What is an Affiliate Network?

What makes affiliate marketing so attractive for beginners is that it’s easy to start an affiliate business with low budget. In affiliate marketing no time is being wasted creating products.

The number one goal is to make as much money as you could. All affiliates want to make money from their affiliate program, so you have to make sure that the affiliate program that you want to join will help you reach your financial goals.

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Many affiliate programs show you how much money you can make when you join their affiliate program. In this example, you can make as much as $5,287 per month.

What is Affiliate Network?

Affiliate network is the home that all affiliate live in to make money online. It’s a platform that is necessary handles the relationship between affiliate and the advertisers. Because affiliate networks are the connecting technology between affiliates and advertisers, affiliate networks boast tools that affiliates need

Every affiliate network has some type of technology that increases the affiliate chances of making more money. Some features are made to show you high converting offers such as EPC or CTR. The goal here is to give you the most returns out of your traffic.

Clickbooth, for instance, has a technology that brings you only high performing offers, so you can make money with such high converting offers.

Affiliate networks also have affiliate tracking software, which is essential for affiliate to track their results. The network in order to be trustworthy must provide its affiliates with reliable tracking tool.

There are general and special types of affiliate networks: Clickbank and ExpediaAffiliateNetwork are both special affiliate networks. Clickbank is a network for digital products while EpediaAffiliateNetwork is travel based network.

Here are some interesting features you need to know before joining any affiliate program:

Make sure the affiliate tracking link is working

The first thing to be familiar with is link format. The tracking link as you should know is the link that connects the affiliate sales or other action you generate to you, so that you get paid for what you refer. This is why you should first look at the link format of the affiliate link and how to use it. Here are some examples of affiliate link formats for some affiliate networks:

The most important part of any affiliate link is the affiliate ID. As its name says, ID is your affiliate identity.

Clickbank – affiliate link format is http://AFFILIATE.VENDOR.hop.clickbank.net

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/?tag=your_Associates_ID this link format requires you to insert your unique Amazon ID instead of this placeholder.

Now to get more practical, you might ask me, how to find the link format. A quick trick here is in the affiliate page. Let’s take an example for Clickbank here:

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Here is the affiliate banner code. If you look in the href link format, you’ll find your affiliate link that is attached with affiliate banners. All you need to do here is to replace your affiliate ID and insert it in the right place.

Some affiliate networks only give you access to affiliate programs just after you become a member and your application gets accepted. In this case you have to first apply and in your control panel you can find the affiliate page and the link format that will track all the sales you make through a given affiliate program.

Commission Rate is Good but not Enough

Earning commission is like the price others have to pay to get the good. You get your commission and this is your own salary. The number of commission alone is not enough. Imagine you are promoting a product in a small market that you can’t get much from it.

In this case, you have to research the product category on Google Keyword Planner to see how much the demand in your industry is.

This allows you to increase the total sales and get many customers to buy from you. If you don’t reach a big market, you don’t make much money, or your sales potential will be limited.

By the same token, you should check the price of the items you’re going to promote. If you promote a $900 item, then you should expect higher income than promoting a $24 item. These basics are important so you can plan how much affiliate income you can expect.

How Effective is the Affiliate Program

Not all affiliate programs are the same. Some affiliate programs perform better than others. A good way to know how successful any affiliate program is is to monitor the EPC.

EPC shows you how many affiliates succeeded to earn commission from a given affiliate program. Many affiliate programs show you how their products perform to entice you to promote their program.

Promotional Aid

Don’t expect that if you’re totally a beginner affiliate that you won’t get any type of help. Nope, if you’re an affiliate you’ll get help from the affiliate manager of your chosen affiliate program.

Promotions you get take various forms here are some examples:

Banners – The basic promotional method for all affiliate programs is banner ad. Banners are visually attractive, and they communicate the message in interesting and concise way.

Banners allow you to promote affiliate programs in your blog, or other types of websites. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Email swipes – Swipes are successful templates that you need to convert more sales to your market. The swipes that you get from the affiliate program allow you to get promotional messages ready for the same market that you target. You need to create your messages on your own if you want to create effective message depending on your understanding to your mailing list, for example, or just make some editing in swipes you get from the affiliate program.

PPC Ads

Warning: Make sure that all the banners and other promotions you receive include your affiliate ID. Some affiliate programs give you the banner link without including your affiliate ID so they can get free advertising and you get nothing.

You can always learn the basics of affiliate marketing from any good affiliate marketing course or from the tons of blog posts out there.

Always be open to try new things and be patient, as affiliate marketing is a long journey to making money online.

This was a guest post by Ibrahim Dahy of ClickBank – http://affset.com

Dollar Shave Club

Stratechery has a nice piece on the Unilever Dollar Shave Club purchase. Noting something we also discussed with respect to FMCG:

I suspect this sort of disruption will not be a one-off: the Internet (and e-commerce) has so profoundly changed the economics of business that it is only a matter of time before other product categories are impacted, with all the second order effects that entails.

Read the piece here.

Offcourse whilst it’s a good deal for founders and investors, it does raise concern as to why another pure-play ecommerce company could not reach the public markets.

AI and Discovery

Watch Amazon’s David Limp explain more about Alexa – the voice based device and shopping service – and their use of AI in commerce.

Alexa is a ‘computer in the cloud’ and could change the face of ecommerce due to the fact it really hits on the discovery rather than typical mission based approach of ecommerce today.

Internet Access and Ability

Here’s quite an interesting fact; only 8 companies founded after 1990 who’ve gone public net more than a billion dollars annually. Perhaps more interestingly, they’re all Internet based enterprises. And unsurprisingly they’re some of the world’s most valuable companies.

Check it out for yourself using FT screener – they are in order of net income:

  1. Alphabet (Google)
  2. Alibaba
  3. Baidu
  4. Facebook
  5. Tencent
  6. Priceline
  7. Ebay
  8. Paypal

What do these companies say about the state of the Internet, Entrepreneurship and Our Future? It tells us that it’s all about Internet access and ability.

Internet

You could argue the world wasn’t flat until relatively recently; gone are the days of exploration (and indeed in most parts now also industrialization). Our world is a global one largely thanks to the spread of Information; via the mainframe through personal computer and now mobile phone (alas also meaning we can effectively store, compute and use it effectively).

We also know the information age is where companies (and people for that matter) win by being Internet orientated. Entrepreneurs thus have won by being at the nexus of the flow of information on the Internet. Though the information age will present exponentially more opportunity, it’s largely all about the Internet.

Now more than ever we use the Internet in almost every area of life both in a corporate and personal sense. Examples are everywhere. Stock markets are now largely algorithmic and fibre based as opposed to brokers on the trading floor whilst shopping is now driven by consumers on smartphones rather than manufacturers. The list is endless of how Internet has and is continually changing the world economy and life. The winners in this environment are all Internet based.

Entrepreneurship

What does this mean for entrepreneurship? For those that read Bill Gates “The Road Ahead”, the book was a kind of roadmap but rather like the author’s own company, slightly missed the mark. The “Information Superhighway” is in fact not a personal computer networked to each other on every desk but rather things connected to satellites allowing people to use the Internet.

The winners at the beginning of the Information Age included Microsoft and others such as Oracle who continue to do well. But the reach of Internet has grown beyond the database and the enterprise itself, so also have the possibilities. These include the companies that help people Google search, Facebook friend, Amazon one-click shop and Uber a ride. Not to forget the guys that let us access it such as telco’s like Verizon or hardware makers like Apple.

As the commodities bubble inflates and bursts, taking down more barons of the Industrial Age, the one constant is the rise and rise of Internet entrepreneurs. These are the men and women who shape our world today.

Our Future

The great thing about all of this is the world we live in is getting better in many ways. Health, standard of living, education and pretty much every facet of life everywhere is improving. Our jobs, as entrepreneurs and the next generation, is to make things exponentially better. The question is; what do we do now?

Making a billion dollars a year doesn’t solve our problems but it underwrites the people taking the world forward. The ‘Internet Eight’ above showed us how to create value post 1990. You give people access and the ability to use the Internet to enjoy life and create value in the virtual and physical world.

It’s up to us to build upon it to make the world a better place.

The World is Flat…and Fast

The Economist has a good piece on why the world is getting flatter and faster. This is to the detriment of large companies, particularly those in the FMCG space. They note:

Yet these advantages are not what they once were. Consolidating factories has made companies more vulnerable to the swing of a particular currency, points out Nik Modi of RBC Capital Markets, a bank. The impact of television adverts is fading, as consumers learn about products on social media and from online reviews. At the same time, barriers to entry are falling for small firms. They can outsource production and advertise online. Distribution is getting easier, too: a young brand may prove itself with online sales, then move into big stores. Financing mirrors the same trend: last year investors poured $3.3 billion into private CPG firms, according to CB Insights, a data firm—up by 58% from 2014 and a whopping 638% since 2011.

If you’ve got a good product, it’s never been easier to get it out there.

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