A lot of businesses still do not have a website. 1000s of businesses are coming online everyday to setup new websites. And because of that, the demand for web-hosting has shot up in the past two decades. A lot of big companies are fighting to get the marketshare and they are spending aggressively on marketing. A part of their marketing budget is to pay commissions to affiliates and partners who refer them customers.
Hosting companies pay huge commissions on every sale, and sometimes the commissions are more than the sale value itself. In this blog post, I will explain how I make money by promoting hosting programs as an affiliate. There are a bunch of different companies and affiliate programs I’ve tried and you will learn what has worked for me and what hasn’t.
I’ve been promoting Hostgator for a long time as an affiliate and have made a lot of commissions via sales. Hostgator can be promoted via multiple channels. You can sign up for Hostgator’s internal affiliate program at hostgator.com/affiliates. They have a tier based affiliate program where your earnings depend on the number of sales you refer every month.
They offer as much a s $125 per sign up if you sell more than 21 hosting accounts per month. Selling 20 or more is difficult even for an influencer like me and if I sell only 6-10, my earnings will be only $75 per account sold.
There are other affiliate networks which also have Hostgator as a merchant. I mostly promote Hostgator through these networks because I have been using these networks for a long time, and my payouts are consistent. Also, the earnings I make from hosting doesn’t depend on the number of accounts I sell per month. Instead, I get a standard commission per sale.
I have been promoting products from Impact.com (Impact Radius previously) for a while. I also promote Hostgator via Impact. In the past 30 days, I’ve made more than ₹80,000 in commissions by selling Hostgator accounts.
Some of the sales are through my coupon code that gets attributed back to me on Impact, and the rest of the sales are from my affiliate link. You can see the split by promo codes in the picture below.
I promote the coupon code on my video tutorials and people can sign up directly on Hostgator using my coupon code. They need not click the affiliate link for the attribution to happen.
BlueHost is another big brand in the hosting industry. As of now, both BlueHost and HostGator are owned by the same parent company – EIG. Endurance International Group is a public listed company that has a lot of hosting related businesses under its arm. BlueHost has signed up with a lot of affiliate networks, and they have an internal affiliate program as well at bluehost.com/affiliates
I am promoting BlueHost via CJ.com (Commission Junction) affiliate network. They pay the same commission of around $90 in almost all the networks. In the past 3 years I have made $10,530 in total promoting BlueHost to my audience. And I have got them sales of more than $12,000.
Once you have got an account at cj.com, you have to get approval from each advertiser inside the program separately. I got approved for BlueHost long back. My CJ account is more than 10 years old and I have built a reputation for generating only genuine sales. Since a lot of people try to scam, they have become very strict with approvals in recent times.
Once you get approved for a merchant inside CJ.com, you can get the affiliate links from inside the dashboard. Here’s how it looks:
You can either deploy a banner on your website, or promote the HTML link directly via website, email and social media.
ResellerClub was an Indian company started by Directi. They have also been acquired by EIG in recent times and they are headquartered in Mumbai.
When I promote hosting services for subscribers in India, I choose ResellerClub. They have low cost pricing plans and are suited for the Indian audience.
You can see from my dashboard, I have made $300 in the past 30 days with ResellerClub in affiliate commissions. I have a direct contact with the affiliate manager of ResellerClub and that’s a luxury you will have if you bring in a lot of sales to your merchant partners.
Channels to Promote Affiliate Links
There are multiple ways through which you can promote the affiliate links of hosting programs. My primary method of promotion is through email. People subscribe for my free digital marketing course through my blog, landing page, or I get the leads directly from Facebook Lead Ads.
I link to the hosting companies through my affiliate link and generate traffic for them. If the sale happens, I get a commission. Generating revenue from the sales of hosting programs helps me recover the cost of my advertising and website management.
You can also run Facebook Ads and drive traffic to your affiliate links directly. But many times, the math will not work out. You might end up spending more money on the ads than what you earn in affiliate commissions. Rarely, people get it right and they scale their revenues very fast using the arbitrage.
New advertising opportunities open up all the time, and all the merchants do not make use of it. Their digital marketing teams might not even notice the new traffic opportunities. If you can find out such opportunities where you can get traffic for a lower cost and then earn more money via the sales, you will be able to scale your income very fast as an affiliate.
Building an email list and then promoting multiple programs through email marketing is a better way to do affiliate marketing because you are converting the traffic into an asset – which is your email list. If you do not build an email list, your traffic can give you profit, or a loss, but end of the day you will not have built any assets.
Having a database of emails of people interested in something specific is an asset that can be leveraged any time. Building an email list and having an audience also helps you understand their needs better, and you will be able to promote relevant offers for them. This can also lead to investing in creating your own product in the future.
I hope this blog post gave you a fair idea about affiliate marketing and the opportunity available in promoting hosting programs to your audience.
Have questions? Please leave a comment below. Feedback is also appreciated.