The pros & cons of affiliate marketing...
When I first began monetizing my blog, I first sent out an email approaching online boutiques about potential advertising. Many boutiques replied back saying that they have affiliate programs that bloggers can sign up for. What is an affliate program?
Here is what one retailer wrote to me:
We are actually moving away from [click] advertising... and are working through a commission based affiliate program instead. We're working with [affiliate site] and would love to have you join. You can view details here [link to affiliate site], but a basic description is as follows:
- You post banners, text links or product links that can be found in our link database via Commission Junction's interface.
- For every sale that is generated through a click from your site, you receive 10% commission.
- We implement a 30 day cookie, so if you refer someone through your site and they don't make a purchase right away, but make one within 30 days of their first click, you will receive the commission.
- We have unlimited occurrences, so if that person comes back multiple times within that 30 day time frame, all of the commission will be credited to you.
So, advertising works by developing awareness, and how much is it worth it to companies to pay for the number of times it's brand is exposed to you, the savvy consumer?
Affiliate programs do have their place, they are designed for people who want to open a virtual shoppe without having to invest in inventory, in order to make a lot of money, you have to spend time marketing and selling their products. That's why they send you emails informing you of new inventory and sales. They want you to post about it in your blog, therefore blurring the line between editorial posts and advertisements.
It's unfair to you because you may not be aware of what you are signing up for, in which case, you may host their advertisements for free without making any money. Whether or not it's ethical to post editorial content that you may make money off of is really up for grabs at this point in the blogopshere. I personally feel uncomfortable about placing advertisements in my blog unless they are clearly marked.
If you do want to set up shop and make some cash selling for boutiques, this is a great way to start a shopping site without having to invest in inventory.
Pros & Cons of Earning Money from Affliate Programs
Online Business Basics : Working on Commision
Here is an excellent article about the different kinds of affiliate programs:
Why Buy the Cow?