February 11, 2016 by Antonia Cummings

What is Affiliate Marketing

Hi Antonia here,

affiliate-marketing2016I hope you are well. Today I want to take a look at Affiliate Marketing.

I think it’s reasonable to suggest that affiliate marketing tends to get a “bad rap” these days. My guess is that comes from shady online marketers employing dodgy traffic techniques in order to get visitors to sites for male enhancement and other related products and such like.

Is It A Deserved Reputation?

Now that reputation may well be deserved in some cases. But the facts of the matter are that affiliate marketing has been around long before the Internet brought the method into sharp focus.

Quite simply affiliate marketing is where a third party drives sales in return for a commission.

It just so happens that the Internet makes it much easier to find products to promote for profit and also for product owners to make those products avaiable to marketers in order for them to be able to promote.

Aggregators

Product aggregators were the first sites to spring up as sites like Clickbank made it easy for online marketers to find am aladdins cave of digital products to promote. Electronic products were the obvious place to start online as they can be delivered via the digital medium (PDFs , eBooks, Video training etc).

However, gradually, with the increasing sophistication of eCommerce software, affiliate marketing extended into all areas of online trading. Indeed products with high worths started to be marketed via affiliates and some very creative methods of both promoting and marketing have been seen.

Physical Products

The first major network to go into the physical goods market was Commission Junction. Of course Amazon were early adopters, but initially Commission Junction was preferred as the commission levels were higher.

However, Amazon is now the most sohpisticated affiliate network around and also has partner offers included. You can sell virtually anything as an Amazon affiliate. And now, with advent of easy store builder softwares, building an Amazon store on your website is a piece of cake (it used to be really awkward).

CPA Networks

Next came the CPA networks. This stands for Cost Per Acquisition. Digital Marketers loved this innovation.

All they had to do was deliver a lead! They didn’t even have to make a salee in order to receive a commission. If you talk to some of the most advanced Interent Marketers, this is where they ply their trade.

As I said, there is no need to make a sale, just get a prosect to fill in a form in order to receive a commission. And, this works well in many markets such as weight loss and muscle building.

Commissions per for completion can run into hundreds of dollars in the right market. So, the message is clear if you want to attack this type of marketing. Pick products with high CPA commissions.

Teething Problems

The problem with this was that some of the affiliate programs were difficult to find. The CPA networks themselves were very risk averse and it made getting authorised to promote very difficult for people trying to break into the market.

So, the next innovation was CPA network aggregators, like Offer Vault. Here you can find every affiliate offer from pretty much every network all listed in one place. There is a clever search engine making it simple to find offers from any niche you might care to consider.

What will come next for affiliate marketing? Well, most of the ntorks are trying to make it easier to buy over mobile devices. However, there is resistance from users.

Mobile Next?

Yes, people will make locaol searches to find a restaurant via mobile, but buying via mobile is still in its infancy. Indeed over 50% of searches are conduicted via mobile now (that tipping point in the U.S and U.K was reached towards the end of 2014), but sales via mobile are still a small percentage of overall online sales.

Total Affiliate Marketing Sales

The affiliate total market went well over the ¬£billion mark in the U.K in 2015. I’ve heartd wildly differing figures for the U.S anywhere from $3billion to $10.8 billion. Come what may, that is a lot of commissions.

What do these sites look like?

Here’s an example of a good affiliate marketing site, and here are some great product reviews for Niche Reaper V3.0 and also for Instant Azon Amazon Storebuilder which I thoughtm might be of interest given the subject matter.

I hope you found that useful, heres a video overview of affiliate marketing.