One of the challenges I came up against when writing about cameras regularly was that while a certain percentage of my readers were actively shopping for a new camera, many readers already owned one. In fact, writing a ‘photography tips’ blog means you attract more people wanting to learn how to use a camera that they already own, rather than buying a new one.
Recent corporate changes and folding 2Checkout into a larger company that is involved in payment processing and e-commerce means that the affiliate program can sometimes feel somewhat neglected. But the ability to generate custom coupon codes and the comprehensive knowledge base make 2Checkout a good option for experienced affiliates with an established user base. But if you’re just entering the affiliate field for the first time, 2Checkout might not be where you want to start.
One of the reasons I like Wealthy Affiliate is because it enables me to provide this blog for free to people, but also be able to sell a genuinely high-quality product that I know is always updated and provides a better service than I ever could. Plus, when people sign up using my affiliate link, I can still provide one-on-one coaching and support as a way to add value and as a “thank you” for signing up using my link. Wealthy Affiliate truly is a win-win-win setup.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
The terms of an affiliate marketing program are set by the company wanting to advertise. Early on, companies were largely paying cost per click (traffic) or cost per mile (impressions) on banner advertisements. As the technology evolved, the focus turned to commissions on actual sales or qualified leads. The early affiliate marketing programs were vulnerable to fraud because clicks could be generated by software, as could impressions.
Cookie stuffing involves placing an affiliate tracking cookie on a website visitor's computer without their knowledge, which will then generate revenue for the person doing the cookie stuffing. This not only generates fraudulent affiliate sales but also has the potential to overwrite other affiliates' cookies, essentially stealing their legitimately earned commissions.
I realize my bias is already showing through, so I’ll get to what I DON’T like about Wealthy Affiliate below. But, as I’ve already stated, overall I don’t know of any other place that is better for new affiliate marketers to get started than Wealthy Affiliate. If you take a look around my site, you’ll notice I’ve spent a TON of time on it. I’ve spent years of my life building this site, and there are currently almost 500 posts here, all for free, for everyone. It is in my best interest to promote only the best training course and that training course is Wealthy Affiliate.
This book is written by a hugely successful Amazon affiliate member, Armaan Kohli, and includes real case studies of how he’s built a successful niche site empire that’s monetized through the Amazon Associates Program. He shows you screenshots of how his income keeps growing along with an example of how he ultimately sold his 6 month old Amazon affiliate website for over $15000!
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ad will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.