Affiliate Marketing 101

In this lesson, we’re going to learn more about affiliate marketing, how it works, and why we use it.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

There are many ways to make money online, one of these being with affiliates. Essentially, affiliate marketing is using your website to help drive traffic and conversions to another site.

As a website owner, you would add an affiliated link to your content, and encourage your readers to click on this link (how you do this will depend on personal preference – yours or the clients’). Once the user clicks on the link, they will be redirected to the affiliate partner.

If the reader makes a purchase, you will receive a small percentage – sort of a commission for sending them to the website. This doesn’t cost the reader anything, and if you trust the affiliate site, it’s entirely safe for everyone involved.

Why Do We Do Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing allows website owners to create content and make money from it. Often, these affiliate links slip naturally into SEO-rich content, which is a win for the website owner, the reader, and the affiliate partner.

Because we create strong SEO content, we are great at getting our posts and pages ranking in Google. This means that if someone is looking for, say, a new camera, and they find our post on ‘The Best Travel Cameras’, we can then help them make a purchase by adding a link to each camera.

And if these links are affiliated, our time used to research and write the post is rewarded and paid for.

Some Common Affiliate Partners

There are a LOT of affiliate partners, with more popping up constantly. Some websites also have their own affiliate programs and some work with third-party programs. We’ve worked with affiliates for insurance, car rentals, accommodation, activities, and of course, products.

Here are some affiliate partners you’ll be working with on a regular basis:

Some international third-party sites:

Affiliate Linking

Affiliate links must contain an affiliate ID or partner tag in order to track correctly These IDs or tags will differ from site to site, but they typically contain a string of letters, numbers, and sometimes special characters.

The placement of these tags also differs.

For example, if you are adding a Get Your Guide affiliate link, the tag will be at the end of the URL, like this:

https://www.getyourguide.co.uk/activity/amsterdam-l36/proefzolder-amsterdam-cheese-tasting-by-henri-willig-t47612/?partner_id=DS7P7DI

The affiliate tag here is ‘?partner_id=DS7P7DI’

However, if you are using Viator, your link will look a bit more like this:

https://www.partner.viator.com/en/67663/tours/Las-Vegas/Emerald-Cave-Kayaking-Tour/d684-26719P8

Here is the original link: https://www.viator.com/tours/Las-Vegas/Emerald-Cave-Kayaking-Tour/d684-26719P8

The affiliate ID here is 67663’, but you also need that ‘partner’ part in the URL for it to work.

There are also third-party sites that you can get your links from. The list of these is LONG, and you’ll eventually learn to work with many of them. With these sites, you’ll usually get what we call a ‘deep-link,’ but it won’t look like the original link at all.

This is done by finding the link on the original site, pasting it into the third-party link generator (this will differ for each site), and then using the generated link.

This looks a little like this: https://go.skimresources.com?id=117315X1627036&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Fblue-buffalo-sensitive-stomach%2Fdp%2F35921

This link is made using the affiliate program on Skimlinks – and is linking to the site Chewy.com.

Important:

Many links will include extra parameters, like this: https://www.booking.com/searchresults.html?aid=304142;label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaPsBiAEBmAEJuAEHyAEM2AEB6AEB-AELiAIBqAIDuALb2Zr5BcACAdICJDcwYjJkMDE0LTNjYzItNGQ0Yy04ZWYxLTQ0NjM1NjU3MzA5MtgCBuACAQ;sid=adaea96ff68ccc694450318d2d6483dc;checkin=2020-08-02;checkin_monthday=02;checkin_year_month=2020-08;checkout=2020-08-03;checkout_monthday=03;checkout_year_month=2020-08;dest_id=-1214272;dest_type=city;group_adults=2;group_children=0;highlighted_hotels=683321;nflt=ht_id%3D201%3Bht_id%3D213%3Bht_id%3D220%3Breview_score%3D80%3Bclass%3D3%3Bclass%3D4%3Bclass%3D5%3B;no_rooms=1;ucfac=331&

Before you add your affiliate tag, you’ll need to ‘clean up’ your link, but deleting everything after the ? (question mark). Like this:
https://www.booking.com/searchresults.html

And then add your affiliate tag. 

How To Get Affiliate Tags/IDs

To get your affiliate tags – or that of a project/client you are writing for – you will need either the ID to add to the end of the URL or login details to the link generator.

Most projects and clients will have all affiliate tags and/or login details in their SOP sheet. 

If you’re unsure, it’s always good to check with your mentor or see if we need to contact the client. If you’re trying to find the affiliate tag in a URL, check for numbers that follow one of the following:

?tag=

?partner=

Note: Some sites will have different affiliate parameters, so it may take some research before you’re comfortable with them and know what to look for.

 

Over to You

Affiliate marketing is a big part of everything we do. Complete the quiz below to test your knowledge on everything we’ve learnt above. 

Then, click ‘Complete’ and move on to the next lesson – where you’ll learn more about writing affiliate content.