Affiliate marketing – earn in more ways than one

Often times, especially for people who have been blogging for a while, we make assumptions that everyone knows what we’re talking about. The reality is even the most commonly used terms become black holes for some new folks. Today, let’s review one of the big ones: affiliate marketing.

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Affiliate marketing is just a fancy phrase for producing results for a seller and getting paid for it. In some cases, you could look at it like selling a product for a company without having the need to carry inventory or fulfil an order. Not a bad concept!

Here’s one of the ways it could work, in a nutshell:

  1. A visitor arrives at your site
  2. Visitor clicks on a banner ad on your site, and it leads him to your partner’s site
  3. Visitor purchases a product from your partner
  4. Your partner pays you
Seems like a simple model, right? Well here’s the best part, in many cases, the visitor doesn’t even have to buy anything! Although Pay Per Sale is ubiquitous, there are other ways affiliate marketing could work. I’ll describe them in detail in my next post.

One last thing, even though the concept has created many affiliate millionaires, it’s actually not all that easy, and success won’t come overnight. The part that people don’t realise is that it requires a lot of work to get visitors to your site. There are many resources, especially online resources, that can help you meet your goal. The key really involves combining other people’s lessons learned with a lot of your own trial and error.

I stated that I would provide details on the various types of affiliate marketing. Of course, I always keep my promises so here goes.

There are basically four different methods of getting paid as an affiliate. Some are more common than others and depending on what you’re trying to promote on your site, some types may work better than others. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to choose your affiliate partners.

Alternatively, you could choose to go with a strictly passive approach like using Google AdSense straight out of the box. In that case, Google will control what ads to bring onto your site, and you’ll end up with a mixed bag. As you learn more about the different ways to leverage affiliate marketing, there’s no reason why you can’t start with Google Adsense and integrate your own affiliate ads as you grow.

Four types of affiliate marketing

1. Pay Per Sale

Probably the most common methods of affiliating, Pay Per Sale is pretty self-explanatory. You only paid when your ad brings in actual results, usually in the form of money being passed through.

2. Cost Per Click (CPC)/Pay Per Click (PPC)

One of the more well-known affiliate types, CPC pays you every time a visitor clicks on the ad. Although this seems like a surefire way to get paid by simply abusing the ads, the top search engines have the technology to prevent this from happening.

3. Cost Per Mil. (CPM)

For every 1000 page views, you get paid a certain amount. Also abused in the past, CPM is now protected through the top search engines.

4. Pay Per Lead

You get paid every time a lead is provided. This can be in the form of an email, address, or even phone call. There are plenty of technology tools to track any type of lead.
Choosing the right affiliate marketing type for your site

The logical follow-up question is: which is the best? The simple answer is that it depends. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but there’s no magic formula. A lot of it depends on your niche and your goals.

Even though some methods have worked better for some sites than others, over time, the bloggers who are able to maintain and also increase their revenue are the ones who are able to monitor and adapt. That means changing their affiliate strategies as necessary. Just like anything else in this crazy, fast-paced, tech world that we live in, being able to shift gears at a moment’s notice is critical.

Which type of affiliate marketing has worked best for you?

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