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AFFILIATE MARKETING

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

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Since the late 1990s, affiliate marketing has been a buzzword on the internet. This potential money-maker is often the source when you hear about those incredible, if not common “I made a fortune $$$ blogging!” stories.

Yes, it’s nothing new, but affiliate marketing is still going strong. And you can make a serious living by focusing on a smart affiliate marketing strategy.

Intrigued? It’s time to learn more.

First up: What is affiliate marketing, exactly? How can you make money by becoming an affiliate?

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, the concept is pretty simple:

  • Promote products/services on your blog.
  • Add special links to those products/services in your content.
  • When your readers click those links (or purchase products after clicking those links), you get a cut of the profits from the merchant.

In other words, affiliate marketing is a lot like commissioned sales. The difference is you’re driving traffic and leads to the merchant/advertiser’s website through your blog posts.

If this sounds too good to be true, pay attention: This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and it WILL take effort to make money using this strategy.

Check out the major pros and cons to make sure this road is one you’re ready to walk down.

Affiliate Marketing Pros & Cons

These are the major pros and cons of affiliate marketing:

Pros

  • It’s a great way to make passive income. While you’re off working at your full-time job, your affiliate links and blog posts will be working in the background. With the right combination of SEO and engaging, honest writing, you could be looking at a passive income cash cow.
  • You don’t need marketing experience. You don’t need any marketing experience to become an affiliate, though a bit of SEO knowledge and writing chops never hurt.
  • You can do it in your free time. With only a bit of time + money investment up front (setting up a website, getting set up with affiliate programs, and creating content with your affiliate links) you can start making money.
See also  6 Tips for Creating More Shareable Content (With Examples)

Cons

  • You have zero control over the offers, products, or services. You don’t have to mess with products (creating, distributing, selling) but at the same time, you don’t have any control over what you’re promoting, either.
  • It can be competitive. Affiliate marketing is relatively simple, so there will be plenty of other affiliates out there competing for clicks and leads – some of them with years of experience behind them.
  • There are scams. Affiliate marketers need to be wary of scams and fraudulent affiliate programs.

Now that you know the pros and cons, if you’re still interested in affiliate marketing, it’s time to dig in and learn more.

Here are 11 information-packed affiliate marketing blogs to check out on the road to becoming an affiliate master.

11 Affiliate Marketing Blogs That Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know

1. Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income Blog)

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Pat Flynn was just another casualty of the 2008 recession, but he was able to turn things around by transforming a website he built into a passive income stream.

On his blog, he shares his tools and techniques for earning passive income with affiliate marketing as well as strategies for effective online marketing (hints: provide value, earn trust, and only promote products you wholeheartedly stand behind).

2. John Chow

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

In the world of affiliate marketing, John Chow is a superstar. In two years, he was able to amp up his blogging income from nothing to $40,000/month.

Reading his advice and tips is a great idea if you want to supercharge your affiliate marketing.

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3. Matthew Woodward

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

For practical guides, case studies, and tips on both online and affiliate marketing, Matthew Woodward is your guy.

He’ll show you how to set up a blog, increase your traffic from search, improve your SEO, and more. His blogging case study archive is especially worth your time.

4. Luke Kling (Luke Peer Fly)

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Luke Kling has been an affiliate marketer since 2004 and is one of the biggest industry names.

He’s the brain behind affLIFT (an affiliate marketing forum – highly recommended) and FPTraffic, a Facebook page management tool. His blog is dedicated to helping you reach your affiliate marketing goals.

5. Shawn Collins (Affiliate Marketing Blog)

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Shawn Collins has been an affiliate marketer since 1997 and is another big industry name. He’s the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, a staple industry conference.

He’s also the host of a podcast, This Is Affiliate Marketing. His blog will keep you up to date on what’s happening in the affiliate marketing industry and includes notes on sessions from Affiliate Summit.

6. Missy Ward

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Missy Ward is CEO and co-founder of Affiliate Summit. She has written a few books about making money through blogging, including “Make Money with Your WordPress Blog”.

Her free affiliate marketing resources include a free print publication and a YouTube channel and are a good place to start.

7. Charles Ngo

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Charles Ngo is a successful affiliate marketer making seven-figures through his business acumen. On his blog, he shares tips and techniques for navigating the modern affiliate marketing landscape.

8. Zac Johnson

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Zac Johnson has been in the industry for over 20 years and knows his stuff. Follow his blog to get inside tips, step-by-step guides to starting your own blog, and additional ways to grow your revenue.

See also  5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing

9. Mobidea Academy

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Mobidea Academy is the learning branch of the Mobidea affiliate network. Follow the blog to stay in the loop on industry trends, get advice from top experts, and grow your skills.

10. I Am Attila

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

I Am Attila is a hands-on affiliate marketing blog offering step-by-step guidance, case studies, and more. He also goes deep into tools you can use to up your game.

This is a great blog to check out once you have some experience behind you.

11. Spencer Haws (Niche Pursuits)

11 Amazing Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Spencer Haws is a successful online entrepreneur who has earned success through building niche websites and affiliate marketing.

On his website, he offers case studies and guides for not only affiliate marketers, but anyone who wants to make money from a website.

Affiliate Marketing Is a Huge Opportunity

But only if you know what you’re doing. That means jumping in and expecting money to fall on your lap is foolhardy.

Just like any other type of industry, you can’t dive into the deep end without first getting your feet wet.

Study up on what affiliate marketing is about via these top blogs, then figure out if it’s a doable option for increasing your income.

AFFILIATE MARKETING

How Brands Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Their Marketing ROI

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How Brands Can Use Affiliate Marketing to Increase Their Marketing ROI


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Getting a strong return on a marketing investment: It keeps a lot of people up at night. How will the money spent on that PR firm translate into sales dollars? How will that huge advertising campaign that cost a million dollars impact your brand? For most marketing initiatives, determining ROI is an unpredictable waiting game with no guaranteed outcome.

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There’s one marketing model that plays by a different set of rules, however — rules based on paying for performance after results have been driven. Affiliate marketing, once viewed as a shot in the dark, is driven today by sophisticated technology, transparency between partners and compensation tied to specific, measurable results.

Related: How This Affiliate Marketer Learned Enough About His Craft to Strike Out on His Own

That said, a successful affiliate program requires the right experience and partners. Whether you’re looking to start an affiliate program or take an existing program to the next level, you need a strong team behind you. Here are the five players you need to ensure you’re driving the affiliate ROI you want:

1. An Agency

Unless your company has the resources and bandwidth to build a team of several people with extensive affiliate marketing knowledge and experience, hiring an agency is the best option. Agency marketers are experienced at handling the multifaceted complexities that come with building and growing a high-performing program.

Make sure you’re clearly looking at the agency’s setup, ensuring it’s based on performance. I once saw a speech by Robert Glazer, the CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global affiliate marketing company. He wrote a book called “Performance Partnerships,” which focused on aligning any affiliate program with performance. It’s easy to fall for the trap of working with a company that says it will bring you sales, but make sure it puts its money where its mouth is. If it doesn’t deliver in the short term, chances are high it might not be able to meet long-term expectations.

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2. A Scalable Network or Platform

Whether it’s an affiliate network or SaaS platform, all affiliate marketing programs need a technology platform to run on. Your platform should be able to support your growth plans and offer you the right features and geographical coverage, particularly if yours is a global brand.

Awin is an example of this type of platform. The firm provides technology that helps address industry challenges, such as third-party tracking, data light tracking, attribution and advanced commissioning. These types of data weren’t available years ago, but with new tech advances, you can identify what works, as well as when and why. It’s not just valuable for the affiliate program, but for also learning what works so you can apply that knowledge to different sales channels.

3. Loyalty Partners

If you want to scale your program quickly, you’ll need to partner with players who are focused on establishing loyal customers. Ebates is one of the bigger players in the loyalty sector operating on a performance basis. The brand is actively expanding its markets and its categories beyond retail to include travel, dining and ride-sharing for cash-back rewards.

It’s important to determine whether these types of partners will truly create loyalty or attract the wrong types of customers. If you pick the right type of loyalty partner, it can result in the strong, loyal customer base that’s key to long-term brand survival.

Related: How Loyalty Programs Are Emerging as Effective Marketing Tools

4. Mobile Partners

Customers are increasingly spending time on mobile devices and apps, so it’s imperative to have partners within your affiliate program who dominate the mobile ecosystem.

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Ibotta is an example of one of these apps in the U.S., connecting consumers with grocery, retail and lifestyle brands and rewarding them with cash for buying things they need. I used the app pretty easily when I was standing in line with customer service after a purchase. I simply took a picture of the receipt, and the app applied the cash back to my account. With a lot of mobile user growth, it’s good to look at partners who have developed a mobile user experience that makes things easy and accessible for the customer.

5. Tech-Driven Publishers

The affiliate space has grown well beyond coupon and deal partners. To drive incremental revenue on a performance basis within your program, consider partnering with publishers who are advanced in e-commerce technology, including deep website integration and artificial intelligence.

RevLifter is one example: The company helps brands deliver more conversions, incremental sales and customers by personalizing deals for advertisers across marketing channels. Available worldwide on a pay-per-performance model, it uses AI to understand real-time signals from users’ on-site behavior and deliver the right deal to the right customer at the right time.

Related: Partner Programs Turn Competitors Into Collaborators

Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or simply needing to step up your game, checking off these boxes will help you develop a strong affiliate marketing program. ROI is hard to manage when you’re running a bevy of marketing programs, but the right team can help you take the reins — and get the outcome you want.



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AFFILIATE MARKETING

This $19 Course Demystifies Affiliate Marketing in Two Hours Flat

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This $19 Course Demystifies Affiliate Marketing in Two Hours Flat


Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Fire up your go-to social media feed, and there’s a good chance you’ll scroll past at least one promo code or coupon being promoted by an influencer you follow. Without even trying, you’ve been exposed to a new brand, as well as an incentive in the form of a free trial or discount that might just get you to convert. That’s the magic of affiliate marketing.

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Companies big and small are leveraging affiliate marketing to drive brand awareness and conversions, and affiliate marketers stand to make a pretty penny for their services. Of course, the field can be a bit tricky to crack. but that’s what the SEO Affiliate Domination course is for. Now only $19, this course can help you make a killing in the affiliate marketing scene; and for 90% off what it would usually cost.

In just two hours, this course offers a detailed look into the lucrative world of affiliate marketing. Jump in, and you’ll discover important strategies for e-commerce, affiliate marketing, SEO, and video marketing; and you’ll emerge with a greater understanding of how to build brand authority.

Normally $199, the SEO Affiliate Domination course is on sale for only $19, a whopping 90% off the usual price.



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AFFILIATE MARKETING

Pick a Marketing Model That Lets You Pay for Results, Not Potential

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Pick a Marketing Model That Lets You Pay for Results, Not Potential


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In an era of caution, companies need to invest in marketing efforts that lead to a direct payoff and don’t require more than they can afford. Over the past week, I’ve had to evaluate all the things I’m doing at Calendar to see what’s really moving the needle. It’s astonishing the things we’re spending money on that aren’t actually driving revenue to our bottom line.

Visual Generation | Getty Images

As today’s environment forces drastic behavioral shifts in our daily lives, companies of all sizes and in all industries are evaluating the changes they need to make to stay nimble in our new economic reality. As businesses adapt to the stay-home economy, they’ll be focusing on which investments drive the best possible outcomes.

Businesses are used to pouring money into marketing channels that require upfront, flat-fee investments for promised inputs and potential outputs. Rather than invest in these marketing channels, companies can leverage affiliate marketing, which only requires them to pay partners once they’ve achieved the desired result.

Related: How to Build a Reliable (and Profitable) Affiliate Network From Scratch

What is affiliate marketing?

When managing their marketing budgets, companies should invest in channels tied directly to outcomes and avoid unnecessary risk. After all, if they pour all their funds into marketing but see no payoff, how will they afford to develop their products and services further? 

Affiliate marketing (often called “partner marketing”) is simple: A brand partners with a publisher, or an affiliate, to market a product or service to its audience using a tracking platform. Unlike marketing channels that require upfront payment, brands pay publishers a percentage-based commission for each sale generated through their content. 

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Forrester predicted that by the close of this year, U.S. ecommerce sales would total $500 billion. Combine that with predictive analytics firm Custora’s prediction that affiliate marketing will influence 14 percent of ecommerce purchases in the U.S., and that means affiliate marketing will impact $70 billion worth of sales. Pepperjam’s Adobe Summit 2017 Survey revealed that only 4 percent of are investing in affiliate marketing, meaning there’s a big opportunity. 

Related: Three Trends That Will Drive the E-commerce Sector In 2019

How affiliate marketing pays off (in more ways than one).

Affiliate marketing offers a cost-per-action (CPA) payment structure instead of a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) structure. This creates a sustainable, competitive advantage because businesses only have to pay for converted sales and leads after the publisher finalizes them. Even during tough times, brands should always want to pay for incremental revenue. It prevents businesses from throwing good money after bad — they don’t need to invest large amounts of money into marketing campaigns or ads that turn out to not convert as expected.

Instead of continuously investing money into Facebook and Google, hoping it leads to conversions, affiliate marketing enables brands to broadcast their product to a wide audience of potential customers with a pay-for-performance pricing model. It also enables them to be more hands-off, allowing their affiliate partners to use their brand standards to do the work themselves. Affiliate programs can even include partners who will share the brand via Facebook or Google; unlike traditional methods on those platforms, these will be paid based on those campaigns’ performance, allowing a low-risk entry to these channels. 

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Related: How Much Should You Spend on Social Media Marketing?

Even in an uncertain economy, this framework can scale. Because the marketing investment is only a portion of the revenue the partnership brings in, businesses just have to figure what they’re willing to pay for each transaction or new customer. They don’t have to worry about pouring excessive budget into a single channel. 

In a precarious marketplace, businesses need to stabilize their immediate future by investing in channels that they know will drive profit. Affiliate marketing is the model for this moment: It’s built on transparent and trusting relationships, where brands and partners set clear expectations and companies only have to pay for the outcomes they get.

People are at home, and that’s where affiliate marketers can capture their attention. Companies can stay ahead of the game by using affiliate marketing to maximize their ROI and make sure they’re paying for outcomes, not inputs.



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