Affiliate Marketing is the act of getting paid to sell someone else’s product or service. At its core, you’re in sales. Generally, affiliate marketing deals with blogs and influencers.
Today, affiliate marketing is a way to make money if you’re a blogger or influencer. It is one of many ways these people make money. Some are very successful at it. Others aren’t. Fortunately, you can run affiliate programs at the same time and in conjunction with other revenue generating activities.
Unfortunately, it often takes a very long time to make money this way unless you either (1) have a huge active following or (2) have the best product reviews.
The pros generally outweigh the cons with affiliate marketing. You put a piece of code or a hyperlink on your site somewhere. Then, whenever someone clicks that link and buys from them, you get a commission.
Let’s take Amazon Affiliates as an example. Amazon is one of the easiest programs to become an affiliate for. All you have to do is apply. I generally recommend waiting until you have at least 20 blogs on your site or similar amount of other content before applying. However, I’ve never known anyone to get turned down by Amazon’s Affiliate program. Other programs can be more selective.
If you’re a part of Amazon Affiliates, you pick the products and get a link in text or graphical form. Then, you put that link on your site somewhere. After that, when people click your link, add the product to their cart, and buy it, you get a commission.
However, every affiliate program has its own rules. Some exclude certain items excluded. Some items have different commissions. Sometimes, you have to reach a threshold.
Cookies are one of the most important pieces of information you want to know about. These are the trackers websites place on our computers. They track an enormous amount of data. In this case, they track where you came from.
When someone clicks your affiliate link, your browser creates a cookie and a timer starts. All cookies have a lifespan. In the case of Amazon, that timer is 24 hours. If your user deletes that cookie before they buy something, you lose the commission.
Additionally, apps, plugins, and other sites can override your cookie. Amazon is only going to pay commission to one entity. For example, if a person clicks your link, but later clicks someone else’s affiliate link, the second affiliate will get the commission.
Cookies can range from a matter of minutes to several months. It depends on the affiliate program.
Commission is the other important factor. However, this one is obvious. Higher commission is better for you.
Research more specific niche products. There are thousands of affiliate programs out there. A single product company may have higher commissions and longer cookies than the one-size-fits-all companies.
Unfortunately, you shouldn’t expect to strike it rich. You’ll need to build an audience before you see any returns. This takes time.
Richard is the managing attorney for Law Plus Plus, a local small business law firm. As managing attorney, he helps small businesses and nonprofits startup, creating the contracts, and navigate the legal needs of businesses. Some of his practice areas include: corporate, contract, mergers & acquisitions, corporate litigation, and estate planning.