written by Angie Nelson
Angie Nelson has been blogging since 2009. Today, she is a full-time blogger and regular Ultimate Bundles Contributor. She is stopping by to share some great tips that could lead to more affiliate income from your blog.
The holiday season is in full swing. This is typically the quarter for the highest earnings among the blogging community. This is especially true for those involved in affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a favorite income source of many bloggers. It allows you to teach and share things with your audience while someone else gets to deal with the headaches of product creation, maintenance, payments and customer service. It’s a pretty awesome deal.
If you’re not already taking advantage of the Ultimate Bundles affiliate program, now is your chance. The program features a ton of free marketing training, commission rates starting at 40%, and a thriving community.
Another wonderful aspect of affiliate marketing is there are no limits. There are always a few tweaks you could make that may lead to more conversions and additional income. If you are unsure what those tweaks may be, there is one person you should consult – the affiliate manager of your favorite programs.
Here are a few key pieces of information those managers may be willing to share:
1. What’s Working for Top Affiliates?
This question can give you a lot of insight into what’s working – or not – for that product. In some cases, the affiliate manager may provide you links to their top affiliates’ websites that show examples of how they are promoting and the type of promotions that are converting best.
Is also doesn’t hurt to just come straight out and say, “What improvements can I make to increase conversions?” Sometimes affiliate managers will make the first move here and reach out to you first with a list of suggestions. If it isn’t happening yet, don’t be afraid to ask.
2. Are There Any Promotions Coming Up?
Is there anything worse than being on vacation and seeing an email come across your phone about a one-day, huge sale for the one. thing you sing praises about over and over again to your audience? If you had only known! You could have had an email scheduled to go out while you were away!
Don’t be afraid to ask your affiliate manager if any sales are scheduled for that one thing. Ask that they keep you in the loop should there be in the future.
3. Can I Get a Custom Coupon?
Some affiliate programs offer custom coupon codes to their top affiliates. These codes may be ongoing or they may be a short-term promotion. You often don’t get them if you don’t ask, however. (And if you are worried about not being a “top affiliate,” don’t be afraid to ask as long as you are making consistent sales.)
4. Are Product Samples Available?
With the holiday season upon us, you may be thinking about gift guides. Though many sample products are only available through a brand’s PR company, sometimes affiliate managers can offer them as well.
When it comes to the big holidays, you need to ask early. Many bloggers are pitching in August so any allotment may be gone come November or December. This also allows time for shipping, any shipping mishaps, time for you to write the post, promotion to your audience, etc.
5. Can I Request Additional Marketing Materials?
Is there a particular spot on your blog that converts really well but your favorite affiliate program doesn’t offer creatives for at this time? Ask if they could create one.
Maybe the company has white-label content available that you can take and make your own. Many more companies are providing “starter” content to affiliates on a regular basis today. This is often verbiage based on what’s working for other affiliates that you can modify for easy posting.
You can also ask about co-branding options. Maybe the company can do a webinar with your audience. Maybe it’s a simple landing page to which your affiliate link goes that includes your blog name and logo. This creates a sense of further trust with your audience.
Ask if any templates or other promotional materials are available outside of the normal text and banner links you find in your affiliate dashboard. Even if they aren’t now, maybe your suggestion will put it on their radar.
6. Is a Commission Increase Available?
This shouldn’t be your first ask when initiating a line of communication with your affiliate manager for the first time. And you also shouldn’t ask unless you already have a proven track record with either that program or one really similar.
We see this happen frequently with affiliate managers offering increased commissions in some cases. The reason behind asking for or offering a commission increase is in exchange for additional exposure. It’s about pushing good performance into the great category.
Some increases are only temporary. Some may be tiered (ex. You get paid $x for 1-10 sales, $xx for 11-25 sales and so on).
7. Are There Other High-Performing Programs I’m Missing?
While this isn’t relevant to those in-house affiliate programs in which only one product is available under that umbrella, it is something you can ask those companies that manage the affiliate programs of several companies.
Making friends with your affiliate managers can pay off in spades. Ask for what you need and want. If those conversions start bumping up, be ready for additional pitches from those affiliate managers. But stay real about expectations. If you don’t feel comfortable promoting something they are pitching to you, let them know it’s not a good fit for your site right now. If you don’t think it’s going to convert well, be honest about it. Don’t start promoting irrelevant offers just because you feel obligated. Your obligation is to your audience first.