A $7,000 commission? I could use that. Liquid Web has the best paying affiliate program that I could find.
Liquid Web is a great premium hosting company with awesome support. I can attest to their support and performance – I have been a customer for a number of years.
They have a great product and pay affiliates very well. That ticks all my boxes!
How to Join the Liquid Web Affiliate Program
There are two places to join the affiliate program. Either the In-House program, Impact radius or Commission Junction (CJ). The requirements to join are typical and the acceptance rate is very high. If you have a legitimate website with reasonable amount of quality content you will be approved.
One thing that almost all hosting companies do not want is coupon or rebate type affiliates. You don’t want to use terms like coupon in any advertising campaigns or risk losing those commissions or even deauthorized.
Liquid Web Products
Liquid Web does not offer entry-level products like shared hosting. This eliminates the race to the bottom from a pricing standpoint and lets them focus on providing solid solutions. Their major product offerings include:
- Managed WordPress
- Managed WooCommerce
- VPS Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Server Clusters
- Dedicated Servers
Liquid Web Pricing
No one purchases a Liquid Web hosting plan because it is their cheapest option. They purchase because it is the best product for them when considering their specific needs. Some example pricing:
Managed WordPress — Starts at $29.95/mo for one domain. All plans include a staging environment which is a nice feature. Additional plans are available depending on the number of domains you want to host.
Managed WooCommerce — This is a premium product for “real” stores. The entry price is $249/mo for stores with less than 3,000 transactions a month and includes free “white-glove” migrations.
VPS — VPS pricing starts at $29.99/mo. That includes
- 2 CPU environment
- 40 GB SSD
- 10 TB Bandwidth
- Linux OS
- Interworx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Pro
Cloud Hosting — Cloud hosting is a flexible premium offering that starts at $150/mo. This is a popular choice for developer environments. The entry product includes:
- Unlimited Sites & Domains. Unlimited Visits. 50 GB SSD Storage. 1 TB Monthly Bandwidth.
- Host Linux & Windows on the same account!
- WPlatform options; WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, PHP, .NET
- Fully Managed (24/7/365 Support via Chat, Phone or Email)
Server Clusters — These are used for scaling eCommerce sites or building lareg apps and otehr software products. They can enhance performance by doing things like seperate off your database. Ranging from two to 200 servers they are hi-performance environments for productive enterprises. The two cluster envirnment costs $743/mo and includes:
- Web/App Servers
- Database Server
- Private Switch
Dedicated Servers –– Sometimes you just need a dedicated machine that is hosted for you. Run any OS, and CMS etc. The entry dedicated server costs $199/mo and includes:
- 4 cores @ 3.9 GHz Max
- 16 GB RAM
- 2 x 240 GB SSD Primary Disk
- 1 x 1 TB SATA Backup Disk
- 5 TB Bandwidth
Liquid Web Commission Rates and Rules
Liquid Web has the highest paying commissions of any hosting company I have reviews. A whopping 150% of sales with a $150 minimum. It is also important to note that Liquid Web is focused on small business to enterprise type accounts. So the sales prices are much higher than the companies like Hostgator or Bluehost that focus on shared plans. Liquid Web doesn’t even offer a shared plan.
I currently pay $125/mo at Liquid Web for my server. I suspect I am at the low end of their customer billings. My account would have generated a commission of $187.50. Nice!
|Managed WordPress||$150 – $2,000|
|Managed WooCommerce||$150 – $3,000|
|VPS Hosting||$150 – $300|
|Dedicated Hosting||$150 – $7,000|
|Cloud Hosting||$150 – $5,000|
Affiliate Tools and Support
The tools available to affiliates are varied with both the in-house or CJ program. The in-house program offers:
- A library of affiliate links
- A quarterly newsletter with tips and advice
- Dedicated in-house account managers
There are many banners and text links already made to use in your promotions. You can create deep links to any content at Liquid Web from your CJ account.
Liquid Web provides lots of ideas to creatively market your affiliate content and offers on the affiliate blog.
How to Promote Liquid Web Online
Hosting affiliate programs pay so well that they attract the top affiliate marketers. It will be very difficult for a smaller affiliate to rank for head keywords like “Best Web Hosting” which has a healthy 15k searches per month. Clearly many people are searching for hosting plans (though some of those searches are by marketers). The keyword “best web hosting” may have 15k searches a month but there are so many articles targeting that phrase — 85k articles with that keyword in the title for instance. Even a narrower keyword like “best cloud hosting” with 1000 monthly searches has over 8000 articles with that keyword prase in the title.
There is a lot of competition for hosting keywords in Google search results. Some strategies to consider:
Longtail keywords for SEO — You are going to need to be fairly narrow and specific in your keyword startegy for hosting affiliate marketing. Look for longtail keywords that are less competitive. Comparison articles often work well like, “Liquid Web vs. Inmotion” or maybe an article comparing Liquid Webs VPS hosting performance to dedicated servers. Here are some keywords that I identified as being lower competion. The idea is to build a collection of content focused on tehse less competitive terms, gain authority in the topic and then you can attack the more competitive keywords.
- cloud server example
- Liquid Web Support
- three types of cloud computing
- Liquid Web vs. WP Engine
Even these keywords are more competitive than what I would like for a new niche. You are going to need to remember it is called “content marketing” For these types of hi-paying competitive niches you will need to market your content. New posts should get social media publishing, drop a relevant link in Quora to the article, backlink outreach, etc.
Promote using Social — Get creative with social. Join groups where hosting recommendations come up, be helpful and provide links only where not spammy. If you have a good experience talk about it. But again many people in each group are hosting affiliates.
Promote to your audience via email — This is a place to focus. These are your warm leads and you aren’t competing with thousands of other hosting affiliates with your content. Create a whitepaper or infographic with lots of valuable info in it. Give this in return for an email. Then put these subscribers in a sales funnel for hosting affiliate programs. Continue to send great info and eventually send these now warm leads the affiliate links. Segment your email list for hosting offers. Send new pricing programs and deals. You want to constantly be front of mind for them when they do decide to geta hosting plan.
Using the CJ deep linking capability — You can create content around specific topics that are addressed on Liquid Web’s site. Then you can link to these resources and embed your affiliate id.
At $150 per referral you could consider advertising. I always start with retargeting ads to your website visitors and email list. This is low hanging fruit. For cold ads, like the SEO situation, look to bid on long-tail keywords. I would route them to a landing page on your site from the ad. Get them cookied and try to capture an email. Liquid Web has the usual restrictions on using their trademark or close/mis-spellings.
One of the advantages of hosting affiliate marketing being so competive is that you can analyze the campaigns of the pros. Search for some of the head keywords like:
- Top 10 Hosting Companies
- Best Hosting Companies
- Cheapest VPS Server
- Fastest Web Hosting
- Liquid Web promo pricing (do this for all relevant companies)
Visit the top 10 results and find the affilaite marketers (pretty much everyone but the hosting companies themselves). Signup for their email list. I have a seperate email dedicated for researching like this to not clutter my inbox.
Now you will get the autoresponder series for your new email subscription from the hosting affiliates. You will also notice ads on your Facebook Wall and as you surf the web. These retargeting ads are from being pixeled when you visited the site. The better campaigns will send you specific ads depending on the pages you visited on the affilaiet marketers site.
You can easily emulate these campaigns with your own content. There is no reason to reinvent this. The big players have tested and refined the pitch for you.
Pros and Cons — Liquid Web Affiliate Program
Easy to sign up
Instant approval on the program
A commission rate of 1% to 18%
No delays in payments
Free banner ads are provided
Free newsletters and complete info of the product
Buyers do a lot of research and clear your cookie
Should You Become a Liquid Web Affiliate?
As you can see, Liquid Web has a very different product offering than a company like HostGator. If you can find the audience and build a great funnel you can make some big bucks. Liquid Web’s affiliate program is going to work best for affilaites taht have an audience in development, SMB and Enterprise computing.
It will take time to gain enough authority to compete for SEO traffic. It will be best to use social, indirect and paid search (especially retargetting) while your content cluster matures.