Affiliate Websites - Types and Examples « Affiliate Marketing Blog by Geno Prussakov

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Both affiliates and merchants frequently ask me for examples of affiliate websites. Normally, I tell everyone that it isn’t exactly right for an affiliate program manager to give away the URL’s of his affiliates’ websites. But there is a way to do it right. I’ll show you examples of affiliate websites that you have either already heard of (and haven’t paid attention that they are monetizing their traffic via affiliate programs), or those that have okayed their representation in this post. I will  look at 5 types of affiliate websites: (i) content-based, (ii) coupons-focused, (iii) rebates- or cashback-oriented, (iv) shopping mall, and (v) comparison shopping.

1. Content-Based Affiliate Website

The most common examples would be thematic blogs with square affiliate banners on the side. A friend of mine, Ayako Bing of buy.at, runs a blog on branding in her spare time. Here’s a screenshot:

Content Affiliate

2. Coupon-Focused Affiliate Website

There is a great number of these around, and they can be easy found by searching nearly any brandname+coupon key-phrase combination (e.g.: Walmart coupon or Home Depot coupon). One of great coupon sites is run by another friend of mine, Mike Allen, the 2009 Pinnacle Awards winner in the category Affiliate of the Year. It is Shopping-Bargains.com and here’s a screenshot:

Coupons Affiliate

3. Cashback-Oriented Affiliate Website

I’ve mentioned such websites as FatWallet.com, BigCrumbs.com and CashBaq.com in a post on incentive affiliates a while back. SunshineRewards.com is another good example:

Cashback Affiliate

4. Shopping Mall

This type of affiliate websites includes products of multiple merchants “under one roof”. The simplest way to illustrate it is by looking at GoldenCAN’s sample of an all-in-one affiliate store:

Mall Affiliate

With multiple pages for each merchant the above-quoted example does not provide an example of a very user-friendly online store, but conveys the general idea. Custom solutions, PopShops.com, Webmerge.com, and other platforms help affiliates put together the “mall” type websites as well.

5. Comparison Shopping Affiliate Website

While there are considerably less sophisticated affiliate websites that use merchants’ data feeds to offer their users a comparison shopping experience, I want to mention three that are absolutely mind-blowing in my opinion. They combine a number of social media techniques with comparison shopping, thereby creating a truly engaging end-user experience.

Comparison Shopping Affiliate

The above-quoted Costumzee.com is also a niche affiliate website. Just as ShoeHunting.com (the second website I’d like to mention in this category) focuses on footwear only, so is Costumzee.com devoted solely to costumes.

Another great example of an affiliate website with a niche specialization that is also a social website is the recently launched FiledBy.com:

Niche Affiliate

Whichever of the above 5 routes you decide to go as an affiliate, remember that the key to success is in offering a new and unique shopping experience — engaging and entertaining. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of affiliate promotion! Create synergies — beautiful and helpful ones.

About Geno Prussakov

CEO & Founder of AM Navigator – an award-winning OPM agency. Founder & Chair of Affiliate Management Days conference. Author of bestselling "A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing" (2007) and "Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day" (2011), speaker, consultant, and affiliate marketing evangelist.

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20 Responses to “Affiliate Websites – Types and Examples”

  1. Linda Buquet says:

    Examples of Different Types of Affiliate Sites

    A common question asked on my affiliate forum is “can you show me some examples of good affiliate sites?” Here they are complete with screen shots. ……

  2. Dan Sanchez says:

    Great examples Geno, I didn’t know of any of the sites you mentioned above. I’ve only tried one of the above mentioned examples, the content based blog. So far it’s worked out well although I’m eager to try the others.

    Thanks!

  3. Geno says:

    Thanks, Dan. Yes, do try the other ways of marketing too. Synergies (the more unique, the better) work especially well.

  4. Denny says:

    Hey Geno, nice list! What’s the best type of software to use to create a coupon affiliate site like your buddy in example #2?

    Thanks.

  5. Geno says:

    Denny,

    This is a very good question. In fact, I will save the answer for a later day (a couple days from now), and promise to put together a post on software/tools options for coupon affiliates to use. How does this sound?

  6. Denny says:

    That sounds great! I’ve been testing solutions for the past month or so and have already gotten burned by a couple of so called coupon affiliate datafeed providers.

    It’s not that I’m a total newbie, I’ve been doing business online for years, but this space is mysterious and we are more marketers and promoters rather than technical people. Most of the out there solutions are either incomplete or not intended for the the coupon space, but rather the “deal” space.

    It would be nice to be able to simply offer coupons to our visitors for topics related to our content and not take the “fire-hose” approach. Goldencan and datafeedr are ok, but they give you EVERYTHING and you cant just grab coupons.

    In addition, many existing offerings for coupon affiliates want to charge a reoccurring monthly fee (as much as $1500/mo!) just to keep the data feed current! A process that once set up can be easily automated and run on your own server nightly/weekly and easily displayed in common CMS platforms such wordpress, joomla, and drupal.

    You tell me how we can do this and you’ll be my hero Geno! I honestly feel that it doesn’t exist…yet. (Hey there’s an idea for a product!)

  7. Mike Martin says:

    How about a Catalog site? As in, you make a product catalog looking site. You click a product, see product detail, but when you click Buy Now, off you go to Amazon, eBay, or some other third-party offer. Then, bring up hundreds of these with an automation system, all geared to several of your niches. Add a “Deals & Coupons” newsletter squeeze form to send “deals” and “coupons” routinely out to site subscribers twice a month, along with some informative and interesting article regarding that niche at the top of the email, with the offers at the bottom.

  8. Mike Martin says:

    @Denny. I’ve used formetocoupon.com. Great interface, but yes, pricey unless you’re really moving a heck of a lot of traffic. I found the Essentials pricing package at formetocoupon.com to be the most cost-effective, but yes — must push a great deal of traffic through or it’s no use.

    Part of the problem is that many of the CPA vendors don’t yet have an automation API. So, you have to manually download the coupons (and related offers like that) once a day and upload into your tools to parse and display the coupons. So, you end up having to pay through the nose to vendors who do this for you like formetocoupon.com.

    Word to the CPA vendors — please start thinking along the lines of an automation API. We’re fed up with it, already.

    • David says:

      Do merchants generally allow or disallow affiliates to operate comparison shopping affiliate websites where product offerings are listed alongside competitors? In my case, as the affiliate, I inquire with the merchant advertiser but in once case they did not respond with a yea or nay.

      • Geno says:

        That’s because (a) they always allow comparison websites to compare their products to those offered by their competitors; but (b) encouraging you: “sure, go ahead, and feature our competition” (especially since in some cases the merchant’s prices may end up looking not attractive) makes little sense, doesn’t it?

        • David says:

          Thanks. I also asked my contact at Commission Junction and was told that some are openly okay with it (like in your example of “my competition has higher prices”) while others were unknown (in which case we had to ask the merchant).

          • Geno says:

            I have never heard of having to ask a merchant whether it’s okay with them to promote them on a comparison site or not. As long as you have that site listed on your affiliate profile, their approval of your affiliate application is an implied “go ahead”.

            • David says:

              Okay, thanks for your information. I am disappointed that the business development manager at CJ was not able to confirm it for me. I always prefer to get a clear acknowledgement and with the merchants that I am dealing with, except for one, I have been able to get a definitive answer from them (i.e. “it is okay to list alongside their competitors”).

  9. Mohsin Ali says:

    Thanks for you informative article. Can you tell me how can i build affiliate page for advertising my programs.

  10. Chris says:

    How on Earth do you set up a shopping coupon site? This seems like an astronomical project, way way WAY beyond anything a beginner could (IMO) deal with. This seems to require a substantial business background, because, I assume, you need to establish an entire business infrastructure: relationships with vendors, delivery capabilities. It would also seems to take YEARS to develop momentum. This is hardly a beginner model…

    • Geno says:

      Chris, you actually do not need to establish individual “relationships with vendors” as long as you go through affiliate networks, and pull coupon feeds (for the merchants who have accepted you into their affiliate programs) from every network.

      Another (centralized) option to look into is ForMeToCoupon.com.

  11. Agi says:

    Hello,
    I am a newbie in marketing, but I know a little PHP programming, SQlite & Linux scripting. I develop several automated showcases that relies on merchants’ datafeed through an affiliate network, and I get a good additional income out of it.

    A free basic PHP script that is good for a starter can be obtained from http://www.jce-tech.com/shareasale.php. However, it takes some times to develop the looks to suit your liking. Furthermore, if you know about PHP programming, you can turn the script into a shopping cuopon site.

  12. J Alex says:

    Geno P,

    Really informative and effective post…
    I have a question, if we are dealing in more than one category like, swimwear, sports products, food supplements etc. How can we select nice domain name at the same time?
    Thanks in advanced.

    J Alex

    • J Alex, if what you’re really asking is: “How do I pick a keyword-rich domain for a multi-niche website?”, the answer is: “Forget about keywords, and focus on the website’s value to the end consumer, building your own new brand.” If, however, there is a specific direction that you take on that website of yours (e.g.: reviews, rankings, comparisons, etc), you may certainly incorporate a word that reflects this in your domain name.

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