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What is an affiliate program?
Affiliate programs are programs that are set up by a business selling a product or service with the use of an affiliate network in order to help advertise the items they sell through third-party advertisers like blogs like this one in order to reach an ever wider audience that they can sell their goods and services to.
The way affiliate programs and networks work is similar to the way that ad programs and networks, like Google Adsense being one of the better-known ones, work. One key difference between the two is who is doing the work to sell the product to you the consumer. With ads, the company selling the product is doing the work to try and sell something to you, and they can place their ads anywhere even on pages unrelated to the item they’re selling since they are using fancy-looking videos and graphics to entice you. Affiliate marketing is different in that the company is indirectly hiring someone else to do their advertising for them.
What is an affiliate network?
An affiliate network is an online platform that companies can join in order to create and run their own affiliate program and have their goods or services promoted through the network. Big companies like Amazon run their affiliate program on their own in-house program. However, platforms like Clickbank, CJ Commission, ShareASale, Impact, and others exist to make the process of creating and running an affiliate program simpler and easier for companies.
Inside of an affiliate network, you can typically find very many different types of products from different niches that you can promote and make money through affiliate commissions. Affiliate networks make it easier for both the company and affiliates to earn more money by providing different tools that do things like track the number of clicks, sales, and other metrics that happen when a customer clicks on an affiliate link.
What are some of the different affiliate networks that you can join?
Like I mentioned earlier there are several different affiliate networks that you can join in order to promote a companies product. A few of them are Clickbank, CJ Commission, ShareASale, and Impact. The goods and services that you can find to promote range from well-known big brand ones to smaller, more obscure, and sometimes kind of scammy ones.
Clickbank is one of the best know affiliate networks around the world. It’s very easy to join Clickbank and to start selling products. However, I would classify the types of products that you can find to promote and get sales for in the more obscure and kind of scammy category. It’s not that the products are not real or don’t do what their purpose is, but they are lesser-known and might be lower quality compared to what you could find if you just did a simple Google search.
Clickbank does not have many rules with regards to how you are allowed to promote the products there. Therefore you could use anything from a random social media account to your own website to promote affiliate links. All you have to do to start earning money from promoting Clickbank products is sign up for an account with them. You do that by going to their website and clicking on the “Promote” button to sign up to be an affiliate with them.
Make sure to create an account nickname in the “Accounts” section. Then, after doing that you can start finding products that you can promote using your own site or social media by going to the “Affiliate Marketplace” section on your account.
Inside the affiliate marketplace, you can find many different products from many different niches that you can promote and make money off of. You can also find products that cater to several specific countries like the US, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and others.
In order to actually promote a product online, you need to click the “Promote” button that is next to whatever product you choose to promote. Then, using the nickname you made for your account you can sign up to get a link to promote a product.
After you get the link simply copy and paste it onto your website or social media and describe the product to potential customers so that they might buy it. Obviously, the best way to go about this is to post the link and talk about it somewhere that particular type of product is already talked about and/or where people who might need it gather online.
Here’s an example and sales pitch for a real product that you can promote and make money from when people buy this product.
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You can do this for any and all products available on Clickbank. Like I mentioned earlier, the best way to promote products is to find and/or cater to a specific niche of customers that will be significantly more likely to buy a certain product as opposed to posting links randomly all over the internet hoping that someone will find it and actually be interested in buying the product that you are promoting.
Commission Junction, ShareASale, Impact, and etc.
While Clickbank is one of the easier affiliate networks that you can sign up for and start earning money with, most other affiliate networks and more particularly the affiliate programs inside them can be a little bit more choosey about who they will let promote their products. While signing up to promote said products is not terribly difficult some other affiliate networks, like Impact, do not exactly make the sign-up process intuitive for new users.
In order to sign up with some of the programs on Impact, you have to find the program for a specific product you want to promote, then you have to go to the page for that program and use the email button which is the one that looks like a letter in the top and send an email to the affiliate program to get their approval to sign up with the said program.
Other affiliate networks, like Commission Junction or ShareASale, are a little bit better about that by having a button that says something like “Apply or Join Here” next to all of the affiliate programs they have on their network.
Most affiliate networks have their own tools that they use to track things like clicks, leads, sales, and more that make it easier for both the company and the affiliate marketer to track stuff like that which makes it easier for affiliate marketers to get paid. Companies do have the option to use other tools to create and manage their own affiliate program. However, that requires more effort on the companies part, and sometimes payment due to affiliate marketers fall behind because the company manages their affiliate program poorly.
How to find affiliate programs to promote!
While it’s about as easy as it is to sign up to join the affiliate networks themselves as it is with Clickbank, other affiliate networks like the ones that were just mentioned make it a little bit more difficult to actually sign up and promote a specific product. You have to sign up for the program, then the managers of the programs will review your application, site, social media, and etc. to see if you would do a good job of promoting their product. Some programs are easier to join than others and you can get outright rejected or just never get a response after trying to sign up with them.
The best thing that you can do in order to increase your chances of approval for any and all of these programs is to build up your site traffic and social media presence to a fairly large number so that the people in charge of affiliate programs can see that and believe there is a greater chance of someone signing up for/buying a product that you are promoting.