Sunday, November 09, 2008

Affiliate Marketing - Learning The Lingo

Affiliate marketing is like an on going assignment where you have to try different things out like different advertising techniques, different ways of adding affiliate banners and text links to your site, etc. You may even have to join a number of affiliate programs just to see which ones performs the best with your site content

Learning the Lingo
Here are a few definitions that may help you better understand Affiliate Marketing
and the information you'll be learning throughout this guide:

Merchant
A merchant is a person or a company that markets their products and services on the web. Your merchant is the person/company whose program you joined.

Affiliate
An Affiliate is a person or a company that assists the merchant in marketing products and services in return for a commission. This is you!

Merchant-Affiliate Relationship
In the Merchant-Affiliate relationship, the Affiliate acts as an independent "salesperson" who promotes the merchants products and services. The merchant tracks the incoming visitors to determine which Affiliate sent them the sale - if any.

Tracking and Management Solution
In order to track the incoming Affiliate-referred traffic to their sites, merchants need to purchase or create software to Track and Manage their Affiliates
and their activities.

Click-through
A click-through is the action that takes place when a visitor clicks on a banner or a link on your site to go to your merchant's site.

Impression
An impression occurs when a page containing your Affiliate code is loaded on your site or in your HTML email messages. Impressions are also called page views.

Two-Tier
A two-tier commission structure pays you commission on each sale (or lead or click-through)you refer and a commission on each sale referred by any Affiliates you have referred to the program.

For example: If X comes to your site, clicks on your link, goes to your merchant's site and purchases, you earn a first tier commission.

However, let's say Y comes to your site, clicks on your link, goes to your merchant's site and signs up for the Affiliate Program. When B goes to Y's site, clicks on the merchant's link, goes to the merchant's site and purchases, Y earns a first tier commission (because Y referred the sale) and you earn a second tier commission (because you referred Y).

You'll need to check with your merchant directly to see if they offer a two-tier program. You can do so by checking your administration screen and looking for a "Second Tier Commissions" stat or by contacting your merchant.

Link
A link is a hyperlink (http://www.yourdomain.com) or an image or text that contains a hyperlink. A link is placed on one site and when clicked on leads the visitor to another. In the Affiliate Marketing industry, you, the Affiliate, place links on your site that points to the merchant's site.


Adding Banners and Links to your Website
If you have a website and you'd like to add banners and links to it, you'll need to do some editing. You have two options in editing: Hire a Pro or Do it Yourself.

Hire a Pro
You can hire a web design company to edit your webpages for you. If you're currently working with a web designer, this may be a viable option for you. However, if you're trying to go-it on your own, hiring a web designer to make a few small changes can be very costly.

Do-It Yourself

Doing it yourself is a great way to learn and to save money. If you already have a website, all you have to do is access it, edit it and upload the changes. The best thing to do is for you to add those affiliate links or banners to your site that is on the same topic as the other information on your web page. By doing this, you will not want to add too many affiliated banners or text links as it will just look like a page of links and will only turn your visitors away, about three affiliated links should be enough depending on how large the web page is.

Post Several Links to your Merchant
Don't stop at banner advertising! Look to see if your merchant offers additional linking methods like articles, email ads, signature files, rotating images, product images, guest books and so on! The more links you post - the better your chances are of making a sale.

If you simply place a banner on one of your web pages and expect the commission checks to come rolling in - you're going to be disappointed! In order to earn commissions - you have to become an active Affiliate. Place a few banners on your site, an article and a guest book in your resource section, another article and an ad in your newsletter and a testimonial wherever you can fit one!

Entry Page
An entry page is the web page that you direct traffic to. Visitors coming from your
site will "enter" merchant's site at this page. In most cases this is the "home" or "index" page. However, you may want to link to a specific page on a merchant's site - you can check with them for information on linking directly to a specific page.

Wishing you the best and hope that you make money through affiliate marketing

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