Bloggers are often the most sought-after affiliates in the affiliate marketing industry. This is because bloggers have unique content and targeted, loyal audiences, which drives solid conversion rates and new customers. According to statistics compiled by BlogHer, a publishing network of female bloggers, 87 percent of consumers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from a blog.
The challenges involved in working with bloggers are identifying which bloggers to recruit, how to invite them into your affiliate program, and how to structure payment. I will address each of these challenges below.
Identifying Bloggers to Recruit As Affiliates
Finding blogs with a relevant target demographic is simple. First, determine the target audience you want to go after. Be specific. Conducting a search for blogs that target, say, “women” will yield an unwieldy number. But search for blogs that target, for example, “moms who sew” will yield an actionable list of recruits. To do the search, you can simply use Google. There are also paid tools such as Linkdex and AffiliateRecruitment.com. The benefit of paid tools is that they will provide some sort of reach and engagement metric that quickly enables you to prioritize your recruiting activities.
If you search on Google to identify potential recruits, evaluate each of the results individually. Here are the evaluation criteria I use when determining whether to recruit a blogger into an affiliate program.
Frequency of posts. How often are new posts added to the site? Ideally, you will see about three to four posts every week.
Date of most recent post. The most recent post should be within the past few days.
Relevance of blog. Check the content to ensure that the blog is relevant to your needs. For example, if you search “crafting supplies” to find blogs that focus on beading or painting, your search may also return blogs related to wood crafting, or watercraft.
Audience engagement. Do posts receive multiple comments? Are there social sharing tools in place? How many times has the article been shared to Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter?