In today’s podcast I am talking about how to get more out of your affiliate links than just the standard link to the vendor’s homepage.
I am a fan of affiliate marketing.
And yes, I love my affiliates.
One of the challenges with affiliate marketing is to think of ways to use them that also benefit my readers, or even my followers on social. It’s not about just popping out links to buy, buy, buy. It’s about content and making it a win-win— for everyone. Having done this for a few years, I have learned certain things.
Custom affiliate URLs are my friend
If you run an affiliate program for your products or services, you know that there are a ton of options out there. Just go to the Affiliate Summit and you learn that fast. There are sites where you can set up your affiliate program. There are consultants to run your affiliate program. And in the WordPress space, there are even plugins to do this, my favorite being AffiliateWP.
Back to being an affiliate marketer. As I said, I am not only thinking of the best way to get someone to click on an affiliate link, but also to make it worthwhile for them. That can often be a useful blog post.
Let me explain. Let’s say I am an affiliate of the SuperDuper WordPress Plugin. Over on their blog, they write some awesome posts that I often share with my followers on social. And sometimes I like to make the link to the post an affiliate link. This way, if they are engrossed in the post, learn a lot from it, and click over to buy the SuperDuper plugin, well, I make a few bucks.
Everyone is happy.
How to create that custom link
Now it’s time for the nitty gritty.
To give you one example, if you use Share a Sale for your affiliate program, you will have this option:
Once I create it, I can now share that post and, if they happen to purchase while on the site, I get credit.
Another example would be affiliate programs that use the AffiliateWP Plugin. The affiliate can easily generate their own referral to any page on your site by pasting the page URL into a field, and clicking the Generate URL button. You can give it a campaign name if you want to come back and not have to regenerate it again.
Once generated, you can now copy the link:
If you use Commission Junction, they are called Deep Links.
But wait, where is it?
I cannot say for sure if every affiliate platform or plugin has this option. Nor can I address the fact that someone may not choose to have it available for their affiliates. But I am one sad puppy when I go to my affiliate profile on a vendor’s site and I only have one option for a link that takes them only to the homepage of the product. Because we know that when the reader is taken to the specific page of the product the blogger was talking about, and the reader doesn’t have to do additional clicks to get to it, it increases the chances of a sale.
That is it. No custom link.
A word of warning
Don’t abuse this, especially when sharing blog posts. For example, I was in a Facebook group where one of the admins was sharing a lot of posts from a vendor-related blog. The first mistake he/she made was that the affiliate links weren’t cloaked, so you could see that they were affiliate links. Now, according to FCC rules, this person should be letting readers know that, but I have a feeling they just didn’t know I could see them.
But that wasn’t even the real problem. The issue was that this person was posting several of these in the group each day. Cluttering the stream with the attempt to make few bucks. And it was so obvious and actually, disrespectful of the admin for this group.
My real warning is this: no matter where you are doing this, don’t overdo it. Every share you do should not be affiliate-induced. Spread them out a bit and don’t go crazy. And most of all, do it with blogs that are putting out great content and that you have confidence in sharing. Don’t do it for a the sake of a buck.
With all that said…
If you are just getting into affiliate marketing, do take advantage of custom links.
So until next time…