Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.
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.
Affiliate marketing is also called "performance marketing", in reference to how sales employees are typically being compensated. Such employees are typically paid a commission for each sale they close, and sometimes are paid performance incentives for exceeding objectives. Affiliates are not employed by the advertiser whose products or services they promote, but the compensation models applied to affiliate marketing are very similar to the ones used for people in the advertisers' internal sales department.
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.
The implementation of affiliate marketing on the internet relies heavily on various techniques built into the design of many web-pages and websites, and the use of calls to external domains to track user actions (click tracking, Ad Sense) and to serve up content (advertising) to the user. Most of this activity adds time and is generally a nuisance to the casual web-surfer and is seen as visual clutter. Various countermeasures have evolved over time to prevent or eliminate the appearance of advertising when a web-page is rendered. Third party programs (Ad-Aware, Adblock Plus, Spybot, pop-up blockers, etc.) and particularly, the use of a comprehensive HOSTS file can effectively eliminate the visual clutter and the extra time and bandwidth needed to render many web pages. The use of specific entries in the HOSTS file to block these well-known and persistent marketing and click-tracking domains can also aid in reducing a system's exposure to malware by preventing the content of infected advertising or tracking servers to reach a user's web-browser.
Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics, LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum, and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers. Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
My business, Pure Residuals, was developed and launched in July of 2013. It is my primary website, but one of many over the previous 10-15 years of earning real money online. I have made thousands of dollars selling other peoples' stuff for fantastic commissions and I truly enjoy doing it and teaching others how to get started and eventually become a full-time online marketer.
Just like to add 1 additional "CON" to the list of Pros and Cons of Clickbank. Their rule on paying out the commissions earned. You must have 5 sales all from different credit card accounts before they will pay you what you have earned. That flat out sucks!. Affiliates work hard to get even 1 sale and because of Clickbanks rule, lose that money over time if they cannot get another 4 sales, the commission keeps reducing steadily if 4 more sales are not forthcoming. Clickbank has got to change that rule, which many feel is illegal!. A sale, is a sale, and the commission must be paid out. Basically, Clickbank is "Ripping-Off" affiliate marketers.
Always make affiliate links nofollow. Google’s goal is to provide its users with the best possible search results to their search queries. One of the main ways they figure out which webpages are the best is through links. The Google bots crawl the web, reading text. When they come to a link, it’s like an open door. They follow the link (walk through the door) and explore the site you linked to.
I, too, have always looked at ClickBank as a secondary and even tertiary monetization source. But it can be a great sources of revenue. I linked one of my articles to a related product on CB, and without really doing promotion or anything unusual, I get a few sales a week. Mind you, the keyword(s) for the post aren't that huge either. So, even though the traffic not huge on that post, it still manages to get some sales.
If you have built up an email list, you could also promote your affiliate offers via email promotions. Just make sure you build up a relationship with your audience first instead of going for the hard sell straightaway. The emails you send out must contain your affiliate links to products so when your audience click through. the sale is attributed to you.
Access to a computer, spreadsheet software (Excel or Google Spreadsheets), an email account, and an eager and open mind! Additionally, I ask that you have at least some online following already. It can be a small one, but you shouldn't be starting from scratch when getting access to this course. If you're not sure what your business is about yet, that's the most important thing to figure out first!
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don't be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you.
Merchants or advertisers are those who have a product to sell. They are interested in increasing their profit by working with affiliates and allowing them to promote the product on their behalf. Merchants do so by using an affiliate program where they provide everything needed for the promotion of the product(s) including the affiliate links. The course represents a guide for merchants to create an affiliate program and a strategy to encourage affiliates to join.