Affiliate Networks: What Are They And How Do They Work?

In this article you will find all the information on  Affiliate Networks: What are they? Who to work with? How do they work? Why choose an affiliate network instead of working with a direct affiliate? Read the whole article and I’ll explain, step by step, what affiliate networks are and how they work.

An  Affiliate Network is a  Marketplace of offers and campaigns that can be promoted by affiliates who will receive a commission based on the results brought ( Pay Per Performance ), a platform where  Advertisers (or Merchant) and Affiliates meet  (also called Publishers, Publishers or Affiliate Marketers).

The Affiliate Network therefore takes care of managing the transactions that take place within the platform and checking that the affiliates correctly promote the campaigns.

What does the Affiliate do?

The affiliate who works online is a bit like the multi-firm representative who is called upon to propose products and / or services of a company. The company, on the internet, is defined as “Affiliator”. Affiliates are considered multi-firm representatives because they can manage multiple advertising campaigns belonging to a single or different affiliate networks!

Why work with affiliate networks?

Because in this way the affiliate will have all the campaigns present on the network to promote and will be able to choose multiple campaigns , at the same time Advertisers or Advertisers can take advantage of the affiliate network to have a  ready-made sales network of affiliates who promote campaigns.

Affiliate Network: How Do They Work?

Three main figures rotate within the Affiliate Networks:

Affiliates: are the owners of blogs, websites or lead generation and  conversion optimization experts who register on the network. The advantage of affiliates is to be able to choose which campaigns to advertise , where and how to promote them, how to contextualize and promote them , with what type of creativity (banner, iframe, javascript or text link: there are often various formats available for each affiliate).

The Affiliator: it is the affiliate network that mediates between the affiliates and the sponsors. The advantages of an affiliate network obviously derive from the number of campaigns and affiliates: the more campaigns and the more affiliates there are, the more chances there are for the company to earn.

Sponsors or Merchant in jargon: These are the companies that request advertising through the affiliate circuits. Their advantage is to have an advertisement that will certainly lead to the required action: they will be able to decide whether to pay for the registration to the site, for the sale of a product, for the download of a service, or for a specific action. They will only pay the affiliate if it provides the desired action.

How do you make money with affiliate networks?

Earning online with affiliate networks is one of the systems that, in theory, should be very profitable, but in practice it often turns into a system that, if you don’t know how to use, can’t make anyone earn.

This is due to the fact that affiliates often promote completely off-target campaigns for their website or blog, or don’t know how to do affiliate marketing profitably .

The best way to be able to earn with affiliations is to contextualize the chosen campaign to the maximum, and to do so, I always recommend thinking of the user as a person who is looking for information, and the campaign to be advertised as a service that could be useful to the user who is looking for that particular information.

In practice, we need to learn how to create  Landing pages , Advertorials or contents that allow us to  solve a problem or respond to a  reader’s need , intercepting a question or giving rise to a need in our typical user: we must therefore create various angles and decide how to promote the campaign:

  • Through website and vertical content
  • Through Facebook Ads
  • Through Google AdWords
  • Through other Traffic Sources

Can You Do Affiliate Marketing Without Having A Website?

Can you  work with affiliates without a website or blog? Absolutely yes.

Several Networks provide  Advertorials,  landing pages and prelanding that can be promoted through various channels (or traffic sources):

  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook Ads
  • Native Advertising
  • Pop Traffic (Depending on offers)

What are the risks of this type of promotion?

The first risk you encounter is certainly that of risking the money you invest: if opening a website you generally have initial costs and then you can enter and create what you want, every time you want to advertise a campaign with the keyword marketing or buying traffic to convey on offers you will have to spend money and invest it for your campaign, monitoring results and ROI (Return on Investment) and optimizing the campaign.

How to choose an Affiliate Network?

The Affiliate Network should be chosen according to your needs: depending on the sector of a blog, for example, a network could have more campaigns or fewer campaigns (let’s take the travel sector, completely different from the fitness and finance sectors): they exist in fact, vertical affiliate networks specialized only in certain product categories.

In addition to these evaluations, it is also very important to evaluate:

  • Assistance and Support
  • The speed of payments and the% of cancellations / refusals of leads
  • The tools made available to affiliates
  • The presence of Affiliate Managers ready to respond to requests from affiliates

Curiosity:  Also known as a referral program , revenue sharing or partner program , Affiliate Marketing was born in the United States in the 90s. The first online affiliate circuits in the world were Amazon  and Commission Junction in America and Tradedoubler in Europe.

How to choose the campaigns to promote?

The best answer to this question is: you have to test and understand how to convert your campaigns. However, it is equally important to consider some factors:

    • Offer landing page : don’t be fooled by very high payouts, these are often due to a greater difficulty in conversion or a request for niche traffic.
    • Medium EPC: different Networks today show the EPC (Earn per click) obtained from a given campaign, this data must also be taken with a grain of salt because it is the result of various promotion methodologies (different traffic sources, different landing or prelanding, … ).
  • Deny Rate / Tolerance: Today many campaigns have a “tolerance” or ” fixed declinations “. Basically, the deny rate is the cancellation rate, while the tolerance indicates that up to a certain percentage the leads generated will still be considered valid, as well as clearly canceled.

What does a novice affiliate do instead?

  • Sign up for all affiliate networks
  • If approved, start looking at available campaigns
  • Chooses the campaigns that have the highest payouts (and then fails to convert them)
  • He draws his conclusions on the world of affiliate marketing!

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