The exam can be used to test your knowledge of affiliate marketing 101.
60 points /100 is required for the test.
一、Multiple Choice（10*2 points）
1. How many steps for launching an affiliate program on ShareASale? （ ）
A.5 B. 6 C. 7 D. 8
2. Which is not an affiliate network？ （ ）
A. CJ B. Awin C. ShareASale D. Skimlinks
3. Which is the largest deal site in the US？ （ ）
A. DealNews B. BradsDeals C. Slickdeals D. TechBargains
4. Which is a cashback affiliate？ （ ）
A. Rakuten B. Groupon C. Salecyle D. StudentBeans
5. Which is not a BNPL affiliate？ （ ）
A. Klarna B. QuadPay C. Seezle D. Acorns
6. Which market does ShareASale perform best in？ （ ）
A. US B. CA C. AU D.UK
7. Which market does Commission Factory perform best in？ （ ）
A. US B. CA C. AU D.UK
8. Which is not a must for CJ integration？ （ ）
A. Page Vist Tag B. Conversion Page Tag C. S2S D. Master Tag
9. Which is the largest deal site in the UK？ （ ）
A. LatestDeals.co.uk B. Groupon UK C. Vouchercloud D. Hotukdeals
10. Which market does BuzzFeed not cover？ （ ）
A. US B. AU C. JP D. Middle East
1. What are the roles in affiliate marketing？ （ ）
A. Advertiser B. Affiliate Network C. Publisher D. OPM
2. What’s the price structure of Awin？ （ ）
A. Set up Fee B. Monthly Fee C. Network Fee D. MMF
3. What are the creatives on ShareASale？ （ ）
A. Textlink B. Banner C. Deal/Coupon D. Data Feed
4. Which websites belong to Ziff Media？ （ ）
A. Mashable B. PCMag C. RetailMeNot D. TechBargains
5. Which websites belong to Pepper？ （ ）
A. hotukdeals B. dealabs C. mydealz D. dealhack
6. Which promotion activities are affiliate fraud? （ ）
A. TM Bidding without approval B.Product Review C. Cookie Stuffing D. Credit Card Fraud
7. An Affiliate can also be called？ （ ）
A. Affiliate B. Publisher C. Partner D. Influencer
8. Which are affiliate tracking softwares or SaaS？ （ ）
A. Impact B. Partnerize C. Tune D. TradeTracker
9. Which events are hosted by affiliate networks？ （ ）
A. CJU B. ThinkTank C. DealMaker D. AffiliateSummit
10. Which events are hosted by PerformanceIN？ （ ）
A. PMA B. Partnership Awards C. Global PMA D. PI Live
三、True or False（10*2 points）
1. It costs at least $650 to launch an affiliate program on ShareASale （ ）
2. EPC is the key metric for affiliates。 （ ）
3. Pay Per Call is one type of pricing in affiliate marketing。 （ ）
4. The sale amount tracked on ShareASale includes the shipping fee. （ ）
5. Last-Click is the only attribution model in affiliate marketing. （ ）
6. The more affiliate network advertisers use, the better results it will generate. （ ）
7. Slickdeals requires positive reviews to list Amazon deals when working with advertisers. （ ）
8. LinkShare and Ebates now are under the same company。（ ）
9. The Strategist offers paid placement for affiliate partnerships. （ ）
10. Google Shopping Feed can be used for CJ. ( )
四、Short Answer Questions（3*10 points）
What happened from a customer clicks the affiliate link to an affiliate gets the commission?
What will be the best affiliate network if you launch an affiliate program for a fashion brand?
What’s the plan for de-duplication among affiliate networks and marketing channels?
Answers for Reference
1.D 2.D 3.C 4.A 5.D 6.A 7.C 8.D 9.D 10.D
1.ABCD 2.ABC 3.ABCD 4.ABCD 5.ABC
6.ACD 7.ABC 8.ABC 9ABC 10.ABCD
三、T or F
1）Key process includes
A customer clicks the affiliate link (the affiliate network gets the data such as affiliate id, click time…)
A customer makes a purchase from the referral of affiliates（the conversion pixel is fired and the affiliate network gets the data such as sale amount, and coupon usage）
The Affiliate network generates the report and gives credit to the relative affiliate for the order.
The Advertiser reviews and approves the order and the affiliate gets the commission.
2）It is suggested to answer the questions from the perspective of website traffic ( online revenue), target market, marketing objectives, budget, and product to choose the best affiliate network for the advertiser.
3）Channel definition with utm_source should be mentioned.
This article will give a detailed introduction to affiliate recruitment, activation, optimization, and everything about affiliate program management (especially working with content partners). Happy reading!
How to Recruit Affiliates
What is Affiliate Recruitment?
Affiliate recruitment is to search and identify good affiliates and invite them to join the affiliate program or to approve the application of affiliates if it is a good fit.
The value of recruiting new partners is to diversity the program and reduce the risk of cases where only a few affiliates drive the sales. It is an ongoing process and takes long-term efforts.
Ways to Recruit Affiliates
1.Update the program profile & Optimize your term of the agreement
You need to update your program bio and make it more attractive by highlighting your basic program info and advantages. Your program terms should include what affiliates can do and can’t such as PPC policy and commission incentive.
What-products you sell
Where-your top markets
How-keywords to search your program
Why-your commission, cookie window, EPC
Rule-Commission & Incentive, PPC policy
2.Use recruitment tool on the network & Ask for help from affiliate managers
You can take advantage of the tool of affiliate networks to get more partners to join the programs.
Some publisher details such as EPC, Promotional Methods, and Promotional Properties are key metrics to see whether the affiliate is a good fit.
Do not forget to ask the affiliate manager to recommend some top affiliates for your program. It is better to have your marketing goal and budget in mind.
Tips: If you use CJ, you can also use CJ Content Certificate Program to save more time. You can choose one of the verticals among Style | Tech | Lifestyle | Home | Business and set a higher commission for the term. In this way, you can get access automatic access to pre-qualified content publishers.
CJ Badges for merchants: Content Certification, Mobile Certification, Cross-device Tracking, Cookie-less Tracking
CJ Badges for affiliates: CJ Performers, New to Network, Sub-Affiliate, Content Certified.
3. Take advantage of Affiliate Network Marketplace
Some affiliate networks offer marketingplaces where merchants can buy paid placements from affiliates directly.
And you are suggested to compare the prices of these placement opportunities for your brand and meet the marketing goal.
4. Use paid placement on affiliate networks or sub-networks You can boost your program visibility by buying exposure such as banners and newsletters from affiliate networks or sub-networks.
Notes: some affiliate networks may not provide such client service.
5. Find affiliates outside the affiliate networks a) Competitive Analysis
It is important and useful to do a competitive analysis for your affiliate program.
For example, Google or Youtube “Nike coupon” “Nike reviews”,
you can get a list of coupon affiliates and media/ content affiliates.
Or use SEO tools such as SEMrush/Ahrefs to get the backlinks of your competitors.
b) Free tools to find similar websites.
similarsitesearch or similarweb
If you get one good affiliate, you can find similar ones.
c) Paid tools
Some paid tools such as Publisher Discovery can help hunt for affiliates from different affiliate networks.
d) Paid ads
You can either use Facebook ads to expose your affiliate program or buy placement on affiliate forums. Or just post your program on LinkedIn.
If possible, you can join affiliate conferences to take a close look at the real affiliate industry. It is a great chance for networking.
Some affiliate conference you need to know:
DealMaker by Rakuten Marketing
Awin + ShareASale ThinkTank
Performance Marketing Awards
Understand Different Type of Publishers
As a qualified affiliate manager, you need to understand how affiliates work and how they promote your products with which methods.
Types of Affiliates
Different affiliate networks have different categories but the traffic types are the same: search, social, email, content, display…
Generally, incentive traffic such as coupon/deal/cashback affiliates will perform better. But merchants/brands have been shifting focus from these traditional partners to content and tech partners to diversify the programs.
Build Recruitment Campaign and Affiliate Communication Plan
Steps of building a recruitment campaign
Set up your goal and identify your target affiliates partners
Invite the affiliates fit for your program or push the offers to them
Communicate with the affiliates by sending personalized messages
For different marketing goals, you can work with different partners.
It is a good idea to group affiliates and sends related offers and customized emails.
Affiliate Reachouts Just put yourself into the affiliate’s shoes: what kind of advertisers do you want to work with and what information do you need to promote the products?
The reach-out template for prospective and newly-joined affiliates always include
Who- who you are
What-what you want to do
Why-the reasons why partners choose you
How-the ways of collaborating with you
Hello [Contact Name Here],
My name is [YOUR NAME]. I am reaching out on behalf of [NAME OF COMPANY] regarding our interest in collaborating with you through CJ Affiliate.
Your recent blog post [BLOG TOPIC – SIMILAR TO YOUR INITIATIVE] really resonated with me because [WHAT YOU LIKED ABOUT IT].
Recently, our brand [BRAND STORY] and [MISSION STATEMENT]. I wanted to connect with you to discuss [OPPORTUNITY] further and see if we can work on something similar together.
We can offer [INCENTIVE] for your support between [TIMEFRAME]. Our primary goal is [GOAL] with a [SPECIFIC KPI TARGET].
If you are interested, we can set up a call this week to discuss starting a collaboration.
It is also important to track the process and follow up on time.
Some affiliates join your program but they are not click-active or sale-active. In this case, you need to engage with these potential partners by offer incentives such as commission increases or bonuses.
These campaigns will help activate your inactive publishers and create new opportunities to drive program growth.
Questions to Think before Activation Campaign
What is the goal?
Drive awareness, clicks, sales, numbers of active affiliates, new customers
Who is the target?
Publishers generate clicks but no sales or drive no traffic.
What is the timeline?
How to measure the campaign?
Revenues, AOV, New Customers, Click, MOM growth, performance of top affiliates
6 Steps for Affiliate Activation Campaign
Select Publishers to Target and group them
Send Initial Campaign Newsletter (direct outreach or mass email)
Send Mid-Campaign Newsletter to encourage affiliates
Complete Post-Campaign Review
Perform Post-Campaign Follow-Up
Types of inactive publishers to target
No Clicks, No Sales
High Clicks, No Sales
Low Clicks, No Sales
Newly Joined Affiliates
Inactive Affiliates with high EPC/traffic
Types of Incentive
Flat fee for paid placement
Incentive Campaign Newsletter should include
Goal affiliates need to achieve
Timeframe (start date and end date)
What the incentive is and when and how it will be paid out.
Other requirements (screenshots, opt-ins, etc.)
CJ activation campaign email template
Dear [INSERT PUBLISHER’S NAME],
As a valued partner of the [INSERT YOUR PROGRAM NAME] affiliate program we would like to offer you an opportunity to earn a [INSERT $XX BONUS/XX% COMMISSION INCREASE] for the month of [INSERT MONTH].
In order to earn the [INSERT BONUS/COMMISSION INCREASE] you must:
Reply to this email and opt-in
Generate at least [INSERT XX SALES/LEADS] in the month of [MONTH]
If you meet the goal your [INSERT BONUS/COMMISSION INCREASE] will be posted to your account in the following month’s payout.
Please let us know if we may help in any way. We look forward to working with you!
[INSERT YOUR NAME]
Tips: make a campaign tracker and monitor the performance.
How to Optimize Affiliate Program
In terms of affiliate program optimization, we mean to optimize everything about the affiliate program from program bio, commission setting, to affiliate cooperation.
It is advised to do a competitive analysis. Is your commission attractive enough compared with your competitors?
Program Profile Optimization
Bestsellers and top markets
Program terms and agreement
Affiliate team support
Analyze publisher performance reports and contact publishers for further cooperation.
Top and Potential Publishers
Always pay attention to your top affiliates especially when their sales or traffic drops.
Schedule time to discuss what you can do to help potentional affiliates to increase their performance.
Publishers with high clicks & low sales (low CR)
Publishers with low clicks, but strong sales (high CR) or high AOV.
Publishers with high EPC or traffic but drive no or low clicks or sales.
You can also optimize publishers according to their promotional methods.
Offer what publishers need such as coupon code, banners, data feed to help better promote your products.
You can try paid placement, especially during BF/CM sales.
These placements include
website banner: homepage/category page
sponsored articles/ deal post
Usually, these paid placements charge a flat fee. But sometimes you can offer a commission increase, an exclusive offer, and free products or a hybrid of lower flat fee and CPA in exchange for the exposure.
Regarding paid placements, affiliates usually ask your budget and they can offer a proposal. However, you can require case studies for reference. For SMEs, it may be risky to try a flat fee but you can always start small and scale from there.
Always remember your marketing goals, KPIs, and metrics for success.
How to Work with Content Affiliates
What is Content Affiliate
To make it simple, content affiliates mean those who use content to monetize traffic and earn commissions. They include bloggers, review sites, niche sites, influencers, and even mass media.
Why Work with Content Partners
The answer is simple: Content is King.
More and more merchants and brands want to know work with content partners, make these paid or earned media a key part of their whole content strategy.
Traditional affiliates such as coupon and deals websites drive more conversion while content affiliates bring brand awareness, making the top of the funnel consistent with the bottom of the funnel.
Before embarking on an influencer or media publisher collaboration, it’s important to be crystal clear on your goals, KPIs, investment, and content deliverables.
How to Work with Content Partners
Content Publisher outreach essentially comes down to building a long-term working partnership with influencers and/or media publishers through consistent communication, personalization, and brand insights.
You need to know how they work and match it with your marketing goal.
Magazine editorial: 1M+ UMV, strong brand recognization, large editorial staff
Commerce content: focus on new/unique products, best-of-web promotion
High-level influencer: 300K-1M UMV, small staff, and high engagement
Powe-middle: 100-300K UMV, small staff and high engagement
Individual blogger: Under 50K UMV, great content + photo
Niche: focused content, high conversion
The revenue model of content partners
sponsored content -flat fee, more control over content, timeline
product review, product, and possible payment (depends on media) required
affiliate post, organic placement in the form of product roundups or gift guide; some may require paid placement
Mass Media Publisher
Why Mass Media Do Affiliate Marketing
Mass media use affiliate marketing to increase their revenue streams. Successful examples are BuzzFeed, Ziff Media, WireCutter, and more.
All a publisher has to do is drop a link to a product into a piece of relevant content and wait for an interested consumer to come along and bite. Any sales lead to a small commission for the publisher without them having to lift a finger to package up and mail out whatever product they just helped sell.
Jacqueline Wladis from Condé Nast gives a clear picture of how commerce content works. Anyway, they want to serve their readers and monetize their content.
3C from CNN Unscored team: Research, Reputation, Recommendation
How to Work with Mass Media The flat fee model is always welcome.
If your products are attractive to their readers, the editor thinks it a good fit and may write something about it and add the affiliate links then,
How to Contact Mass Media
Do your homework first and find related content within your brand.
You can contact their affiliate account manager who will forward your message to the editorial team. Or just email the eCommerce editors to see whether they are interested.
If you have a budget for paid placement, it is easies to start with.
Hope you have a full understanding of the affiliate program management from affiliate recruitment, activation, and optimization.
Wish you great success with your affiliate program!
This post explains what is SEO, affiliate marketing, how to do affiliate marketing with SEO tactics both for merchants and affiliates, what are the best SEO software affiliate programs to earn commissions. Hope this guide can help merchants to recruit more high-quality content affiliates and publishers to succeed in affiliate marketing by taking advantage of SEO or other marketing channels.
What is SEO Affiliate Marketing?
To answer the question, we need to know what is SEO and what is affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
According to the latest IAB affiliate marketing handbook, affiliate marketing is defined as a performance-based channel in which an online advertiser pays a commission to an affiliate for any sales or
actions that were generated from their referrals.
There are three major roles: affiliates, advertisers, and affiliate networks.
Affiliates also called publishers or partners, are people or companies that will promote a product or service to their audience.
Advertisers, also known as merchants, retailers, or brands are the online companies that have this product or service to sell.
Affiliate networks are the companies that help connect affiliates and advertisers and provide tracking and reporting services such as Awin, CJ, Rakuten (former LinkShare), Pepperjam, ShareASale., and Webgains.
( You may hear affiliate tracking software, that is for an in-house affiliate program, that is to say, the merchants use the tracking software such as Afftis, HasOffers by Tune. Radius by Impact, Partnerize to run their partner programs with full control. And affiliates usually use Voluum for tracking.)
How Affiliate Marketing Works?
Affiliates promote a brand’s product or service on the website.
When a consumer clicks an affiliate link and then is taken to the advertiser’s website and finally makes a purchase.
The transaction was tracked through the affiliate network.
The affiliate is credited with the commission for the sales he/she drives for the advertiser.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic by optimizing websites so that they rank well through organic/natural search engine results.
Google is the most popular search engine, others include Baidu (China), Yandex (Russia), Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo…
In SEO, not all search engines are equal. Accord to StatCounter data of search engine market share, Google is 91.75%, Bing is 2.75%, Yahoo is 1.7%. So make sure to put more emphasis on Google.
How Search Engine Works?
Search engines have three primary functions: crawl, index, and rank.
Crawl: Scour the Internet for content, web crawlers(commonly known as search engine bots or spiders) look at data such as URLs, sitemaps, and code to discover the types of content being displayed
Index: Store and organize the content found during the crawling process.
Rank: Display the most relevant content that will best answer a searcher’s query
Here’s what Google says on “How search works” although it does not tell much about its algorithm.
Google ranking systems are designed to do just that: sort through hundreds of billions of webpages in our Search index to find the most relevant, useful results in a fraction of a second, and present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for.
To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query.
How SEO works?
In simple terms, SEO works by demonstrating to search engines that your content is the best fit for the search query. After all, all search engines are aimed to show the best, most relevant results to their users.
Generally, SEO includes on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. Because people spend more time on their mobile phones, mobile SEO is more and more important. Some business owners also use Google My Business to increase exposure, which is local SEO.
SEO is just one part of digital marketing, it needs to be combined with other channels like social marketing, content marketing, and PPC/SEM, and so on.
So we come back to the original question: what is SEO affiliate marketing.
If you are a merchant, what you worry about is whether affiliate marketing harms your SEO efforts.
If you are an affiliate, what you concern about is how to use SEO to drive more traffic.
Do Affiliate Links Help SEO?
For the most part, affiliate links do not directly help or hurt your SEO.
Affiliate links through major program networks do not get followed from the search engine.and will not pass any link equity to the receiving page. Even for the affiliate links which do not have this nofollow tag, full Affiliate network link URLs pass through a 302 redirect and shorthanded links pass through a 307 redirect. These are temporary redirects that are not followed by search engines and pass zero SEO value. Learn more from Awin Wiki.
Just think about how many merchants own the affiliate program, so do not worry about the affiliate link issue.
John from Google suggests that rel=sponsored be used for affiliate links.
Yep. And definitely use rel=sponsored for affiliate links, if you can. And to be more complete: affiliate links are not bad. It's fine to monetize your site. Google's OK with that. There's no need to hide them, just use the right kind of link if you can.
The differences between Google’s Nofollow, sponsored, and UGC link attributes are clear from the Moz chart. Learn more about the Nofollow link attribute change at Search Engine Roundtable.
Keep in mind these rules, you can start your blog to do affiliate marketing. The major process for SEO affiliate is:
Find a niche product that you are interested in or familiar with and can be profitable
Do competitor research and make a content plan
Creat quality content based on keyword research
Do on-page SEO include title, tag, description, image alt and so on
Promote your content on social networks like Youtube, Reddit, and Twitter…You can also try paid ads and email marketing.
Build your links and win more backlinks for your websites. Do Not Buy links.
Optimize, Test, Optimize, and Test… and Scale.
Best SEO Tool Affiliate Program
If you are an affiliate and have a basic knowledge of affiliate marketing, SEO, and digital marketing, it is a good choice to promote SEO affiliate programs or other SaaS affiliate programs. The advantage is that you use them and you know them.
SEMrush affiliate program seems popular while ahrefs and Moz, unfortunately closed their affiliate program.
Besides the SEO tools, other types of marketing SaaS are also worthy of consideration such as BigCommerce for e-commerce website building, Aweber for email marketing, and LeadPage / InstaPage for landing page design.
Hope this guide can help walk you through SEO affiliate marketing. No matter you are an advertiser eager to boost your affiliate program or you are an affiliate desiring for SEO traffic. Digital marketing is like an umbrella, it is wise to take all the channels-SEO, SEM, social, content, affiliate, EDM programmatic, mobile into consideration.
From setting up a new program to messaging cohesion and optimizing partnerships, conducting regular affiliate audits ensure that your program is successful. Hope this checklist can help you effectively manage your affiliate program.
Is all your publisher-facing information up-to-date? Review the following information for reference.
General Network Account Information
Program description (bio)
Automated event emails (pending applications, acceptance into program, etc.)
Affiliate page on your websites
Banners (seasonal and relevant)
300X250, 728X90, 60X600, 120X90, 125X125, 468X60
300X600, 325X50 (mobile), 335X280
Publisher groups and tags for easy reporting and newsletter outreach
Dynamic commission if necessary
PPC rules (brand safety)
Avoid auto-approval because of quality over quantity
Understand drive times for specific products and categories
Based on prior performance and current availability, consider offering affiliate channel exclusives, affiliate semi-exclusives or true exclusives to key partners.
Get creative with promotional messaging, adding in seasonal wording where appropriate to create a sense of urgency and relevancy.
Free Shipping & Shipping Deadlines
Customers love free shipping.
Newsletter Communication/Mass Outreach
promotional coupon, coupon code, duration, and any terms and conditions
plan to send reminders of peak promotions closer to the actual run dates
creat a list of top publisher contacts and send promotional updates and calendars directly to these contacts, as well as in-network newsletters.
creat a monthly newsletter schedule that coincides with your sites marketing calendar
Top Publishers/ Coupons & Loyalty
communicate individually with these publishers, addressing any recent decrease and /or ways to continue increasing performance.
offer a tiered performance bonus to top partners for exceeding revenue goals.
Highlight relevant seasonal products, along with updated seasonal creative in communications to content-focused sites.
Incentivize content affiliates to post specific seasonal content and promotions.
Provide content suggestions (keywords or best sellers) if possible.
Mega, Macro, Micro or Nano influencers
Retargeting can be helpful to optimize conversion rates.
Ask for media kits and get the best fit for your budget during the holiday season.
Brand Safety & Fraud Traffic
Audit publisher sites to ensure they are not cheating and violating the program terms.
Monitor publisher sites to ensure placements are running as scheduled with the proper messaging.