Many people have heard of affiliate marketing as a profitable way to make money online and, indeed, it is one of the best ways to bring a consistent income month by month, without worrying about products (whether informational or not), merchandise stocks and dissatisfied customers.
We start with a small definition, then with advantages and disadvantages compared to other traffic methods, then we will talk about some of the most popular affiliate networking methods where you can sign up right now to start monetizing your site.
Definition of affiliate marketing
We know it may sound cliché but there is no definition of it. Affiliate marketing is a form of making money on the Internet (and not only!) Through which a third person, called an affiliate, intervenes between the seller and the buyer.
The role of the affiliate is to bring customers to the seller for a percentage of the profit generated by each sale.
The typical example of an affiliate is that of a blogger who joins a shoe store, for example, and who, in his fashion articles, adds links to that store. You should read this review if you want to know more about the same.
The technical explanation behind the affiliate programs
The basic idea is that when the affiliate puts a link to that store, that link contains a unique ID through which they can identify their sales.
We notice, therefore, that in the affiliation equation sometimes intervenes a 4th player, the affiliation platform. Let’s talk a little about that.
What are affiliate platforms and are they mandatory?
Such a platform is a site where product sellers and affiliates meet. Affiliates have the opportunity to see a list of affiliate programs, choose the ones they want and test them to see which one works best.
The sellers thus delegate to the platform the task of providing customized links to affiliates and paying them.
- For marketers, the advantage of such a platform is that it automatically exposes them to thousands and thousands of affiliates.
- For affiliates, the advantage is that they choose to promote products through a reputable platform that guarantees that the seller is in good faith.
- There is, however, the option to eliminate this fourth player. A marketer can make their own affiliate program on the site, and start recruiting affiliates in person.
- The advantage of this approach is that an intermediary is eliminated and the gains on both sides will be higher.
What are the best affiliate platforms?
There is no right answer to this question either. Each such Marketplace (ie a product market) focuses on a certain type of product.
What do we do with products that are not on affiliate platforms?
We were saying that some sellers have installed an affiliate program on their site and they do not appear in Marketplaces. Perfectly normal, you don’t have to worry. You just have to make a separate account with them, and then make sure that you are paid on time and with the amounts you deserve.
Testing affiliate programs
As a blogger, it’s important to test affiliate programs to see which ones are more profitable. For example, the programs offer extremely generous commissions, starting from 50% upwards.
By contrast, the programs on CJ.com offer much lower commissions, somewhere around 5%, and that’s because it’s about physical products, not information. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you have a blog in English, we suggest you test them all, to see which one brings you more money.
Tip: to see which of the products sell better, you need to test them in exactly the same conditions. That is, if you promoted the first product through the newsletter, promote the other one as well. If product 2 is promoted through a banner in the blog sidebar, the conversion rate may differ and the comparison between the performances of the two will no longer be accurate.
“Let me tell you straight in front of you”
Before we move on, we want to take a minute to tell you bluntly what it takes to be a successful affiliate marketer. No stupid things.
- First, you need traffic. The more is the better. Fortunately, on the blog, the traffic comes for free but it takes at least 2 months until you see it.
- Second, you need to have a relationship with your readers. In order for them to respect you, you have to be good in your niche, write regularly, not spam, etc. and so on. All the things we talk about in Guerrilla Blogging to make a successful blog.
Then you have to look for good products. Unfortunately, in Romania, affiliate programs on information products do not know how to be, except for Elefant.ro where the commissions do not approach those on The online platform. If you want affiliate marketing in Romania, do it thinking of having your own products, because that’s the only way you will have good profit margins.
To make more than a few hundred lei from affiliations in Romania, you need a minimum of, say, 1000 unique visitors a day. Plus minus, if you are good you will maximize the profit. Thirdly, promoting products is simple, but you have to look for and optimize them. And that means a minimum of work on your part.