At its core, affiliate marketing is an online referral program where merchants pay commissions to publishers on sales generated by customers they’ve referred. The merchant can be an online retailer like eBay, or a service provider. Individuals and companies referring the traffic are called publishers, or affiliates, who publish content on the web promoting the merchant’s offerings. Customers are the people that click on the promoted content and make a purchase or complete a specified action. Payment is typically in the form of commission, but sometimes merchants offer a flat rate for a specific action, or a bonus for a type of visitor. EPN offers both commissions and bonuses.
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Not only is it important to update your content, but if your website looks like it’s from the 1990s it’s time for a total makeover. Website design is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up with the current trends so that you can compete in your market. Old website design can give out spammy vibes to customers who will quickly leave your site and move on to one that is more aesthetically appealing.
What are their demographics? Their buying habits? What does your typical customer look like? After you know who to target, now you must figure out how to target them. An easy way to do this is to build a lookalike audience on Facebook. This targets users who “look like” your target audience whether it’s age, gender, interests, or other demographics.
Affiliate marketing is also called "performance marketing", in reference to how sales employees are typically being compensated. Such employees are typically paid a commission for each sale they close, and sometimes are paid performance incentives for exceeding objectives. Affiliates are not employed by the advertiser whose products or services they promote, but the compensation models applied to affiliate marketing are very similar to the ones used for people in the advertisers' internal sales department.
Ann Smarty is co-founder of Viral Content Buzz and before that was editor in chief at Search Engine Journal, an industry leading SEO blog. She is a branding manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and founder of MyBlogGuest, the Internet’s first guest blogging community. She has guest blogged for Mashable, SEOMoz, Internet Marketing Ninjas, MakeUseOf, Social Media Examiner and MarketingProfs.
1. Publish Great Content. I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared a bunch of creative content marketing ideas here, and Elisa recently rewrote the rules of content marketing for small businesses.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
Its amazing of the many affiliate programs that are out there where people are making a good living from them. For example the few that you mention that has such a great training model, wealthy affiliate tops them all because of the way this business is structure and I believe that wealthy affiliate has the best training program in the world when it comes to affiliate marketing. Thanks for sharing.
Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort.
FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.
Possibly more than anything else, Fishkin is a proponent of creating high-quality, useful, honest content. He’ll never recommend keyword stuffing, link buying, or any other tactics that—while legal—are generally frowned upon. If you’re not familiar with his idea of 10x quality content, you should click that link and get to know it well. It’s a guiding principle in high-quality content marketing