View Full Version : Not sure what affiliate marketing is -- plz 'splain!
11-05-2003, 12:30 PM
I'm relatively new here, although I've been reading WebPro News for a year.
I've heard about "affiliate marketing" but I'm not sure exactly what it is, or whether my websites can use it.
Let me start by saying that I hate flashing banner ads and pop-ups. Neither of my sites have them.
On the other hand...to increase my income, I've been thinking of adding some targeted advertising to one of my sites (which is like a zine). This advertising would be static banners or tile ads either on the main page or a page dedicated to advertising.
Can you guys give me a brief lowdown on affiliate marketing? Please, no SPAM stuff, just the facts, ok?
11-05-2003, 12:54 PM
I'll try to put it in one short sentence:
Affiliate marketing is to let others sell your products and/or services and pay them resellers fee.
If you need further explanations, I'll be happy to explain this to you further.
11-05-2003, 03:26 PM
Hi BracesLady and welcome to the forums.
softwaresubmit summed it up very nicely. To give you a real world example you could relate to. An advertiser would pay you for every sale that came from your site. You don't need flashing banners or pops in fact text links convert the best. So an example would be, you add DentalPlans text links, offering people a way to save on Dental care costs. Then DP would pay you commissions of $44 -50 for every DP sale that came through your links. The merchants provide tracking and banners if you want to use them. The more buyers you refer the more you make. It's a little like being an independent sales rep except you don't make any sales - they are all made on the merchant site.
Hope this helps.
11-05-2003, 08:23 PM
When people ask me what I'm doing now I tell them I'm an affiliate marketer. Their next comment is huh? What's that? So I usually explain it to them this way.
I advertise products for merchants. When I sell something from my site the merchant pays me a commission.
I think your site will do very well as a content site. Be sure to chec the Pre-selling vs. Selling thread as I think this might be very helpful to you
11-06-2003, 11:45 AM
Let me start by saying that I hate flashing banner ads and pop-ups...
So does everyone else. You're much better off writing a compelling article about the product (not trying to "sell it") and then use text links for your affiliate links.
I tried to explain to a friend of mine once about our affilitate program and he said "Oh, you mean just like Amway". Well, at first I was a bit put out by his response. My impression of Amway is that you either have friends or you have Amway, not both. But you know, in a way, he's right. Affiliate programs are a form of multi level marketing (MLM). For some site's that can be a really good thing. Just look at the success of Amazon. Obviously they've done something right.
I used to advertise our affilitate program on our site and in our monthly newsletter. Some people were just out right turned off. One person contacted me and assumed that the price of our products was inflated to accomodate the cost that would be passed onto our 'downline' or affilitates.
We still offer an affiliate program but do so for folks that are hunting just that. To try to educate others about the merits of your affiliate program just doesn't work. They have to be actively looking for affiliate programs for their site. You can drag a horse to water...know what I mean?
11-07-2003, 10:33 PM
So, let's suppose I have lots of products to sell but my website isn't really getting any traffic. How and where can I recruit some of these affiliates to sell my products, if they'll be interested at all?
11-08-2003, 12:51 PM
You would first need to set up an affiliate program with some good tracking software or join Shareasale. You would need to offer good commission and cookies. Then you could list your program in all the affilaite directories, which won't get you too many affiliates, but it's worth getting listed. One way to recruit is to set your program up so it's better than your main competitor. Then use Google to search for your competitors affiliates, personally contact them and invite them to join your program. (This is just a quick outline, not covering everythings you need to do, just some basics.)
Starting an affiliate program can be costly in both time and money. It is not a quick way to increase traffic and sales. Even after you have everything set up and launch - it takes a FULL 90 days generally to start seeing any significant sales. 90% of affiliates will not make many sales, so the key is to find the 10% who will. This takes time and effort.
I am not trying to sound negative - just being VERY realistic. Unless you are prepared to spend time and money and WAIT for profits and unless you can really embrace the idea of treating affiliates as partners and develop a strong affiliate-centered program - then it's probably not worth the effort to even start.
I say this only because I see merchants that start a program and just think it will magically take off by itself. Kind of like the old notion "build a site and they will come!" You already know that is not true. Getting strong traffic and sales takes a lot of work, skill and effort no matter which way you go. Affiliate marketing is no magic pill, but if it's done right OVER TIME it can be extremely rewarding.
11-19-2003, 10:53 AM
I think Catalyst and Softwaresubmit explained it nicely, and I'll add a few things.
Firstly, if you want to use affiliate marketing for Archwired.com, you want to choose a program which has a proven record of unparalelled support and benefit to people and the sites they want to promote. Which means some due diligence thru the net.
It's needed 'cause a major problem going on today is where CEOs of so many affiliate programs don't support their members enough if at all. People can't reach them on the phone and their emails don't get answered,for instance. Second, in your research you've probably heard of these gazillion programs out there that just give you 2 or 3 banners and turn you loose; leaving you none the wiser in how to effectively market online. Not to mention the spaced-out claims of "$30K in 2 weeks!" and stuff. As you hate banners and pop-ups, I bet yo won't be going anywhere near those guys.
One would hate to think that Amazon, who've long made huge success in affiliate marketing, or any other major would ever fall into this category. Too bad there's just too many BS merchants out there grabbing sign-ups and giving most attention to their top 2%, letting the other affiliates sink or swim. You'd need a program with the K.I.S.S. touch, giving people like you and me the right guidance, knowledge, wisdom, tools and true live support and communication so crucial to online success.
Thirdly, Braces, you're already a vital step along the way with a niche market for your zine-like site. Is there gonna be an ezine with it? You'll do well with a marketing management facility to help submit it to ezine directories and your site to the major SEs in one click. Let's hope I've helped you and you find a that godsend program.
If you want to talk about that and more, mail me at email@example.com or call me (44+) 7966-259-307
11-20-2003, 08:52 AM
As Catalyst said, to start your own affiliate program is costly in time and money. Plus you'd need to provide good commission and solid support and guidance to your downline, something in short supply right now.
Or, you can find a program that gives you all the vital tools needed to drive traffic to your site from people looking for what you're selling - and keep it coming back too. And which can guarantee to provide sign-ups from seriously-interested people looking to sell for you.
Make sure the program's not all hype and loud BS - just essential delivery of what you need for adding value and revenue to your site.
Hope I've helped, Crafta. To talk about it some more, call me or mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best,
11-26-2003, 05:15 PM
I'm another one who hates flashing banners! Infact I hate them all apart from the Google's Adsense type of banner ad.
The best way to promote merchants products would be through text links as mentioned above. This is because they convert well.
A study had previously been done and out of about 1,000 banner impressions only about 3 clicks would be made. That is very low! It will be hard to sell any type of product using banners or less you have lots and lots of visitors.
Banners also take up more space on your server and they also take longer to load than a normal text link.