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What is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate Marketing is an unbelievable opportunity that, shockingly, isn’t exploited...
Affiliate Marketing is an unbelievable opportunity that, shockingly, isn’t exploited all that often. Only the truly dedicated e-commerce empire builders give affiliate marketing the sort of attention it truly deserves. Today we’ll look to dispel some of the mystery surrounding this enigmatic venture and discover the best ways to start reaping immediate benefits on either the merchant or affiliate sides of the coin.
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based service or system in which a network of loosely connected individuals (affiliates) works to advertise products and refer customers to a merchant’s website. Affiliates are rewarded with a percentage of each sale they bring to their merchants. By integrating an affiliate program to your e-commerce site, you can reach out to numerous visitors within multiple spheres of influence and, more importantly, profit from your access to these online audiences.
Let’s examine the step-by-step process of putting together an affiliate program.
There are 3 different options for affiliate marketing:
An affiliate network, such as Amazon or Clickbank.
Developing your own script and server.
A shopping cart service, like CS Cart or WP eStore.
Generally, joining a network is the easiest method. Affiliates are recruited for you, so all you’ll be responsible for is adding a banner and optimizing your site around a CTA that convinces visitors to click through. The network will then charge you a percentage of the sales you make, and these percentages can be quite pricey. Do your research before committing!
DIY enthusiasts will prefer building their own script and server to manage their affiliates. The code developed must track affiliate sales and inform you of the necessary payments to be made. There are also shopping cart software suites which have an affiliate program built in upon purchase.
The basics of any affiliate program are similar. You promote products (or have others promoting your products) with “affiliate links” to the merchant’s landing page. Your links can be located on websites, in emails, social media profiles, and a variety of other online locations. So long as the link draws in a lot of visitors, you’re sure to be successful.
Once the visitor clicks your link, you get a cut of anything they buy within a certain time period. The main difficulty involved is the actual promotion. You’ve got to draw traffic to your site in order to be an effective affiliate.
There are a multitude of ways to draw traffic, with some popular methods being:
These work by distributing content across multiple channels, (i.e. social media, newsletters, press releases, guest blogs, etc.)
This is both a science and an art. It’s the process of using keywords and relevant content to draw the attention of search engines to your site.
Paid advertisements on search engine results pages.
Build your traffic and draw your visitor’s attention to your affiliate links, then let the merchant do the rest. Get started and watch the profits pile up.