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Affiliate Marketing

Discussion in 'PPC Advertising' started by Chris.C, May 27, 2011.

  1. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    I haven't had a whole lot to do with affiliate marketing over the years, I've only advertised a couple of affiliate products in that time. So I don't know much about the topic.

    I'm interested to know what are the main pitfalls one should be aware of when it comes to affiliate marketing?

    Are there any SEO implications from linking to affiliate products? What is Google's thoughts on the issue?

    I know a lot of people use redirects it comes to linking to affiliate links, is this considered best practice?

    Also where is the best place to find affiliate products to promote?

    And what is the Australian affiliate product market like?

    Are there any other questions that I should be asking before I start dabbling in affiliate marketing?
     
  2. Mat

    Mat Membership: Community

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    Biggest pitfall... hmm different for everyone, but I would say, a poor product that reflects badly on your own reputation. If you are recommending a product strongly, then becareful that the product is actually worth while. Otherwise you may lose the trust/respect of your crowd.

    The other issue I find with most affiliate marketers is they just push the sell all the time. This to puts people off. The most effective scenario is to offer good value and respect with every piece of your communication. Anything from what is on your websites, to your emails, newsletters etc.

    It may all seem common sense, but I find alot of people miss it completely.

    From my experience, google prefers fresh and consistent relevance. If you have a domain with a single page, that never gets updated or further developed, then it won't think much of you at all. Especially if it gets a high bounce rate from searchers.

    Sometimes people don't directly link to product sites they are promoting for several reasons. Sometimes people cut the URL out and go directly there, thus possible commission is linked. The most common reason is for tracking. This really depends on how advanced the marketer is. Some will track their email subscriber, some will track subscriber and the actually on page link (So even though they have 3 links to the same site, the placement and the incentive to click the link becomes important). Another reason, is they are split testing their pages. So they will have different redirect links signalling the click through rate of each page.

    I have not dealt with any Australian affiliate programs. I have only dealt with international programs such as clickbank and commission junction or directly with provider. eg Amazon. So far all my programs are running through clickbank.

    If there was a key or a secret then one of the them would have to be to control your own crowd. That is, don't work hard to get traffic and then on push them to a product site, but instead, learn to acquire contact details and establish a rapport. That way a relationship can develop and you can leverage that relationship multiple times.

    The other big one, if you are serious, would be to test and measure everything. Test headlines, test malouts, test colours, test link positions, words, layouts etc.. Just test, measure, adjust, repeat.

    Like anything, there is group that won't make any money, some that will make a little, some that can make a living and a minority that makes a fortune.
     
  3. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    So I have finally made my way around to applying for a few Australian affiliate networks (I'm normally just focus on AdSense).

    As previously mentioned, I'm pretty green when it comes to affiliate marketing, I have only ever run a couple affiliate programs on some interenational sites in the past I was hoping that I might be able to tap into some of the collective wisdom of DN Trade to get some more feedback on my above questions.
     
  4. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    The main pitfall is the fact that Google wants affiliate type sites out of the index. Building a business around this has no longevity in my view. (assuming you are talking about building sites around affiliate links as opposed to some links on already existing content sites)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  5. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    I don't disagree when looking at it from a long run perspective - yet this perspective I think the vast majority of sites on the web will be "weeded out" over the long run as well. Creative destruction, innovation and consolidation is just the reality of the industry/world we are/live in.

    So what can be done to help protect affiliate sites from Google's intent to weed them out.
     
  6. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Simple answer: turn it into a "non affiliate" site. ie selling something direct. You'll have actual control, have much greater earning capacity and instead of google hunting you out they'll probably be looking for you.
     
  7. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    It's hard to manage multiple different product sales via a number of different sites that are going to be market competitive by yourself unless you find JV partners.
     
  8. snoopy

    snoopy Membership: VIP

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    Would suggest doing this with one or two domains. Use the rest for resale or parking. The whole idea of trying to get affiliate sites into Google is just going against the tide.
     
  9. whiterabit

    whiterabit Membership: Community

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    Lets define affiliate sites shall we. Are we talking the ClickBank type 'mum earns millions on adsense', 'buy my ebook on how to make money' and all the other spammy sites out there or are we talking about the retail datafeeds, competitions, finance campaigns etc.

    If we're talking the later then I would have to disagree with the comment that Google wants all of these sites our of the index. The true affiliate market plays a big role in online generating leads and sales.

    I do agree however that the SEO value of affiliate links is zero and you need to factor that into your overall SEO map.

    That said there are some very profitable verticals in the affiliate space but before you run down any of these spaces you need to work out what domains you have, competition for the space, and your targeted EPC. It's all about EPC baby!!

    Start with the most profitable domains, if they work then start incorporating more domains.

    Happy to chat about numbers in the open forum or if you like, feel free to PM me with your domains and ideas and I'll see what I can do.

    Also if I don't have anything on my network I will be nice enough to point you to another network that might be able to help ;)
     
  10. FirstPageResults

    FirstPageResults Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Not sure I agree with that comment either snoopy - plenty of "smart" affiliates around or are you talking exclusively about instant website builder/feed driven sites that add no real value?
     
  11. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    I agree with many points in this thread, especially the point about
    Google fixing the index now to cut a lot of affiliates out of the index. But I don't think the days of affiliates not making money are over you just need to get wise and lift your game, you need to make new strategies.

    Lets face it affiliates in Australia have been doing it tough, we do not have the same degree of affiliates which cater for offers so most people end up doing the hard yards and going direct to the supplier, some times this can end up in your benefit as you can acquire higher rates. I think companies like DGM have really made it hard for the AU market small time affiliates and even medium sized ones have issues trying to work with then they are really slow at responding and will probably never accept you.

    In my experience I have dealt more with US based affiliates, I never had success with those networks like CJ and click bank.

    I seemed to have more success with sites like Neverblue and Private affiliate networks.

    Finding what works is also another part of the affiliate game you really need to test multiple things with affiliates, you need to test landing pages to see what works, you need to test how you promote the offers, you need to test soo many areas and it may not work the first 10 times around but when you do see the fruits of your labor it is worth it I have done well with some $40 a sale CPA offers in the past.

    If you want PM me i have a really good contacts at a private affiliate in the US who has like 200 AU offers and all ways getting more. These guys send you 2 or 3 emails a week with strategy about how to make more money and different tips, it is really cool you never see this type of stuff from AU affiliate they only give you cheek and make you wait like a month to get stuff accepted or deny lol.

    Their also use to be a monthly affiliate marketing meetup in Sydney I went a few times it was pretty cool, an interesting bunch of people, some really shifty characters too doing black hat all day and some guys obviously making bank.
     
  12. jam

    jam Membership: Trader

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    I will have to go against what you are saying James.

    From my experience, DGM, Commission Monster and Digital Lead Network (whiterabbit on here) reply quickly to emails. I also receive regular emails and phone calls to tell me about certain campaigns or updates.

    Everyone should be able to find an Australian product or service that fits their website on DGM, CM, DLN or ClixGalore.

    If a campaign manager doesn't accept you send them an email and ask why, every time I've sent an email I have received an answer and most of the time it's cause the campaign had ended or is ending.

    If they give you advice on why you are not accepted take it and fix your site.
     
  13. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    Thanks for the feedback guys - I really appreciate it.

    I'm mainly talking about adding some affiliate deals on sites that are already receiving traffice (normally a few hundred visitors a month) but theyare more tailored for products, but there'd probably be potential to sell ebooks on some sites as well.

    These products could be related to anything from puppies, to heaters, to shoes, to cleaning equipment.

    Though I do have informational sites that could be about anything from making money online to investing in shares.

    I dont understand what you mean by this?

    Are you implying that if I link to an affiliate they get no SEO value or are you implying that linking to affiliates may affect my site's SEO?

    I notice a lot of affiliate redirect their links, is this the way to go?

    My plan would not be to buy paid traffic, and for me my goal with my sites is normally RPM focussed.

    What do you mean by incorporating more domains?

    Will do.

    This sounds like a good idea.

    Does anyone have an example or a link to a resource of how they go about making contact with individuals within the industry? or an email template?

    Can you define small and large affiliates?

    OK I'll PM you.

    Do you know of any meetups in Brisbane?