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Hard facts on software – About affiliate marketing

I read an interesting book a few days ago: “Get Rich Click”. It’s full of ideas on how to make money on the Internet. From the normal: ‘sell some products’ type ideas to some less commonly known ideas. One of these is affiliate marketing. Here is what Darren Rowse from Problogger has to say about the subject:
What is affiliate marketing?
Perhaps the simplest way to explain affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money online whereby you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or site.
There are a number of forms of these types of promotions but in most cases they involve you as a blogger earning a commission when someone follows a link on your blog to another site where they then buy something.
Other variations on this are where you earn an amount for referring a visitor who takes some kind of action – for example when they sign up for something and give an email address, where they complete a survey, where they leave a name and address etc.
Commissions are often a percentage of a sale but can also be a fixed amount per conversion.
Conversions are generally tracked when the publisher (you) uses a link with a code only being used by you embedded into it that enables the advertiser to track where conversions come from (usually by cookies). Other times an advertiser might give a publisher a ‘coupon code’ for their readers to use that helps to track conversions.
For example: Anyone today can sign up to be an Amazon affiliate. This programme lets you show your favourite books on your website or blog, and if anyone else also likes those books they will click from your site to Amazon, and when they buy something, Amazon pays you a small fee.
Advertisers often prefer affiliate marketing as a way to promote their products because they know they’ll only need to pay for the advertising when there’s a conversion.
Publishers often prefer affiliate marketing because if they find a product that is relevant to their niche that earnings can go well in excess of any cost per click or cost per impression advertising campaign.
Affiliate Marketing – Easy Money?
While affiliate marketing can be incredibly lucrative it is important to know that affiliate marketing is not easy money. Most people who try it make very little as it relies upon numerous factors including: traffic (high traffic helps a lot), finding relevant products, finding quality products, building trust with your readers, having a readership who is in a ‘buying mood’ as well as you being able to write good sales copy (and more).
There’s also some risk associated with affiliate marketing in that if you push too hard or promote products of a low quality you can actually burn readers and hurt your reputation and brand.
It’s also worth noting that affiliate marketing doesn’t work on all blogs. Some blogs are on topics where it is hard to find products to promote – other blogs attract audiences who are not in a buying frame of mind and for other blogs it just doesn’t fit with the blogger’s style or approach.”
So, that was a short amended version of Darren’s blog post. What’s in it for me you might ask? Well, all of our customers here at sell goods online, mostly in hotly contested markets where it is expensive to earn sales via Adwords. Then using affiliate networks to promote your store to a niche audience makes perfect sense. If you have something to sell online, check out Offerforce and TrafficSynergy, the two largest affiliate networks in SA.
So using affiliate networks to promote your wares is an excellent idea. It’s where the Internet now allows niche sites to flourish in what is called the “Long Tail” situation. More on that next week.
Until next time then – Keep it (A)fresh.

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