Resource - Affiliate Schemes (what are they & how do they work)
I am sure that even the newest online newcomer (or newbie as often referred to) will have heard the term 'affiliate' but what does it mean, how does they work, where can you get one and are they right for me?
Well it is all very easy. Lets take an International Company as an example - we will use the International Airline Virgin Atlantic.
(affiliate scheme available through AffiliateFuture) Now as part of Virgin Atlantic's massive marketing strategy, and in addition to the traditional advertising methods of newspaper, poster, magazine & TV etc, they have also introduced an 'affiliate' program. This program offers any webmaster (a person who controls the content of any website or blog - usually the owner) the opportunity of advertising Virgin Atlantic to their website users in return for a commission on any sales generated from this traffic.
Why would they do this? Well rather that Virgin buying advertising space in 'advance' of any sale, which is the traditional method, through their affiliate program they can advertise their products and services across thousands of websites and blogs and only pay commission 'after' a sale has been generated by the advertising. This makes a MASSIVE difference to their 'Return on Investment' (ROI).
Whilst we have used Virgin Atlantic as an example, there are literally thousands of online retailers and service providers out there offering affiliate schemes, programs or partnerships.
Most online retailers or service providers (often referred to as Merchants or Advertisers) will offer their affiliate scheme through one of the growing number of affiliate networks (see a list below). This is great for webmasters because rather than having to hunt for these affiliate schemes, webmasters can simply join the affiliate networks and 'choose' their preferred merchant to advertise.
Affiliate commission will vary subject to the product or services being promoted, but they are usually quite attractive. Some Merchants will pay for a one off sale, some will pay on repeat business and some will even pay just for the click.
So how do affiliate schemes actually work? - Easy, once you have signed up to advertise a Merchant, you will usually be offered different 'methods' of promoting or advertising them. These usually consist of a range of Banners & Text Links. Some merchants may include a product feed or a featured 'widget' that you could use, but we will cover these another day. Lets keep things simple for now. A typical banner would look like this:-
You will be offered a section of code to paste into your website or blog. Don't worry if this code looks complicated, as long as you copy fully and paste it into your website, it will look like the banner above!
Once you have uploaded these, any of your traffic (your website or blog readers) that click on the banner or link and purchases a product from your merchant, will generate you a commission!
Without getting too detailed...your code will contain a unique 'tracking' URL or website address which lets the merchant know where the sale has come from and who to pay the commission too. It is vitally important that you do not attempt to change or alter this code! You will probably be breaking the terms and Conditions of the Affiliate program also if you do which could result in your Termination from the program.
You really will be amazed how many affiliate schemes & programs are available.
So, if you are a Webmaster (or would like to become one [Do Your Own Site]) and would like to generate commission from affiliate programs, why not join some of the major affiliate networks listed here:-
They are ALL FREE to join but with some you will need a website or blog in order to sign up. [Do Your Own Site]
OMG Network (UK)
ClixGalore (UK & US)
Commission Junction (Worldwide)
ROI Rocket (Worldwide)
Affiliate Window (UK)
We will be adding more affiliate schemes as we find and test them. Please visit the links on the left under the title starting 'Affiliate'.
Many thanks & Good Luck!
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