When you sign up as a publisher in the Rakuten Affiliate Network, you are asked to select a business model to describe your business. Ultimately, this decision is up to you, your accountant, and legal team. Though Rakuten Affiliate doesn't make individual recommendations, we provide general information below to give your team some basic context. Learn more about the sign-up process in our step-by-step guide.
A business model, as we are using the term here, is a general description of the way you plan to generate revenue and earn profits from your website or affiliate marketing channels. Publishers are finding unique ways of using and combining business models. You may want to ask your business advisers for help in developing your business plan and deciding which business model best fits your website and affiliate marketing channels.
We will outline some of the main business models our publishers are employing to help you decide where yours best fits.
Types of Business Models
Here is a list of the most common types of affiliate websites and types of business models they support, for use in signing up as a publisher in the Rakuten Affiliate Network.
- Loyalty/Rewards - Select this option if your primary business model is based on loyalty or rewards. For example, your site offers points, donations, or other rewards for purchasing at selected merchants. Loyalty/reward sites give something back to the consumer in exchange for purchasing through the advertiser’s site. A percentage of the advertiser commission is used to pay a reward to the end user. Rewards come in many forms including cash, airline miles, credit card points, or a percent of sale given to an organization.
- Coupons (Vouchers)/Deals - Select this option if your primary business model is based on offering coupons and deals to your customers.
- General Shopping - Select this option if your primary business model is shopping. Shopping sites can be thought of as a virtual mall. The consumer can shop for various products and brands without ever having to leave the site. This type of publisher is not focused specifically on coupons and deals.
- Search - Select this option if your primary business model is based on search. Search publishers promote advertisers via search engine marketing (natural or paid).
- Price Comparison - Select this option if your primary business model is based on price comparison. Comparison shopping sites sell items where some comparison is made before the purchase. Many times the publisher will have direct product links of the same product from different advertisers.
- Content/Niche - Select this option if your primary business model is based on content, such as news stories, media, music, or video. Content sites focus on a specific area of interest. This type of site is normally not a shopping site but users go to the site because they are interested in relevant content on site. Content sites that do well with performance-based marketing blend their area of expertise with product recommendations.
- Social Shopping - Select this option if your primary business model is based on social shopping. Social shopping sites usually combine shopping with user recommendations, reviews, lists, and other social network features.
- User Generated - Select this option if your primary business model is based on user-generated content such as communities, forums, and social networks.
- Other - Select this option if your primary business model does not fall into any of the other categories.
For more information, read the complete step-by-step instructions to sign up as a publisher.