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Part 2: What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them?

wedge-of-cashWelcome to part 2 of ‘What Are Affiliate Networks & Should I be using Them’, this is a continuation of the article I started yesterday here. Lets get straight to it.

Who’s Using Affiliate Networks To Promote Their Products?

Now this is where I am going to start name dropping, names such as Matalan, OFFICE Shoes, Misco, McAfee, Hilton, Vodafone, BT, P&O, Maplin, Kodak, eBuyer, Marks & Spencers, Littlewoods, Very, ASDA I could run out of this virtual ink listing all the companies that use affiliates to promote their sales.

Marks & SpencersBut don’t let the use of high street brands put you off, there are thousands of smaller merchants working the affiliate scene and some convert better than the big boys!

Companies use affiliate networks for a simple reason, they work and they also work on commission on confirmed sales. Unlike PPC (Pay Per Click) and PPI (Pay Per Impression) the money is spent before knowing the results, affiliate networking is for a confirmed purchase.

Examples of Affiliate Sites

Sadly none of these are mine, I do have an a good idea from old data, on some of the revenue these sites create and its not small amounts, by any means:

Special Networks

eBay UKNow there are two affiliate networks which are worth a special mention, these are eBay and Amazon. Thats right you can use either of these companies to promote your own products. This also explains where some of your fees go to each month, into affiliate pockets. Well the ones that converted browsers into buyers that is. Remember almost all affiliate schemes are based upon commission on confirmed sales.

eBay is a bit ‘funky’ as they have changed their stats and payments to work on a fairer structure is based upon actions, bids and purchasing, with a more true representation on what the customer that was referred by the affiliate is then doing on the site.

Amazon UKAmazon is also a bit ‘funky’ too, unlike the typical affiliate program that would have a cookie period of say 7, 30, 45, 60 or 90 days, Amazon has a cookie life of just 24 hours. Yes, as an affiliate they need to convert their browser into a buyer in 24 hours from them clicking the link. Sounds horrific, but Amazon converts like crazy and its one of my largest income streams from affiliate marketing.

Summary of Affiliate Networks

You should now be aware of what an affiliate network is; that affiliate networks mostly have a setup fee, a monthly fee and a commission to be paid to both the affiliates that drive you sales and a commission on the commission’s to the affiliate.

But within this structure lies the key, once you can get over the the monthly overhead, the sales that are generated by the affiliates should be much cheaper than those acquired by other means, plus its your customer to market who you wish after the sale.

In the final part of this series, you can discover The Top UK Affiliate Networks.

Amazon Product Advertising API Oct 15th Deadline

Amazon Product Advertising APIFor anyone else who uses the Amazon Product Advertising API, there are some major changes coming that have an October 15th deadline.

The biggest alteration to the API is the removal of customer reviews from being sent, instead a link to the review on Amazon is returned. They are saying this is because of the high load of data being transferred and the keyword of the entire update is ‘Efficiency’, while I do not doubt this for one second, I do suspect that this is a change to give their own site a higher set of results in search engines, by keeping their unique content (reviews) to themselves.

This is no real bust up for Affiliates that actually use proper, unique content. Google has always said (and pretty much kept its word), if you give people a reason to come to the site, they will. You can never go wrong with unique, quality content, its is key to a successful Affiliate (and website) campaign; As I know all to well from the blisters on my fingers from typing so much.

There are some other response groups that have been removed, never used any of them and you can see the full details at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/advertising/api/detail/main.html