The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
A multinational company may set up affiliates to break into international markets while protecting the parent company's name in case the affiliate fails or the parent company is not viewed favorably due to its foreign origin. Understanding the differences between affiliates and other company arrangements is important in covering debts and other legal obligations.
The biggest issue I’ve had with previous training programs and marketing communities is how outdated they get. With a Wealthy Affiliate Premium membership, you don’t need to worry about that. New trainings are added daily including live weekly video training sessions. You can also search and browse past trainings they’ve created over the years. With a premium membership, you also get unlimited access to community features which is one of my favorite aspects of Wealthy Affiliate. I spend hours per day simply chatting and messaging people who clicked on my Wealthy Affiliate affiliate link. When they use my link to sign up, I get notified, and the personal one-on-one coaching can begin. No other platform has offered this option before.
Not necessarily, but a blog is really the best promotional tool. With that said, you can always use methods such as PPC or advertising to promote a product. This is another popular method to grow in affiliate marketing. For me, the best way to make the most out of affiliate marketing opportunities is to have a blog. Learn how to start a blog here.
I am a HUGE fan of the “freemium” business model. Wealthy Affiliate follows that model by offering a free membership account. The free membership gives you limited access in the Wealthy Affiliate dashboard. Some of your access lasts forever, such as some of the training videos and community features, while other features only last for a limited time, such as the live chat feature. Here is what you get with the free Wealthy Affiliate Membership:
Some will skyrocket into six-figure success and others, like me, will develop skills that can be applied to other models. Being an Amazon affiliate can be a great way to start your ecommerce career, but you may find that you’ll eventually need to transition to a more profitable and sustainable model to help you succeed as an ecommerce entrepreneur.
Site Builder Package - There is a steep learning curve for beginners to set up their website. No kidding! Tried it with other web hosting providers in the past when I was a beginner, and it was a nightmare. But with WA Site Builder, you can quickly build a website within 30 seconds! Wealthy Affiliate has streamlined the entire online business setup process.
I recognize that the list above is short; however, that’s because Amazon affiliate marketing really doesn’t require a specialized theme in order for it to work well (unless it’s one of the unique cases noted in the themes above). Instead, you’re better off using WooCommerce if you want to build a full affiliate store or simply stick to the WordPress theme you currently have and add affiliate plugins to the mix.
SkimLinks is primarily for established content producers (bloggers) who want to monetize their content. With a powerful WordPress plugin and scripts for just about any website type, setting up SkimLinks is very easy. And because you have access to all offers on their platform after you’re approved, SkimLinks is very well designed for affiliates who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with settings and other fine-tuning.
You can use affiliate links after the fact. You don’t have to decide upon building a WordPress site that you’re going to optimize it with Amazon affiliate links. You can decide down the road that you want to give affiliate marketing a try and, consequently, revisit old content, embed affiliate links within it, and start generating revenue that way--especially if your old content is finally starting to take off.
If you add up all the services you get, the premium membership is a steal. For example, you’ll notice they include unlimited keyword research with a membership. Other paid keyword research tools sell for $49 or more just by themselves. Add in website hosting, and there’s another $10 / mo. Add on the website security package, and there’s another $10 per month (I’ve paid as much as $29 / mo just for website security). Just based on those things alone, Wealthy Affiliate is a great deal with all of the resources and tools you need in one convenient place. Not to mention all of the training, tutorials, and support that is included with the membership.
JVZoo’s strength is that it allows experienced marketers to gain access to product launches and a huge range of online courses while setting up sales funnels and customized landing pages. It’s definitely not for someone who wants to monetize a blog or earn money by having users click through and buy physical products. If you’ve carved out a strong presence online in the marketing space, JVZoo might be a perfect fit.
It is important to note, however, that StudioPress is now a subsidiary of WPEngine which is the company that actually does the web hosting on which StudioPress’s Genesis framework runs. The affiliate program only works with choosing the StudioPress framework and themes, not the actual hosting on WPEngine. WPEngine has a separate affiliate program for its hosting services, which yes, is a bit confusing.
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Wealthy Affiliate is also very strict on spam, which in the end is a GOOD thing, but I have to be careful sometimes about promoting my sites or referencing them. Sometimes I do have valuable information on my site that I think could help people during live chat sessions or Q&A’s, but I don’t share because I don’t want it to look like I’m spamming. They do allow people to promote their sites in certain areas, but in order to keep the community from filling up with self-promotion spam, there are times when it is best not to share certain information from outside sources, especially my own sites.
I didn’t know it at the time, but to be a successful Amazon affiliate, you need to have hyper focus. Instead, I created four online stores in various niches (because I’m so indecisive I couldn’t pick just one). And then I stocked up those stores with hundreds of products. I had an online store catered to the bridal niche where I spent a week writing product descriptions for over 600 products. What the heck was I thinking?
That being said, LinkConnector’s platform looks and feels outdated and is rather clumsily designed. Their dashboard also makes it difficult to find “hot” products or compare conversion rates, leaving affiliates somewhat in the dark about which products to choose. Ironically, despite their low-quality website, they offer some of the best customer service in the affiliate space.
The entire reason I created this site is because as an affiliate marketer, I started getting upset with the lack of ethics and misinformation being spread from MANY affiliate marketers, especially as it pertains to the “make money online” niche. So many online marketers out there promise you quick easy money if you just sign up and pay for this or that. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. Growing an affiliate marketing business is just like starting any other business – it takes time, effort, and a lot of trial and error. I won’t get into it here, but if you’d like you can read my honest article about how long it takes to earn a full-time living with affiliate marketing.