A recent example of the mass CommentLuv promotion by virtually every blogger in my social circle prompted me to come up with this article. It isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time we see a new WordPress plugin or product come out and then a mass rush of bloggers promote the affiliate in an effort to capture their share of affiliate sales. There is nothing wrong with this and I do this myself, I also make sure that I either purchased the plugin or was given a copy so I could review it myself and would never promote a plugin I haven’t personally used and could stand behind.
Sure, ask me about any of the WordPress Plugins I endorse and affiliate sell, and I will tell you why I think they are beneficial and I use all of them on at least 1 or more of my blogs.
Here is the only list of plugins I affiliate sell, in case you were curious:
WP Touch Pro the awesome mobile theme plugin with special iPad theme.
Formidable Pro my favorite WordPress form plugin which I use on 3 blogs.
CommentLuv Premium which though I don’t use on this site I use on several others.
Buy From Them Instead of Me?
Here is the thing I noticed with so many bloggers using Triberr, BlogEngage, Dlvr.it, Twitterfeed…etc is that when you setup an auto tweet to share somebody elses post, you will find you are promoting other bloggers affiliate links which muddies the waters if you are trying to sell the affiliate link yourself. It would be like Coke tweeting and sharing Pepsi product giveaways. You are sending readers to look and buy from a fellow blogger instead of your own affiliate link.
I realize that most bloggers only sell 1 affiliate product per 10-20 posts, but not all of them and some do it enough that you could be losing money promoting other posts automatically. This is an advantage of Triberr where you can approve/reject posts vs Twitterfeed or Dlvr.it which is automatic feed no matter what.
I will say that if you are really and heavily into affiliate marketing that it isn’t advantages to auto tweet, but instead do more manual sharing of other bloggers posts so you don’t promote another sale for the same product you are trying to sell and sending a potential customer elsewhere.
I however don’t consider myself an affiliate blogger primarily, and I don’t follow my own rule. I have @ileane , @famousbloggers , @growmap and some other bloggers setup in my Dlvr.it and tweet out their posts regardless if they happen to be selling the same product I posted about that same day or week. But I accept that I may lose a sale or two here and there in the sake of promoting some great bloggers I endorse as well.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
It is definitely true that those who can get in early on a new product to affiliate sale and potentially in the beta even can have a leg up on the competition. If you know what types of products you are wanting to affiliate sale your best bet is to not necessarily look for something like Popup Domination right now but find the next big product that will release in that space within 30 days from now or maybe just released. It will be hard to get indexed in the SERP and overtake other blogs who have aged articles on the same affiliate product unless you can spin it in a new light and leverage keywords and search phrases differently.
This is why you should keep tabs on the latest products, use sites that sell WordPress plugins, watch the plugin galleries for new releases that have premium versions and pay attention to other blogs for trends. Clickbank is a good place to check too but be very wary and contact the publisher to test their product before you recommend it. Nothing irks me more than when you promote something that is total crap and you can’t stand behind it. This brings me to the next tip.
Stand Behind What You Promote
I am a savvy customer, I do read reviews and find information before I purchase anything. It takes a compelling tweet to make me click on the link and recently @BlazingMinds send a tweet that intrigued me, I clicked on it only to find out it was her bait Tweet to her CommentLuv sales link. It was a great tweet, it got me (ME!) to click the link and land on her CommentLuv Premium sales page. I already own CommentLuv, and I didn’t even know that was what she was tweeting about.
This was a brilliant example of baiting a user on Social Media, I would tell you that if the link would have been a blog post with a review or purchase now and the product would not already have been owned I would have left a comment. When I leave a comment which I almost always do I want to know if the blogger uses it and tell me what you don’t like or what it needs improvement on, I like questions answered and nothing is perfect. Show me you used the product by answering specific questions that show you put it through it’s paces.
An example was my recent review of CDN Speed Cache for WordPress, which ironically is a premium WordPress plugin but I don’t affiliate sell the product. I was contacted by the advertiser to review it and I spent 2 weeks putting the plugin through it’s paces. 2 Weeks testing it, using it and running dozens of Pingdom, WhichLoadsFaster and other website testing to see how it held up. I was impressed so I wrote up the review and told my readers what I thought. I don’t make a dime off of any copies sold, there is no affiliate program for it. If I didn’t like the plugin, I wouldn’t have endorsed it and I was honest with my feedback to readers who asked questions in comments. I also mentioned what I thought would be some benefits or improvements (mostly reducing cost for this one).
Affiliate Marketing isn’t easy, and I always tell people that to sell a product you must convince someone that what you are promoting is worth them parting with their hard earned money. You are selling that it will make things easier or fill a need (even if they don’t know they have one). You had better stand behind what you sell.
Bloggers reputation is essential if you affiliate market with your blog.
Share your thoughts and strike up a conversation. (You do get a DoFollow link from Livefyre for commenting if you sign up and put your site URL in the profile).
Also, what are your favorite affiliate products to promote? Feel free to leave a link here to your post review of the product but not a direct sales link, make sure it is an actual page on your blog not an affiliate redirect.