Affiliate Fail

Jackson Wyoming SEO Forums Affiliate Networks Affiliate Fail

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  GravityFed 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #560

    Kimball
    Participant


    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

    I’ve been thinking about affiliate marketing a lot lately. Well, more specifically, how it is not a fit for my website as I run it today. The site is an information system for hikers. It’s a mash up really of several technologies: GIS, custom web bots, custom indexes and google maps. It has no gear reviews. But it attracts hundreds of users everyday. I don’t want to write gear reviews, I much rather work on the engine adding new features and functionality for my users. I’ve already put a years worth on man hours building the thing, and I have tons of ideas for new features to add next. But how? I need cash. I had hoped popping in curated affiliate ads would bring in some cash. Last year I ran over 3 million affiliate impressions and just under 3 thousand affiliate clicks, for what? For peanuts! Sales are too low to make a decent commission. Running affiliate ads is mostly a fail for a site like mine. If it’s not a sale/promotional ad, there will be some clicks, but there will be no sale and commission.

    So what next? Paid placement? AdSence? What else is there?

    Paid Placement seems like the right fit for a site like mine – a rich content site (not gear reviews). I would be thrilled if my hand selected merchants paid me to promote their brands. I’m done with giving the impressions away for nothing. But… paid placement via AvantLink is dead. Holidays 2016 produced zero paid placement ads. Maybe that’s because ROI is not easy enough to monitor — since their PPC system is not CPM based. Pretty sure AvantLink stopped promoting PPC, because most managers seem to know nothing anything about it.

    AdSence pays better, like 5 times higher click-for-click for sites like mine not at the backend of the funnel. BUT, they sure do show a lot of crappy, almost scammy merchants. I’m constantly in the console blocking ads with misleading buttons, designed to look like content buttons. Even my users complain about the AdSence merchants. UGH! WTF!

    I need an ad network that will let me choose my merchants, that has outdoor brands I love, and will pay me by impressions. A network who’s reports are accurate and not buggy. A network that does not hurt my SEO or bring down my pagespeed. If you know of one, PLEASE suggest them in your reply. Just today I heard of AppNexus. Know anything about them?

    - Kimball
    TrailsNH.com

    #562

    Mike Hardaker
    Keymaster

    Kimball,

    I appreciate your honesty, know that you are not alone in questioning if affiliate marketing is viable for your website. TrailsNH.com has a large market share of people looking for NH and NE trail info. You clearly have built a great site, something that is valuable to your readers. Now how can we translate that value into revenue?

    Without product reviews its going be tough to maximize your affiliate marketing potential. Jen over at AvantLink gave up a career as a pro skier to do affiliate marketing. I would be happy to get you some gear to test out and get the ball rolling if you wanted to write product reviews.

    But I can understand if you would rather focus on the user experience then “trying” to get them to buy something.

    Why did you originally start your website, was it a blog, a passion, a way to make money?

    Regardless of your answer “I’m done with giving the impressions away for nothing” this is important to learn, and sometimes a tough pill to swallow. You have worked WAY to hard to let a company put free advertisements on your website, plane and simple. Clearly AvantLink won’t care for me saying that but it’s common sense, we can’t work for free.

    Looking over your site again, I see the Funded by section on the homepage. I had tried something similar for years with ZERO luck. Tried it in the sidebar, tried it in the footer all of it, never made a sale maybe some clicks? Then after Paid Placements were rolled out I figured if I had those affiliate banner up, there was little chance any company would actually buy the placement as they were already getting it for free.

    Another thing to consider with the Paid Placement is why? Why would a program manager buy an advertisement space on your website? Most likely to make sales right? Perhaps one of the reasons its hard to get the program managers to buy in (most are cluesless to the paid placement program anyways, which makes you go hmmm) is the fact they have a hard time justifying an ROI. How many sales or impressions would = the value of the ad spend they pay you? Thats were it gets tricky. However you can always talk ROR and more importantly branding. Whats the biggest hiking site in the AvantLink merchant network? They should have a share of voice on your website, and they can pay for it.

    Adsense and I never worked out well, $100 a month tops! No matter what I did or even when I had traffic spikes for big stories (avalanche deaths..) It just seems like a lazy way to make a buck, and in turn Google paid me as so. Plus never knowing what they were serving was not cool, and then all the affiliate merchants I worked with were buying ads to. Heaven forbid Backcountry.com pays .10 cents a click to be shown on my site when I could be getting the full commission if I ran the add instead. Slimy..

    I think there is a way you and I can work together to be honest! And I think there is a way ALL of us affiliates can also work together in the future. We are truly writing the book here and its always changing.

    At the end of the day the freedom to be able to do something you love and enjoy while making money whenever you want, whenever you want will surely be something that more people will want to do in the future. Until then we can dial in the system and in turn sell it or give it away for free here…

    Stay focused, affiliates have a LOT of ups and downs.

    #564

    GravityFed
    Participant

    Kimball, check out the Influencer platforms out there. MANY are emerging. That’s what you need. TapInfluence, etc. Get paid up front for your influence, impressions, social media clout, etc. On these platforms brands are paying for engagement and reach, and not necessarily sales. Affiliate is just one component of an inclusive influencer campaign.

    Cheers, GM

    GravityFed
    Influencer Marketing for Outdoor Brands

    #565

    Mike Hardaker
    Keymaster

    Kimball, check out the Influencer platforms out there. MANY are emerging. That’s what you need. TapInfluence, etc. Get paid up front for your influence, impressions, social media clout, etc. On these platforms brands are paying for engagement and reach, and not necessarily sales. Affiliate is just one component of an inclusive influencer campaign.

    Cheers, GM

    Gary,

    Can you help explain what the Influencer programs are? I am new to that space and am also very interested. Is it something you see also working for the Mountain Weekly News?

    #566

    Kimball
    Participant

    GM, Thanks for the info. Influencer programs are a new one on me, but that does sound more inline with my situation.

    A quick google search on Influencer Marketing turned up these programs:

    • tapinfluence.com
    • findyourinfluence.com
    • izea.com
    • brandwatch.com
    • rhythmone.com

    … And some stuff I should read:

    Influencer marketing – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influencer_marketing

    Influencer Marketing | What is Influencer Marketing?
    http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/influencer-marketing.html

    Why Influencer Marketing Will Explode In 2017 – Forbes
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/12/27/why-influencer-marketing-will-explode-in-2017/

    8 Tips to Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/288283

    10 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing is the Next Big Thing – Adweek
    http://www.adweek.com/digital/10-reasons-why-influencer-marketing-is-the-next-big-thing/

    Social Media Influencers – Find and build relationships – GroupHigh
    http://www.grouphigh.com/social-media-influencers/

    - Kimball
    TrailsNH.com

    #567

    GravityFed
    Participant

    I got in late last night from a trip, so give me a day or three to respond more thoroughly.

    But in a nut shell I have been packaging inclusive influencer campaigns for a few brands namely by way of product reviews. IE, the brand gets the influencer product and in return the influencer provides a package of media like blog post/review, social media mentions that point to the review, videos, road block banner displays on blog(or content) for fixed duration, etc.. get creative.

    Affiliate tracking links may or may not be a part of the package. And the brand/influencer can agree to use whatever affiliate network they want for that. For paid campaigns I have seen influencers charge less if they are able to monetize residual with tracking links in content and/or social posts.

    I have also been packaging up and offering inclusive campaigns as an influencer with my sites TheDailyPow.com and SkiBumPoet.com from the other side. These sites don’t get huge traffic but the eyeballs we do get outdoor companies love.

    If you have the following and/or traffic then you can get more then product. Be interesting to know what kind of budget KEEN had for https://gearjunkie.com/keen-durand-boots-1-million-steps

    Once I catch my breath I’ll come back and list some additional platforms I have been deep diving into over the last 18 months.

    GM

    GravityFed
    Influencer Marketing for Outdoor Brands

    #569

    GravityFed
    Participant

    These all look like inclusive influencer campaigns to me, https://monopointmedia.com/work

    GravityFed
    Influencer Marketing for Outdoor Brands

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