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What's the Difference Between an Affiliate Link and a Regular Link
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
After reading a great article last week on why people don't click on bloggers affiliate links I had to write about the difference between an affiliate link and a regular link. According to the article by MommaKnows a reader said she purposely avoided affiliate links so that the blogger wouldn't make money off of her. I think this comes from a misunderstanding of what affiliate marketing is.
Affiliate marketing is a partnership between a business and an individual or company.
It’s like when you recommend a good restaurant to a friend and to thank you the owner of the restaurant gives you 10% off your next bill.
For bloggers, affiliate marketing can be a partnership with an author or a company. In exchange for recommending the product or service the company gives the blogger a commission if a purchase is made using the referral link.This can be anywhere between 3% all the way up to 50% or more.
Percentages vary depending on the product or service. For instance, you’ll get a higher commission on electronic products like eBooks, audio and video where as on physical products like those on Amazon.com your percentage is less.
What happens when you click on an Affiliate Link?
First you are taken to the company site or sales page where you can go shopping.Next,cookies are placed on your computer so that if you do make a purchase the person who recommended you gets the commission. These Cookies can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Cookies are not harmful – in fact just about every website you visit will leave a cookie on your computer.
What happens when you make a Purchase?
The referrer will get credited for the referral.
I refer someone to a product on . That person makes a purchase which nets me $1.16 commission. However, I don’t get this right away because companies have rules about ‘Payment thresholds’. These are minimum pay outs. Amazon.com
Amazon has a minimum payout of $10 if you want to receive payment in a gift card or via direct deposit otherwise it is $100 with a fee of $15 for check processing. They also have a 60 day delay meaning if you buy something in January then I won’t receive payment until March.
What about privacy? Does the affiliate get my financial and personal information?
The affiliate does not have access to your personal information nor do they have anything to do with the financial information – the company takes care of everything. The blogger is just the friend that said ‘hey check this out it’s a really cool pattern’.
Eventually the cookie will expire (in some programs they don’t). One thing to note though is that whether you click on the bloggers link or another affiliates link – or even Amazon’s link, a cookie will be placed on your computer.
The difference between the two links is that with the bloggers link you benefit someone financially by helping them support their family on a purchase you were going to make anyway or you benefit Amazon.com completely.
Let’s say you have a friend who sells . You know she is a stay-at-home mom and is trying to supplement her husband’s income. When you need plastic containers you buy from her because you know she’ll earn a commission if you do so. plastic containers
The only difference between your friend and the blogger who is an affiliate marketer is that she actually takes part in delivering the product to you. The blogger refers you, the blogger earns a commission, however instead of delivering the product to you the company delivers it.
What about the Company?
The company does not raise the price in order to pay its affiliates nor does the affiliate ‘take your money’ from the company. The company has the affiliate program in place to benefit itself and the blogger affiliate. In fact, the company welcomes the affiliate because it is cheap advertising.
They need help spreading the word about their service or product and believe it or not companies love paying their affiliates. It means that the company made sales but it also means that in a way the company is helping its marketers earn a living – everyone wins including you, the customer.
In fact, companies will work out a deal with bloggers often giving special discount codes to their readers. Buying from a blogger will probably save you more money than if you buy directly from the store.
Next time a blogging friend mentions a sale you can support her and the company she has partnered with by purchasing the product using the referral link. By the way, the site you are reading this article on shares it's referrals with it's writers. This means the ads on the site not only earn Hubpages money but they earn the writers money as well.
It is a partnership - you get great information, Hubpages gets great content on their monetized site, and the writers share their information and receive a share of the traffic which rewards them financially if you the reader decides to make a purchase or click on a sponsored ad.
Not, Those Cookies
Do You Participate in Affiliate Marketing?
Is affiliate marketing for bloggers profitable?
Resources - More great articles
- Why Advertising Doesnt Work for Bloggers | Copyblogger
This part of a 20 part eCourse (sign up at the bottom if you wish) that talks about affiliate marketing in general. This particular article Sonia shares 5 keys to better affiliate marketing.
- Do you have an affiliates disclosure?
Great article for Affiliate Marketers and the FTC requirement to have a disclosure policy on your site. Includes a great tutorial on how to use the Word Press plugin by Jason Keeley and Bryan Nielsen.
About Sara Duggan
I'm a wife and Mom of 2. I enjoy writing and crochet. I've found a way to merge the two with article marketing and blogging. Interested in Affiliate Marketing for your Crochet Blog? I've put together a free 31 day eCourse to get your blog ready.