I had an email this morning from a blogger who has built a great loyal readership to their blog and who has been attempting to monentize that readership lately by doing some affiliate promotions on that blog.
The problem – nobody is buying anything that they promote.
I spent a few minutes on Skype with the blogger to unpack the problem and asked a series of questions to try to get to the heart of the matter. Here they are and why I asked them:
1. Why are your readers coming to your site?
Getting in touch with the ‘intent’ of your readers is really important when thinking about any kind of monetization. Are they there for community, information, advice, to buy something, for research, for fun or something else?
Understanding the reason for your reader coming will give you some hints as to what they might respond to in terms of promotions.
For example – if they are their to learn something, promoting a ‘how to’ type eBook might be the best thing to promote. If they are there to research buying something – you might be better to promote the products that they’re researching.
Unfortunately not all reader intents convert particularly well with affiliate marketing. For example if they are their for a sense of belonging – unless you can promote a conference or community for them to join you might be better in thinking of a different model for monetization.
2. Are the products you’re promoting relevant to your readers?
This might seem like a no brainer but I’m amazed how many times I see bloggers promoting products that are on a completely different topic to what their blog is even about.
The products you promote as an affiliate need to be:
- high quality (anything low quality will burn the trust of your readers but if you promote great product they will thank you for it)
- relevant to the topic of your blog
- relevant to your readers needs and intent (see point #1)
- at a relevant price point – i.e. don’t promote high value products if your readership don’t typically have big budgets!
Are You Promoting in a Personal Way?
Another common mistake that I see bloggers making when promoting affiliate products is that they simply stick an affiliate banner or link in their sidebar and think that that will drive heaps of sales.
The problem with this is that it is little more than an ‘ad’ and your readers will likely be blind