Common Questions in Affiliate Marketing

With affiliate marketing becoming so popular we reel it back and discuss the basics of the industry.

What Is affiliate marketing?

In simple terms, Affiliate Marketing is where an affiliate promotes a company’s product or service and receives a set commission for each sale they make.

Typically there are 3 main parties involved in the affiliate marketing model:

  1. Affiliate
  2. Customer
  3. Advertiser

Why do people get into affiliate marketing?

There are many reasons why people are turning their focus to becoming affiliate marketers, but some of the most common reasons are:

  • It’s a great source of full-time income.
  • You can be your own boss: you choose your hours and how you work.
  • It’s perfect for people who love to travel. As everything’s online, you can make money whenever and from wherever you want.
  • Turn your passion into a business: take a product or service in a niche you know and love, promote it and make money from it.
  • You don’t need to sell in person: many affiliate marketers wouldn’t consider themselves typical salespeople, so by working on various online channels it eliminates the element of having to be a “pushy salesperson”.
  • Manufacturing and production isn’t your problem. You don’t have to manufacture a product or create a service, you simply take the products and choose how you promote them.
  • All shipping and customer service is eliminated, affiliates only need to focus on the offers and the users they are trying to target. Any shipping and customer service issues are taken up with the Advertiser themselves.

Should I pay for affiliate marketing training or qualifications?

It depends on what your initial knowledge of the industry is prior to starting. To turn a profit in affiliate marketing, with near to no prior knowledge is almost unheard of! You will need to do a lot of research first.

Paying for training is not essential by any means. Affiliate marketing has its own little community; people are more than happy to share their successes and help each other. There are many guides, videos, forums etc. that have completely free information to answer any questions you may have and to set you in the right direction.

It’s definitely recommended to get a good idea of the industry before setting off into your venture as an affiliate marketer, and if we’re honest, good quality training often isn’t completely free!

What vertical/niche should I work in?

Whether you have your own product to sell, you work directly with an Advertiser or you work closely with an Affiliate Network, there is an abundance of options out there for you.

Working closely with an affiliate network is helpful in this domain as you can ask them for recommendations of what is popular in each geo and go from their previous performance with other affiliates.

What makes the most sense as a “newbie” is to pick a product or service that you’re passionate or are knowledgeable about. It’s pretty hard trying to come up with unique ideas to promote something you don’t know anything about. If you do know a lot about the product or service you’re selling then you can give genuine ideas, solutions and promotions to your target audience as you have been in their shoes before!

The more experience you have in affiliate marketing the easier you will find it to branch out to new niches. The knowledge you gain on campaign setup, audience targeting, traffic sources etc. are completely transferable. Along the way, you are bound to make some great contacts who will also be able to give you some insight into their success.

How much time do I need to invest to become successful?

“How long is a piece of string?”

Unfortunately, there is no amount of time you can set to become successful. There are so many variables and each affiliate works differently and will have varied skill sets.

We have seen posts on forums where people say they are able to generate profits by only focusing 2-3 hours per day into their affiliate marketing business. What we don’t know from this is how many automated scripts they have running for them and how much they are spending. People are more than happy to share their successes but not their failures so take everything you read with a pinch of salt.

What we do know is that if you are motivated to be successful you will put in as many hours as you need to, even if that means 15+ hours a day.

Won’t affiliate marketing become saturated with so many people doing it?


It’s true that more and more people are moving into affiliate marketing, it’s a career with a lot of perks that many people can teach themselves. However, don’t forget the number of people purchasing online products or services online is ever increasing – it’s more than likely that online purchasing is growing at a quicker rate than the number of people starting in affiliate marketing.

Online users will always have a need for certain products and services. The most successful campaigns are those that are beneficial to both the advertiser and the customer, if you have a decent deal in a popular market, it’s very likely that your offer will be in high demand.

The key to being successful in such a popular industry is to come up with some different, creative ideas and stand out from everybody else.

The possibilities are vast!

What are the common barriers to becoming an affiliate marketer, and being successful?

It’s not all fun and games. The affiliate marketing industry also has its challenges.

  • You need to be technically minded to a certain degree (or pay to get someone else to help). Whether this is setting up your domain and website hosting, creating advertorials, adding tracking links, optimising traffic sources and bids – there is a lot to get your head around, it can be overwhelming and a little full on for some people.
  • A lot of newbies to the affiliate world who are not accustomed to best traffic sources need to be careful; if you’re buying traffic you need to make sure you’re keeping an eye on your spend, or else you can find yourself with an empty pocket! At the end of the day affiliate marketing comes down to traffic quality, and fitting the right product/service with the right consumer. Spending money trying to make online sales is a dangerous game when you’re buying bad quality traffic.
  • Following on from bad traffic, you need to be aware of how bad quality and bot traffic affect affiliate marketing. For example: if you are promoting a lead gen offer, you must be aware that it is possible that some leads may not be accepted due to ‘bot’ or ‘poor quality’ traffic. The Advertiser and/or network is within their rights to choose not to pay you for any “bad leads”. Remember you are being paid on commission to sell THEIR product/service – so it’s essential that sales and leads live up to their quality expectations.
  • Unfortunately for us and the industry, a lot of affiliates will say and do anything to try and make some quick money. This often involves some form of false advertising, disregarding a brands vision and integrity whilst exaggerating a product’s benefits, or in some cases even marketing it with non-existent features. This hurts the whole industry and can make it hard for genuine and legitimate offers to be taken seriously and scale up.

Does any of the above interest you? Feel free to shoot us a message on [email protected] to see how we can partner up.

Native Platforms: How do they compare?

For those thinking of buying on Native, we’ve put together a rough guide to the top 3 platforms, Taboola, Outbrain & Revcontent, to give you an easy comparison.

NB: The below is simply our experience with the platforms and not guaranteed to be yours.

Overall a decent platform with a large variety of publishers and good quality traffic on sites such as Fox, Daily Mail, MSN, NBC, AOL, Business Insider. As long as you setup your targeting and bids correctly you should be able to find it fairly easy to get a decent ROI.

It’s a completely self service platform, meaning that you can signup, setup everything completely by yourself and go live. This isn’t to say that it’s as good as having a repped account with Taboola.

In order to be given an account manager, you are required to spend a minimum of £10k/month. Benefits of having an account manager include features which self-serve users cannot access such as; backend publisher targeting (WLs & BLs), ballpark CPCs to ensure you are competitive on the network, headline suggestions etc.

That being said, Taboola’s self serve is still hyper functional and there are a huge amount of tips and best practices in their help centre (headlines, images, LPs, optimisations, etc).

Before you start, things be aware of are:

  • You can’t create an account until you have added your credit card details. Once they have been approved, you will be granted access to Taboola’s ‘backstage’.
  • There is no bulk-upload content upload tool. This is apparently in the pipeline to be built out or could be circumnavigated by using a tool like Brax or The Optimizer.
  • Average content approval time is 24 hours.
  • If any content is rejected, they do not send out an email, instead you have to login to the dashboard to check whether the status of your ad has changed, there are several rejection statuses which you they go into more detail on their help center.
  • Time Zone – You can change it by sending an email to your account manager or [email protected]
  • Currency – you can choose according to which country you are from.

Next: Outbrain

Landing Pages. How important are they?

Regardless of how you decide to drive traffic to your offer, be it; social, native, search or email, there is one element that is crucial to performance – The Landing Page.

A landing page is a webpage that is dedicated purely to driving your conversions for a specific offer. It is about awareness, intent and direction. A purpose-built conversion machine created for one thing – to pump out every sale, sign-up, opt-in or download possible.

It is NOT your homepage – this is a mistake so many marketers make. The homepage of your site is a central navigation hub, it offers multiple directions for the user to take, not just the ultimate goal – the conversion. By driving to the homepage, you are giving the users the responsibility to navigate to the conversion, a risky strategy.

The advantage of directing your paid traffic to conversion-led landing pages is that you can create what the visitor needs to see at their stage of awareness.

Now that we are in agreement that paid traffic needs to be driven to a landing page, let’s talk about the type of LP you should run, as not just any will do.

The landing page should be fully optimised towards conversion. This means from the very beginning of creating your LP, the end goal needs to be at the forefront of your mind. Every aspect of the page should be focused around the conversion, including the layout, content, call to actions, funnel and much more.

The bottom line is to keep your landing page as focused as possible, remove anything that distracts from the conversion, provide plenty of options for the user to convert and keep the conversion as simple as possible.

There is a lot to bear in mind when creating LPs and also a lot at stake if you get it wrong. That is why at Version Two, we offer landing page creation, funnel optimisation – or both free of charge as part of our service.

At the end of the day, if your campaigns are successful, so are we. It’s a win-win.

Get in touch if you want to ramp up your conversions.

The Common Pitfalls of Native. Don’t Fall In

We’ve managed individual campaign budgets of over $5 million across many native sources. Native advertising should be seamless and unintrusive, an ad format that compliments users online behaviour – not detract from it. Which leads to greater ROI and lifetime value. But, with so many native options out there now, it’s not always easy to get it right.

Some of the largest native networks have a lot of traffic and work with tens of thousands of publishers, meaning getting the targeting right is not always straightforward. Here are the two most common mistakes;

1. Ultra-niche targeting.

Whilst this sounds like a logical thing to do, advertisers often suffocate their campaign before it has time to convert. A too tightly targeted campaign could result in receiving traffic from a very small percent of the publishers. For example, a drone offer may work just as well if not better on a premium financial website than it does on a tech site. Put simply, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Test broad and then optimise out the sources that don’t hit target.

2. Start low and then scale.

Again sounds logical but if your budgets and CPC are set too low you’re setting yourself up to fail before you begin. Why would a network algorithm prioritise your ad over another that has a greater rate and larger budget. Start your CPCs too low and you will only receive the traffic sources everyone else has blocked. Instinct is then to lower CPC to offset poor performance, taking your campaign even further from the quality publishers. Test failed. Budget wasted.

Having knowledge of the network, algorithm and price points are key.

If executed in the right manner, native campaigns can find new markets and customers the advertiser didn’t even know existed. This is how to get the most of out your native campaigns. Don’t be afraid to test and step out of your comfort zone. Get to know the algorithm. If an ad is not generating a competitive CTR or enough impressions, and is not converting – kill it. But be careful when testing new creative, it can be a painful thing to suddenly see your CTR drop on your best converting creative at the same time your new ads take off without even converting. This can be hard to reverse once the algorithm has its teeth into something. Once you’ve found the winning formula, test sparingly.

And finally, it might sound obvious, but remember that your native account manager is your friend. They know the traffic and what works and what doesn’t. So it inevitably pays to listen to them and heed their advice.

If you want to know more about setting your campaign up in the best way to get results fast give us a call, we’re a friendly bunch.

What the Hell are Push Ads?

Push ads are a new type of native ad format, offering a non-intrusive, user-friendly and highly-engaging way for advertisers to reconnect and expand their audiences. Push notification ads can be delivered directly to users’ mobile, tablet or desktop devices anytime.

Users knowingly agree to receive push notifications via an ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ subscription on the website, meaning you can almost guarantee elimination of any ‘non-human’ traffic.

To maintain the non-intrusive nature of push notifications, customers will only receive a limited number of notifications a day, with an option to unsubscribe at any time. These measures ensure high-quality traffic and significantly better user engagement.

The type of sectors that Push ads are most effective in include, E-commerce, Lead Generation, App installs and Sports Betting. The click on the Ad typically goes straight to the Landing Page, direct offer or Install – meaning the user journey is short and highly engaged without putting the user off.

Performance can differ depending on the campaign/offer, as well as the ad creatives and geo’s that are being targeted, but in our experience of spending unto $10 million a year on push traffic is that you can see CTR’s of up to 40%!

Push notification ads really exploded onto the scene in 2018 and they are predicted to be an amazing source for performance marketing moving forward. If you get a solid campaign/offer and get it working through push ads, then the rewards are there!

In the words of Salt-N-Pepa…

“Push it, Push it real good”

Find out more on Pushvertise