This post will give you general information about affiliate networks. Because selling CBD oil products is a brand-new market, I did not find any affiliate networks, in the traditional sense of ClickBank and ShareASale, that promote CBD companies.
However, there is a wide range of markets – a product for every niche imaginable – and once you become comfortable with affiliate marketing, I encourage you to expand your horizons and try your hand at with other products.
Here we discuss the basics of affiliate networks, along with links and a short description of five popular networks.
WHAT ARE AFFILIATE NETWORKS?
An affiliate network is a centralized collection of thousands of affiliate programs you can join through one network.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PUBLISHERS (affiliates) AND ADVERTISERS (merchants)
Publishers are you, the affiliate marketer, and advertisers are the businesses with products they want you to sell on your site.
THE ADVANTAGES OF AFFILIATE NETWORKS
- Access to a large base of merchants
- Simplifies the process of looking for products
- Simplifies the process of registering for affiliate merchants
- Reporting tools are readily available
- If you have several websites with different niches, you only need to sign up once
- All sales combined into one payment
- Free to join
WHAT EXACTLY IS A PLATFORM?
Facebook, Google, Bing, Linkd-in. These are platforms. A way for people to communicate. Take a careful look at the systems and processes that comprise each of these, and you will begin to understand the intricacies (the platform) that make these companies great.
Think of an actor on stage, or a conductor of an orchestra. In this sense, a platform is a raised horizontal flat surface that sits above the audience. Speakers also have platforms; they stand at the dais, the podium, the rostrum, but they also have a speaking platform in the certain way they present their ideas and the topics they choose.
How is an actor’s stage made? Wooden planks, screws, nails, and the tools and manpower needed to build it. All of these things are important components of your online platform, as well. SEO, SSL certificates, CTA, analytics. These hidden workings also comprise your platform, not just the webpage your audience sees.
For purposes of promoting your goods online, a platform is generally thought of as a way to get your word out to your audience – the stage you pick to show your wares.
This is usually a website, but a landing page, a blog, an online course, a book or video are also examples of platforms. But you also build your brand through content, your writing style, and the ideas you impart to the world.
Brand, platform and niche are synonymous with one another. As you build your platform – the way you promote your goods – you are also promoting your brand.
A logo is part of your brand. You want people to remember you and come to your site often, and if they see a catchy and compelling logo, it will stick in their minds.
The domain name and the title of your website are used to draw traffic – and therefore, are part of your brand. Give careful thought into these two hugely important items, as these are the first two things your reader sees when doing a web search.
Consider buying your own domain name. Believe it or not, owning a domain can become a valuable piece of cyber-real-estate. Domains are sold just like real estate and, surprisingly, a well-established name will bring high dollars. With your own domain name:
- You have control over your brand and business
- You gain trust and reputation
- The easiest path to success
As the owner of your domain name, you are in charge. With the right web hosting service, you will be able to carry on this website for as long as wish.
Consider sustainability. Will your title and domain name last over time? Older websites naturally draw in more traffic, so you want to be sure the name you give your business is something you can live with over the years.
Marketing psychology plays a large role in developing a platform. Define your audience. Know who they are, what they like, and appeal to their senses.
FIVE OF THE MORE POPULAR AFFILIATE NETWORKS TO GET YOU STARTED
The five networks on this list will get you started looking around at the different affiliate programs. I am not endorsing any of these companies but merely suggesting this is a good place to begin. Each of these websites has great information on affiliate marketing, including detailed instructions about their program. Read through the sites, become familiar with what they offer; each one is a little bit different.
Markets and promotes the world’s leading health and beauty products online. They claim to have the best affiliate program and best tracking software in the industry. If you generate more than 20 sales a day, Market Health will work with you to get the most out of your commission arrangement.
Connection Junction. The most trusted and established name in affiliate marketing. Visit their home page and see the many awards they have won over the years.
Vendors create and sell digital products (ebooks and software) and physical goods, and supply information about their products on the ClickBank site. There is a ClickBank University that will lead you step-by-step through the affiliate process, or you can click on here for a much broader training.
Having been in the network affiliate marketing for the past 19 years, ShareASale has a reputation as a fair and honest business with superior customer support.
The best affiliate network eight years in a row! This is perhaps because of their quality program that carefully screens and monitors both vendors and merchants. Rakuten has a reach to 202 countries in 25 currencies.
In Part 1 of my blog, Define your Niche. Research your Audience, you will find ideas and topics for building a niche. Within the main categories are subcategories which can be drilled down even further. It is helpful to know about affiliate networks when first starting to build your niche, because then you have an idea of what kind of products you want to sell, and if there is a market for that particular niche.
Setting up an Affiliate Marketing Website might be of interest to you, as well. Here we discuss the five P’s: Passion, People, Platform, Product and Promotion. More materials tor building a strong platform.
As you can see, a platform is not just having a website, or a brand, or a product to sell. As important as these things are, they are just the beginning – the frame of the thing. Now you have to add a domain name and pick a name for your business that will last over time. Marketing and promotion is another hat you will wear as a business owner, and to make this job easier, acquaint yourself with reliable affiliate networks and large-scale companies.
It takes work and patience to make an affiliate website profitable, but with the proper tools and training, you will succeed, no doubt about it.