Thursday, 20 February 2014

The Digital Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Beginner Guide Article - ImageAdvertisements are visible everywhere; advertisers maximize all possible mediums to promote their service or product. The internet is no exception to this, most especially since it is free and accessible for everyone at any time of day.

One easy form of advertising for beginners to the online money-making game is affiliate marketing. A publisher or affiliate earns a commission from the earnings of an advertiser (also known as a merchant) or the business owner from their sales if the publisher is able to heighten publicity for the said service or product.

Read through this guide to affiliate marketing for beginners to learn the basics of this approach to making money.


What exactly is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a form of advertising done online by posting product promotions on a website. A publisher is hired by a merchant to promote his business by creating traffic to the merchant’s own website. Other than products or services themselves, they could also post sale announcements, discounts, and new products or promos.

With each registration to services or purchase of products made by consumers because of the publishers’ ad, they earn additional commission. If a sale is made possible with the advertisement, a percentage of the sale is added to the commission.

 There are two ways to begin as an affiliate marketing publisher. First, the publisher could be part of an affiliate network. An affiliate network acts as the mediator between the publisher and merchant. Being a member of an affiliate network, the publisher could be more exposed to options suitable for their respective websites.

Aside from joining an affiliate network, one could also opt to apply directly to an advertiser if they are accepting applicants for their affiliate program. Advertisers are established companies that place advertisements for certain merchants that are focused on a particular target audience.


Tools of the Trade

In order to keep track of the numerous clicks, views and registrations from your advertisement, trackers are needed to ensure the specific rate of advertising you are helping the merchant with. There are several tools needed for affiliate marketing.


A Landing Page Tracker

The landing page, also referred to as lead capture page or “lander,” is the webpage to which the consumer is redirected after clicking an advertisement. The result is traffic. When the customer gets redirected to the landing page, it will be prompted and be included in the click count. A landing page could be reference or transactional depending on the product you are endorsing.

Reference landing pages include information relevant for the customer to learn more about the product. Meanwhile, a transactional landing page could include a promo on a certain service or product that the customer could avail. These transactional landing pages should entice customers to sign up.


Link Tracker

Each website has a specific URL or Uniform Resource Locator. Even external pages that pop up on a different window also have different URLs from those of their source websites. A Tracking URL or Link Tracker has a token attached to the end of the URL. Another online tool supporting the Link Tracker separates the traffic of that URL from the website traffic in order to see the performance percentage of the advertisement.


Split Testing

How can you determine the effectiveness of your website ads? Simple: you should have split testing. It is testing sample A and sample B to discover areas that need improvement. Aside from A/B Testing, another term for Split Testing is Usability Test. This test is done to see if the ad is easy enough for the customers to understand.


Spy Tools

If you want to know how you level to the competition you could make use of spy tools to know the performance rate of competitors. This could also help you improve and make better advertisements in order to get ahead.


Choosing a Web Hosting Platform

There are multiple types of web hosting services available that it is impossible for you not to have a reason to keep your site updated. Each kind of web hosting service has different limits. The most important factor in choosing a hosting platform is their up-time or the span of time their servers are active and running.

You’d always want your site to be available; longer availability time means more customers and more income. You should also be aware of the technical specifications of their hardware and the limits of such hardware. A cheap plan may not be able to support the different types of media you would like to explore in the future.

Another defining factor is the added extras they could give you when you avail of their services. These features are similar to energy-saving servers, mandatory data backup, or domain privacy that you think would be important for your website. In the long run, the most important factor would be the price of the service you would be availing.

If the hosting service is good in all areas but the fee you pay is bigger than what you earn from the affiliate marketing business you have, then you may have to consider another hosting provider. There must be a balance between the hosting service features and the amount you’d be investing in them.

It is recommended to choose a webhosting provider that always offers domain name registration as this makes everything much easier.

Find out the discount you'll get for com/net/org/info/biz registration or transfer at Namecheap (highly recommended for hosting and domain names).


Tips and Tricks of the Trade


Marketing Matters

All businesses begin with one person referring a service or product to another. The same concept applies to affiliate marketing. You use your web skills to promote certain products and every time an ad is clicked, you earn a commission. Your part in the business process is very important most especially since the online network could reach untapped audiences at most.


Every click counts

There are numerous points in advertising where the action of clicking the ad matters. A click-through, for example, is an action when the consumer clicks the ad and is redirected to the merchant website. Another is banner impression.

Although banners are not clicked, these will still be noticed by customers and banner impression is the number of times it has been shown on websites. Meanwhile, direct linking is an action where the consumer is redirected to the landing page instead of the web site. This is helpful for the ad to heighten visibility percentage in search engine ranking.

Each type of action has a corresponding commission rate. There are cost per action (CPA), cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand (CPM), and cost per order (CPO). CPA is the amount of cost for conversion for a sale or a lead. Meanwhile, the CPC is the cost of an individual click on a per click basis, CPM is costing for one thousand banner impressions, and CPO refers to every sale made.


Quintessential Quality Product

If you are going to advertise, you might as well advertise a great product. Your network of people will be seeing your ads and they will need one of those endorsed products someday. Everybody prioritizes quality in looking for the newest and the latest so if the consumer finds out in the end that what you are endorsing lacks quality as they expect it, they might stop trusting you with product and service referrals.

Be careful in choosing the products you will promote. See to it that the way you advertise a product or service is not exaggerated because this could backfire. A product that seems to have very, very high quality compared to its competitors is a good deal but if it is not as top-notch as it was advertised, the consumers will mistrust the brand itself, not the publisher. That is already one negative that needs to be avoided.

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