How does the affiliate program work on Medium

Affiliate marketing

Don't we all dream of generating continuous and scalable income with as little effort as possible? In the best case, even passive? Well, one of the ways to get there is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing benefits to a large extent from the strong growth in e-commerce and continues to be the champion in generating sales.

What is it actually and how can you make money with affiliate marketing? In this post we provide answers.

Definition - What is Affiliate Marketing?

Translated, "Affiliate" means something like "partner" and can stand for a person or a partner company.

Affiliate Marketing is one Part of online marketing. Basically, it is nothing more than a commission business for products or services. Operators of websites or social media channels can use their reach to make money by posting links. To do this, they recommend products to their community. In the event of a purchase or even when a user clicks on the affiliate link, they receive a commission. The recommended products can be both physical goods and digital goods, such as a video course. With a high reach, this can be worthwhile for a website operator or influencer. By definition, affiliate marketing is the strategic use of partners or affiliate providers to generate sales.

The operators of websites or other channels are the “affiliates” or “publishers”, the providers of products with commission “advertisers” or “merchants”.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Making money from affiliate links isn't difficult using a well-thought-out strategy:

  1. Building reach, e.g. in the form of a committed community.
  2. Look for affiliate networks or suitable publishers.
  3. Become an affiliate partner (with suitable merchants / publishers).
  4. Place or share links.
  5. Make cash.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, it's not that simple after all.

However, if you want to make good money with affiliate links in the long term, you have to consider a few things: A Affiliate Marketing Strategy is essential.

What are affiliate links?

A commission is only paid for clicks on the affiliate links - sometimes more has to be done. The most common commission models are:

  • CPC (Cost-per-Click): Click on the link or advertising material.
  • CPL (Cost-per-lead): Establishing a business relationship or gaining relevant data by arranging contact.
  • CPO (Cost-per-order) / CPS (Cost-per-Sale): Selling a product without returning it - probably the most common variant.

Affiliate links contain a unique codeto which the publisher is assigned. This is used to track the process through the provider or the affiliate platform. In addition to text links, advertising banners are also a suitable medium.

Who Can Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?

Basically, this type of monetization is ideal for anyone who uses a well-attended platform (such as a website). So a prerequisitea large reach and high reputation on social media.

  • As Publisher are these z. B. bloggers, operators of niche sites, Instagram influencers, YouTube video bloggers or consultants with advice on the Internet.
  • Also providers of products, for example Online shops and digital merchants such as e-book stores or software tools, with the right affiliate marketing strategy, can increase sales.

Important: As a publisher, there are a few legal things to consider, which vary from country to country. The key words are: labeling requirements and declaration of disclosure.

Find the right affiliate programs

Publishers find most Affiliate marketer in Affiliate networks. These platforms mediate between publisher and provider. You therefore bundle many partner programs. The publisher has the choice of several affiliate partners that suit him and can enter into partnerships with them via a single interface.

Merchants can also easily find affiliates here. Both publisher and merchant have the freedom to accept, decline or end a collaboration. You can do this without giving a reason. For example, if one of the partners thinks the other would not fit.

A Affiliate marketing network has many advantages for both sides:

  • many affiliate marketer and publisher at a glance
  • One click collaboration
  • Background information about merchants, such as previous performance and payout period
  • Merchants get a comprehensive insight into the performance of the publisher media and valuable information about their own target group
  • easy access to advertising material
  • automatic billing and collected transfer of income without your own accounting work

Often the affiliate networks themselves have an affiliate program that allows the intermediary to share in the sales of the intermediary.

Furthermore some providers also have their own Affiliate programs and are not part of a network. It is worth writing to your favorite providers about this. Often the commissions are also higher here.

The main platforms for the Affiliate business

Find suitable affiliate products

As a publisher, it is not easy the best affiliate products for its own readership to identify. This includes knowledge of the target group, a strategy for your own website and the choice of an affiliate partner. The partner should not only have a certain reputation but also suitable products.

Basically you should determine and understand the target audience. With Creation of a typical reader or customer profile you can tailor content and products to their interests. This increases your chances of an affiliate sale.

Which products should you choose now?

Blogger / website operator should be on Products or services put, that match the theme of your website. These can e.g. B. can be built into reviews, recommendations or comparison tables. A link within the text is also typical and can lead to higher click rates than banner advertising.

Social media influencer can Integrate products specifically in images and videos and recommend it directly. In contrast to website operators, influencers as public figures with a certain credibility are in the foreground. It is therefore particularly important for them to only advertise authentic affiliate products. Otherwise they gamble away the trust.

In general, you should consider the following when choosing the right affiliate products:

  • Authenticity: Only what has value and quality should be recommended. Inferior products can lead to short-term success, but will put off readers in the medium and long term.
  • Matching niche: Of course, the selection of products should be tailored to your own niche. The chance that a visitor will buy a pair of shoes on a car blog is slim.
  • Well-known providers: Those interested in buying would rather click on links to well-known shops than to unknown ones. The exception to the rule can be extremely stylish or innovative start-ups. These can lead to a real run with the right clientele.
  • Competitor diversity: Visitors love diversity. If a product is particularly successful, placing a comparable product from another company can widen the choice for readers. That in turn increases the likelihood that they will click on an affiliate link.
  • Profit share: High-priced products and digital goods result in higher commission payments. But high-priced goods are harder to sell than low-priced ones. Goods with an affiliate commission in the cent range can generate a nice penny over the crowd. Here it is important to weigh up the amount of the commission and the likelihood of sales.

Affiliate sites live from this model

An affiliate marketing site (also called "niche site") deals with a very focused niche topic and lives from good SEO. The purpose of these pages is to pick up the reader with his questions (the background of which is a purchase intention) in the search engines and to lead them directly to their own landing page. You can then use this to find out more about the product or product category you are looking for.

In addition, there are links or article banners for suitable products on this landing page. Typical for successful affiliate sites are product comparison tables and detailed test reports. The interested party is directed directly from the website to the purchase in an online shop.

A successful affiliate site is, for example, Wirecutter from the USA. The website makes millions just with affiliate links. So the potential that lies in this type of affiliate advertising is huge.

Create an affiliate website

Building an affiliate marketing website isn't that difficult. Even though it is no longer so easy to place a niche page in the upper echelons of search engines.

  1. At the The beginning of every niche page is the identification of a niche. The idea can be developed either through keyword research, by observing one's own environment, through research in question-answer portals or in social media.
  2. Then the Website built, mostly with a CMS like WordPress. There are affiliate themes that already have everything for a successful affiliate site in terms of layout and functionality. Are important a tidy layout and the right guidance of the visitor to the affiliate product using design elements.
  3. The Contents form the core. Informative articles that largely answer relevant questions are a must for affiliate sites. The Texts should be professional, contain no errors and Well researched in terms of content. It is important to orient the formulations to the keywords you are looking for. Matching images are also good.
  4. Now it's on Create the Affiliate links. The products should match the search query. The color, size and pattern are also important.

Once a tip-top niche page has been created, it is time to build links and maintain the portal. A continuous publication of new articles makes sense, but does not have to be done as often as with an editorial website.

Affiliate marketing without your own website

Affiliate is also possible without your own homepage. If you have a large reach in a social media channel, you can z. B. generate good sales there by placing links.

Examples are social media influencers like Instagramer, Facebook influencer or YouTuber. A channel with a lot of fans is the ideal platform to accommodate one or two affiliate links. In order not to lose credibility in the eyes of the followers, sponsored content and editorial content should be balanced. Correct labeling is also important.

Other places where affiliate links can be placed are forums and platforms with user-generated content. However, you should pay attention to the rules of the respective platform.

Set up your own affiliate program?

Setting up your own affiliate program as a merchant can make perfect sense. If, for example, your own products are already on the market and are already selling, you canDistribution and sales per Affiliate marketing increase.

Completely new products are for that Affiliate business rather unsuitable. Why? If purchasing processes and product features are not yet 100 percent mature and optimized to the satisfaction of most customers, an own affiliate program can lead to frustration among buyers and publishers.

The choice is then one of the big networks to join or to set up your own programs.

For the implementation of your own "Private Affiliate Network" there is alsoTools that can be integrated into your own website and reporting. This gives you full insight and control over the distribution and performance of the links issued.

Conclusion

Merchants can use affiliate marketing benefit from the power of publishers. Ultimately, the publishers favor reaching the right target audience. This allows merchants to easily increase their sales without having to spend a lot of money on advertising or acquisition.

Publisher can deal with affiliate marketing create a relatively secure source of income.This brings mostly passive sales and can be wonderfully expanded.

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