Monday, 16 November 2009
I was approached a week ago by Affiliate Window who are running a section on Darwin in their forthcoming newsletter. For those not in the know, Darwin is the new Awin interface. Eventually it will be fully integrated with the existing Awin system but as it's such a mammoth task, for now it runs as its own platform and is being integrated in distinct sections.
Anyway, they liked the way in which I had written my profile and wanted to showcase it to the affiliate world as a best practise example. When I set up my profile, I just wrote what I thought merchants would want/need to read but as it turns out, I did quite a good job on it!
I thought it may help some of you who are a bit stuck on what to write to know what I wrote and why Awin seem to like it :-)
The problem with Darwin is there's a big box that reads "Description". That's a bit ominous and a little scary and probably not the smartest thing Awin could have done. However, the up side to having one large empty box is that it allows affiliates to demonstrate their personality without the confines of specific questions. You can write about anything you like. For some though, this freedom makes it more difficult to write meaningfully. After all, what do you write here? What do they want to know or more specifically, what do they need to know?
I'm quite meticulous and this shows in the way I set my profile up - A bullet pointed list of what I do and don't using bold headings. The form accepts basic HTML code so I used this to generate my formatting:
<b>This is a bold item</b>
<ul><li>This is a list item</li></ul>
I asked myself what I would want to read if I were a merchant. Long blocks of boring text is a bit of a turn off hence the fancy formatting. In terms of content, I decided that if I were a merchant, I'd like to know what this affiliate can and cannot do. What does (s)he do and not do? Is this affiliate a voucher code/incentive/cashback affiliate or not? All basic questions that form the skeleton of my affiliate profile.
So, after that long introduction, here's a walk through of what I wrote about.
You may also be interested in reading:
Comments are manually approved and hence can a while to appear. Questions, informative posts, and feedback comments are gladly accepted. Spam is deleted. Spam-type comments have their links removed (Comment Policy)
It seems to me that Darwin pushes affiliates to be much more open with the merchants. If so then any clean affiliate would be happy to be as detailed as it seems you've been.
Do you think systems like this will further help clean up affiliate marketing?
Written on Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 14:34:23 GMT (Permalink)
@Mike - I don't think it would clean up per se, as affiliates can divulge only what they want to. Affiliates with nothing to hide should be happy to share some basic details.
Darwin seems to be more about saving time on both sides of the agreement than cleaning up the industry. Merchants will be better able to find desirable affiliates and affiliates should find their communications become more relevant and targeted, based on their own individual portfolios. This only works if affiliates co-operate and be open.
Written on Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 15:32:54 GMT (Permalink)
Apologies to Jason Dale who found this guide helpful! http://www.onelittleduck.co...
Written on Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 15:33:16 GMT (Permalink)
Although I don't expect it to clean things up in itself, I do believe being more open is a positive thing.
I have to say though, I still feel uncomfortable putting my real contact details on my websites, even though I (generally) do it.
And...thanks to Jason Dale for helping me find this article :)
Written on Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 15:55:11 GMT (Permalink)
Just wanted to say this is a great article and from a merchant perspective really highlights some useful things affiliates can point out.
I thought it might be worth adding a couple of points to your list of things to include that a prospective merchant (or for that matter, AWIN account manager) would find it useful to see...
1). You mentioned stating whether you work full-time or part-time. On top of this, it would be great to see your preferred contact method and best times of day to reach you. This will make life easier for everyone involved and make it more convenient for you and more encouraging for merchants to get in touch.
2). If it's relevant, a bit of context for work you've done. For example, do you work closely with a particular merchant who could give you a quick testimonial? ('Dave is great', etc). Have you won any incentives or competitions in the past? Seeing that you have formed relationships or achieved goals in the past is really encouraging for an advertiser.
Hope that helps
Written on Monday 23 November 2009 at 12:19:23 GMT (Permalink)
@Julia - Many thanks for these tips. I've updated my own profile to include these :-)
Written on Tuesday 24 November 2009 at 15:59:30 GMT (Permalink)
I don't know how anyone can be sceptical about Darwin until it is fully up and running! I've set myself up - why not! If it helps AWIN get things going then I'm happy to help :).
Any innovation in this space is welcome and aslong as it isn't a step backwards then it's up to them if they think the new interface will provide a decent ROI.
tbh most network interfaces are pretty poor so any attempt at improvement gets my vote :)!
Written on Tuesday 01 December 2009 at 13:10:33 GMT (Permalink)
This is really an excellent article. Thanx to David.
Let me add into Darwin Detailed Profile. This is really a good idea to keep ample information about affiliates which really help Merchants to approve or disapprove.
Further to this this type of profile is also good for SEO, i am not sure whether Google has access to Darwin.
Anway we should encourage Darwin to stray off the beaten path.
Written on Sunday 14 March 2010 at 07:53:13 GMT (Permalink)
@Yasir Butt - Darwin is a closed system so only merchants can see the information, but I agree that it should offer merchants a clearer perspective on an affiliate and whether to approve/decline their application.
I think Darwin can be extended quite radically and perhaps could even be the basis for fostering more interactive and relevant communications between affiliates and merchants.
Written on Sunday 14 March 2010 at 12:29:01 GMT (Permalink)
@David - Yes thats true.
Awin can make Darwin a centralized Interactive Hub.
Digital Window could make it more interactive through Offers/Blogs Section which is best section for Merchants and Affiliates to Communicate.
Currently affiliates used to interact from different forums like Affiliates4u, but Digital Window could extend Darwin functionality to make a centralized place for blogs & Discussion.
And i completely agreed, affiliates should be more candid and share ideas, marketing tips, SEO tips including all Social Media Strategies which is a hidden key to Success.
A time will come soon when Digital Window, Affiliates and Merchants together will become a King in this Affiliate Industry.
Thanx for sharing your knowledge.
Keep it up
Written on Sunday 14 March 2010 at 14:46:41 GMT (Permalink)
Looks like AWIN have started stripping the HTML out of the description field. :(
Written on Sunday 28 March 2010 at 22:41:17 GMT (Permalink)
@Doug - I noticed this a few weeks ago. Awin are aware of the problem and are fixing it as we speak. Check out http://www.affiliates4u.com... for updates on this bug fix.
Written on Monday 29 March 2010 at 10:49:52 GMT (Permalink)
I'd really like to update my profile as per above, the only trouble is I can't find where to do it??
Written on Wednesday 07 April 2010 at 12:37:33 GMT (Permalink)
@ian - that's in the main section of Darwin. HTML is now enabled so it's possible using HTML tags to make it look pretty :-)
Written on Thursday 08 April 2010 at 10:06:33 GMT (Permalink)
Excellent Post !
I was contemplating completing my AWin profile for a long time and still havent done it.
I do think its a good i dea especially after reading this !
Im off to complete the profile ! Go Darwin :D
Written on Friday 14 May 2010 at 20:47:16 GMT (Permalink)
I've recently started using Affiliate Window for the first time and have to say that the Darwin interface is very easy to use. I haven't, however, got any experience of the old system so have nothing to compare it against unfortunately.
Great post though, helps beginners like me get started - thanks for the pointers!
Written on Monday 28 June 2010 at 10:38:07 GMT (Permalink)
This is really useful post for beginners. I have completed most of profile. Only one to two things to be done. I will do tonight. Thanks for the tips.
Written on Friday 13 May 2011 at 20:45:18 GMT (Permalink)
Thank you to all previous commenters.
Comments are now prohibited for this post.
This could be for a number of reasons but is most likely due to prevent the discussion from digressing.