Hey guys! If you want to see my previous post on what I’d learned from blogging in general then definitely give that a look. I feel like affiliate marketing is something that people don’t like to talk about because we have this really weird thing that if money is involved it has to be hush hush? I really don’t understand that which is precisely why I’m making this post!
Just before we get into it – if you haven’t entered my giveaway then you should click here to do so!
- The sites I’ve used.
So, my favourite site to find affiliates so far has been Linkshare / Rakuten. I only recently signed up for it and I found out about it through Birchbox. There are so many smaller brands on there who are willing to work with smaller bloggers to promote their products. The application system is so easy – all you have to do is fill in a few questions about how many views your blog gets on average per month (I’ll talk about this later), where you’re from, what your blog’s topic is etc. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about this and gain success from it because there are literally thousands of brands who want to work with people. In my first day of signing up, I got accepted onto two affiliate programs when I only had just over 100 followers and less than 500 views per month. It is achievable.
The second site I use is Awin. The only reason I’m not as keen on Awin is that their link converter isn’t entirely compatible with WordPress which is a big reason why I’m considering moving my blog away and being self-hosed with Bluehost, which is another site that I’ve heard very good things about. Awin’s link converter is a plugin that you can use with WordPress but for some reason, the package you have to be on with WordPress then takes your posts off of the reader which is not any good as a large percentage of my views come from the reader. It’s swings and roundabouts, really, of what you want an outcome of most. There are some brands that don’t use the convert-a-link so it might not affect you. But it’s something I thought I should mention.
Anyway! There’s lots of really good, well-known brands on there and you hear back about applications quite quickly. At the time of writing this, I have been accepted onto two affiliate programmes which I’m super excited about. Awin also have a small commission for advertising them so if you’re interested then click on the image below. If you do sign up, I’ll receive a small commission but that’s not the only reason I’m advertising them – I genuinely think they are so good.
2. It is not a make-money-fast method.
While I have heard success stories from affiliate marketing, please please please don’t quit your job until you know that you have a steady income from it. A lot of the commission is quite small and obviously, it relies a lot on people actually buying the products with your code/from your link. A lot of brands use the 30 day cookie promise which is that if the person returns to the site and decides that they do want to buy the product then you will still get the commission from it as your link is sat in their cookies.
3. You have to be 100% honest with both the brand and your readers.
I know that when money is involved, anyone is tempted to take on just any brand and promote it to your readers so long as you get a few pennies from it. But I can promise you that this will lost the trust of your readership if they buy something from the brand that you’ve promoted and it turns out to be shockingly awful. I’m not saying in terms of things like makeup – so for someone with dry skin, a foundation might be perfect but then when tried on an oily-skinned person, they found it atrocious. I’m talking about generally just poor quality products. Ensure you do research about the brand and don’t be afraid to message them about any concerns you might have. If they cancel your affiliation with them then they aren’t worth it! Always put your readers first. I’m pretty sure it’s also a legal requirement now to state whether a post is sponsored so make sure you do do that.
I also put be honest with your brand. A lot of the T’s and C’s of affiliate programmes state that you are not allowed to click on your own link or get a friend to do it. It might seem like a clever idea and a quick way to get money but I can assure you, you will be found out and it just isn’t worth it!
4. You have to work hard.
Ever since I discovered affiliate marketing, I have probably made about 100+ applications to programmes through various different sites. A lot of them get rejected and some, you just never hear back from which can be quite disheartening but I promise you – there will be a brand that will want to work with you. But it requires a lot of scrawling on the internet and writing a lot of applications to get there – treat it like a job hunt because that’s basically what it is. If you think about what you have to go through to get a job, affiliate marketing seems pretty small fry.
5. Build your way up.
Finally! Aim small. I’m not talking in terms of your dreams but in terms of short-term goals, don’t try and approach businesses like ABH Cosmetics and Jeffrey Star and Apple or whatever to partner with them if your viewership is low. I can assure you that it is a waste of your time and theirs and that it’ll only bring you down if your application doesn’t get accepted. When you feel like your blog is in a place to approach brands like that then obviously go ahead but there will always be brands that will want to work with up and coming stars for the very same reason as you! They can’t get hold of the likes of Zoella etc because they are just too small. It doesn’t mean they are any worse than these big brands just like you aren’t any worse than Zoella – they’ve just been at it a lot longer than you have. Remember that everyone starts somewhere and wouldn’t it be great to be with a brand long enough to see them grow?
Sorry for this incredibly long but I hope useful post! If you guys have any more questions then please let me know in the comments and I will answer them to the best of my ability.
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