While traditional affiliate networks emphasize commission for bloggers via clicks (or other actions) on links they post, there are a few out there who connect brands with bloggers on a deeper level. Networks like Mode (formerly GLAM) Media, iVillage and PopSugar work with bloggers to create sponsored posts, social promotions, giveaways and experiences for the brands that come their way. I’ve been signed to one of these larger blogger conglomerates as well as a couple of smaller networks. I know this is different from some of my fellow IFB contributors, but juggling a busy consulting schedule has made affiliate networks a good partnership for me. For me, being signed to these networks has made it easier to pursue sponsored ads and content for my blog with notable fashion and consumer brands – most of which would be difficult and time-consuming for me to pitch individually.
How does a new or upcoming blogger get signed to an affiliate network? Well, that part is easy; if you’re using rewardStyle or Google Affiliate Network, you already know it’s a fairly simple sign-up process. A healthy amount of regular site traffic and social media activity is also helpful. But with a network that offers sponsored post and experience opportunities comes some solid, specific work on your (the blogger’s) end. If you’re new to the affiliate network game (or need a friendly reminder), here are some of my favorite tips at securing good affiliate opportunities:
Get out what you put in
From setting up ads to signing up for sponsored post opportunities, there are instructions to follow and a laundry list of details to check off. Follow every single one of those instructions, and pay attention to every last detail. Brands will contract with these affiliate networks with certain goals and specific benchmarks in mind, and thus networks will choose a limited number of solid, dependable bloggers for this brand to work with. Make sure each photo is sized correctly, that your blog post is formatted right and keywords (brand mentions) are on point. Every time I get a sponsored post opportunity, I’ll print off the instructions and cross them off as I go along.
After you’ve completed the application process, signed with an affiliate network and set yourself up with the right codes, paperwork and other back-of-house to-do’s, you should start seeing sponsored post, social promotions or giveaways that you can apply to be considered for. It’s so exciting when a big brand chooses to work with you, especially since most brands request to work with only a handful of bloggers at a time. That doesn’t mean you should apply for and work with every sponsored post opportunity that comes your way! Think about whether or not you’d purchase that brand’s products on your own – if not, then it probably doesn’t resonate with your blog or your brand.
Keep your stats fresh
Affiliate networks use your stats to vet out sponsored brand opportunities, so it’s best to know what your latest stats are as much as possible! Make a habit of updating your media kit with stats at least once a month. I include unique visitors, page views and demographics of my readers in addition to my social media follower counts. I also take the time to update my media kit with any recent press or notable brand partnerships I’ve worked on. Every affiliate network will ask for different stats depending on what their represented brands are looking for. It’s good for you to know those numbers too, so you know where you might need to up your efforts.
Put yourself out there – ask!
You won’t get every sponsored brand opportunity you sign up for, and that’s okay. Just like a job interview or review, you can and should ask for feedback on how you can secure a similar brand opportunity in the future. I’ve asked for feedback as well as for opportunities I saw ‘bigger’ (or NY- or LA-based) bloggers getting more frequently. You can’t improve unless you know what needs improving upon!
Do you have any tips or questions for working on sponsored brand opportunities through affiliate networks? Leave us a comment!
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