Welcome to My Daily Benefit’s Quick Guide to Affiliate Marketing!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are used on this blog as a way to generate income for my family. Should you click a link and complete a purchase, I will receive compensation from that particular company. This compensation comes at NO additional cost to you. Please read, Affiliate Links and What They Mean For You, if you would like more information
Ah, the Affiliate Links. Some people love them, others despise them for one reason or another. But what are they really? I recently signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate. As a trier of products and a sharer of things, it is my responsibility to share this information with you. Disclosure is a big and ongoing deal in the world of promoting products. So, let’s talk about it!
WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
Let’s start with the basics. Affiliate Marketing is a business transaction between a blogger/influencer and a company. In exchange for a commission (or other compensation) an affiliate will promote that company and their products to the audience he or she has before them. Whether it be through blog posts, social media sharing, YouTube videos, newsletter subscriptions, etc. In a nutshell, Affiliate Marketing is commission/compensation paid advertising for a company and/or brand.
THE NEED FOR THIS TYPE OF ADVERTISING
Through the years, companies and businesses have realized that they simply cannot reach everyone online with their products and services. They needed a way to reach “their” unreachable. Enter Affiliate Marketing! The reach that bloggers, vloggers, and influencers have is amazing. These brands and companies are realizing that they can reach far more people with their name by using this type of advertising.
The flip side is that of the actual affiliate. Affiliate Marketing is great for them because it is a way to earn extra income (sometimes full income) and still maintain the responsibilities they have to their family. Take the stay at home mom blogger. While popping out blog posts, she still has to throw her attention to her home, children, and spouse. The compensations / commissions allows her to do all these things and still contribute to her household.
Generally, when a person is interested in a company, values their products and standards, and wants to be a part of their business, they will apply to become an Affiliate Marketer. I had to fill out an application to become an Amazon Affiliate. During this process the brand takes a look at their stats. Their reach to the public and decided whether or not to deem them a good candidate to advertise their products.
Once the application has been approved, you they are an affiliate marketer for that Company. Specific links are provided with a tracking ID to allow the company to know the traffic to their website is from the affiliate’s link. This tracking allows the company or brand to know if the affiliate is generating any sales from promoting their products and whether or not they should continue to be doing so.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The affiliate shares their link with their audience. When you, as the consumer, click on that link and complete your purchase, the company then issues a commission to that particular affiliate. Hence the need for the tracking ID attached to the link.
This is important, commissions are only issued for THAT particular sale. Should you choose to go back that companies website for another item later, without the use of an affiliate link, that person gets no more commission off your purchases.
Example: My husband and kids got me these brushes for Mother’s Day, so I’ll share a link for these amazing Real Techniques Brushes If you click that link and buy the brushes, I would get a commission. If you go back tomorrow and buy a leaf blower for your husband for Christmas, I don’t get anything. It is completely based on an individual transaction. THOSE BRUSHES ARE AMAZING – by the way!
The policy on Affiliate Marketing varies by Company. They each have their own commissions and compensation listings.
ARE THERE HIDDEN FEES?
No! There are no hidden fees or price markups with Affiliate Marketing. The set amount it says on the site is the amount you pay, regardless if someone is getting a commission off that sale or not. The Company takes care of the commission to the affiliate for promoting their product.
Take a look at these two links. I am showing you the actual link so you can see the difference. The Affiliate Link is shortened to include the tracking ID, while the second is just the page from the website. The price is exactly the same.
This one is the Affiliate Link: 48 Pc 6 Kinds of Artificial Palm Leaves https://amzn.to/2TBUZ3h ($9.99)
This one is NOT an Affiliate Link: 48 Pc 6 Kinds of Artificial Palm Leaves https://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Tropical-Monstera-Hawaiian-Decorations/dp/B07TXB7Q89 ($9.99)
I purchased this set of Palm Leaves back in March for my Palm Sunday Lesson in Sunday School. They are really an awesome set. There are plenty of leaves for the entire classroom – although due to COVID-19, I had to do it online and not in person.
WHAT ABOUT DISCOUNT CODES?
From time to time, a brand will offer a Discount Code for a blogger or influencer to share with their audience. “Use code ‘no code here’ to save 10% at company X.” The same mechanics apply. You shop, use the code, save your 10%, and the blogger or individual gets a commission on THAT particular sale. Discount codes are extremely popular among beauty and clothing brands.
Now, this is not always the case. In some instances, influencers are issued a discount code for their audience WITHOUT receiving a commission or compensation. It’s a bonus perk for the person’s audience. This is somewhat common with product reviews. The influencer is given the code to track how much traffic their review brings to the website. You save money and the influencer looks good to the company for more transactions in the future.
I don’t have any examples I can share for this, because alas, I have no discount codes. If ever I do in the future I will share them so you can save some money on some great products!
THE IMPORTANCE OF DISCLOSURE
Whether it’s a link or a code, there is an extreme importance for that to be disclosed to you as the consumer. Transparency in using Affiliate Marketing and / or Discount Codes is a must. This is why you see those disclaimers up at the top (most of the time) of a post, letting you know that there are Affiliate Links in there. You saw one at the top of this page. But just in case, I’ll add it here again.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are used on this blog as a way to generate income for my family. Should you click a link and complete your purchase, I will receive compensation from that particular company. This compensation comes at NO additional cost to you. I have a dedicated blog post explaining Affiliate Links and What They Mean For You, if you would like to learn more.
Believe it or not, it is against the law for me to add those links above and NOT tell you that I am going to make money off them. That little disclaimer is for YOU! This is what is called Full Disclosure.
GOVERNED BY THE FTC
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has set rules in place to govern the use of Affiliate Marketing. These rules and regulations are set in place for your information and protection when making purchases. It is required by law for me to let you know that should you click a link and follow through with a sale, I will receive compensation of some kind.
It is also required by law for me to disclose to you how I got the products used in my reviews. You should clearly know how I got the product, whether I purchased myself, received in PR, was gifted the item, or if it was through working in collaboration with a company or individual.
There is no strict guidelines for the placement of this disclosure, but the FTC does state that it needs to be “placed where it easily catches consumers’ attention and is difficult to miss. Consumers may miss a disclosure at the bottom of a blog or page.” That is why you see them first at the top of blog posts!
For an in depth look at the FTC’s requirements for Endorsements Click Here.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF WHO YOU SUPPORT!
As a visitor to a blog, website, or any other platform you are NEVER obligated to click a link or make a purchase. Even if you click the link, just to check the product out, you are still not obligated to complete a purchase. As with any other online shopping, that is completely at your discretion.
Thank you! For taking the time to read this very lengthy post. I hope that it has helped you to understand Affiliate Marketing. How it is used and why it is used by bloggers, influencers, and individuals as a means to add income to their businesses, families, and home.
I’d love to know your thoughts on Affiliate Marketing and how it is used today! How do you feel about people using affiliate links on the pages you visit?