As I write extensively about TV and satellite programming, a couple of people have told me I should sign up for an affiliate program and make some money based on my recommendations. They suggest Commission Junction, but I can’t figure out how the site works. Help!
While the dataset underneath Commission Junction is unquestionably one of the very best in the industry, I have for a long time felt that the site was confusing and difficult to use. Your question confirms this and doesn’t surprise me one bit.
The problem is that in many ways, CJ (as the industry calls it) is really like an online store for affiliate links and graphics, but without it being as straightforward as purchase transactions on a site like Amazon.com. Amazon’s figured out the online store design, clearly, but when each item you buy then generates reports and revenue, things are quite a bit more complex.
Let me step through how I signed up for an affiliate program related to Dish Network services and got the affiliate links for the Allsat.com Dish Network through Commission Junction.
Once you have a CJ account, log in and you’ll see this set of control tabs:
Click on “Get Links” and now you’ll see this:
Since I’ve already signed up for AllSat.com, I can click on “By Relationship” which shows you all the affiliate programs that you’ve both applied for and been accepted to. It looks like this:
This is where you can really start to see the complexity of the CJ interface. There are a lot of tabs here and for any given affiliate, there’s quite a lot of information presented.
All we’re interested in here, however, is “View Links” immediately under the Affiliate program name (in this case, “DISH Network Satellite TV by AllSat.com”). Click on it and:
Lots of choices. This affiliate program alone has 28 different affiliate offers, ranging from large graphics to simple text links.
For this demonstration, I’ll pick the first advert, a banner ad labeled “468 x 80 Full Banner”. On the right it says “Get HTML”. Clicking on that produces a new window:
Commission Junction has lots of slick capabilities to help you produce succinct and safe affiliate links, as you can see. I always select the following options: “Encrypt link”, “Set link to open in a new browser window” and “Hide tracking code in link”.
The result is shown in the “Code” box at the bottom and ends up looking like what’s in the screen shot above, or, the previous time I ran it, similar code except for the URL in question and encrypted link:
<img src=”http://www.lduhtrp.net/me115tkocig1386B356132585394″ alt=”DISH Network by AllSat, Inc” border=”0″/></a>
In use, when I copy and paste the HTML snippet, it looks like this:
Roll your cursor over the banner and you’ll see that while it’s pointing to the CJ server site “jdoqocy.com”, the status in the Web browser correctly indicates allsat.com. Click on it – if you’re interested in Dish Network progrmming – and you’ll see that it gets you to their landing page quickly and easily, without much fuss or really without even making it too visible that there’s an affiliate program involved.
I hope that helps you get started with Commission Junction . Their interface is quite complicated, but once you get the basics down, you can safely ignore all the other capabilities until you want to expand your skills.