When reaching out to a lot of content publishers (bloggers), many show hesitations when it comes to affiliate for a multitude of reasons. Some have tried it before and have not seen the ROI they were expecting, others simply don’t know much about it, and some have this perception of “shady” affiliate marketing, possibly based on horror stories or disbelief at how much money you can really earn. It can be hard to cut through the clutter and be trusted as a credible resource, to go beyond our clients and show bloggers we are there to help them increase site monetization, not just satisfy our clients goals. At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is exactly this: a partnership, across all parties involved.
Once a blogger is educated in affiliate marketing and understands the best practices, strategies, and components involved, it truly is a fantastic way to build your business, help your audience discover new ideas or products, and build strong partnerships with brands that you believe in.
Here are my top three reasons why bloggers should not hesitate joining an affiliate program:
Affiliate marketing is a long-term, passive, organic way to earn money
Affiliate marketing is truly an incredible way to complement your existing monetization strategies for your blog. When it comes to business, one of the main goals is to earn money to keep that business evolving in order to meet its goals. Joining one (or more than one) affiliate program, is one great way to help do this passively. If you’ve got the right traffic and the right audience for a certain program you can organically incorporate the affiliate links into your content. The long-term component is that as long as those affiliate links are up there, you will always be earning money on the conversions made from your post. We have seen some of the top publisher conversions in some of our programs from blogger’s posts dating years ago – and that’s because their post ranks high in SEO and thus continues to get traffic over time.
Affiliate marketing introduces something new to our audience
Every blogger knows and understands the importance of relevance when it comes to blogging. No one knows your audience and what they want better than you. It is up to you to pick and choose which programs/products/brands would be the most intriguing to your readers. If you have a product you love, or think your audience will love, it is very gratifying to know that you were able to share something with them that will make their lives better in one way or another. It also helps further build your relationship to your audience, as they reach out, comment, and let you know their thoughts on your recommendations.
Affiliate marketing builds relationships
Affiliate Marketing is based on a relationship between three, and sometimes four, cornerstones: merchant, blogger, network, and agency. All affiliate programs are hosted on a network, and as such you learn the ins and outs of said network and also build relationships with your contacts there as a by-product. The merchant/blogger relationship is one that varies depending on whether the merchant’s program is managed by an agency (like All Inclusive Marketing) or in-house by the merchant itself. If by an agency, the relationship is built by
knowing you have a support team and the resources there to help you with whatever you need to become successful in the program. In my experience, this has ranged with anything from helping bloggers with affiliate marketing 101, creating custom links/banners/landing pages, brainstorming content ideas, or simply best practices with affiliate. If a program is managed in-house, the relationship is directly merchant/blogger and as such, you are building a relationship with a brand itself, which can have a lot of perks that come with direct connections to a company. In many cases, programs are managed by an agency, and its important to utilize that resource when you join a program – whether you’re fresh to affiliate or a veteran!
Affiliate Marketing is an ever-growing solution to helping your business grow. You can do it both dynamically and passively, depending on how much time you have to put into it. It’s an organic, relevant way to introduce new products and brands that will help make your readers lives easier or more interesting. It helps foster new business relationships, whether with the big merchants themselves, or with an OPM and it’s team, which is always a bonus in this industry!