Monetize Your Blog With LinkShare

A couple of posts back I wrote about Products You Can Promote On your Blog and I thought it only fitting that this post should offer you a way to promote other products other than just your hosting package, theme or even your favourite WordPress plugins. Even though I’ve only just joined LinkShare I thought I’d share it with you and yes that is an affiliate link so as a LinkShare affiliate you can also promote it to your readers.

What Is LinkShare

I am so glad you asked, but honestly, you didn’t have to shout. :laugh_tb:   If I was to put it in a nutshell LinkShare is an affiliate network that allows it’s publisher to promote a whole range of products. If I was to compare it to a similar network it would have to be Commission Junction. Something that sets it apart from Commission Junction is that LinkShare was recently named the #1 Affiliate Network in the world by mthink. They didn’t just pull their name out of a hat either as over 5,000 people participated in the survey including Advertisers, Publishers and Agencies.

All in all 20 Affiliate Networks were included in the survey so coming in #1was quite an achievement. Commission Junction came in second and ClickBank came in sixth. Other affiliates in the survey include ShareASale, Amazon, Pepperjam and even the Google Affiliate Network. Here’s a little bit about LinkShare from their about page.

LinkShare Corporation provides e-commerce businesses with a wide range of online marketing services including Search Marketing (SEM), Lead Generation and Affiliate Marketing. Advertisers can increase their online sales by leveraging LinkShare’s massive performance marketing network, along with expert consultative services and patented technology. Superior service combined with technology innovation allows Advertisers and Publishers to acquire and retain new customers, increase revenue and drive results.

LinkShare clients include Fortune 500 and other prominent and emerging companies doing business online, including J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express, and Avon Products. LinkShare was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, Chicago, Tampa, London and Tokyo.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg as you can also promote companies such as AT&T, Barnes & Nobles, Buy.com, Florsheim, Fujitsu, Macy’s and the list goes on. Honestly, if you can’t find a product to promote on LinkShare then you may as well give affiliate marketing up.

Another good reason for joining is unlike a lot of other networks, when signing up, you can select the payment threshold for when you get paid. This is great for those blogs that don’t have as much traffic as it means they don’t have to wait an unreasonable time to reach those high thresholds in order to trigger their payment.

I know there will be people thinking that there’s no need to join because they’re already a member of Commission Junction or some other affiliate network and that’s fine but have you ever thought of the old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? That’s a very dangerous thing to do. Drop that basket and all you’re left with is a sorry mess.

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The Products You Can Promote On Your Blogs

Out of all the emails I get from my readers the one question that comes up the most is a variation of the following; “Sire, everywhere I go I read that if I want to make money on my blog I really need a product of my own to promote. The problem is I don’t have one and so I really need some advice as to what products I actually can promote.”

Naturally, all the emails were different but that quote portrays the general gist of the emails. Its safe to say that this problem is one that many bloggers struggle with and it is in fact one that I struggled with for a few years myself. The obvious reason is that bloggers, like myself, don’t have our own product to promote and probably never will have. That being the case we join sites like Commission Junction, Clickbank and the like to promote their products by placing links in our post or somewhere else on our blogs. They may get the occasional click but rarely generate a sale and the main reason for this is because there’s usually no relation between the product and what we’re writing about. Even when there is there’s nothing to substantiate our reference to the product unless we’ve shown in some way that we’re actually using the product in question.

The Right Product Will Create Sales

Even though I was making quite a bit of money from doing paid posts it wasn’t until I actually started to invest in my blog that they started to produce income on a more regular basis. How does one invest in their blog? Read the rest of this entry

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Making A Sale Is All About The Right Review

As bloggers there are many of us who would love to make a living from it but unfortunately most of us aren’t doing too well at it. I would say that the first thing a blogger does to monetize their blog would be sticking Adsense ads on it somewhere in the vain hope that someone will click on it. There’s nothing wrong with Adsense ads as they can generate some income but unless you have a huge amount of traffic all you’re going to get is a bit of pocket money.

The other way to blog for money would be through promoting affiliates or by selling your products online. The problem is most of us don’t have products to sell and so we have to rely on selling other peoples products either as an affiliate or by joining sites such as Amazon.

The Importance Of Honest Reviews

Where most people go wrong is the placement of links or banners on their blogs in places such as the sidebars, footer header or within the post itself. They’re hoping that if they supply good content they’ll generate enough traffic and hopefully someone will be interested enough in their ad placements to click on a link. Unfortunately this isn’t exactly what you would call targeted traffic and while some may actually click on a link or banner they rarely result in a sale and unfortunately no sale means no cash in your pocket.

The trick to making a sale is giving your customers what they want. That means while sticking something unrelated at the end of the post may make you feel good, in that you’ve done something to create income, but it’s pretty well useless. You may get lucky if its related in some way to your post but not by much.

What you should be doing is writing a review about a product that you actually use and love elaborating on the positive aspects as well as any negatives you may have come across. Having said that the problem with reviews is that they don’t always work and the reasons for that are;

  • A lack of trust: People don’t know who you are and therefore don’t trust you enough to take your word for it. This is the number one reason why new bloggers find it so hard to earn any sort of income when they first start off. Those that give up say that blogging for money isn’t possible while those who persevere and who over time have built a presence slowly start to see that blogging for money can actually be a reality.
  • Not Having enough products to sell: So, let’s say you’ve stuck it out and people now trust you enough to take you at your word when recommending a product or service. The problem you now have, unless you have a lot of money behind you, is the inability to physically purchase all the products you wish to review.

The Best Review Is A Customers Review

There’s also the problem that even though you have over time built a presence and a modicum of trust with your readers people will continue to hesitate when it comes to completing a sale because of the perception that your review is skewed in that you have an ulterior motive for writing it. You can’t really blame them either because there are so many reviews out there from people who have never tried the product and have written a whole lot of crap just to make the sale.

This isn’t true of reviews written by actual customers who have nothing at all to gain from writing it. When you think about it, time being what it is, there’s only two reasons why someone will take the time to write a review. They either really love a product or they really hate it. Reading the reviews on any given product gives you a feel for how good that product really is. This is one of the reasons why I purchased WP Zon Builder and wrote the post Why I Love WP Zon Builder.

Yesterday I was looking at my Sexual Aids blog and I noticed that one particular post was getting a lot of attention, as were the links on that post. The problem was it wasn’t generating much in the way of sales and it was after much thought that I come to the conclusion which resulted in this post. Naturally I decided to do something about it which was to point all the links to Amazon rather than to the site I had been using as an affiliate.

Naturally to facilitate this I used WP Zon Builder which made the transition a breeze. As you can see from the post The Ten Most Popular Vibrators, each of the vibrators in question now has a link to Amazon, an image of the product as well as a link to the customer reviews. I’ve also stipulated in the post that people should take the time to read the reviews to see whether or not it’s the one best suited to them. Whether they click on the review or the product link doesn’t matter as either way my affiliate link is embedded into both links.

The question now is am I right in making all the above assumptions? What say you, is there value in what I have portrayed above or do you see fault in it somewhere. Either way I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

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