Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
Affiliate marketing programs typically work by having the merchant handle all the logistics involved in selling products or services, processing customer orders and payments, and shipping merchandise—all while the affiliate sits back and collects a commission for each agreed-upon action completed by the visitors the affiliate sends to the merchant’s website via an affiliate link. As long as the affiliate has done her homework and chosen a trustworthy affiliate program, she needn’t worry about non-payment.
The downside is that Shopify is only appealing for people who have physical or digital products to sell and have a need to set up a Shopify store, including site hosting, payment processing, and all the other services offered by Shopify. This can significantly narrow the appeal for this affiliate program. But if you can distinguish yourself by educating people on how to use Shopify, how it can benefit their business, and/or make them money, you could potentially big money via the affiliate program. Add in the 2 x monthly fee commission rate, and landing just a few sales of their mid-tier and top-tier products can result in significant earnings.
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Another way to think about an affiliate marketing niche is as a group of people with a similar interest or problem. This is good way to think of niches for marketing, as you’ll be offering products to satisfy their passions or needs. There’s a balance between choosing an affiliate marketing niche you’ll be able to compete in and there being enough market size for you to generate good profits. If you choose a market with just a few thousand people, it could be very hard to make enough money to justify the work required to reach them.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, and (in some sense) display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.
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The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.
However, unlike Google AdSense or WordAds, you get to choose which brands you partner with and what specific products you link to. For example, many book bloggers (myself included) incorporate affiliate links for a title when they review a book. If someone chooses to purchase that title after reading the review, the blogger gets a small percentage of that sale. It also means bloggers have complete control over the products they endorse, which takes some of the smarminess out of advertising. For example, here on Lectito, I only include affiliate links for products I use and love.
Interesting anecdote: On one of our “authority sites”…right now, we’ve gone the way of NOT placing ads on the home page, actually. We have images/categories on the first page that people click through to get to the content. Because of this we have an EXTREMELY low bounce rate…everyone who comes to the site (via the primary or exact match KW) has to make another click to get to the area they really want, which will contain ads. I think eventually we’ll blend in just a FEW ad placements above the fold on the main page.
Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.
This is one the cleanest designs I’ve seen of an Amazon Affiliate Website. It has a very professional look for a review website, but they don’t overcrowd you with product reviews right off. This site really sets itself apart with their actual videos and reviews inside of their test center. You know these testers are actually testing the product rather than copying a review from another site or making things up. It’s so legit that I will likely be back to this site for future reviews for my purchases. It really gains your trust with the photos and videos even though you know they are making money through the affiliate commissions. Plus they buy all the products themselves and never accept any products from the manufacturer to maintain objectivity, but when you bring in 3.1 million visitors per month, you can buy a few items to review.
Flexoffers is another huge affiliate marketing network. They pay you (the affiliate) a lot faster than others in the industry. It has more than 10 years of experience in the field. While they do not offer anything that is neither groundbreaking nor revolutionary, they do provide a solid array of tools and features that will surely aid you in your campaigns. In addition to the fast payouts, Flexoffers lets you choose from thousands of affiliate programs to promote, offers various content delivery formats, and more.
For the publisher, FlexOffers provides benefits such as a detailed dashboard that visualizes the success of various campaigns. The platform generates reports that update within the hour and offers news updates on what’s happening in the platform. It claims to add nearly 50 new advertiser programs per day, meaning affiliates are never running stale on options to generate income.
If you don’t mind me asking you some relevant things that would be great. I am a new blogger, I have been blogging for some months with full engagement. Now I can say that I have built a good amount of traffic and following after such hard work that I need to get into affiliate marketing now (which was the goal of creating good content). Can I get some guidance on which program I should go for that won’t make things complex for me in the beginning?
We have a great article lined up for you today. There are many of you who are just getting into affiliate marketing and are in search for the most profitable niches out there. Understandably, this list will always change from season to season to accommodate market trends. However, based on our collective analysis of yearly trends – we were able to compile a list of affiliate niches that continue to perform exceptionally well, year after year.
Yaro Starak is the founder and writer of Entrepreneurs-Journey.com. Since 2005 through this blog, his email newsletter and in training programs under the EJ Insider Membership, Yaro has taught thousands of people how to make a full time income from blogging part time, how to buy and sell blogs and websites, and how to successfully launch an information product business. Follow Yaro on Twitter at @YaroStarak.