There’s no universal consensus for what constitutes ‘long-form’ content. However, as a rule of thumb, you can think of this as any piece over 1,000 words. Research shows people tend to trust long-form content more. On the other hand, most online readers still tend to skim articles. This means you also need to find ways to adapt your longer content for skimmers.
On one hand, long and ugly affiliate tracking links are a straight giveaway to people that you want to sell them a product (and people may be uncomfortable clicking on them). Therefore, making your link shorter and "nicer" looking will it give a more professional appearance. One of my favorite plugins for making links look "pretty" is the Pretty Links WordPress plugin.
This is important in the framework of not just affiliate marketing, but in marketing anything online, especially when the products are your own products and you're not just receiving a commission for selling them. Clearly, you need to build emotion around the entire process. In another words, you need to create an emotional attachment to every stage of the sales funnel.
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Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.
This is usually called Cost-Per-Action or CPA offers. CPA offers typically require the visitor to take some kind of action, and if that visitor takes that action, then the affiliate network pays you. Often this action is submitting an email to become an email lead for a company, or filling out an entire form, whether a lead form or a survey data collection form. While CPAs pay lower than offers that pay you per sale, they often convert at a much higher rate, since there is no money that the visitor has to put down for the conversion to be complete. This higher conversion can often more than make up for the lower profits earned on an individual basis.
Eligibility. To be eligible for Commission (i) an Affiliate Lead must be accepted and valid in accordance with the ‘Acceptance and Validity’ section, (ii) a Customer Transaction must have occurred (iii) a Customer must remain a customer sixty (60) days plus the number of days until the end of that calendar month in order to be eligible for a Commission. For example a Customer who makes a purchase on the 15th of March must remain a customer until the 31st of May in order to be eligible for a Commission. All transactions must occur on a HubSpot.com domain. Any transactions occurring on international domains (.fr, .jp, .de, etc.) will not be eligible for Commission. You are not eligible to receive Commission or any other compensation from us based on transactions for Other Products or if: (i) such compensation is disallowed or limited by federal, state or local law or regulation in the United States or the laws or regulations of your jurisdiction; (ii) the applicable Customer objects to or prohibits such compensation or excludes such compensation from its payments to us or HubSpot Affiliates; (iii) the Customer has paid or will pay such commissions, referral fees, or other compensation directly to you, (iv) the Commission payment has been obtained by fraudulent means, misuse of the Affiliate Link, in violation of any Affiliate Program Policies that we make available to you, misuse of the Affiliate Tool or by any other means that we deem to breach the spirit of the Marketing Affiliate Program, or (v) the Customer participates in any of our partner programs, including our Agency Partner Program, Sales Referral Partner Program or Sales Solutions Partner Program and is eligible to receive commission in relation to the Customer Transaction under any of these programs. If at any point you are eligible to receive a revenue share payment under the Sales Solutions Partner Program Agreement, Sales Referral Program Agreement or Agency Partner Program Agreement that payment amount will not change based on your participation in the Affiliate Program. For example, you will not be able to receive the Commission set out in this Agreement on any Partner Transaction that was completed whilst participating as a partner in the Sales Referral Partner Program (as defined in the Sales Referral Partner Program Agreement). In competitive situations with other affiliates, we may elect to provide the Commission to the affiliate that we deem to be the most eligible for Commission, at our discretion. We may discontinue Commission payments should any of the eligibility criteria set forth in this subsection fail to be met at any time. Purchases via HubSpot for Startups or HubSpot for Entrepreneurs are not eligible for Commission payments.
I guess the only thing I’d say about this is if you are blogging in a competitive niche and working in what I’d call the “gray area” of link masking and not using “nofollow” as described here by google (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en) expect that competitors that are writing real reviews with real photos (not stuff grabbed from a manufacturers website) are going to report you to google as webspam. The thing I hate most is affiliate sites that have never held a product in their hand and then try to pass off something as a first person review for the sole sake of pushing you to Amazon.com.
LOVED this – thank you Chris. So glad I found it just as I was about to add a store to my blog. I think it would be a better idea to just start linking to Amazon in every recipe and post! (Right?) BTW – I’ve already shared this post on G+ and LinkedIn and sent it to a bunch of friends. I always wish peeps would TELL me when they share my stuff, so here I am telling you. 🙂
Once you’ve done all the heavy lifting of niche selection, keyword research, and competition analysis, then you can finally start building your site. It’s important not to skip all the steps above. You’d hate to spend months on a site, only to learn that it won’t be profitable at all. All that hard work for nothing. You can read more about why I use WordPress for my Amazon sites.
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