In a nutshell, affiliate marketing means that we promote a certain company’s products on our sites. Whenever a sale is made to a visitor that arrived from our site, we earn a commission. I make a very good living from promoting affiliate products, although it accounts for only 40% of our Web site income. Selling advertising space, like Google Adsense, accounts for 60% of our income.
I’m often asked by people eager to get into the world of affiliate internet marketing where to start their quest. I learned ALL of what I know from this one source that reveals the wonders of affiliate internet marketing…
The Story of How We Won a $10,000 Affiliate Prize!
Last week I got an email from Kristen Grace, our affiliate internet marketing manager over at BuyCostumes.com. She asked that I give her a call. Nothing unusual about that. BuyCostumes has been our top costume affiliate since we started our third site, coolest-homemade-costumes.com.
Our affiliate online marketing philosophy is not to have a multitude of affiliates and partners. Instead, we focus on maintaining a tight and personal affiliate relationship with a handful of companies we believe in.
Our very first affiliate way back in 2003 was Birthday Express, an online children’s party supply store. We began to promote their products on our first site coolest-kid-birthday-parties.com and I clearly remember the morning I logged on and saw our first ever commission (I think it was around 7 bucks). I hurried to call Tamar and tell her we had just earned our first dollars on the Internet!!!! We were both so excited because that very moment we understood that affiliate internet marketing is for real.
We had no idea then how profoundly it would change our lives, and since those 7 bucks we haven’t looked back.
In June 2008, our top costume affiliate, BuyCostumes, bought Birthday Express. We couldn’t have been happier that our top two affiliates, two companies that we so strongly believe in, had “tied the knot”.
In a world that is so virtual, I always try to keep a direct and personal communication line with our affiliate managers, including phone conversations once in a while. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Kristen, the Affiliate Manager at BuyCostumes.com asked that I call her. I thought she just wanted to sum up a really successful Halloween season and set our goals for 2010.
Boy, was I in for a surprise!
I called. Kristen answered. And then she dropped the bomb.
“Elad, you just won our $10,000 Affiliate Cash Grand Prize!”
Huh?! [long pause]
What?! [longer pause]
I don’t really remember what I went on to say because it’s not every day that someone tells you that you’ve just won such a large sum of money. Never in my life have I won drawings or lotteries (I mean, until now…) I guess I was really at a loss for words and just tried to keep “cool”. But the moment I set down the phone, I let out such a shout that my girls thought I had lost my mind.
Several days later, BuyCostumes released a Press Release announcing that we had won.
I still find it hard to believe. Not only winning the prize (which alone is quite overwhelming). But of what it means to be an affiliate and seeing how affiliate internet marketing has changed our lives and the lives of so many other Web site owners. It seems so unreal. Yet, affiliate marketing is for real. And to think that it all started from 7 bucks back in 2003.
Like I mentioned above, I’m often asked by people where to start learning about affiliate marketing. This is where I started…