Looking at the online marketing industry it’s easy to get lost in all of the details. There are many different ways to generate new leads and make money on the internet, but affiliate marketing has to be one of the most popular. If you are completely new to the concept of affiliate marketing, it’s easy to get lost within all of the information, resource sites and options to choose from.
For example, just looking at the various components of affiliate marketing and the many different labels associated with it can be a headache in itself. An affiliate network is there to provide you with offers to promote, affiliate marketers are the ones promoting such offers, advertisers and brands are looking to recruit more affiliates and of course you also have bloggers that create their own content and often provide guidance on affiliate marketing as well. Where do you fall into the mix?
No matter if you are a rich affiliate, a big name brand, or someone just starting out, it’s important to make sure that you stand out from the crowd — especially if you are looking to get attention, increase business, or maybe even create a brand of your own.
Today we are going to break down several main components of affiliate marketing, while also giving some real-life examples and how you can start using similar methods to increase your personal or brand exposure.
As a platform/affiliate network
If you ever wanted to find a saturated market where everyone is always looking for more attention, look no further than affiliate platforms and the ad networks that are providing the offers. Back in the day, there were only a handful of networks to choose from — like Commission Junction, Linkshare, and Shareasale, but now it seems like they are all over the place. Often times, the only thing separating one network from another is the offers they promote and how much higher of a commission they can squeeze out for their affiliates.
When it comes to standing out from the crowd, some platforms might run their own contests or even sponsor an industry party. These are great ideas, but the ROI and long-term value usually aren’t there. Another example of how to stand out is to create an advanced platform or new tracking technology that benefits both the advertiser and the affiliate. Not only will this provide value, it will also likely get talked about and make its way through the industry as well.
This is exactly what Attrace is trying to accomplish where their new decentralized and blockchain technology-driven platform.
The concept of affiliate networks is nothing new, but the technology behind them and how leads are tracked is something that can definitely use improvement on. Advertisers and merchants can save money on this new type of ad platform, as the associated costs are a mere fraction of the 20 to 30% that you would typically see on other networks. Affiliates can also find improved earnings and faster payouts when using a decentralized platform like Attrace as well.
With so much focus on blockchain technology thanks to cryptocurrencies and coverage through big news media and financial outlets, there is no doubt that platforms like Attrace will start getting more attention and word of blockchain marketing technology makes its way around the industry.
The benefits of a dedicated public blockchain network over what’s currently in the marketplace right now, lies within the common issues we are seeing in relation to “attribution” and “payments”. With a decentralized platform in place, not only can a network offer super low transaction costs, it can even track clicks and leads that result in non-sales, which leads to further monetization and remarking options. In summary, a decentralized platform could potentially be one of the best ways for a network to not only benefit advertisers and affiliates the same, but also online tracking as a whole — with little to no chance for discrepancies or cash back issues.
As an advertiser
To create a successful business on the internet, you need to have a brand that audiences trust and actually purchased from. At the end of the day, if you want to make real money, there needs to be a monetization model in place, and actually selling something is one of the best ways to get there. This is something more affiliate offers and advertisers need to keep in mind when trying to scale their business and recruiting new affiliates. It’s no longer enough to simply create an offer and throw it on your favorite ad platform — instead, it’s all about the recruitment process and gaining the trust of your affiliates.
Sure, higher payouts are always going to be important, but it’s that personal relationship and getting private offers, payouts, landing pages and ad copy that is going to make a big difference. It’s also important for affiliates to be able to understand the product that’s being promoted, which is key when trying to sell or promote a ‘real product’ and not a fly-by-night weight loss pill of the month.
This is also a topic that Flippa recently touched upon, and recommended the following takeaways:
- How just asking for a raise often works best
- How to trade placements & promotion for higher payouts
- How setting incentivized goals benefits you both
- How shopping around can benefit your bottom line
One of the best ways for advertisers and merchants to accomplish this is to attend internet marketing conferences and also get active in online marketing forums. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the world of affiliate marketing is extremely saturated and competitive, and the more time and effort you put into this personal outreach and networking, the more likely you are to find success in the long run.
As an affiliate
Being an affiliate marketer is quite special. You have the opportunity to run your business from anywhere you like, and also promote whatever offers to return the most profit for you. There are also two important questions to ask when becoming an affiliate marketer:
- Do you want to stay focused on being an affiliate marketer that is behind the scenes and simply make as much money as you can?
- Or go the route of successful affiliate marketer to online guru/mentor, and show off your expertise and guidance to other — thus parlaying this success into a brand or creating a product of your own?
If you decide to go the route of creating your own products and trying to sell your expertise, it’s best to have a squeaky clean reputation and make contacts with some of the other top affiliates in your industry. After all, once you put yourself out there, there really is no turning back.
This is something Neil Patel has a lot of success and experience with. In addition to launching several successful companies and blogs at NeilPatel.com and QuickSprout, he is also launching new products and tools all the time. With the association back to his name, this keeps building his brand power and reach.
At the same time, don’t forget about the smaller players who are just starting out and might be looking to you for advice or motivation. The more time you can spend in these areas, the more likely others will start talking about you and sharing how they have learned from you. Get the formula right, and you might just be the next Gary Vaynerchuk in the making!
As a blogger
Content creation has always been one of the most powerful components of affiliate marketing. However, as more people are moving away from search pay-per-click marketing and organically ranking sites within Google, it’s more of a pay to play model when it comes to creating and promoting the best content possible. However, affiliate marketers and bloggers are still paving the way for content creation and sharing information when it comes to making money online.
A perfect example of this can be seen right here on John child.com along with other affiliate blogging Superstars like Pat Flynn, Darren Rowse, Neil Patel, who have all other created their own online brands, built massively huge blogs, and turned their expertise into real profits.
John Chow was featured on this list from SEJ as well. The great thing about John, is that no matter what happens to the industry or even the offers he promoted, he can always reflect back on the blog and brand he has built time and time again.
The secret success formula behind each of these examples is that they created a blog, put out amazing content and then promoted the heck out of it –thus further building a name for themselves. That expertise and passion have come out through their blogs, while also helping them build a massive social media following in the process.
If you want to create content and be a successful blogger, follow any of these top players and implement their winning efforts into your own process. But don’t forget to add your own style in the process.
What’s your gimmick?
From what we’ve gone through so far, you probably found that you fall into one of the four categories above. No matter what your gimmick is it’s important to never think that it’s too late for you to find success or that you will never have the following that you’ve dreamed of. Like everything worth doing, this all takes time.
At the end of the day, it’s not about being the first in any industry or market, it’s simply how you market yourself, your product, and provide value to your audience. New bloggers and affiliate marketers are entering the space every day and in a few months time many of them will find amazing success with either their new ad campaigns or the content and brands they start to create.
Stay inspired my friends and always work towards hitting your goals.