A Short History of Affiliate Marketing (What You Should Know)

history of affiliate marketing

If you're reading this, you're probably well-versed in how affiliate marketing works. Brands work with influencers, publishers, or other content creators to promote their products or services. Those partners then earn a commission on each sale they make. 

This basic model is at the heart of all affiliate marketing programs. However, the industry overall has evolved dramatically since it first started in the late '90s. Understanding those changes and the development of the affiliate system is key if you're a player in the field.

In this article, we'll walk you through a short history of affiliate marketing from its inception to today. Let's talk history!

History of Affiliate Marketing: How It Got Its Start

Referral marketing has been around for quite some time. Businesses have a long history of rewarding people who bring in new customers. However, online referral or affiliate marketing didn't get its start until the mid-1990s.

An online flower shop founded by William J. Tobin called PC Flowers and Gifts pioneered the first affiliate program for the web. The e-commerce site went live in '89 and it launched its novel marketing approach soon after. By '93, the program was generating millions in sales per year. It had over 2,500 affiliates from all around the web by '95.

In '96, Tobin applied for a patent on affiliate marketing and tracking. He was granted the patent in 2000. 

However, by then, PC Flowers and Gifts was far from the only player on the affiliate marketing field. Other businesses had seen its success and decided to adopt the method for their own use. One of those businesses happened to be Amazon.

The Impact of Amazon on Affiliate Marketing

Amazon's famous affiliate program, Amazon Associates, first saw the light of day back in '96. Although it wasn't the first affiliate program, it was the first that was available to the public in general.

By signing up for Amazon Associates, members could publish custom banners that led back to Amazon or linked directly to it. These days, the program is an unstoppable juggernaut. However, back in its early days, it looked very different, primarily due to two reasons:

  • Amazon only sold books back then.
  • In 1996, the company was only one year old and its initial public offering (IPO) was still a year off in its future.

Amazon's rise since then has been meteoric for over two decades. Arguably, part of that success can be attributed to Amazon Associates. The program still exists, of course, and its umbrella now covers much more than books:

The Amazon Associates homepage.

These days, around 2.3 percent of all websites that use advertising networks are members of Amazon Affiliates. That's a massive number, which is only logical considering how many people trust Amazon with their purchases.

The advantage that big e-commerce players such as Amazon have when it comes to affiliate marketing is evident – people know them. That means, in theory, it's easier for affiliates to make sales since users are more likely to trust the products affiliates promote.

Thanks to Amazon, the concept of public affiliate marketing programs took off faster than it might have otherwise. Unlike closed programs, these variants enabled anyone with a website to monetize their online presence.

Keep in mind that in the mid-90s, online advertising was also in its infancy. Text and banner ads were just starting to take off, right alongside the affiliate industry. Then came affiliate networks.

Why Affiliate Marketing Networks Became Popular

The first affiliate marketing networks that launched to the public did so in 1998 and are still kicking around. If you're an affiliate marketer, you've probably heard about Commission Junction or Clickbank:

The Clickbank homepage.

In the more than two decades that have passed since they first came on the scene, the concept of affiliate marketing networks hasn't changed all that much. Businesses often pay to become members and the network promotes their products to affiliates. Those content creators, in turn, promote the products to their audiences.

Affiliate marketing networks completely transformed the market. These platforms gave small businesses the opportunity to scale without the technical expertise needed to implement an affiliate system. Likewise, they provided affiliates with an opportunity to choose which products to promote.

Joining an affiliate network provided (and still does) businesses with the tracking and payment systems they needed to grow. As long as they have a product people want, affiliates can help them scale.

Today, affiliate marketing generates over 12 billion dollars globally each year. Affiliates drive over 16 percent of e-commerce sales around the globe, all thanks to the program that William J. Tobin launched over 20 years ago.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a growing industry that shows no signs of stopping. Whether you run a small or big online business, launching an affiliate program is now easier than ever thanks to tools such as Affiliate Royale.

For affiliates, you have your pick of which programs or networks you want to join. If you have an audience and you know what types of products or services they're interested in, affiliate marketing is a profitable way to monetize your website or social media presence.

Do you have any questions about the history of affiliate marketing? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!

The Most Profitable Affiliate Marketing Niches for 2021

affiliate marketing niches

With low entry costs and a potentially lucrative return on investment (ROI), affiliate marketing remains an attractive revenue stream for publishers looking to grow their audiences and monetize their content channels. Still, success hinges on finding a profitable niche.

There are several established areas that remain profitable. Tuning into the consumer mindset is the key to identifying them. Where there are problems, worries, or desires, demand will follow. Brands meet those demands with valuable solutions, and content creators like yourself help bring these two parties together.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most profitable affiliate marketing niches in 2021 and how they’re evolving as we look to the new year. Each of these specialties has emerging sub-categories with plenty of opportunity for growth. Let’s dive right in!

1. Lifestyle and Wellness

The global health and wellness market value was over $4 trillion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $6 trillion by 2025. People want to live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives. They’re spending money to do so.

This category includes diet and nutrition, exercise products and services, skincare, supplements, personal trainers, and more.

Coming off a year consumed by global health concern, the wellness niche is front of mind for many consumers. The impact of COVID-19 can’t be overstated.

It's changed the way we live, work, play, and relate with one another. This impact plays out differently within demographic groups, so do your research when considering opportunities to connect with your audience.

Health and wellness concerns tend to be age-specific as well. Gender also may play a role, and many products target specific demographics. Focus your content on an audience with a specific health and wellness concern or set of desires, and help to educate them and provide solutions.

Finally, stay up-to-date with wellness industry news, as fresh information will continue to shape public opinion and behavior. Be ready to adapt to evolving concerns and lifestyle changes with relevant, timely content.

2. Technology

Technology simplifies life and work, delivers entertainment, and helps us share our lives and opinions more easily. The digital transformation is driving a $500 billion software industry.

Digital entertainment revenue worldwide dipped to $2 trillion due to the global recession. However, it looks to grow in the coming years, approaching $2.5 trillion by 2024.

Products related to this affiliate marketing niche include digital streaming, digital downloads, video games, business software, mobile technologies, and more.

COVID-19 has also impacted this sector. More people are staying home, consuming digital media, and using technology for remote work. Sickness and layoffs have led to a smaller workforce with diminished physical product outputs, so industries that can are leveraging digital alternatives to meet demands.

To get started in this niche, it’s helpful to understand how your audience interacts with technology. Are they early adopters of cutting edge tech, eager to try new things? Or are they late adopters who need step-by-step guides, explainers, and plenty of reassurance upfront?

Also, consider evolving remote work trends. Look for opportunities to help people stay connected, stay organized, and work efficiently from a home office. Educate your audience and match them with products and services they’ll find useful.

3. Personal Finance

This segment specializes in delivering financial services to consumers, especially in competition with traditional banking. It's expected to grow at a 20 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, reaching over $300 billion by 2025. Globally, affiliate marketing in the financial technology sector had an estimated value of $12 billion in 2019.

People want more options on how to access, grow, and share their money. This niche includes e-invoicing services, investments, cryptocurrencies, banking innovations, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, data security, and other such services.

Financial technology companies have seen the light when it comes to affiliate marketing. Nearly every segment is utilizing this approach to expand market reach, with some investing heavily in their partnerships.

Consumers enjoy the convenience, ease, and options afforded by advancing financial technologies, and that trend looks to continue. If you’re considering this niche, make sure to consider how age and income level may dictate which products and services are best suited to your audience.

Also, bear in mind that people want to be sure financial products and services are safe and simple to use. Plus, the personal desire for financial security and growth is innately strong.

A successful affiliate marketer will understand and address these desires and the fears that accompany them. Your content can educate consumers, giving them the tools they need to make smart financial decisions.

4. Pet Care

Annual spending on pets in the U.S. is approaching $100 billion, and consumer preference for shopping for pet products online is predicted to grow by nine percent. This industry includes specialty pet foods, grooming products, pet clothing, therapy pets, service dogs, and more.

With more people working from home, the pet care sector has evolved. Almost 20 percent of Americans reported spending more than usual this year on their pets, and a greater percentage (about one-third of those surveyed) have considered adopting or fostering new pets.

A study on Common Thread Collective provides keen insight for marketers in this niche. Online shopping benefits pet owners in four key areas:

  • Convenience. Ensure the buying experience is simple and convenient.
  • Information and choice. Provide ample product information. Use explainer videos or infographics to demonstrate quality, benefits, or statistics. If possible, provide alternatives to give buyers choice.
  • Comparison Tools. Present product information in a way that sets it apart. Arm your customers with key benefits so they can easily see your item's value when they comparison shop.
  • Relationships. People love and care for their pets. Share pet videos, photos, and funny or heartwarming stories to build a community on social media. Check into coupons to encourage customer loyalty.

Hone in on these preferences to stand out in this niche.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing continues to grow as a profitable monetization strategy for content creators. Choosing the right niche is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as you get started.

By staying tuned in to consumer concerns and desires and creating relevant content, you’ll be able to offer your audience quality products they’ll find valuable.

In this article, we shared several of the most profitable niches for affiliate marketers in 2021:

  1. Lifestyle and wellness products help people live longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives.
  2. Technology and digital services only increase in relevance with remote work and new developments.
  3. Personal finance innovations help people access, grow, and share their money.
  4. Pet care encompasses a nearly $100 billion industry of animal-related products and services.

What other affiliate marketing niches do you think look profitable for 2021? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing Payment Models: A Beginner’s Guide

illustration of man looking toward a mountain peak

Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool for bringing in new business. We're talking about an industry worth $12 billion, so we know that affiliate marketing works. However, for your program to be successful, you'll need to choose the right payment model.

There are several payment systems you can use for your program, including offering commissions for leads or for successful sales. Which option you choose will depend on what your ultimate goals are.

In this article, we'll introduce you to the four most common affiliate marketing payment models, and talk about when it makes sense to use each of them. Let's get to it!

1. Cost Per Click (CPC) Payments

Cost Per Click (CPC) is one of the main metrics that you'll encounter when you engage in online marketing. If you publish on an ad network, for example, you usually pay for each click on one of your campaigns.

If you run an affiliate program, you can also use CPC as your primary payment model. Under this setup, you'd pay affiliates for every click they generate that leads users to your website, landing page, or product.

Affiliate programs that use a CPC model can be very attractive, because getting clicks is much easier than closing a sale. However, this also means that you might end up paying more for fewer qualified leads.

If you're looking to get your website or offer as much traffic as possible, then CPC payments can encourage affiliates to drive that traffic to you. Once users are on your site, it's up to you to get the conversions you want.

2. Cost Per Lead (CPL) Payments

Paying for leads instead of clicks enables you to cast a more precise net, and get more out of your affiliates' work. Leads can come in many shapes, depending on what kind of product or service you're selling.

Three of the most common types of leads include:

  1. Email sign-ups. With this approach, you pay affiliates for every new email subscriber they refer to you.
  2. Free trial sign-ups. Convincing users they need your services becomes much easier once they have first-hand experience. That's why many companies pay for free trial sign-ups.
  3. Consultation calls. This approach involves paying affiliates for customers who reach out to you for a consultation call.

In any of these scenarios, affiliates usually have to do a lot more work to get leads than to simply encourage clicks. Once users sign up to your email list, for example, they become part of your sales funnel, and you can begin to nurture them:

An email signup form.

This affiliate marketing payment model is remarkably similar to the ‘Cost Per Action (CPA)' approach. With the CPA model, you pay for very specific actions, such as app downloads or free trial sign-ups. In most cases, the CPA model is all about collecting leads, which is why it falls into the same category as Cost Per Lead (CPL).

Since collecting leads takes so much effort, you'll need to offer higher payments than with the CPC model. At least, that's the case if you want to attract the best affiliates possible.

If you're interested in getting very specific types of conversions for your website, this is a fantastic affiliate marketing payment option. However, it also requires a sizable budget, as not every lead will translate to a sale.

3. Cost Per Sale (CPS) Payments

The Cost Per Sale (CPS) (or Pay Per Sale [PPS]) model is the bread and butter of the affiliate marketing world. With this system, you only pay when the affiliate's efforts result in a sale. This means that if you run the numbers properly, your affiliate program should never be in the red.

Let's say, for example, that you run an affiliate program to drive sales for your software.

If you sell your product for a one-time payment, your CPS costs should be lower than that price so that you can still make a product. When offering items or services worth hundreds of dollars, it's not hard to find a commission rate that attracts the best affiliates while also growing your business.

For subscription-based products, it's not uncommon to offer CPS payments that are higher than what you get upfront from customers. Hosting companies, in particular, tend to offer some of the highest commission rates for their affiliates:

Examples of hosting affiliate commissions

Other platforms, such as Amazon, pay their affiliates a small percentage of each sale they make. That approach may seem less attractive at first, but with a platform the size of Amazon, affiliates have so many marketing options that the program still remains competitive.

Ultimately, the CPS model works as well as the products or services you offer. If the quality is good, affiliates will be able to sell on your behalf, and both parties should reap the rewards.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing programs are only as successful as the rewards they provide. If you don't have a solid and transparent payment model in place, you'll likely have a hard time finding members. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent options.

In most cases, one of the following models should take you far:

  1. CPC payments: This approach is great if you want to get as much traffic as possible, and you're prepared to optimize for conversions.
  2. CPL payments: By paying for leads, you get more qualified users who are easier to nurture, although the costs tend to be higher.
  3. CPS payments: Paying for sales is perhaps the easiest way to scale your business, but you need competitive commissions to attract the best affiliates.

Do you have any questions about how to choose the right payment model for your affiliate marketing program? Let's talk about them in the comments section below!

Affiliate Fraud: 3 Ways to Prevent It

fraud alert

Running an affiliate marketing program is an effective way to grow your business and increase revenue. Unfortunately, there is also a risk of malicious activities, such as affiliate fraud, that can hurt your earnings and undermine your advertising initiatives.

The issue of affiliate fraud is a serious one, and it's on the rise. However, identifying the various methods used by bad actors and illegitimate affiliates can help safeguard you against it.

In this post, we'll explain what affiliate fraud is and discuss some of the most common types. Then we'll provide you with three key methods you can use to prevent it. Let's get started!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing Fraud

Affiliate marketing uses a performance-based approach to online advertising. A company enlists affiliate partners to promote its products or services through unique links and referral codes. When sales or conversions are made through those promotions, the affiliates are paid a commission.

Participating in these marketing programs provides a lucrative and convenient way for affiliates to earn a passive income. What's more, it's a cost-effective marketing technique for brands that want to drive conversions and boost revenue.

Unfortunately, the digital tracking and attribution model behind affiliate marketing is not foolproof. In fact, research shows that over 35 percent of digital ad traffic is fraudulent. Problems arise when fraudsters exploit or abuse the affiliate marketing system to falsely or unfairly claim commissions.

Put simply, affiliate fraud is when bad actors participate in or execute illegal activities in order to scam affiliate marketers or merchants. These scammers can implement a variety of methods to trick companies into paying them affiliate commissions that aren't actually valid.

Common Types of Affiliate Fraud

Affiliate fraud comes in many different forms. Some of the most common types include:

  • Click fraud. With click fraud, scammers can flood Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns with fraudulent or invalid clicks, often through bots or artificial activity that uses software to simulate real users.
  • Typosquatting. This refers to hijacking a URL that's similar to a company's name, in order to collect the referrals from redirects.
  • Traffic diverting. Fraudsters can use what's known as ‘parasite sites' to steal the traffic from a legitimate affiliate site.
  • Cookie stuffing. Browser cookies enable tracking of affiliate referrals. So fraudulent affiliates can place a variety of cookies on a visitor's browser to earn the commission if and when that customer does end up making a purchase.
  • App installs. Also known as attribution fraud, this is when thieves steal credit card information to install apps, in order to manipulate app tracking attribution platforms.

If you participate in affiliate marketing, these types of fraud can have devastating effects. As a merchant, you might end up paying for clicks that don't actually increase sales, or face unnecessary expenses that threaten your bottom line. Additionally, affiliate partners could be unjustly blamed or penalized for the black hat behavior of scammers.

Affiliate Fraud: 3 Ways to Prevent It

Now that we have a better understanding of exactly what affiliate fraud is and the various forms it can take, it's time to learn how to avoid it. Let's take a look at three effective methods you can use to prevent affiliate fraud.

1. Carefully Screen and Communicate With Affiliates

Adopting a strategic vetting process to make sure affiliates are legitimate from the start can go a long way towards preventing fraud. For example, you might consider implementing a multi-stage application process and configuring it so that you have to manually approve new affiliates:

The MemberPress Affiliate Program application.

When screening a potential affiliate, you'll want to verify that they have an active, legitimate website and that their content aligns with your products or services. This can reduce the risk of a bad actor making their way in undetected.

Even once you approve of an affiliate, it's important to clearly communicate your terms and conditions. Having a lawyer look over your policies can help you ensure that there's no room for error, or potential loopholes that could lead to affiliate fraud or abuse.

2. Closely Monitor Traffic and Program Analytics

It's hard to spot illegal or suspicious activity happening with your affiliate program if you don't have a way of actively monitoring it. By regularly and closely tracking your affiliate marketing analytics, you're better positioned to identify a sudden surge in traffic, a concerning influx of redirect pages, or a questionable number of transactions attributed to a single IP address.

Fortunately, there are affiliate program tools and plugins you can use to make doing this easier. For example, our Affiliate Royale plugin provides a robust admin dashboard with link tracking as well as analytics and reporting features, so you can easily uncover anomalies:

The Affiliate Royale plugin website.

Also, because this solution integrates seamlessly with WordPress, you won't have to worry about juggling multiple platforms and tools. All the insight you'll need will be accessible from within your dashboard.

3. Block Suspicious IP Addresses and Remove Unethical Affiliates

Mistakes happen, and not all odd behavior or abnormalities that occur within your affiliate program necessarily mean that you have a cybercriminal on your hands. However, it's best to err on the safe side.

If the same user repeatedly demonstrates suspicious behavior or violates your terms and conditions, it's likely best to remove them. You don't want to risk compromising your entire affiliate program, or lose out on profits due to one careless, malicious, or greedy participant.

If you're an Affiliate Royale user, you'll have the convenience of doing this directly through the plugin. There's a dedicated section for your list of affiliates, and removing one is as simple as deleting a plugin from your site.

You'll also be able to use the plugin's settings to leverage a variety of other key features:

For example, you can disable the option to automatically add users, and turn on a setting to display your affiliate agreement. There's even a feature for modifying the number of days before an affiliate cookie expires. This can help prevent the fraudulent technique we discussed earlier that's known as ‘cookie stuffing'.

Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is a popular, powerful, and effective way to grow your business, promote products, and increase revenue. However, it's important to take careful and proactive measures to protect your program and campaigns from scammers.

In this post, we discussed three ways to prevent affiliate fraud:

  1. Carefully screen and communicate with your affiliates.
  2. Closely monitor your affiliate program analytics and user behavior.
  3. Block suspicious IP addresses and remove unethical affiliates.

Do you have any questions about preventing fraud in affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: The Basics

Have you been wondering how to get involved in affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is a popular and effective tactic for boosting conversions, driving sales, and ultimately earning a passive income online.

However, considering that it's such a dynamic and expansive field, figuring out where and how to get started can feel overwhelming.

Fortunately, all it takes is some simple guidance and research. Once you understand the basics of affiliate marketing for beginners and how it works, you can use it to your advantage and increase the income you earn through your website.

In this post, we’ll begin by discussing what affiliate marketing is and its benefits. Then we'll explain how it works, and provide you with some tips for getting started. Let’s jump in!

An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

In short, affiliate marketing is a strategy in which a brand pays a commission to affiliates based on sales generated through their referrals. The key parties involved are:

  • Sellers (sometimes referred to as merchants, retailers, or brands) can range from individual entrepreneurs to global enterprises. They are the creators of the products or services being promoted and sold.
  • Affiliates (also referred to as publishers or advertisers) promote the seller’s products to their audiences by using affiliate links and ads. If their promotion or referral leads to a sale, they earn a commission from the seller.
  • Customers purchase the product or service from the seller based on the affiliate’s referral.

Essentially, affiliate marketing is a form of profit-sharing between sellers and advertisers. The commission earned comes out of the product price, so it doesn't create an additional cost to the customer.

Whether you participate in affiliate marketing as a merchant or an affiliate, there are many advantages when compared to other types of marketing. One of the biggest draws is the amount of control and flexibility available.

For example, a merchant can create an affiliate marketing program based on the products and services of their choosing, while affiliates can decide which programs to participate in. The shared goal is getting product promotions in front of relevant audiences who are likely to convert.

Affiliate links and banner ads are often used in informative, appealing, and engaging ways that are actually useful to users, such as through video tutorials or product reviews:

An example of a product review video that contains affiliate marketing content.

Affiliate marketing is also cost-effective. Most affiliate programs are free to join, and operate on a performance-based system. This means that commissions are earned only when a consumer completes the intended action (a purchase, sign-up, etc.).

How Affiliate Marketing Programs Work

When you sign up for an affiliate marketing program, you’re issued a unique ID and a trackable URL to use in your content promoting the merchant’s product(s). When a user clicks on your affiliate link or banner ad, it adds a cookie to the user’s browser.

If you click on an affiliate link or ad, you might notice the referral code or identifier within the URL. Generally, the link looks longer than it would if you were to visit the merchant’s page directly:

An example of an Amazon Affiliate referral code in the browser URL.

As an affiliate program manager, you would use these special IDs to verify the referral source of a customer. In other words, these codes are critical for confirming and crediting affiliate partners.

Not all affiliate programs operate the same way, of course. Some common commission models include:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC): Affiliates earn credit any time a consumer clicks on their affiliate links.
  • Pay Per Sale (PPS): An affiliate earns a percentage of the referred sale.
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL): If an affiliate’s link results in a qualified lead, they receive a fixed commission.

Ultimately, the structure and terms depend on whether you’re using a self-hosted program or an affiliate marketing network. Networks such as Commission Junction and ShareASale are popular places to get started.

These third-party services act as an intermediary between sellers and affiliates. Although they can help with finding and managing affiliate accounts, they don’t offer as much control or autonomy as self-hosted programs, such as what you can operate through Affiliate Royale.

With the latter, you can create your own program and exercise complete control — and it's simpler that working with a third-party service.

Tips for Getting Involved in Affiliate Marketing

If you’re interested in getting started with affiliate marketing, the first decision you need to make is whether you want to participate as a merchant or an affiliate. The side of the affiliate marketing relationship you’re more interested in will influence your next steps.

For example, if you’re a blogger or have a large social media following, becoming an affiliate partner to other companies and brands can be incredibly lucrative. Not only will it help you earn money online, but it can also help to grow your confidence and familiarity with affiliate marketing programs, perhaps even paving the way to starting your own.

To begin, it's smart to make a list of the brands and products you're most passionate about, and brainstorm potential affiliate programs you might join. You can check the website of your favorite brands to see whether they offer an affiliate program (this information is usually listed in the footer):

The footer of the MemberPress website.

On the other hand, if you are a business owner with existing products or services to sell, starting your own affiliate marketing program makes the most sense. If you do decide an affiliate program is right for your business, the next step is to launch your affiliate site.

Fortunately, our own affiliate program plugin can make doing this quick and easy:

The Affiliate Royale WordPress plugin website.

Built to simplify affiliate marketing for beginners, our all-in-one management plugin comes with all the features and functionality needed to set up and run an affiliate program. This includes a personalized dashboard for affiliates, shopping cart integration, banner and link creation, and more.

Conclusion

Whether you're interested in promoting other companies' products to earn a passive income, or you want to grow your own business through a network of talented publishers and advertisers, affiliate marketing can help. Although the structure, pricing, and terms vary by program, there are plenty of ways to get involved in affiliate marketing.

As we discussed in this post, as an affiliate partner you have the opportunity to earn a commission every time someone uses your affiliate link. We recommend looking into affiliate or referral programs offered by your favorite brands. If you're ready to create your own program, our Affiliate Royale plugin can simplify and streamline the process.

Do you have any questions about getting involved in affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comments!

6 Vital Things To Add To Your Affiliate Registration Page

To build and expand your online business, you need to make it as easy as possible for individuals to sign up for your affiliate marketing program.

The most important part of the sign up process is the affiliate registration page. On this page, people will expect to learn all about and sign up for your program.

In this post, we’ll share with you a few vital pieces of information you want on your affiliate signup page to make your program as successful as possible.

Are you struggling to manage your affiliates? Release the burden with Affiliate Royale!

1.Affiliate Program Information

One of the most important components of the registration page is information about your affiliate program. Without this information, potential affiliates won’t have a clear understanding of what your affiliate program is all about and will be less likely to join.

First, be sure to include information about your business and what it promotes. List the different ways your affiliate program can be shared. For example, can a podcaster share on their show? Do you only offer affiliate links? Or do you also provide banners for websites? Also, include information on how affiliates will earn commissions.

2. Program Rules And Regulations

To maintain an organized affiliate program and to help potential affiliates understand what will be expected of them in the program, be sure to include a link to the rules and regulations of your program on the registration page.

Detailing what’s expected of your affiliates is a great way to passively filter applicants and ensure a higher rate of quality registrations for your program. It will also help to boost the credibility of your program.

3. Affiliate Eligibility

Speaking of rules and regulations, another important element on your affiliate registration page is a list of the requirements your potential affiliates must meet to join your program.

Eligibility requirements aren’t necessarily an element in every affiliate program, but if you’re trying to target a specific market, having such requirements can be beneficial.

Eligibility requirements might include having a minimum number of followers, being active on a particular social media platform, or being over age 18. However, be careful when setting up requirements so as to avoid engaging in discriminatory practices.

4. Testimonials

Want to encourage your website visitors to take the big leap and join your program? Give them a little taste of FOMO, or fear of missing out. Include testimonials on your affiliate registration page to give potential affiliates first-hand accounts of how great your program is and how much passive income they can earn by signing on the dotted line. 

You might also include product reviews and testimonials regarding what services your business offers to assure affiliates that your program is trustworthy and high quality.

Consider including a few quotes from affiliate partners or a video testimonial from a satisfied affiliate, or share statistics on how many affiliates successfully make money through your program. This is the prime time to show off how amazing your company is and how big a difference your program makes in people’s lives.

5. Example Promotions

Including example promotions on your registration page is a great way to encourage people to join your affiliate program, to provide a better understanding of what they can expect from the program, and to passively filter applicants.

Consider including things like social media photos, hashtags your affiliates use to promote the program, or even example blog promotions by some of your best affiliates. These samples will help potential partners understand the quality of work they’ll be expected to deliver as an effective part of the team.

6. Next Steps

Last, but definitely not least, be sure to include the next steps visitors should take to join your program. Will they need to email you? Obtain a referral link? Fill out a form? Undergo an interprocess? Detail what they’ll need to do to become a partner in your program and start promoting your small business.

Many companies ask potential affiliates to fill out a form or create an account to get started. Some require affiliates to undergo an approval process, while others allow new affiliates to start as soon as they sign up. There is no right or wrong way to go, and what you choose should depend on the needs and goals of your program.

Are you ready to take your online business to the next level with affiliate marketing? Get started with Affiliate Royale today!

In Conclusion

Your affiliate registration page is one of the most important pieces of content in your arsenal for promoting your affiliate program. Therefore, it’s very important that you carefully curate what you put on this page — in addition to making it easy to find and user-friendly. 

Because it’s the final piece of the puzzle in the conversion process, you want this page to have all the information potential affiliates need to make a decision. Keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a high-converting registration page for your affiliate program.

To learn more about affiliate marketing, be sure to check out some of our other blog posts, such as places you can promote your affiliate programhow to know if an affiliate program is right for your small business, or what to look for in an ideal affiliate.

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5 Places You Can Promote Your Affiliate Program Right Now

promote your affiliate program

Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective methods online business owners can use to make passive income. The more affiliates you add to your program and the more effective they are, the more money everyone makes!

So, how do you promote your affiliate program? Where on the internet can you go to promote your online business and recruit individuals?

In this post, we’ll share with you a few places you and your affiliates can promote your affiliate links to find more affiliates, earn more affiliate commissions, and expose your business to a greater number of potential customers.

Make your affiliate network a breeze to manage with Affiliate Royale today!

Affiliate Program/Link Promotion: How to Be Successful

There are many different methods you can use to promote your affiliate links or programs, but there are a few specific things you should keep in mind to ensure that your promotions are successful.

Don’t Overdo Your Promotion

There’s nothing wrong with a plug or promotion every so often on your platforms and website, but the last thing you want to do is become overly salesy.

This behavior will quickly turn your customers off and make them feel that you’re only in it for the sale. You want to provide value to your customers, not make it seem like you only need them for your selfish gains.

Spread Out Your Links

When you’re promoting links or your affiliate program, spread out your information on various platforms and in different formats. Don’t just use your links in blog posts. Also add them to videos, in comments, website banners, and more.

This rule is the same for your affiliate program. Don’t just limit this information to your website — include it in your emails, on social media, and in video descriptions.

Use Your Analytics

To understand whether or not your affiliate links or promotion efforts are working, you need to pay attention to your analytics. This will help you know where your viewers are interacting with your links, how they engage with your links, and how many conversions you’re making. This knowledge will tell you where to make changes to improve your program. 

5 Places to Promote Your Program and Links

Armed with a general idea of how to be successful with your promotions, you can move on to getting those promotions out there. Following are five effective channels you can use to get things rolling.

1.Email Campaigns

One of the most important means of promoting your online business is email marketing. Email marketing is an effective way to bring traffic to your website, share your content with customers, and engage with your audience.

When readers and potential customers subscribe to your email list, they’re seeking content to assist them and answer questions they may have. This is the prime time to include affiliate links or inform customers that you have an affiliate program.

The key to success here is to avoid posting your affiliate links all over the email. Focus on assisting your customers with solving their problem and then sprinkle in a few affiliate links from companies you know will help them.

Or, if you have an affiliate program, create a special announcement email to let your email list know. You could also simply include the information at the end of the email as a subtle reminder.

2.Video Content

Video content is all the rage in the digital marketing space right now, so it’s only expected that your online business should embrace this tactic. Your videos should be centered around topics relevant to your business. Video content can be created from information in blog posts, social media content, a customer question, or anything in between.

To promote your affiliate links or affiliate program in your video content, add the information in your video captions or descriptions. You can also post your links within your video, whether by using hyperlinks within the video or by putting the link text in the video’s footer. 

3.Product Review Websites

There are numerous places around the web where individuals can log on and share their experiences with different products, services, and companies. Did you know that this is also an excellent place for you to promote your affiliate program and links?

While writing your honest, unbiased review, be sure to include information on how to use the product, the pros and cons of using it, and your personal experience with the product in addition to your affiliate link or information on how to join your affiliate program.

4.Guest Posts

Guest blogging is a great way to build links to your website, build brand exposure, and network with other companies. But did you know that guest posting is also an excellent way to share your affiliate program with a broader audience?

Before you incorporate information about your affiliate program into your post, be sure to discuss it with the company you’ll be guest blogging for. The key to any great relationship is communication, so you want to make sure that incorporating that information is clearly stated and understood between both parties. Also be sure to find out whether it is okay to include affiliate links in your post.

5. Roundup Posts or Resource Pages

Many online companies create roundup posts every so often to allow website visitors to check out different tools that could help them in their businesses. Some companies also create resource pages on their websites that are dedicated to tools and resources their followers can take advantage of. This is prime real estate for affiliate links!

List and talk about products and services your company uses and would recommend to others. Be sure to include a brief description of the products, the average prices of the products, and what you love about them.

You should also connect these services with your affiliate links and any discounts or free trials users of your links can get. This page or blog post should serve as evergreen content and should be continuously updated to provide visitors with accurate, up-to-date information.

In Conclusion

Affiliate marketing can be a lot of work, but there are all kinds of places and opportunities to promote your affiliate program and links, and many of these are available to you right now. We hope these tips will help you to better market your program so you can begin earning significant passive income.

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

How to Promote Your Affiliate Program Using Twitter Chats

As an affiliate marketer, you’re probably familiar with Twitter and understand many of the ways it can help your online business succeed, but did you know that, outside of posts, the platform offers another way to connect with potential customers and boost visibility?

Enter Twitter chats!

Twitter chats are a fun, free way to promote your business, engage with customers, and build a community around your brand. The question is, how can you leverage Twitter chats to build your business effectively?

In this post, we’ll share with you how you can use the Twitter chats feature to promote your affiliate marketing program.

Have you been searching for a way to effectively manage your affiliate program?  Reach for success with Affiliate Royale!

What Is A Twitter Chat?

A Twitter Chat is a live conversation, typically hosted by one or a few Twitter accounts on a specific subject. These chats usually take place on a consistent weekly or monthly basis. They’re accessible by following a set hashtag, and other Twitter users can get in on the action by using that hashtag in their tweets. 

For example, the Content Marketing Institute has a Twitter chat called #CMWorld that happens every Tuesday. In the chat, participants discuss different topics related to marketing in the digital space. 

A Twitter chat can be about virtually any topic you choose, all you have to do is craft a hashtag, schedule a consistent day and time, and you’re good to go!

How Can Twitter Chats Help Your Business?

Now that you understand what a Twitter chat is, how exactly can they benefit your business?

Build Brand Awareness

If you create a hashtag around your business, and your Twitter chat begins to grow, any time someone searches that hashtag or even a topic your chat has covered, your business and tweets from your chats will show up.

Not only that, but as your chat grows, your brand is exposed to even more people who can turn into potential customers, affiliates, and business partners in the future.

Grow Your Following

If you create a solid chat that your Twitter followers and those who are interested in your topic enjoy, they’ll want to make sure they don’t miss the chat. This can mean more followers for your business.

People will want to be among the first to see upcoming topics, potential contests and giveaways, and whatever else your business has to offer outside the chat.

Increased Credibility

Customers and potential affiliates gravitate toward businesses and organizations they feel they can trust, both in character and in knowledge.

Using Twitter chats, you can demonstrate that you’re an authority when it comes to affiliate marketing and promotions, thus giving your fans more trust in your business. This trust can generate even more revenue and cause more influencers and organizations to want to participate in your affiliate program.

Elements Of A Good Twitter Chat

In order to run a successful Twitter chat, there are a few things you need to have first:

A Topic

Before you can start a Twitter chat, you need to have a topic that is both engaging to your followers and something you can talk about with authority. It can help to brainstorm and think about how far you can take a particular topic. 

You want to ensure that your audience is interested in the topic, that it’s relevant to your brand, and that it’s somewhat specific. For example, if you decided to create a chat around marketing, you might have a hard time covering all aspects of the topic. However, if your business specializes in affiliate marketing, you’d be wise to craft topics specific to that business model first.

A Hashtag

Once you’ve decided on a topic, you can start crafting a catchy and engaging hashtag. You want your hashtags to go along with your topic and, ideally, to go along with your brand. 

For example, if your Twitter chat is centered around affiliate marketing, it would be wise to use a hashtag that includes something with the term “affiliate marketing” in it, if possible. You want the hashtag to be relevant and easy for your audience to remember so they can join in.

A Consistent Day And Time

Next on your Twitter chat preparedness list is your day and time. Your team should agree on a day and time that works for everyone so there will always be someone available to facilitate the chat in the event the usual facilitator isn’t available.

When choosing a day and time, you also want to keep your audience in mind. Do a bit of research. What time zone are most of your followers in? What days are they most active? What times are your followers most likely to be on Twitter? Ensuring that your audience is around to interact with your small business is vital to the success of the chat.

A Facilitator

Speaking of facilitators, you’ll need to designate one for your Twitter chat. More than likely, your company’s Twitter account will be hosting the chat, but you’ll need to have someone in place to be the voice behind the company and monitor the chat as it’s happening. 

Be sure to pick someone who’s well-spoken and well-versed in your business. It would also be wise to pick someone who’s a strong writer or ask one of your writers to create a script for the facilitator to use during the chat. 

Effective And Consistent Promotion

If you’ve been working on your online business for a while now, you understand that marketing and promotion are everything. This is no different when it comes to your Twitter chat. Developing a plan for when you’ll start your Twitter chats and how you’ll promote them each time they take place can make or break your efforts. 

Create eye-catching images to get your followers to notice your chat promotions. Also, promote your chats on all social media platforms so all your followers can be aware, and, of course, share on Twitter so current users can set aside time to participate.

Participating In Rather Than Hosting Twitter Chats

Perhaps you aren’t ready to host your own Twitter chat, or you just don’t feel like a chat would be right for your small business at this point. That’s okay — there are plenty of Twitter chats you can participate in and still promote your affiliate program.

Search For Appropriate Chats

If you want to get the most out of your participation, make sure the chat is relevant to your business. There are incredibly interesting chats for every topic under the sun, but if you want to use your involvement to build your brand, make sure the chat topic goes along with your industry.

Craft A Nice Introduction

Most Twitter Chats begin with an introduction of the host and participants. Don’t miss out on this valuable networking opportunity. In advance, write up a short and sweet introduction to your business that will make other chat participants want to learn more about you.

Promote Your Participation

Twitter chats involve a lot of tweeting — so much, in fact, that some of your followers may be thrown off by the number of tweets you’re putting out.

In an effort to let them know what’s going on and to get in good graces with the Twitter chat you’re following, don’t hesitate to share the chat information and let your followers know that you’ll be participating. Doing so will keep your followers in the know, show that you’re active, and make a good impression on the chat host.

Ready to build your affiliate program? Start with Affiliate Royale!

In Conclusion

Twitter chats can be a major boost to your online marketing efforts. Whether you’re hosting or participating in a chat, these online events can help you gain new followers, network, build trust with customers, and boost the visibility of your business. We hope you’ll keep our tips in mind to help you make the best of this great marketing opportunity.

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

How to Know if an Affiliate Program is Right for Your Business

Affiliate marketing has gradually gained significant momentum in the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. But, while tons of businesses are beginning to embrace this form of marketing, affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone.

Is affiliate marketing really the right thing for your online business? In this post, we’ll go over a few tell-tale signs you can look for to determine whether an affiliate program is the right move for you!

Easily manage and maintain your affiliates – use Affiliate Royale today!

Common Businesses That Use Affiliate Marketing

The first question to ask is whether your business falls within an industry where affiliate marketing is a standard practice. Following are a few of the most common businesses that achieve success with this type of marketing.

Ecommerce/Retail

Online shopping businesses are making a killing from affiliate marketing. Amazon is one of the originators of affiliate programs to promote products, but now most online stores have some sort of affiliate or referral program. For example, one large business, FashionNova, works with celebrities and influencers to promote their products to the masses.

Membership Websites

If you’re subscribed to a subscription-based business, such as a subscription box service, small business group, or educational subscription program, you know that these companies are continually seeking new clients, members, or customers. As a result, most of these programs offer affiliate programs to their current subscribers, allowing subscribers to receive rewards and perks when they refer customers.

Printing Companies

Companies that mass-produce products such as shirts, business cards, and product boxes target smaller printing companies and businesses to expand their affiliate programs. For example, Vistaprint offers the Vistaprint ProAdvantage program where smaller companies can offer printing for customers at a discounted rate. The more customers each business brings in, the more money both businesses make.

Software Companies/App Companies

If your business uses email marketing tools, social media management tools, or anything in between, chances are those companies have affiliate programs. These companies offer rewards or even discounts or free upgrades on their software for referrals.

Is An Affiliate Program Right For You? Other Questions to Ask Yourself

Still wondering if an affiliate program is right for your business? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to help determine whether an affiliate program could benefit you.

Can You Afford An Affiliate Program? Although an affiliate program can be a cheaper way to market your business, there are still costs involved. Whether it’s giving away free products and services, paying influencers, or offering affiliate commissions and perks to affiliates to provide referrals who convert, you have to make sure your small business can afford the associated costs.

If it’s not in your best interest to spend the money or sacrifice products or services, it may be a good idea to wait and reevaluate before starting an affiliate program.

Are Your Competitors Doing It? One of the best ways to judge whether or not an affiliate marketing program, or any marketing tactic for that matter, will work for you is to find out if your competition is doing it. If you notice that a competitor is operating a successful program, it’s definitely something you want to explore.

Will You Be Able To Handle It? Determining whether your budget will allow you to have an affiliate program is one thing, but deciding if you have the organizational skills and the staff to run the program are equally essential factors to consider. 

If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle a sudden influx of customers or if you don’t yet have systems in place, such as Affiliate Royale, to manage affiliates and customers, you may want to take a step back and work on some preparation before you launch your program.

Are You Confident In What You Offer? Before you can share what you have to offer with the public, you need to be confident in your product or service. If you don’t believe in your product or service, no one else will. It’s tough to sell something you don’t care about. Be sure that you are proud of what you do and confident in the value you can bring to customers.

Do You Believe It’s Worth It? At the end of the day, you know your business and what you have to offer a potential customer. If you feel that people are going to benefit from what you provide and that they will be likely to tell a friend or associate about it, then definitely go for it!

However, if you don’t believe that an affiliate program is right for you, or you aren’t willing to put in the work required to run a successful one, that’s okay. You always want to do what works best for you and your business.

Manage your affiliate program without hassle with Affiliate Royale. Get started today!

In Conclusion

An affiliate program can be a significant asset to your business. However, it is a considerable task, and the work it requires isn’t for everyone. We hope that the questions and information we’ve provided above will help you figure out whether an affiliate program is a good move for you.

Ready to turn your online business idea into a thriving affiliate program? Be sure to read our blog posts on how to convert your customers into affiliates, ways micro-influencers can help your affiliate program, how to use swipe copy to help your affiliate succeed, and how to tell if your affiliate program is doing well.

Do you feel ready to start an affiliate program? What factors have gone into determining your readiness? Let us know in the comments!

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.

Qualities of an Excellent Affiliate: What to Look For

In the world of affiliate marketing, there’s a lot of information about what a good affiliate marketing program looks like from the perspective of the affiliate. But what about your perspective — the perspective of the one running the program? There just aren’t as many resources out there to help you choose the right long-term affiliates (and avoid the wrong ones) for your program.

That’s why in this post we’re going to share several qualities you should look for when you’re figuring out which affiliates you want to invest in for the long-term. We’ll also talk a bit about why affiliates are such an important part of your online business. 

So let’s get started!

Are you ready to create your own affiliate program? Get started with Affiliate Royale today!

Why Are Affiliates So Important?

There are a number of reasons it’s important to have affiliates in your online business arsenal:

  • Targeted Traffic. Having affiliates in a specific niche or industry will help you pinpoint and target your audience. That way, you can make sure that those seeing what you have to offer are truly interested.
  • Less Costly. Depending on your affiliate compensation plan, affiliate marketing can be less costly than spending money on social media and Google ads. Paying affiliates a commission only when a sale is made or compensating them with free product helps you save money and still effectively promote your business.
  • Brand Awareness. Having affiliates on your team is not only great for conversions, but it’s an awesome way to build brand awareness and visibility among potential and current customers. 
  • Saves Time. Crafting and implementing campaigns can be a huge task. However, when you work with a group of affiliates, you just let them know what you’re looking to promote, when you’d like to promote it — with a few additional guidelines — and you’re done! You don’t have to spend time coming up with grand promotions or complicated ad campaigns. Your affiliates handle their individual marketing efforts themselves.
  • Valuable Networking Opportunities. Having an affiliate program is a great way to network with other businesses and individuals you might want to work with in the future, whether that be on more of your own projects or theirs.

Further Reading: 3 Ways That Micro-Influencers Can Benefit You

6 Qualities To Look For In Long-term Affiliates

So, you know that incorporating affiliates in your marketing strategy is an excellent idea, now check out a few qualities to look for in those you choose to work with long-term.

1.Consistency

Consistency is one of the most important qualities in a good affiliate. If you lay out a campaign where you want your affiliates to post once a week, create a YouTube video once a month, and create a blog post every two weeks, the success of that campaign will hinge on your affiliates holding up their end of the deal.

2. Organization and Knowledge

Organization and knowledge are closely related to consistency. You want to have people on your affiliate team who are able to properly organize the different promotions you throw their way, who understand the value of scheduling those promotions strategically, and who know how to manage different types of content for your promotions.

3. Team-Oriented

Good affiliates always have a team player attitude. They’re concerned about how their participation in a promotion can help not only them but the business as a whole. If an affiliate is shortsighted and only concerned with their own quick gain, they’ll be less likely to participate in campaigns as actively as they should and may not be as consistent in the promotion process.

4. Willingness to Learn

In your long-term affiliates, look for an openness and willingness to learn. To help your business thrive (and help themselves earn money) affiliates should be open to new ideas and methods you propose. They should also be actively learning about and implementing new methods on their own to make themselves better affiliate marketers.

Further Reading: Why Industry Knowledge Is Vital for Affiliate Programs

5. Patience

In any marketing effort, patience is a required virtue. Some campaigns may not immediately show results — it can take a week, a month, or even a few months to really see campaigns start working. If an affiliate participating in your campaign is too quick to give up or become frustrated, they’re not someone you want to work with in the long-term.

6. Creativity

Creative affiliates are extremely valuable because they know how to share your promotions in original ways that really stand out. A creative affiliate knows their audience well and can craft high quality content that keeps potential customers engaged and interested in what you have to offer. If you find a highly creative affiliate, take good care of them so they stick around.

Further Reading: Why Affiliate Marketers Should Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Create the affiliate program of your dreams with Affiliate Royale!

In Conclusion

It’s great to have affiliates and influencers who are willing to sign up and help you promote your online business. However, it’s important to seek out a few key characteristics to ensure that the affiliates you invest your time in are the kind you’ll want to keep around. 

If you keep the characteristics listed above in mind, you’ll be sure to find valuable affiliates who you can trust to have your best interest in mind and help you build your business over the long haul.

Want to learn more? Check out our posts on the importance of building an affiliate community, how to tell if your program is performing well, and how to turn your customers into affiliates

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to check out our blog for more great content! You can also keep up with us on Twitter.