Yes, I am a fan of affiliate marketing.
And yes, I do 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 that I share from time to time on the blog.
Custom Affiliate URL’s 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 will 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. And that can often be a great 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 what I like to do sometimes is make that link to the post an affiliate link. This way, if they are so engrossed with the post, learn a lot from it, and then click over to buy their 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:
And once I create it, now I can share that post and if, they happen to purchase while on the site, I get credit.
Another example is 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:
And if you use Commission Junction, they are called Deep Links.
But Wait, Where Is It?
Now 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.
That is it. No custom link.
So if you are just getting into affiliate marketing, take advantage of custom links.
If you manage or run an affiliate program and you do have that option but have chosen not to give it to your affiliates, I would love to hear why.