Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What is Affiliate Marketing?

I've been hearing a lot about this recently so I am on the journey to understand what it is, whether it fits me and if it does,how to make it work for me.

The main idea is that you shouldn't get all your revenue from the one place. Ads are fine but other options are available. I keep hearing that Affiliate marketing is a useful option so I want to see if it stacks up and what it could mean for me or you.

A quick search found

Definition

A definition of Affiliate Marketing:
In affiliate marketing a 'publisher' (essentially an individual or organisation with a website) acts as an outsourced digital sales team for your business, promoting your products in return for a commission. 
They do this by carrying promotional adverts on behalf of an advertiser and if visitors to the website click on this advert, the link takes them to a site belonging to the advertiser. Dan Cohen

Tips and intro

"You have to regard it as a business and, in a year, once you've put in the time marketing your website, mastering search engine rankings and adapting your content, you can give up the day job." Robert Parker, 25, from Leeds
Nam offers provides a  good introduction in what is affiliate marketing: Rise of the new economy. Giving practical examples of markets you can find existing affiliate offers so they help you see how this can be a practical solution that fits you.

Some tips on how to do it well:
  • 7 Big Mistakes New Affiliate Marketers Make A useful intro list to help you keep on track. It reminds you that a business like approach is still key. Understand what you add and build on that. 
  • A beginner's guide to affiliate marketing an excellent introduction to the industry. Well explained providing a nice guide to starting. Key insights include:
    • There are publications and communities devoted specifically to affiliate marketing (see for example,www.affiliates4u.com) and it is also moving up the news agenda for more general marketing magazines.
    • Do the simple things first. For a really straightforward start you could just apply to an established affiliate program, choose your preferred advertisers and opt for something called automated ad codes.
  • Affiliate marketing: hard but lucrative: The guardians view. Provides and excellent overview and lists some of the key affiliate marketing firms
    • Affiliate Window, offers high street brands ranging from fashion to electronics, and members can choose niche specialisms within each category.
    • The Internet Advertising Bureau's (IAB) affiliate marketing council chair, says "Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to generate an income from online advertising, regardless of the size of your business,"
    • MoreNiche, an affiliated marketing company that allows third parties to sign up for free, and whose member retailers pay commissions of up to 40% a sale
  • Affiliate marketing for beginners: A guide written by Andrew Slack MD of MoreNiche.com featured on smarta
    • Find a mentor - When first starting out there's a steep learning curve.
    • Join a community - In addition to a mentor you should also consider joining a community of likeminded individuals. Here you can ask questions and get lots of unique feedback. Some leading affiliate forums include, Affiliates4U, ABestWeb andWickedFire.
    • Don't spend money - The aim of affiliate marketing is to make money, but it's also very easy to spend money
    • This is not a get rich quick scheme
    • Enjoy it - Affiliate marketing should be enjoyable and you have the flexibility to work when you want, where you want, and on whatever niche you want.

Amazon Affiliate

On my to do list I've been intending to review some of the stuff I have recently bought from Amazon. I already have an affiliate account. This quick search has convinced me I have to put this task to the top of my list and do it. 

What I have done is add the deals widget from the amazon affiliates admin page. The current adsense banners aren't doing much so I feel like trying something new. Exploring what's out there. At least I'll learn something.

I don't expect it to make much difference but then it won't hurt. I understand that you need to explain why a particular product is adding value.

I've already tried the affiliate links in book reviews:

MoreNiche

I've heard enough about MoreNiche so I visited their site. While there I signed up. I generally sign up to most things. Straight away I'm impressed. You get your own manager assigned with a phone number to call and email address to get in content. Assuming these details actually work that is the first time I've been given a real person to work with.

I don't have time today to take things further. My approach is always to see what I can get done in 10 minutes. Signing up and having an account is always a start. I expect to get some emails to remind me to take things further and I've got this post to push me too.

Your personal dashboard is quite well put together. You have the 5 first tasks todo:
  • Pick your first product to promote
  • Send 10 Visitors Via Your Affiliate Link
  • Speak to your personal mentor
  • Make Your First Sale ( Sales : 0/1)
  • Make 10 Sales ( Sales : 0/10)

And a bunch of useful links in the nav bar.

Exciting so far. Lets see how far I get with this. given the initial questions of what I would like to promote I saw a bunch of gotchas. The categories were:

  • Weight Loss
  • Health and Beauty
  • Anti Aging and Pain Relief
  • Teeth Whitening
Nothing wrong with the categories but I am going to have to think and learn a lot how to talk about things the way I would like. Given time I should figure it out I'm just so used to the hype surrounding health and wellness. 
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