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Affiliate Marketing Vs Blogger Outreach

Discussion in 'Blogging & Content Marketing' started by NidaRasheedAvaza, Aug 31, 2016.

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  1. Hi everyone,

    Hope I'm posting this in the right section. Please let me know if it isn't and I'll repost it to the correct place ASAP.

    I run Content Marketing Strategy over at Avaza - a business management suite that I personally think is pretty awesome. I may be a bit biased.

    We're currently developing a content marketing plan. I've been with them for just a few months and have spent the time so far developing the website, landing pages and support docs. I think it's time we started working on getting the word out about Avaza, because it truly is an awesome tool for freelancers, small businesses and consultants.

    Part of the plan includes outreach to bloggers, but we are also considering an affiliate program. I was wondering if you guys could share with me the reasoning behind why you would review one software and not another, or sign up for one affiliate program and not another.

    Is it important that you earn affiliate income off of a review? Or would you be happy to review a software just because you like it? What if we didn't use something like CJ.com and developed our own affiliate marketing back-end? Would that raise trust issues?


    Ideally, we would want bloggers to write unbiased reviews, and are not sure if an affiliate program is the way forward. However, we do want to encourage conversations around Avaza, which is why I reached out to Kevin (and he told me to post my question here) as I want to make sure our content marketing plan takes all this advice into consideration.

    Thanks!
    Nida
     
  2. Hi Nida.

    Avaza looks like a good service, though I think you need to look at the sitation from the other side.

    Here's the problem with the majority of companies today. They all want something for nothing.

    I get emails every week asking me to write long detailed reviews free of charge.

    Writing good reviews takes time. Time costs money. The time I spend writing reviews is time I could be doing something else that does earn me money. So the bottom line is that if I am writing reviews I need to make money from it.

    Companies normally offer me a free plan in compensation as that doesn't really cost them anything. I have no desire to get services free of charge if I am not using them. So their offer isn't worthwhile.

    You need to accept that if you want people to spend their time writing reviews of your service, you need to pay for it. This is particularly true for a service such as Avaza as the main clients are companies. People who use Avaza are busy and have their own clients to deal with. They may reference Avaza in the odd blog post, but it is unlikely they are going to spend hours of their time writing a review free of charge.

    In response to your questions.

    I was wondering if you guys could share with me the reasoning behind why you would review one software and not another, or sign up for one affiliate program and not another.

    There are many things to consider (I touched upon many of these in my article "Eleven Reasons Affiliate Marketing Sucks").

    This includes the cost of the product, the commission rate, the minimum payment threshold, the payment frequency, and the likelihood that someone will actually purchase the service.

    If I'm 100% honest, I would never promote Avaza on my blog using an affiliate program as the conversion rate is probably way too low. I would only write a review if I was paid.

    Is it important that you earn affiliate income off of a review? Or would you be happy to review a software just because you like it?

    Of course it's important to earn income from the review.

    I always recommend products I know and love. The main problem you have is that your customer bases will generally be people who are too busy to spend their time writing reviews about the services they use.

    What if we didn't use something like CJ.com and developed our own affiliate marketing back-end? Would that raise trust issues?


    It's not uncommon for companies to use in-house affiliate programs. It shouldn't raise trust issues, but it does give you more more.

    There are benefits to using networks such as ShareASale or Impact Radius as they will raise exposure of your affiliate program and do some promotion for you.

    If I was in your position, I would set aside a budget for reviews and pay for reviews on blogs with traffic. You will get targeted traffic that way and increase your SEO presence.

    Kevin
     
  3. Awesome! Thanks Kevin. I'm going to keep all these thoughts in mind. If anyone else has anything to add, I'm all ears! :)
     
  4. Hey Kevin,

    Quick follow-up. How do you recommend we find the best bloggers who we could pay for reviews? And solid reviews, the kind you write, not someone who will copy paste something someone else has said and not even try the product out?

    You were right in that our clients are businesses (although, also consultants and freelancers, as the free plan is pretty awesome and the $10 basic plan is all a freelancer needs), so we would ideally be looking for bloggers whose audience is small businesses. I can think of a few, but you might have better insight into how to find the right people (and maybe some of those people are here on Rise).

    BTW, your advice has gone straight to the co-founders and they're looking into establishing a budget for blogger outreach :)

    Thanks!
    Nida
     
  5. There are a number of ways you could find suitable blogs and websites to reach out to:
    • Check out "Top Blog" lists and find suitable blogs who do reviews
    • Check out review blogs who focus specifically on software reviews
    • Create a list of all of your competitors and look at where they are generating their links i.e. which blogs did they purchases reviews on
    SEO obviously is a big concern when working on this type of content marketing campaign. You probably will not got as many direct referrals from reviews that you would wish, but the reviews will really help your SEO presence and increase your rankings.
     
  6. Thanks Kevin! :)
     
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
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