Monthly Archives November 2014
In recent years blogging has grown beyond the standard ‘about my day’ or even write ups on people’s pets and in a recent study it shows that it has become a business with 82% of Bloggers making MORE Money Last Year Than Ever! Read more here.
The State Of The Power Influencer (InfoGraph)
There are a number of participants in the affiliate marketing space. To easily understand both where you fit and who you should work with, here is a simple overview of the ecosystem:
- Merchant: The Merchant/Retailer/Brand is essentially the entity that is looking to acquire customers through affiliate marketing, and is paying, based on a fixed $ per lead/phone call, % of sale, per visits, etc, for a referral for a potential or actual customer.
- Agency: As in traditional marketing, there are Affiliate Marketing agencies such as us, Affiliate Mission. We perform a wide range of tasks, including: affiliate recruitment & relationship management, concept & design of advertising creatives, or promotion distribution.
- Network: The Middleman. Affiliate networks provide both the technical infrastructure and the business logistics for affiliate marketing to operate. Responsibilities include: 1) running and maintaining the tracking software that credits referrals from affiliates for actions, 2) recruitment for both merchants and affiliates, and 3) handling all of the financial details (tax forms & payments for affiliates and merchants). Some examples include: Commission Junction,LinkShare, PepperJam or ShareASale
- Affiliate: The Publisher or Affiliate is the website that 1) finds customers, 2) qualifies customers, and 3) refers the customer to the Merchant. Common forms of affiliates include CSE (Comparison Shopping Engines), Blogs or other Content Publishers, Mailing lists, or SEM/Display Advertisers.
- Customer: This is the person that 1) The Affiliate finds, and then refers to the Merchant, 2) Buys products/services from the Merchant, and 3) Pays or subsidizes the whole affiliate marketing system.
See the infograph below to get a picture model of the what’s explained above.
Recently I read through David Foster Wallace’s essay “Consider the Lobster.” It’s a piece in a food magazine about the treatment of…lobsters. A little ridiculous, but I found myself growing increasingly frustrated. Not at the author (his piece was wonderfully written with moving evidence and outstanding flow I might add) or even the topic being discussed. Rather at the greater problem it highlights in a ton of business practices that can be observed at any turn. At the most basic, Foster Wallace makes the argument that the current treatment of lobsters is inhumane and cruel. And it’s effective. He’s able to illustrate a nonthreatening environment in which readers and critics are left to ponder and discuss the supremely morally complex issue at hand, that being the current process killing of the lobster and the implications that carries with it: a classic case of the ends justifying the means.
In my years on this earth I have seen my fair share of head scratching cases where the ends supposedly justify the means perpetrated by bureaucracies and corporations who are driven solely by profit instead of the well being of its employees and customers. Cutting corners and benefits, not because they need to but because it’ll save “x” amount of dollars. That’s no excuse. That’s no way to run a company. And that is not; repeat, not, good leadership. Not to mention it does nothing for the good of the community. The thing is all of those problems are totally fixable. And I suppose that’s what’s so attractive about startup culture. We’re all in this together and we help each other when we’re able. We’re a family and as long as we care for one another, take two or three seconds out of everyday to empathize with one another; we can do an insane amount of good.
Here at Affiliate Mission, service is one of our founding principals. I urge anyone reading this to get involved in your community in some way or form. Volunteer someplace that seems interesting to you. Help out a neighbor. Help out a stranger. Help both! Picking up that wrapper on the sidewalk counts too. The main thing is to get involved!