Affiliate marketing has become one of the simpler methods to make money online. It has a lot of advantages which you can avail as an affiliate. Before getting into the process of making money online, you need to know about a most typical term used inside affiliate marketing world – affiliate programs.
An affiliate program is an online marketing program where you as an affiliate earn commission for helping a parent company (such as Amazon) to make sales of their products and services. The advertising company provides you with all the details and tools of the adverts such as banner, text, links, and special codes to track conversions that come from your site. Whenever a visitor clicks on an ad or a link, the transaction is tracked. If the visitor buys any kind of product or services, then you get paid a commission for that sale.
Affiliate programs are an excellent way to make money online. You simply place the ads besides the content of your website and direct your visitors to buy that product. Many business companies run affiliate programs where they recruit and employ hundreds and hundreds of affiliates to increase the sales of their products and services. Affiliate programs were first started by Amazon. It was a huge success and from then, its success rate has been peaking to new levels.
Affiliate programs have always been successful as you need have to rely on software programs to match your content with ads (as is the case with Adwords). You do it by yourself. You know what ads will suit and enhance your website’s user experience. You know which ads will work best on your content. And now when your readers see that you have taken time to review a product or a service, they will feel comfortable buying it.
Who can use Affiliate programs?
Affiliate programs can be used by both advertiser and publisher. Most of the business companies that want to advertise their products run their own affiliate programs. Advertisers set up the affiliate programs in order to sell their products and services whereas publishers use their promotional tactics to generate sales of advertisers’ products. Publishers need to join advertisers’ affiliate programs to be recognized as affiliates.
Payment of Affiliate programs
Most of the affiliate programs already lay out their rules of payments of affiliates but in common, there are two ways of payments of affiliates in affiliate programs:
i. Pay per click: You get paid each time a visitor clicks on the ad that is displayed on your site. This is similar to online advertising. This type of payment is fairly low in comparison to other types of payment options.
ii. Pay per action: The payment, in this case depends on the action of the visitor once he/she leaves your site and moves to the target site. There are two types of payments that takes place in this case
- Cost per action: You are paid each time a visitor takes some action on target site, such as filling up of forms, email submission, providing information, etc. Your payment depends on the action of the visitor.
- Cost per sale: This is the typical and the most popular mode of payment in affiliate marketing. Each time a product is sold, you earn a commission.
iii. Recurring commissions: Some products offer recurring commissions on their products and services. These products have a monthly rebilling option like paid services and subscriptions.
There is no definite hard bound rule on the payment in affiliate programs. It all depends on the efforts of affiliates. The more sales they make, the more commission they get. Hence increase in payments and bonuses.
Advantages of affiliate programs
i. One of the biggest advantages of affiliate programs is that it enables business owners to interact and influence customers. It helps in increasing company’s exposure towards the masses. In this way, the company can grow much faster.
ii. Affiliate programs are a great platform to launch new products and services. Increase in company’s exposure can help in quick recognition of such products. More and more people can simultaneously know about a product. With more and more backing of a number of affiliates, the product will definitely fall into the good eye of people.
iii. As a business owner, you need not spend a lot of energy into the promotion of the products as this task is undertaken by your affiliates.
iv. Affiliate programs are beneficial for both the parties as successful affiliates can make money with these programs while business owners can increase their sales and improve company’s exposure.
How to Join an Affiliate program?
Joining an affiliate program is extremely easy. Just sign up in any affiliate program site and that’s it. It’s as simple as that. There are tons and tons of affiliate sites that run online. Now, the important thing to note here is that, either the business companies can run their own affiliate sites or there are number of broker sites where you sign up and choose your appropriate ad to display. In broker sites, both the business companies and publishers sign up. Publishers, then look out for the most appropriate ads which they think suit best in their content. Such types of networks are called as affiliate networks. Affiliate programs are private affiliate networks of business companies whereas normal affiliate networks are the “middleman” networks where publishers and advertisers sign up.
It’s extremely easy to sign up in an affiliate network or in an affiliate program. For affiliate networks, all you need to do is to sign up and create a new account. Then you need to search for the products that you want to promote. If the product that you want to promote is not listed on the affiliate network, check out product’s own website to see if they have their own private affiliate program. You can join that private affiliate program to promote corresponding product. The main benefit of joining a large affiliate network is that you can switch products at any time. You can promote different kinds of product and can check which one’s the best that suits your site. In the next part of this guide, I will provide you a list of some of the most popular affiliate networks that run online.
To find affiliate programs of certain products, all you need to do is to look into the products website and check that whether they have any affiliate program or not. If they run a program, then you may sign up to create your own account. Tech companies such as Logitech and Casemate have their own affiliate programs, which are usually found on their websites.
Tips For Affiliate Programs/Networks
You as a publisher need to be very careful in selecting a particular affiliate network or an affiliate program. Here are certain tips that can help you in choosing the most appropriate advertiser.
i. Find a product that relate to the content/article of your website. Choose products that can enrich your visitors’ experience. With this, you indirectly help yourself as it will be easier for you to promote such products and most importantly, visitors will find such products very helpful. Therefore, first you make your content ready and then decide which product you want to promote.
ii. Make extensive use of the search options provided in affiliate network sites to find a product that perfectly matches the style and gist of your content. Make sure the product is as close as possible to your websites content.
iii. If you are not able to find any kind of appropriate product, then better not place any affiliate links to your website. Not only will irrelevant affiliate links repel your readers, but it also affects search engine crawlers in a negative way. Hence, bad selection may lower down your rankings.
iv. Affiliate programs are the best remedy for writer’s block. In this case, you first select a product that you want to promote and then write accordingly to promote that product. So first is the selection part and then is the writing. If you are at a loss for what to write, then you can head over to affiliate market place to get ideas. This does not have to be related to the rest of the site. Write reviews of the products that you have bought and make sure to direct that review that obligates readers to buy that product. In this way, you can earn a lot of money.
v. Get as much information as you can about the product that you are promoting. If possible, buy that product and use it. Then you can write your review easily. You would not want to lose your readers by providing fake information.
vi. Look out for the commission rates that you would get for each sale of a product. Different companies providing same product offer different rates of commission. Also there are special web pages for affiliates that assist them in generating sales of products. Lots of affiliate business websites have readymade content, ads. Choose the program/network that helps you best in your process. Make use of their content as they are the manufacturer and they know best of their products’ features, specifications and use.