Rhys asks – ‘I’ve been running a site with a few affiliates on it, I have enjoyed a healthy relationship with said affiliates, and likewise they’ve commented to me on a number of occasions that I have generated business for them from my site. Recently my site has experienced a huge upturn in visitors, and the amount of money I’m getting from the affiliates – which previously covered my hosting bills – is no longer covering it.
I am wondering if it is reasonable to ask at the end of the current agreement to ask for more money. If so, how would you go about asking them?’
Interesting conundrum Rhys.
I’m a little curious about why the increase in traffic hasn’t brought about an increase in affiliate sales? I suspect it’s the source of that traffic – for example I find Digg traffic doesn’t’ generally convert well for ad or affiliate program performance and loyal readers tend to become blind to them also.
Whatever the reason – you’ve got an interesting problem on your hands but I think you could have already stumbled on the answer.
Talk to your affiliates and see what they can do for you.
I deal with a number of people whose products I recommend and have found that they are often quite willing to accommodate you IF you are driving enough business to them. It might be that they’d be willing to pay you a little money to pay for a little extra advertising and it might be that they’d increase the percentage commission that you receive per sale. The other thing that I’ve seen one or two of them do is develop a special product for my readers which I can exclusively promote. Some will even write content for you in exchange for an affiliate link in each post (you win because you drive new sales and get free content – they win because they drive new sales).
The key will be whether your business is significant enough for them to cut you an individual deal.
If they don’t you have a few other options to pursue:
- Improve your Affiliate Program Promotion Strategies - perhaps it is time to find a new position for your affiliate ads or perhaps its time to write some reviews of the products they offer. I’ve written quite a few tips on affiliate programs here
- Find New affiliate products – if your problem is that your readers have seen all the affiliate programs that you promote already and are becoming blind to them it might be time to find some new alternatives.
- Advertising and Other Income Streams – perhaps its time to add some advertising into the mix to help you cover your costs? Depending upon your niche AdSense, Chitika or YPN might be worth exploring (see some direct income earning streams like advertising here). Alternatively you might want to explore some indirect income earning streams for your blog like consulting, writing a book, developing your own e-product etc.