Formerly Buy.com, Rakuten.com has grown into a monster. Rakuten ranks among the top three e-commerce companies in the world with over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners and more than 18 million customers. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales.
One of the most powerful social proof marketing strategies I’ve used, when promoting Amazon affiliate links, is creating ‘Best Seller’ type lists for readers. These lists show readers what is currently popular, in terms of purchases in our community.
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Affiliate Marketing Secrets
But that doesn’t need to be the case. Affiliate marketing is one of the most cost efficient marketing channels, provided that margins are properly managed. Here are four points to consider when determining your ideal commission structure.
Online, affiliate marketing works generally the same way–except that the door-to-door sales approach is replaced by strategies more suited to a digital marketplace. In most instances, the affiliate marketing process works as follows:
But there will be instances where an ideal merchant isn’t active on an affiliate marketing network and doesn’t have their own platform in action. There may be instances where a potential merchant partner doesn’t even know what affiliate marketing is.
Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
Pick a niche you are passionate about, and confirm other people are passionate about it. the best way to do this is to type the main keyword of your niche into Amazon’s search box. If you see dozens and hundreds of products related to your niche (with lots of product reviews) it’s typically a good niche to get into.
The volume is sponsored by Adsimilis, one of the top networks for CPA affiliates. Adsimilis has hundreds of top offers (specialised in dating), with industry-leading payouts, and international coverage. Get onboard and start making some money!
Thanks for the great tips. Sometimes, I have a big image of a product at the top of a post and a smaller image elsewhere. These products perhaps are offered at more than one merchant that I have affiliate status with, so I may link one image to one merchant and the other to another merchant.
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site. 
Trade Amazon Associates referral links with a friend or family member. Make your own purchases using their link, so that they can reap some benefits and ask them to do the same. Although this is not likely to be your main way of making money, it can improve your commission structure at times.
Freedom & flexibility. Because the seller is doing the heavy lifting of creating, customer service, etc., affiliates have more time to focus on what they want to do, while still making money in the background.
A lot of the companies I want to feature on my site aren’t on affiliate networking platforms. Ive been reaching out asking if they would let me sell their stuff on my website with links but I’m not sure how much is safe to ask for for each purchase made through clicking on the link I provide. I’ve done a little research and 15-20% seemed like a safe starting point. What do you think?
ShareASale has been in business for 15 years, exclusively as an affiliate marketing network. Their technology receives accolades for speed, efficiency, and accuracy and their reputation as a fair and honest business is well known within the industry.
Here on ProBlogger I disclose Amazon affiliate links. That’s mainly because there are fewer of them and because my readers here are more savvy with the idea of affiliate programs (I don’t have to explain what an affiliate link is every time I mention one).
Limited hard selling. If you partner with the right advertisers, your job is to simply refer potential customers to them. They do the hard selling. This is great for those who don’t like to sell or want to minimize dings on your reputation for being pushy or sales-y.
If your site is about children’s books and you promote car insurance, at best you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing. At worst, you’ll be branded a spammer. Once you develop a bad reputation as a spammer or an “out to make a quick buck” type of affiliate marketer, it’s incredibly difficult to go back.
Hi my name is Jeremy and I have learned a lot about affiliate programs but never really dived into the world of affiliate marketing so to speak and I need help starting if anyone would love to take someone under there wing to benefit you income from me doing the work please let me know via email [email protected]
Affiliates are paid either by the vendors or the affiliate networks. I suggest you watch our introductory lessons on affiliate marketing at http://www.affilorama.com/lessons for more information on how affiliate marketing works.
Perhaps this is because I carefully choose the products I promote or because I often promote these links in posts based upon reader feedback. I can think of less than 10 occasions when I’ve had people on my photography site question the links. In fact, as I said above, I’ve had more people give positive feedback about them than anything.
“Tools I Use” or “Things I Love” page – Many readers enjoy seeing a handy list of your favorites, plus it’s an easy and excellent way to highlight some affiliate links. Here’s mine. Refer to any posts you have written about that tool / resource or include a description of how it has helped you.
Do you need some extra cash in your pocket to pay the bills, or save up for Christmas? A little extra income to buffer your savings? How about setting up a full-time business at home? Earning an income online using affiliate marketing is a perfect way to do all these things, without spending huge amounts of time or money doing it.
Make sure you make all your affiliate links (text or images) have the nofollow tag. Here’s how to add the nofollow tag to your links. (There are plugins that do this, but given my general aversion to plugins, I prefer to add the tag manually. It’s easy.)
There was no recommendation or review attached to the link but it was a relevant link for readers who wanted to know more (price, specs, pictures etc). Some readers even pre-ordered the cameras from that link.
For merchants, affiliate network services provided often include reporting, tracking, payment and refund processing, affiliate management, and most importantly – access to a large base of publishers (affiliate marketers).
Good comment Jason, at some time in the future Amazon may decide they have so much market share they don’t need affiliates anyway. I mean, if you’re just sending them people who are already Amazon customers there’s not so much benefit there for them. Or they may decide to only work with select HIGH QUALITY affiliates and the average “affiliate site” owner will not be chosen.
Amazon Affiliates rewards advertising fees, or commissions, that vary depending upon the type of product. Your advertising fees can also increase after you start to refer more than 6 purchases every month.
The problem with hype is that you set readers up with expectations that are beyond what the product you’re recommending can deliver. This might lead to a sale but it also leads to disappointment and anger – the loss of readers – damaged reputation etc.
There is a reason why many major merchants prefer to utilize affiliate marketing networks instead of setting up their own infrastructure. Just as the administrative burden can become overwhelming for publishers with multiple relationships in place, it can be too time consuming for merchants as well. Maintaining direct affiliate relationships involves building out an infrastructure to track referrals, calculate commissions, and process payments. While that may sound like a relatively straightforward process, it can become a major investment with plenty of potential complications and liability issues.
3. Paying for leads. Some merchants benefit by paying affiliates on a lead basis. For example, an insurance company might pay affiliates a fixed bounty for each potential customer who signs up for an estimate. Alternately, a car dealership might pay affiliates for each customer that requests information on a specific car, and perhaps an additional bonus if the customer schedules a test drive.
A 30-day cookie is the standard, but there can be quite a bit of variation here. Some cookies expire after just a week, while others run indefinitely. From an affiliate perspective, the longer the cookie length the better.
As the head of an affiliate program, one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make is how to determine suitable commission rates. For some, this may be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are not familiar with the steps involved.
I’m not sure why people are unable to differentiate between being an affiliate for Amazon (this is fine) and building an “Amazon Affiliate Site” (a foolish move for anyone hoping to create long term, sustainable, income) as they are quite different.
I am mesmerized by the content and value of this ‘post’. I don’t want to call this a post because I have seen so many books, not even have half of the value of this. I will surely spend a couple of days to absorb all this information. Thank you so much for this wonderful guide, Leanne.
However, one day I had a reader offer to write a book review for me. I knew the reader so I was confident the review would be OK to publish. As with all my reviews, it had an affiliate link to Amazon in it. I was a little skeptical about whether the review would convert. I thought my readers might not respond as well to a stranger’s review of the book. I was wrong.
Great post and right on target. I found that if you blog and/or do videos that sharing little stories will help connect you to potential leads. I do how-to videos and posts and I always tell personal stories or my own experiences that relate to the subject. It works and I get personal messages from people about it. It makes you more real and down to earth in the viewer’s eyes. Once they like you and trust you they will become a lead and hopefully a sale. They may very well become a regular buyer because you will be their go to person. For best results it’s best to blog daily and do at least one video a day.
I’ve talked about using multiple links in a post but another way to increase conversions on a particularly hot product is to promote it more than once, over time. I only do this on very popular or highly anticipated products but it certainly works well.

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