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How to Get the Most of Affiliate Programs? [Long and Uncut Guide]

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Have you ever thought of making your hobby or interest a real source of income? I’m sure you have. There’s a moment in any blogging career when you realize that it’s high time you started milking that cow (by cow I mean your writing talent, of course).

If, however, launching a website of your own is a long-cherished dream of yours, then it’s time you browsed through our diverse collection of templates, crafted to meet the most daring requirements.

 

 


The most appealing thing about affiliate programs is the fact that they have already proved to be easiest and the most convenient way of monetizing your site, which is what you are looking for, aren’t you?

I know, I know. Everyone would love to get money from nowhere, but let’s be realists. It always takes a bit more effort. However, it doesn’t have to be a chore!

If you fall into the category of true advocates of labor-saving (along with us), an affiliate program is a thing for you. Just think for a moment how many blogging accounts and websites emerge every day. For some people, it even became a perfect substitute for full-time employment, while bringing profits higher than the office job that no one likes. How is it even possible? The answer again lies in affiliate programs.

Intrigued? Go on reading to find what makes affiliate marketing so good and learn more about the pros and cons of the most popular affiliate programs on the web.


WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?

Affiliate marketing consists in the system of rewards that a company’s affiliate may get as a result of bringing new customers to the company. Hence, a win-win situation: a business attracts new clients without spending a fortune on traditional advertising campaigns, whereas a committed affiliate enjoys a promotion fee each time he is successful in making the prospect click “Buy.”

Such system comprises four main players:

  • the retailer (a company that decides to promote its goods or services with the help of affiliates),
  • the affiliate (one that assumes the role of an advertising channel for a company),
  • the network (both the available choice of offers for the affiliate and the payment and tracking system),
  • the customer (the core element of any business, at which all marketing activities are targeted).

Thus, if you are willing to launch a website with relevant and up-to-date quality content, an affiliate program will serve you just fine.


How exactly?

Your task could not be simpler. All you need to do is choose the most suitable affiliate program with the most beneficial terms of use and continue delivering a sort of content that will make your page stand out from the range of similar ones. This will help you attract more visitors to your site and, consequently, increase your earnings.

Moreover, there’s no need to transform your site into a wall of ads if this is what scares you off. A couple of affiliate adverts on a page will suffice, especially if you have already gathered a big group of loyal subscribers.

However, the problem with affiliate programs is that they directly reflect your organic ranking. Thus if your website loses its position in Google, your earning may also drop. Thus, it is quite risky to count on affiliate programs only.


WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM?

Deceptively similar they are. Although many affiliate programs are often considered totally interchangeable, they may, in fact, be completely different regarding prospective revenues as well as ease of use. The following are just a few aspects that should be taken into account.


Payment method

One of the most striking differences between various affiliate programs consists in the model by which affiliates receive their advertising fees. While choosing a program for your site, this aspect should be paid the most attention to. Below are the most frequently used models for your consideration:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) – as may be inferred from its name, PPC is all about paying a commission according to the number of times your site visitors follow the advertised link (irrespective of actions they take after that).
  • Pay Per Lead (PPL) – the retailer pays you a fixed commission each time a lead from your website makes a certain action, e.g. registers, fills out a form, requests a trial, subscribes to a newsletter, etc.
  • Pay Per Sale (PPS) – this time, you receive a percentage of all sales generated through your website, a model pretty similar to how sales managers get a substantial part of their incomes.

Commission

Commission is the actual amount of money you are to get from a successful usage of affiliate advertising. So it is vital that you compare the available options before going for a particular program. Well, the significance of this aspect can’t be overestimated, as it is the commission that tells you whether the whole idea of affiliate marketing is worth the candle.

Commission may differ according to the payment method in force since it is obvious that a simple click on the affiliate link is less effective than closing a deal with a customer.


Relevance

More subjective than the two aspects above, relevance still plays a crucial role in affiliate programs. What does it mean? Well, to achieve the desired effect and generate more “clicks,” you have to make sure that things you are advertising are in line with the content on your page. Otherwise, it would be really difficult to find your target audience.

Therefore, it is crucial that you watch the competition thoroughly. You will notice that products that are promoted the most are the most popular among the public. So it’s really in your interest to advertise them as well, especially at the beginning of your business when you don’t have your loyal subscribers yet.


TOP 3 AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

We both know how time-consuming it is to look through the whole plethora of options when trying to opt for the most suitable one. The motive is clear: everyone is eager to get the most out of the available. We’ve made a choice easier for you by selecting the top three affiliate programs, one of which will meet your needs. So here’s the shortlist.

Google AdSense

One of the greatest advantages of Google AdSense is that it holds the largest base of online ads, which makes it so attractive to site owners. Indeed, there’s a plethora of options to choose from, which enables you to However, this naturally results in the highest competition for an ad position among advertisers. On the one hand, the cost per click increases with the growing competition, and if you manage to get the much-desired ad, you will probably enjoy pretty high rates. On the other hand, your site must stand out from the range of similar ones if you want to advertise through AdSense.

The problem with Google AdSense is that its commission is paid solely for the clicks, which may sometimes be quite disappointing, for example, if your site brings them a 500$ sale. So, in essence, it cannot be called an affiliate network, one of the defining characteristics of which is a percentage of sales paid to the affiliate.

On the contrary, AdSense works similarly to ad network where your site plays a role of a cheap advertising channel. Not that interesting, right?

The biggest issue with Google AdSense is the nine circles of hell you have to go through to sign up.

Your site has to be in line with its policies, which can be changed at any time making the whole platform unpredictable and unstable. Even the application has to be submitted in a strictly prescribed form.

To be considered eligible for participation in Google AdSense, you have to follow a great number of rules, including but not limited to the following:

  • Clicking on your links or asking others to do so is prohibited.
  • You must provide interesting and relevant content for your visitors.
  • Your content should be family-friendly, thus no explicit materials can be shown (read more).
  • You should maintain a good balance between original content and ads.
  • Your page layout must be understandable. Hence, no deceptive ways to get extra clicks.
  • Your content must be original.
  • Monitor your organic traffic.
  • No modification of the Code of Implementation Guide is permitted.

Many of AdSense rules seem pretty ambiguous as there’s no clear line as to what is OK and what is not. This may lead to policy violation warnings and a great deal of other problems.

Frankly speaking, the positives of Google AdSense doesn’t seem to come even close to outweighing its negatives, which makes the program unreasonably complicated and inconvenient. If that doesn’t scare you off, let me give you a heads up on how to work with it.

If you think that you can sign up to AdSense and start making money out of their ads right away, don't count your chicken before they are hatched. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. But we’ve got you covered and we’ll be more than glad to describe the main requirements you need to comply with.


GUIDELINES FOR YOUR WORK WITH THE ADSENSE 

Make sure you follow all the AdSense policies

That’s the most basic requirement and I don’t think someone will be surprised that in order to sign up for some program, you need to follow a bunch of rules.

Check the Terms and Conditions page and see if your project is abiding the policies.

Google offers to select your country of origin to be sure that you are familiar with all the up to date terms based on your geographic location.

It’s also important to understand that once you are approved you need to follow these policies. Otherwise, your account will be disabled and, as the AdSense Beginner’s Guide states, your payments may be refused.


Good content

You should always keep the idea of the original content in your mind and follow it as your own White Whale.

This is an essential rule: websites without the original content will not be approved. If you just simply copy and paste some other stories from the internet, AdSense will not want to work with you, since you do not generate productive and useful content.

At this point you should understand the main point: If you have the content with zero percents of originality - you have zero chance of getting approved.


Required pages

Google Adsense wants every website to have the following pages involved:

  • Privacy Policy
  • About page
  • Contact page

Basically, all three pages will help AdSense understand that your website is not a fraudulent project. Let me walk you through each page, so you could have a basic understanding of what you need to put out there.


Privacy Policy

I’m sure you all have seen the Privacy Policies on big websites, stores, and blogs. This is one of those things you will not get approval without. If you don’t have a Privacy Policy page you shouldn’t even hope that Adsense will check the rest of the requirements. They check the policy and they go from there.

Nowadays it’s quite easy to generate a Privacy Policy for your blog or store. There are plenty of online resources to do that, I will gladly give you a few:

Just feel in your project details and one of these generators will do everything for you.


About page

This is the page where you can describe your project and about yourself a little bit. This helps Google to see that you are not a fraud and you are not holding anything back.

Actually, that’s the easiest one and there are no required guidelines to follow. Just be sincere and tell your audience about the website you run.


Contact page

The page with the contact information will show Google that you care about your clients/readers and you are always ready to help them. No matter what issue or question they have, they will be able to get in touch with you.

While writing this paragraph I actually realized one simple thing: if you do not have a contact page, you not only lose the Adsense approval, you lose lots of potential partners who want to get in touch with you. So this page is not only essential for Adsense compliance, but it’s a must for any self-respecting blogger or entrepreneur.

Don’t forget to put out a serious e-mail like John@yourwebsitename.com instead of Yahoo or Google e-mail  account. It shows how serious you are about what you do, it’s not a playground, it’s business.

Beautiful design

Appearance matters, no matter what you’ve been advised by a hippie whose only business is selling drugs on the street and sleeping in his van. That’s why I strongly advise getting yourself a premium theme or design your website yourself if you have all the necessary skills.

The clean and good-looking template will be always appreciated by Google.

On our end, we keep doing our best to provide you with the full catalog of amazing WordPress themes and website templates. Make sure you check those out and pick yourself something, we’ll be very proud to represent your blog appearance on the internet.


Visitors and website age

At first, you may think that these requirements are too harsh, but that’s true, you more likely will not be approved if you do not have the minimum of 50+ visitors per day. And there is even more: you shouldn’t apply for the Google Adsense if your website is less than 6 months old.

Yes, it sounds like Adsense is picky, but come on, let’s be honest: how are you planning on getting money without traffic and clients? Who’s gonna click on the ads, your grandma?


Sitemap matters!

Google is a big fan of these two, so you gotta prepare them and make sure you actually have them. Setting it up is quite easy, especially with the help of lots of good plugins out there. For example, Yoast. It will not only help you with those two but will also be a very useful SEO tool for you.

Once everything is ready on your end and you are sure that you comply with all the requirements, feel free to apply here.

The process is quite easy and user-friendly as all the Google services. The most commonly requested information regarding the Adsense can be found on their support page and discussed in their community.

If you follow all the guidelines from our article, you will be approved without any problems, so just apply and go get yourself a cup of coffee.


Payment Calculations

Lowest Conversion Rate

Cost per clickVisitors per dayConversion rateRevenue
$0.2510000.10%$0.25
$0.2550000.10%$1.25
$0.25100000.10%$2.50
$0.25500000.10%$12.50
$0.251000000.10%$25.00

Average Conversion Rate

Cost per clickVisitors per dayConversion rateRevenue
$0.2510002.35%$5.88
$0.2550002.35%$29.38
$0.25100002.35%$58.75
$0.25500002.35%$293.75
$0.251000002.35%$587.50

High Conversion Rate

Cost per clickVisitors per dayConversion rateRevenue
$0.2510005%$12.50
$0.2550005%$62.50
$0.25100005%$125.00
$0.25500005%$625.00
$0.251000005%$1250.00

"How the Hell is it Possible" Conversion Rate

Cost per clickVisitors per dayConversion rateRevenue
$0.25100010%$25
$0.25500010%$125
$0.251000010%$250
$0.255000010%$1250
$0.2510000010%$2500

JOIN GOOGLE ADSENSE


TEMPLATEMONSTER AFFILIATE PROGRAM

The affiliate program works on a PPS basis making you not just a mere advertiser but an active participant of the company’s sales process. What makes this program so special is the progressive commission system, which says: the more you sell, the more you earn. Starting at 30% for 0-19 sales per month, you can potentially earn up to 50% commission provided that your site generates more than 500 sales.

Yeah, I know it may sound like an astronomical number, but in reality, it is not that difficult, given the quality of the products provided. According to numerous cases, the most active sales are seen during the 6th week of active participation in an affiliate program.

If it is your first attempt at setting up an affiliate program, TemplateMonster offers lifelong support from professionals that will help you get rid of all the inconveniences you might come across.

What’s more, TemplateMonster offers a referral system, by which you are welcome to recommend the affiliate program to your friends and enjoy additional 5% of their sales ever after.

Besides, TM Affiliate Program supports all kinds of the most popular payment systems, including Payoneer, PayPal, Skrill, Webmoney, etc., so as to make the program even more user-friendly.

Finally, one of the greatest benefits of the program is a vast range of extra affiliate tools. You will surely find the most suitable solution to make it impossible for the visitors of your website to miss the affiliate link. Besides, it will make your work much simpler.


What are the tools?

  • WordPress plugin (helps to automatically advertise the templates corresponding with your articles)
  • Ready-made showcases
  • Widgets, banners, and landing pages
  • Presets
  • WebAPI
  • RMS (ready-made shop)

Special attention here should be paid to RMSs, which allow you to run your store of website templates without worrying much about launching a new website or other technical aspects. RMS provides you with a bunch of different shop templates with user-friendly, customizable design, easy-to-use admin panel, and responsive framework.

The initial RMS launching will take you no more than half an hour. And after that, you’ll have a perfect opportunity to earn up to 50% of each item sold from your RMS. Seems pretty profitable, doesn’t it?

Let me show you how to join our big Affiliate Team and start earning commissions by selling our premium themes!

The first step should be applying for the Templatemonster Affiliate Program. Once you follow the link, you will need to enter your e-mail address.

Then fill in the main information about you (First Name, Last Name, etc.) and choose your Affiliate Username. This username will be used in the affiliate link that you’ll be able to generate in your profile later.

Once you signed up and confirmed your e-mail address, you will be able to generate your own referral link. It will help us to determine that the sale has been landed by you and you’ll get the commissions out of it.

Aaaaand that’s it. Yes. It’s that simple! Now you can go to the ‘Tools’ section and choose what tool works best for your website.

At TemplateMonster we always strive to help our customers land more sales, so we post lots of useful articles on our blog telling our clients how to boost their sales and take all the advantages of the TemplateMonster Affiliate Program!


Calculations

The most important question right now is: how much can I earn if I sign up for TM Affiliate Program? The commission's’ percentage depends on the number of sales you land:

° 0 - 19 sales per month = 30%

° 20 - 199 = 35%

° 200 - 299 = 40%

° 300 - 499 = 45%

° 500 + = 50%

Let’s take this numbers and check out how much money you can make if you start working with us today!

Since the pricing for our themes varies depending on the category, I decided to divide my calculations into 3 different categories:

  1. CMS Themes (WordPress, Joomla, OpenCart, etc.) - Average pricing equals $60
  2. Website Templates (No CMS) - Average pricing equals $75
  3. MotoCMS Themes - Average pricing equals $199

Average CMS Theme Price

Lowest Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
601000.0050.005$0.09
6010000.050.005$0.90
6050000.250.005$4.50
60100000.50.005$9.00
60500002.50.005$45.00
6010000050.005$90.00

Mid Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
601000.010.1$1.80
60100010.1$18.00
60500050.1$90.00
6010000100.1$180.00
6050000500.1$1050.00
601000001000.1$2100.00

High Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
601000.20.2$3.60
60100020.2$36.00
605000100.2$180.00
6010000200.2$420.00
60500001000.2$2100.00
601000002000.2$4800.00

Website Templates (No CMS)

Lowest Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
751000.0050.005$0.11
7510000.050.005$1.13
7550000.250.005$5.63
75100000.50.005$11.25
75500002.50.005$56.25
7510000050.005$112.50

Mid Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
751000.10.1$2.25
75100010.1$22.50
75500050.1$112.50
7510000100.1$225.00
7550000500.1$1312.50
751000001000.1$2625.00

High Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
751000.20.2$4.50
75100020.2$45.00
755000100.2$225.00
7510000200.2$525.00
75500001000.2$2525.00
751000002000.2$6000.00

MotoCMS Themes

Lowest Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
1991000.0050.005$0.30
19910000.050.005$2.99
19950000.250.005$14.93
199100000.50.005$29.85
199500002.50.005$149.25
19910000050.005$298.50

Mid Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
1991000.10.1$5.97
199100010.1$59.70
199500050.1$298.50
19910000100.1$597.00
19950000500.1$3482.50
1991000001000.1$6965.00

High Conversion Rate

Theme price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
1991000.10.2$11.94
199100010.2$119.40
199500050.2$597.50
19910000100.2$1393.00
19950000500.2$6965.00
1991000001000.2$15920.00

JOIN TEMPLATEMONSTER AFFILIATE PROGRAM


AMAZON ASSOCIATES AFFILIATE PROGRAM

Being the biggest online retailer in the world, Amazon provides an affiliate program that has expectedly become one of the most popular in its kind.

With > 1 million products available in the shop, you may be sure that you will find something that fits your website subject and style. Moreover, thanks to customizable product preview, you can yourself decide how the ad will look like in practice.

Similar to TemplateMonster, Amazon has a range of responsive online tools aimed at facilitating the use of the program. By the way, another common feature between the two programs is that they both provide a possibility to open a fully-fledged online shop. So if you ever feel tired of your constant content creation, there will always be an option to shift to e-commerce completely

 

However, despite all the benefits, Amazon Associates is not perfect as its commission is quite poor in comparison to many other programs, using the same PPS model. Moreover, commission fees differ a lot according to the category of goods. The rate begins with 1% for videogame console products to the maximum of 10% for game downloads and Amazon Coins. Apart from that, there are also special bounty fees that you may receive if an eligible customer performs a specific action considered “Bounty Event,” e.g. registration for Amazon Student, registration for Amazon Prime Free Trial, etc. The bounty rate may vary from $0.5 to $25.

It is important to bear in mind that there are additional restrictions on the maximum commission rate for certain products. For example, all personal computers and similar items may bring you no more than $25 per sale, whereas, regarding fine art, this amount is limited to $200. So if you were considering the promotion of fancy goods on your website, mind that your earnings will fall far behind.

Overall, Amazon Associates seems a good option on paper. Yet, in practice, it turns out to be a stingy billion-worth store, unwilling to share its revenues. So even if you are attracted by the range of goods available for advertising, consider your prospective incomes before jumping into the program.

If you decide, however, that Amazon Associates is a thing for you, have a read of the article “15 Free Amazon Affiliate Plugins for Your WordPress Website,” aimed at facilitating your experience with the service.

Amazon is one of the biggest e-commerce players out there and we all know that millions of customers over the world give this store a one hundred percent trust. I’ve bought around 5 items for the past 3 months myself, so you see what I’m saying.

I’m not telling you this for no reason. Since Amazon is a trustworthy store, your website visitors will not have any trust issues with the referral links you put in your blog.

Amazon Associates has its benefits and they make this program really worth trying out:

Easy to join

The process is much easier than with Adsense, for example. You will be able to complete your registration process in a few minutes.


Tons of different products to choose from

It doesn’t matter what kind of niche website you own, you will definitely find a product to advertise and sell.


Payments for the completed orders

Once your website visitor follows your referral link, there is 24-hour window to close the sale. The best part is that you will get the commissions for the full order, not only for the product that your customer clicked on. So sometimes customer follows your link, then he decides to click on a more expensive product, adds it to the cart, adds more products and completes the order. In this case you will receive commissions for all the products in the cart.

If this one sound interesting to you, make sure you try it out by signing up here.

Pay attention to the fact that Amazon offers you to select the marketplace you want to join.

Basically, if you don’t live in any of the listed countries, you should select ‘United States’. Why? It’s quite simple: many of the other marketplaces simply do not offer international shipping, so if you are not from one of those, there is no sense in joining them.

But just in case, here’re the links to all the available marketplaces – United States, United Kingdom, Deutschland, France, Japan, Canada, China, Italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico.

In order to start an account with Amazon Associates, you will have to answer a lot of questions. Let me show you step-by-step how to sign up for this affiliate program and give you some hints on how to start earning money with it properly.

On the main page of the Amazon Associates click on the ‘Join Now For Free’.

Create a new account by entering your e-mail address, name and password.

Enter the name of the person Amazon should issue the check to. Address, City, State Zip code, County and the Phone number.

Enter the address of your website or a link to the mobile app you want to advertise Amazon products in.

You will also have to let Amazon know if your website or mobile app is directed primarily at children at 13  years old.

At this point you have to select your preferred Associates Store ID and fill in the general information about your website or mobile app.

Amazon also wants to know how you advertise your website, how many visitors you usually have on a monthly basis, and what’s the reason you decided to join the Amazon Affiliate program.

The final step is the ‘Identity Verification’. This is a very simple process that involves you, your phone and the PIN code provided by the Amazon.


Calculations

In order to see how much money you can earn with the Amazon Associates program, we’ll need to do some math.

Let’s say I’m running a high-tech blog and decided to gain some money by joining an affiliate program. I think that selling the VR headsets will be a great idea if you are running a website about modern technologies.

Basically, pricing for VR headsets varies depending on the manufacturer and purpose of the headset. I’d say that it will be much more effective to advertise mobile VR headsets for the smartphones. They usually cost around $50, so that’s the price I’ll use in my calculations.


VR Headsets

Lowest Conversion Rate

Product price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
5010022$4.00
501000202$40.00
5050001002$200.00
50100002002$400.00
505000010002$2000.00
5010000020002$4000.00

Mid Conversion Rate

Product price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
5010055$10
501000505$100
5050002505$500
50100005005$1000
505000025005$5000
5010000050005$10000

High Conversion Rate

Product price - $Visitors per dayNumber of salesConversion rate - %Revenue
501001010$150.00
50100010010$1750.00
50500050010$12500.00
5010000100010$25000.00
5050000500010$125000.00
501000001000010$250000.00

JOIN AMAZON ASSOCIATES


CONCLUSION

Despite all the drawbacks of affiliate marketing, it remains part and parcel of any blogging career. No matter what content you focus on, affiliate programs provide a wide array of ads applicable in any context.

Anyway, the biggest problem with them lies in this diversity given the fact that your primary task as an affiliate consists in selecting the goods, which will complement your overall content strategy.

Although the chosen three programs cannot represent the entire competition in the market, I listed them according to the principle “two popular ones + one dark horse.”

The analysis of their competitive advantages speaks for itself: the less known TemplateMonster Affiliate Program turns out to be far more attractive especially given its sound payment model. The other two, however, cannot be completely neglected, since they have greater diversification of products available for promotion.

Well, I know I’ve given you good food for thought, but I hope it will help you make the right choice.