What is affiliate marketing?
We looked at Escalate previously and I described them as an advertising network. You can certainly earn some money this way and many of you already have done. But today we will look at signing up with ShareASale which is different – I would describe them as an affiliate network.
Escalate features banner adverts which you display and can be paid for in a number of ways, primarily Pay per Click and Pay per Conversion – email sign ups. The advertisers aren’t necessarily selling anything. You might try out several adverts to see what you readers are interested in, and perhaps change these out frequently as new offers are published. These tend to be more temporary in nature.
But ShareASale adverts primarily promote online stores where you will be paid a generous commission for any sales referred by your site. I’ve seen commissions of up to 80% but more typically they will be around 10-30%. These referrals can be by way of a display banner advert in your sidebar, but can also be by text links, sponsored posts, product reviews and social media – and more.
A sidebar banner can still work, and bring you sales if targeted correctly. The really big earnings from Affiliate Sales comes from careful targeting of your merchants to your readers interests, along with personal recommendation and promotion which encourages your readers to BUY. If done correctly, affiliate marketing can be a big earner. But if there are no sales – you earn nothing.
If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, you will find this post very useful – How to Earn with Affiliate Marketing – a Case Study.
Make Money with ShareASale
Take a look at this first video where I’ll talk you through:
- signing up at ShareASale
- how to find and select the best vendors to work with
- how to pick relevant products to feature
- looking at vendor stats, commission rates and agreements
- and applying for their programs.
Do go over to ShareASale and sign up if you haven’t already done so. By the way, this is an affiliate link, so I’ll get $1 if you sign up with them, place an advert and generate a click on your advert. I hope you don’t mind! A girl has to buy blogging fuel in the way of strong coffee…
And in response to a Reader’s Question about ShareASale, take a look at my suggested list of vendors that might be worth signing up with – large and small. Some of them even offer freebies for their affiliates or auto-approval.
Adding banners, making recommendations and Deep Linking
Affiliate marketing may be more direct and personal to your readers than the advertising banners we have added before. As an affiliate, you are only paid on SALES, so you may chose to take a more active approach in promoting your offers. By offering your readers real value, you will receive value in return.
Your readers value your opinions, trust your content and want to hear more about what you have to say. If you have a company or product you love – tell them about it, recommend it. But don’t lose the trust of your readers. Recommend only products you have used or would use yourself. You should never jeopardize the long-term standing of your site and reputation in the hope of making a quick buck.
If you are already used to advertising banners and have recently been adding in banners from Escalate, then adding your affiliate links will be easy. Your probably even already know how to do it. But I will still review adding in a banner to your sidebar and post in case this is your first time.
Most affiliate sales come from ‘Deep Linking‘. That is where you recommend and link to a particular product or range of products. So rather than direct your banner to the front page and leave your reader to do all of the work, I will show you how to set up your own custom affiliate link to any page or product for the best possible sales results.
In this second video, how to:
- add a banner to your side bar
- add a banner to your post
- add a more subtle text link
- create a custom link to products or pages – essential for the best sales. This is known as Deep Linking.
Reporting on your clicks, sales and commissions
So how did you do – did anyone click? Did you make any sales? The ShareASale reporting system is easy. Let’s take a quick look.
You should now be up and running with ShareASale and know how to apply for programs, place your adverts, promote products with Deep Linking, and then report on your results. If you have any questions – do let me know. I’m happy to help.
Affiliate marketing and ShareASale – further reading list: