A Comprehensive Look at Affiliate Networks

When you start to understand how affiliate marketing works, the next step is finding the right network that will provide the product links to your website.  Affiliate networks are a simple income option for all kinds of businesses online, and without them the internet would be a very different place.  That's why an affiliate network has such an important part to play online today.

It's worth taking into account that not every affiliate network is made the same, which simply means that they have their own particular way of working.   If used the right way your chosen affiliate network can be greatly beneficial to your writing business and blog/website.

Why Do We Have Affiliate Networks?

Affiliate networks are primarily created to sell other peoples products, enabling people online to make a simple commission every time they sell a product.  The power of affiliate marketing is such that major corporations and companies have realised the money making potential from affiliates and use affiliate marketing to sell their brand.

Having the selling power of hundreds or even thousands of affiliates gives the humble affiliate marketer a voice they never had before,  helping both parties in the long term.  It quickly becomes a win-win situation for both affiliate marketers and networks when commissions are being made and products sold.

Many affiliate networks offer products from much smaller sellers, Amazon is a perfect example of this.  Even in today's volatile market you can make money using affiliate links on your website or blog.

How Does an Affiliate Network Function?

An affiliate network is a group of associated (or affiliated) companies that sometimes offer compatible or complementary products and will often pass leads to each other.  At times, affiliated companies may not operate in the same industry.  They may offer cross-promotional deals, encouraging clients who have utilised their services to look into the services offered by an affiliate.  A company looking to acquire new customers will pay members of its affiliate network for sales leads they provide.

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How Affiliate Networks are Designed to Help You Make Money

One of the biggest affiliate networks is Amazon Associates, who provide their affiliates with a simple Site Stripe system.

SiteStripe can be turned on by using your Associates account information, or you can simply log into your Associates account and open up a relevant Amazon online store.  Once you've logged in you can create images, text or both for any product within Amazon.

Amazon Associates gives you a clear breakdown of what each product will make in commissions on their Operating Agreement page.

Setting-Up an Affiliate Account

Affiliate accounts can be set up reasonably easily, although some affiliate networks may want to look more deeply into the details they've been given, but that is to be expected.  The internet is full of con artists and fraudsters trying to make a quick buck.  So don't be alarmed if your application takes a little while to go through.  

I mention Amazon Associates again because most bloggers use it as a way of making money.  Tax information is usually required depending on where you are in the world, but the form is pretty easy to fill out.  

Important note: Most affiliate networks are free to sign up.  Beware of the companies that ask you for fees upfront.  Don't use them!

What Should a Good Network Offer Its Affiliates?

A network that's worth its weight in salt will help you make the most of your affiliate marketing efforts.

Here are some points to consider:

1. You should be able to promote whatever is on offer.

2. You should have a wide variety of products to offer your audience.

3. You should have a range of products that give you good commission.

4. You should have a straightforward analytics setup that's easy to read.

Is There a Cost Involved?

The only cost should be to the merchants, not the affiliate.  The website should be laid out in a way that makes it easy for you to create commissions for yourself and the network.  The cost incurred by the merchant is usually that of the product being sold and the commission made. 

Why You Should Read Reviews 

Before you sign up to any affiliate network you must make sure it's legitimate.  A good network would never ask you for money, or any other personal details.

It's best to do your homework thoroughly before signing up.  Read up about the affiliate network you want to join, and get to know and understand the products before selling them on your own website.   Half the battle is getting the right fit, and choosing a company that sells products that are relevant to your own brand and company.  You may only need one really good affiliate network to make money from, that's why most people opt for a company like Amazon because they offer such a wide range of products.  

Most of it is common sense, and homework.  Once you're happy with your chosen network, then sign up. 

Read more:

 
 
How to Create an Income With Your Author or Writing Blog

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