Affiliate Marketing – The Next Generation

It occurred to me that Affiliate Marketing has not drastically changed over the many years it’s been around. What is needed is a “New Generation” of Affiliate Program that takes advantage not only of the new capabilities of the internet, but also the expanded capabilities of so many Affiliates.

I identified 3 distinct phases of the Affiliate Marketing business and what’s needed for the Next Generation.

First, a definition: Affiliate Marketing is simply marketing other people’s products and being paid a substantial commission for the sales you generate.

For example, if you are responsible for forwarding someone to Amazon.com and they make a purchase (and you’ve signed up as an Amazon affiliate, of course, you will be paid a commission on that sale.

It can work with almost any product available.

So, how did we get here?

Phase 1 – originally, Affiliate Marketing was handled by an individual company offering their products. In the example above, Amazon.com would set up their affiliate program, provide your custom link, and all tracking of hits and sales and commissions would be through that individual company. Now, each company is going to track their information regardless, but the limitations of this system were 2-fold. First, each company or individual had to set up their affiliate program separately. For an individual with an eBook (for example) this meant a complicated process and possibly expensive software to handle the link generation, tracking, and accounting. Second, for the marketer, there was no unified location to find these affiliate programs. You had to search for it, and manage each one individually. Further, you had to set up your own marketing, ‘splash’ pages to get interest and direct people through your affiliate link.

This led some entrepreneurs to develop…

Phase 2 – Once affiliate programs became established, certain companies were formed to provide for affiliates and the programs to be housed under one ‘roof’. The most famous and successful of these is ClickBank. With ClickBank you can sign up as either a marketer or a provider, and all link generation, back-office, and accounting is handled in your CB account. Thousands of affiliate products are available and sold through CB, and the process is a simple as searching for a product, getting your link, and they would track the hits, sales, and commissions and you would be paid through them. The providers of the programs would provide ‘landing pages’ to direct your sales leads through, and they’d be tracked all the way through sale.

Of course, many of the disadvantages remained, specifically the individual marketer having to provide their own splash page to pre-sell prior to directing to the providers page. Further, you’re handling each product separately, regardless of how closely tied each product you’re representing might be.

Which leads us to…

Phase 3 – So, what if a program could exist that managed the following?

Multiple affiliate programs, all combined together under 1 affiliate link, and all closely related? A natural synergy – for example: your own sales page is provided (income opportunity), with multiple affiliate links on the page (multiple income opportunities), hosted on the affiliate hosting company (income opportunity) with training (income opportunity) and the internet marketing tools you can use to equal the “big hitters” (income opportunity).
Free Support – via support ticket, phone, and a free forum where successful affiliates share openly their successes and failures in all phases, including paid (ppc) and free (article) marketing methods.
Immediate income potential – Some of the products would be true affiliate products, paying an immediate commission for a sale and,
Residual income – while some of the products (hosting and internet entrepreneur tools) are a MLM program, providing long-term residual income and growth.
Of course, there is no get rich quick scheme that works, so the key to ANY affiliate program is Learning to Earn. You still have to treat any affiliate marketing you do as a business, that you have to work at daily and learn what works and what interests you, as you drive interested traffic to your affiliate page.