Affiliate networks offer you access to multiple (and by multiple, we mean hundreds if not thousands) of individual affiliate programs. They basically work by simplifying the signup process - instead of applying to become an affiliate for a each product you want to promote, you simply apply to join the network and instantly have access to hundreds of different affiliate offers.
The emergence and evolution of the Internet created an opportunity for different types of publishers – ranging from individuals with a Facebook account or blog, to content review sites, deal aggregators, and app developers. As people continue to invent new ways to refer traffic to merchants, new models will surface, but here is a quick list of the popular models today, summarizing the primary promotional method.
Before launching an affiliate program, merchants should establish their default commission structures. This is the base commission rate that will apply to all of your standard affiliates. You will still be able to customize terms for individual affiliates, but your base commission rate dictates how affiliates that do not have negotiated terms are paid.
Part of the affiliate marketing game involves picking out merchant partners and products to promote. If you’re promoting a crap product, you can probably send some traffic through the affiliate link by doing a good job of marketing it to your audience. But once they get to the merchant site and are disappointed in what they see, they’re probably going to abandon.
If you have identified merchants for whom you think you could generate substantial revenue through an affiliate marketing relationship, there’s no reason not to attempt to set up a direct relationship. There’s also not much magic to pursuing this type of arrangement; if there isn’t a pre-existing relationship, start by reaching out to your potential partner and telling them a bit about your site.
Anyway, that was kind of cool. He looked at me and said, “Dude, Russell, do you understand what you guys have done with Clickfunnels?” “What do you mean?” “You’ve changed marketing forever. You’ve changed affiliate marketing. You’ve changed everything.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” He’s like, “Pre Clickfunnels, I had maybe 5 or 6 guys come to me that had an offer that we could run. Now I’ve got 16 year old kids with offers that are converting and they’re making millions of bucks. That never happened. You’ve literally given everybody the ability, everybody equal playing ground, everybody can be in this business.”
An additional note that must be made at this phase is: do keep in mind the LTV or the life-time value of your customer here. In certain scenarios (e.g.: subscription-oriented affiliate programs) it makes sense paying significantly higher commissions on the customer’s initial payment to the company when the latter knows that they will make much more (from the same customer) on future payments. More about it later in this text.
MaxBounty works exclusively with digital products, usually about giving one’s email or signing up for a newsletter. MaxBounty has CPA, Pay-per-call, and CPL campaigns that you can choose from. MaxBounty is involved in a large number of verticals, including market research, real estate, social games, finance, dating, and diet, but is primarily designed for marketers seeking to acquire new leads.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products. This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the amount of commissions you make and create a steady stream of revenue when building an affiliate website.
How established is your site/blog/social media following? Do you already have an audience of 1 million or are you just getting started? Early on in your affiliate marketing journey you will probably want to have multiple options to make sure you can cover a broad field. You might want to become an Amazon Associate as well as joining one of the networks so you will have a product link to drop into any posts you do. An easy place to start is to promote the services you are using if you are enjoying their product - web hosting or email management systems like Aweber.
You must remove from your Site any links and related references to limited time promotions as soon as that promotion on the relevant Amazon Site ends. For example, if you include links to Products in the apparel category of an Amazon Site and mention that there is 15% off select products in Amazon’s apparel category, you must remove the mention of the 15% discount from your Site as soon as the promotion ends.
So then I get in this room and it’s set up so weird. There’s this stage, but there’s a pole, there’s all these chairs, it was so stuffy and corporatey. Ugh. I hate this corporatey, crappy stuff. So I start my slides up and jump down off the stage and come out in the front. I’m like, “I’m not standing behind there guys. We’re hanging out down here.” And I started it and give my whole presentation, and it was funny because I was trying to get this audience to be excited about life and the fact that we’re in the greatest time in the history of the world. I’m like, “You guys are affiliate marketers. Do you realize what that means? You can and should be making millions of dollars. And you don’t have to go to college, and you don’t have to have annoying bosses and all the crap that comes. You guys are living the dream.”
ClickBank allows you to join for free, and the approval process is virtually automatic, so it’s a great choice for people entering the affiliated game for the first time. ClickBank has a ton of information, including FAQs, walk-throughs, and videos available, so the barrier to entry is quite low. There’s also a (paid) program called ClickBank University with courses and assistance from experienced marketers.
Email is a relationship-builder with your potential customers. You want to send them a balance of useful information related to your niche, perhaps an email newsletter, as well as marketing messages, like a sales email, asking them to buy a product on sale. The free information you’ve provided helps them come to know, like, and trust you… which makes it more likely they’ll buy a product.
At the beginning, Murphy created her own affiliate program in house. She found that this process was a major time sink — she had to take the time to constantly monitor her program and remember to pay affiliates regularly. She made the jump on an affiliate network, where she could immediately access tracking, reporting, and payment systems (as well as instant access to affiliates who were more-than-ready to help sell her products).
For sites looking to monetize their existing traffic through affiliate marketing, a major determinant of success is picking the right offers to run. The difference in earnings from a bad offer and a good one can be enormous. Unfortunately, finding the “right” offer isn’t exactly easy; if you’re using an affiliate marketing network such as Commission Junction (now part of Conversant), SharesASale, or LinkShare, you will have literally thousands of affiliate offers available to you.
These are some really great programs to start with, if they fit in your niche. AWeber, for instance, has a good pay out, but if your blog readers aren’t interested in building an email list, you’re not going to make any sales by promoting it. That’s why I love that you’ve also included ShareASale – no matter what niche you’re in, you’ll find something excellent to promote!