Rachel Honoway

Making Affiliate Marketing Attractive to Bloggers

This article appeared in issue 27 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in August 2014.

tl;dr – 3 principles that managers, networks and solution providers should keep in mind when trying to attract bloggers.

Ask any affiliate manager, network or solution provider what their goals are for the coming year, and you’re guaranteed to hear “bloggers” in their answer. Some will have a specific goal of recruiting more bloggers, while others have sales or performance targets to hit, and will be looking to bloggers to meet the mark.feedfront-27-cover-small

This ever-growing crop of publishers represents a huge opportunity for our industry. These people are writing unique content… about products, services, brands and stores… that is read and shared by thousands of adoring fans each day… online… where they can easily insert affiliate links… it’s a landscape ripe for affiliate marketing in it’s purest form!

It’s no wonder that bloggers are at the center of conversations, strategies, and promotions across our industry.

But – why aren’t they jumping at the opportunity? I mean, c’mon, we’re all dying to give them money in exchange for a few simple links in content that they are already writing. Don’t they get it?

Here’s the deal: they DO get it. The problem is, WE don’t.

Before bloggers will trust us and want to work with us, we’ve got to lay the foundation for them – not by flashing higher commission rates that wooed EPC-driven publishers of the past – but by developing an understanding of who these bloggers are and what really matters to them.

So, here are 3 principles that managers, networks and solution providers should keep in mind when trying to attract bloggers:

1 – Respect the relationship they have built with their readers.

Bloggers work hard to create the relationships they have with their readers. Don’t expect them to say something or promote a product just to earn a commission – the relationships are more important to them than the commissions.

Learn from their example. Build a relationship with them, and work on promotions that are relevant to their audience and natural for them to talk about.

2 – Be aware of the demand for their attention.

Bloggers are a coveted bunch in the affiliate marketing community, and in the search markets, and in the CPM space… and so on. Everyone wants a piece of them.

Don’t be surprised if your emails go unanswered or your offers are ignored. You are one of hundreds of voices clamoring for their attention. Again, learn from their examples. Follow their blogs and see how they are connecting with readers – and connect with them in the same way.

3 – Appreciate their ability to “just say no”.

See point #2. You’re not the only one trying to throw money at this crowd.

Affiliate marketing needs to stand out. If we all work together approaching this group with these three principles in mind, we can show bloggers that this community offers them a variety of choices in long-term partners – not just another set of ads to run next month.

Rachel Honoway

About Rachel Honoway

Rachel is the CEO of FMTC, a provider of tools for affiliates and bloggers.

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