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Affiliate Marketing Basics

By Affiliate Hat On April 28, 2009 3 Comments

Due to some request from our readers here, I am going to write this affiliate marketing basics here.

Note: This writeup is not merely about starting to make money with affiliate marketing. Instead this one aims on providing a step-by-step walkthrough on what affiliate marketing really is and how its process goes. If you come here with literally no knowledge about it and want to learn about the whole thing, we certainly do hope that this one could be useful for your foundation. If you are already an affiliate marketer, you may not need to read this one anymore but we would still be grateful if you have found something useful in this one.

  1. What is Affiliate Marketing – to explain this in some very short lines, affiliate marketing is promoting products from merchants and getting an affiliate commission in return. Usually it’s 10-70% depending on the product. Why’d they want you to share that big of a revenue? Simple, because you’re doing everything for them. They just sit and watch their affiliates (us) make money for them. In return they share a percentage.
  2. Picking An Affiliate Network – Affiliate Network is the one that holds the merchants and affiliates together. They provide tracking, easy solutions and a whole lot more for both parties. In short, they connect the two and handle their relationships. In return, they get a small percentage of what the affiliates make (middleman). Here’s a list of Affiliate Hat recommended affiliate networks. Alternatively there are other individual products who prefer not to get associated with these networks. They instead run it themselves using third party software systems.
  3. Setting Tracking – Tracking is just basically a script/software that would track how you’re campaign is doing. Tracking202 is a very useful tool for so you need to sign up to them. You may also want to sign with Google Analytics w/c doesn’t cost you anything either.
  4. Doing a research – some prefer to skip this step and if you don’t feel to, then you can skip it too. The goal of this one is just for you to find out what is currently “in” and cracking. Melvin does a pretty nice article on niche marketing research.
  5. Picking an offer – Now that you have learned what is popular, you now need to go to an affiliate network and pick an offer. An offer is something you are going to promote for commissions. It’s important to read the descriptions of the certain campaign so you wouldn’t get lost. Look at the price per lead, country accepted, promotion methods acceptable and the like. Not abiding with the offers rules may cause you a lot of headache and money.
  6. Doing a landing page – A landing page is a page wherein you ought to promote the affiliate offer. This is one part where you need to spend some reasonable bucks. You need to have a domain, hosting, and designer (in case you’re not good in designing websites). Alternatively you can tweak and hack wordpress themes and make it a landing page and it’s very easy to do. Make sure to put your affiliate link in there as well as tracking codes from Tracking202. The landing page is the site where you are going to promote your product.
  7. Promote – After doing the site itself, its time for promoting. How would you? There are tons of ways (some are discussed in this blog and others aren’t yet): The best way is Pay per Click Marketing wherein you need to spend really some good bucks to get started. You could also try Video Marketing, Article Marketing, Legitimate Spamming and Blackhat, Social Media and an email list. Some of the methods would be discussed some time in the future so stay tuned! :)
  8. Test and Optimize – After running a campaign (‘campaign’ is a term used when you start promoting an offer), you can see the results with your tracking. After that hopefully you could make certain adjustments on the landing page itself or in the ad copy you created and stuffs. You could also drop some useless keywords and modify them. This is probably the most important thing here because your main goal is to maximize your profit. But this is gonna be the hardest as well.
  9. Profit! – Hopefully after doing split testing and stuffs, you found the best combination and right ‘mixture’ then its profit for you. But that doesn’t end there, you need now to optimize your campaigns more and more so it could yield more revenue for you. Go back to testing and never ever be contented. It’s the same thing when you get a bad ROI. All you need to do is refine and thrash those who didn’t work out. It’s about testing and tweaking.