In the beginning, the tracking capabilities of affiliate marketing felt revolutionary: marketers were giving trackable links to publishers, with the publisher earning a commission every time a reader made a click or a purchase. Leveraging this newfound transparency opened up an opportunity for publishers to monetize their content without having to sell banner ads and pop-ups, while brands could now have a trackable, results-driven strategy for their marketing spend.
Nerd Wallet is one of the biggest online sources of personal financial advice and they make their money through partnerships with various financial services. They use all social media platforms well, but their Twitter profile has 54k followers and, aside from its professional and sleek look, they have successfully integrated their own hashtag, #TurnToTheNerds.
We’ve seen many YouTubers (including very popular ones) who have links to their websites and Facebook pages in the description but don’t include a link to the product(s) they discuss. When an affiliate link adds value, don’t be shy about giving people opportunities to click on it. If you have content on your site, your social channels and your YouTube channel that is complemented by certain affiliate links, include those links in all of those places.
In Twitter, you can send messages to anyone by placing an @ symbol in front of their Twitter name. This message will appear on their profile page. So, if you see someone talking about a subject related to your website or business, you can easily reply back to them and give them some helpful info. If they decide to re-tweet your helpful advice, all of their followers will see it. Simply sending @Messages can help give you a ton of exposure and you get to help people at the same time. A win-win.
Getting accepted into a good affiliate program, such as Amazon Associates, requires you to have a website that is live. You cannot register for the Amazon affiliate program using your YouTube channel. You need to have your own website and the website needs to be informative and relevant to the products that you will promote. This is because a team from Amazon will check your website for eligibility for their affiliate program. Unless you have a good website set up, you shouldn’t apply for their affiliate program, since most of the time your application will be rejected.
SkimLinks works very similarly to VigLinks in that it is designed for bloggers who don’t want to do a lot of hands-on work to participate in an affiliate program. SkimLinks also works much like VigLinks in that it uses a plugin or script to create dynamic links in your content to send visitors to higher paying offers from merchants. SkimLinks claims to work with over 24,000 merchants/advertisers.
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Previously known as Affiliate Window but now officially referred to as “AWIN” after acquiring Zanox a few years ago, this network claims to work with over 13,000 active advertisers and 100,000 publishers (affiliates). Founded in Germany, AWIN’s merchants primarily hail from Europe (especially Great Britain) although the U.S. network is growing rapidly. AWIN is currently active in 11 countries.
Before we can adequately explain how to start affiliate marketing, however, let’s first examine the concept in more detail. What is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing involves partnering up with a more established ecommerce entrepreneur in your niche and asking them to promote your products to his or her audience. In return, you’d give the affiliate a percentage of revenue from each sale he or she generates. Affiliate marketing can be a great channel for first time ecommerce entrepreneurs because it’s one of the only marketing channels where you can get a 100% return on investment, every time.
Typically, the biggest mistake that most companies make is that when they connect, follow, or get followers, the relationship ends there. Just because you have followers or you follow others does not mean that you do not need to put in the work to develop a relationship. The fact is that you must be able to build a community that will maintain a good structure and will ensure the full potential for your business to succeed. Strong connections are often the result of your engagement with the community, so you need to participate and engage with your network. Otherwise, the people you are connected to will see you have no value and they will pay attention to other networks that are beneficial and offer them value.