Recent corporate changes and folding 2Checkout into a larger company that is involved in payment processing and e-commerce means that the affiliate program can sometimes feel somewhat neglected. But the ability to generate custom coupon codes and the comprehensive knowledge base make 2Checkout a good option for experienced affiliates with an established user base. But if you’re just entering the affiliate field for the first time, 2Checkout might not be where you want to start.
The most successful affiliate marketers focus on niches that feature desperate buyers. These buyers have a pressing problem they urgently need to solve. As a result, they’re more likely to impulse buy a product that promises results, and they’re less sensitive to cost. Following this logic, an e-book to help the unemployed find work within 30 days is a more viable affiliate product than an e-book to help people improve their golf swing.
CJ Affiliate, which formerly known as Commission Junction, is an online advertising company operating in the affiliate marketing industry. This company is a real deal for affiliates who want to build a serious business online. They have big branded clients including American Airlines, Forever 21, Marc Jacobs, Santa Barbara, Barnes & Noble, and much, much more.
All in all, building a WordPress affiliate site and turning a healthy profit is doable. Many sites on the internet depend and thrive on commissions, so yeah, it is a viable business model. Just play your cards right and exercise some patience. Become a shark and invest your resources wisely. Until next time, remember sparring is training. Here’s to your success: Cheers!
Another consideration is how much commission you can make per sale. Info products, such as downloadable e-books, work well for this reason; they cost next to nothing to make and distribute, so the revenue from each sale is pure profit. As an affiliate, you could earn up to 70 percent of an e-book’s sales price. You’d be shocked at how many people will pay as much as $50 for an e-book if it solves a pressing problem they have – and if you get a 70 percent commission, $35 goes directly into your pocket every time you make a sale.
Besides affiliate links, publishers can get access to tracking reports (clicks, sales, impressions), additional promotional materials (banners, copy, email templates) inside the retailer’s affiliate platform. These platforms also handle commission payments so publishers can expect to be paid around the same time each month, usually by Paypal or direct deposit.
Cost-per-action (CPA) works a little differently. A publisher is paid for each action taken instead of a percentage of sales. CPA is used most often if there’s no actual product or stock to sell. When you place a CPA form on your website, you’re promoting a particular product from the vendor. You get paid for completing an action that could be as simple as getting a user to fill up a form or take any other desired action. Payments are usually based on lead generation to get some free product or information such as:
Even though commissions can be very high, affiliates still want to negotiate the best deal. This is where impression counts get in the way of sales. While cost-per-actions (CPA) and cost-per-lead (CPL) deals can be risk-free for brands because they are based on performance, they are not always ideal for affiliates, which prefer to get paid per impression (CPM).
How many times have you done a Google search for some information, only to come across a website that doesn’t actually offer anything useful? In this situation, you are far more likely to hit your browser’s back button in disgust, never to return. On the other hand, if the website offers content (articles, blog posts, videos, pictures etc) that actually give you what you are looking for in the first place, you will be far more likely to continue reading and maybe even purchase from that website.
Affiliate marketing educational products abound. There are tons of programs and eBooks online, promising to teach you the “secrets” to success. The problem is, there just too much to learn on ones own. Affiliate marketing is a competitive and complicated industry and someone starting off without the proper training, professional help, and solid plan, will get hopelessly lost and confused. If you try to learn affiliate marketing on your own, your chances of success are close to nil. First of all, the training products you purchase will probably be outdated because the affiliate marketing industry is changing constantly. Something that worked well only a month ago could now be obsolete.
When deciding on which medium to use to promote your affiliate, harness your strengths! For example, if you’re not comfortable being on camera, then don’t rely on Youtube as your primary method of promotion. If you have a way with words, then find a written form of communication that suits you. Think about starting a blog or finding forums to contribute to.
"I have followed Michelle’s blog for years. Her blog posts are incredibly informative and never disappoint. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is no different. The detailed strategies she shares in her course can help any blogger implement affiliate marketing. Within two days I received my first ever affiliate sale! From then I was hooked. The Mastermind alone is worth the cost of the course and the immediate access to an affiliate marketing expert is priceless! I highly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing." - McKinzie Bean, Momsmakecents.com
Validating your product idea is easy, you can either check out if there is any advertisement related to the niche, or you can simply ask people about it. Yes, just read the comments from YouTube, Facebook, or from Twitter, and then just ask those who are interested in the post, “Hey, would you like to buy a step-by-step video series that shows you exactly how to do that?”
Affiliate marketing has contributed to the rise of many leading online companies. Amazon.com, one of the first significant adopters, now has hundreds of thousands of affiliate relationships. It is not uncommon to see industries where the major players have affiliate programs–often structured in a similar manner and making similar competitive changes over time.
Lauren McManus is a well-known Pinterest expert from Create and Go as well as other successful websites and courses. I asked her to share her best Pinterest tips as a bonus for my course because I am a huge believer in Pinterest and how it can help you to improve your affiliate income. This strategy has allowed her to receive hundreds of thousands of visitors from Pinterest, significantly improving her income.
A relative newcomer to the affiliate space, MaxBounty was founded in 2004 in Ottawa, Canada. MaxBounty claims to be the only affiliate network built specifically for affiliates. MaxBounty is exclusively a CPA (Cost Per Action/Acquisition) company that doesn’t deal with ad banners or the like, just customer links that the publisher (blogger) chooses where to place on their website.
SkimLinks works very similarly to VigLinks in that it is designed for bloggers who don’t want to do a lot of hands-on work to participate in an affiliate program. SkimLinks also works much like VigLinks in that it uses a plugin or script to create dynamic links in your content to send visitors to higher paying offers from merchants. SkimLinks claims to work with over 24,000 merchants/advertisers.
SkimLinks is probably best for bloggers who want to write content around the affiliate link rather than add affiliate links to existing products. SkimLinks offers a lot of tools to compare commission rates and offers in order to customize your content to optimize your income. Once nice aspect of SkimLinks is that it offers lots of products for non-US creators, including popular UK brands like John Lewis and Tesco.
One last thing to consider: even if your product listings point to reputable retailers, visitors might be confused or freaked out when they’re sent to other sites when trying to purchase your curated products. By being upfront about your affiliate relationship and how the site works, you’ll increase trust and remove any doubts they have about shopping with you.
Affiliate marketing is popular among digital marketers since it’s a straightforward way to earn some additional income without having to shell out any money in advance. Even so, anyone hoping to earn a full-time living this way has to be prepared to put in the work. It requires a concerted effort in pushing products and services through all possible online mediums.
I was more active on my blog and published more SEO-friendly posts, which increased my Google traffic. You’ve GOT to have great, in-depth content if you want to get traffic to your site. Some people like to publish short, light posts every day. I prefer publishing long-form, thoroughly researched posts maybe once a month, and organic search traffic still makes up the VAST majority of my site’s traffic.
Affiliate marketers have to consider whether a particular product or company is worth their time to promote. Some companies only pay a one percent commission, while others pay 75 percent commission. And you can get paid as little as a few cents and as much as a few hundred or thousand dollars depending on the type of item sold. As the affiliate marketer, you also have to determine how much time you need to spend in order to make a sale. Affiliate marketing is not a set it and forget it kind of method, as some people claim it to be - it takes active work to make a sale. If you have to spend one hour in order to make $0.38, then it may not be worth it for you. But if you spend only 20 minutes and you get paid $50, then that's probably worth it.
Moneysupermarket.com is a good example of success CPA. This is a big brand financial site that focuses on a UK audience. They get a fat commission for every credit card lead they send to Visa and the other big credit card companies. To learn more about how to incorporate CPA advertising into your affiliate website, read this practical guide from the Modern Entrepreneur.
A practice that underhandedly deposits cookies from merchants onto users computers when the user has never visited the merchant through the affiliate's link and potentially may not have even the affiliate's website. Cookie stuffing is done with the intent of stuffing as many cookies as possible onto as many user computers as possible in the hopes that they eventually come accross the merchant website and make a purchase. The larger and broader the merchant, the more likely that is to occur (think Amazon). Cookie stuffing is heavily looked down upon by legitimate affiliates and most merchants ban affiliates using cookie stuffing in their affiliate agreements.
A text file that is sent from a website to a file within a user's web browser. Cookies are used for various reasons on the web as a whole. In regards to affiliate marketing, Cookies are used to assign an ID to a user that has clicked on your affiliate link to get to a merchant website for a predefined period. If the user returns within that predefined period (whether or not they click on your affiliate link again) then you will be credited with the sale. Example – a user clicks your affiliate link (cookie gets “dropped” to their browser) and then bookmarks the merchant's website to buy later. The user returns before the Cookie Expiration and makes the purchase. You would receive credit – and this commission – on the sale.
The saying goes that people eat with their eyes, well, people are also quite picky about how their content is presented. Standout guides aren’t just well considered and expertly written. They are designed expertly. Designs aren’t just there to dress up an article, they are practical. Everything from content flow to sign-up forms and social sharing buttons are considered when content is intentionally designed with a bit of thought. Hiring a web designer will get the best quality results, at a price. You don’t need to hire a web designer to turn your guide into something special.
MozBar – MozBar is a Google Chrome extension that lets you Google any keyword and see how competitive the search results are. The higher the DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) the more competitive the keyword is. However you still want to click on the top results and browse the content to make sure you can creating an article/video that is better than whoever’s in the top results. That is really what “researching the competition” is all about.
Affiliate marketing is basically performance-based marketing, whereby affiliates/partners promote a merchant’s product/service and get remunerated for every sale, visit, or subscription sent to the merchant. The most frequently used payment arrangements include: pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click compensations. Affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful and effective customer acquisition tools available to an online merchant today. You decide what commission to pay, and pay only when results (sales, leads and/or clicks) are obvious.
Develop a strategy — What problems are you solving? What niche or audience do you want to serve? Outline the above, and determine how you want to get there while offering something unique or a little different. After that, design your brand look and identify your messaging. While you are at it, set an action plan you can live with based on how much time you have to allocate to your affiliate efforts.
The people that you refer too did not master amazon, they merely mastered the value they offer to visitors. If you are able to engage/connect with visitors, then you got a winner, some people merely have better skills then others, which may include offering high value content, coding/custom skills. Do you agree that these people brought something to the table? If they did not, then visitors would not continue to visit their sites, right? You can put up all the content in the world, you can get all the backlinks you want, but if you can not engage/connect with your visitors, then all is lost. These site most likely did not start off with custom sites; they started off just like everyone else, some rag/tag site. I ran across an affiliate site a few months ago, and the content on his site would just blow your mind, and let me tell you,this guy had affiliate links from all major affiliate networks, his site has so much authority that he is listed right up under amazon, and some actual product manufacturers; how did he do this? He brought solutions, and value to his visitors, he knew what they were looking for, and knows how to engage, and connect with them. If you can not figure out how to blow your visitors mind, then what do you really have to offer? His avg reviews were between 7k-10k words? how about you? 500-1000 words? at the end of the day, which site will google find more impressive, yours, or his, and i assure you, he had far more affiliate links on his site then you have on yours as you could not skip-a-paragraph without seeing affiliate links.
Some merchants will create a specific and custom landing page for an affiliate to send referrals to that contains both the merchant's branding and the referring affiliate's branding. Example – a merchant might create a page on the merchant's website that shows a lead form that contains both the merchant's logo and the specific affiliate's logo on the page. This is referred to as Co-branding. Many times merchants limit Co-Branding opportunities to only being available to Super Affiliates.
For years now WordPress has been perhaps the best platform in the world for creating affiliate blogs and websites. Affiliate marketing is one of the key ways many professional bloggers generate revenue. But there are two sides to the affiliate marketing coin–the side of the affiliates themselves who sell others’ products to turn a profit and that of the product creators.
A two-tier affiliate program allows affiliates to not only earn commissions on their own sales, but to also get a percentage of the commissions (usually much smaller) earned by people they've recruited into the affiliate program (either directly because they knew them or indirectly – meaning someone signed up to be an affiliate by using the first affiliate's link).
So while I think affiliate programs are great and potentially offer up a lot of benefits, I’d also advise anyone thinking of starting one to consider the fact that as it grows so does your commitment to managing it. Resources will have to be diverted from your core business to support your network of affiliates as well as time spent preventing fraud or other problems that can arise.
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
Think about the number of people querying search engines daily. Can you afford to miss out of this traffic? A popular method of promoting affiliate products is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is all about a website’s visibility in search engines. SEO focuses on unpaid so called natural or organic search results. Any attempt at SEO won’t bring immediate results, but in the long run, it can be extremely rewarding.
I personally prefer to do it that way--you can create a more convincing review that's more likely to make sales. It's not always possible or practical, though; for example, would you break up with your significant other just to test a product for getting your ex back? ;-) In cases like that, or if the product is expensive, it's usually best just to use the vendor's affiliate resources instead.
I devoured the course in two days, taking notes in a Google Spreadsheet so that I could check off items to complete and implement the strategies recommended. Because the course has no videos, I found it easy to go through it really quickly, and it wasn’t overwhelming. At this point, I’d had affiliate links on my blog for over a year—but found out I was doing several things wrong! I created a checklist and started fixing those mistakes immediately. I remember feeling pretty bummed that the course didn’t have any crazy advanced techniques, but I did appreciate that it taught me new things that I could implement right away.