On the other hand, we have affiliates, who are looking for ways to monetize their online presence. Affiliates (also known as publishers) are often bloggers and influencers who enjoy online reputation and a considerable following. This enables them to affect buying decisions of their followers. When they recommend a product, they encourage their followers to buy the same products. This activity is known as a conversion, and it is what enables affiliates to earn from this kind of strategy.
If you’re an affiliate, your next step (after you’ve applied and been accepted by a handful of programs) is to comb through the list and look for the site with the highest generated revenue per visit. You can use Commission Junction or ShareASale to find the affiliate revenue per visitor. You can also compare your results across the various programs.
Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics, LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum, and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers. Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.
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Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, and (in some sense) display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.