October 5, 2017

Things to Know Before Starting Affiliate Marketing For Starters

2017-10-05T17:40:00+05:30

There are thousands of affiliate marketing ebooks, free courses, paid workshops, courses, guides online. Can a beginner earn money from these methods. Do these Affiliate Marketing Gurus actually earn money from these methods. If they do then how are they doing it. Here are some thought provoking discoveries and affiliate marketing tips For beginners with online checklist that I have discovered from my experiments with affiliate marketing.

Flip Side of Affiliate Marketing


Truth In Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing where the affiliate get a small commission for referral for products purchased by others. Anyone can sign up under a merchant site as their affiliates and refer products to others using links, banners or widgets. If a user purchase the product, then you will get a small commission.

My Experiments with Affiliate Marketing

I thought about experimenting with affiliate marketing and wrote some posts related to affiliate marketing. Two major promoted affiliate marketing merchant sites were Amazon.com and Hosting websites. I wrote couple of posts related to that and done some marketing.

Check them out.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing Posts

1. 5 American Made Kitchen Appliances Products Buy in USA
2. 5 Original AmazonBasics Electronic Products USA Shipping
3. 5 Best Selling Natural Organic Oil Products 2017
4. 5 Adorable Toy Ship For Children Shipped in USA

Hosting Website Affiliate Marketing Posts

1. 16 Best Shared Wordpress Hosting 2017 Compared
2. 5 Efficient Web Hosting Plans with Prons and Cons

Do you want to know how much I earned from these posts from the date of publishing these posts till today: ZERO.

Here is an image of Amazon affiliate home page clicks that I got and all the other statistics.

Amazon Affiliate Marketing Statistics


Amazon Affiliate Marketing Statistics


I have around 110 clicks in the stats which means users has clicked the product link and redirected to Amazon.com for 110 times. Not a single purchase was made by the user. I have added products that are less than 5 dollars to more than 100 dollars. This way I can ensure which product will have high conversion rate. Unfortunately users did not buy anything.

Authentic Websites Gets More Conversion

I think is was majorly because the site was not an authentic niche website for similar products. If the site was discussing only about a particular product then the conversion would have been higher. For new bloggers, this type of affiliate marketing is not be suitable and will not generate any revenue.

Web Hosting Affiliate Marketing Report

Here is the screenshot of web hosting affiliate marketing report.

siteground affiliate marketing income reportHolding Periods in Affiliate Products

I got one sale for site ground web hosting and they have a review period of thirty days.

"We have a standard hold period of 30 days before paying out an affiliate sale to make sure that the referred client actually stays with us past the 30-day money-back period and actively uses their account. We will review this sale 30 days after the purchase date and if it meets our payout requirements, you will receive a commission for it and its status will become Paid."

If the user decide to change the web host or take the money back because of bad experience from web hosting company, then you will not get any money. This is the reality of affiliate marketing.

Concentrated Power on Merchant Sites

Bloggers spend enormous amount of time to write posts on affiliate marketing products and end up getting 3 or 5 sales maximum. Out of that 1-2 users end up changing web hosting company or decide to take money back. Blogger get NOTHING at the end of the day.

Merchant sites have all the "power" to decide whether they should pay you or not. On the pay day, they may cut down your pay saying that some users took their money back or some sales were not done properly.

Lack of Effective Reporting System

Most of the affiliate sites lack an effective reporting system. Bloggers write reviews, add links, banners and do all kinds of social networking to generate leads. The Googleanalytics reportswill showhigh amount of traffic and high engagement rate for these posts. But the merchant site will show only 3-4 unique clicks and no sales.

Blue host affiliate marketing stats


There are couple of issues in tracking the clicks and sales which reduces the revenue of the blogger.

1. No Link Tracking - Users read the review and directly go to the merchant site and bookmark the product or service and buy later. The merchant site do not consider this as a sale.

2. Merchant site uses cookies to track leads - If a user delete the cookies in the browser, no sales are counted.

3. Merchant site uses caches to track leads - If the user delete the cache, you end up having no revenue.

Methods of tracking leads, clicks, sales are different from one merchant site to another. It is better to check how a specific affiliate merchant site is tracking the leads from your website.

Qualified Purchase In Affiliate Marketing

Each merchant site defines what is qualified purchase. An affiliate like you and me gets money only when the sale meets the definition of qualified purchase.

Things to Remember Before Doing Affiliate Marketing

There are couple of things that you need to research before starting affiliate marketing of any merchant site.

Commission Rate

How much is does the affiliate site pay you for each sale. Some merchant sites pay a specific amount like ten dollars for sale and some pay a percentage of sale. It is always better to do affiliate marketing of merchant sites that pays higher commission rate.

Affiliate Marketing Tips For Beginners

Commission Type

There are two major types of commissions.

Action Commission- Action commission is basically pay per action. Commission per one sale, commission of one unique click, per subscription, per referral and commission per download.

Recurring Commission - Recurring commission allow the affiliate to receive a portion of monthly or yearly commission till the user pays the fee to the merchant site. If a user X buy a product from using your link, you get a commission [action commission]. The user X pays some money monthly or yearly as renewed subscription charge to use the service and you get a small commission of that renewal fee paid by user X. I user X pay it for like ten years, you get money for ten years.

Qualified Purchase

As I mentioned before each company has its own definition for qualified purchase. Check out the definition of qualified purchase by Blue Host in their Terms of Service.

"A "Qualified Purchase" is the purchase of Bluehost's hosting services by a new and unique customer who: (i) clicks on an affiliate tracking link, (ii) completes the signup process within ninety (90) days of clicking on the affiliate tracking link, (iii) maintains an active account with Bluehost for a minimum of ninety (90) days; and (iv) did not transfer from a Bluehost partner or related company."

If a merchant site has strict rules like keeping an active account of ninety days, it would be better not to go for that. If a user get disappointed with the service of the product or service and decide to change, then you will end up having no revenue.

Qualified Purchase

Minimum threshold Amount

Companies fixes a minimum amount that you need to achieve to get a payout. This is called minimum threshold. Many affiliate sites set the minimum threshold to be one hundred dollars. It would be really tough task to achieve 100$ if you are a beginner in affiliate marketing and do not have a website or blog with moderate traffic.

Cap in Earnings

Some merchant sites put a cap in earnings per month. This is basically to ensure no spamming is done by the affiliate. It is advisable to check if the merchant site have such terms.

Payment Methods

Many merchant sites prefer to pay using PayPal. Some use wire transfer for the pay out. It is always good to check the payment method and whether that is available in your country. Many payment transfers takes commission or fee for each transfer. It is better to opt for wire transfer to the bank to avoid any delays in transfer via other payment methods or companies.

Restrictions on Activities of an Affiliate

Every merchant site require an affiliate to fulfill certain responsibilities and ensure conditions are met.

Some general restrictions are;
  1. Affiliate should not offer any kind of cash back, rewards or other incentives to drive traffic to the affiliate links.
  2. Affiliate should not put ad links on pop-up/under and SPAM pages.
  3. Affiliate should not engage in banner exchanges, click exchanges, cookie stuffing techniques, Domain forwarding, creating fraudulent accounts, masking, redirecting or tampering of affiliate links and CPV advertising.
  4. Affiliate should not use trademark of the merchant site and misspelled keywords in their domain names.
  5. Affiliate should not claim to be linked with the company.
  6. Affiliate should comply with all laws of their own country and complete necessary legal documentation.

Holding Periods

As I mentioned before, merchant sites have a holding period of specific number of days and they can not pay you in this period.

Holding Periods

Minimum Monthly Sales

Some companies set a number of sales that has to be achieved by the affiliate to reach payout. This is another corporate way to pushing affiliate to generate sales for the company

Rejection

Few merchants require certain amount of traffic to your site from certain countries in order to approve for affiliate marketing. Some requires traffic from US, UK and Canada especially and they reject sites that have less traffic from these countries.

Affiliate Marketing Tips For Beginners

Affiliate Marketing Tips For Beginners

I read most of these affiliate marketing tips for beginners and most of these GURU advises could be contained in a paragraph. Here they are,

1. Read on terms and reference - How can a beginner understand these terms like recurring commission or a minimum threshold.

2. Make a website or a blog in Wordpress - Why don't beginners think about affiliate marketing without a site. Eg: YouTube marketing.

3. Put link in FaceBook, Twitter - Social media sites are good for starting out and need no investment. It is hard to sustain number of sales.

4. Build an Email List - These days everyone gets some kind of promotional emails. Beginners should think creatively.

5. Do SEO - Doing SEO will only improve traffic if you have enough content. It will not improve conversion rate.

6. Outsource - If you have enough money to spend, you can outsource all the content creation to someone else. Whether you will achive good profit or not is another matter.

Some of the popular affiliate companies online are Amazon, commission junction, SEMrush, Blue Host, SiteGround etc. You can do a Google Search to find out more websites that offer affiliate commission.

Most of the merchants are having customers only because affiliates send them customers. Affiliate Blogs and websites are not just lead generation tools but free customer generation tools for these companies.

They earn so much per customer where the affiliate is just getting a mere commission for the first sale. Most of the merchants do not offer recurring commission and that my friend, is the reality of affiliate marketing.

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