Online reviews have become one of the most important components in purchasing decisions by consumers in North America. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research which included over 1000 participants, 90% of respondents said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions and 94% will use a business with at least four stars. Interestingly, negative reviews typically came from online review sites whereas Facebook was the main source of positive reviews. Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, 42% of in-store sales will be from customers who are influenced by web product research.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.

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.
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An essential part of any Internet marketing campaign is the analysis of data gathered from not just the campaign as a whole, but each piece of it as well. An analyst can chart how many people have visited the product website since its launch, how people are interacting with the campaign's social networking pages, and whether sales have been affected by the campaign (See also Marketing Data Analyst). This information will not only indicate whether the marketing campaign is working, but it is also valuable data to determine what to keep and what to avoid in the next campaign.
Dan, thanks for taking the time to comment and to help flesh this discussion out. It’s an important discussion, I’m not certain that I have great clarity about my own ideas, but your (and others) help me clarify them, and the discussion we are having will create a result better than each of us could imagine separately. Also, as so happens in this blog, the quality of the comments far surpasses the original post! Thanks very much!!!!!
This is one area that is often overlooked as an “out of my hands” part of the affiliate marketing funnel. Once you’ve sent a visitor to the merchant site, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope they ultimately complete whatever action is necessary for you to get your commission. That’s partially true I suppose. But you have more input here than you may realize.
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Structure commission so that you can factor in incentives. You may want to give an activation bonus or a first sale bonus. Also take into consideration that you may want to offer additional payments/commission over the selling periods that are key to your business: be it Mother’s Day, Back-to-School season, Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or anything else.
There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the digital era not only allows for brands to market their products and services, but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customers feel supported and valued. The use of social media interaction allows brands to receive both positive and negative feedback from their customers as well as determining what media platforms work well for them. As such, digital marketing has become an increased advantage for brands and businesses. It is now common for consumers to post feedback online through social media sources, blogs and websites on their experience with a product or brand.[25] It has become increasingly popular for businesses to use and encourage these conversations through their social media channels to have direct contact with the customers and manage the feedback they receive appropriately.
Affiliate marketing has become a massive online industry over the past several years, emerging as both an effective way for marketers to sell their products and services and for publishers to monetize their audiences. Despite the popularity of affiliate marketing, many publishers still aren’t aware of exactly what affiliate marketing is or how it works. In some cases, these publishers are gatekeepers to an audience that could be very effectively monetized through affiliate marketing, meaning that they’re passing up an attractive revenue stream.
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
Sharpe says that you shouldn't dive into internet marketing until you decide on a niche and figure out what you're passionate about. Do you want to join the make-money-online (MMO) niche? Or do you want to engage in another niche? For example, you could sell products or online courses about blogging or search engine optimization or anything else for that matter. Keep in mind that whatever you're selling, whatever niche you're in, that you need to embed yourself there deeply.

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.
ShareASale.com: Around since 2003, ShareASale has close to 3000 merchants in their stable. Merchants are broken down by pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead and pay-per-click, or you can browse through the 39 main categories with numerous sub-categories.  Payment can be by direct deposit or check.  Payments are made on the 20th of each month if you reach $50 before the end of the previous month, otherwise all sales roll over to the next payment cycle.
Unsold ad inventory on your web site can be not only a loss of income, but also an eye sore. Depending on the style of site, you can fill those empty slots with eye-catching graphics and hopefully turn some of those eyes into revenue generators by filling them up with affiliate marketing links. While the majority of affiliate programs only pay on a completed sale, others pay on leads and clicks, it’s just a matter of finding them.

Online marketing platform (OMP) is an integrated web-based platform that combines the benefits of a business directory, local search engine, search engine optimisation (SEO) tool, customer relationship management (CRM) package and content management system (CMS). Ebay and Amazon are used as online marketing and logistics management platforms. On Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other Social Media, retail online marketing is also used. Online business marketing platforms such as Marketo, Aprimo, MarketBright and Pardot have been bought by major IT companies (Eloqua-Oracle, Neolane-Adobe and Unica-IBM).


Find a program — As we discussed earlier, many affiliate marketers find their merchants, vendors, or brands through affiliate programs. It’s important you determine your niche prior to finding a program, as some programs are geared toward certain types of products. If you’re interested in a particular affiliate program, look into what kinds of products it offers and whether it has any data on the success of its affiliates. 

Considering that most marketing involves some form of published media, it is almost (though not entirely) redundant to call 'content marketing' anything other than simply 'marketing'. There are, of course, other forms of marketing (in-person marketing, telephone-based marketing, word of mouth marketing, etc.) where the label is more useful for identifying the type of marketing. However, even these are usually merely presenting content that they are marketing as information in a way that is different from traditional print, radio, TV, film, email, or web media.
Search engines are a powerful channel for connecting with new audiences. Companies like Google and Bing look to connect their customers with the best user experience possible. Step one of a strong SEO strategy is to make sure that your website content and products are the best that they can be. Step 2 is to communicate that user experience information to search engines so that you rank in the right place. SEO is competitive and has a reputation of being a black art. Here’s how to get started the right way.
Residual commission. Sometimes commissioned salespeople can earn a residual commission on their clients' goods and services for as long as the client continues to purchase from the company. This is common in insurance companies, where the salesperson would continue to receive a percentage of their clients' payments for as long as the client stays with the company. In the best case scenario, the salesperson might continue to receive a residual commission even after they move to another company.
To begin the enrollment process, you must submit a complete and accurate Associates Program application. Your Site(s) must contain original content and be publicly available via the website address provided in the application. You must identify your Site(s) in your application. We will evaluate your application and notify you of its acceptance or rejection. Your Site will not be eligible for inclusion in the Associates Program, and you cannot include any Special Links or Product Advertising Content on it, if your Site is unsuitable. Unsuitable Sites include those that:
Understand that whatever you're going to do, you'll need traffic. If you don't have any money at the outset, your hands will be tied no matter what anyone tells you. The truth is that you need to drive traffic to your offers if you want them to convert. These are what we call landing pages or squeeze pages. This is where you're coming into contact with the customers, either for the first time or after they get to know you a little bit better.
While conducting marketing surveys is a good thing, most people when they first get started usually don’t want to invest the time or effort into doing a minimal amount of research. So they go off of what is called emotional attachment research. It is basically a feel good approach. They figure if they think it is a good idea, then it will probably sell. Kind of like the proverbial “Field of Dreams”. They think that if they build it, the people will flock to their door or in the case of the Internet, their website. Nothing could be further from the truth. In future posts, we will look into what the better approaches are to market research. For the time being, know that if you go with the “field of dreams” approach, it is more likely that you will fail than succeed. Some people have had success with this, but repeating this in other products is challenging at best.

My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1, along with a few Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or Facebook polls, you NEED to include outside opinions – that’s why I don’t like collecting reviews on my website – they look biased. But you can use WP Review Pro to do this, allowing people to review the product/service on your site and get those review stars.


In 2004, Murphy launched an affiliate marketing program on the ShareASale platform with the goal of developing a diversified revenue stream for her business. At the time, the majority of her web traffic was coming in through search engines. As of 2012, the company still relies on search engines, but they have developed additional (healthy) revenue streams.
Advertisers love affiliate marketing because it involves minimal risk. If a sufficient margin is built in as compensation for the affiliate, it becomes impossible to lose money. That’s because affiliates are generally only paid when a sale is completed (i.e., a lead is converted). Advertisers (or “merchants”) pay nothing for leads that don’t convert.

Fantastic list, thank you! I’m curious about the Amazon Affiliate arrangement. When a person clicks through your site to amazon, but chooses NOT to buy. They close the link and then leave for an hour. When they come back….they go directly to the Amazon site WITHOUT going through your site. Do you still get credit? Amazon somehow knows the person went to your site first?


Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.

The vast majority of affiliate marketing relationships will be established either through a network or through the generic, impersonal interfaces of the companies who have established their own platforms. While the opportunity to generate additional revenue exists if networks are cut out of the picture, the substantial benefits they offer, including administrative responsibilities, makes them a pretty vital part of the affiliate marketing ecosystem.


A challenge with a lead-based commission structure is fraud prevention. If the form is easy to complete and the payout high enough, a dishonest affiliate can determine ways to auto-fill that form and collect commission on bogus leads. To prevent this, you would need a dedicated affiliate manager to police the quality of inbound leads. Warning signs include multiple leads originating from the same IP address, or patterns in data entry such as spelling variations on a single name — such as “Jonathan Smith,” “Jon Smith,” and “J. E. Smith.” When you detect fraud, boot the affiliate from the program immediately, and inform the network. And don’t forget to reverse any recorded leads associated with the bad affiliate.
There is a big difference between “information” and “instruction.” They did a good job providing information but terrible on instructions. Therefore it really isn’t for newbies as promoted. As a certified tutor I learned and practiced strategies like “peer to peer” mentoring, intellectual scaffolding and tackled the Zone of Proximal Development” for foreign or special needs students on a college level.

Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.


An important step is to get out and talk to prospective publishers and business partners. Do they participate in affiliate programs already? What has the yield been in terms of performance? What are the typical revshares that ad networks are taking? What are typical conversion rates? What would be the incentive for publishers and business partners to promote your products and services?
Alternatively, ad space may be offered for sale in a bidding market using an ad exchange and real-time bidding. This involves many parties interacting automatically in real time. In response to a request from the user's browser, the publisher content server sends the web page content to the user's browser over the Internet. The page does not yet contain ads, but contains links which cause the user's browser to connect to the publisher ad server to request that the spaces left for ads be filled in with ads. Information identifying the user, such as cookies and the page being viewed, is transmitted to the publisher ad server.
In Canada Pictet AM Inc. is registered as Portfolio Manager authorised to conduct marketing activities on behalf of Pictet AM Ltd and Pictet AM SA. In the USA, Pictet AM Inc. is registered as an SEC Investment Adviser and its activities  are conducted in full compliance with the SEC rules applicable to the marketing of affiliate entities as prescribed in the Adviser Act of 1940 ref. 17CFR275.206(4)-3.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
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