Close
Close

When Affiliate Marketing Can Be a WIN/WIN/WIN Situation

Several years ago on my photography site I was approached by a company who sold a software product for photographers. They wanted to run a banner ad campaign on my site to promote a new product.

Their product was a quality one from a source I trusted and it was relevant to our readers so I sold them a banner ad that would run in the sidebar of my blog for the duration of a month for the cost of $2000.

The month ran it’s course and I emailed my contact at the company to see if they’d like to renew the ad. They didn’t.

It turns out that the banner ad had not driven enough sales for them to justify running the ad again (from what I know the sales generated from the ad made the company about $1000 – so given they paid $2000 it was a loss).

A year later noticed that they’d released a new product so I emailed them to ask if they’d like to try another ad campaign – potentially something in a different position on the site or even a competition/giveaway to give them a different type of exposure.

They said now but mentioned that they now had an affiliate program and would be willing to give me a review copy of the software for me to review. The commission on this $100 product was 30%.

I signed up for the affiliate program – wrote a post that gave a fair review of the product and posted it onto the blog. I pushed traffic to that post in our weekly newsletter and via social media and we ended up selling around 300 copies of the software over the coming weeks – making a total of $9000 in commission.

A Win/Win/Win for All Parties

While affiliate campaigns are not always going to have this result – I think this is a great example of how affiliate marketing can actually be a Win for everyone.

It was a Win for Me

Obviously I was happy with this affiliate campaign. While it took a little more work to review and write a post than to put a banner ad in our sidebar the increase in earnings from $2000 to $9000 was great for the bottom line of my business.

It was a Win for the Brand

The beauty of an affiliate program when you’re the manufacturing a product is that you only pay out when you generate a sale. The risk is pretty much non-existent for the company.

Rather than making a loss of $1000 they generated $30,000 in sales and took 70% of that. It also would have brought them new customers that they could promote to in future.

It was a Win for My Readers

The other party in any affiliate promotion is the reader. I like to think that they also won in this campaign because instead of seeing a banner ad that was all ‘marketing’ from the company they had the opportunity to read a fair review of the product.

I go out of my way in these kinds of reviews to show the pros and cons of products and help readers to make an informed decision.

In this case we had a number of readers email to say that they’d seen products from this company being advertised previously but seeing a review had helped them to make a decision if it was something that would help them.

When Affiliate Marketing Works Best

Of course affiliate marketing isn’t ‘easy’ money.

While the above story might seem rather ‘seamless’ and an easy it is important to note that the result was only possible after several years of building up:

  • Traffic to the site
  • Trust/relationship with readers
  • Credibility/authority

The other factors at play were:

  • A high quality product
  • A product from a reputable source
  • A relevant product that matched the needs of our readership
About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. You always got all the answers Darren. Hope one day I will become an authority in my niche just like you.

  2. Great post, Darren! I agree with what you have to say here. I think that by using affiliate programs like you have mentioned and by sharing the wealth if you will with everyone including the affiliate’s brand, you can create an even better relationship with the affiliate. I mean later down the road if you send a lot of traffic their way, they might remember that and try to help you gain more income in some form or another whether it be direct advertising, send their fans to you or even inviting you to speak at one of their events. I love to see what new posts you have made on this blog! Keep up the great work, sir!

  3. Really inspirational Darren. I’m recently getting into affiliate marketing, I hope the conversion rate would be good.

  4. Zenelia says:

    Hii Darren
    Nice Post..well affiliate marketing is quite popular one and a smart way of generating leads…and we can also observe from the above post..that affiliate marketing gives benefit to both the parties not only the blog owner or the product seller..so Affiliate marketing is good for lead or sales generation

    Thanks for sharing

    Keep Posting

    Zenelia !!!

  5. Raz Barr says:

    Great post Darren and I completely agree with you. Brands know they have to pay only after the product is sold and for bloggers they can earn more based on the efforts they put it into their campaign and For buyers , they feel confident as the product is already reviewed by a credible blogger. So it is win-win situation for all parties

  6. Masha says:

    Hi Darren,

    It is true about what you’ve said but what I would like to point out is that:

    When you place an ad at the sidebar, basically, you left it to rot hoping for your readers to click, especially you are paid a monthly ad fee but if you get some commission out a specific product, you tend to promote it.

    My point is, “Affiliate Marketing Can Be a WIN/WIN/WIN” should be change to “Affiliate Marketing IS a WIN/WIN/WIN” if done correctly.

    The mistake done by most affiliate Marketer is, they expect the product to sell by slapping plenty of ad banners on a poorly written product review. What value does this serve to the visitor? Think about this.

    Another thing that is not mention here is “TRUST” factor. Darren has been around for quite some time providing useful, truthful information and gain a lot of “trust” from his followers thus, whichever product that he’s promoting gets the “trust” factor and this adds to his success in affiliate marketing.

    Most AMers do not care about their followers. They are only interested in the $ sign and promote products that they don’t even know what the product is all about! This is ridiculous!

    I can go on and on but I think I’d stop here and thanks for the good read.

  7. Helena says:

    Good on you Darren. Well done for being so pro-active. Applause Applause. These win-win examples on affiliate marketering give small beanies like us something to hope for in the (distant?) future and enough fuel in our current circumstances to keep going.
    Thanks for sharing :D

  8. Muhammad says:

    You are absolutely right it is not so difficult to put so many affiliate ads on your website and write lot of contents for presell and affiliate marketing but you can be true winner if you have huge traffic on your blog and they all believe in you to follow your advice. Otherwise every attempt would be futile.

  9. Shorya says:

    Hi Darren ,

    Thanks for sharing those incidents … It helped to get an idea of the power of affiliate marketing if you have huge list of subscribers.

    Thank You

  10. Josh Schmidt says:

    Great article Darren! I love that you said “it’s not easy money.” It can be a lot of work starting out but it can be very rewarding.

  11. Nrupen says:

    Apart from just high quality traffic and relationship it’s your authority which worked in favor of that company. It was in their favor because all work was done by you.

  12. Very inspiring as always Darren, I have just gotten into the affiliate marketing game and love it! it’s hard to find high ticket items in my niche, and my blog is just shy of 3 months old, I have made some money though, and even a small amount is so exciting!

    What really did it for me was when I put up my first affiliate banner/link and only 2 days later I got a whopping $25 commission. I don’t get tons of traffic yet (this month about 90 visitors is the average so far), but I can see how all of this could really add up. I think when you just start out blogging you have to appreciate the little milestones along the way, and that was surely one of them :)

    Thank-you for all that you do Darren, and for all of your wonderful posts!

  13. Ben Troy says:

    The advantage of affiliate is bringing on the benefit for three sides, The vendor, Referer and customers but if only the good product or all will be lost.

  14. Mark Wing says:

    Thank you for the superb article, Darren!

    I’ve learned so much from reading your blog. Affiliate advertising is something that I’ve had a little bit of success with lately, so I always pay attention to articles like this one. As other folks have pointed out in the comments, it can be a great opportunity if done right.

  15. Darren, nice post again! I must say that sometimes what we consider a disappointment could turn out to be a blessing. If the renewal of the usual banner ad had succeeded you would have made only $2000, but the disappointment of not renewing it eventually brought you $9000. It is good for us to never give up when we experience any form of disappointment or setback in our blogging career.

    It is not always easy to know exactly what would perform best except you do some experiments. Changing ad positions, changing ad type, traffic sources, etc could just be the magic wand that we require to make things work.

    Like you rightly said, once you build credibility/trust, traffic, and promote the right product to your audience, tendency is that they would buy the products.

  16. I’m always surprised (and annoyed) when you find a great premium product/service and they don’t have an affiliate program. Seems crazy to me that an affiliate program isn’t a top priority for businesses looking to sell their product/service online.

  17. Aqib Shahzad says:

    Informative ideas learned from this article, and today also know the power of affiliate marketing if we hare having good number of subscribers in our email list.

  18. Nice article,I’ve read it with pleasure,still it needs a lot of hard work to achieve anything,but with that kind of tips like in this article it makes life easier.Tnx Darren!Keep up the good work!

  19. mahmoud says:

    Really inspirational Darren. I’m recently getting into affiliate marketing, I hope the conversion rate would be good.

  20. Arbaz Khan says:

    Affiliate marketing has always been and will be considered as the best way of internet marketing for many coming years. What’s good about affiliate marketing is that we don’t have to reply about any clicks to get paid, its about the amount of hardwork and dedication you put in to make an affiliate campaign successful.

  21. Sara says:

    Really Good Posting. it is pretty Awesome Blog for Affiliate marketing,

  22. Yes, you’re right! Affiliate marketing is a win-win situation for everyone……..
    But I must say, it is the most beneficial for the bloggers, who get paid without spending in this case!
    I must say to the author that, he writes AWESEOME!
    Great post..

  23. Adam Meyers says:

    When there is no risk for the company involved the deal is so much sweeter. The thing you have to be aware of is that a 9000 profit isn’t possible without what Darren mentioned, a built up readership.

  24. Rahul Pahal says:

    Hi Darren
    when it comes to monetizing our blog, affiliate marketing is the 2nd way that comes in mind after adsense ppc system. But getting success and making more out of it is not that easy. But if our readers have faith on us and we provide a nice product with a complete review, chances to get success automatically increase.

  25. Jawbone Up says:

    Really nice to hear the success stories through affiliate marketing and blogging. I’ve been doing similar thing – write a long post, or blog about a product and keep sending traffic there. The rest of the time is to wait and receive my checks.

    Keep coming!

  26. Richard Benn says:

    This is one of the best articles I have read on affiliate marketing. I’ve been contemplating whether to venture into affiliate marketing. This article provide some sound advice and direction. Thanks

  27. Mark says:

    Thank you for an open and honest post about a real-life example of the work involved in affiliate marketing. The picture that is painted by some merchants is that all you as an affiliate have to do is slap a banner on your site and you will be a millionaire in no time. Your illustration shows just how much time and work it can take to reap true revenue.