Blogs are now big business. Retailers are increasingly turning to bloggers to act as brand ambassadors through quality content and personal recommendations. Consequently, blogs provide the perfect place for brands to promote relevant products and services without compromising the integrity of the content. However, while millions of bloggers actively publish reviews every day, only a fraction of them are making the big bucks.
The easiest way to build successful brand relationships and monetise your blog is to sign up to an affiliate network. Free to join, networks enable brands and bloggers to build successful partnerships that compliment both parties’ personalities.
These partnerships add value to both the brands and bloggers involved - brands regularly engage with an audience of potential customers, and bloggers are able to monetise their site. Affiliate tracking is free for bloggers to use, and is a great way to monitor how much engagement your posts receive alongside your own analytics.
Here are 3 quick steps to reaching success through affiliate marketing:
1. Partner with relevant brands
It’s crucial that the affiliate ads posted on your blog are relevant to your content and taste. If you predominantly blog about fashion for example, stick to partnering with fashion brands, as opposed to toy and gaming retailers. To whittle it down even further, if your blog shouts “luxury shopper”, stick to promoting luxury retailers rather than high street brands. The more relevant the ads are to your content, the more likely visitors will click on them and make a sale.
Despite this, you don't need to feel restricted to stick too closely to your niche. Think about what other types of products your audience might be interested in. For example, if they are interested in luxury fashion, maybe they’ll want to read about luxury homeware and gifting too. When requesting to partner with a brand, ask yourself the question, “Does my site mirror the brand’s image”?
2. Create content that sells
Write your blog posts with affiliate marketing in mind, whilst maintaining a balance between monetisation and user experience. Bloggers should include tagged affiliate links to complement your reviews, as opposed to leading them. Those who place product links all over their site with no justification will quickly lose followers and gain a bad reputation, so make sure your links are relevant to the products being reviewed, and work to support the content, should a reader decide to make a purchase.
High end fashion brands like REISS choose to partner with bloggers who distribute high quality, timely content with relevant affiliate links. “We look for bloggers who produce engaging posts on a regular basis, updating banners and text links in a timely fashion, and injecting their own personalities into the fashion edits,” commented Stephanie Villegas-Ross, online marketing manager, REISS.
3. Focus on quality content and commitment
Although some bloggers generate millions of hits, reach isn’t the only way bloggers can demonstrate their value to retailers – quality content is key.
Blogs are designed to reflect unique personas, so it’s important that bloggers don’t compromise their original style when working with a retailer. Finding the perfect balance here is key. “We’re happy to fit around bloggers’ unique content styles. Outfit posts, street style and ‘ways to wear it’ posts perform particularly well for REISS, but variety and credibility are key,” mentioned Stephanie.
Furthermore, a blogger’s online footprint makes it easy for brands to identify how committed the blogger is to a particular platform, and whether they write regular posts. For a fashion brand, bloggers who can showcase their clothes in various ways, whilst promoting the brand to a variety of subscribers, make excellent partners. Stephanie adds: “Bloggers can best capture the REISS brand by considering our core brand philosophy - 'design-led, modern, iconic' - but we also want to see how bloggers put their own spin on the brand.”
Working with a trusted affiliate network can help both parties to unravel the hundreds of matches they could make online and find the right ones to drive revenue.