You’re out there, an affiliate marketer, just like me. Should you have a blog, or should you stay in the closet and quietly make your money happily? This is actually a pretty complex question, and you shouldn’t go one way or the other without giving it some serious thought. I can hopefully give some pretty good advice, because I’ve been on both ends; affiliate marketing without a blog, and affiliate marketing with a pretty popular blog. We’ll go over this by simply looking at the pros and cons of each.
Pros of Having an Affiliate Blog
- Networking. A blog is such an amazing networking tool, and I never stop talking about how much networking is key. People know who I am, know my status in the industry, and know that they can come to me if they want to do business. Networking evolves into friendships, which evolve into connections.
- Status. Affiliate networks know who I am, and know that I can drive serious traffic. They’re going to out out of their way to contact me asking me to join the network, and offer me things like exclusive offers and white labels.
- Power. With an authority affiliate blog, power in the industry will be in your hands. Because of your status, negotiations with affiliate networks become much easier. Managers will vouch for you because they know who you are through your blog. They’ll get you the extra $1 on the payout because they know you’ll make it worth it to them.
- More money. All these connections and all this power will lead you to make more money. You’ll see offers that you normally wouldn’t see, you’ll get custom pages that you wouldn’t normally get, and even the blog itself will make money. I use affiliate marketing in my blog to make money. It doesn’t make much, but one referral made me $500 this month and I didn’t have to do a thing.
- Good karma. Unless you’re a ruthless monster, helping thousands of affiliate marketers makes you feel pretty good at the end of the day. Good things happen to those who do good, that’s been my experience (I’m a realist as well and know that bad things happen to good people all the time). I try and give away as much as I can without jeopardizing my business. The more I give, the better my blog becomes and the more connections/power/money I make from it. It’s a trade-off.
Cons of Having an Affiliate Blog
- Status. It’s a pro and a con at the same time. I can’t count the number of IMs/emails I get from fans and fellow affiliate marketers from this blog. I simply don’t have time to answer them all, that’s why any affiliate advice I give away, I give it away on this blog. Just keep that in mind if you start a blog of your own and it takes off. You’ll go crazy trying to talk to 20 people while working on campaigns at the same time.
- Snoops. People know I’m the UberAffiliate, they’ll spend hours snooping around looking for my landing pages. Some have found some of my pages in the past and it’s not a big deal since knowing my pages won’t reveal too many of my secrets, but it’s still a risk you’re going to have to deal with. People will constantly try to find out what you promote.
- Time. Blogging takes up a lot of my time. I blog because I love it though, so it doesn’t bother me that much. Writing every day can get difficult and stressful at times though, and may distract you from the campaigns that are making you the real money. Aside from writing, you deal with things like advertisers, new themes, logos, newsletters, etc. UberAffiliate takes up a crapload of my time and barely makes any money in itself, but the connections make it pay off and I like helping everybody so it all works out for me.
- Haters. My advice is don’t blog if you can’t take people hating you with a passion. I have people all the time that tell me how much they hate me because they think I’m a faker and Photoshop all my stats. Most people get mad because of jealousy. It doesn’t really bother me anymore now that I’m used to it, but just be prepared.
Pros of Being a Closet Affiliate
- Nobody searching for your pages. If nobody knows who you are, there’s a very low chance they’re going to go out and search for your pages. It still happens to big guys, but blogging puts you at a much higher risk of this.
- More time. You can spend all the time you want on campaigns and not have to worry about writing a blog post.
- Connections are still possible. To keep it real here, you don’t need to have a blog to have good connections. All of my biggest connections don’t have a blog. Once you get to a certain point, you meet somebody who introduces you to somebody else, and then you meet up at a conference or something.
Cons of Being a Closet Affiliate
- People don’t come to you. Affiliate networks don’t know who you are, so why would they randomly email you and show you all these exclusive offers and payouts.
- Connections are harder. You can make just as good connections without having a blog, it’s just easier with a blog because a lot of people come to you, instead of you going to them.
As you can tell, my “closet lists” are a lot shorter. Primarily because I covered most of the stuff in the first two lists.
Alright alright, taking all of this into perspective, what is my real advice to you affiliate marketers out there?
If you enjoy writing and helping people and can do it pretty frequently, I recommend starting an affiliate marketing blog.
I’d say that this blog has been well worth it, and that’s why I recommend blogging. But if I didn’t have a slight passion to write and help people, this blog wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is. You need to be able to churn out useful articles and not be afraid to push the bar on how much information you give out. If you can do all this, then running a blog may help you a lot in your connections, negotiations, and payouts.