So this post idea was brought to my mind after I posted the below on my personal Facebook page:
One of my good friends responded to say she identifies with the quote so I said “y’all need to contribute to saving my life please”. To which my friend then said “I don’t understand. How do I do that?!”. And I realised that maybe I take it for granted that everyone knows everything and people understand what affiliate links are. So here’s a little story all about how… lol
Basically, we all know how we’d rather get a recommendation for something than listen to a sales person or advertising right?! Since day dot, word of mouth has served as the best promotion tool for brands everywhere. So with the rise of technology it should be no surprise that brands would find a way to take word of mouth to the next level…
These days, we as customers, have so many platforms to voice our opinions. I mean, when I get let down by the central line (again) over 4K people (potentially) will hear about it on Twitter! It’s not necessarily that Twitter is the best way to communicate with a brand but in certain situations I’ve found it to be quicker and having such a transparent conversation is usually great for getting a response. Any brand that values their reputation has members of their team monitoring social media if they don’t have dedicated staff.
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So brands created a way to reward customers who share their products etc and generate sales. These “customers” are known as affiliates; we sign up via numerous platforms (I’ve chatted lots about Affiliate Window on the blog and more recently about Reward Style) which allow us to generate links containing a code that links back to us.
Links can come in various formats from long like this: (ASOS homepage) https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5678&awinaffid=206187&clickref=&p= …to short like this: (ASOS homepage) http://tidd.ly/9f531520 …Reward style links usually look like this: (ASOS homepage) http://rstyle.me/n/cvcwxxcckix
When you click the link you’ll notice it flicks through a number of other sites before landing at the desired destination; it’s all very quick to be honest. If you click an affiliate link and go on to buy something, the affiliate will normally receive a small payment which I guess is a little “thank you” from the brand for sharing their stuff. Clicking the link usually pops a cookie in the persons browser for up to 30 days so even if a sale isn’t instant it can still be attributed to you within that time period.
Personally, I only become an affiliate for brands I love and use myself. Back in the early days of blogging I probably joined a few irrelevant ones as I had no idea what it was all about. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that being an affiliate doesn’t generate any income without a lot of effort and hard work. People don’t just click your link and buy. If only, eh?!! You have to share the hell out of links all whilst maintaining your authenticity. After all I’m a blogger and fitness professional not a sales woman.
Clicking an affiliate link will never cost you anything. And you’ll never pay more. In fact, chances are you will pay less through unique codes that are shared via affiliates. During Black Friday for example, MyProtein had some epic deals; on one particular day they had an extra 20% off their already discounted stuff but if you used the code affiliates were sharing then you could get that to 22% off! Every little % counts right?!
I’ve heard that some people go out of their way not to click affiliate links and I don’t fully understand why. If you’ve read someone’s content and are interested in what they are sharing with you, why would you not wanna especially if people are open and honest about using them? …cos what we get rewarded with is usually insignificant on its own. Normally a maximum of 10% with “day to day” brands, more frequently around the 2-5% mark.
I have a section in my policies on the blog about affiliate links and if I knowingly use them in a blog post I will add a “contains affiliate links” tag. The money I make from affiliate schemes normally just goes back into running the blog and my goal next year is to move to WordPress selfhosted which will be an added cost for me but beneficial in the long run so short of putting a donate button in my sidebar (lol) every little bit of affiliate income will go to good use!
Here’s a post I wrote about sharing affiliate links: Behind The Screen: 6 Quick Tips For Sharing Affiliate Links
…and if you have any questions about affilIate links or how I use them pop them in the comments below or get in touch via my social media channels linked below…