I posted this query in an older thread of mine with no joy. In retrospect, I probably should have posted the question independently:
Lol, here it is wilderness :
I'm kind of fuzzy on the affiliate link limit rule. I was thinking about putting more in my Fender Stratocaster Hub — one for each type of guitar mentioned, for instance — but have till now been using anchor links to refer readers back to my affiliate link on another part of the page.
Specifically, I have an affiliate link for American Musical Supply (through Commission Junction) on my Hub — but only one. If I write more than fifty words for each model of guitar, would I theoretically be allowed to place more of those (external) affiliate links on the Hub? I guess I am just confused about the "new" rule stating that more than one affiliate link per Hub is frowned upon now (and subject to moderation).
Someone correct me if I'm wrong! Commission Junction is a no-no on HP!
I'm pretty sure CJ is regarded as a "reputable" affiliate network. HubPages doesn't publish a list of the ones they regard as "disreputable" - the only one I know they definitely don't allow is Clickbank. Linkshare, Affiliate Future, ShareASale are all OK.
You know, I would like to learn more about this issue, as well. I'm new to the affiliate marketing "game," and tried my best to search for a reputable company to sign on with, in addition to the HP program, and Google AdSense (re: queues "most reputable affiliate program" into Google, lol!)
Thanks for clearing up the other bit as well, Marisa!
ologsinquito, for what it's worth, Commission Junction does allow text links, which is what I have been using here to supplement my "HP-sponsored" capsules. As far as I know, we aren't allowed to use the other link options (e.g., banner ads) from affiliate partners outside of HP, ostensibly to avoid cluttering up the sight?
That's exactly right. To clarify:
Amazon and eBay capsules are NOT affiliate links - they are capsules, and they have their own, completely separate, rule. We are talking about hyperlinks here.
There is NO rule about the "number of affiliate links" per Hub. It's covered by the "number of links to one domain" rule, which doesn't differentiate between affiliate links and ordinary links. You're allowed two links per domain.
The rule about affiliates is "no links to unapproved affiliate networks" - but HubPages doesn't reveal which ones are unapproved. I know ShareASale, Affiliate Future and Linkshare are OK because I've used them on Hubs with no problems - whereas Clickbank is definitely not approved, I've tried it!
As for banner ads - definitely not allowed.
Sales Hubs - no such thing, officially, so there can't possibly be any special rule or exception applying to them! The term refers to Hubs that makes maximum use of Amazon or eBay capsules and they are usually reviews of a product or range of products.
I wasn't even aware we could do that. I put ads up on my website for a company through ShareASale, but I was approved for that through my website; don't know if I could use links to that company on HP; plus, I've only been able to get links and banners in html from that company; from what I can tell, they don't just supply an url like Amazon does for specific products that you can put in a text-link. ShareASale confuses me a little bit anyway, I just put a banner from the company I place ads for on my posts on my site and leave it at that; and a link in a couple posts, but the link was an html code. The company I'm partnered with is either limited in what they offer in terms of links, or I'm missing something.
Yes, if you're approved as an affiliate for a company, you can use their links anywhere - not just on your site. That applies regardless of what network you're approved through.
The text links are simply the HTML version, all you have to do is look for the URL within the HTML code, and use that to create a hyperlink. The URL will be the URL of the company's website, with a string of gobbledegook on the end that includes your affiliate number.
If you're having trouble finding it, and you have a Wordpress site, here's a tip: paste a banner in to your site, then click on the image in "Visual" mode and copy the link in the "link to" box - that's your text link.
Oh, wow, thanks, Marisa! I've been trying to figure that out for a long time. Going to start using that company elsewhere and use hyperlinks to their products.
Just be sure when you're pasting the URL, that your affiliate ID is in there somewhere!
Affiliate links are subjected to the same less than 3 per domain per Hub limit.
What it really comes down to is what and how you are promoting things.
So even if a Hub only has 1 link to an affiliate site, if it solely or primarily promotes that site then it can be moderated as overly promotional.
http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/publ … d_22732854
If the site has other issues and is prohibited, then no links are allowed to that domain.
The only sites that are not subject to the 2 link limit are well-known and identified sites like wikipedia.org.
Keep in mind that plain text URLs in your Hubs that you do not hyperlink are also included in link counts.
You're definitely confused. The rule is:
2 affiliate links per Hub, not one. And it's
2 links to the same domain, not 2 links in total.
So for instance, if you have two links and they're both through Commission Junction, you've reached your limit. But if you have two links through Comission Junction, two through Affiliate Future, two through ShareASale, and two through Linkshare, you still haven't reached your limit.
Number of words in the Hub is irrelevant. The words requirement applies to eBay and Amazon capsules only.
As I understand the rule, hp allows as many amazon and eBay capsules as you like; probably because they share commission on those links. They only allow one link sourcing per outside website or it's considered "overly promotional".
The question here is about a tracked affiliate link in the main text of the hub that pays off according to a system that is completely off site.
I would also appreciate clarification on how these can be used.
The problems with Amazon and eBay are the 24 hour cookie limits, as well as the 60/40 split. And I don't really mind the split so much on high volume, lower priced items. But, for "big ticket" purchases that sell less frequently, I was hoping for a way to avoid that 60/40 split as much as possible (by way of my Commission Junction links), since you don't earn on the Amazon and eBay capsules forty percent of the time. (i.e., If someone bought — say — an authentic Fabergé egg on Amazon after clicking on the Amazon capsule link from one of your Hubs, and that purchase happened to fall under the forty percent, then you would miss out on a rather large commission. Moreover, if the person hemmed and hawed about the purchase, and then finally decided to buy on the 25th hour, both you and HP would miss out on a commision!)
So, like psycheskinner was saying, I just wanted to know if I would be permitted to place more than one non-HP-associated affiliate link on the Hub in question, since I describe a variety of guitars in the article, with each description going over fifty words?
My reasoning here is that, since my Hub is 9,000 words long now, would it not be acceptable to place a few more affiliate links without danger of superseding the affiliate link to useful content ratio?
(Please: While I appreciate everyone's input, I did not ask this question to engage in a debate about longer Hubs versus shorter series Hubs, as an alternate way to add more affiliate links. I have been employing both series and "all-in-one" Hubs in my writing on HP to date, as I gain experience here and continue to experiment with what works best for me! )
The bottom line, just as you say, is that you wish to deny HP any income from purchases and keep it all for yourself by bypassing the shared income concept entirely.
As such, I can't see that the length of hub would make any difference - short OR long, HP is missing out on income that would otherwise be theirs while still fulfilling their end of the "contract" by providing the location to write.
What matters in this case is what Hubpages allows, hence the question. And they do not ban this practice but exactly what is/is not allowed is less than clear to me.
Thanks for responding everyone.
Wilderness - I don't know if I would have worded it quite so strongly as that, as my intention is not to deny HP its share of the profits. I just think that it might be beneficial to implement some sort of discerning scale where products sold through affiliate links, that supersede some arbitrary dollar amount, are subject to a different "sort" of profit sharing (For instance: a straight 60/40 split of profits from every sale, rather than 100 percent of profits going to Hubbers 60 percent of the time, and to HP 40 percent of the time for high price items). Because, as it stands now, if I happen to make an affiliate-linked sale of a big ticket item, it is lumped in to the same pool as affiliate-linked sales for smaller ticket items. If that big ticket item happens to fall in with the forty percent, then I make nothing from the sale. At least, that is my understanding to this point. Is that incorrect?
It is discouraging if I make a commission on some lower priced merc (e.g., books, t-shirts), and miss out on a commission from a high priced item (e.g., Ford F-150 pickup, baseball autographed by Babe Ruth). In a nutshell: I would much rather share 40 percent of my commission with HP every time I sell one of those autographed baseballs, rather than risk not making anything off of the sale 40 percent of the time.
The other problem that I mentioned above, are these 24 hour cookie windows for eBay and Amazon. I have affiliate advertisers on Commission Junction that offer as much as 60 days for cookies! What is the reason for such a discrepancy with a retail giant like Amazon? Or, an auction juggernaut like eBay? Doesn't it seem as though the system is rigged in their favor, when we write to drive business to their sites, and they kill us with fine print that is designed to revoke their obligation to pay commissions unless (arguably) unreasonable variables are met? Again, I don't claim to be an expert here, as I am still learning the ropes. This is just my understanding of the situation based on what I have read.
This was my motivation for posting the question, not a desire to hustle HP, or the HP team, for whom I hold only the highest regard.
On the plus side, if you make a big sale for HP (Amazon) you'll never know it. If it's any comfort - it isn't to me.
Cookies; seems reasonable for Amazon to me - if you send someone that purchases as a result of your work, I would expect them to have the item in the cart within 24 hours. Beyond that I doubt that your hub had any effect, so anything you got there would be a bonus. Most of the stuff I sell I do not provide a link for - that already seems a pretty big bonus to me.
eBay is another story, and the reason I removed all eBay capsules from my hubs. That 24 hour cookie is worthless for anything but a "buy it now" item or for someone unfamiliar with how eBay works and makes a huge bid. Or maybe the very few that are the only bidder on an unpopular product, but how many of us put unpopular products in our capsules?
I have hubs with more than one affiliate link (not including amazon or ebay). One hub I'm thinking of has about 3 or 4 on the page and it has no warnings.
There was always a two link rule - no more than two links, whether affiliate or straight, to any one site. So you could link to say 10 sites in a hub if you wanted to, but just not more than twice to each one.
I've not seen anything to say that has changed.
Susan, thank you for your correction that it's two links per outside site and not just one. I have a better understanding of this rule now. ;-)
Are these affiliate links, that you will be paid from, or simply links to an outside domain? (Example - Amazon carries my code# and is an affiliate link while one to wikipedia cannot earn me anything).
The latter is definitely 2 links per domain (except for accepted authority sites like wikipedia), the affiliate links I'm not so sure about.
I believe the rule is no more than one affiliate link per capsule, not per hub.
Marisa, I still have so much to learn. How can we use such affiliate networks here?
Yes, that's where I became confused as well. I thought that an exception was made for "sales Hubs," where more capsules were allowed, provided that at least 50 words describe each product. But since Matt didn't mention it in his post, I am assuming I was mistaken.
Amazon capsules are what the word per capsule ratio is related to.
As far as links in a Hub (not in a capsule), Amazon is an affiliate and links are treated the same as any other affiliate.
Thanks for clearing that up, Matt. So, if I'm understanding the rule correctly:
A Hub may theoretically have many more than one Amazon capsule, provided that at least 50 words are used to describe the products located within each capsule — the word per capsule ratio — but, this exception only applies to Amazon capsules, and not any other kind of (text-based) affiliate link? Is this correct?
If so, are eBay capsules extended this bit of leeway under the revised HP guidelines, as well? Or, is it strictly an exception allowed for Amazon capsules?
Yes, the explicit link limits are for hyperlinks in your Hub content and not for product capsules.
This doesn't mean that you can cram a whole bunch of unrelated product capsules in a Hub, though, as it could be moderated as overly promotional.
The reality is that many products in a Hub are less effective than a few targeted and very related products.
Oh, I totally agree! I was just speaking ... er ... hypothetically. *Discreetly begins deleting capsules in edit mode.* (Joking!)
In all sincerity, I really do agree. Content is king, right?
To be honest its pointless adding affiliate links on hubpages. Besides it defeats the main purpose of you being here.. which is to provide quality good content and information and not sell stuff. I got one of my hubs banned just because of one affiliate link so I decided to not bother with affiliate links. Best thing to do is have a blog about what your affiliate product is and buy a domain name for your blog/website. In that way it won't look like your selling something.
Just concentrate on writing good quality articles. HP will always reward those who have good content.
If we all took that advice, HubPages wouldn't exist.
HubPages IS all about "selling stuff". That's how HubPages makes its money - from ads which sell stuff. Why do you think we're given Amazon and eBay capsules? It's perfectly possible to write wonderful content and "sell stuff" too, they are not mutually exclusive.
HubPages doesn't like us to use money-making methods which they don't get a share of, that's why they make it difficult to use affiliate links - but they're definitely NOT illegal and many Hubbers use them. Clickbank is blacklisted, and if you use an affiliate link that goes to a cheesy landing page of any kind, that will probably get blacklisted too. But the big affiliate networks are allowed.
Going back to what you were saying about affiliate partnerships, do you mind discussing a little bit more about your strategy with these programs? Also, do you have any advice about which have worked better or worse for you, or which have been more pleasant to associate with (as opposed to being a real hassle, etc.)? Really, just anything you have gleaned from your experience and would like to share would be much appreciated.
I've used Commission Junction, Linkshare, ShareASale, ClixGalore, Clickbank and Affiliate Future.
I am very suspicious of ClixGalore, because I see far less revenue from them than from any other network. The number of clicks is similar but conversion is low - which makes me wonder whether ClixGalore is correctly recording sales.
I had very little success with Commission Junction and found their site clunky to use - having said that, it was a long time ago. I've had success with Affiliate Future except that their payment system is dodgy - I've learned to keep an eye on my balance and shoot them an email if payment doesn't turn up on the due date. No complaints about Linkshare except it can be hard to get accepted by some merchants (though if you identify a merchant you like on Linkshare, you can always use their links through Skimlinks).
ShareASale is reputable, helpful, has a great range of merchants and also has a nice feature which allows you to create a whole page of products - very useful on your own blog or website.
I'm always wary of direct affiliate schemes run by merchants themselves - not because merchants are deliberately fraudulent, but many direct schemes are not properly set up. I've joined direct affiliate schemes with over a dozen merchants, and only two have ever paid out a cent. That's the value of a good affiliate network - you've got a third party involved who ensures that the merchants pay out!
However, the bottom line is - it's the product that matters, not the network. My sites are about dance, and there are very few dance-related companies offering affiliate schemes, and that's why I've had to range so widely over so many networks. The trouble I have is that I then have to hit payout threshold on all those different networks - which is why I now use Skimlinks for a lot of my affiliate links instead.
I have a couple of Hubs on these topics - one on monetizing your blog and another on Skimlinks vs Viglinks.
Wow, Marisa Wright - your post has just gained you another follower. ;-) You are so insightful & resourceful on this subject. I was about to ask if you had a hub with this info compiled but then I read your last statement. I will definitely be checking those sites out for the future. Thank you for all the wonderful tips. Very Sincerely, Mel
Yes, I had a similar reaction to the Commission Junction setup. It's so clunky! I don't really have the experience to intelligently judge whether the payouts are steady or uneven, though, as I am still basically a novice at content creation.
I will check out those Hubs you mentioned.
As always, thanks for taking the time Marisa. Much appreciated!
So a few affiliate links are OK? For example, if I write an article about Etsy, and at the end put my personal link so that people who sign up will get 5 free listings, this is OK? Is it alright if I put the link to my Etsy shop itself at the bottom?
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