Affiliate marketing is one of the top monetization methods for blogs around the web. The main idea of affiliate marketing is simple, and let me just share a quick definition to make sure that we’re all on the same page.
Affiliate marketing is a way of making money by referring people to other products and services. You get paid on a commission basis whenever someone buys the product or performs some kind of predefined action.
In practice, most web masters implement the simplest approach at affiliate marketing possible – publishing random affiliate links in multiple places on their site.
And, frankly, there isn’t anything wrong with this as long as you have a strategy of some kind backing it up.
But if you don’t, well … it can be very easy to make blogging affiliate mistakes that will effectively cripple your success.
Here are some other indications that you might just be an affiliate marketing failure:
1. Affiliate Disclosure Has Gone AWOL
If you’re an U.S. based affiliate then the FTC obligates you to publish a little something called an affiliate disclosure.
Basically, it’s a piece of text that informs your readers that you’re affiliated with some products, and that some of the links you publish are affiliate links that can result in you receiving a commission for users’ actions.
Or, in plain English, this is a piece of text that lets you be honest with your readers and tell them what’s going on.
Bad affiliates don’t worry about such things. They simply monetize a website to make money, nothing more.
If you want to do things the right way, feel free to check the standardized disclosures by CMP.LY.
2. Your Site is Crawling With Pop-Ups
You know what? I’m not a particular pop-up hater! Actually, I don’t see anything bad with a pop-up here and there. But most problems start when someone tries to go overboard with pop-ups.
Here’s an example. A very likely scenario:
You go to a sales page, read around for a moment, don’t find anything interesting, decide to leave. When you’re just about to press the “X” button a widow pops up telling you that if you stay, you’ll get an additional discount or some other bonus. You say no again and click the “X” button to close the page. Another pop-up appears telling you that there’s an exciting one-time promotion if you just decide to stay. You click no. Another pop-up appears offering a free subscription to an email newsletter and a special gift (usually an e-book) if you just decide to stay. You click no again. Another pop-up gets displayed offering you some crack.
Okay, maybe not that last one, but I’m sure that this would happen after 4-5 more steps.
This is exactly what the worst affiliates do. They don’t care about the user … the commission is all-important here.
3. It’s Who You Know
It’s no mystery that the best affiliates are those who know other people in their community and work with them on joint projects and promotions.
There are some ground rules of doing any business, and one of those rules is: Who you know is more important than what you know.
And luckily, as a blogger, you can reach out to people pretty easily. Just send a simple “hi” email. Then offer a guest post. Comment on the post. Finally propose a project. I’m not saying that it will work every time … maybe just once out of five times, but even then it’s still worth it.
The biggest value in this kind of joint affiliate ventures is that if you befriend a blogger with a similar sized audience, you get to speak to twice the audience you normally would.
Bad blogger-affiliates don’t do this at all. They just prefer to sit in the dark and do everything themselves, so they can keep a bigger part of the profits.
Which brings me to:
4. You’re a Closet Blogger
I don’t know why, but some blogger-affiliates are afraid to reveal their real identity. Like there’s something going to happen.
I mean, something bad can happen, but only if you’re a scammer publishing fake reviews or pushing fraudulent products. If you’re an honest person then you have nothing to worry about.
Showing your face and revealing your name will only make you more trustworthy because people will know that you’re a real person just like they are.
5. You Don’t Plan Promotions
Planning is an important task for any business. No matter if we’re talking online business, offline business, or simple affiliate marketing. If you want to get some worthwhile results, you’ll have to plan everything out in time.
For instance, publishing a couple of affiliate links in the website sidebar will make you some money (if you’re lucky), but imagine what results you could get by doing the following instead:
- Write an honest affiliate review of a given product and publish it on your site.
- Interlink other posts/pages to point to the review.
- Do PPC keyword research and point some ads towards the review.
- Write a series of guest posts and publish them on relevant blogs. Each post linking back to the affiliate review.
- Send an email newsletter to your subscribers mentioning the review.
Even though it’s just a 5-step plan I think that it can earn you a lot more commissions than some random affiliate link posting.
6. Lead Generation Has Left The Building
Personally, I don’t like the term “lead generation.” It sounds automatic, mechanic, and I’m only using it to comply with the standards.
What this is about is simply convincing your blog readers to subscribe to a newsletter so you can send them updates on what’s going on with your site … new content, and occasional promotions (“occasional” being the keyword here).
Building an email list is a great thing for any form of internet marketing, and as a blogger you should really have no problems providing your readers with some top content.
Again, bad blogger-affiliates don’t do this because it seems like too much effort. Placing some random affiliate links here and there is always easier, right? Well, wrong. Managing an email newsletter really doesn’t take that much time. You can even configure Aweber (a popular emailing tool) to send email automatically whenever you publish something new on the site.
Affiliate Marketing Failure? What’s Your Opinion
So, do you think that you might be in the danger of falling into the affiliate marketing failure category?
As it turns out, the things I mentioned here aren’t that brutal, and they can surely be fixed with some simple tweaks. I guess the main lesson is that you should always be conscious of what you’re doing. No matter if we’re talking blogging, or being an affiliate, or both.
What’s your take on this? Do you see many bad blogger-affiliates on the web these days?
[colored_box color=”grey”]Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a freelance blogger and writer. He’s passionate about turning blogging into a business, and being up-to-date with all the new tools a blogger can use. If you want to find out how to get paid to write articles, feel free to visit him at YoungPrePro.[/colored_box]