There are many ways to increase your inbound links and one of the steadiest is through affiliate marketing campaigns. There are many pros and cons to using affiliate marketing and one of the most common I hear is the loss of a sizable portion of your income. It needn’t be.
Affiliate marketing is the process of getting others to do all your marketing in exchange for a payment, generally based on a sale or sign-up. To get affiliates to promote your product, you need to offer a reasonable reward. Amazon gets by yet they only offer 4% as a starting commission. Other affiliate programs pay as high as 50% – a few even more.
There are a couple of do’s and don’ts. Don’t use a third party affiliate manager. You won’t get any link juice flowing to your site since all affiliate links will go back to the affiliate manager’s site. There are many different ways of managing your own affiliate program. What is important is to pay your affiliates what is owed when it is owed. You will get a good reputation including recommendations to others – with, of course, more links.
Whilst sales are always important, in many cases it is the link that is more important. This will, over time, lead to more sales through your placement on the search engine results. You will need to keep an eye on that placement in the search results. I have seen affiliates outrank the site they are promoting. A smart approach is to have in your terms of service a set of keywords that affiliates cannot target in the search engines.
Manage an affiliate marketing program effectively and you will see your inbound link count rise dramatically. Manage your affiliates well and you will soon gain a good reputation as an affiliate manager.
Is 50% too much to pay in commission? Per product, quite probably. However, if your affiliate sales are only 25% of overall sales then your affiliate costs are only 12.5% of all sales. If an affiliate program can help increase general sales by 10-15%, that 12.5% cost could be money well spent. If that cost comes out of your marketing budget then you are way ahead. Affiliates can lead to higher rankings, increased sales, and increased profits – certainly worth a thought.