Ama, you mentioned the “refund rate” in your article but I believe that need a bit more explanation. Let’s take a down-to-earth example. We recently launched an affiliate campaign for our online coffee shop and got an affiliate who sent us a customer. The customer makes a $100 purchase. The affilite gets his $5. Soon a refund is requested (the client wanted a decaf coffee, for example). How do we deal with the $5 that we sent to the affiliate. What I expect is that we need to state the refund period (say, 7 days) and the affiliate money are released only after those 7 days. Is that correct?
Amazon and Google are far from your only options for online advertising. Rakuten Linkshare is a great place to search for other affiliates for your ads. Through their program, you can get customized ad links, email links, and banner ads for Starbucks, Walmart, iTunes, and a slew of other popular brands. With this program, you can also find smaller companies, regional or specialized brands, and more. I run a combination of Google, Amazon, and Rakuten’s programs, and my monthly income is approximately $150 from these programs. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s also not a lot of work for residual (it means recurring…since the ads are permanent…) income.
The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don't have enough content about a topic, you're not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it's unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you.
So what does it actually take to make serious amounts of money online today? While many might buy into the hype, there are hordes of others out there who’ve been scorned. They’ve put their hopes up and hinged their expected financial wealth on the supposed success of these internet marketers who’ve sold them some system that was going to make them rich.
To get started with Amazon affiliate marketing you will need to sign up with Amazon Affiliates. Then subtly market products on your site that are relevant to your niche and will be of interest to your audience. Make sure you only endorse high-quality products. If your visitors make a purchase on your recommendation but are not impressed with the item, you could quickly lose followers.
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re selling your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
Know when (and when not) to use Viglinks and Skimlinks. If you applied to an affiliate program but were denied, you might be able to still be an affiliate for that advertiser through a secondary affiliate program like VigLink or Skimlinks. Basically, they themselves are affiliates and will split their affiliate commission with you if you put their affiliate link in your content for an advertiser. Obviously, the commission rate is lower for you in this case, so if you ever are accepted into the advertiser’s affiliate program directly, immediately switch from using VigLink / Skimlinks affiliate links to your own.