Sunday, 29 January 2012

How websites and blogs make money 1

Everybody is familiar with websites. We use them for emailing, social networking, paying bills, shopping, studying, as references and for other million things. Did it cross to your mind how these sites make money? Of course there are sites that are set up specifically to make money. But how about those sites that do not sell anything. Or on an ordinary blog like this? Did you think the webmasters or bloggers just set publish things up, write what's on their mind like we usually do in social networks without other motivations? 

There must be other motivations, besides from passion of writing and giving information, and of these is to make money. Websites and blogs can really make money in many ways. This post, however, will concentrate on one of the ways, and that's affiliate marketing.

What's affiliate marketing?

This is a practice  in which a business rewards an affiliate for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's own  efforts. Most merchants pay the affiliate when the affiliate's site makes a sale of the company's product or service, or when a affiliate's site drives new customer to fill in his details (lead). Another way to generate and get paid by lead is when a surfer uses a special search engine, usually product comparison search engines.

How can I become an affiliate marketer?

Obviously, computer with internet connection is the first requirement. Second would be a website or a blog which could either be free or paid. And a little bit of HTML know how. Basic online tutorials can be found on many sites, just google it. Next is to join an affiliate network. 

If you already own a website or a blog, you can start straight away. A good starting point when choosing which company to apply to as an affiliate from an affiliate network is the content of your site. If your site is about traveling or your travels then apply your site to merchants that cater vacation, flights, breaks, or even airline companies. You can also add vehicle hires and airport parking companies.

Which affiliate network to join?

An affiliate network is a company that merchants hire to find affiliates for their products and one of the well known and has good reputation is Affiliate Window . I always recommend this network because of the many lists of merchants that are on board. From groceries to electrical products, flights, insurance, you name it and I am sure you can find merchants which products are relevant to your website. Well known merchants from this networks include Asda, Boots, Carphonewarehouse, Dialaphone, Macwarehouse, PCworld to name a few.

How  websites actually make money on links?

After you're website is approved by a merchant, you will be given codes with your unique tracking code, so that when a visitor clicks on your link, and buys something from the merchant who gave you the link, the site owner gets commission. Commissions can from 1% to 30% depending on the product and the contract a merchant and the affiliate agreed upon.

Below is a screenshot of some of prakticality's 56 affiliate merchants

Let's take a look at the conditions of being a Carphone Warehouse affiliate.

As you can see, they give different commissions on different products, some flat rate cash and some by percentages, from the same merchant.

Now let's see the links and banners with the unique affiliate tracking code which you can embed into your site. The screen shot below

The complete code with the tracking affiliate number 76874(affiliate ID) and the resulting banner below it.

<!--START MERCHANT:merchant name Carphone Warehouse from>
                                        <script language="JavaScript" src=""></script>
                                                <noscript><iframe src="" width=468 height=60 frameborder=0 border=0 scrolling=no marginheight=0 marginwidth=0></iframe></noscript>
                                                                                    <!--END MERCHANT:merchant name Carphone Warehouse from>

Embedding the links

The blogger can embed the link anywhere he chooses. I recommend to write some interesting points about a product and redirect readers through a text link or a banner link like the one above. And when a visitor clicks the link, the tracking number which is the affiliates ID will be remembered into the affiliate network's server. When the visitor purchase anything from the merchant's site, the server remember's this as well. In fact, the computer that the visitor used will also retain the affiliate ID's and can store them within 30 days, as long as the cache of the visitor's computer is configured to hold cookies for 30 days. This means the next time the visitor goes and buys anything directly from the merchant's, the affiliate still earns a commission. That's why cookies are so useful for us bloggers and webmasters!

If you have a blog and want to try out how to being an affiliate, and not sure where to start, please feel free to 

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