This column was designed with both retailers and publishers in mind. For online retailers, the focus was on how to get, keep and cultivate relationships with affiliates. For publishers, we covered how to choose the best affiliate programs and maximize earnings. It no longer runs as a standalone column and has since been incorporated into the Content Marketing column.

5 Free WordPress Plugins For Affiliate Marketers

5-affiliate-plugins-570-270 WordPress is a very simple-to-use solution for creating powerful affiliate websites. The best part about WordPress is all the plugins that are available. It seems there is at least one plugin for just about anything you can imagine! I've put together a list of 5 free affiliate marketing plugins for WordPress that I really like to use.     1. Pretty Link Lite This is probably my favorite WordPress plugin for my affiliate sites. In a nutshell, this plugin allows you to take long and nasty-looking affiliate links and easily turn them into "pretty links" that look like [...]

Affiliate Marketing Down Under: Australia’s Untapped Opportunities

If you’re considering expanding your affiliate marketing program overseas, Australia is worth a closer look. There are several reasons why the continent presents new opportunities for the affiliate channel. In this article, we look at the drivers of the burgeoning economy down under and how affiliate marketers can make the most of the emerging opportunities in Australia. Australia’s Economic Drivers Technology and a rise in online retail spending are the biggest drivers making Australia the ideal location to expand your global e-commerce efforts. More specifically, the continen [...]

Is Natural Talent Required To Be Successful Online?

Every now and then someone will reach out to me claiming they can't make money with affiliate marketing because they don't have the same natural talent for it that I do. That statement makes me laugh every time I hear it. The fact is, there is not a single drop of natural talent in me when it comes to affiliate marketing -- or making money online in general. I don't have a marketing degree or a computer science degree.  I was a casual internet user when I started. Any talent I have has been learned in the trenches while I was attending the Internet Marketing School of Hard Knocks [...]

Q3 Isn’t Over Yet: 12 Strategies For Affiliate Marketing In September

shutterstock_93573931-september It's that time of year when the last remnants of summer are still lingering, though we’re not quite into the full swing of our holiday marketing efforts. Most advertisers and publishers are currently in the midst of Q4 planning. Meanwhile, many consumers are delaying bigger purchases until the holiday season. However, don’t let this seemingly slower sales period hold you back from making the most of what’s left in Q3 and setting the foundation for a successful year-end. To make the most of this in-between period, here are 12 proven promotional strategies that will drive traffic and [...]

7 Big Mistakes New Affiliate Marketers Make

new-mistakes-featured-570-270 When I first started in affiliate marketing, all I wanted was to just make money. Off I ran in every direction, trying everything, with no real idea of the mistakes I was making that could very well affect my chances at long term success. Through my years of experience with both affiliate marketing and teaching other affiliate marketers, I have come to the conclusion that there are 7 big mistakes new affiliate marketers make. Let's talk about these mistakes in more detail.   1) Selling Rather Than Helping Yes, the word "marketing" is part of the phrase affiliate marketing, [...]

Publisher Perspective: Choosing An Affiliate Program

The final Affiliate Summit of 2012 wrapped up this week in New York City. One of the things I truly enjoy about these conferences is being able to catch-up with partners, colleagues, and friends in the industry. This year's event was no exception, as I had the opportunity to spend time with industry veteran and overall nice guy Andrew Kardon from JoeShopping, who I've worked with for almost seven years. Since I respect his expertise, I wanted to get his thoughts on recent changes in the industry, as well as learn how he evaluates merchant programs as an affiliate today. Andrew, how di [...]

Consumer Behavior And Today’s Publishers: Why Advertisers Love The Affiliate Channel

shutterstock_80277622-Affiliate Affiliate marketing has been around for quite a while. It started in the mid-1990’s, which is a long time ago in Web years. At the time, consumers were just beginning to shop online and to adopt mobile phones as a way to talk, not text or shop, with their friends and colleagues. Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist and Steve Jobs was returning to Apple to create, among other things, communication devices that would fundamentally change the way the world shops. Yet despite these sea changes in the digital landscape, affiliate marketing has flourished and remains one of the most import [...]

5 Questions For Top Affiliate Manager Josh Spaulding

interview with josh spaulding If you had your own online business bringing in six figures annually, would you consider taking on an additional position working for someone else as their affiliate manager? My initial response is, "No way!".  At first, it doesn't make sense to me why I would work on growing another marketer's business when I could spend that same time continuing to grow my own business. But then I stop and think -- maybe someone who does choose to do this knows things I haven't taken into consideration. My questions led me to reach out to a fellow marketer I know who has done just that -- added "Af [...]

Mobile Commerce And The Future Of Affiliate Marketing

Mobile It’s hard to ignore all the talk about the potential of mobile commerce given the positive forecasts from industry analysts and researchers. Consider these compelling statistics: There will be 115.8 million smartphone users in the US by the end of 2012, and that number is expected to reach 176.3 million by 2015. (via eMarketer) 64 percent of smartphone owners are now using their mobile devices to shop online. (via eDigital Research and PortalTech Reply) In 2012, mobile commerce sales will rise 73.1 percent for a total of $11.6 billion. (via eMarketer) Worldwide mobile payment tr [...]

You Like WHAT?!?! Social Success Tips For Smart Affiliate Marketers

social marketing for affiliate marketers Let's imagine that my friend, Susan, was having a tough time in her marriage. Late one night, when the family was asleep, she decided to do what most people do these days -- search Google for help with her marriage issues. She read article after article, read through forum threads and nodded in agreement as she read other women verbalize the same pain Susan was feeling. Then, she found it. To Susan, it looked like a miracle solution!  It was an online guide titled "How To Save Your Marriage in 10 Days" and Susan couldn't get her credit card out fast enough. Susan was so happy [...]

Improve Your Affiliate Program ROI

I had coffee with the affiliate manager of a local retailer recently and we talked about some of the challenges facing internet retailers, whether they're managing an established or mature affiliate program. Early stage affiliate programs are often a new revenue stream contributing to ecommerce growth, a lead generation mechanism for your sales force, or a medium to increase new user signups and subscriptions -- very exciting stuff that everybody in your company loves to hear about. But what happens when your affiliate program has lost its “new car smell” and the proverbial honeymoon [...]

Get Your Affiliate Marketing Program In Shape For Summer

shutterstock_91816889-dumbbell It’s only natural to think of the end-of-year holidays as the biggest opportunities for your affiliate marketing efforts, but this doesn’t mean we should give short shrift to summer. Now it probably comes as no surprise that some of the biggest affiliate marketing opportunities for the summer can be found in travel- and airline-related sites. Yet there are many other industries that will see a rise in online sales over the next few months. Online sale growth continues to outpace overall retail sales. In Q1, comScore reported online retail growing at 17% YOY or almost three times as m [...]

Un-Boring Blenders: 3 Tips To Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Sales

make-more-sales When I made the big, bold decision to make money online, affiliate marketing was the obvious and most attractive solution for me. No inventory, no selling, no boss, no customer service -- oh, yeah, I was "all in"! Just get people to click my affiliate links and I was gonna be rich! Anyone else suffer from that illusion when you first started? It makes me cringe when I think back to that time, but hey, it did sound that easy. But it wasn't that easy. I ran into two main problems: I had no clue how to make a web page, and I knew nothing about marketing. I am a self-taught [...]

How Performance Marketing Is Influencing The Next Generation Of Internet Startups

There have been several interesting announcements in the last week for the next wave of internet startups. While Facebook’s IPO and subsequent lawsuit has been at the forefront, social sharing site Pinterest made a splash last week when they announced raising $100 million from Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. Rakuten, the parent company and Linkshare, has deep roots in internet retailing and performance marketing. In an interview, the CEO of Rakuten said that Pinterest is growing exponentially in Japan, and that he wants Rakuten to grow with Pinterest to become the payment [...]

7 Ways To Re-Energize Your Affiliate Marketing Program

affiliate-marketing-featured Whether your affiliate marketing program has been outperforming each quarter, is stuck on autopilot or you’re just now starting to notice a decline in publisher activity, every advertiser can benefit from stepping back periodically and thinking about how to improve their overall efforts. You might be surprised that even the smallest changes can make a significant impact on your bottom line. To get you started, here are seven ways you can energize your program and boost your performance marketing results. 1. Make Sure You Have Fresh Creative Check the last time you updated ad copy or rol [...]

Program Growth Through Publisher Knowledge

shutterstock_67808932-treeroots If you are currently managing an affiliate program, I'm sure you know who your Publishers are. Perhaps you could even tell me the number of Publishers that have applied, been approved, and been declined over the life of your program. But do you truly know who your Publishers are? Two questions I think are important to analyze are: "Which Publishers are driving your sales?" and "What kinds of sites are your sales coming from?" Just like a tree, for a program to fully flourish and bloom it must have many strong roots. Performance Percentage Take a look at a monthly performance report of [...]

Differentiating Your Affiliate Program

shutterstock_58432786-why A few weeks ago there was a great column in Marketing Land that talked about how to size up your affiliate program against the competition using nine key components and creating a competitive matrix to analyze the results. Staying on the pulse of the competitive landscape is critical in affiliate marketing given the fluid nature of the industry and how quickly things change — but how do you differentiate your affiliate program from your competitors to ensure you are attracting and retaining the right affiliates? There are things that you can be doing with how you’re communicating wit [...]

Affiliate Marketing Opportunities Abound In Luxury Online Retail

shutterstock_53057149-luxury We've recently seen some bold predictions for the continued growth of e-commerce and the rise in online spending on luxury items. The latest forecasts estimate the overall e-commerce market will reach nearly $300 billion by 2015, according to industry analysts Forrester Research. Meanwhile, Verdict Research claims there will be a 65 percent increase in spending on luxury goods by 2015. While it remains to be seen how 2012 will shake out, it’s clear this market sector shows enormous potential for the affiliate marketing channel. One measure of this opportunity is the pace at which lux [...]

Size Up The Competition With A Matrix

shutterstock_60483139-matrix If you are considering setting up an affiliate program or if you are relatively new to affiliate marketing, there are a few things you need to put into place before launching your program. One critical step is to do some due diligence researching and preparing before you jump in. One important piece of your research puzzle is to get a feel for the competitive landscape. Without knowing what the base line should be, it can be very difficult to determine if your program offer will be attractive to potential publisher recruits. The tool I like to use when doing groundwork research is a comp [...]

Best States To Live As An Affiliate Marketer

affiliate-marketing-usa-featured Whether affiliate marketing is your “day job” or just a supplemental income; there are several factors that should be considered when deciding the best place to establish and run your performance marketing business. I was recently reading an article about the best states to make a living in and it got me thinking: what are the best states to make a living as an affiliate marketer?  While the article I was reading evaluated: average income, cost of living, state income tax rate, and state unemployment rate; I didn’t find it relevant for affiliate marketers who are both entrepreneurs a [...]

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