Blogging and overzealous affiliate marketers can be an annoying combo.
I’ve seen them. You’ve seen them. Unfortunately, we’ve all seen them. The commission-driven, unattractive, undesirable blog posts stuffed and plump with affiliate links.
Talk about a prime time to put your cringe on and your cursor on the “x” to click away!
I get it, affiliate marketers. I really do.
You’re blogging to create sales from all the lovely items you’re peddling and promoting in partnership with the rightful owners.
Like the rest of us, you want to make some dough and cash in on your marketing efforts.
There’s not a blinking thing wrong with that goal EXCEPT …
Do you think maybe, just maybe, it’s a better idea (a gentler and more digestible approach) to promote one, possibly two, items per post instead of a hefty bowl full?
Affiliate link after affiliate link after affiliate link is, well, not cool. You’re coming across as sales-y, pushy, and quite honestly, desperate.
Maybe you think we don’t notice what’s going on.
Here’s a newsflash:
You’re making it blatantly obvious. So please stop it. You’re giving blogging and affiliate marketing a bad name.
Some of the biggest offenders are affiliates for kitchen gadgets, workout videos and exercise equipment, books, electronics, cosmetics, and everything on earth related to infants and pets.
Most of us have been around the blogging block more than twice and we can smell a promotional link a mile away. Yes, we’re that good.
We welcome the pleasant aroma of one or two affiliate links but twenty-two really stink.
Instead of shoving affiliate links in till your posts burst at the seams, blow up, and spew debris over the rest of us:
1.) Share a case study.
Write about someone who’s put a product or service you’re promoting to the test. Be honest and thorough. Talk about the positives, negatives, and the end result. Include a testimonial. And please make sure it’s one that can be verified. Having your brother write a testimonial is … uh … not going to be convincing.
2.) Pick a product or service and share “why” you chose to promote it.
What’s the reason you wanted to partner with the owner/creator? What attracted you to this particular offering? For crying out loud, make certain you can speak with integrity and claim YOU actually spent money on this product or service and took it for a test drive yourself.
3.) Tell a story.
Everyone leans in on a good story and storytelling for business will never go out of style. Truth is, storytelling pays. Be creative in developing a storyline. What character from a Disney movie or sci-fi adventure can you use as the villain in your story? What fairytale or fantasy comes to mind in relationship to an item you’re promoting? How can you make your customer the hero of your story? Build on that.
4.) Interview a product creator or service provider.
Craft a short list of questions and have your interviewee answer those questions in a blog post. Share a product demonstration video. Record an audio interview and upload it to your blog. Design an infographic depicting little-known aspects, all the moving parts, or behind-the-scenes development phases of a product or service. Post interviews as SlideShare presentations or Haiku Decks. Interviews boost your credibility and increase the familiarity factor.
5.) Showcase happy buyers and/or ideal customers.
Ask your buyers to send you photos or short video clips using the physical products they’ve purchased. Selling books? Have fun and ask people to find an interesting or unusual locale to take a photo holding the book. Make it a contest to see who comes up with the zaniest or most unique photo. Selling kitchen gadgets? (I’ll let you fill in the blanks) Take the photos or videos and turn them into Pinterest graphics. Create a board devoted to satisfied buyers and/or your ideal customers and share your board on your blog and on social media. Make customers, not sales, your main focus.
Blogging and affiliate marketing can be complementary ingredients in your cookbook for success.
So affiliate marketers, stop stuffing turkeys and start crafting link-lean blog posts worth savoring. You’ll earn more commissions and we’ll put our cringe back on the shelf.
Next stop? Mission: Storytelling.
The New Year is bright with all sorts of new ideas, but in certain circles there’s still plenty of shady tricks and underhanded practices that we think should be called out. This month’s word carnival: Dirty Deeds and Due Diligence – what to watch out for in 2015!