As some of you may already know, ContentRobot is heading to Las Vegas next in February to speak at Affiliate Summit.

Today we’d like to announce a month-long experiment: the development of our own affiliate-centric blog. But here’s the fun part, we’ll let you in on what we’ve learned along the way, including:

  • our approach to creating an affiliate program on a blog that we will be developing
  • who we think some of the better affiliate companies to work with
  • affiliate success stories and models
  • our technical challenges
  • the fun during development
  • and more …

Let’s start at the beginning and define “Affiliate Marketing”

According to Wikipedia:

Affiliate marketing is a web-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.

Affiliate sites are often categorized by merchants (advertisers) and affiliate networks. There are no industry-wide accepted standards for the categorization. The following list is very generic but commonly understood and used by affiliate marketers.

  • Search affiliates that utilize pay per click search engines to promote the advertisers offers (search arbitrage)
  • Comparison shopping sites and directories
  • Loyalty sites, typically characterized by providing a reward system for purchases via points back, cash back or charitable donations
  • Coupon and rebate sites that focus on sales promotions
  • Content and niche sites, including product review sites
  • Personal websites (these type of sites were the reason for the birth of affiliate marketing, but are today almost reduced to complete irrelevance compared to the other types of affiliate sites)
  • Blogs and RSS feeds
  • Email list affiliates (owners of large opt-in email list(s))
  • Registration path or Co-Registration affiliates who include offers from other companies during a registration process on their own website.
  • Shopping directories that list merchants by categories without providing coupons, price comparison and other features based on information that frequently change and require ongoing updates.
  • CPA networks are top tier affiliates that expose offers from advertiser they are affiliated with to their own network of affiliates (not to confuse with 2nd tier)

In ContentRobot’s case, we know we’ll be using a WordPress blog as our platform. Up next will let you know what we’ve decided to call the blog, what we are selling, and, any clicks and metrics we can share, and more.

We know that we have focused our efforts on reporting about business blogging, and hope you enjoy our latest foray to using blogs in a new way.