From a publishers point of view, an affiliate is someone that promotes products and services of an advertiser in exchange for a commission on leads or sales. A publisher displays an advertiser’s ads, text links, or product links on their Web site, in e-mail campaigns, or in search listings. The affiliate is paid a commission by the respective advertiser when a visitor takes a specific action such as filling out a contact form, subscribing to something or making a purchase. Usually this commission can vary from 4% up to 30%.
Types of links that can be placed on your site can be image banners (in a variety of sizes), text links, product links, and other advanced link types, such as search boxes.
I’ve been working with many affiliate marketing programs over the years with very much mixed results. In 1999 (let’s say the boom years of the Internet) I started using one of the biggest players called CJ which are a great company with a large range of advertisers that you contact via their “CJ Marketplace”, their back-end control panel is top notch including ad impressions, amount of clicks, click through rate, slice and dice reporting statistics and lastly an affiliate university to learn how to optimize revenue. Other good companies I’ve worked with include Tradedoubler and Zanox (a German company that covers all European markets).
When building a site it’s important not to place only affiliate links, especially the links with product descriptions which are usually supplied via a feed to all affiliate publishers which can cause a lot of duplicate content issues, which can be filtered out by the major search engines. Also, there is a lot of talk about how Google doesn’t like “thin affiliate” sites (sites than have little or no original content). In cases such as these, I advise the web site owner to add other useful content like product reviews, technical analysis, etc.
Recently a new Facebook group has been launched to combat affiliate marketing scams & frauds, where users can report scammers, shady affiliates, non payers and bad networks in the affiliate industry.
AFFSpace Scammers and Fraudsters