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Do you think a communal affiliate site would work?

Discussion in 'Internet Marketing' started by Joe F, May 7, 2015.

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  1. This isn't something I'm planning to do, but it could be an interesting project.

    What is a group of people got together and started a blog - say about WordPress for example - and everyone agreed to publish one post a week.

    However, each author puts their own affiliate links into their articles.

    The benefit would be that the site would get momentum faster as it would have more content going up each week, more writers to promote that content etc, than if everyone worked on their own blogs.

    What could go wrong? ;-)
  2. I think something like this would work well for authors who are just getting into the game. More well known authors shouldn't have too much trouble promoting their site through their own content, guest posts, etc. As they become more well known they can "graduate" to their own site if they wanted to.

    If you were going to do this, I'd set up a page for the three types of contributors you'd typically have:
    1. Staff (That is, your regular writers who contribute 1 article per week, or whatever your standard will be)
    2. Guest Writers (Anyone who randomly puts up a post, but hasn't contributed anything significant over the long run)
    3. Retired/Alumni - Be sure to link to each former author's new website, this would be a selling point to potential writers - When you move on you won't lose readership, and will have an established site with content linking to their new website.
  3. I think this is doomed to fail; whether it started by new authors or established authors.

    Perhaps it could work if two or three friends who have known each other for years attempted this, but there would still be problems.

    Inevitably, someone will work harder than others. One author may contribute fantastic articles, while another author will just publish a poor article they rushed. And it is inevitable that some authors will fail to meet the one post per week requirement due to other commitments.

    What happens in such a situation?

    Is an author who fails to contribute a post for a short period of time removed from the group? Are they still eligible for earnings due to the traffic their previous articles generate?

    I envision a huge amount of problems with such an endeavour. In my opinion, for something like this to work, you need everyone to have different responsibilities or it will be a case of too many chiefs and not enough indians. You need someone who handles the tech side of things, someone who handles marketing, someone who edits content etc.

    I have been offered this kind of thing before and have always turned it down. Why would I spend all my time contributing articles to a website in which someone else owns the domain and can simply remove me at any time? Seems like a terrible move in my opinion.
  4. I think that's the point of each author having their own affiliate links. If you don't post that much content, your own links won't be clicked and you won't be making nearly as much money as the person working their ass off.

    There certainly need to be clear terms as to what is expected of the writers, though - going back to my "Staff/Guest Writers/Alumni" example, it needs to state something along the lines of "You will be a Guest Writer until you supply a minimum of X posts per week, sustained for Y weeks, at which time you will be promoted to Staff."...and then rules for what is expected of staff and what happens if they don't hit the quote they are given, etc.

    This is why I said it could work for beginners. As a beginner, you have to take risks here and there, unless you plan on spending a lot of money to promote your site.
  5. But who would own the website? Who would be responsible for handling all technical issues, design issues, responding to advertising queries etc? Would the person who took on those additional responsibilities be given a higher share of the profits?

    You make a good point about writers increasing their own profits by using affiliate links and adding more content. But this could pose problems in itself e.g. who gets to promote Product A, who gets to promote Product B? If a product has been known to convert well, it would be unfair for one person to have the option of publishing a review on it over others. Perhaps that kind of issue would even out over time, though you could be in a bizarre situation in which a person who spends twice as much time working on the website is making much less money than an author who contributed one article because that particular article happens to be converting well.

    I would strongly encourage all beginners to work on a website on their own. All you need to get started is a $10 a year domain and $10 a month hosting. That's a low entry point for anyone and it gives you the freedom to do what you want and not answer to anyone.

    I do appreciate that some people would prefer to set up a website in this manner and I would be open to partnerships with people if it was mutually beneficial. However, I also envision a lot of problems with this, particularly if everyone has the same responsibilities.
  6. Good points Kevin, especially about who gets to promote the best products in the niche.

    Probably best to work on our own sites rather than trying to manage a communal blog.
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