Affiliate Marketing Lingo: A Crash Course

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This is a quick primer to review before I post my in-depth articles on creating successful affiliate blogs.

First things first – you’ve got to know what the hell I’m talking about before we get down to the nitty-gritty of affiliate blogging. There’s a ton of lingo that may seem way too confusing if you aren’t familiar with it all.

So, here’s your guide to refer back to as you read on.

ACRONYMS

CPC

This stands for Cost Per Click – it usually refers to the budget of a digital ad campaign where there is a clickable link involved. The CPC is how much it actually cost you (or your client) to get that single click.

CPL

This stands for Cost Per Lead – this is a payment model used by merchants just seeking to get any kind of lead, whether that be email addresses, site registrations, or even completed surveys.

CTR

This is your Click Through Rate – use this to determine how many clicks you’re getting on a particular ad, email, or even your website’s landing page.

PPC

This is another payment model used by merchants where a bid is set (usually estimated by the desired CPC) and payment is only required when a link is actually clicked.

ROAS

Return On Ad Spend – this is a stone-cold metric used to determine exactly how much revenue is generated per dollar spent on advertising. This does not take into account leads, social shares, or anything else besides dollar amounts.

ROI

Return On Investment – here’s where you can include the value gained from social shares, email open rates, and brand awareness; basically, the entire return of investment in advertising including all things physical and metaphysical.

BASIC TERMS

Affiliate Agreement

When you get your first ‘OK’ from a merchant to be apart of their affiliate program, you’ll get a copy of one of these. It’s basically just an outline of what’s expected by both parties from the agreement, and the legalities of both parties involved.

Affiliate Links

This is your money maker. It’s a special URL given to you by the merchant that you’ll drop in your blogs for your audience to click. That specific URL is trackable, which means the merchant is able to see where the customer came from – which is how you get your money.

Affiliate Networks

Usually, you’ll interact with these guys – not the actual merchants of the products you’re selling. These are third party companies that handle all of the affiliate linking, tracking, and paying to bloggers like you. They just take the load off of the actual merchants, and help get more exposure of their products by recruiting bloggers.

Some good examples are companies like ClickBank, Amazon Associates, and Commission Junction.

Charge Backs

This’ll happen when your readers click an affiliate link, go to the merchant’s site, buy a product, then cancel or return the item. When that happens, you’ll get charged back for however much you were originally paid by the merchant, since the purchase didn’t actually get finalized.

This can also happen in CPL programs if your merchants determine that some of the leads paid for are fraudulent.

Click Fraud

There are a ton of automated bots that crawl the internet – as a result, sometimes PPC campaigns receive fake clicks, which is called click fraud. These kind of clicks shouldn’t ever be paid for, since those clicks will never result in conversions.

Commission

This is the predetermined amount you’ll be paid by merchants, based off of their desired outcomes.

Conversions

When you get a lead, the desired outcome is to get them to convert into a full-blown customer by buying a product/service. Conversions will typically be your main source of income.

Cookies

Cookies are used pretty much everywhere across the internet, but have direct implications in your affiliate blogging.

A cookie is a piece of text inserted into your web browser when you visit a site, that assigns you with a certain user ID. Sites usually use it to identify you as a repeat visitor, or to track which items you’re clicking on to recommend other similar ones to you.

As an affiliate, cookies become useful in the event that one of your readers will click on your link, go to the merchant site, and exit the browser. But, if they visit the site again and convert in a certain timeframe, you’ll still be attributed to the purchase.

Cookie Stuffing

DON’T EVER DO THIS.

This is a scamming practice that involves “stuffing” artificial cookies of your affiliate link into a user’s computer. So, when that user eventually goes to a site to buy, your fake cookies will technically associate the purchase with your link, and you’ll get paid.

Except, you probably won’t get paid – you’ll just get banned for life.

First Click

When a reader clicks your link and goes to the merchant site and doesn’t make a purchase, you are still considered the source of the first click. This means that if they then go onto another blog, and click an affiliate link to that same merchant, you still get paid for it, since you were the first to generate the lead.

Last Click

Just the opposite of what’s mentioned above – if your link is clicked by a customer who already has visited the site from another affiliate, you won’t get paid if they convert because of the First Click.

Payment Threshold

Most merchants won’t actually pay you by the click – they’ll only send you a lump sum once you reach a predetermined amount called the payment threshold. This prevents millions of micro-transactions occurring between the merchant and their affiliates every day.

Super Affiliates

These are the legendary people you read about that cash out with million dollar blogs. Super affiliates are the top-generating affiliates of a program, and usually generate about 80% of the merchant’s sales for that program.

Tracking Code

This is the code that is attached at the end of your affiliate URL that allows your merchant to track the click-throughs and attribute your blog with the sale.

Here’s an example: www.amazon.com/?ID=UNIQUEID 

White Labeling

White labeling occurs when a merchant allows an affiliate (you) to sell their product under their own brand without mentioning the actual merchant. For instance, if you were selling wallets from the WalletCompany on your blog called ZingaWallets, and they allowed you to white label, you could sell WalletCompany’s wallets and market them as ZingaWallets without ever having to mention that you’re actually selling someone else’s products.

These are just the basics of affiliate marketing lingo, but they should cover pretty much everything you’ll come across.

If you have any questions for other words/terms, just let me know in the comments and I’ll help get you up to speed.

Don’t miss out on my Affiliate Blogging series – you’ll get loads of helpful info on setting up and successfully running your own income-generating blog daily – so subscribe to my email list to get ahead of the competition.

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Anthony Aires
Chief Executive Officer

Real Deal Productions, LLC
Prosperity Publishers, LLC

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Anthony
 

Anthony Aires is a speaker, information and software publisher, and a trainer. He has been an entrepreneur for more than half his life. He started leveraging the internet in 2002 by implementing SEO to generate leads for his real estate brokerage in Downtown Boston. Since then Anthony has gone on to create, launch, manage, and sell several internet businesses and brands while generating 7 figures in revenues. But he'll be the first to tell you he worked his ass off to get to where he is and it was a bumpy road having to declare bankruptcy twice in his life. You might not like the truth's he speaks, but at least you know you're always getting an honest answer!