What is LinkShare?
LinkShare is a fantastic affiliate program directory that includes 1,000’s of affiliate programs from companies in 100’s of different industries and markets. It’s a very easy system to use and because each program is managed by an individual affiliate program manager, there are some unique opportunities to build relationships with these companies and offer even greater value to your customers.
This is really a great solution if there are specific brand name products that you want to promote and they happen to be in their network. For example, if you’re in the candy and flower gifts market, you can apply to promote products from The Popcorn Factory, 1-800 Flowers, Chocolate.com, GourmetGiftBaskets.com and dozens of other online retailers.
LinkShare is also great because they make it easy to create and share a variety of different links. You can choose from banner images, individual product image links, text links and special rotating links depending on how the affiliate programs have setup their offering. As a marketer, this is nice because you can serve a variety of ads that add visual interest to your readers.
How do I setup LinkShare?
Visit LinkShare to get started. In the application process you’ll be asked to indicate your website domain name and the methods of advertising you will employ. You’ll also have a chance to explain what your site is about. Take some time to provide as much detail as you can so that when you apply for individual company affiliate programs, they have the best possible understanding of who you are and why they should approve your application.
How do I display LinkShare links?
Creating links in LinkShare is easy. Once you’ve been approved for a specific affiliate program, you’ll have a plethora of options to choose from including banner ads and images, individual products, text / email links and a set of promotional links based on coupons, hot products, logos, free shipping and best converting products. What’s included in these categories depends entirely on how the affiliate manager setup their programs and what they’ve chosen to make available to affiliates.
LinkShare also has what they call Easy Links. This is a widget in which you select the dimensions, colors and product display options and the widget automatically decides which products to display based on the content on your webpage.
For example, if you have a home and garden information website covering a variety of topics and you have an affiliate relationship with Burpee Garden, your ads will show different products on different pages. this is a great feature if you don’t have the time to create custom ads with every page in your site.
If you have a targeted page on your website for a specific product, I recommend you include a few different links. First, you definitely want a picture of the product – one that links to the merchant’s product page through an affiliate link. You’ll also want 1 or two more links in the body of your text. This maximizes the opportunity for someone to click on your link.
How do I get paid?
LinkShare tracks links from your affiliate links and earnings associated with any purchases made as a result of the traffic to a merchant’s online store. This is all communicated with you from the Account dashboard. Payments to affiliates are made at the end of the month. LinkShare has a $1 minimum threshold, which means that even if you only make $17, you get paid rather quickly unlike other programs which have a much higher minimum threshold.