Affiliate Income – How to Make Money from Affiliates

Third Monetization Strategy – Affiliates

The third monetization strategy is affiliate programs. Similar to web advertising, as an affiliate you include a link on your site to your affiliate partner’s site. However, this link takes the visitor directly to a page selling a product or service. If the visitor purchases the item, you earn a referral fee, often a percentage of the item’s cost. Affiliate programs generally pay on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis, where visitors need to take some action – such as making a purchase or signing up for a service – before you earn any revenue.

Essentially, affiliate programs allow you to earn money by selling other people’s products and services. Some of the largest affiliate programs include Amazon Associates, eBay Partner Network and ClickBank. You can also look through an affiliate directory – such as Affiliate Scout or Associate Programs – to find an affiliate vendor that suits your site’s niche closely.

Amazon Affiliate

Amazon Associates is the largest online affiliate marketing program and also one of the first. It is free to join and easy to integrate with your site. In contrast to contextual advertising, you do not just put a piece of code into a template. Rather you pick and choose which items you want to help sell, and then add affiliate links to those items from your site’s pages.

Amazon is a good affiliate program to start with, not only because of its wide range of products but also because it is a trusted site where people spend a lot of money.

Getting Paid

The commission rate on Amazon starts at 4%. This is as high as it goes on consumer electronics. However, on most other products there is a sliding scale where the more you sell the higher your commission goes. See their compensation page for details. You earn a commission on everything a person buys within 24 hours of you sending them to Amazon, not just on the product that you send people to.

Affiliate Payment Models

As mentioned earlier, affiliate programs commonly pay a referral fee when a purchase is made – a so-called one time commission. Some sites though, particularly those that sell subscription services, may offer lifetime commissions. That is, their affiliate program will pay you a recurring fee for as long as the referred customer stays with the service. Though the conversion rate for services is often lower than it is for products, the long term value of such a customer makes these affiliate programs very profitable, provided that you can find a good one in your niche.

Most affiliate programs – such as Amazon Associates – are one-tier, where you get paid for the purchases or sign-ups made by the people you refer. In a two-tier program, you also earn a commission on everything the referred person earns through the program if they too decide to join it. With multi-tier programs, this continues even further down the line. This allows you to earn an income not only by selling other people’s products and services, but also by promoting their affiliate programs.

Increasing Affiliate Sales

There are many techniques you can use to increase the sales of your affiliate products. Below is a list of the more ethical ones.

  1. Relevance – Identify products that are relevant not only to the site’s niche, but also to the subject of the Content page promoting it.
  2. Value – Choose products that you fully believe will benefit your visitors.
  3. Quality – Pick products with good reputations and professional Sales pages.
  4. Quantity – Promoting a single product on a page often yields better results than trying to promote several on the same page.
  5. Context – Affiliate links well integrated into content do better than links in sidebars.
  6. Honesty – Give an open and honest appraisal of the product, including both its strengths and weaknesses.
  7. Incentive – Offer something that adds value to the product if it is bought through your affiliate link.
  8. Trust – If you have consistently helped people and been useful to them, they are more likely to respond to your recommendations.

Affiliate links cannot only be included on your site. They can just as well be placed in your newsletters, e-mails, e-books or any other e-products that you create. Including your affiliate links on social media sites is another possibility, though you want to be careful not to spam people. Often, linking to a Content page on your site that contains the affiliate link is a better idea than posting the affiliate link directly. As with every other money-making strategy, affiliate marketing can be used both ethically and unethically. It is recommended that you disclose the use of affiliate links, for example, by using a link tooltip.

  • <a href="affiliate-url" title="[Affiliate link] Product Title">Product Title</a>

Your Own Affiliate Program

If you have a good product you can offer an affiliate program of your own. This way you can allow other site owners to promote your product in exchange for a percentage of any resulting sales. Because there is a financial benefit for your links to be promoted, your affiliate partners will have incentive to sell your product.

Affiliate marketing helps reduce unnecessary sales costs, bring in more potential customers and make more sales with less time and effort. With software tools it is possible not only to automate your sales process, but also to automate the management, tracking and payments of the affiliate program – thereby eliminating your costs of sales and making negative cash flow through your program impossible.

This monetization strategy has incredible leverage, in that your revenue has the potential to grow exponentially. One affiliate can lead to more and so on, until you have hundreds and possibly thousands of motivated salesmen promoting your product or service – far more than you could ever afford with a traditional sales model.

Recruiting Affiliates

The best place to start recruiting affiliates is within your own website. A simple “Join our Affiliate Program” page on your site is the ideal starting point. Getting a listing in an affiliate directory is another quick and easy way to generate interest in your program. You can also e-mail webmasters in your niche and ask them if they want to promote your product through your affiliate program. In addition to commissions, you may want to give the webmaster other incentives, such as promoting their site or product in return, or by creating a special affiliate offer just for them. Once you have a good affiliate program in place and have gotten the word out, you may find that potential affiliates will start to actively seek you out without any need for recruitment on your part.