At the dmexco conference last week, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the best-known SEO and affiliate agencies in Germany (and of course, worldwide). As a blogger and affiliate myself, it was interesting to hear the marketing gurus’ perspectives as they revealed their opinions on affiliates and affiliate activities. Although blogging isn’t something I do full-time, I know that for many people, the money earned as an affiliate can be a substantial, if not primary source of income.
Have you thought about earning money as an affiliate but you don’t know where to start?
Or, have you already signed up to become an affiliate, but you don’t know how to get the ball rolling and actually earn money?
Before I reveal several affiliate tips and tricks in my next post, I will first give you a brief overview of the views on affiliate marketing as an occupation and how affiliates contribute to brand success.
The flexibility of affiliate work
First, I was eager to know whether the marketing giants viewed the affiliate role as an appropriate full-time job. The overwhelming majority were not just in support of this concept, but explained that there was a relationship between affiliate contribution and effort and the income generated. When I asked Christian Kleinsorge, CSO at zanox, whether it was possible to be a successful full-time affiliate, he without hesitation responded, “absolutely”. Viengmany Vongpraseut, CEO at metaapes, also supported the idea of full-time affiliates, stressing that if you really want to be a successful affiliate, full-time may in fact, be the way to go.
For those of you who already have a full-time occupation, being a full-time affiliate may not be an option. But is being a part-time affiliate still a good option? From my experience, part-time affiliate work has certainly paid off. The experts seemed to agree that part-time affiliates also have the potential to do well. Robin Grünbichler, Senior Sales Manager at TradeDoubler, painted a picture of what I imagine to be the frequent affiliate sign-up prototype: students. He said, “If you have basic computer skills and you’re an affiliate during university, A-Levels, etc., then you can, of course, do it part-time.” Also in agreement was Tom Maier, Sales Manager at affilinet, wholeheartedly answered, “Of course! As an affiliate, I can choose when I want to work. It’s something I can do at night while I’m doing something else, like a full-time job during the day. It’s also a good way to have an option to a normal job.”
The co-dependent relationship between affiliates and brands
As an affiliate, it is important to understand that you play an important role in a company’s marketing strategy. You’re not just helping a company sell products; you’re supporting and raising public awareness about brands in the ‘old school’ marketing style. Agencies are aware of this when they see not just the growth in their own client companies, but other major brands worldwide.
So, my next question for the marketing giants was, ‘what top brands would not have achieved great success without affiliate marketing?’ I was really intrigued to see what brands came straight to mind, and some of the major names stated were Groupon (Christian Kleinsorge (zanox)), Amazon, o2 (Viengmany Vongpraseut (metaapes)), Zalando, Vodafone (Tom Maier (affilinet)) and Dress for Less (Robin Grünbichler (TradeDoubler)).
These brands are well-known, and not just by affiliate agencies, but by the average internet user. So, as much as affiliates need individual brands to prosper, these companies are driven by, and strongly dependent on affiliates in a multitude of ways. The relationship between affiliates and brands is complex, however, and it is fundamental that affiliates focus heavily on their own strategy and planning. In my next post, I will discuss the fundamental aspects of affiliate strategy, outlining the most common mistakes made by affiliates and what affiliates need to succeed.
Stay tuned and until next time!