I’m going to let you in on a secret. When I launched our company five years ago, one of the consulting roles I played was that of an affiliate marketing coach. Yep, I admit it. I helped teach people to use affiliate marketing to make money on the internet.
First and foremost, let me say this – affiliate marketing has gotten a bad rap over the years. When done right (legally and ethically), affiliate marketing is a great tool for both affiliates (those promoting a product) and merchants (those selling the product).
It’s the black hat SEO consultants and unethical marketers that give affiliate revenue and marketing a bad name. There are a lot of high quality affiliate marketers and merchants that are doing the right things and making money in an ethical manner.
So What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between an online merchant and affiliate. The affiliate earns a commission for generating sales, leads and/or clicks for the merchant’s web site.
Ok lets break that down into a easier to digest manner. Affiliate marketing is simply a four-step process for earning income:
- Program Sign Up – An affiliate signs up for an affiliate program and pledges to promote a merchant’s product or service for a fee.
- Product Promotion – Once the affiliate is approved by the merchant, the affiliate produces quality content about this product or service. Quality content could include a blog post comparing product alternatives or a how to video on product usage. In both cases, the promoted product is referenced and a link is provided to purchase said product.
- Purchase Transaction – The reader of the blog or watcher of the video follows the provided hyperlink and purchases the product on the merchant’s website.
- Commission Payment – The merchant will see the sale originated from the affiliate and will in turn provide the affiliate a commission for the sale. This commission is the affiliate revenue.
There are quite a bit more things involved here, especially on the technology side of things, but this overview sums up the process for those unfamiliar with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing – Then and Now
My gig as an affiliate marketing coach didn’t last very long, because our firm grew and I didn’t have time for this side project. While I’ve been an affiliate through ShareaSale for years and could promote products, I rarely ever did. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in the potential of it, it just didn’t fall within my mantra of “do what makes you happy” so it was forgotten about.
Flash forward a few years and our firm launches a WordPress theme store. Once our online store was established and we had a good number of Genesis themes to sell, I realized I would need to once again get active in affiliate marketing. This time, however, I would be the merchant instead of the affiliate.
We started our affiliate program in beta mode and ran it through WordPress. I needed to know it was viable before I invested in moving to an established affiliate network.
Our affiliate program worked. We’ve had good success with it over the last year and so have our affiliates. It is now time for us to move to the next level and evolve into a more established affiliate marketing program.
In doing so we’ve moved our affiliate program to ShareaSale.com.
An Overview of Our Affiliate Marketing Program
- Industry specific themes
- 25% commissions
- Banners ads and text links
- 60 day cookie for conversion tracking
- Auto deposit
If you’re interested in becoming an affiliate for Web Savvy Marketing, please take a moment to read more about our affiliate program and then jump on over to ShareaSale.com and sign up for our affiliate program.
Please note we manually review each affiliate and we are accepting only those marketers who are closely related to what we do and what we offer. We only want high quality marketers who love WordPress and the Genesis framework just as much as we do.
If you’re brand new to affiliate marketing and like to write and produce high quality web content, you should consider becoming an affiliate for products and services within your niche. Done right, it does work and it is a great affiliate revenue for all those involved.