You know how sometimes you learn a new word and then all of a sudden it seems to show up everywhere? You wonder why a billboard for hot dogs has this word that you just learned, for example. And you know how the same kind of thing happens when you’re wrestling with an issue? How it seems to literally haunt you?
That’s me and affiliate marketing
This all started, I don’t know, about a month ago, I guess. Chris Brogan posted about how he approaches affiliate marketing, and I commented, “Well that’s all fine and dandy, but affiliate marketing…I don’t know. It rubs me the wrong way.” I may or may not have been chided for being an agency woman who struggles with product placement.
Ever since that conversation, I have been wrestling with the whole affiliate marketing thing, and that debate, ever since, has seemed to pop up everywhere. Matt Shaw talked about the advertising on Chris’s site (among others). In Third Tribe, there is tons of information on how to do it. There are conferences for it. Everyone I talk to says it’s absolutely worth it.
Still I struggle.
I found the nut
I finally realized the problem, and I thought perhaps you are experiecing or will experience similar debates, so I thought I would talk it out.
So…I’ve been blogging professionally for about 7 months now. Not even a year. I am getting a lot of support. In terms of traffic, it is building, but it is certainly not huge. I have carefully framed this blog as a place where (hopefully) people feel they can be directed to helpful information, discuss things that are going on in the marketing world, and share with me their own insights on same. That’s really what my main goal was setting out. Mission accomplished, but I still feel I am building. I am still so new that I don’t even know the ways that I need to improve yet.
I think that affiliate marketing works for people who have established long-time credibility with their blog community. Everyone knows that the stuff being recommended is being recommended for the community, and the blogger just happens to get a bit of money if you click that link and buy from there. I don’t know if I’ve established enough credibility with you, my readers, to go down that road. I don’t know if I have offered enough content to merit peppering in affiliate links now and then.
So I thought I would ask.
If you are reading this, maybe you are someone who has been reading my blog for a few months now. Maybe you know me from Twitter a little. Would you be put off if I became an affiliate marketer? Obviously, it would not be an every post kind of thing, and I wouldn’t shove it down your throat. I think you know that about me.
Maybe the more broad question is what do you think about affiliate marketing in general? It’s difficult for me to believe that I have thought of something that Brian Clark, Darren Rouse, Chris Brogan, Sonia Simone, and countless others missed when they grew with the assistance of affiliate marketing. I don’t think folks like that would direct people how to do affiliate marketing and then snicker and say, “Heh, they’re evil now.” I mean, right?
Help me roll around this little nut in my brain. I am open to any and all perspectives (and am hoping for them).
Image by Richard Dudley. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/bluegum