so you’ve taken the plunge and signed up to Linkshare. if you haven’t already signed up and are wondering if the time is right for you, you might want to read our affiliate network introduction here first. Linkshare is one of a couple of high profile affiliate networks perfect for bloggers. their client base is varied, working across fashion, beauty and general FMCG brands. they also have a strong travel portfolio so are perfect choices for fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers alike. in my opinion, they are also the easiest affiliate network to navigate so are a great starting block for you.
when you sign up you will need your google analytics traffic report, your contact details and your blog details (web address etc) to hand. when they have approved your blog you will receive an email address with your username, password and Site ID. keep this safe as a new brand will need this information in order to manually add you to a program. when you first log in, you will be greeted with a home page that looks something like this:
signing up to programs – don’t be fooled, although every program has the ‘apply’ button that doesn’t mean that you will be accepted. think carefully about who you apply to, and when. remember to refer back to our traffic figure guideline and don’t shoot yourself in the foot and apply to brands that won’t be relevant for you
acceptance onto programs - when you are accepted onto a program (or declined for that matter) you will be sent an email explaining the terms and conditions, rates and guidelines of using the site. only when you have received this email are you officially signed to a program.
to apply, go to the Programs tab on the main red tool bar, and select categories. a new page will appear with programs broken down into categories such as womens fashion, travel and luxury. click on any one of them to view their portfolio, a list will appear. simply click on ‘apply’ on the right hand side, and twiddle your thumbs until you get accepted.
to explain what happens next, the brand will receive an email with your request including all of your stats and figures. they will have a look at your blog and check that their is an affinity between your business and theirs. if all of the numbers and information pair up, they’ll approve you.
placing an advert onto your blog – this is essentially very easy. you simple copy and paste the advert’s code into your blog:
- WordPress – you will need to go to your dashboard ->appearance -> widgets -> scroll down and select Text -> drag to the right hand side and drop in the panel you want your advert to appear. A text box will open, this is where you need to insert the advert code (we are assuming that you have bought the rights to display advertising on your blog, see here for detail)
selecting an advert – in order to find an advert from X brand you will need to have been approved by them. once you have you can click on the Links tab and select Get Links as below.
you will then be taken through to a new page, where all of your approved advertisers will be listed alphabetically.hover the mouse over the advertiser you want to place an ad banner from and click ‘Banner/Images.’
you will then be taken through to a page which lists all available adverts to your blog, with them scaled to size on the left hand side. to choose a link click ‘Get Link.’ it is important to remember to find an ad banner that fits into your blog layout, you may need to adjust your template first. a pop up window will appear with the code. simply copy and paste it into the text box your blog platform created and hit save. update your changes and view your blog. voila!
NB – new advertisers sometimes take 2 hours from approval time to appear in on blog, don’t panic if your ad banners take a while to appear if you have only just been approved.
next steps are deeplinking, monitoring and maximising your click throughs – we will write these tutorials in part II and part III.