What does commish mean?
Haha, it’s short for “commission” as in affiliate commission.
An affiliate commission is a beautiful thing for online publishers. It’s the result of website visitors clicking affiliate links, going to the merchant’s website and buying something. Upon purchase, we publishers get a piece of the pie which is our commission for referring customers to the merchant.
Literally thousands of merchants operate affiliate programs. Most do so via affiliate networks like CJ.com and Shareasale, but some operate them in-house. As a publisher, we don’t really care. All we need is the affiliate link for tracking referrals and subsequent commissions from purchases.
What is an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is the link provided by merchants via said affiliate network or in-house affiliate program that cookies our referrals to merchants. Once cooked, if a referral makes a purchase within the prescribed cookie period, we publishers earn the commish.
What’s a cookie period?
The cookie period is the length of time that publishers are credited with a referral’s purchase. For example, if the cookie is 30 days, a referral must make a purchase within 30 days of clicking the affiliate link in order for the publisher to earn a commission. If the referral buys on day 31, the publisher doesn’t get paid. Yeah, I know it’s not fair. Them’s the breaks. If you don’t like it, buy your own inventory, set up your own customer service and start reeling in the big profits as an online retail store. Me… I prefer being an affiliate. Much less hassle.
Can you make a lot of money with affiliate marketing?
Pfffft. There are fortunes to be made with affiliate marketing but it takes a bit of know-how to figure it out. Once you crack the code, there’s no limit to what you can earn. If you do it via email marketing with an engaged audience, you can make money instantly with a short email. If you rank “buyer intent” content, you can establish a nice passive earning business via search traffic and a lot of resulting commish.
It’s a great way to monetize niche sites. If you get into this online publishing racket, you should definitely read up on affiliate marketing. While I prefer monetizing with display ads, I do deploy affiliate marketing extensively as well. That’s the beauty of online publishing – you can establish multiple revenue streams.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.