Moving forward as the affiliate manager at MyWedding.com. It has opened my eyes to some of the questions beginners might have, and some that I have even as an experienced affiliate marketer! I’m going to address the questions here, and then hope that some of the other experts can hop in the conversation in the comments and provide their point of view.
1. Which are the best affiliate programs to join?
- So far I am working with: Google Affiliate Network, ShareASale, Commission Junction, LinkShare, Bridaluxe, and several other individual programs like AWeber. I have considered PepperJam, AvantLink, and a few others that work well with datafeeds.
2. Is an OPM necessary?
- I am working with a couple of Outsourced Program Managers, OPMPros, for example. It’s nice because in theory they can help you find ideal items to promote and optimize the location you place the item on your site. I would be interested to hear from others on this, because I haven’t seen a lot of value in it yet. There are many merchants that won’t work with anyone outside of an OPM. Obviously in that case you would have to work with them.
3. What’s the best way to stay organized, how do you keep track of all of the merchants in each of the different Affiliate Networks and what you are doing to promote them? What about keeping reports straight?
- I would love to hear other answers on this! In the mean time, I have become the queen of excel spreadsheets. I have the two huge monitors, so at any given time I may have four spreadsheets up on my screen. I have one that has all of my affiliate logins, then one for each affiliate network with the merchants that I’m working with. I start a folder for each merchant when I begin their affiliate program and put their performance reports for each month in that folder. I also keep creatives in a subfolder of the folder. Any better ideas?
4. What’s the best way to earn from affiliate marketing?
- Million dollar question, right? So far, the most successful has been special promotion banners on content relevant pages. So, not random site wide banners, but on pages where the content related to the product. We’re also testing a data feed site that we’ve been running for years as a dropship site. We’re moving into affiliate products there! Finally, banners or reviews in emails has also proven to be successful. Interestingly, dedicated email blasts where we promote just one product to our list have not been very successful. Other ideas anyone?
5. Who are the affiliate marketing experts out there that are worth following?
- This is a great question that I really wanted answered for me when I started. There is so much information out there about affiliate marketing, but I didn’t know who to listen to! My current favorite content provider is Brian Clark at Copyblogger. His free marketing course is fantastic, especially if you don’t know a lot about SEO or how to start building your list. I also listen to everything Shawn Collins from affiliatesummit.com has to say and I’m HOPING to get to go to the affiliate summit. Dying to go, really. I’ve been begging my boss to send me. Shawn has an awesome blog on where to start as a new affiliate marketer. Tricia Meyer is not only incredibly intelligent, but she answers tweets quickly if you have a quick question. Shawn Collins does too, which I think is amazing. They have both responded within moments of my direct tweets. I have a list of about 30 people that I listen to. Follow too many (and I think 30 is too many) and you’ll start to get conflicting advice. However, I’ll share the list if anyone wants me to. Those three are a fantastic place to start.
6. Can you think of any other questions that need to be answered? Please add them to the comments!
I already have so many more questions I can think of that I still don’t know the answers to and some I do. I’ll be back with more!