I heard Commission Junction speak today at WOMA (Wasatch Online Marketing Association) today. They talked about starting a successful affiliate program.
First, you need to know your margins and the range of payouts you can offer affiliates. Look across affiliate networks to see what your competitors are offering. Know what you can offer. Come up with clear policies on branded terms, keywords, and URLs.
Companies with a range of products (rather than one or just a few) tend to have more success running an affiliate program.
Once you have many of the logistics down, you'll need to provide affiliates with ads and content. Here's a simple list of creatives to supply affiliates:
- banner ads of all sizes and with different images to choose from (most popular sizes include: 468×60, 120×60, 125×125)
- text links (these usually perform the best)
- content links (articles, landing pages, and text for affiliates to put on their web sites to promote you)
- advanced links (such as drop-down menus, search boxes, or other dymanic links)
- advanced tools (datafeeds, product catalogs with deep linking, etc)
I asked if affiliates are succeeding on blogs or other web 2.0 affiliate marketing techniques. I wondered if any merchants are pioneering this space and targeting the web 2.0 affiliates. Affiliate classroom is focusing on blogs but I haven't looked into it much yet.
I noticed Adam Viener has built some Squidoo affiliate pages (which makes using RSS feeds on a site easy – some merchants imbed your affiliate link in the feeds). I know someone else who's had some success on Squidoo.
They mentioned bodybuilders who blog about working out and then use closely matched products. I think there's a shoe blog that does well. Overall though, they thought it's too new to make a call.
If you know of any bloggers making a living off affiliate marketing on their blogs, or merchants fascilitating this, please let me know (leave a comment).