Backpacking Light works with merchants directly, and through the AvantLink Network, to help merchants increase their sales, and inform our readers about merchant products and promotions.
What is a Backpacking Light Preferred Merchant?
You are a merchant if you sell backpacking gear (retail, brand, manufacturer, etc.). Backpacking Light Preferred Merchants have a formal affiliate relationship with us, either via a direct agreement or brokered via an affiliate network partner.
Our exclusive affiliate network partner is AvantLink.
Here’s how it typically works:
Merchant <—> Network <—> Affiliates
- A merchant sells products (e.g., has a “catalog”). That’s you.
- An affiliate publishes information (e.g., blog, magazine). That’s Backpacking Light.
- A network gives merchants access to multiple affiliates, and affiliates access to multiple merchants, in addition to providing the technology required to accurately broker affiliate-merchant transactions. That’s AvantLink.
What are the benefits of being a Backpacking Light Preferred Merchant?
Backpacking Light Preferred Merchants enjoy unique access to our audience, with increased visibility of their brands and products in a variety of editorial, advertorial, and advertising channels.
How Does This Benefit Everyone?
- Backpacking Light makes a small commission when one of our readers visits your site from a link posted here, and they place an order.
- You enjoy access to audiences and promotional efforts that you don’t have to manage in order to acquire new customers and increased sales.
- Our readers get better visibility of new products, services, sales, and promotions, with the opportunity to support an activity they value – the sustainability of the backpackinglight.com website.
What costs are involved?
Costs depend on whether you work through the AvantLink Network, or directly with us.
If you join the AvantLink network, uou will incur one-time setup fees (typically around $2,000) that must be paid up front to the network for technology integration and setup.
Then, as a merchant, you decide what percentage of the customer sale to pay for the referral (typical range is 8 to 15%). This amount is due after the sale is made and is split between the affiliate network (typically, 3%) and the affiliate.
If you establish an affiliate relationship directly with us, there are no setup fees, and your commissions (due after the sale) are 12%.
Do I get to work directly with you on promotional strategy?
Yes, you have direct access to Backpacking Light staff who manages our affiliate programs, whether your merchant relationship with us is direct or through a network. In addition, if you are a member of the AvantLink network, AvantLink will assign a program manager to your company to help you syndicate your products to other affiliates and help you develop your promotional strategy. It’s a team effort, and we are all working towards the exact same goal: increasing your sales.
What type of “Special Access” do I get as a Preferred Merchant?
- You get an Unlimited Membership to backpackinglight.com, so you can stay plugged in with our community and culture in the deepest way possible.
- Your banner ads are syndicated across various placements on our website at no charge to you.
- You have exclusive access to auction-bidding on selected, premium paid ad placements that are not available to any advertiser outside our preferred merchant network.
- Your products / website will be promoted via active URLs that appear in our editorial coverage, forums, our social media networks, email newsletters, and other promotions designed and developed by us.
Note: Backpackinglight.com does not offer paid product review placements, nor do we receive payment for endorsing or otherwise “placing” products in editorial pieces. We believe this to be a violation of editorial integrity and a deceitful publishing practice, whether disclosed or not.
I am already a merchant partner with a different network. Does that work?
No. We work exclusively with AvantLink because:
- AvantLink offers robust, accurate, trustworthy tools for tracking affiliate sales;
- AvantLink has an impeccable reputation for curating a high-quality, vetted network of merchants who are serious about growing their business and committed to supporting their affiliates;
- AvantLink has been extraordinarily successful at supporting their merchant partners, and that’s best for you, too.
Which is better: a direct partnership with Backpacking Light or a network partnership with AvantLink?
Smaller companies who can’t yet afford to pay network setup fees, or companies that wish to work with Backpacking Light as their exclusive affiliate partner, are best-suited for a direct relationship.
Companies that want access to multiple, high-quality affiliates that can help advertise your products and grow your business should apply to join the AvantLink network.
How do I become a Backpacking Light Network Merchant?
Contact Ryan Jordan (Publisher) at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to establish a direct relationship.
Apply to become a merchant partner via our Affiliate Network Partner, AvantLink, if you would like to join a network.