Online Revenue Models for Affiliate Marketers


Affiliate marketing is a high-activity endeavor, and marketers need to constantly tinker with their methods to come up with an effective strategy. Over the past several years, there has been considerable research in various types of revenue models. Some have proven to be successful, while others have been ignored altogether.

Since the affiliate marketing landscape is getting more and more competitive by the day, affiliate revenue models are basically systems that allow you to generate money online.

At a very basic level, it’s actually quite simple. You can generate revenue through ads, or you can opt for sponsors on your website. Regardless of the process, you only need to focus on one thing: making money by offering value to your clients.

Why Affiliate Marketers Should Adhere to a Revenue Model?

As an affiliate, you need to understand that your role is similar to that of an intermediary between an online audience and the company for which you are selling.

The reason why your business needs to adhere to a revenue model is actually quite simple: it will help you direct all of your efforts into a single, laser-focused strategy. Instead of choosing different revenue models, why not focus on a single one and maximize your returns from it?

Affiliate marketing is a competitive venture that requires a considerable amount of investment, and more importantly, out of the box thinking. The affiliate revenue model is one of the simplest ones, because all you have to do is to join an affiliate program, and then sell products using the affiliate product link.

If you have a dedicated revenue model for your affiliate marketing, you could easily generate significant revenue. Instead of scattering your resources into different business models, you should focus on a particular one.

To understand these different revenue models better, we need to go into more detail and highlight the key features of each.

Different Types of Online Revenue Models

There are several types of online revenue models, and in the following paragraphs, I shall talk about three of the most popular ones in use nowadays.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a pretty self-explanatory model and has already been described above. You don’t have to worry about buying a product, nor do you have to worry about keeping stock.

There are plenty of high ticket affiliate programs that you can join. Many people who are experienced with affiliate marketing and the affiliate revenue model are able to create multiple websites and convincing product pitches to sell the products.

Your only job is to make a website and connect with consumers when using the affiliate revenue model. But, because you will be endorsing another product, it’s important that you highlight why you have chosen this particular product.

In this day and age, consumers prefer authenticity above all else. It’s essential for you to make sure that you learn to connect with your audience, otherwise, nobody will buy your product in the first place. If you are an influencer, affiliate marketing could be right up your alley.

Affiliate marketing is a billion-dollar industry. Almost 84% of the publishers in the United States have turned to affiliate marketing, according to Forrester. More importantly, you should know that interest in affiliate marketing is on the rise.

Since 2015, affiliate marketing search trends have gone up by 200%, as per data from Google Trends!

More importantly, you should know that affiliate marketers don’t restrict themselves to a single medium for generating sales. They often take a multi-faceted approach, utilizing social media, video content, and website marketing in order to generate sales.

A number of companies also offer greater commissions based on the number of sales that you generate. Needless to say, if you are really serious about affiliate marketing, you could end up making a significant amount of money!

Earn at your own pace.

2. Advertising


Advertising is perhaps the most online revenue model used by online marketers for selling online. If there’s stuff to sell, a marketer will find a way to advertise it and generate a sale.

When you talk about making money online, advertising is often the first thing that comes to mind. It is perhaps one of the most popular revenue models in use nowadays. The biggest benefit that you get for using advertising as a revenue model is that it can complement any other revenue models that you have adopted for your company as well.

Other benefits include:

  • They are cost-efficient
  • Targeted to your audience
  • They can be measured
  • You can get user feedback

Using ads, you can simply promote your products in virtually any field. Advertising costs money, and if you have lots of it, selling a product isn’t going to be a problem. There are several standard advertising methods, which include pop-up advertising and banner ads.

Ads are now seen almost everywhere online, from Google Maps to YouTube to virtually any website or blog that you visit. However, placement is key, because if a person thinks that you are shoving too many ads down their throat, they will simply stop visiting your website.

This is the case with many Youtubers, and companies have already begun to take action against YouTubers who put excessive ads in the middle of the videos.

Advertising is the cornerstone of marketing in this day and age. Companies advertise on social media like Twitter and Facebook, and they also use PPC campaigns on Google and other social networks.

3. Subscription Revenue Model

Subscription Revenue Model

The subscription model is often overlooked, but it is actually one of the most effective online revenue models for affiliates. You just have to think of products and services for which people are willing to pay a recurring fee or a “subscription”.

Businesses also pay a considerable monthly fee for accounting programs and other tools that help with marketing. Focusing on this model is a fantastic idea for affiliate marketers who are looking for stable, long-term revenue. Once you are able to bring in a customer for a subscription fee, you will receive a monthly percentage of their subscription.

The Cloudways Affiliate Program has a subscription tier that allows you to make money on a recurring basis. If you have a significant number of clients who are paying a monthly subscription fee, you will be able to bring about a degree of predictability in your affiliate marketing endeavors.

4. Transactional Revenue Model

Transactional Revenue Model

The transactional revenue model is one of the most popular choices, mainly because it’s so direct. It entails a predictable sale of goods, and customers paying for said goods.

However, you have to understand that when you compare this with subscription-based revenue models, many businesses would prefer the latter because that results in consistent revenue in the long-term. It’s just a more profitable online revenue model.

Businesses don’t have to worry about coming up with “new” and engaging ways to sell something every time. However, this does lead to advertising innovation, and customers are obviously attracted to new campaigns.

For instance, toothpaste is a common product that can be sold via the transactional revenue model. When a particular ad campaign begins to decline, companies just come up with a new one to keep up sales.

5. Channel Sales

Channel Sales


The channel sales model is an indirect online revenue model for selling your products or services. It entails bringing on dealers or resellers to sell the product for you. You can compare it with the affiliate marketing model, but you have to understand the differences.

In most cases, resellers “buy” the product from the company, tack on a profit margin, and sell it forward. Affiliate marketers, on the other hand, always get a commission when they make a sale. They don’t have to worry about keeping inventory.

Ideally, this method is suitable if your product can generate an incremental sale, and lead to incremental profits.

Which Model Is Best Suited for Your Affiliate Marketing Needs?

This is not easy to determine, so it’s recommended that you figure out the best marketing strategy based on the product you are selling. It’s important for you to make sure that you choose an online revenue model that won’t require too much from you at the beginning, and one that you can optimize and scale accordingly.

As an affiliate marketer, you are going to face challenges and difficulties, but if you are focused and take a dedicated approach with a single marketing network, you could grow quickly. With time, you can always expand and sign up with other affiliate marketing networks!

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