For instance, the authors of the study suggest that products like YouTube should have better native features to disclose affiliate sponsors. Placing disclosures though could dampen enthusiasm for some clearly high-engagement content. How then can companies build a framework for building ethical policies that follow FTC requirements while also ensuring their products reach the right metrics?

Affiliate marketing isn’t the only strategy to have evolved recently. Influencer marketing has undergone a makeover of its own, becoming more transparent, more streamlined and more effective. If you have felt in the past that influencers do not offer the same transparency or sales-driven results as affiliate publishers, you might be pleasantly surprised by recent updates and changes in the industry.


Alexis Grant is an affiliate marketer, but she’s got other business models running too. She runs a content creation company, a site for writers, and has a bunch of training programs and other excellent resources. But she also does a lot of affiliate marketing, and she reveals her earnings, which is extremely interesting. Check out her recent post, Affiliate Sales: A Realistic Guide for Earning Revenue From Your Website.
You’ll realize that attributing commission directly to a specific link is difficult to do, so to gain the insights that will help you best optimize your campaign, you need to be clever. One way is to test a single variation per week – for example only post photos to Facebook at 3pm, then measure the commission earned that for week. The following week do the same, but post at 3pm on Twitter. You could also use bit.ly links to track the click-throughs on social networks that otherwise don’t provide you with these insights (I’m looking at you, Twitter). 
In this way, you’ll slowly build a picture of which programs are profitable, and which are a waste of time.
Planning videos can help you use affiliate links and annotations more effectively, but go ahead and add them (where appropriate) to your existing videos. Tutorial videos are great for affiliate marketing because people are looking for a solution – which can often be solved with a product. Take a look at some examples to get ideas for your next Youtube video…
I’ve only just begun to use Twitter – never really understood it’s power in the affiliate marketing world until recently – but when Mashable can single handedly drive enough traffic to a site that it crashes, it’s application becomes obvious. I think developing enough credibility for people to click your links is one of the hardest things to do on there though.
One of my tips would be don’t do it. People on Twitter hate spammers so why would you want to become one of them. I think anyone trying to market a product just so they can make some cash off of it is a Twitter spammer. I thought most of us talked about at this would be bad for Twitter and a Twitter would have to start suspending people to stop it.
When done correctly, YouTube affiliate marketing can be a great way to make a bit of extra money off of your channel. It may not be enough to live on, but it can certainly give you a little extra spending money. By being genuine and purposeful with your links, and signing up to programs that provide products or services that you think will genuinely benefit your audience, you are much more likely to get clicks and make commission, and in the end, both you and the viewer win. Before you do though, don't forget to read up on the do's and don'ts of affiliate marketing, as it's all to easy to get caught in a pitfall.
This particularly applies to Twitter, a platform that encourages interaction through the @ symbol, but can also apply to Facebook and Instagram in other ways. On Twitter, if you see someone commenting on your area of expertise, feel free to get involved in the discussion, in a constructive way. This will draw people to the other material on your profile.
To stray from the legalese for a moment and put a bow on all this, there are a couple other things that suggest that using affiliate links is acceptable. For one, highly successful channels have, and continue to, feature affiliate links. Secondly, everyone benefits from quality content that is enhanced by affiliate links. YouTube gains videos and viewers that they can monetize, Amazon (and other businesses with affiliate programs) gains a new inlet to their shopping site, the viewers get entertaining and informative content that offers them a way to buy what’s been discussed, and the content creators (you) are rewarded for hard work and creativity. In a situation where everyone wins, it is hard to see why anyone would want to fiddle with it.
Yet, if you are still not sold on the payoffs of offering high commissions, remember that your affiliates are not just bringing you sales, they’re bringing you customers. You’ll have access to people who you can re-market to time and time again. Repeat customers have a 60-70% higher chance of buying from you compared to a first time customer, and they also give your store more word of mouth marketing. Thus, it’s best to do what you can to foster a strong, mutually beneficial business relationship with them.
Positive messages tend to get a lot of love on Instagram; be sure that your photo is accompanied by either a really strong description of what you're doing in the picture, or a message that people will catch onto. You have to sell your affiliate programs in a clever way, because Instagram only supports either clickable tags to other profiles, or links in the biography section of a profile.
Another thing about affiliate marketing is the payout percentages as well as how these people track your viewers who are clicking on these links. Every time someone clicks on one of your special tracking affiliate links, a little cookie is put onto that person’s computer to track what they purchase. The best part about the cookies is that if you link to a specific product, they don’t have to purchase that product. Anything they purchase on that website, you get commissions for. So they could click over with your affiliate link and that cookie and decide not to purchase that, but purchase a whole bunch of other things, and you get paid commission off it.
The bulk of the offers that I promote pay around $20-$40 per lead, but there are others that pay more and less. However, you don't want to get caught up solely on what an offer pays because how well it converts is just as important. For example, if you have an offer that pays $9, but if it converts at 2X or more of a $20 offer, then it will perform about the same and possibly better. At the same time, if you have an offer that pays $90 and it converts poorly, it may not even be worth promoting.
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