What Bloggers Need to Know About Affiliate Marketing

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dog computer Photo credit: Lauren Miller, BlogPaws photo contest entrant; Blog: http://zoephee.blogspot.com/

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What bloggers need to know about affiliate marketing: A long time struggle for pet bloggers has been figuring out how to bring in a profit through their site. You are a great writer, you have a lot of followers, you use AdSense or have one or two advertisers on your page and they do OK (or a bit less than). Pretty much every pet blogger or business I correspond with is hoping to make more money, but they just can’t figure out what they are doing wrong.

Being realistic, there are few ways to pull in an income online. The two biggest are:

  1. Sell your own products or services.
  2. Sell or promote someone else’s and take in a commission.

The pet industry, as most of us have figured out by now, is like no other. We are philanthropic, we are not in this for ourselves, we are genuine. Unfortunately, these are qualities that do not exactly lead back to a serious paycheck. What is interesting though is that so many of you are already taking part in some form of affiliate marketing and simply do not realize it. You are reviewing, recommending, retweeting all about your peers’ products, and it seems like quite often. So how can you leverage these posts to help your pocket book?

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The first thing you need to realize is that being a strategic is not something to be ashamed of. Being the nice, down-to-earth people that you are you tend to feel guilty or be shy to admit that you need to get something out of a relationship. “We just want to help every pet and every person!” is like the tag line of the pet industry. But this can come at a cost – both figuratively and literally – to yourself, your blog, your pet brand or business.

An affiliate marketing partnership is a strategic step in the right direction. You know there are products or services that you already do or would confidently recommend to your readers. Take a few moments to think about how you could perhaps better showcase these products or services on your website.  Then think about the amount of effort you would put into those steps if you were able to make a small portion off of each product sold after an audience member came to buy after reading what you had to say. Writing one blog is unfortunately not going to do the trick. For a successful affiliate marketing partnership between pet bloggers or pet businesses & bloggers, you may have to put more on the table if you are hoping to bring in some money. A free banner ad, a specific number of tweet or blog mentions per month, promoting a coupon of theirs in your social media, and much more. The landscape of each affiliate marketing partnership in the pet industry will be different.

In my Google Hangout on air, I talk about what exactly affiliate marketing is; what is looks like now for the pet industry and what is could do for your pet blog with Carol Bryant as hostess.

If you have any specific questions about affiliate marketing for us to cover, please comment below or tweet at me: @petmktg and I will do my best to get back to you.

Here’s the Google Hangout in its entirety with some key talking points:

What do you mean when you say “affiliate marketing”, and how would you say it most relates to pet bloggers or businesses (our audience)? Position 2:28

 If a blogger is looking at doing affiliate marketing, what is the first thing they should learn? 4:08

How exactly would you recommend going about affiliate marketing? Is there a process to selecting who to partner up with and how to promote products? Is there a model to follow? Watch the video for this answer and so much more….

Nickey Rautenberg is the owner and founder of Pet Industry Marketing Group and has spoken at BlogPaws Conferences. You can connect more with Nickey here:

 Pet Industry Marketing Group

Twitter: @PetMktg

On Facebook:  Pet Industry Marketing Group on Facebook