When affiliate marketing is discussed as a web monetization strategy, it is typically considered as the primary means of generating revenue from traffic. There are thousands of sites out there that have been set up with the single goal of sending referrals to third party vendors, and generating revenue through affiliate relationships.
Affiliate marketing can, however, also be used effectively as a supplemental or non-primary revenue stream. In other words, there may be opportunities to use affiliate marketing as a way to squeeze a bit of incremental revenue from a site whose revenue comes from another source such as display advertising or paid memberships.
Below are a few examples of this “incremental affiliate marketing” in action.
1. Movies on IMDb
Movie database site IMDb.com has information on thousands of films, actors, and producers. So there is a logical opportunity to link out to merchants who can sell the items that are being researched on the site–specifically DVDs or streaming video.
On each movie page within the site, the right rail includes a link out to Amazon. This is done in an automated way; the link takes referrals to a search page within Amazon displaying results for the movie title:
2. Books on Huffington Post
Many bloggers also happen to have published more traditional collections of their writings, which allows for some affiliate marketing opportunities within any of their online pieces. Specifically, affiliate links to booksellers can be included as part of an author’s articles or blog posts. Below is an example of this in action on HuffingtonPost.com, including links to the specific page where the author’s books can be purchased:
3. Newspaper Subscriptions On Market Folly
The two examples above involve either relatively targeted sites (i.e., movie-focused) or pages written by published authors. Many sites out there may not have these types of opportunities to add affiliate marketing tie-ins. So we’ll include an example below of a fairly generic, simple affiliate marketing strategy: text links in the right rail of a page template.
There’s absolutely nothing fancy here or particularly unique about this site. It covers a relatively broad topic (investing) and
Many publishers shy away from affiliate marketing as a monetization strategy, preferring instead to focus on easier and more common techniques such as display ads. However, as the examples above illustrate, these two are not mutually exclusive. For sites that generate the majority of their revenue from display ads, there may be incremental opportunities in affiliate marketing.