Affiliate Marketing Strategies

The Latest Affiliate Marketing Strategies for Publishers

Learn how to generate a passive income with the latest affiliate marketing strategies, designed specifically for the digital publishing community.

Who doesn’t want to generate income while they sleep? That’s the main idea behind passive income, and it’s one of the major reasons why publishers are investing so heavily in affiliate marketing in 2020. For many publishers who are looking for more effective ways to monetize their website traffic, and make their content work harder for them, affiliate marketing is the easiest place to start generating income.

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing that involves a brand or retailer rewarding a publisher for referring customers. Publishers get paid when their referrals result in transactions for the retailer.

Globally, participation in affiliate marketing programs is on the rise. Spending is expected to reach more than $8 billion by 2022. That’s up from just $5.4 billion in 2017.

The vast majority of affiliate marketing programs involve networks, which manage the affiliates, or publishers. Networks act as the intermediaries between brands and publishers. Publishers aren’t required to work with networks if they want to take part in affiliate marketing, but doing so adds a layer of trust and reduces the complexities that are usually involved for publishers. Networks can also help link publishers up with new brands or retailers to work with, and they help to decrease instances of fraud.

Latest Strategies in Affiliate Marketing

New Models

For years, publishers have relied on the pay-per-click model to get paid for clicks that are generated through their website, regardless of whether transactions occurred on the retailer’s website. That seems to be changing, though, and more retailers and brands are now requesting the pay-per-lead model or pay-per-sale model.
Although there are plenty of publishers who have tried their hand at e-commerce sales, this approach does seem to be on the decline in 2020. These days, it’s far more common for publishers to try affiliate marketing with the pay-per-lead or pay-per-sale model than it is for publishers to sell physical goods directly through their own websites. Affiliate marketing gives publishers a way to generate revenue from online sales, without dealing with the logistical or operational hassles that come with running an online store.

Multiple Networks

As publishers begin to dip their toes into affiliate marketing, one of the first places many begin is by selecting a program or a network. Thousands of networks exist. The most well-known affiliate program is Amazon Associates. After signing up, publishers get an affiliate link with a unique ID that they can use when they link products from their content. It really is that simple.

The best network to join is one that has partnerships with the retailers or brands that the publisher’s audience already uses.

It’s becoming more common for publishers to connect with multiple networks or affiliate partners, so they can offer alternative options if one retailer isn’t selling a certain product that the publisher would like to promote.

Creative Approaches

While there aren’t usually any upfront costs involved in joining an affiliate network, there may be variable costs depending on how the publisher chooses to promote the retailer or brand’s products. For example, publishers who create display ads for promoted products will incur more costs than publishers who simply place product links into their existing articles or other website content. However, publishers who are investing in display advertising may also see greater sales, so the income could be greater. Finding that balance is something that every publisher must work on over time.

Connecting to Newsworthy Events

Thankfully for publishers, the income being generated by affiliate marketing is surging in 2020. Thanks in large part to the explosion in online shopping that has been going on since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, ecommerce retailers and affiliate marketers are seeing an incredible rise in transaction volume.

Digital publishers are seeing the greatest gains when they combine real world events (like the pandemic or upcoming seasonal weather events) with online retail. For example, a site like The Wirecutter, from The New York Times, might post an article about supplies people should buy during wildfire season. That article would then link to the supplies The Wirecutter’s writers recommend. When readers purchase those items through The Wirecutter’s links, the publication gets paid.

Posting affiliate links into relevant website content, based on real world events, is one of the most effective affiliate marketing strategies for digital publishers. Generally speaking, this approach is far more effective than posting articles with product links that aren’t tied to any timely or newsworthy events.

One of the core strengths that publishers have is their ability to publish relevant, newsworthy content. Publishers who lean into their strengths as they develop their affiliate marketing programs have the most to gain from this approach. Although affiliate marketing is not a silver bullet, it can be an important part of a publisher’s larger approach to website monetization.

To learn more about how to monetize your own website, contact Web Publisher PRO today.