Disclaimer- I am an affiliate publisher for flexoffers.com Advertiser Referral Program and impact.com Referral Partner Program and do make a small commission if one clicks/taps on one of the links on this page and makes a purchase.
This post will first describe my experience with Affiliate Marketing over the last 20 years as an Affiliate Publisher and what I think makes a good Affiliate Advertiser relationship with affiliate companies. First off an Affiliate Advertiser is an individual or company that sells something and wants to advertise on the internet. An Affiliate Publisher is a website owner that derives income from various types of ads placed on their web site. Now for some history.
Back in the early 1990's I got my first computer and got a free Prodigy online service trial offer. What amazed me were those rectangular ads at the top of the screen. I thought that they were really cool. A few years later I went to work for
and saw how they were transitioning from an hourly business model to a monthly business model. They needed to make up for the loss of revenue somehow. So they started showing ads and developing business partnerships. I personally launched a few websites during that time. One was a hiking group website and the other was my first personal website. I was interested in defraying the costs of having these sites so I too experimented with advertising on those sites.
I tried a lot of things during that time. At first I placed a few ads from sites whose products I liked and had asked that users place an ad on their websites. Once I was contacted by an ad agency and asked if I would take X dollars to run an ad on my site for Y weeks. I said heck, yes! I did some link exchanges and looked into this new thing called Affiliate Marketing.
This was in the mid to late 1990's. I sought out as many advertisers as I could for these sites. The advertisers were not always a good fit but I would line up as many advertisers as I could. Revenue was OK. I experimented with percentage commission ads, pay per click ads, revenue share ads. You name it and I was there. It took three or four years but I was able to get the hiking website to be self sustaining with the ad income that I was making from it for few years.
In the early 2000's more affiliate companies appeared and you could set up some good relationships and have a great range of advertisers to choose from. It was a lot of work. Probably more work than it was worth. I wasn't about to retire. But I was making some money to support these sites.
Around 2008-2010 a number of personal changes happened for me. The hiking website was not doing as well income wise because we had less members. I decided to shut it down in 2010. Also, I was going through a divorce during that time and needed to economize. So I shut down my personal website as well.
Fast forward about seven years and I was doing well financially, I had a good relationship with my significant other and got the urge to get another website. At first I just wanted something to play on. Then I started doing things like posting trip logs from all of the outdoor adventures that I had taken in the last 25 years. I started another hiking group and housed them on my website as well. So now I was back looking at advertising as a way to try and offset the cost of the website.
I got into Affiliate Marketing again in 2017. Some things were the same. The interfaces of most of the affiliate companies had not changed since my seven year hiatis. There were some new affiliate companies out there. And software had been developed that let companies run their own affiliate programs. Also, this thing called social media was present that wasn't around the last time that I was into Affiliate Marketing. I do believe that social media platforms did weaken affiliate income producing abilities for websites. So I started placing affiliate code on social media sites. This did increase my clicks dramatically. The sales are OK but could always be better. One thing that I have really tried to do this time is concentrate mostly on outdoor related advertisers to place their ads on my site. I still have some one off and interesting advertisers. And I have concentrated on advertisers that have high payouts. This has helped boost income.
There have been some challenges this go around with affiliate companies. One challenge that I have not been able to overcome is one affiliate company that has the lions share of outdoor advertisers. I was with them when they started up in the early 2000's. But this time they first told me that I needed more hits. I got the amount of hits that they wanted. Then they told me that I needed a recommendation from an advertiser in order to get into their realm. It seemed like they were throwing up roadblocks. I will overcome this challenge someday. Also, I am not afraid to drop an advertiser and try new ones that are more relevant. I also dropped an affiliate company because if you didn't make at least $10 in commissions a year, they would take the commissions that you made as a service fee. They took $9.46 away from me. I dropped them immediately.
OK, what should Affiliate Advertisers look for in an affiliate company? I think that the main assets would be: a low cost of entry, a relationship that would grow over time and the flexibility to change things in the course of events. An affiliate company should work with advertisers and keep the lines of communication open. I have seen a number of advertisers pause their programs, reduce their ad footprints and reduce their commissions paid during the COVID-19 crisis. While this has affected me as an Affiliate Publisher, I understand that it is necessary. Good customer service is essential for a good relationship between the affiliate company and the Affiliate Advertiser as well as between the affiliate company and the Affiliate Publisher.
I have personally had good relationships with Impact and FlexOffers over the last few years. They have both been very professional, have had a good mix of advertisers for me to work with and I have made some money with each of them. If you are an advertiser looking for a better return on your advertising dollars, please check out the two programs shown within the ad banners below by clicking/tapping on them.
^ Back to top
< Previous Blog Post | Next > Blog Post