Blogging as Part of your Affiliate Marketing Efforts
Why Have an Affiliate Marketing Blog?Affiliate marketing is a great way for businesses to associate with one another to promote their individual ventures in a way that rewards both. Use the tips below for creating an affiliate marketing blog to use as an important part of your online business efforts.
* Determine where the money is coming from. Whether you are allowing others to use your blog to include their links or you are using your blog to help generate customer traffic to your website, you'll want to understand how the money is getting to you. While there are many explanations for how to make money using your blog, take the time to create your own flowchart for how you will earn money from your blog in your affiliate marketing efforts. For instance, if you are allowing others to post links on your blog, your flowchart will begin with your blog. The next step will be that you include links to other businesses. Depending on the payment arrangement you have you will receive a small amount of money if a user clicks on the link or when the user places an order for the product or services being offered by the link. Always identify at what point in the flowchart you receive money.
* Do not try to be all things to all people on your blog. Your blog should not try to cover everything in an effort to get customers or other businesses interested. Focus on topics that you understand well and that provide a wealth of material for you to cover in your writing. You can always shift the focus of your blog but your blog should have an identity of its own. Your subject matter will also help define what kinds of businesses will be interested in using your blog as a means of gaining traffic to their websites.
* Always pay attention to the quality of the referral you include or that includes a link to your website. It's tempting to just want to get your name out there. However, affiliate marketing is interpreted by consumers as a referral by you to another company even if you know very little about the affiliate company. It is helpful to focus on the word referral when you are considering an affiliate company to work with. Your name will be associated with that business and you will want to make certain that you can stand behind that business.
* Make certain that the links to other companies are going to bring consumers directly to thosecompanies. It seems obvious that your affiliate marketing efforts should only include links to specific companies. However, there are sometimes dead links where the pages no longer exist or worse yet links that bring customers to ads or websites of other companies with whom your affiliate does business, rather than the affiliate company, that will leave consumers frustrated. Make certain that you protect the integrity of your blog and its power to refer customers to other businesses by providing that you are interested only in a link that directly brings customers to your affiliate's website or page of interest rather than taking your readers on a varied and frustrating tour of several other websites or ads.
* Don't divorce your blog from the affiliate links it carries. Instead of ignoring the links to other companies carried on your blog, address those links. If you are familiar with the business you are allowing to link to your blog then you can devote a review or interview with the business owner as one of your blog articles. Invite your readers to share their experience with affiliates on your blog so that you can monitor and impact the effect on your reputation of referring a specific company.
* Address negative comments about your affiliates from customers without alienating your affiliate. There will be situations where you will receive complaints about your affiliates because your association with that affiliate is viewed by consumers as an endorsement of their business. Such complaints essentially challenge you to make a choice between the complaining customer and the affiliate. You don't want to lose either. In this case use your blog as a vehicle to allow a representative of the affiliate to respond to the customer complaints in the form of you interviewing the affiliate representative as the subject matter of one of your blog postings.
* Use affiliate agreements when possible. Affiliate agreements can protect you by spelling out what is acceptable conduct on the part of your affiliate company in addition to payment, termination and other specific information that you want to cover in the agreement. You can find templates for an affiliate agreement or you can have one drawn up for a relatively low price that will be worth its money in the event you have problems with an affiliate using your website to publicize their product or business.
* Do not sacrifice content quality in the hopes of achieving overnight success in affiliate marketing. Because affiliate marketing truly is at its most basic level one business recommending another, schemes designed to get your name to the top of lists or get you millions of people paying you to carry their links are likely not legitimate ways of building your business and your business' reputation through affiliate marketing. Your blog should always focus on quality first and that includes the quality of other businesses associated with your blog. This kind of reputation building requires oversight, thoughtfulness and time.
* Use your blog to inform customers and potential customers about your values as a business. Oneeffective way to generate meaningful content for your blog and protect yourself from potential pitfalls from less honest affiliates is to communicate your values as a business through your blog. If you inform the public that your business and your views support affordable housing for lower income families and an affiliate company that ostensibly provides apartment rentals is later found to discriminate against poor families, criticisms are more likely to reach you in the form of, "Did you know?" rather than "You are promoting discrimination," or some other attack.
Your affiliate marketing blog can be a great opportunity in terms of your overall business marketing strategy. Use the above tips to use your blog as part of your affiliate marketing efforts.