Finding the right bloggers to become affiliates for your products or services can be quite challenging. Even with the endless selection of freelance writers online sometimes it is hard to find the right fit. Some bloggers are only going to be able to write a specific way or to their own tune, which might not mesh with your needs as a business. Others might not understand the research involved with making an affiliate campaign more like a custom interaction with each client.
Check out this article and see what it takes to recruit and educate your affiliate bloggers:
Recruitment: Recruiting bloggers starts with searching for those content publishers that provide material relevant to an audience that is directly related to the client’s products. These can be bloggers with small, but loyal audiences. Recruitment also often requires some creative thinking. For example: If the merchant sells apparel and shoes, identifying top fashion and style bloggers is a natural fit. But merchants could also benefit by reaching out to those that blog about pets and see if they can post about clothing for pet owners (such as rain gear or winter clothing for dog walking). Program managers could also reach out to “mommy” bloggers suggesting that they write about casual style clothing or dressing up for a date night with their spouse. Identifying the type of bloggers you want to recruit is the easier part of the equation. Finding specific individual bloggers and reaching out to them requires more time and effort. Using the search functions on all the social networking platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) is a great way to look for bloggers focusing on specific subjects that are relevant to your merchants. Social media also provides an unobtrusive way to connect with bloggers by establishing a relationship with them as a follower, leaving comments on their status updates and getting to know their other followers and what’s important to that audience. There are also many blogger network websites and lists of bloggers that can be helpful; as well as software tools like using Google’s keyword tools or using Alexa rankings to seek out blogs.
Get Personal: “When connecting with bloggers, make it personal,” Carolyn Kmet, Chief Marketing at AIM, says. “Read through their blog posts and get a true understanding of what interests their readers.” Frank Ravenelli, a Program Manager at AIM, adds, “Keep your emails to bloggers relevant and concise: each blogger wants to be sure that email is crafted for her/him. Make sure they understand, in the first paragraph, why they should keep reading. A second paragraph gives more details about the program and how to apply. That’s it; people are unlikely to read more than two paragraphs.”
Education: “When you invite these bloggers to join your affiliate program, include some ideas on how you can work together on a post by incorporating specific products, or by providing giveaways or custom content,” says Kmet. After making contact, not only do you have to tout the virtues of working with a specific client, but often you must explain the basics of affiliate marketing. Many of these bloggers are either unaware of the value of affiliate marketing, or they are not up on how to get started or they may just be hesitant recommend products and have high minded ideals about the purity of their content without ads. Be prepared to address these concerns. As much as you are putting the reputation and brand of clients’ product in their hands, these bloggers are also opening up their websites and blogs to the merchant and will want to know a lot of information before becoming an affiliate. Showing them that by monetizing they can offer a much-needed service or products to their audience can take time and some hands on education.
A great way to bring in new affiliates is give them each their own unique specials they can offer with their promotions. This is a great incentive to get them on board as well keep them plugging your products and or services. Once you build up a strong relationship with your affiliates it makes it much easier to send them deals and new products or services and should begin to run like a well oiled money making machine.
If you were approached to become an affiliate what kind of incentive would you prefer, a higher cut, a flat rate or special deals available only through your channels? We all would like to know.