Are you new to affiliate marketing? Perhaps you have been considering giving it a try, but don’t know the first thing about it?
Not to worry, everyone who is an affiliate marketer started right where you are beginning.
One of the first things you need to know after you have decided which company or companies you are going to be an affiliate for is how do affiliate links work.
How links work is essential to understand, because if they are not working correctly, you may not get paid.
Nobody wants to put in all the effort of finding a customer and then lose out on their affiliate commission because the affiliate link was not working! To see how to make sure you get paid, read on.
What Is an Affiliate Link?
Affiliate links look and function like every other link you come across on the internet.
If you have ever made an online purchase, there is a good chance that you clicked through someone’s affiliate link and had no idea you had clicked on one.
So they look and act the same, but how they work is a bit different than many other links.
How Do Affiliate Links Work?
There are several thousand companies which have affiliate programs, and each one will have their own set of rules about being an affiliate for them, so make sure you take the time to read the companies’ affiliate policies.
Once you have signed up to be an affiliate for a company and they have accepted your application, you will be able to create an affiliate link which is usually a combination of that companies affiliate URL and your affiliate identification.
You will be allowed to promote their product or products, use various advertising banners and text links.
Some will even have emails and articles already written that you can use and edit to market to your potential customers.
Your affiliate link is the doorway to making money as an affiliate. The affiliate link is the only means of monetizing your affiliate offer.
Your unique user identification is in the affiliate link, and this is what identifies you as the marketer who is due a commission, also known as revenue sharing, when someone purchases an item after clicking through on your affiliate link.
Most affiliate programs will give you credit for a sale up to 30 days, and some have a more extended period after your link was clicked on.
It can do this by using cookies and saves them in the web browser of the computer you are using.
The cookie saves information about where you came from, info like which link you clicked on from what blog. If you make a purchase, it keeps what you spent and on what.
The cookie also tells the site the next time you visit and make a purchase.
It’s how sites can personalize your visit and put up adds that are relative to a location.
So in a nutshell, affiliate links track when someone clicks on them by saving a cookie as a record of that click and gives the affiliate credit for the sale for a certain period if a purchase is made.
How to Use Affiliate Links
The basic idea is that you use your affiliate link in your promotions to get potential customers to click through the link and make a purchase and get paid a commission.
Understanding which one of your promotions, email campaigns, blog articles is performing takes insight.
This insight comes from link tracking. With link tracking, you can see what links are getting the most click through’s and from where.
If you have lots of click-through but few sales, you would see that you need to take some action to turn those click through’s into sales.
Tracking your links gives you the information you need about your affiliate links so you can make fact-based decisions.
Making the most of your advertising efforts by knowing how they are performing is how you use affiliate links most effectively.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is marketing. Businesses offer an incentive for anyone willing to market their products and services.
The incentive or revenue sharing is split three ways between the merchant, the network, the publisher.
The merchant or vendor is the product or service owner. The network is the platform the product or service is offered from, such as ClickBank, and the publisher is you, the affiliate.
As the publisher, you can place your affiliate links anywhere you like on the web, but placing links “anywhere” is not a good practice and it can be counterproductive.
It is obvious to just about anyone when an affiliate offer is made, and the marketer is only tying to make a buck. Nobody wants to buy from that kind of affiliate.
You see this make a buck strategy in a lot of the coupon sites on Google. You do a coupon search, and when you go to the site, there is a list of coupon codes, but you have to click on the coupon code to unlock the coupon.
What’s happening many times is that the affiliate is using their affiliate links and when you click on the link they are getting a commission for referring you to the site you were trying to get to use the coupon and make a purchase.
It’s an awful lot like cheating, and most people get pretty irritated by these kinds of sites, I know I do.
Spamming is not the right way to market your affiliate link, not in any sense. As I mentioned earlier, you have probably purchased something online through an affiliate link and did not realize it. That is the right way, but there are a strategy and method of how that is done.
How to Set up Affiliate Links So People Click On Them
Where you place your links will affect how much you earn or don’t earn in commissions.
There are so many places to choose from such as social media, emails, other websites that it can seem like it doesn’t matter, or even feel overwhelming.
With all of the choices and the thought that if you can get it front of enough people by spamming your link in every possible spot, you are bound to make a few sales, could not be further from the truth.
While it is true that you want to give your link maximum exposure, you do not want to be annoying to the end user or break the affiliate rules you agreed to when you signed up to be an affiliate.
If you spam, you will not make as many sales as you would think and there is an excellent chance that you will get banned from the affiliate program you are promoting.
What you want to do is put your link as strategically as possible. The idea is to get clicks through your link but not just clicks, the clicks should lead to sales. If you are getting clicks but no or very few sales, you don’t have your link appropriately placed.
Where to Place Your Link
1. Resource Page: If you have products you use yourself, and you should, placing affiliate links on your sites resource page is a great way to share what you use. After all, it is what you stand behind and would encourage your visitors to buy what you would purchase.
2. Within The Content: Linking with the content of a blog post or web page is always an excellent way to go, as long as you follow a few basic rules. First, make sure that the link is related and fits naturally into the sentence.
The second rule is don’t “stuff” your content with links, this is spam, and you will only be hurting your site’s reputation and lowering your rank in the search engines.
3. The Sidebar: Placing text links and banners on the sidebar is another good place to put your affiliate links. Again make sure that they are related to the content of the pages and that you don’t put too many.
What you don’t want is for the sidebar links to be a distraction. It just takes away from the quality of your site.
4. Webinars and Live Events: Promoting a product to a live audience can drive sales and revenue like no other platform out there. The people who are engaged in the event will take you up on what you are offering.
It is an excellent way to prime your potential customers with limited seating and offering a bonus to only those who attend the live session.
It gives you a chance to hear their questions first hand and engage with them. People like to know they are buying from someone whom they relate.
Previously we mentioned that if someone clicks your link that a cookie was saved so you would get credit for the sale.
Some affiliate program gives credit to the affiliate whose link was clicked last. If someone came to your site, clicked on your link but didn’t buy. Then goes off searching online finds another website promoting the same product and clicks through another link, who gets the commission?
It is a bit of a contradiction, but not all affiliate programs are created equal, so you need to be aware.
To help you be the first and last link clicked you should shorten your affiliate link by using a link shortening tool like PrettyLinks.
Most affiliate links are nonsensical to the average web surfer, so you want to make it into something related to what you are promoting, short and memorable.
It makes it easier for your potential customer to remember where they saw that thing that wanted and to go back there and buy it.
Why You Want to Be an Affiliate
The majority of people who decide they want to become an affiliate do so for one reason — passive income.
Passive income is the dream that as an affiliate, you are striving for that you work to obtain.
You promote other peoples products, get paid, and don’t deal directly with the customer. You never physically carry an inventory, ship anything, or process a return.
Knowing how and where to use your affiliate links will determine how quickly you reach your dream.
Using Affiliate Links and Being an Affiliate
How do affiliate links work? By now, you should have a good understanding of not only how affiliate links work, but where to place them and where you should not place them.
You should know how you get paid and what you can do to increase the likely hood of being paid if time has passed after your link was clicked.
However, placing affiliate links is where being an affiliate starts. Taking the time to understand your niche and what is trending will help you to market to those in the niche.
Giving people the option to sign up onto your email list when they visit your website will help you to build a relationship with your visitors and market what you are promoting.
Strengthening that relationship will increase your sales because the people on your list will begin to trust you as you nurture the relationship with useful information.
We also touched on using webinars and live events to engage your audience and increase their trust in you, which will increase your sales and revenue.
The last thing is growing your affiliate business with pay per click advertising or more commonly known as PPC.
Being an affiliate and knowing how to use affiliate links is an excellent way to get started with online marketing.
There is a lot to cover as an affiliate and knowing what to do and when can get a little overwhelming at first.
Having a professional work with you to coach you through the steps and more importantly, how you should be performing a task is what separates successful affiliates from those who struggle.
To get the help, you need to take you to the next level, contact us today.