Introduction to Affiliate Marketing
INTRODUCTION TO AFFILIATE MARKETING
Affiliate marketing is undeniably one of the best ways for you to create your own passive income opportunity online with next to zero investment.
In this Introduction to Affiliate Marketing, you’ll learn all you need to know about affiliate marketing,and how you too can start making money online without having to exchange your precious time for money.
Imagine living a lifestyle where you can make money anytime (even when you’re sleeping), travel around the world and still getting paid for doing what you want and love doing?
Those are some of the possibilities that affiliate marketing has to offer you.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is simply a marketing model whereby a publisher recommends an advertiser’s products or services to potential buyers and gets paid an agreed percentage of the product cost as (commission) each he generates a sale for the vendor or advertiser (product/service owner) through his unique referral or affiliate link.
Common Terms in Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate or Ad Network: A company that connects advertisers to publishers (owners of websites).
- Advertiser: An advertiser is the owner of an offer/product who pay affiliates for every conversion. When an ad network speaks about “Advertisers”, they refer to people who buy traffic there.
- Ad Agency: Ad agencies or advertising agencies are media buying companies or even full-service creative companies which partner with marketers and advertisers to produce ad media buys or ad creatives
- Affiliate or Publisher: An affiliate or publisher is someone who generates sales, leads, subscriptions, downloads, etc, for an advertiser by sending traffic to the advertiser’s website through his unique affiliate link and earns a certain, pre-agreed commission when the required action is performed.
- Affiliate Link: A unique linking code which enables the advertiser and/or the network to track any activity. This code is embedded in a text or graphic link which in turn identifies a visitor as hailing from a specific affiliate website when the graphic or text is clicked on.
- Affiliate Program: An arrangement through which the advertiser pays a fee to an affiliate for the action of generating clicks, sales or leads from links located on that affiliate’s website. These can also be known as partner, associate, revenue sharing or referral programs.
- Banner Ad: An ad affiliates use to advertise a given product.
- Click ID: It’s the user’s identification code. It contains info about the segment, browser, hour, day, etc. It essentially contains data of where and when the user performed an action.
- CTR – Click-Through Rate: The Click-Through Rate measures the percentage of clicks compared to the impressions. If you’re using banners, it’s very important to check your CTR performance since it’s one of the most important indicators, allowing you to make decisions. Normally, a high CTR means that more people are clicking your banners.
- Click-Through: This is the act of actually clicking a link and later arriving at a website (destination.)
- Cloaking: The process of either hiding a webpage’s content or an affiliate tracking code on a link. This is a negative practice since it’s against the guidelines of search engines.
- Commission: Known as a referral fee. The income the affiliate gets for generating a lead or sale to an advertiser’s website.
- Conversion: When a website’s visitor makes a purchase. The action of getting a sale, lead or subscription is referred to as a conversion.
- Conversion Rate: This is a metric used to showcase the number of times an affiliate link has registered a conversion in comparison with the number of times the link/banner has been viewed (it’s a percentage). How to find out what the conversion rate of your ad is? Just take the amount of sales a banner has generated and then divide it by the number of impressions received. Afterwards, multiply that result by 100 in order to get your CR percentage.
- CPA – Cost Per Acquisition or Action: Action, sale (CPS), lead (CPL) or conversion. The CPA model is directly related to subscription services. Publishers get paid when someone acquires a product or service.
- CPC – Cost Per Click: You pay per each click on the banner/creative. Sometimes, affiliates can refer to “clicks” as re-directions.
- CPM – Cost Per One Thousand Impressions: This means you’re setting the price you wanna pay for a thousand impressions of your banner/popunder for the users to view.
- CPL – Cost Per Lead: A lead occurs when someone fills a form in which contact details are provided to the offer’s owner. The user does not pay for the lead. This model is usually associated with dating and sweepstakes offers, where the lead is used to send info about other products.
- CPS – Cost Per Sale: A sale is confirmed when a purchase is made. Transactions are normally processed by credit cards. This model is commonly associated with both dating and sweepstakes offers.
- CPV – Cost Per View: You pay every time your ad is displayed. If you know your revenue, you can then calculate your earnings per each visit (EPV.)
- Creative: A creative is a promo tool advertisers use to get users to actually click-through and take action. Examples of creatives: towers, text links, badges, banners, pop-ups, email copy, etc. Synonym of “banner.”
- Deep Link: Most affiliate networks have a deep linking function. It allows affiliates to send a visitor to a particular page on the advertiser’s website. The affiliate link – by default – redirects to the homepage.
- EPC – Earnings Per Click: EPC shows you the revenue you get for each 100 clicks. It’s the average amount of cash you can earn per every 100 clicks on your affiliate link. How to calculate the EPC? Take the amount generated in revenue from an affiliate link, divide it by the total number of clicks on that link, and multiply the value by 100.
- Fired Pixel: This is a common expression among affiliate marketers. It simply means that the click ID was triggered and you should receive that info on your side. A conversion flow can serve as an example: the user purchases your offer, the click ID is activated or “the pixel is fired”, and you receive that info on your tracking platform.
- GEO Target: When you to target a specific location; region or country.
- Impression: This simply means a measure of the number of times a given ad is shown on a specific page. One impression means the ad was displayed one single time.
- Incentivized Affiliates: This is where website traffic is bequeathed with incentives to complete a set action that ultimately results in the affiliate earning a commission. The incentives can vary. In fact, it could be a prize, discounts, money or even free subscriptions.
- Manual Approval: The review process affiliates have to go through. For an affiliate network to actually accept an affiliate as a member, the latter must be subjected to a review. The aspects reviewed are usually the affiliate’s identity, financial status, address, credit, etc. Later, the affiliate can either be approved or rejected.
- Niche Marketing: The process of targeting advertisements to a specific market segment.
- Payment Threshold: The amount of paid commissions you’ve gotta have before being able to withdraw funds gathered with affiliate marketing.
- Payout: Revenue received per one conversion. The value/payout, which is decided by the advertiser, can be either fixed or dynamic.
- Postback URL: URL used on the offer that allows you to be notified — where you buy the traffic — that a given action has happened, such as a conversion, for instance. Also called Server-to-Server or S2S.
- PPC: Pay-per-Click. A payment model where an advertiser pays only when the ad’s actually clicked on.
- PPL: Pay per Lead. In this type of model , affiliates get paid a fee every time a lead is generated. A lead could be a filled-out form or whatever else the advertiser has specifically identified as a possible lead.
- PPS: Pay per Sale. The affiliate gets a commission once a sale is registered.
- Prelander: This is a page displayed before the typical offer landing page. Prelanders are a great tool to convince users of the need to buy the product that’s being promoted. It’s a great way to pre-sell the product.
- Raw Clicks: It allows you to check how many overall clicks have occurred in your affiliate link. Raw Clicks will basically showcase each click which has occurred, even if it happens to be the exact same user clicking 5 times.
- Super Affiliates: The elite. The group of select affiliates who generate close to 90% of most affiliate programs’ profits.
- Sweepstakes: Lead Generation offers for which users compete to earn a big prize, in exchange for some contact details sharing.
- Tracking Method: This is the method used by affiliate programs to track sales, clicks or leads.
- Traffic: This is simply the number of visits and visitors a site gets at a given time.
- Unique Clicks: This refers to the number of persons who have clicked the affiliate link/banner instead of the number of raw clicks. This is different from the number of times a visitor has clicked an ad (since the same visitor can click an ad several times). If you click a banner ad 10 times, only one of these clicks will be counted as a unique click.
How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
It’s more of a performance-based marketing because it does require you to do some level of pre-sell. Although, the method of your pre-sell is entirely up to you!
The product owner is the vendor or merchant while the affiliate is you.
Basically; you’re generating sales for the product owner in exchange for a commission that you get paid for each sale.
Your affiliate link is what the vendor/merchant will use in identifying the numbers of people you’re sending to their website as potential buyers.
Also, your affiliate link is what you’ll be using to drive traffic to the vendor’s website
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing?
After you’ve understood what Affiliate Marketing is all about; you definitely need to know what the Pros and Cons are.
Like any other business opportunities, affiliate marketing is not exempted from some likely benefits or downsides!
Truth be told, there are plenty of benefits and challenges that you will possibly come across as an Affiliate Marketer, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to your ability to eliminate those problems and focus on what matters to you.
- You don’t need much investments or capital to start your own Affiliate marketing business. You can even start with as low as $100 (which includes owning your own blog).
- Affiliate marketing has a higher return on investment (ROI) if compared to other businesses.Basically, you can earn up to 80% commission on some products (mostly digital products).
- Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest way of making money online.
- You don’t need a product of your own to get started! Meaning; no headache of product creation.
- You don’t need any prior knowledge before you can start learning Affiliate marketing.
- Your income opportunities in Affiliate marketing has no limits, except the limits you put on yourself.There’re lots of Affiliate marketers making an average of $50,000 per month. Some make as much as $500,000 or higher in a single month. We call them “Super Affiliates”.
- Affiliate Marketing is very competitive, and can sometimes be quite challenging.
- As an Affiliate marketer, you don’t have any control over the products or program you promote.
- Affiliate marketing can be quite expensive if you want immediate results.
- Getting results in affiliate marketing can sometimes take months if you’re not ready to invest in yourself.
How can you get started in Affiliate Marketing?
First and foremost; please don’t start buying or paying for any affiliate marketing related resources at this point. Because there’re lots of FREE resources that you can start with in order to ascertain if affiliate marketing is for you or not!
There is no point in buying programs or tools you would not use at the end. If you truly want to learn anything the right way, then it’s best you ask someone who’s already on that path (someone who’s already doing what you want to learn)!
Unfortunately, we often get caught up in the race of the so-called“Guru” (fake lifestyle)! People running their mouth for the sake of claiming to be what they’re not.
Actually, there’s no problem with the so-called gurus, but the only problem is with the fake self-acclaimed gurus who are misleading others in the name of making money!
However, you can either check on Google or Youtube for other related affiliate marketing beginners resources (but be careful of SCAMS).
What are the Requirements you need to get started in Affiliate Marketing?
You don’t need any requirements to get started as an affiliate marketer other than a laptop or desktop and internet connection.
Some people often say you need a website before you can get started as an Affiliate Marketer. Well, that may not be true!
You can basically start making money online as an Affiliate Marketer without owning your own website or blog.
NOTE: Some affiliate marketing networks will require you to provide your website url for registration purpose.
All you need to do is to “Link Directly”to the offer.
What that means is that, you simply link directly to the vendor’s offer through any means of advertisements.
Sharing with you my personal experience, the first set of money I earned in Affiliate Marketing was through the above-mentioned process (Direct Linking). It’s a very straightforward process.
But the downside to this method is that it requires you spending on advertising and understanding the ads platform you decide to use.
More so, “Direct Linking” is not the best strategy for you in the long run. But it can be a good starting point for you to test how affiliate marketing works.
What are the Best Ways to Promote Affiliate Offers?
There are a lot of ways by which you can promote affiliate offers. But the effectiveness of a promotion or marketing method will depend largely on the kind of offers you are promoting and how well you have mastered that method and how it works.
Mostly, affiliates will do a lot of experimenting with different methods and offers before deciding to stick with a particular method or process.
Generally, “writing reviews” and “writing guides” such as e-books, reports, related blog posts/website articles, videos and podcasts are some of the most effective ways to promote affiliate offers.
However, if you are a beginner with little or no experience, you can use “Direct Linking” as mentioned earlier. Then after you have gained some knowledge and skills, you can scale it.
Other key methods of promotion you may want to explore include:
- Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc)
- Email Marketing
- Contextual Advertising
- Display Ads (push notifications, pop-under, click-under,etc)
- YouTube Channel
- Adwords (Google ads, Bing ads,etc)
If you don’t have a website or blog; then you can start by using the “Direct Linking” method.
After signing up with some affiliate programs; you’ll choose the affiliate products you want to promote (your offers). And then advertise the products on ads platform like Bing-Ads and Propeller Ads, by linking directly to the offers.
Note:some of the HIGHLY converting offers for “Direct Linking” are CPA offers.
CPA stands for “Cost Per Action”.
You get paid when your audience complete the required task (the action).
For example: the task can be as simple as an email or form submit (such as news letter sign-up).
If you’re interested in CPA offers, then you might want to check out MaxBounty.
MaxBounty is one of the best in the industry (for CPA offers).