Now, truth be told, affiliate marketing does come with some costs. Fortunately, those costs are rather small when compared to starting other businesses. For example, if you want to succeed with affiliate marketing in the same way that I teach it, you’ll need a website. In order to have a website, you need to pay for “website hosting”. If you don’t know what website hosting is, don’t worry, we’ll get to that, but website hosting does cost a few bucks per month (generally under $10 / mo). If you have about $40 for startup costs and about $10 / mo for recurring expenses, this is entirely doable. There are many other optional expenses for affiliate marketing, which I will also get into, but those optional expenses are used more for speeding up the path to success (outsourcing, etc.) rather than a requirement for success. When I first started my affiliate marketing business, I had about $200 to my name.
We were inspired by Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology landscape which does an excellent job of defining ‘enterprise’ tools for managing digital marketing, but can be difficult to read because of the sheer number of tools. Also, we wanted to include more low-cost and free ‘hands-on’ insight tools which are important for managing activities like Search, Social media and conversion rate optimisation. These don’t tend to be included on Scott’s landscape. We also wanted to highlight the most popular, well-regarded services, particularly those which can be used across all sizes of businesses rather than being affordable only by the biggest brands.
In affiliate marketing, you may end up feeling inclined to give better praise for an affiliate than may truly be deserved. This is a huge mistake as it can erode trust with your readers. Instead, don’t be afraid to detail any concerns or misgivings you have with the affiliate product or service. In many cases, drawbacks aren’t necessarily going to be deal breakers. Many readers will appreciate your candor and may be more likely to purchase since they know you’ve given them the full information, rather than half-truths.
Your ultimate goal as an affiliate marketer should be to outsource all the work while you collect a paycheck each month. My website DogFoodInsider.com is 100% outsourced at this point. There is always someone willing to work for you. From writers on Constant-Content.com to programmers on Elance.com to odd jobs on Fiverr.com – the sources you can use for outsourcing is nearly limitless.
To help highlight the range of great options available, our updated infographic and free Digital Marketing Tools and Services download recommends 30 categories of marketing technology and our pick of the most popular 5 in each category. We’ve grouped them across the Smart Insights RACE Planning framework for managing digital marketing so you can review where you could make better use of the tools across the customer lifecycle. Click on the infographic below to see a larger version.
2nd tier. If you are an affiliate for a particular program and you refer others to sign up for that affiliate program, a 2nd tier program will pay you when the affiliates you referred make sales. For example, I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles. If you join their affiliate program via my 2nd tier affiliate link here. I will get a small percentage of any sales you make going forward.
Placements — Choosing this you can target people that visit specific websites. Let’s say that you sell Macbook Pro Accessories and know your potential customers read Macworld.com. You can tell Adwords to show ads only on this website. To make the targeting even better you can combine Targeting Preferences. What this means is that I can show ads to people who read Macworld.com and read articles that contain the keyword “Macbook Pro Accessories”.
One thing you should strongly consider is promoting digital information products. These products are attractive for two reasons. First, they have higher conversion rates because the customers can get instant access and instant gratification when they purchase. Second, they typically offer much higher commission rates than physical products -- which means more profits for you.
In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy. By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking. In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.
Don’t just hope and pray that visitors will buy; setup everything correctly and make it happen! If you think that visitors will click on your affiliate links and buy just because you placed dozens of affiliate links on your website then you are wrong! You need to have a structured plan in place. Affiliate marketing is a business so you will have a much better chance of succeeding if you treat it like one.
One last note. I’ve been asked what I think of other affiliate marketing resources, both free and paid. I’m familiar with some of them, not all. I’ve read ebooks, watch videos, bought courses and more. So far, the only paid-for course that has impressed me enough to recommend is Kayla Aimee’s Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income.
While affiliate marketing can be used to successfully monetize a site, there are risks involved that marketers need to be aware of. The one area I see consistently under-acknowledged is the ever-increasing danger of fraud. Affiliate marketing has its own unique range of fraud challenges. Cookie stuffing is a great example. That’s where the affiliate, unbeknownst to the advertiser, attaches cookies from multiple advertisers to every visitor — whether that customer clicked on an ad or not. If the shopper later makes a transaction at any of those sites, the affiliate can attempt to claim a commission.
If you were doubting the number of tools available and how it can be a problem to select and manage them, just look at the growth in the number of marketing technology applications over the last few years. For Scott Brinker's Marketing Technology landscape -it's tripled since 2014, and grown tenfold since 2012! In the current 2018 version it now has over 5,000 entries.
Affiliate marketing refers to the process by which marketers promote a product or company and receive a commission on each sale generated by their marketing. A Mediakix article recently reported that, as of 2016, 81 percent of brands and 84 percent of publishers use affiliate marketing programs. Marketers looking for opportunities in affiliate marketing need to constantly improve their strategies in order to be successful, so we asked experts to share their most successful affiliate marketing approaches.
It helps you find the right decision makers and their emails without paying for a LinkedIn premium account or spending hours on using a plethora of different email finding tools. You just simply chuck in a company name, domain name or person’s name and the tool finds the right people. You can use HeadReach to find professionals in your field to do a roundup post, for content promotion or to find the right people in charge of a popular outlet. For example, you can search for all editors at TechCrunch, Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine via a single search.