What do you find difficult? What do you do manually that you wish was automated?
What do I find difficult?
Finding non mainstream products to promote.
Keeping traffic interested.
Getting traffic to click through to my merchants
Increasing conversions (no control over that)
Writing new content (how can I write interesting and fresh content about bricks and mortar products?)
Lack of promotional aids
Poor quality banners etc.
I could go on but I'm off now to enjoy the weekend.
Have a good one.
0 to $1m before I am 70, Ok maybe 71 !!! (April 2013)
You Can Eat Our Noodles Without Gaining A Pound
What is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare.
I find there are a lot of tools that automate stuff, but if those tools aren't utilized properly it can be difficult.
Personally, as a merchant, if an affiliate asks, I will write content for them.
What I found the hardest when I was publishing, was implementing a site that did price comparison to similar products. Maybe I wasn't techie enough.
price comparisons are difficult no matter who you are, and that mostly comes down to the data supplied by merchants/networks. The easiest way to compare products is to use a UPC, but most merchants don't provide that (even though google requires it in their feed for the shopping api, so every merchant does have the data). Beyond that, you are left comparing the names of products to find similarities. When we tackled the problem, we had to try to normalize the data from thousands of merchants, compare upc's where we could, and build out a fairly advanced search infrastructure to find similar products based on name. It's something we will always be working on, so I definitely understand why most affiliates don't even know where to start with it.
Identifying specific types of affiliates to bring on board. I'd love lists of high-quality beauty bloggers, product comparison sites, coupon sites with large social media followings, etc.
[EDIT] I realized you're probably just looking for affiliates' responses since that's your target market [/EDIT]
Last edited by Nathan Grimm; April 25th, 2013 at 01:51 PM. Reason: see [EDIT]
It helps us to know what affiliate managers and such are looking for as well. We are always seeking partnerships with quality bloggers, so working with Prosperent gives you access to that resource right away. Acquiring new publishers is definitely a struggle in this industry. We hope that by building easy to use and profitable tools, we can attract more of what merchants are looking for.
By working with Prosperent you gain access to our 8,000+ publishers web sites and 2 billion ad impressions per month. All we need is a datafeed from CJ, Linkshare, Link Connector, AvantLink, Affiliate Window, or Pepperjam .
To clarify further though, it's all handled automatically. Our tools are designed to analyze content, behavior, and other visitor metrics to automatically determine the products to show. You, as a merchant, only need to supply us the datafeed, we handle the rest.
What sucks about affiliate marketing? customers that are trained to find coupons or use toolbars/software to rob the industry blind.
What also sucks about affiliate marketing? A network that does not track a substantial percentage of its transactions, will not fix the problem and will not even discuss the fact that it has been ongoing for years and that nothing is being done about it, and then announces it is closing down, without even first informing their merchants or employees.
And the termination-response of so many merchants to nexus tax legislation.
And merchants that do not follow the sage advice of OPMs and AMs that they pay to show them how to do it right.
Almost everyone that buys something online or locally, would not buy it at the set price if they know how, or see a way to use a coupon to save some money... You can't blame the customers for that!
If we're going to blame someone for that, we should blame the merchant that have an empty coupon box next to the checkout link, or the affiliates that may have a coupon site with just a coupon code and a cookie link, because even if the coupon code is fake, they will overwrite the original affiliate cookie...
Some customers may be stupid enough to download toolbars and software to their computers in order to save some money online, without knowing the risk that some of those toolbars and software may do to their computers and personal privacy issues...
But, we can't blame those customers 100% for their stupidity of downloading toolbars, software and crapware in order to save some money online...
If we're going to blame someone for that, we should blame the merchants that allow those affiliates that promote all that crap in their programs, and also blame those affiliates that trick the customers into downloading that crap.
We may be affiliates, we may be merchants, we may be networks, but none of us would exists without customers. So before we blame customers for any of our affiliate marketing headaches, I would suggest to take a look at the bigger picture...
By the way, if today I had to answer this question: "What sucks about affiliate marketing?"
My answer today April 25, 2013 would simply be: "Google!"
One other thing I'm finding is really upsetting is when you work with a merchant for a long time on GAN and they are on other networks and they decline you. Weather it be an automatic decline or a few days or in some cases weeks.
Then they fail to respond to emails or phone calls.
Nothing I'm gonna hate more than have thousands and thousand of 404's when customers reach the 404 page.
It's bad enough when products go out of stock and are no longer in the merchant feeds.
Where's the Great Life of Affiliate Marketing Hiding?