E-Commerce has immensely changed the buying behaviors of shoppers globally. There is hardly any product or service that you can’t find online these days. One of the keys to e-commerce success has been affiliate marketing. Most of the e-commerce platforms offer affiliate marketing or partner programs one way or the other.
Interestingly, despite all the fuss about growing e-commerce trends, it only contributes a fraction of the total trade in the world. For beginners, it is good news, as it shows significant growth opportunities. As long as the e-commerce world is booming, the affiliate marketing niche will blossom as well.
Finding the right affiliate marketing platform, choosing the right products/services to promote, and utilizing the right tools are keys to success here. Shareasale is one of the leading affiliate marketing platforms around. It simply offers great deals and earning opportunities for its partners and affiliates.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is all about marketing for products or services on offer from your partner. E-commerce platforms sell products/services on their online platforms, affiliates promote their products through marketing. Essentially, it is promoting products or services for which you receive a portion of sales as commission.
E-commerce platforms put an immense amount of money into promoting their products. Yet affiliate marketing provides an additional opportunity to them for making extra sales. Bloggers and partner merchants can take full advantage of the affiliate marketing program. It provides a win-win offer to both e-commerce traders and their affiliates.
Important: Although you can earn affiliate commission without a blog, partnering with Shareasale requires an active website or blog. They may also verify the domain authority and genuineness of your website before approving your application.
Before we get started with Shareasale, let’s familiarize ourselves with some important terminologies that are frequently used in affiliate marketing.
Sellers: the brand, owners, sellers, and e-commerce traders selling products or services. They are also called advertisers, merchants, and creators, etc.
Affiliate Marketers: Individuals or businesses who promote sellers’ products or services through affiliate marketing. These are the agents who promote through blogs, social media, email marketing, or direct sales. They get paid on commission structure from the sellers.
Affiliate Network: An online platform called an affiliate marketplace that combines sellers and promoters in one place. Shareasale is an affiliate network where sellers and promoters can both benefit.
Affiliate Program: The formal structure or contract that defines the commission qualification, rates, and other terms between all three parties in affiliate marketing. The program is offered by the Affiliate network, the commission rates can be decided by the sellers.
Affiliate Commission Rate: The commission structure through sellers offer partner programs. Both affiliate networks and sellers can offer combined commission rates for promoting certain products or services.
Pay-per-Sale: The qualification criteria used by sellers to pay commission to their affiliates and partners. You get paid when your referral makes a sale. Many sellers offer a pay-per-lead commission structure too.
Affiliate Marketing: This article contains affiliate links, which means that if you use the link to buy a product, I get a commission, at no cost to you but help me survive my blog and produce more articles.
What is Shareasale?
Shareasale is one of the leading sales and advertising platforms. It has been in the affiliate marketing industry for two decades now. The network offers more than 7,800 merchants in diversified industries. The curated list of merchants is updated regularly to provide more options to affiliate marketers.
The wide range of merchants on Shareasale provides immense opportunities to affiliates. From bloggers to small business owners, everyone can find a suitable niche product or service to promote. The commission rates through the Shareasale network are valuable and higher offering enormous earning opportunities.
Merchants and sellers can take full advantage of the reputable network as well. Shareasale offers a 20% commission rate to the merchants. It means sellers will pay additional affiliate commissions to the promoters. Yet the popularity of the network means, there is a wider market range through the affiliate programs.
Most of the brand partners on Shareasale are well-known in the e-commerce world. The commission structure for affiliate marketers is lucrative too. For example, SEM Rush offers massive $200 sales and $0.01 lead commission rates.
How to get started with ShareASale?
Account creation and sign up with Shareasale is easy. You’ll need an email address and some basic account information to sign up for the affiliate program.
Choose the Affiliate Sign up option from the signup menu. It will take you to the account set up wizard, just like you create an email address these days.
Your affiliate account set up will consist of a few steps. These steps will require information such as:
- URL link of your website or blog. The country of residence and preferred language.
- Your preferred payment method such as through ACH or PayPal. This will be used by Shareasale to send your earned commission.
- Your address, country of residence, and other contact information to verify the authenticity of the applicant.
Note: Account set up does not mean qualification for the Affiliate partner program. Your application may take a few days before approval. Shareasale approves affiliate applications on certain criteria. Usually, your blog and authenticity are verified.
How to earn with ShareASale?
Brands and merchants make money by promoting their products and services through the Shareasale network. They incur a 20% commission to the Shareasale network, plus additional commission to the affiliates. There are currently 7,800+ brand partners with Shareasale. If you have a strong physical or digital product and brand presence, you can sign up for the merchant program and earn money.
Affiliates and advertisers get paid for promoting the products and services of sellers on Shareasale. The seller or brand offers different commission programs. The most commonly used programs are pay-per-lead and pay-per-sale.
What is the Pay-Per-Lead Program?
As an affiliate when you drive traffic towards a merchant’s website and the buyer makes a transaction, it is called a lead. Further, the merchants decide on qualified leads such as conversion and sign-ups according to their policies.
As an affiliate partner, you will aim to divert more traffic towards the brand’s website. The lead can be as simple as liking the social media page, sign up by email, or creating a user account. Many e-commerce platforms offer pay-per-lead for their digital products including a software download, testing a product, or newsletter sign up.
Lead means sending genuine buyers to the e-commerce platform. A buyer doesn’t need to make a paid transaction with this arrangement. The commission rates for pay-per-lead are usually lower than pay-per-sales.
What is Pay-Per-Sale Program?
Sellers and merchants of physical and significant digital products offer a commission only when a buyer makes a sales transaction. Affiliate partners get paid for a fixed percentage of the total sales value. Some brands offer a fixed nominal value in dollar terms as a pay-per-sale commission. The commission rates with pay-per-sale are always higher for affiliates.
As a beginner, it’s pertinent to differentiate between the two methods. You’ll make money by converting online traffic from your blog to the merchant’s blog. Pay-per-lead offers low commission rates but conversion rates are higher. Similarly, the pay-per-sale offers more commission but converting online traffic visitors to qualified sales is difficult.
The perfect mix will be to sign up for both types of affiliate programs. Utilizing the right marketing tools and creating good content will generate both types of leads for you.
Choosing the Right Niche
Affiliate marketing works well if you are thinking of promoting a product or service you talk about already. If you have a blog, you certainly write on a particular field or niche. Promoting the services or products you already write about will be a natural fit for you. If you haven’t started writing on a particular product or topic, it is best advised by experts to choose one.
There are no hard rules for promoting broader industry products. For example, you may find affiliate programs in the personal finance industry. A narrowed and focused niche will be to pick an affiliate like My FICO. FICO is one of the leading rating agencies in the US. When you write about personal credit scores, you’ll naturally promote content about FICO. That allows you to promote the affiliate links naturally.
Apply the same rule for niche selection if you write about products and e-commerce. Beginners often try to cover a broader range of products that do not generate useful traffic. The key to success in affiliate marketing is in creating differentiation. Narrow down your focus as much as you can. It will help you in creating more qualified leads than promoting products generally.
Finding the Right Affiliates to Promote
Bloggers can choose affiliate programs from a wide range of options. Once you are narrowing down on niche selection, you’ll see aligned affiliate partner programs. Chose the affiliate programs that fall under your niche domain.
There are some affiliate programs that you can cover as a blogger on any topic. For example, if you have used WordPress or WIX as your blog building platform, you can join both of their affiliate programs. Similarly, each blog requires a domain name registrar, you can sign up for the GoDaddy affiliate program.
Find the affiliate programs that you can naturally promote with your blog content. Affiliates linked with blogging such as domain registration, hosting, website building, template and themes, and digital marketing will be your added advantage.
Also, try creating a balanced approach to the selection of affiliate programs. Some merchants and brands offer good pay-per-lead and others pay-per-sale. As we discussed, pay-per-lead are easier to convert but pay lower rates.
Another important selection criteria can be looking at the cookie period on offer. Cookies are the trackers for the lead generated traffic for your merchant partners. It means if your generated lead qualifies within the cookie period, you’ll earn a commission. The longer the cookie period, the better it is for you. Most brands and merchants offer a cookie period of 60-90 days.
Getting Affiliate Links and Banners
Once you have curated a list of your preferred merchant partners, add them to your Shareasale partner list. Select one of the merchants and you’ll see options to get a link.
Here you will get options like:
- Get a text link
- Theme text links, and other relevant options included by the merchant.
Get the HTML code for your promotional link and embed it to your blog. You can place a banner between the blogs or any page you like. It will need some time to fit in the right size banners along with affiliate links in your blog.
As a precaution, do not overcrowd your blog with multiple banner spaces. Also, do not include random affiliate links to your blogs. Merchants do not pay you for spamming their websites, they only pay when you divert quality traffic towards their products.
Best Practices to Earn More with ShareASale
Choosing the perfect niche for your blog, finding the right affiliate marketing partners, and picking up the banners to promote. It’s half the job done for you as yet!
Promoting the merchant’s products and services is the core of your affiliate marketing. The key to success is to align your efforts thoroughly from start to end.
- Understanding The Audience
First thing first, try understanding your audience. Remember, you selected a niche to write on, that’s exactly how you understand the audience. If you write on a particular industry or topic, your audience will be looking for solutions in the same field. Understanding your audience will help you create relevant content.
Let’s say you write on fashion, then what’s the point in partnering with Adidas or Puma? Your target audience will not be interested in sports-related products.
Furthermore, narrow down your focus as much as you can. For example, if you are writing on social media marketing, choose Facebook or LinkedIn marketing as your niche products. Write generic and specific content. Then add affiliate links and banners that directly relate to your target audience.
There is no point in vaguely targeting the broader audience. Remember, the reader will stick to your blog only if they get quality and related content. Similarly, your promotional stuff will sell only if it relates to your target audience.
- Helping the Audience
We create for different purposes. Some bloggers do it as a hobby, some put their thoughts into blogs, and others solve problems. Knowing your audience and answering their questions is all that affiliate marketing takes.
The best practice with affiliate marketing is to create trust with your followers. Spend some time understanding their needs. Explore different solutions to their needs and test them. Promote what you think will solve your audience’s problems. Do not deviate from the theme of your blog. It is fine to experiment a little, but do not try putting any stuff that you think will sell.
The more you focus on providing solutions to your readers, the better are the chances of your success. Your target audience will follow your advice (and your affiliate links) once you gain trust.
A practical tip will be to test products or services from your merchant partner. Share your experience and results through an honest review with your followers. It will build trust, as well as more chances of creating qualified leads.
- Should You Reveal Your Affiliate Marketing Deals?
In short, YES. As we stressed a lot on winning the followers trust. Disclosing the affiliate promotion strategy will add to that trust only. And, that comes at no extra cost to you.
Use this option to promote your stuff again. Try and test the products or services on offer by your merchant partners. Then disclose the deals you get from them to your audience. This way, you can generate qualified leads without deceiving the followers.
Remember, with affiliate marketing you are a marketer. Marketers promote products in several ways. An effective way is to offer discounts or bonuses. Your merchant partners will also happily allow you the marketing strategy, it always works.
- Create Compelling Content
Content is the king. Content triumphs SEO and marketing tools. There are so many quotes on creating compelling content to motivate you. As a blogger, you would have already gone through that advice.
Bloggers’ lifeline is the followership of their blogs. You write content for readers that become your followers. Affiliate marketing comes later. No one can write stuff for affiliate marketing links, it never works.
One tip for improving your blog content is to write relevant and up-to-date blogs. Stay relevant to the industry changes and trends. Follow the industry leaders in your niche.
- Refresh Your Blog Content Regularly
This one is an old SEO marketing tip that every SEO guru will offer you. Listen to this tried and tested method. Understand the Google algorithms, and SEO ranking methods. If you can’t handle the SEO, hire an expert for that. Your content must reach the audience. In fact, it must reach the right audience at the right place.
One of the key points with staying relevant with SEO rankings is to refresh your blogs regularly. Google prefers fresh content. It will boost your blog traffic rankings, hence your affiliate marketing success chances.
- Use the Right Content Marketing Tools
Before you promote affiliate products and services, promote your content. Choose the right content marketing tools that best match your requirements. The wider the audience reach for you, the better it is for your affiliate marketing plans.
Harness the powers of social media marketing tools. Coherently promote the content through email marketing, social media, YouTube, and other relevant mediums. Remember, aim to promote your content before you promote the affiliate links.
- Try Experimenting On Affiliate Partners
One benefit of using the Shareasale network is their wider range of merchants list. There are currently 7,800+ merchants partnered with the Shareasale network. If one of your partner affiliates is not generating regular sales, try experimenting with others.
A tip here is to stay relevant within your blog niche. Choose alternative affiliate partners that fall within your blog niche. There is no point in promoting irrelevant products or services. Another option can be to negotiate different deals from your affiliate partner. Do not shy away from discussing promotional stuff with your merchant partners.
Payment Terms and Methods with Shareasale
Congratulations on your first successful sales. The Shareasale affiliate networks set the $50 minimum payout condition. Once your revenue reaches above $50 you can withdraw money through your added payment method. You already provided these details when you set up the account information.
Keep in mind a few important points on receiving payments from Shareasale:
- Payday with Shareasale is the 20th of every month. You’ll receive payments earned in one month on the 20th of the next month.
- Your payment options include Check, direct transfer, and Payoneer.
- Your check will be issued on the account information that you provided.
- There are 90 days cancellation policy that you can use to apply for changes in payments.
- You can verify each payment through your account “activity detail report” section.
Advantages of Choosing ShareASale Affiliate Network
Shareasale is one of the leading affiliate networks in the world. It has a following of two decades. Your chances of success with the Shareasale affiliate network are enormous if you can do it the right way.
Here are a few compelling reasons why we chose to partner with Shareasale:
- It is a reputable affiliate network with two decades of successful history.
- The affiliate signup with the Shareasale network is easy and FREE.
- There is a wider range of options to choose from as affiliate marketing partners.
- New affiliate partners regularly enter the Shareasale network, currently, there are 7,800 merchant partners.
- It offers two affiliate partner options as pay-per-lead and pay-per-sales to maximize your chances of earning.
- You can find reputable brands and a wide range of options in any niche.
- The commissions on offer through Shareasale are generous.
- The payment options and terms are flexible and easier to follow.
- Shareasale offers a dedicated blog for beginners with guides for every step.
I hope this comprehensive guide would have helped you get started with the ShareASale affiliate network. Affiliate marketing requires patient and consistent efforts to reap the rewards of success. Do check out my previous post on the top affiliate networks to join.