What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a way to generate revenue for bloggers and forums by showcasing advertisements of other businesses and in turn, get paid for every sale is done.

Download the Free Beginners Guide to Affiliate Marketing PDF Here

Different types of affiliate marketing platforms

  1. Reward sites: With online shoppers becoming increasingly understanding, reward sites have seen flow in popularity. This type of affiliate drives sales by rewarding its members through a share of the commission it earns from an advertiser.
  2. Content sites and blogs: Content sites can also help reach a new audience. This audience might not necessarily be looking for your brand in particular but could come across it through a feature in a newsletter as the affiliate reaches an audience that is actively looking for the topic around your brand. A great way to engage and optimize activity with content sites is by providing fresh content or an exclusive offer. Recently we have also seen an increase in integrated content pieces as well as affiliates who are using video to monetize a product.
  3. Email: An Email Affiliate sends targeted emails to its own (or third-party) database to drive conversions on behalf of a brand. In order to drive volume, a strong and time-sensitive offer is required and creativity should be refreshed regularly. It is important to always consider the size and source of the data to ensure it is compliant with local and brand regulations and to avoid over-promotion or database exhaustion.
  4. Comparison websites: These sites offer consumers the opportunity to compare products of different advertisers (like credit cards or phone plans). Through a compelling offer, comparison websites can generate large sales volumes. They vary a lot on how they structure their rankings, which is not always based on the best product but often earnings per click (EPC).
  5. Voucher and deal sites: These types of sites generate sales by offering their users a discount code that can be redeemed online against their purchase. They also often promote generic deals in a designated section. An exclusive code will usually increase exposure on the site, where a quick expiry date will create a sense of urgency for consumers and can be used as a strategic tool to drive quick sales.
  6. PPC Affiliate: A PPC (pay-per-click) Affiliate is a search specialist who drives traffic to an advertiser’s site by bidding on relevant keywords via a custom-built landing page. They generally work on a CPA basis but sometimes require hybrid commercial agreements. 
  7. Social Affiliates: This type of affiliate works via highly targeted posts on social networks or sponsored tweets, which can help to drive awareness and assist in generating needs. It is important to keep the creative relevant, with a strong call-to-action

Parties involved in affiliate marketing 

  1. Publisher / Affiliate – Individual or company which owns the website or platform.
  2. Affiliate Network – Aggregator between the affiliate and advertiser. As in the platform which serves as a bridge between affiliates and advertisers.
  3. Advertiser – A business that needs to be promoted and has agreed to work with the affiliate network to leverage the network of affiliates of the network.

How to sign up as a Publisher/ Affiliate? 

Publisher

Signing up as a publisher with an affiliate network is simple and quick. Moreover, joining as a publisher in most affiliate networks costs nothing. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to earn money online from your website, email marketing, and social media promotion.

Here is the list of information which you need to share 

  1. Company info
  2. Contact and Account Info
  3. Language Preference
  4. Primary Website Information
  5. Vertical Category
  6. Your Customer Demographic

Payment method in affiliate marketing

The payment methods are:

  1. Pay-per-Sale / Lead: The pay-per-sale payment model involves paying affiliates a percentage of the full sale amounts. It is up to the affiliate network to determine the percentage.
  2. One Time Pay: In this method, the affiliate/publisher gets paid once the customer has purchased the product. 
  3. Referral commission: This works well with subscription-based products as the affiliate not only gets paid once the sale is made, until the time the customer keeps going to the advertiser site and renews the same product again. For example- GoDaddy hosting and domain which you need to renew year on year. In this scenario, you can get paid every time the user goes and renews the same product which he purchased through an affiliate link.
  4. Fixed Pay: The fixed payment model involves paying affiliates a fixed pay-out per sale/lead irrespective of the sale amount. This amount is mutually agreed upon between the affiliate and the affiliate network.
  5. Hybrid: This payment method is mostly used by the gambling and online casino affiliate network as the name suggests it is a combination of the two above-mentioned plans. 

Signing up with the Amazon Affiliate Program 

Go to amazon.in on your browser and scroll down to the footer of the webpage. Under “Make money with us” (the 3rd column),  would be ‘Become an affiliate’, Click on it.

Click on ‘Join Now for Free.

During this process, Amazon will ask about your business, your website(s), as well as how you intend to use the affiliate marketing program to make money.

You’ll then be taken to the five-step account creation process where you’ll be asked a series of questions that will help Amazon review your account and associated activities in the future.

  • Account Information will cover who you are and where you are located.
  • The Website and Mobile App List is where you will enter all websites through which you intend on sharing affiliate links. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before proceeding.
  • Under Profile, you will create your affiliate ID, the string of letters and/or numbers that will serve as your tracking code. You’ll then be asked a series of questions regarding what type of topics your website covers and what kinds of products you intend on promoting through your site
  • In the Identity Verification step, you’ll need to share your phone number so that Amazon may verify that you are who you say you are.
  • The final step will provide you with your official Amazon Associates tracking ID and will give you a chance to submit your tax information. If you prefer, you can add this information later.

Once you’ve set up your account, do note that Amazon requires you to use product links and generate income from at least three of them within 180 days. If you fail to do so within that time, they will close your account. If you are able to satisfy that requirement, Amazon will review your account as well as your usage of affiliate links once the first sale is complete.

Upon completing the setup process, you’ll be taken to Amazon Associates Central. This will be your new hub for all matters related to your affiliate marketing efforts.

The main dashboard is quite comprehensive without being altogether awesome. Right within this home page, you can search for products to link to:

You can also see a high-level overview of your earnings over the last month:

While you’re here, be sure to familiarize yourself with the navigation at the top of the site. It includes everything you’ll ever need to create and manage affiliate links. Here is a brief overview of what you will find:

  • Product Linking > Product Links: This is where you can search for products and then create affiliate links.
  • Product Linking > Banners: If you’d like to add Amazon-specific banner ads to your site, you can set those up here. You can choose to promote high-performing categories on Amazon, a category of your own choosing, or Amazon gift cards.
  • Product Linking > Native Shopping Ads: Let’s say you’ve written a review about a new hair product. If you want additional money-making opportunities from this despite only recommending a single product, you can add native shopping ads to the end of your content. Think of them like related post content, except it’s a banner that promotes other Amazon products.
  • Product Linking > Mobile Popover: The popover is a way to get Amazon links out to your mobile users but in a non-intrusive manner. It’s a small image ad that pops up from the bottom of the screen that promotes the first affiliate link that appears on the page. According to Amazon, these popover “ads” improve conversion rates by up to 30%.
  • Promotions > Featured Promotions: If you’re using this program to piggyback on Amazon’s popularity, you’ll want to use this tab. It keeps users attuned to the hottest deals going on with Amazon at the moment.
  • Promotions > Amazon Bounty Program: This is where you can learn more about how to promote Amazon services to your visitors.
  • Tools > Site Stripe: This is a new tool Amazon has built for its Associates’ members. Basically, it adds a toolbar to the top of the Amazon website that enables you to create affiliate links from any product page you visit without having to return to Amazon Associates Central.
  • Tools > Publisher Studio: This tool is available either as a Chrome extension or as a JavaScript code that goes into the footer of your site. It simplifies the process of creating and adding Amazon affiliate links to your content by allowing you to do all of this right within the WordPress text editor.
  • Tools > Link Checker: If you’re nervous that you’re not receiving referral pay-outs for your affiliate links, you can check the validity of your links with the Link Checker.
  • Tools > Product Advertising API: If you want to do more custom searches for products and advertise more details about them on your WordPress site, use the API.
  • Tools > One Link: If your site caters to audiences outside of your home country, you’ll need to use One Link to set up an international affiliate account and link it to your main one (you can link with the next tab “Link Your Accounts”). This way, you can receive referral payouts from visitors outside your country, too.
  • Reports: This is where you’ll find information on your affiliate link traffic and earnings.

Enter your query in the search box:

Amazon will then return a list of results. The more specific you are in your query, the smaller the list you’ll have to work from:

Once you’ve recognized the product you want to link to, you’ll need to get your affiliate link. There are two options:

If you plan on creating a text link on your website, you can use the arrow drop-down to quickly grab a copy of the affiliate link.

If you want more options in terms of how to embed the affiliate link on your WordPress site, click the “Get link” button:

Here is where you can customize how your link is displayed, including:

  • Text, image, or text and image link formats
  • Whether the link opens in the same or new browser
  • Colors used within the image link
  • Size of the image
  • Hyperlink text for a text-only link
  • Link destination

Once you’ve defined each of the parameters, copy the HTML code provided at the bottom of the page:

Return to your WordPress site and open the page, post, or sidebar widget in which you want to add the Amazon affiliate link. Embed the code within the text editor. Here is an example of how this looks on my website:

  • Click on the text and add the code to the desired location.
  • Adding as a widget:
  • Go to >Appearance>Widgets: under widgets locate a widget named custom HTML and click on it.
  • You would be given a choice on whether to add to the sidebar or footer. Choose sidebar.
  • Once chosen click on custom HTML and add the code.
  • Once you have that first Amazon affiliate link embedded and published, you need to add the Amazon disclaimer statement to your WordPress site (your Terms of Use page or footer will suffice). Per the Amazon Associates policy (#5):

Further Readings and Resources:

  1. A Beginners Guide to Digital Marketing (PDF Included)
  2. Website Design for Beginners
  3. Digital Marketing Career Options for Beginners. A Complete Guide
  4. A Beginners Guide to Blogging. How to write your first blog post
  5. How to choose the Best Digital Marketing Training Institute in India

 

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