Exploring Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks act as the go-between for the affiliate and the merchant. Affiliate networks are responsible for several things such as the processing of payments, keeping an eye on commissions, as well as payments. Perhaps, the most well-known and considered the granddaddy of them all would be Amazon Associates. Amazon Associates has been around for more than ten years, and is a service provided by a well-known and highly trusted company.
With Amazon Associates you can earn income by advertising hundreds upon thousands of products through Amazon.com. The beauty is in the simplicity. As an Amazon associate, you advertise a product using a link on your own website and when a consumer clicks through and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. The beauty of using Amazon is that Amazon is a trusted and well-known name. This makes it more comfortable and trustworthy for consumers to click through and subsequently make that purchase.
Affiliate networks are fairly easy to navigate and can offer you many options while browsing their directories. Some of the more popular affiliate networks besides Amazon Associates are:
ClickBank is most suitable for digital products such as eBooks. You can expect more in commission when advertising digital products such as software, since the merchant does not have a lot of overhead. The eBook is a perfect example of low overhead costs.
For the big brand products, however, you may want to look into these affiliate networks:
- Commission Junction
- eBay Enterprise
Signing up for these affiliate networks is fairly easy. Once signed up, you can see how much earnings in dollars and cents or percentage wise you can earn. You will also be able to see which products are selling the most and which products have the most affiliates. With hundreds, if not thousands, of merchants to choose from, you are certain to find the right matches for you, your website, and your affiliate program, as well. So, with so many options, how do you find the one that is right for you?
Choosing What’s Best for You and Your Affiliate Program
- Does the Affiliate Tie in with Your Website? – One of the first things you may wish to look into is whether or not the product you are affiliating with ties nicely into your website. After all, you don’t want to have a photography blog and then start affiliating with cooking utensils. Try to keep it relevant. After all, if you are showing posts with beautiful and artistic photographs, then visitors are more inclined to want to take photos just like you – especially if you are an authority on a specific subject. For example, if you are a professional at taking photos of nature, then visitors may want to use the camera that you are using so that they can get the same results, as well.
- Is it a Reputable Product and/or Company? – The word affiliate means to associate yourself with, so you want to be sure that you are associating yourself with reputable products and/or companies. If you are aligning yourself, your blog or your brand with a company, please make sure that it is a company of integrity – integrity meaning that the company stands behind their words and their products.
- Ease of Use – For some, just the word marketing sends shivers down their spine. Then add the word affiliate and it may seem intimidating from the onset. Neither marketing nor anything that has to do with the Internet should be intimidating. An affiliate site should be easy to navigate and fairly easy to use.
- How Much Money You Earn – It is important to understand the different methods of payment. For example, you can receive pay on a flat rate or you can receive a percentage. There is also the opportunity to receive recurring commissions as long as a consumer continues to pay for a monthly service, for example.
- Pay Attention to Conversion Formulas – When looking at products and merchants, take a look at conversion rates. If a merchant has a higher conversion rate – conversion rate meaning how many potential consumers actually turn into buyers – then that merchant may be worth