You can sell affiliate stuff if you did not use the stuff but a high, high, high, really high level of clarity is required to do this. Most bloggers lack this clarity. I recall Tony Robbins selling/being an affiliate for a $25K coaching class. Never took it. Never sat in it. But the guy made millions. He had full clarity in selling without seeing. So he rocked out the selling.
Dave, if NY Times had not already used it in yesterday’s magazine you could be called “The Man Who Kicked Over the Hornet’s Nest”. I think we may have talked about this once before, but the only consideration that I believe should be given equal billing here is that I believe that people should be paid for what they can control. A disconnect for me, tying marketing comp to revenue is that they (marketers) can lead a horse to water but they can’t make them (sales) drink. If there is agreement on the market, the offer, the definition of the leads and tight management over metrics along the demand waterfall (MQL, SAL, SQL, Closed) – then I am all for commissions for everyone! Thanks for the call out, for supporting the great work being done by Focus and for your thoughts!
Search engine optimization, or SEO, attempts to improve a website's organic search rankings in SERPs by increasing the website content's relevance to search terms. Search engines regularly update their algorithms to penalize poor quality sites that try to game their rankings, making optimization a moving target for advertisers. Many vendors offer SEO services.:22
SEO: getting consistent traffic by writing AWESOME content about your keywords (there’s a phrase “length is strength” in SEO and this paid off big time for me). Maybe you’re doing videos or an eCourse, but I found blog posts WAY easier to update which means less maintenance. The biggest factor by FAR was the time I spent meticulously creating my tutorials… which eventually resulted in a sudden 3x increase in SEO traffic
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Adam Enfroy is the Affiliate Partnerships Manager at BigCommerce. With 10+ years of experience in digital marketing, ecommerce, SEO, web development, and selling online courses, he is passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth. Adam lives in Austin, TX and writes about building your online influence by scaling your content and affiliate marketing strategies on his blog.
Excellent post David. The key phrase you mentioned in my opinion is “cost neutral”. Many times marketing is performed in organizations without discernible or measurable metrics in the name of ‘creating or influencing brand awareness’. So to your points I believe that marketing (and any other position in the organization) can be held accountable to outcomes if a discipline is applied to how what they do influences what is produced in profitability. If you can’t measure what you are managing, and how that contributes to the bottom line, whether it be marketing or anything else you’ve got a cost – pure and simple.
If you’re in the WordPress industry like I am (whether it be design, development, or SEO) I have accumulated quite the list of WordPress affiliate programs. I excluded those I found unsuccessful or pay too little to make a profit from, specifically ThemeForest, Creative Market, and low quality theme stores like Template Monster. Hosting pays well and I wrote a tutorial for SiteGround’s affiliate program and StudioPress themes which are my 2 highest paying affiliates. Those tutorials have tons of screenshots/social proof especially for SiteGround.
There is a reason why many major merchants prefer to utilize affiliate marketing networks instead of setting up their own infrastructure. Just as the administrative burden can become overwhelming for publishers with multiple relationships in place, it can be too time consuming for merchants as well. Maintaining direct affiliate relationships involves building out an infrastructure to track referrals, calculate commissions, and process payments. While that may sound like a relatively straightforward process, it can become a major investment with plenty of potential complications and liability issues.
The commission earned is often variable, regardless of whether the employee is paid a base salary or purely commission. The rate or percentage of compensation may depend on the type of product or service sold. It may increase incrementally after reaching certain sales goals, either by a dollar or unit amount. When you are offered a job with commission pay, make sure that you understand fully all the variables that will affect your take-home income.
Convertkit is the top email marketing tool choice among bloggers and creators. It offers 30% lifetime commission and offers payment via PayPal. The automation and segmentation feature of Convertkit makes it an outstanding tool and that’s why I also use it here on ShoutMeLoud, The affiliate team is also very active and they keep running new promos that help you scaleup your affiliate game.
There are numerous ways that advertisers can be overcharged for their advertising. For example, click fraud occurs when a publisher or third parties click (manually or through automated means) on a CPC ad with no legitimate buying intent. For example, click fraud can occur when a competitor clicks on ads to deplete its rival's advertising budget, or when publishers attempt to manufacture revenue.
Publicity: Getting your business featured on media outlets can be a great way to reach new customers, but connecting with the right people to make it happen can sometimes be difficult. You can always submit and post press releases for news and announcements from your business through online press release distribution services. While press releases can work, they can also be time-consuming and are often ignored. Another option that often produces better results is to sign up for media requests through Help A Reporter Out. Once you sign up, you'll receive emails listing requests for professional sources from media outlets, including newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programs, blogs, and podcasts.
Nearly $5,000 in affiliate sales is awesome, and I see this as a turning point for bringing in a respectable income from the site. (I’ve written more in this post about how we’re monetizing The Write Life.) But before we dive into how we accomplished this, I want to put that income in perspective for you. It’s still a drop in the bucket for our company, for three reasons:
Affiliate marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s typically one of several marketing strategies a company is executing in concert. If you look at how each channel plays a role in customer sales, you get a fairly clear picture of which channels should be attributed to each sale. By resolving which channels create a higher cost of customer acquisition, you can optimize to help reduce those customer acquisition costs over time.
Straight commission. This means that the employee earns their entire salary based on a percentage of the sales they complete. This can be a very lucrative arrangement for highly talented and motivated salespeople. The percentage they earn on each sale tends to be higher than if they are receiving a base salary, and in some cases will increase after they achieve a pre-determined goal.
Remember that your viewers are viewing because of your site, not because of the other sites that you are helping. Sometimes, even if you post a link here and there, you’ll gain nothing out of it except make your viewers leave. To effectively increase affiliate sales, you have to tell your viewers what to do next. A good way to attract your viewers into another site is by slipping in the words “free” and “freebie” into your links. Every customer loves freebies, and having your viewers start clicking on your links will help you make money online just as you make money with leads.
Marketing managers need to be conversant in every element of a marketing campaign, and considering the importance of an Internet presence in any marketing plan today, this means having a clear understanding of Internet marketing from start to finish. A marketing manager should have confidence in his or her team and know how to facilitate work efficiency and communication between coworkers. This keeps each project on schedule and helps create a relaxed work environment.
In all our jobs, whether sales, marketing, or whatever, there are lots of things that are outside our control. That doesn’t take away from our accountability to achieve results, and sometimes we just have to suck it up. I really do think marketing should be accountable for sales/revenue. Maybe the specific metrics might be different. Where a sales person might be accountable for revenue from a territory, a marketing person might be accountable for a product line, for overall revenue, for a market segment, or something else.
This is also about expectations. Anyone that tries to sell you a get-rich-quick scheme is selling you short. There is no such thing. You have to put in the time and do the work, adding enormous amounts of value along the way. That's the truth of the matter and that's precisely what it takes. Once you understand that it's all about delivering sincere value, you need to understand where the money comes from.
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Consequently, the most important takeaway is that you should make sure that every affiliate in the program will be motivated to achieve the targets you have set. Also, don’t neglect, at the end of the day, to make sure that you measure the results you wanted to achieve—incremental sales increases, first-sale affiliates or simply any other action in which you are interested.
In some cases, the purchaser arrives at a page where the affiliate cookie gets set, then leaves and makes a purchase via the PPC channel sometime before the affiliate cookie expires. Other times, the purchaser may click a PPC link, fail to make a purchase, but later purchase via an affiliate link. In both scenarios, the affiliate marketing channel played a part in the sale, but the role was different.
Your audience trusts you to provide value to their businesses, so take time to present affiliate offerings in terms they will appreciate. This can include things like doing a product review via video or in a blog post. Target the need you believe this product helps solve for your target audience. Your audience will appreciate your willingness to serve them and you’ll likely find new audience members.
This procedure shows you how to set up and enable sales commission calculation and tracking. The procedure shows how to create both customer and item commission groups, and then how to link a selected customer and product to the respective groups. Those groups are then used in the commission calculation setup to create a customer, item, and sales representatives combination that must be matched by the sales order to entitle the sales people to a commission. Creating customer and item commission groups are optional, as the calculation of commission can also be done for an individual customer and/or item. You can run this procedure in demo data company USMF or on your own data.
The implementation of affiliate marketing on the internet relies heavily on various techniques built into the design of many web-pages and websites, and the use of calls to external domains to track user actions (click tracking, Ad Sense) and to serve up content (advertising) to the user. Most of this activity adds time and is generally a nuisance to the casual web-surfer and is seen as visual clutter. Various countermeasures have evolved over time to prevent or eliminate the appearance of advertising when a web-page is rendered. Third party programs (Ad-Aware, Adblock Plus, Spybot, pop-up blockers, etc.) and particularly, the use of a comprehensive HOSTS file can effectively eliminate the visual clutter and the extra time and bandwidth needed to render many web pages. The use of specific entries in the HOSTS file to block these well-known and persistent marketing and click-tracking domains can also aid in reducing a system's exposure to malware by preventing the content of infected advertising or tracking servers to reach a user's web-browser.