What is an Affiliate Link

affiliate-linksAn affiliate link is a link that points to a seller’s product/website, but has a specific code in it that is unique to You.

For example, let’s say there’s a product called Acme Super Product, and their website is acmesuperproduct.com ; if you were to sign up to be an affiliate of theirs, then you would get a link something like this: http://acmesuperproduct.com/?aid=123456.

123456 is your Affiliate ID. When you sign up to an Affiliate Program, they assign you your own ID number to let them know that if someone clicks on your unique link, then you get part of the sale.

Let’s say Acme Super Product costs $30. And when you signed up to their affiliate program, they told you that you would get 50% of each sale.

So now, you need to promote (tell people about it) , so you tell your friends, and family about it on facebook, twitter, etc, and you say:

Hey If anyone is interested in buying Acme Super Product, please buy through this link http://acmesuperproduct.com/?aid=123456 because I am an affiliate of theirs and I get half and I would really appreciate your support.

Now if anyone clicks on http://acmesuperproduct.com/?aid=123456 , and they decide to buy Acme Super Product for $30, well YAY cause you get half, so then you could go in your affiliate account, and see that you are $15 richer.

Now, of course, Acme Super Product doesn’t exist. So you would need to find real products to promote that are awesome.

Where do I find affiliate products to promote?

My favorite place to find products to promote is Clickbank.com. They have over 6 million unique products ready for you to promote. I’m talking nearly any product you can imagine. Like to talk about dogs? They have thousands of dog-related products, like How to train your dog, How to build a shed, How to make money online, even products for more Adult issues, and really just about anything.

A Clickbank affiliate link (also called a HopLink) looks like this: http://AFFILIATE.VENDOR.hop.clickbank.net

The AFFILIATE is you, and the VENDOR is the seller/maker of the product.

To make the HopLink work, you just replace AFFILIATE with your ClickBank nickname and VENDOR with the vendor’s ClickBank nickname. Some ClickBank vendors will have their nickname listed on their product website if they have a page for affiliates.

Here is a video from Clickbank, about how to create your Clickbank Affiliate Link (HopLink):

Congrats! That is all you need to know to get started!

Below is OPTIONAL.

After you master the above first, then, if needed, you can find more advanced Ninja stuff about Clickbank affiliate links below.

How to Use Your HopLink

Once you’ve created a HopLink in the Marketplace or using the manual method above, using a HopLink is simple.

Once you create a HopLink using the Marketplace, you’ll see the following:

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 11.18.42 AM.png

As you can see, there are two formats of your HopLink. The top format is the direct URL, which you can use when you just want to paste a link directly with no HTML formatting. For example, this link format is often used in paid advertising or sharing a link over email, Twitter, or instant messenger with a friend.

The second format is what the HopLink looks like in HTML code. You’d use this type of format if you have your own website and want to post your HopLink, like if you write a product review and want to link to the Pitch Page using your HopLink. You can replace the text that says “Click Here!” with any promotional text you want. You might also use the HTML format when posting a link in a forum or other message boards.

Testing Your HopLink

After you’ve created your first HopLink, it’s important to test it to make sure you’ll receive commissions for sales you promote.

To test your HopLink to make sure it’s working correctly, you can either enter your HopLink directly into your browser’s address bar and hit Enter, or click on your HopLink directly if you’ve already posted it somewhere online. Once you’re on the vendor’s website, click their Buy Now button so you’re taken to the ClickBank order form. If you scroll to the bottom of the order form, you should see [affiliate=yournickname].

Adding Tracking IDs to Your HopLinks

ClickBank will automatically track and report results from any HopLinks you use. However, you may wish to perform some additional tracking of your own, so you know which of your promotional efforts are working best for you.

For example, let’s say you’re promoting the same product on a blog, in a forum post, and on Twitter. Since you’ll be posting the same HopLink in all of these places, ClickBank’s reporting will just show you how many clicks your HopLink received, along with any sales you created. However, you won’t be able to tell exactly which source accounted for these sales. This is where Tracking IDs (also called TIDs) come in.

Tracking IDs are short descriptions you create that are added to the end of your HopLinks. The Tracking IDs can be up to 24 characters long, and must consist only of numbers and/or letters (no punctuation or other symbols). When a sale is made using one of your HopLinks, the Tracking ID is passed into ClickBank’s reporting, so you’ll be able to see exactly which of your promotional efforts led to the sale. Your Tracking IDs are visible only to you, so the vendor you send customers to won’t be able to view your Tracking IDs.

For example, if you had a HopLink and wanted to track that it’s coming from your  blog post you created about Best Dog Collars, you could use the Tracking ID bestdogcollarspost. When attached to the end of your HopLink, it would look like http://affiliate.vendor.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=bestdogcollarspost. Then, if a sale was made, in the sales reporting you would see that Tracking ID listed in the TID column, indicating which of your promotional efforts led to the sale.

You can easily add Tracking IDs to the end of your HopLink when creating HopLinks via the Marketplace. However, if you want to manually create a HopLink for any reason, as shown above, you just need to add ?tid= followed by your desired Tracking ID to the end of the HopLink. Please note that ?tid= needs to be in lower case only.

The above was taken directly from Clickbank.

Next: How to Cloak Affiliate Links