An easy way to do affiliate marketing is to get involved with affiliate networks and I am sure you have heard of ShareASale by now. If you are wondering how does ShareASale work, this article is going to make things easier for you to understand. In this back scene tour, I am going to show you some tools and techniques that can effectively grow your online business. So let’s get started.
What Is ShareASale
ShareASale is an affiliate marketing network founded in 2000 by Brian Littleton. A private company based in Chicago, it offers more than 3900 merchant programs, ranging from small to mid-size companies that promote various digital and physical products.
How Does It Work
To get started, you’ll need to sign up for an affiliate account. Before you do this, you need to have at least a website that comes with an email as this presents more legitimacy and help speed up the approval process. The affiliate application is free of charge and usually takes about 1-3 days to process.
Once you have been approved, the first place that you might want to check out at your affiliate dashboard is the merchant’s tab.
This feature basically allows you to browse for affiliate programs related to your niche through several methods;
1) Merchant’s Name
If you know the name of your merchant and that they offer affiliate programs through ShareASale, you can use this method.
2) Products Popularity
Every now and then, ShareASale will list merchants that are popular among marketers. You can leverage from the trend and recommend the products through your blog.
3) Niche Keywords
Alternatively, you can use broad keywords to search for merchants. For example, if you are doing wedding affiliate marketing, you can use phrases like ‘wedding favors’ to narrow down your list.
4) Advanced Search
As the name suggests, this method is commonly used to filter merchants based on specific details such as cookie length, availability of bonus campaign or the provision of auto-deposit.
5) By Category
You can also use the category method to look for a group of merchants within your niche for easy viewing and comparison.
Regardless of which method you use, all merchant listings will come with this type of description;
I’ll explain what each of these parameters mean.
a) Basics Information – Name of merchant, official website and merchant ID.
b) Commission Structure – Commission based on Pay Per Sale (PPS), Pay Per Lead (PPL) or Pay Per Click (PPC).
c) Cookie – Tracking duration for the same referral.
d) Merchant Stats;
- 7 day and 30 day are the rolling periods.
- EPC is the average affiliate earnings per 100 clicks.
- Reversal rate is the percentage of voided transactions occurred in ShareASale due to circumstances such as cancelled order or violation of merchant-affiliate policy.
- Average sale is the average affiliate-referred order value.
- The average commission is the affiliate payout per transaction.
When joining an affiliate program, make sure you read the terms and conditions and fill out the description area explaining why you are interested in recommending the merchant’s product. Again, this will help to speed up the approval process. Some programs are auto-approved, which means, you automatically become an affiliate upon application.
How to Use Your Affiliate Resources
To get access to your affiliate links, go to the program site and you’ll see something like this.
For beginners, you usually only need the text, banner and widget links as they are quite basic and easy to use. A text link is a hyperlink that you insert into a phrase in your text content while a banner/widget links are usually graphics that can be embedded in your content or the sidebar.
For example, I’m a StudioPress affiliate and I use the Genesis Theme for my website. If I want to recommend this product to my readers, here how the content would look like.
That is in a nutshell, how you would use affiliate resources on your site.
A Note on Using Affiliate Links
Now, there’s a tendency for beginners to use affiliate links very often when they first create a website. That’s not entirely a wrong thing since one of your goals is to make money online. However, placing too many links on every page, posts and sidebar can be detrimental as this is considered spamming in the eyes of Google.
It would appear that you are more interested in getting people to buy things rather than sharing valuable information with the readers. Likewise, don’t bomb the social media with your affiliate links either. Many sites do not allow this kind of ‘aggressive’ promotion techniques anymore and you run the risk of being expelled from online communities or worse, blacklisted from joining any forums.
As an affiliate marketer, you need to develop the mindset of an online entrepreneur, not a product pusher. Your main goal is to create a brand that people can trust and will keep coming back for more information as you help them become better at what they do.
Placing affiliate links in your main product review and have all your articles point towards that review is the cleanest and safest way to reach out to your targeted audience (who are more likely to convert) without compromising your ranking and reputation online.
Yes, it may seem like you are not going to make a lot in the beginning, but as your content grows, so will your traffic and profit. It will work because you are running a legitimate online business that readers and the web love.
Create Your Affiliate Business On A Strong Foundation
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need a website to get started. However, I wouldn’t recommend using simple website builders like these ones. They come with a lot of limitations – restricted number of pages, poor loading speed and lack SEO integration – which will make your content difficult to create and even more challenging to rank.
In my opinion, WordPress is a better platform to use as it can bring your business further in terms of traffic and sales. There’s no need to have a lot of technical experience. Use SiteRubix to create a free WordPress website and you’ll know what I mean.
I hope that from this walk through, you not only learn how does ShareASale work, but also realized that affiliate marketing can exist in any niches and if done right, you can turn your knowledge and passion into a full time and rewarding online business.
Want to learn more about becoming successful in affiliate marketing with ShareASale? I’ve got the right program to help you out. Wealthy Affiliate University has taught me how to start an online business from scratch and I’m sure you’ll benefit from their tools and training as well. So do check it out.
If you have any questions or thoughts related to this topic, feel free to leave them in the comment area below and I’ll get back to you.
“Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires.”
– Bo Bennett
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