With Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the procedure of earning the income by promoting the products and services of other people or company. You can promote the products on different channels and earn the share of profit for the conversions. Through affiliate marketing, you can make a decent income in several ways.You be able to use a website, newsletter, blog, email, ads etc.

However, the mainly popular form of affiliate marketing is done with a website.If you want to know how to start with it, check out these 4 four simple steps.

First Step: You find out a product from the promotion.
Second Step: You sign up the affiliate program accessible on their site.
Third Step: You get a code or a special link that let the advertiser or merchant to track the people who clicked on the link.
Fourth Step: If they purchase the product, you get a commission.

The consumer will not usually pay a higher price to the affiliate marketer, as the cost of the affiliate network is already included in the retail price.

How to Get Started In Affiliate Marketing Step By Step?

Step 1: Select the Right Product

It’s essential to select the right product as you should have the idea about it. It’s always better to choose the product based on your occupation or interest or blog. So that you can reach the right audience to click and purchase it.

Step 2: Start the Website

This is an important step of the affiliate marketing guide. You can promote the product through various channels like email marketing, social media but promotion through the website is the best way to earn income fast. So create the website by using a content management system such as WordPress.

For an instance, if you are very passionate about the travel, you can create the blog or website based on travel tips. Also, you can select the travel services related to flight booking or packages for promotion.

Step 3: Research Affiliate Programs

There are many Affiliate networks available. But you need to choose the best that can relate to your blog or website. Here is the list of best affiliate networks in 2017 according to High Paying Affiliate Programs

  1. ClickBank
  2. Rakuten
  3. CJ Affiliate by Conversant
  4. Amazon Associates
  5. Share Sale
  6. Ebay
  7. Avangate
  8. Flex offers
  9. Avantlink
  10. RevenueWire

So choose the best affiliate program to get the maximum benefits and income.

Step 4: Join Affiliate Program

It’s free to join almost all the affiliate programs or networks. You need to provide the details of your credit card or PayPal information. You need to provide the information about your website.
So simply add your website created in the above step of affiliate marketing guide.

Step 5: Choose Online Ad models

There are six types of online ad components of affiliate marketing so choose the best online ad model. Check out the brief detail of all.

CPA(Cost per acquisition): “Cost per acquisition” is also known as “Cost per action” means the amount paid to an affiliate for the predetermined action including lead, sale, and Newsletter subscription.

Example: clickbooth
clickbooth

CPS(Cost per sale): “Cost per sale” is the amount paid to an affiliate for the sale of the product. For an example, if any product of 100$ is purchased by the user then the advertiser will pay the share of that amount say 5$ per sale.

Example: Clickbank
Clickbank

CPL(Cost per lead): “Cost per lead” means the amount paid an affiliate for every lead a merchant or advertiser gets. For an example, a sign-up form is filled by the user so the cost will be provided say 5$ per lead.

Example: icontact
icontact

CPC(Cost per click): “Cost per click” refers to the amount an advertiser pay to an affiliate when someone clicks an ad.
Example: CPC ads on Google
CPC ads on Google

CPI(Cost per install): “Cost per install” means the advertiser or application owner will pay to the affiliate each time a new user installs an application or apps onto their smartphone or mobile devices, tablet, or desktop.
Example: perinstall cash
perinstall cash

CPM(Cost per install): “Cost per 1000 impressions” is the price paid to an affiliate by an advertiser for 1000 impressions of an ad. So choose the right model you think you can make more profits by promoting an ad.

Example: CPM and CPC ads on Google
CPM and CPC ads on Google

Example: CPM and CPC ads on Facebook
CPM and CPC ads on Facebook

Step 6: Promote the Products

After the selection of the right model, choose the product and promote it on your website. Add the code of the online campaign on the web pages of your website. Add the code of the online campaign on the web pages of your site where there are maximum chances of people to take an action.For better results, use the sidebars of your website because it has the maximum exposure. Also, you can also write two to three lines about the product and put the ad under it for the users and increase the chances of clicking it the and may you get conversions.In addition, you can also follow the best content marketing practices and publish the post specifically related to an ad and get good results. It’s advisable to promote the related to an ad and get good results.

It’s advisable to promote the related content frequently to increase the reach and visitors to the site and to get a handsome income from the affiliate marketing efforts.

Step 7: Measure Your Success

  • The last step of this affiliate marketing guide is to measure the success of your ad and get an idea about the tactics that are working well and that aren’t.
  • If you want to find any product that can get more sales on your site, you can even produce the specific content which gives you the opportunity to market it in a better way.
  • So use Google Analytics to study the important metrics and understanding of the demographics of your audience. You can also tailor your content accordingly and get more visitors in that segment of the demographic.
  • Pay attention to your posts that are performing well and getting more visitors. If you find that some posts are getting more hits in comparison to the others, put additional affiliate links on them.
  • So focus on what yield results and eliminate what doesn’t work. The analytics provided by your affiliate program will let you know which type of ads are working and which ones aren’t.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Works

Affiliate marketing involves the use of affiliate tracking software or scripts. Many open source and paid affiliate tracking software’s available.

Basically, all affiliate marketing software requires the use of cookies. Cookies are the small script, which automatically gets installed on consumer’s computer when the consumer clicks on affiliate link created by affiliate tracking software. It lets tracking the click of consumer on affiliate links placed on different websites over the internet. Affiliate tracking software identifies the affiliate related with particular affiliate link created by the affiliate tracking software and redirects consumer to the merchant website. Affiliate tracking software usually involves 302 temporary redirections. Therefore, it does not provide any backlink to a merchant. Affiliate tracking software also allocates sale made by the merchant due to the referral from particular affiliate link using preset bases such as % of commission or absolute financial value.

If a consumer has turned off cookies in his/ her browser due to privacy reasons, then affiliate will not get compensated for sale.Some affiliate programs such as Click bank will not redirect a visitor to merchant website if cookies are turned off in their browser. Affiliate can inform their visitors to enable cookies temporarily to visit the particular link. If visitors are really interested in the particular product, then they may do so.

Affiliate Marketing Process

Some affiliate tracking software only allows tracking of merchant payment link on only one web page. Therefore, if consumer referred through your affiliate link buys by clicking on payment link on other pages then you will lose commission. It is vital that you check out that either affiliate program supports only one webpage or the entire website. In the former case, check merchant website for payment links on other web pages it includes entry and exits pop-up windows.

Affiliate Systems

Once you install an affiliate system, the whole tracking and payment calculations happen automatically.

Affiliate Software Choices

Affiliate Network
3rd party/intermediary between advertisers and affiliates.
Affiliate Network

Example:
Affiliate Network Example

Self-Managed Software
Easy-to-use software that provides all the tracking/technology to run your own program.
Self-Managed Software

Example:
Self-Managed Software Example

Affiliate Software Choices – Pros

Affiliate Network Software
Immediate access to thousands of affiliates. Much less expensive.
They manage affiliate relationships. Much better for SEO/increasing site rankings.
Don’t worry about individual affiliate payments yourself. Complete branding control.
Built-in communication tools.
Management team provided to you (for extra cost).
Other services provided (for extra cost).

Affiliate software Choices – Cons

Affiliate Network Software
Expensive to start. Don’t have access to thousands of affiliates immediately, must work harder to promote the program.
Must pay fixed fees to affiliate network monthly. Manage payments yourself.
For affiliates to join, they must be a part of the network you choose. Manage affiliate relationships & support yourself.

Types of Affiliate Business Models

Coupon Website

Coupon websites are essentially online advertising sites that use direct marketing to facilitate group-buying deals. They develop large customer databases by collecting the name, contact details and location of each person who purchases from them.
Coupon Website

Review Website

Review websites are usually supported by advertising. Some business assessment sites may also let businesses to pay for improved listings, which do not mark the reviews and ratings. Product review sites may be strengthened by providing affiliate links to the websites that sell the reviewed items.
Review Website

With the growing popularity of affiliate programs on the Internet, a new type of review site has emerged - the affiliate product review site. This type of site is typically professionally designed and written to maximize conversions and is used by e-commerce marketers. It's often based on a blog platform like Word Press, has a privacy and contact page to help with SEO, and has commenting and interactivity turned off. It will also have an e-mail collecting device in the form of an opt-in, or pop-up list to help the aspiring e-commerce business person build an e-mail list to market to.

Because of the specialized marketing thrust of this type of website, the reviews are not objective.

Virtual Currency

Virtual currency affiliates are a different type of publisher that fall within the category of rewards. These affiliates are heavily involved in the online game space and use those games as their marketing medium. Here’s an example of how they work.
Virtual Currency

Incentive

There are two types of incentive affiliates - hard and soft incent.

Hard incent offers something big, usually in connection with continuity programs. Like "try five offers and get a free iPod." People usually don't care about the offer, they just want the free gift so the quality of the traffic is horrible. Most merchants avoid them like the plague, but they do work for some companies.

Soft incent is more like the Discover Card. These affiliates give something small back to the consumer, like a few cents on the dollar of purchase. Usually not enough to make them buy something, but enough to make the consumer buy something through that site.
My Points

Arbitrage

Arbitrage is created on a simple idea; buy low, sell high. Affiliates buy traffic at a lower price (hopefully) and convert it to some form of performance, often per click or per sale.

PPC is the one the best example of affiliate arbitrage.

Affiliate arbitrage means buying traffic - PPC, display ad traffic, or other traffic you can pay for - and send it to a page that monetizes by per click or ad revenue - in this case, you buy the traffic and monetize it on your sites not by selling directly, but by activity like clicks, or rarely displaying ads (hard to monetize if you are driven by ad revenue).

Domainers and lead generation are rare who do this kind of arbitrage.
Arbitrage-Taboola

Blog

Blog generally, seeks to monetize their website traffic by promoting merchants affiliate campaigns.
The Frugal dad

Cash Back Website

A Cashback website is a type of reward website that pays its members a percentage of money earned when they purchase goods and services via its affiliate links.
ebates

How to Become an Affiliate Yourself

Step 1: What Would Help Your Customers?

  • Decide what types of companies you want to promote before looking for offers.

Examples

  • A website design company can also promote stock photo websites or website hosting companies.
  • A recycling center could promote green home products.
  • Yoga instructors could promote online stores selling yoga equipment.

Step 2: Determine Promotion Strategy

  • How will you promote the other companies in a way that customers will appreciate?

Examples

  • Free guide you can offer that includes links to affiliate offers.
  • Occasionally promote them via your current email list.
  • Place them in a “resource” o “recommended partners” section on your website.

Step 3: Join Affiliate Network

  • Apply to an affiliate network (like www.cj.com) to browse offers/ companies you can promote.

Step 4: Apply for Offers & Get Links

  • Browse through companies inside the affiliate network and apply to them.
  • Once accepted, include their provided links in your promotional materials.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is not easy to make money that people often talk about, but it does still present a world of opportunity to those who want to make the best out of their skills and share their passions with the rest of the world. Becoming a successful and respected affiliate won’t happen overnight, but with a carefully planned strategy come great rewards in the longer term. In this article, I explained about affiliate marketing and its possibilities to become an affiliate marketer, utilize its components and empower affiliates engagement and run challenges.

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