Links are what connect one page with another. For marketers, affiliate links enable them to monetize their campaigns.
But what is an affiliate link, and how do affiliate links work? If you’re an aspiring affiliate marketer or you’re looking to monetize your website, understanding how to implement these links is crucial.
Let’s explore everything you need to know about affiliated links and how you can use them to generate a passive income stream online.
What is an Affiliate Link?
Affiliate linking resembles that of any other link you would find online. The difference is these links are designed to track the performance of marketers.
If someone clicks on a link and makes a purchase, who gets credit for the sale? Affiliate marketing’s concept is about revenue sharing, so being able to track affiliate transactions is what makes the program work.
All affiliate marketing links include the ordinary URL of the vendor plus a unique ID linked to you.
How Do Affiliate Links Work?
You can spot an affiliate URL simply by mousing over it. It will contain the vendor URL followed by a seemingly unintelligible list of characters.
It’s these characters that pertain to a specific publisher participating in an affiliate marketing program.
The way it works is simple. Someone clicks on the link, and if they make a purchase, the vendor will see the unique ID. This tells them that they found their product or service through you.
When a sale gets credited back to you, you’ll receive a portion of that sale in line with that specific program.
How to Use Affiliate Links in Social Media
All the major social media platforms permit affiliate linking. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to use affiliate links.
Firstly, whenever you use these links, make sure you shorten affiliate link with Bitly. With Bitly, you can create branded social media links. Our affiliate link shortener allows you to use whatever anchor link you want.
A naked link without any changes made to it just looks messy and stands out for all the wrong reasons. Try out the Bitly affiliate link shortener for free now.
You should also ensure that you don’t spam your links. One link per post is more than enough. Sometimes, less is more, particularly when it comes to any form of online marketing.
Finally, make sure you disclose that you’re using affiliate linking. Not only is it important for honesty/transparency, but you may be required to under Federal law.
Affiliate Link Example
A simple example of how these links might be used has to be taken in the context of an affiliate marketing program.
Some examples of major brands offering these programs include Amazon, eBay, and Home Depot.
So, what will one of these links look like? Here’s an example:
What does this mean in practice? The first part of the URL is the vendor’s homepage. This could be Amazon, or it could be any other affiliate program. After the address, you have a random string of characters. In computer-speak, this is you.
If someone purchases after clicking that link, the sale will be credited to you, and you’ll receive a portion of the value of that purchase.
In cases like Amazon, the affiliate link may remain active on the person’s computer for 24-48 hours after initially clicking on it. That means any purchase they make on Amazon during that time will see the sale credited to you.
It’s how affiliate marketers make a living.
What are Affiliate Networks, and How Can You Use Them?
Affiliate networks operate as middlemen between content creators and companies or publishers and merchants, respectively. By joining an affiliate network, you open yourself up to opportunities to connect with thousands of different affiliate programs.
It’s the easiest way to get into affiliate marketing. Rather than searching for legitimate programs individually, you can simply pick and choose from a single portal.
This is the first step any aspiring affiliate marketer will take, but how do you make the most of them?
Figure out who your target audience is and decide which products they are going to like. Don’t automatically choose the programs offering the largest commissions. Think about what your readers would like to buy and ensure the product you’re helping to promote is something you would use yourself.
Improve Your Affiliate Links with Bitly
Affiliate links are an excellent way of monetizing your platform. Even today, affiliate marketing remains as popular as ever. Join an affiliate marketing network, select the right products for your audience, and start publishing great content.
Smarten up your links by using the Bitly link shortener, or take it one step further with your own custom branded links.To learn more about affiliate URL linking and successful online marketing, sign up to Bitly for free now.