I am assuming you have an interest in affiiate marketing simply because you've decided to read this post.
Maybe you're a very experienced marketer who is just checking out why used this particular post title. The answer to that one is easy – I got your attention.
However, please forgive me for a moment whilst I explain to my other readers exactly what this affiliate marketing business model is all about. OK?
Affiliate marketing is when you promote products or services, and earn a commission when a purchase (or desired action) is made via your referral link.
Operating an affiliate marketing program takes a lot of work and effort. There’s also probably lot of competition so it’s going to take you time to start earning reasonably regular affiliate commissions.
However, affiliate marketing is still one of the most lucrative and easy ways to get started online.
What may be surprising is that, from my experience and learning from the leading bloggers in my niche, you will sell a lot more of your affiliate offers if you DON’T try to sell them on your blog.
Now I know this sounds a little crazy but let me explain.
I know that many affiliate marketers will disagree with me. To be honest, I’m always willing to learn from folks who are far more successful than me with affiliate marketing.
Something Different To Think About!
To be successful with affiliate marketing and your blog you need to be continually developing relationships.
Success as a blogger as well as an affiliate marketer relies upon your ability to consistently be seeking out potential connections online.
Producing valuable, relevant content and building relationships are the cornerstones of every blogger’s success.
If you are relatively new to the blogging world like me (less than 12 months) then we need to be consistently reaching out to folks in our niche and be building authentic relationships.
I reach out to folks in my niche everyday – sometimes just to “touch base” with people I have already connected with. It's amazing how simply making a “How's things?” enquiry can lead to so many interesting opportunities. Why? Because thse days people are sick and tired of being bombarded with offers and promotions and they react so positively to a genuine “no strings attached” question.
These relationships can and will form a critical part of your reputation for being trustworthy, competent and generous with your support.
You need to constantly be “putting yourself out there” if you want your blog site to be found.
By the way many people don’t realize that these relationships can often turn into much more than just friendly contacts online.
Are you reaching out to others in your niche every day? If not why not?
It's not only enjoyable but it can also be extremely profitable – just as long as you treat the entire process as an “enjoyable engagment” experience.
My experiences have also shown me that these relationships can do wonders for your blog reputation via their comments and on-going support.
Don’t Ruin All Your Hard Work
After doing all the hard work of building your reputation don’t ruin it by being greedy with your affiliate marketing.
As a relatively new blogger there are ways to monetize your site.
However, I am recommending that trying to sell affiliate marketing offers to your readers is NOT the way to go.
Selling affiliate marketing products directly on your blog can be a “triple whammy negative” for your blog and your reputation.
Firstly selling on your blog can destroy the level of engagement on your posts.
Now think about this.
What happens when you do all the research and hard work to present valuable and relevant content and then roll it into a sales pitch or an ad at the end of the post?
My experience (limited as it is) showed me that it will definitely stop people from commenting.
Not only that.
Because of the “sales pitch” you introduced into your post folks are far less likely to share your post in social media.
If you're relatively new online you may want to listen to my podcast about
Deadly Affiliate Marketing Mistakes
Don’t Pitch – Make Them a Mafia Offer
If I visited your blog (and I definitely will if you leave me a comment) would I feel like you were trying to sell me something?
Or would I feel welcomed, clearly see what you're all about and be able to really enjoy my first visit to your place?
Please don't think I'm being rude but the answer to those 2 questions will determine if I bother to read what you've created or get the heck out of there as quickly as I can.
Let me share something with you.
I have had my share of blog post and blog page disasters.
A few times I tried creating what I thought were extremely valuable blog posts highlighting a particular “pain point” of my target audience, that led naturally to an affiliate product solution.
The outcome was very limited engagement, zero social media shares and no sales.
I then looked around to see what the leading bloggers in my niche were doing.
There were some long established blogs with huge monthly traffic that were clearly successfully selling affiliate offers.
Well obviously that business model was not going to work for me. My blog was not well established and I am still working on building up the traffic flows to my site.
However, I also noticed some other top bloggers who had completely “pitch-free” or “no sell” blogs.
The only item they “sold” was the opportunity to join their mailing lists and enjoy a host of free goodies in the process.
They made subscription offers that were almost impossible to refuse because they
simply UNDERSTOOD THEIR AUDIENCE
The Penny Finally Dropped
It was then that I realized what I should be doing.
Follow their lead and focus entirely on building rapport and engagement with my audience.
These top bloggers with “no sell” blogs were always responding to questions and comments making their posts “gold mines of advice.”
I loved this and obviously so did the majority of their readers.
These bloggers build up trust and credibility with their valuable blog content and attract many subscribers to their free offers.
List building 101
What these really top bloggers (who were also highly successful affiliate marketers) were doing finally hit me right on the nose. Yes it was like list building 101 revisited.
You see when these bloggers approach their subscribers to sell them an affiliate or any other product, more of them buy because of the existing trust factor already created via their blog content.
They had discovered that list building is a great way to sell affiliate products from your blog.
Never try to close the sale on your blog but rather encourage your readers to join your lists.
Make the “join your list” offer totally relevant to the particular blog post topic.
I appreciate and understand that with limited traffic, getting your blog visitors to join your lists can be a bit of a challenge and it will take time.
However, once you have a blog visitor on your list you can communicate with them over and over again.
This is obviously so much easier than trying to get a first time blog visitor to become a customer. I’ve never been that lucky.
Affiliate Marketing Success Take Time
One other important factor is that even if you don’t earn anything immediately from affiliate marketing on your blog, you might earn a very good income because of your blog.
Because you can use your blog as a platform to build your personal brand. Over time this will create your reputation and lead to a greater chance of your readers and followers buying your products and recommendations.
According to my latest Google Analytics stats more than 54% of my traffic is new traffic and I know only a small portion of those visitors actually read my posts.
I’d love to be able to attract more of them to stay with me but at least when they exit they do have an option to join with me and receive lots of goodies.
Email Marketing Not Affiliate Marketing Focus
As far as my affiliate marketing is concerned, apart from a few banners, the only affiliate links I show on my blog are on my “Resources” page.
Did you notice that all other links on my site have the primary focus of building my email lists?
I just love seeing who subscribes with me every day and am always thinking of ways to make them feel welcome.
Do you really welcome your new subscribers or just go through the motions? Do they actually see you when they first join with you?
Now back to the affiliate marketing bit.
It became obvious to me at my stage in the blog evolution stakes, that one of the best ways to do affiliate marketing on my blog is to not just offer great content but do it in my own conversational way.
I also provide this relevant and valuable content without ever asking for people to buy any of my affiliate products.
My START HERE Page
Yes I make it very clear what I’m all about and how I can possibly help my readers when they visit my “Start Here” page.
However, even here the only links I only provide are optin links with no direct links to any affiliate offer.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I am extremely proud of the affiliate marketing arrangements I have available and in fact I have personally used them all very successfully.
But unlike so many others, I feel way more comfortable building relationships and building lists on my blog rather than trying to sell them affiliate marketing offers.
My Affiliate Marketing Blog Strategy
I love sales and in fact I have a very successful sales background.
But for me I want my blog to be perceived as a “safe, welcome and memorable” place to visit.
So to differentiate myself from my other internet marketing competitors I have made my blog an “affiliate marketing free zone”
My strategy is one of “attracting not driving traffic” to my blog where hopefully the visitors will enjoy the experience. Yes its going to take time and yes I know that I can't win them all. However, if some of my visitors can at least get some sense of who Peter Beckenham, The Remote Thai Village Blogger really is, then I believe I have a real chance of adding them to “my tribe” – and start building a real connection with them.
This is the real focus of my blog and an integral part of building a long-term business.
When my blog visitors click any of the “Learn More” or “Yes I Want This Training” tabs they are then asked for their email address to get access to whatever I’m providing.
After clicking more the tabs more often than not that blog visitor will enter their email address as they have already expressed some interest in the topic.
I learned this important lesson from one of my blogging mentors, Donna Merrill.
Donna says that “building a list on your blog is far better than selling an affiliate product directly”.
Because by offering great content about say internet traffic and then asking readers to join my “free internet traffic training program”, I have found that I get a far higher response than if I simply asked them to buy something on my blog.
This is exactly what I experienced with subscribers on my “free traffic training list”
I could then approach them with both any free list building offers as well as relevant and appropriate paid affiliate products.
Affiliate Marketing Is All About Trust
When a friend recommends a product to you, you more than likely will listen. This is not the same when a stranger makes the same offer.
One thing I must add is to make sure you are always building trust with your email subscribers by offering relevant valuable information and ideas as well as your occasional affiliate offers.
This will lay the foundation for your profitable affiliate marketing.
So to successfully sell affiliate offers from your blog make list building your number 1 priority
I know how busy you must be so I'm extremely grateful of you taking the time to leave me your comments. Thank you – it's greatly appreciated.
I have a question for you.
In your experience, I wonder if writing to someone via email to introduce a product feels more personal than reading about that same product in a blog post?
What success have you had selling affiliate products directly from your blog?