LESSON #85: Affiliate Traffic

We’ve been talking about web traffic for the past 13 lessons, and finally we’ve arrived at one of my favorite methods of getting traffic. It also happens to be one of the most powerful traffic generation methods on the Internet…

(Watch this video – it may take a couple minutes to load after clicking it…)

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Outline:

  • Affiliate marketing is basically a form a marketing in which an affiliate gets paid for making referrals or sales of someone else’s product.
  • (See video for diagrams)

  • Vendor (aka Merchant, Retailer, Advertiser, Seller) = A person or company that is selling something.

  • Affiliate (aka Marketer, Publisher) = Sends traffic to the vendor’s website and is paid affiliate commissions for making referrals (usually sales or leads).

  • Commission rates vary greatly. A typical digital product might have a commission in the range of 30% to 100%. A typical physical product might have a commission rate of 1% to 30%.

  • Commission structures:

    PPS (Pay per sale) = get paid for making sales, or a “revenue share” of your overall sales volume for the time period. The most common affiliate commission structure.

    CPA (Cost per action) = get paid for referrals/leads. Also common, with many CPA Networks devoted to this model.

    CPM (Cost per 1000 impressions) = get paid for traffic. Commonly used in advertising but not in affiliate marketing.

  • (KEY POINT) Leverage is what makes affiliate marketing so powerful. Instead of you working to get web traffic to your site, your affiliates will do it for you by utilizing SEO, PPC, social media, and all the other traffic methods that we’ve talked about.

  • Two main options for creating and managing an affiliate program:

    1) An in-house affiliate program
    2) A 3rd party affiliate program provider (aka Affiliate Network, CPA network, etc.)

  • In-house affiliate programs

    Pros:
    Building equity in your own program.
    Easier to build a relationship with your affiliates.
    Not paying fees to a program provider.

    Cons:
    More work to manage it.
    Responsibility of paying affiliates, reporting earnings to the IRS, etc.
    Have to recruit all your affiliates.

    Self-hosted solutions (installed on your website):
    Amember
    Butterfly script
    Delavo
    IDevAffiliate
    Many others

    3rd party (hosted) solutions:
    1shoppingcart
    infusionsoft
    E-junkie
    Nanacast
    Many others
    (See also lesson #54)

  • Affiliate Program Provider (aka Affiliate Network, CPA network, etc.)

    Pros:
    Easy to setup and use.
    Tap into their existing affiliates.
    They handle all the tracking and affiliate payments.

    Cons:
    May be difficult to communicate with your affiliates.
    You pay extra processing fees to the provider.
    Not “building equity” in your own program.

    Commonly used by information marketers:
    ClickBank (Not “technically” an affiliate network)
    Plimus
    Digital River’s OneNetworkDirect (for software)
    PayDotCom (PayPal based)
    JVzoo (PayPal based)
    Digiresults (PayPal based)

    Other Affiliate and CPA networks:
    Commission Junction – www.cj.com
    LinkShare- www.linkshare.com
    ShareASale – www.shareasale.com
    Clickbooth – www.clickbooth.com
    Google Affiliate Network – www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork/
    MaxBounty – www.maxbounty.com
    NeverBlue – www.neverblue.com
    PeerFly – www.peerfly.com
    AdscendMedia – www.adscendmedia.com
    Amazon Associates – affiliate-program.amazon.com
    AND HUNDREDS MORE!

  • Why I prefer ClickBank:

    – They’re reliable.
    – They specialize in digital products.
    – They have a massive base of established affiliates.
    – They handle processing, security, taxes, affiliate payments, etc.

  • What about using one of the big Affiliate Networks or CPA Networks?

    There is often a big up-front cost, and there is more risk involved. Before you even consider it…

    1) You need have something that converts CONSISTENTLY.
    2) You need be a master of your numbers. (know your metrics)

  • Key point: You need to nurture the relationship with your affiliates. Get them onto a list if there’s not one built into your affiliate program.

  • Provide your affiliates with tools to make their job easy, such as…

    – Banners
    – Blog posts
    – PPC ads
    – Swipe emails (most important in my business)
    – Tweets
    – Social media posts

  • Consider hiring an affiliate manager with the following qualifications:

    – proven track record
    – excellent communication skills
    – knowledgeable at many methods of getting traffic
    – proficient at HTML and web skills
    – loyal and has integrity

    Action steps:

    1) Decide whether you want to implement an affiliate program in your business.

    2) If yes, choose an in-house or 3rd party solution (such as the ones I listed in this lesson) and set it up. (Lesson #53 and #54 and #32 may be helpful)

    In the next lesson we’ll be looking at how to recruit affiliates!

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below 🙂

    Have a great day!

  • 53 comments on “LESSON #85: Affiliate Traffic

    1. Perry Bird

      Thank you timing could not have been more perfect for me. Good to have you working a few hours again.
      Again Thank You
      Perry Bird

      Reply
    2. richard

      Thanks for this great post! Keep it up

      Reply
    3. Daniel

      I have been waiting for this the whole time

      Reply
    4. Daniel

      i haven’t even pressed play and i am so excited. Thank you for all you are doing. You have no idea how big of a help you have been

      Reply
    5. Jose

      Thanks for the insight. From this,it means one has to have a product that is to be offered for sale and for distribution by affiliates. If so, it is a wake up call for internet marketers to think of ebooks for sale.

      Reply
    6. Laurie

      Hi Eric Thanks for such an informative video. As it happens, I have recently posted on my blog about this subject but it was an extremely abridged version compared to yours. I am a newbie so not up to your level just yet !!! 🙂 It made me realize that video is such a brilliant way to put your point across. I shall have to look into video making possibilities now, and thanks for prompting me. I am inspired! Thank you. Laurie.

      Reply
    7. David Vallieres

      That’s a great post Eric. I agree 100% with you on ClickBank. I remember in 2002 they called me on the phone. “That’s strange” I thought – but they just wanted to tell me that my check would be late by 2 days because of an error by their check vendor. Since then they have paid every single time – on time. I’ve been an affiliate with other systems and have lost thousands of dollars over the last 12 years from vendors I was an affiliate for not paying me. They talk a good game then don’t pay. With ClickBank I never have to worry about it.

      Reply
    8. Eric Post author

      Yes good to be back thanks 🙂

      Reply
    9. Eric Post author

      Thanks, yes video is a great medium for teaching!

      Reply
    10. Eric Post author

      Exactly. Hey you’re more of a CB veteran than me!

      Reply
    11. Stephanie

      Welcome back Eric! I’d love to know how/where to find affiliate managers! Thanks!

      Reply
    12. Ray

      Hey Eric,

      Another great lesson. I’m really looking forward to your next lesson as I have several products to promote and all the setup in-house is done.

      Just a suggestion, have you considered putting a page on this site that lists all lessons and what was covered?

      Reply
    13. Mark

      Thanks, Eric. I was wondering what happened to you. I got an email every day from you and then nothing. I hope everything is well.

      Thanks again! Appreciated.

      Mark

      Reply
    14. Andrew G.

      Whoa two of my favorite teachers in the same post, kinda cool welcome back Eric and Dave!

      Reply
    15. Yinka

      Thank you for this lesson.

      Reply
    16. David

      Great video Eric, and it is good to see the here and it has help my more now and get in to it the bast thanks..

      Reply
    17. mondo

      I understand a subscriber list is important as an affiliate of promoting clickbank products, now, is there a way to promote clickbank products without this list, what sort of targeted traffic can we get at present without a list?

      Reply
    18. Sylvia Edwards

      Dear Eric, I have really learned a lot from you, and I think you are great. because of you I have learned how to drive traffic to my website and I am now making money. Thanks so much.
      I have a question for you. My Nephew is very interested in internet marketing. he is about to turn 15 years old. is he to young to make money online and does he have to be an adult? He really wants to know.
      Sincerely, Sylvia

      Reply
    19. Eric Post author

      Yes it is possible. My son is 12 and he is now starting to make money online. He may need an adult to approve and/or co-sign his payment processing accounts.

      Reply
    20. Eric Post author

      Yes there are ways to do it without a list. Basically you can use any of the other forms of traffic that I’ve already covered… SEO, paid traffic, social media, etc. However, my advice is to start building a list! If you’re going to go through the effort of getting targeted traffic, you might as well get them onto a list instead of just sending them to affiliate offers.

      Reply
    21. Eric Post author

      Thanks 🙂 Yes I’ve considered it and might do it soon. In the mean time, I have such a page in my coaching club. Sort of a perk for members.

      Reply
    22. Eric Post author

      That’s a very good question. I thought about addressing it in the video, but I didn’t have any great answers. There are many places you could find an affiliate manager… Google it, ask on the Warrior Forum, put out a craigslist ad, outsource it on Odesk, etc. But the problem is finding a good one. Therefore I think the best way is word of mouth. Talk to some vendors who have very successful products and ask them if they have an affiliate manager.

      Reply
    23. Doreen

      Hi Eric
      Doreen here I received lesson 85 and it was brilliant as were all the rest of the training up to now but for some reason I have not heard from you for the last few days is there a problem I was getting the video training daily and they have just stopped I dont want to stop my training and thought it went to 100 waiting to hear from you
      Have a great day
      Doreen (http://premierinformationanddistributionsltd.com)

      Reply
    24. Doreen

      I have contacted your support center regarding futher training videos sorry to be a pain but I have learnt so much
      Thank you I know your busy with your own sites
      Doreen

      Reply
    25. Richard Rodriquez

      Hi Eric

      The information you cover as usual, is fantastic.

      However I have not yet received Lesson 86 is that because it is limited to particular people in some way?
      If not then are you able to let me have the next lesson and subsequent lessons?

      Thanks for all the information.

      Kind regards
      Richard

      Reply
    26. Carol

      Thanks Eric! Great video. I have an idea to put together an ebook as a vender on Clickbank. You make it seem possible.

      Reply
    27. Micah

      Hello Doreen,

      It looks like you’ve just caught up to the latest lesson. Eric is hard at work on the next few lessons. They should be posted sometime soon!

      Reply
    28. Micah

      Hello Richard,

      It looks like you’ve just caught up to the latest lesson. Eric is hard at work on the next few lessons. They should be posted sometime soon!

      Reply
    29. Leslie Leftley

      hi Eric,

      I have been busy doing other things, so I have not noticed, until now, that this is the last Eric’s tips I have received (No 85).

      I have not been sent any other Eric’s Tips. Can you please investigate and re-commence my Eric’s Tips?

      Thank you so much

      Les Leftley

      Reply
    30. Micah

      Hello Leslie,

      It looks like you’ve just caught up to the latest lesson. Eric is hard at work on the next few lessons. They should be posted sometime soon!

      Reply
    31. Dorothy Marr

      Thank you Eric,

      Holding my lessons back for Eric’s Tips helped. Would your please send them again,I’m on Lesson #85.

      Thank You and God Bless

      Reply
    32. Claes Staffansson

      I can not watch this video??? I only have sound but the screen is black. Anyone else have this problem? Have tried updating, waiting, upgrade and so on but no video. Older lessons is no problem to watch.
      What do do Eric?

      Reply
    33. Micah

      Hello Dorothy,

      Eric will still be completing 100 lessons. You’ve simply caught up to the latest lesson.

      The next lesson will be sent to you soon.

      Reply
    34. charles

      Hi Eric & Micah,
      What are some affiliate programs that have high price items, physical or digital?

      Thanks
      Charles

      Reply
    35. tracy

      Eric,How come I can only heard you talking but I can’t see the video playing.. All I see is black screen.

      Reply
    36. Ali

      Please cancel my subscription

      Reply
    37. Kadhim

      Hi Eric
      I noticed that your lessons has been delayed ,before you were sending them by time .. but now you putting another stuffs , when its was the time for your email to come ,I was quickly opening it and watching that video tutorials ,with all attention , nowadays I got disappointing when I can not see as much is it promised , can I know way?

      Reply
    38. Eric Post author

      I’ll post a new one soon 🙂

      Reply
    39. Hannah

      Hello Eric,

      Thanks so much, as I am extremely grateful for this lesson – Lesson #85!

      What an EYE OPENER! I am currently working with several Affiliate Marketing Companies and have high sales volume and getting better with tech skills. Is there any system that you are aware of that will display who my customers are when I make an Affiliate sale? I do have my face-to-face customers that I have built over the last several years,152 to be exact. When added all up, according to my combined Affiliate Marketing Companies’ stats,(which I get bonuses/rewards), I have over 4K customers. I sell mostly women products, anywhere from cosmetics, skin care, hair stuff, jewelry, fashion,etc. and real estate investing materials. I want to start building my own lists of customers since you have mentioned the “good” in doing this, as well as having my own efficient website, etc.

      As an Affiliate Marketer, I post my Affiliate Links in many places. How do I know that I am getting all of my customers who clicked on my link and purchased something? Is there a software that can show me?

      Thanks so much again, as I am so grateful for all of the Lessons that you are teaching me, but even more
      grateful for this one. I have been doing sales for a long time, but online for the past 7 years.

      BLESSINGS, BLESSINGS and more BLESSINGS!

      Hannah

      Reply
      1. Eric Post author

        Yes it sounds like list building is a very important component that you need to integrate with your business.

        Regarding the affiliate links, there’s no sure way to know that you got credit for “every” sale. There will always be a few sales that slip through the cracks for various reasons (they are blocking cookies, they decided to use their own aff link, etc.), but most affiliate platforms are pretty reliable.

        One thing I would recommend for this type of affiliate marketing (posing links in many places) is to make sure you are tracking the source of your sales. Most affiliate programs have built-in tracking features, where you can add a unique tracking ID to your affiliate link. You can then use a different tracking ID for each place you post links, and see exactly where the sales are coming from, and then focus more on those hot sources.

        Reply
        1. Hannah

          Hello Eric,

          Thanks very much. I gotta get it together! All of the Affiliate marketing companies that I do work for have a “Tracking Feature.” After all of these years (7), I had never even looked into the “Tracking Features” ever! u
          There is a lot of stuff to learn. Most of the products that I affiliate market, I use them myself, as it helps me to sell more – testimonials, at tradeshows, events, etc.

          Well, I am going to re-listen to Lesson 86…these “Affiliate Marketing” Lesson are soooooooo helpful and then I will listen to Lesson 87 later this evening.

          Thanks so much again!

          BLESSINGS, BLESSINGS, and more BLESSINGS!

          Reply
    40. dave

      Hey guys– guess this is a decent place to ask. Question– is there a site (or resource) where people can learn about existing/ upcoming offers? Like Regal Assets affiliate program.. how was that announced and how can people find out about (any) affiliate promotion.

      Thanks,
      Dave

      Reply
    41. Mike R.

      this is great information you are dispensing here. I really liked what you talk about of the ones I got to listen to I plan to go back from the beginning to make sure I got all this good info. down good to help lunch my website and my own business online. I had something going but I am going to have to start from scratch. and with less money then I had to start with. I hope your info. can help in this endeavor. Don’t you think so?

      Reply
      1. Micah

        Hello Mike,

        We recommend that you hang in there with Eric’s free video lessons at http://www.ericstips.com/. Eric’s lessons have helped many people to go from beginners, to successful online business owners!

        The lessons are presented in a sequence that starts at the very beginning, where the very first things you need to learn about online marketing are shown in the first few lessons!

        If you’re interested to go even more in-depth with marketing, you might also want to take part in Eric’s coaching club:
        http://www.realguysrealmoney.com

        Eric, Paul, and Jeff are expert marketers. They will be a great resource for you!

        What is included in the Coaching Club:
        – 2 Live Coaching Webinars Per Month with Jeff Wellman, Paul Counts, and Eric Holmlund
        – Access to the Archive of All Coaching Calls
        – Monthly High Quality PLR Product
        – Massive Video Training Library
        – Community Forum (JV’s, Support, and More)
        – Articles, Bonuses, and More
        http://www.realguysrealmoney.com/go17/

        Reply
    42. dave

      Hey Eric,

      Question, when it comes to CPA networks (Max Bounty. Peerfly, etc.) do you know what a contextual ad is? I’ve heard the term, poked around online for an answer, no luck. Curious if you know what it is. More specifically I know they allow email and banner ads, and some offer contextual. What does that mean? 🙂

      Thanks,
      Dave

      Reply
      1. Micah

        Hello Dave,

        Contextual ads are relevant to the “text” that a website visitor is reading. Ad spiders scan pages for keywords, to help in serving up ads, relevant to the overall content of the page.

        Reply
    43. DA Jack Hayford

      Hi Eric, I wanted to thank you for the great information and products. I am using some of your PLR products…they are very good, thanks. I have a quick question. I have read that Time on Site or Vist Length is important for SEO. Is this true? Currently my site is getting about 5-6% of visitors spending longer than an hour. Is that good? What is a great % to shoot for and expect realistically? THANKS!

      Reply

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