If you’re going to monetize your blog through affiliate marketing, then it follows that your audience is your target market. But something you have to remember is that your audience is more than just a target market. They are also a community of readers.
Magazine readers are simply a target market because they’re just that: readers. They might all share a common interest (the content), but they’re completely disassociated from one another.
Blog readers are different because blogs are a form of social media. Users interact with the writer, the content, and other readers, and for that reason they’re a community.
The New ROI: Return on Influence
Bloggers have such potential as affiliate marketers because of their return on influence. They’re independent third parties who have built a community around their content. Since consumers want someone that they know and trust to inform their purchasing decisions, bloggers are in an opportune positions: they’re readers are readers because they trust them. To that extent, blogger have influence.
Now, if you start referring your readers to products just so that you can make a quick buck, sooner or later they’re going to lose trust in you, and you’re going to lose them as readers. You have influence over your readers because you’ve built a trust economy with them. If your trust economy crashes, then your potential as an affiliate blogger is going to enter into recession.
Communities vs Markets
If you want to monetize your blog with affiliate marketing but maintain your reputation as an independent third party, you have to think relationships before sales. After all, it was putting those relationships first that made you a successful blogger, so those relationships (your trust economy) is the foundation of your potential as an affiliate marketer. Consequently, you might want to take some of the following precautions when you set out as an affiliate blogger.
Encourage Participation: When you start promoting products, encourage user feedback. Openly inviting user feedback on those products will not only protect your reputation as a blogger when you refer a reader and they become an unsatisfied customer, but will give you invaluable feedback on what your readers think about you promoting certain products.
Disclose Your Promotions: Consider the ethics of affiliate blogging when you decide how to promote you products, and don’t try to hide that you’re promoting them. Sooner or later, someone is going to notice that your links are affiliate links. In fact, a disclosure page with a list of all your affiliate programs is not only a great way to remain transparent, but even gives you the opportunity to make commissions by referring other affiliates.
Choose Your Affilaite Promotions wisely: If your showing your readers ads that have nothing to do with your content (or their interests), they’re going to feel like you’re spamming them. Keep your affiliate ads contextual.
Don’t Spam Your Blog: When it comes to affiliate blogging, your earning potential is about quality, not quantity. When planning your affiliate ad placement, make sure to not compromise usability. Certain kinds of ads belong in certain places, and nowhere else. As members of a community, your readers feel a partial sense of ownership over your blog (whether you like it or not). If you violate that, you’re not going to have much of a community left to try to monetize.
Remember the saying that “the customer is always right.” Well that extends well beyond the check-out
line. As an affiliate blogger, you’re basically becoming a freelance salesman who works strictly on commission. So stay customer service oriented and avoid becoming a used-car jockey. Don’t tell your readers what they want, give it to them.
It’s the basic law of supply and demand, the only difference is that you’re not dealing with a market demand, you’re dealing with a community demand. Not only do you have to offer what individual members of the market are looking for, you have to consider what the community as a whole wants.
How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?
I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.
In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.
I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.
Blogging and Fitness
Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.
Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.
I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.
Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.
Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.
Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.
Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals
After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.
Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.
A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:
- referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
- referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you
I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:
- the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
- I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified
Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time
Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.
12 Times Daily Sales
I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.
The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.
Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.
Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?
Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.
I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier. But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.
1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It
Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.
10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.
Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.
2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure
Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.
No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.
3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears
Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.
Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.
Time is a great blogging ally.
All you need flows to you over time.
Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.
Success is yours.
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