When Tim Berners-Lee invented the hypertext webpage, he envisioned a world of shared information. It didn’t take long for businesses to realize that the web was a new shopping platform too. In fact, years before the web, in 1989, the first ever internet affiliate program was born when William J Tobin enlisted people to refer customers to PC Flowers, Inc. The company is considered the web’s first ever commercial success story, and it paved the way for today’s multi-billion dollar affiliate marketing industry.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.
So I asked the Marketing Consultant to lower the commission we pay to the affiliate network to 5 percent. I wasn’t surprised a week later when he told me that we still did $200,000 of sales through them in a week. I then asked him to lower the commission to 1 percent. Once again, the affiliates delivered $200,000 per week in sales. Whatever these affiliate sites were doing to drive sales to Kogan.com, it didn’t change as our commission to them was lowered by 90 percent. This defied general economics principles, so I started to get very skeptical.
I was very fortunate in finding your website when I did. I was about to make an investment into the Drop Shipping Life Style program, which I see now is beyond what I can afford. I realize no matter how much it may be a great program and possibly to my advantage, experience has taught me there is always another way. I do have a question for you and with all due respect, I hope you can answer me even if in a private email. Question is, WHY ARE YOU GIVING YOUR TRAINING OUT FOR FREE? What is the catch, how can you make money as you say you do if 100% FREE is involved?
If you find a website or a product you want to sell, use or promote, do some research. Look at the whole picture and get a feel for who they are, what they represent and see if they appear honest. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you agree to promote someone's product or represent someone else's interest in the affiliate marketing world.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.
Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together. For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click.
So as you can see, affiliate marketing plays a large role in many companies’ success. But as with any program, you have to be able to use all the tools it provides to maximize your investment. So the next time you’re about to click on an ad or online coupon, you know there is someone behind that ad who is making sure your experience is the best it can be.
When there are multiple affiliates involved in one transaction, payment gets much more complicated. Sometimes it’s even possible for affiliates to jump in at the last minute and claim commissions for customers brought in by other affiliates. Successful programs use multi-channel attribution to ensure the affiliates that create the most value get paid the most.
Something seldom mentioned here is that no online method keeps working forever...or even long term. Product creators can be profitable for a long time on sales from a premium product....but at some point they will need to upgrade or create new products to keep money flowing. Running dozens or hundreds of micro niche affiliate sites used to be very profitable - but things change.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
Great advice Sarah – thanks for this article. You’re right-on about the coupon sites. As a merchant I don’t want to deal with any more sites that are not adding value for the reader. I think the best affiliates are the ones who are blogging about an interest or something they care about. They authenticity of it comes through and people trust their recommendations.
This was a popular scam doing the rounds a couple of years ago. Say you owned the domain abc.com. You would receive an email (usually from China) telling you that someone is trying to register the domain name abc.cn in China. They are emailing you out of concern as they have noticed you own the .com domain. They want to make sure your trademark is protected in China.
What about Stuart Ross of laptop entrepreneurs, he is all over every youtube video I watch and has lots of people doing ‘success story’ videos that seem insincere and copycat – thing is I watched his intro videos and he would not tell us what he was selling or the price!! Just dangled a lot of carrots at us. And after suffering through to the end of a long video there was a chance to ask questions – so I asked about disclosure on the price – never got an answer
I’ve just got to hear about affiliate marketing and am really a newbie to this matter. The post above was so great and helpful for a person like me. I also took a look at locationrebel which seemed very exciting to me. I wonder if those courses and blueprints are still applicable because as far as I’ve seen, the reviews and testimonials all refer to the year 2013. It was the only reason that hold me back from joining the Locationrebel. I would be very thankful if you help me with this matter.
After 2008, it all went downhill. Merchants I was working with started to reduce commission and cookie duration. Some highly converting merchants even closed their programs. I now get 30% of what I used to get because of reduced commissions and cookie duration. There is not a single store that hasn't reduced commission and cookie duration. This is just merchant side, the other end "search engines" is another story. 2008 is the year search engines started targeting affiliates. Your website could be penalized just for having an affiliate link. A lot of my websites were targeted.
Affiliate marketing isn’t dead. The field isn’t oversaturated. What you need to make it in affiliate marketing are the tools to help you stand out from the crowd. Those tools are above. It’s time for you to succeed beyond your wildest dreams! If the world needs what you have to sell, it’s only a matter of convincing your prospects why they should buy from you.
If you’re getting good email open rates and sufficient numbers going to your sales pages, what you need is more persuasive power in your body copy. Trigger Words can help you amp up the power in your prose. Trigger Words are high emotion words that move people to take action. See what having an arsenal packed with over 700 trigger words and phrases to stir emotions and compel action for your business would mean by clicking here.
Trying to cut corners with marketing methods is a huge no-no in affiliate marketing. By cutting corners, we’re talking specifically about black hat SEO. Get banned by Google, and you’ll be spending your time building a new site. Don’t learn from your mistakes, learn right now. Blackhat SEO only ever leads to a broken site. Google will hunt you down, and it will punish you!
I definitely don't think MMO is a "crappy" niche, either. It's an absolutely MONSTER niche that THOUSANDS of marketers are making an absolute killing in. MMO gets a bad rap because it's the niche that is filled with the most bad actors and for lack of a better word, sleazeballs. That does not mean, however, that everyone in the MMO niche is like that or the niche itself is bad. Some people have done the wrong thing with that niche and it's been given a bad reputation.
This is why I believe sometimes you should find what is right for you like just say someone isn’t th best at writing their ideas they could try recording themselves and post it in their blog and YouTube. SometimeVideo and or YouTube can be underutilized in affiliate marketing. I have seen a lot of make money online videos on YouTube but I believe it is a good source of traffic you know?
Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.