Blogging as an affiliate tool
If you are new to affiliate marketing and wish to increase your earnings, an ideal way to do so is by making contact with merchants who own the products/services (‘products’) and/or affiliate programs in which you are most interested; this way you can save yourself a lot of time, money and heartache, because you will know – first-hand – what is expected of you in relation to those merchants’ products.
That having been said it should also be pointed out that affiliates who prefer to use blogging as the method by which to promote a merchant’s products must be receptive to the idea that the topics they cover in their blogs should meet a number of objectives. In other words, the topics these affiliates blog about should be of interest to a large section of the blogging community, while simultaneously be compatible with the affiliate products they are marketing.
For example, some of the most popular blogging topics pertain to money, various types of loans, debt consolidation, and other financial topics; but also encompass tips and techniques on how to make and manage money. These are just a few examples of popular topics that bloggers explore on the web, so it is no surprise that so many bloggers turn their attention to dealing with debt.
Gain the merchants’ confidence
Once you, as a new affiliate marketer, decide that you intend to utilize blogging as your way to promote products you should contact the affiliate merchants to let them know what marketing strategy you are using – or will use – to promote their products, even while you ask for their advice as to what they have found to be the most effective strategy for marketing such products.
Merchants will know their product the best and they will have a good idea of the strategies being employed by other affiliates that have been proven most successful in making sales. In addition, contacting the merchant also shows them that you are dedicated to achieving success in your affiliate marketing vocation, which should give them some extra incentive to work more cooperatively with you.
Keep in mind that once you have stated your intention and disclosed your marketing strategy to these merchants, they might make the extra effort to design (or brand) marketing materials specifically for you, so it is important that you be consistent in your approach, topic and medium. If your topic pertains to debt, you might want to blog about the ease with which consumers fall into debt and the difficulty they have in getting out of it; this way merchants might have more confidence in your marketing approach and expertise.
Know your blogging topic!
There’s nothing wrong with creating a positive impression on your affiliate merchants, and contacting them also shows your enthusiasm for marketing their products. Merchants having an in depth knowledge of affiliate marketing also know that over 90% of sales are generated by less than 5% of their affiliates; so good merchants will recognize your efforts and provide you with tools, information and other resources that will help you achieve success.
If you intend to blog about some of the popular topics mentioned earlier, make sure you have some knowledge about these topic, since you wouldn’t want to blog about loans, debt consolidation, savings, and certain types of investments unless you have a thorough understanding of financial management or consulting. If, on the other hand, you are already familiar with loans, debt consolidation, savings, and types of investments, make sure to use your knowledge toward achieving your blogging goals.
By sharing expertise you have in a given field, you will certainly be able to help your readers solve any problems they may have in that particular area, while reaping sizable monetary rewards for your time and knowledge. So while popular topics can prove to be very fruitful to blog about, you must be able to write intelligently about them.
Many of the more successful bloggers who make a substantial income from their blogs spend a significant amount of their time writing about money; so if you know how to entice and woo advertisers while building a blog fan base, you can also earn a considerable income simply by talking about money; as long as you do proper research on the topic and learn how to write compelling posts about it.
Dealing directly with merchants
The more success you have blogging about a particular topic, the more interest you will create in your blog, such that if and when you email a merchant and they don’t respond, you should have no problem getting the attention of other merchants; and you should really refrain from any dealings (partnership?) with a merchant who fails to communicate, since such failure might be indicative of other problems, such as refusal or failure to pay your commission.
An affiliate marketing partnership is by no means a problem-free arrangement, since it has been shown to involve a number of problems, including but not limited to, poor quality products, poor/non-existent customer service and failure/refusal to pay affiliate commissions. Keep in mind that some merchants also make big promises and set high payout rates knowing full well that very few affiliates will actually meet their objectives. You should avoid working with such merchants.
Communicating with merchants
When you communicate with merchants, you should ensure that you use a professional tone; and if you have suggestions on how a merchant can improve his/her offers, you should let them know, because most merchants appreciate feedback, and know that a lot of the feedback they receive can improve their programs.
Always remember that smart merchants understand the value of good affiliates and will treat you with respect, assist you with resources, and pay your commissions promptly; while smart affiliates understand that merchants want quality promotion and sales performance.
To get the most out of your partnership, you should always be professional and make an effort to cooperate with your merchant; and try to understand that good merchants are always busy, which might make them seem like they aren’t that good; but be assured that they will answer your questions and emails, even if it takes them a bit more time.
The longer you work with a merchant, the more you will understand how they do things; but if you are just starting out in affiliate marketing, you have to realize that a merchant can help you understand how things work. So if you listen to the the reputable ones and show initiative, you’ll be well on your way to achieving success as an affiliate marketing blogger.