A publisher is an individual or company that earns commission from promoting an advertisers’ products or services. This may be through links in copy on websites such as blogs or articles, social media posts, newsletters, or clickable banners or images.
The most common publishing types are:
Bloggers and Content Sites
Bloggers and content sites (e.g., review sites, online newspapers) build up an audience by writing engaging and informative content. Affiliate marketing is one of the ways they monetise their content and audience. They may promote affiliate products directly within their content or alongside it. An example of a site supported by affiliate income is PCMag.
Offers, Cashback and Coupon Sites
Consumers love discounts and merchants can use this to their advantage by distributing their deals on offer sites. These websites then drive traffic to the offer on the advertisers site. Offer websites include:
- Voucher/coupon sites. These sites list codes by brand and type. Examples: my voucher codes, voucher cloud
- Cashback sites. These sites pay out all or most of the affiliate commission they receive to their members. They also list codes that can be used in conjunction with the cashback. Examples: Quidco, Topcashback
- Apps and browser extensions. These help consumers quickly find discounts while shopping, e.g. camel camel camel, Honey
- Social Media and blogs. Sites related to discussing discount codes.
Shopping Comparison Sites
Shopping comparison sites were popular in the noughties, but most of them disappeared when Google moved into this space. The ones who remain make some of all their revenue through affiliate schemes. Examples: Pricesearcher, Pricespy.
Some publishing businesses have built up large email marketing lists, which they contact regularly. The emails will be a mixture of helpful content and promotions. Emailers work hard to build trust and authority with their subscribers so when they recommend a product, purchase rates tend to be high.
An example organisation that has built up an extensive, targeted list is Bounty. Bounty provides new parents with a hospital gift pack with samples from a range of brands. Alongside the pack, parents can sign up for Bounty’s newsletter, which has tens of thousands of subscribers.
Social Media Influencers
Influencers are users on social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter who have built up a substantial following. Whilst high profile influencers can demand hefty upfront fees for promoting products, others will earn additional income through affiliate commissions.