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Is Affiliate Marketing Hard?

Now that we’ve covered a bit more in-depth what exactly affiliate marketing is, we’ll move on to the next things you should know about – tracking affiliates and the mindset of the affiliate marketer.  Tracking affiliates may seem hard but there are several different ways to go about doing so that are less complicated that you might think.  The most important step to affiliate marketing, however, is the mindset one must be in.  Affiliate marketing isn’t just about tracking clicks; there’s so much more!

There are three main models to affiliate marketing:

  • Pay per Sale (commission on sales). You only pay the affiliate if they have generated a purchase on your site. This method carries very low risk, which has made this model the most popular form of affiliate marketing and a highly cost effective way of marketing online.
  • Pay Per click. You pay every time your link or banner is clicked on the affiliate’s site. Usually based on unique clicks but sometimes, raw clicks are used instead.
  • Pay per Lead also referred to as pay per performance. If you are promoting a product or service that cannot be sold online (such as a company offering bespoke building work, or a mortgage advice service), and need to have some form of face to face, or telephone contact before a sale, then the affiliates can be paid for referring leads.

Then there are the different ways to track these leads, sales and clicks.

  • Cookie Tracking. When a visitor to an affiliates site clicks on your link, a cookie is loaded into their browser. This cookie logs who the affiliate was, so that when the visitor buys from your site the affiliate software picks up the cookie, and logs the sale to that affiliate.
  • IP Tracking.  The affiliate software logs the IP address of a visitor who has clicked on an affiliate link. If the visitor makes a purchase on your site, the software compares the IP to that of those recorded. From this it can determine which affiliate has referred the sale.
  • Customer ID Tracking.  This form of tracking generally requires the visitor to register as a user on your website. From this they are given a unique ID, or on sites that do not use customer IDs, it is common for the customer’s email address is be used. That ID or email is logged against the affiliate for future lookup. Every time the user logs in and makes a purchase the affiliate is credited with referring the sale.

Of course, there are further ways of tracking affiliates but the above are the most commonly used.

Now what of the mindset?  Is affiliate marketing hard?  Affiliate marketing isn’t any harder than any other version of marketing but along with becoming an affiliate marketer comes a certain responsibility that often requires a new mindset.  Think about this – chances are that until now, you’ve spend a lot of time working at a company that isn’t yours, meaning you’ve been an employee.  When you’re an employee, your main concern is not losing that job.  While you have the day to day stresses that come with work, the responsibility of the company is usually not entirely on your shoulders.  Affiliate marketing means you’re going into business for yourself.  Suddenly your days don’t consist of merely showing up, working and letting others decide what you should do or how much you should be paid – now the responsibility is yours and is affected by your daily actions and decisions.  Shifting into that mindset after a lifetime of working for others can often seem hard and as it involves change it can be hard but as with all change, it can be accomplished and is well worth your time.

Now that you’ve been a bit more familiarized with affiliate marketing, I’m hoping you’ll consider going into it on your own.  There are so many opportunities that affiliate marketing can afford you!  If you have any questions, as always, I’m here to answer them.  Simply comment below or contact me today!

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