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Demystifying Affiliate Marketing For Travel Bloggers - Traverse 2016

At WTM London it became apparent that very few travel bloggers make money from, or monetise their blog, using affiliate marketing. This presentation covered what affiliate marketing is, how to get started with affiliate marketing (including which networks to sign up to), as well as important considerations such as cookie lengths, ad types and commission levels. The presentation also covered key questions such as tracking links and nofollowing affiliate links for SEO purposes.

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Demystifying Affiliate Marketing For Travel Bloggers - Traverse 2016

  1. 1. DEMYSTIFYING AFFILIATE MARKETING APRIL 2016 @MrHeyes #Traverse16
  2. 2. HELLO & WELCOME! • Run the travel blog simonsjamjar.com – travel blogger since 2011 • Have worked in digital marketing since 2004 • Run affiliate programmes for my blog, and help brands to make the most of affiliates • Affiliate programs for my blog include Travelzoo, Booking.com and Amazon • This session will cover… @MrHeyes #Traverse16 WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING? GETTIN G STARTE D COMMISSION, ADS & COOKIES (CAC) FAQs QUESTION S
  3. 3. WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 COMPANY X AFFILIATES RECRUITED AFFILIATES PROMOTE COMPANY XAFFILIATES GET COMMISSION COMPANY X MAKES MORE SALES
  4. 4. WHICH BRANDS RUN AFFILIATE CAMPAIGNS? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 HOLIDAY COMPANIES HOTELS TRAINS AIRLINES CARS
  5. 5. KEY TIP… @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • If you’re not sure whether a brand runs an affiliate program, simply Google them…
  6. 6. THE BIGGER PICTURE @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Online Performance Marketing (OPM) generates over £14 billion in sales… £14 billion • ….approximately 10% of all UK e-commerce sales ROI £15: £1
  7. 7. GETTING STARTED @MrHeyes #Traverse16
  8. 8. WHERE TO BEGIN? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 1. THINK ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE 2. BE TRUE TO YOUR BRAND AND BLOG 3. BE TRANSPAREN T & OPEN
  9. 9. WHERE TO BEGIN? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Sign up to affiliate networks that are running the campaigns you want to join AFFILIATE NETWORKS INDEPENDENT PROGRAMS
  10. 10. WHERE TO BEGIN? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Approval ratings are usually between 85 – 95% • Potential spam content detected • You promote their competitors – brands may want exclusivity • Wrong fit for the brand • Your site may be focusing on a different market or target audience • Bad timing (program may be closing, change of personnel etc.) REASONS YOU MAY BE REJECTED
  11. 11. WHAT DO AFFILIATE NETWORKS LOOK FOR? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 1. RELEVANT, FRESH, ENGAGING CONTENT 2. A WELL DESIGNED SITE 3. PASSION
  12. 12. YOU’RE IN! @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Affiliate network platforms differ, but here are the key features to look out for…
  13. 13. YOU’RE IN! @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Affiliate network platforms differ, but here are the key features to look out for…
  14. 14. YOU’RE IN! @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • EPC = Earnings Per Click - reflects an average affiliate program's pay out per one hundred clicks
  15. 15. A TYPICAL AFFILIATE PROGRAMME PAGE @MrHeyes #Traverse16 Tools to promote the brand What you can and can’t do What you could earn
  16. 16. COMMISSION, ADS & COOKIES (CAC) @MrHeyes #Traverse16
  17. 17. SO…HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I MAKE? @MrHeyes #Traverse16
  18. 18. COMMISSION @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Most affiliate programs pay out based on sales or leads • Commission varies depending on the product being sold – insurance = higher commission, flights = lower commission • Commission can be tiered, depending on the volume you drive AOV = £700 Commission = £35 AOV = £950 Commission = £57
  19. 19. COMMISSION @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Some brands also alter commission levels and provide incentives based on their wider marketing campaigns and inventory Usually 4% April 2016 = 8%
  20. 20. COOKIE LENGTH @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Most affiliate programs cookie lengths vary from 30 days to 90 days • The longer the better! 24 Hours 30 Days 90 Days
  21. 21. WHAT DO OTHER BLOGGERS EARN? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Anywhere from £20 to £1,700 per month, depending on seasonality
  22. 22. ADS ON YOUR BLOG - LINKS OR BANNERS? @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Remember, stay true to your audience – make the affiliate integration seamless • Links generally convert a lot better…. and banners look shit on mobiles
  23. 23. BANNERS ARE DEAD @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Depending on the programme the banner selection may be very unhelpful Banners haven’t been updated Banners aren’t responsive / don’t fit your website Banners are made in Flash (which is also dead) Doesn’t cover the product / campaign / service you need
  24. 24. THE SECRET SAUCE? DEEP LINK BUILDERS @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Link to any page of the brands website. Connect your audience directly to the content they are interested in
  25. 25. HANDY REPORTING @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Reports by merchant (brand), by click reference and more
  26. 26. HANDY REPORTING @MrHeyes #Traverse16
  27. 27. PLUGINS & OTHER FUNKY TOOLS @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Adding links can take up a lot of time. Here are a few tools to keep an eye out for.
  28. 28. PLUGINS & OTHER FUNKY TOOLS @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Adding links can take up a lot of time. Here are a few tools to keep an eye out for.
  29. 29. FAQs ABOUT AFFILIATES @MrHeyes #Traverse16
  30. 30. FAQs @MrHeyes #Traverse16 Can I make my own banners to put on my site? Depends on the individual brand guidelines that outline what you can and can’t do.
  31. 31. FAQs @MrHeyes #Traverse16 Do I Need To Disclose Affiliate Links? Be transparent with your audience. You would disclose for gifts or collaborations, so it’s best to disclose you may add affiliate links into your content
  32. 32. FAQs @MrHeyes #Traverse16 If I’m collaborating with a brand, can I use affiliate links rather thank normal links? This very much depends on the agreement you have with the brand. Always ask and check before publishing the content.
  33. 33. FAQs @MrHeyes #Traverse16 Can I use my social media channels to promote my affiliate programs? Yes, you can. Tracking will mainly be connected to your blog, but you can still promote through affiliate channels.
  34. 34. FAQs @MrHeyes #Traverse16 What if I mask the URLs using a link shortener - will the links still be tracked? They will indeed! Use Bitly or another URL shortener, plus you get another data source for tracking links!
  35. 35. FAQs @MrHeyes #Traverse16 Should I add ‘nofollow’ tags to my affiliate links for SEO purposes? Most affiliate links use a 302 redirect…and Google handles affiliate links differently…but just to be safe, yes, add a nofollow tag so there is complete clarity for Google’s little robots.
  36. 36. FAQs @MrHeyes #Traverse16 Do I need to pay tax on my affiliate earnings? Unfortunately, yes. Any income you make should be disclosed to HMRC. Need help? Contact Raj! hello@konaseven.uk
  37. 37. SUMMARY @MrHeyes #Traverse16 • Sign up to affiliate networks and programs that suit your blog and your audience • Be transparent with your audience • Promote affiliate programs in a natural way that fits in with your blog and social channels • Look out for affiliate incentives and offers • Go make some money!
  38. 38. THANK YOU! @MrHeyes #Traverse16

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