When formulating a commission structure, the first step is to consider all stakeholders involved in the transaction. Even though affiliate marketing is entirely performance-based — and nary a nickel gets paid unless a transaction occurs — there are several different parties taking a cut of that sale. The affiliate gets a percentage. The affiliate network gets a percentage. And, your affiliate manager might take a percentage. What initially seemed as a no-risk marketing channel could be one of your most expensive.
Don’t go too broad — Earlier, we mentioned that a benefit of affiliate marketing is that affiliates get to choose the products they sell. Because affiliates are building out their brands, they shouldn’t cast their nets too wide. There are affiliate opportunities for everything you can think of: technology, fashion, health, fitness, and even dog training. If you’re trying to get into affiliate marketing, try and stay relatively within a certain niche.
Though the glory days may be behind us, affiliate marketing remains a multi-billion dollar industry and a primary source of income for thousands of successful online entrepreneurs. As the number of merchants embracing affiliate marketing strategies has increased, new opportunities have been created for Web publishers able to build an audience and effectively promote affiliate offers.
When you provide enough value for people, making money is easy. No really, it is! Once you are seen as someone who provides helpful information or services, you will gain a following. You can do this through a blog, a series of YouTube videos, a website, using online radio, running popular social media pages, writing ebooks, or a number of other ways. I talk about all of the personal ways I promote my affiliate marketing business in my course, How To Become An Affiliate Marketer.
The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.
In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates.
But establishing direct affiliate marketing relationships is extremely challenging for a number of reasons, which we’ll get into below. While there are certain instances when a direct relationship makes sense, most affiliates will be better off accepting that networks are part of the equation and focusing on finding the right merchants and maximizing referrals.
After being accepted into an affiliate program, marketers receive a unique URL that includes their affiliate ID. They share that unique URL with their subscribers, site visitors, and social networks via text links or ads. When someone clicks on that link, affiliate software records that click and any resulting product sales in the affiliate’s account. When commissions reach a pre-determined threshold, the affiliate is paid.
There is serious competition in the affiliate marketing sphere. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of any new trends to ensure you remain competitive. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to benefit from at least a few of the new marketing techniques that are constantly being created. Be sure you’re keeping up to date on all these new strategies to guarantee that your conversion rates, and therefore revenue, will be as high as possible.
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. Utilizing one of the common website correlation methods may provide clues about the affiliate network. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly if a contact method can be located.
Hey Miles! I'm a total newbie when it comes to this and this article has been EXTREMELY helpful, so thank you! I am extremely grateful! I do have a question though and I'm hoping you have an answer and/or an alternative solution to this. I'm trying to use a custom domain name with my ClickFunnels account by integrating it via WordPress. I've installed the ClickFunnels plugin on my WordPress site and connected it with the API key and was able to set up the pages I wanted and the links I wanted to use for each step of my funnel, however; whenever I go to the links to test the sites it just redirects to a 404 page. I'm not sure what is going on and I can't find anything on the internet that suggests why this is happening. The weird thing is that I can get the Optin page to work if I set it as the Homepage in the ClickFunnels plugin but when you advance to the Thank You page it uses the bulky unattractive ClickFunnels link. Have you seen this before? If not, do you have a better way of using custom domain names with ClickFunnels?