Title of Panel: Affiliate Marketing Secrets for Bloggers
- Mike Allen: ShoppingBargains.com
- Tim Jones: TheRealTimJones.com
- Shawn Collins: AffiliateSummit.com
- Sam Harrelson
I am new to making money with my blogging. I didn’t start out with the intention of making money–it was a happy accident. Having said that, I am definitely interested in making more money with blogging and, because of that goal, I have worked hard to make blogging my career. Although I’m not making much, I’m making enough to encourage progress.
When I attended Blog World Expo in September, what I heard about making money with a blog is a) it’s really hard to do (which I already knew) and b) ditch the AdSense or GoogleAds and focus on affiliate marketing or direct ad sales.
The panel Affiliate Marketing Secrets for Bloggers had some great take-away points and advice. The information below is a combination of the panelists ideas and my own expansions.
Before you apply to be part of an affiliate marketing program there are several things you need to have:
- Buy and map a domain name for your site. Like it or not, YourBlogName.typepad.com or YourBlogName.blogspot.com is not perceived as professional. Affiliate marketers want to deal with professionals who are considered to be experts in their fields. You need the domain name.
- Have your site close to perfect. The design should be complete and clean. Remove any sidebar clutter.
- Increase your traffic. You can do this by commenting on other blogs, encourage discussion in your comments, using social media (e.g., Twitter, Plurk, FaceBook, etc.) to alert people to what you’re discussing (but don’t over do it and play by the unwritten Twitter rules), and visit forums in your niche (e.g., Yahoo! Answers and StumbleUpon) and jump into the discussion. Offer advice. Participation in your community helps to drive traffic to your blog and positions you as an expert.
These items all take time. Don’t rush through these steps, even though you want to move forward right now. The affiliate you choose to apply with will be looking at your site; if you aren’t approved now, it’s hard to be approved ever.
Once you have your site done and you’re comfortable with your traffic, find an affiliate manager and contact that person directly. It may take some digging, but it will be worth it to have an actual contact.
Tomorrow, I’ll list some of the affiliate marketing sites the panelists suggested. In the mean time, you can read related posts at Blogging Basics 101:
- The Basics of Social Networking
- Etiquette Regarding Social Networking
- Affiliate Marketing Advice from the Pros (#bwe08)
- Making Money Online with a Blog (#bwe08)