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The Weekly Digest: What’s Hot in Affiliate Marketing [+ Bona Fides Affiliates Review]

What do chess players with boners and affiliate marketers have in common? Turns out, not much (but there’s a fun dad joke here… read on for the reveal). And while you’re at it, be sure to check out this week’s partner program of the week (Bona Fides Affiliates). We’ll also cover a couple of news tidbits, like that little story about YouTube’s killing affiliate marketing that’s doing the rounds.


on Weekly Digest

Quick Disclosure: We’re about to tell you how Bona Fides Affiliates run a top-notch affiliate program. And we really mean it. Just know that if you click on a Bona Fides Affiliates link, we may earn a small commission. Your choice.

A few years ago, this video was doing the rounds.

Why does Fabi have a boner during a Chess game?
by in AnarchyChess

Now, at first, I didn’t know what to make of it. But then I remembered a couple of things.

The governing body for chess is called FIDE.

And I also remembered that I love puns.

Enter the redefinition of “bonafide”.

Now that I’ve got your attention, let me introduce you to a more serious version of this word. Partner Program of the Week – Bona Fides Affiliates

With the dad jokes and juvenile snickering over boners out of the way, let me introduce you to this week’s affiliate program of the week — Bona Fides Affiliates.

Bona Fides Affiliates

Bona Fides Affiliates — The First Affiliate Network on the Blockchain

First, before we get into the good stuff, let me get this out of the way. Bona Fides Affiliates is an iGaming program that lets you promote casino games to your traffic and earn money for doing so.

Now for the good stuff.

Bona Fides Affiliates bills itself as the first affiliate network on the blockchain. And, believe it or not, this is kinda a big deal.

If you’ve been around the affiliate space long enough, then you’ve probably encountered a dishonest operator or two in the past. You know the ploys — closing down supposed “lifetime rev share” accounts, not properly attributing earnings to you, etc.

Bona Fides Affiliates solves this by sticking everything on an indelible blockchain, basically making it impossible to manipulate player statistics.

This crypto-centric approach also comes with a bunch of other cool benefits. For example, did you know that you can stake your earnings directly with Bona Fide Affiliates? If you don’t know why this is cool, then go search “crypto staking” on Google.

What You’ll Earn With Bona Fides Affiliates

One of the things we like about Bona Fides Affiliates is that it’s openly transparent about everything. For example, instead of leading with “45% rev share” on the landing page while burying their method of calculating rev share deep in their legal documents, Bona Fides Affiliates puts their method right on their FAQs.

What’s more, it actually puts the calculation method above the actual rev share percentages.

Now, we’re not here to bog you down in maths. If you want the full details, they’re available here.

So, for now, we’re just going to stick with the headline Bona Fides Affiliates commission rates.

Referred PlayersRev Share %

Also, payout options are massively flexible (again, check their website, but there’s pretty much everything from Bitcoin to PayPal). And the minimum payout at Bona Fides Affiliates is $50, which is pretty much as low as it gets anywhere.

Get Your Bona Fides Affiliates Account Here

If any of the above sounds as good to you as it does to us, then there’s only one thing left for you to do. Sign up for a Bona Fides Affiliate account here.

Bona Fides Affiliates

Affiliate News Takeaways

YouTube Puts a Stop to Affiliate Marketing in Shorts

If you look to other affiliate industry resources for your news, you might have seen this story floating around in a few places.

Scary stuff, right?

Well, it kinda depends.

The astute reader will probably pick up that we kinda covered this story in last week’s TopRanked affiliate news digest (the link should take you straight to the story).

Only, we didn’t exactly frame it the same way… and we kinda buried the ‘YouTube kills affiliate marketing’ bit pretty deep in some broader coverage of a bunch of changes.

And we didn’t exactly say “YouTube puts a stop” to anything. Instead, we just said, “These changes could affect you.”

But, we did this for a good reason — we’re not big fans of the “glass half empty” view of things.

That’s why we’re going to re-cover this story again.

Here’s the Bad News First

So, last week, we kinda glossed over the “bad news” side of this story with a non-specific “these changes could affect you.” This week, we’ll get a little more specific.

Firstly, for the uninitiated, links in the description on YouTube Shorts weren’t really a thing. Instead, the way to get around this was to comment on your own short and pin that comment.

Now, while this was a bit hacky, it did work. Or, at least, it did until YouTube rolled out this affiliate marketing-killing update — links in comments were clickable. Now, they’re not.

So, basically, if your entire YouTube strategy revolves around, let’s say, driving people straight from the short to whatever it was you were promoting, then yeah, YouTube kinda did just kill affiliate marketing.

Ditto for anyone else who was piggybacking on other people’s content by dropping links in the comments.

Obviously, all this is pretty bad on the surface. As Affiverse said in its coverage yesterday, “Adding extra clicks to the customer’s journey is likely to affect affiliate marketing negatively.”

But, if you dig a little deeper, this isn’t really all that bad.

Here’s the Problem With How the Bad News Was Covered

There are a couple of problems with viewing this as just “adding clicks to the customer’s journey.”

Problem #1

First, never underestimate how well-trained those customers are.

You see, they already have some well-formed habits they picked up from other platforms that killed affiliate marketing without actually killing it.

For proof of this, just go look for a good old “link in bio” plug. This has been doing the rounds on platforms like Instagram since way before Shorts was even a thing.

It’s also why affiliate marketing is still a thing over on the original Shorts platform (TikTok), despite the fact that TikTok “killed” affiliate marketing way before YouTube Shorts was even a thing.

Problem #2

Secondly, the other problem with looking at this as “an extra click in the customer journey” is that it kinda ignores one of the big problems in the customer journey.

That is, for many products, your chances of converting a customer off the back of a YouTube Short is pretty low.

Now, sure, this strategy could be pretty effective if all you’re trying to do is catch some stray clicks to Amazon. Given that Amazon dominates close to 40% of all US eCommerce, there’s a pretty good chance that you don’t even need to convert anyone to any particular product. You just have to get them to click your link.

And yes, the strategy can be moderately effective if you’re promoting some hot trending item that customers are already pre-primed to purchase. When feeds are flooded with “TikTok water bottles,” you’re basically just playing marketing roulette with a 7-chambered gun barrel.

To explain what I mean here, first, get acquainted with the “rule of 7”.

No, not that one. The rule of 7 you need to know is the one that says a customer needs to see an ad 7 times before being ready to convert.

The implication here is that, if you’re promoting a trending product, all you gotta do is hope the first six impressions land on other people’s content. That way, if you’re the lucky #7, that customer is now primed to click your link.

But clearly, this is much harder to do if you’re promoting something that’s not a trend. Now, you’re basically left at the whims of the algorithmic overlords, hoping and praying that they’ll deem your content worthy enough to show multiple examples of it to the same people.


The good news story here is that you can still click through to a bio from a YouTube short. So the old “link in bio” trick will work here, just as it has on other platforms.

The even better news story here is that YouTube also announced “new ways for creators to showcase important links” alongside the “no more link in comments” news.

That means links are now a first-class citizen on your bio. And, unlike platforms like Instagram, the word “links” is spelled with an “s” on YouTube (i.e., you can put multiple links in your YouTube bio).

And, as we also covered last week, YouTube has also introduced a native way to drive people to your other content. That means you absolutely 100% should look at YouTube Shorts as the first step in a bigger funnel where other regular YouTube content forms the next step down.

Of course, it does mean you’re going to have to up your game in your shorts. Now, you’re not only going to have to generate interest in the product you’re promoting. You’re also going to have to convince people that they want to watch another video on the topic. (There are a couple of ideas about how to do this in last week’s affiliate digest)

But, that’s not such a bad thing.

Remember the rule of 7?

To reiterate, unless you’re promoting sippy cups or whatever other water vessel is trending on TikTok right now, your odds of converting off the back of a single YouTube Short were always pretty low to begin with.

So embrace the opportunity to use the new tools available to you to add more impressions to the customer’s journey, and get them to commit more time to whatever it is you’re promoting.

Then they’ll be fully primed to convert once they hit your link.

Affiliate Marketing Is Like a Family Portrait

If there was ever one other thing comparable to the affiliate marketing industry, it would have to be the family portrait.

On the surface, everyone’s dressed to the nines, smiles all ‘round, not a worry in sight.

But, if you scratch beneath the surface, there’s usually a little more going on.

Of course, this absolutely does mean that most of the time, there are a lot of good, solid relationships to be had. So long as your affiliate manager thinks they’re still going to inherit the traffic from your substantial estate of online properties, they’ll always be there for you… even when you don’t need them.

But, just like any semi-functional family, beneath the glossy portrait lies an underbelly where things do occasionally turn sour in the worst possible way.

This was the topic of a recent sitdown SBC Media held with Traffic Lab’s Peter Gunni at SBC Summit Barcelona — “Mastering Operator-Affiliate Disputes.”

Now, we’re not going to cover the whole thing here. Gunni covers a lot of territory. But, we thought it was still an interesting piece to bring up here — a lot of it what’s covered could come in helpful at some point in your affiliate journey.

For example, understanding this stuff will come in handy if you’re ever trying to negotiate a custom deal.

Negotiate a Better Deal by Understanding Revenue Model Conflicts

Some of what Gunni covers is the conflict points that live in some prevalent revenue models. Especially when incentives are misplaced relative to the real value for an operator or affiliate.

For example, many operators might be reluctant to offer CPA deals. This is because it puts the emphasis on maximizing the number of First Time Depositors, not maximizing the value of each First Time Deposit.

As for how this is useful to you, it’s the kind of knowledge that you can use to frame a counteroffer to make it more appealing to your affiliate manager.

For example, imagine you’re negotiating a hybrid plan, and you want to up the rev share percentage. If all you’ve got to offer in return is “No, I don’t want 20%, I want 30%”, then that’s not a strong counteroffer.

But, if you understand your numbers well, you can maybe calculate how much of a hit you can take on the CPA component while still coming out ahead. Now, if you can offer this while emphasizing that your deal “motivates me to optimize for client value, not volume,” then your offer just got a whole lot more enticing.

Look Before You Leap

Another topic Gunni covers is one that new affiliates are liable to get bitten by — not understanding the conditions of your deal.

These sorts of traps exist in all sorts of programs. One example Gunni gives is admin fees. In some programs, these eat into affiliate earnings way more than unaware affiliates might have expected.

Another one we’d like to add here is to make sure you understand the actual method used to calculate a rev share deal.

For example, if you sign up to promote a payments platform on the promise of a 30% rev share deal, you could be bitterly disappointed when you find out that your $100k worth of referred transactions only netted you a $900 commission.

On the other hand, you wouldn’t be disappointed if you’d read the terms and conditions, seen the bit about commissions being calculated based on the payment platform’s fees, and seen that the platform was charging clients 3% of the transaction value.

A Gunni Rant — Broken Rev Share Models

One of Gunni’s big complaints is that the rev share model doesn’t incentivize affiliates to help players return to a platform if that player was already signed up by someone else.

Here, he says the problem is that “the tracking we have in place for this industry is from the 2000s.”

Now, on a lot of platforms, this is true. But, it’s not like that everywhere. For example, Bona Fides recently announced the launch of an “enhanced profit-sharing plan” which addresses this exact problem.

Bona Fides Affiliates

Over on Bona Fides, the proposition is simple — help a player return to a platform, and you’ll get to split the resulting revenue with the affiliate who first referred them.

Now, of course, this might not look like the perfect solution. Maybe you might think that you deserve all of the commission if you reactivate a player. But, don’t forget about the rule of 7 we spoke about before — theoretically, the original affiliate probably made your job easier.

And, even if you have a good counter-argument to this, it’s still a hell of a lot better than most other platforms (otherwise, Gunni wouldn’t have complained about the lack of incentive to reactivate players…).


Knowledge is power. You can use it to negotiate. You can use it to avoid costly mistakes. And you can use it to make more money.

So when an industry insider offers it up to you on a silver platter, listen up.

Of course, that’s not to say knowledge can solve everything. Gunni did also touch on the problem of dishonest operators doing dishonest things like denying commissions. And here, he didn’t really have much of a solution aside from advocating for more transparency.

But here, we think we can do one better — we can point you in the direction of a more transparent operator — Bona Fides. You do remember that bit about Bona Fides putting everything on a blockchain, right?

Bona Fides Affiliates

Closing Thought

If we’re all completely honest, the only reason anyone gets into affiliate marketing is to make money.

But, just because that’s what motivated you to get into it, that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you can get out of it.

To paint an example for you, remember that thing about the “Rule of 7”?

Do you know the psychological foundation for it?

That would be this little paper here: “The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information.”

This paper basically covers the limits on human memory. For example, it demonstrates how the average person can only hold a certain amount of information in their short-term memory.

It also points out that people remember better when information is broken up into small, regular doses rather than getting everything at once in one massive chunk.

And that people remember better given repeated exposure to something.

This is basically what the foundation of the rule of 7 in marketing rests on — people need repeated exposure to something to remember it. And they need to remember it to trust it/convince themselves that they need it/etc.

So, how does this help you in everyday life?


It means if you want to learn something, break it up, take your time, and repeat your exposure to it.

As an example, if someone recommends a great book to you on, let’s say, marketing, don’t try and cram it all into a lazy Sunday morning session.

Instead, read small chunks of it over time, come back and re-read the good bits (or make notes for yourself you can look at another day), and just generally take your time.

Oh, and speaking of memory — did we mention that Bona Fides affiliate blockchain? It’s at least 10 billion times more effective at reliably remembering things like player statistics than anything else.

Bona Fides Affiliates


(Featured image by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS via Pexels)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

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Since a young age, Dylan has had three great loves: sports, money, and the internet. Naturally, it was only a matter of time until he found ways to bring the three together, and by the age of 17, he'd already created his first four-figure online sports portal. These days that passion burns just as bright, and he continues to enjoy writing about sports and the internet marketing opportunities that go hand in hand with them.