A lot has been argued and written lately about bloggers being paid per blog post when they are also using affiliate links. Greg Hoffman wrote a great post (Affiliate Education for Bloggers) on the heels of ShareASale Think Tank. Roger Snow also wrote about how bloggers should consider affiliate links for long-term revenue as opposed to paid posts (Bloggers CAN Make Money in Affiliate Marketing). Joe Sousa wrote about “What Makes a Motivated Blogger.” Clearly it is a hot topic amongst affiliate managers. But what do AFFILIATES think?
This post is specifically about bloggers who are using affiliate links…not bloggers who are being paid only on a per post basis. That’s a completely different pot.
I don’t generally charge for any of my blog posts because I tend to use affiliate marketing links in them. I don’t expect merchants to pay me for placement on any of my sites with the exception of increased commissions for added exposure or things that take more work than standard reviews (like video reviews).
That said, I do love when merchants offer bonus opportunities either to get you active (or re-active) in a program or if they have specific things that they are trying to get out to the public.
Today I had two very different experience with this.
Merchant 1: Offered me $1 to write a blog post about a particular product that they want promoted. I could also get 50 cents for Tweeting about it. That’s not a typo. ONE DOLLAR.
Merchant 2: Offered me $10 to post about a new deal the merchant was running.
Merchant 1: I was so completely floored that they would think my time was only worth $1. I tried to politely respond without saying “I’m worth more than your stupid dollar.” But I was actually offended by it. I couldn’t believe that they would think that $1 would in any way motivate it.
Merchant 2: I knew it was a perfect fit for my audience anyway so the $10 was like a little icing on the cake to do something I should have been doing anyway. I wrote the post. And I plan on submitting it to get my $10!
Why did I respond so differently over $9? Neither bonus was going to make or break my day–or even my hour. But one was offensive to me and the other was kind of fun.
Merchants offer these types of bonuses all the time from $1 up to over $100 a post. They may be for initial placement, preferential placement, or promoting something with a known low conversion rate. As long as everyone comes out a little ahead, I don’t see a harm to it. I just don’t think it should be EXPECTED either that 1) blogger affiliates always get paid for posting on top of the affiliate commission, or 2) that blogger affiliates are willing to work for $1.
What do you think? I’ve started a little poll below. What is the lowest amount that is acceptable to even offer an affiliate to write a blog post on top of their commission rate? Weigh in in the comments section as well and be sure to mention if you are 1) a merchant, 2) an affiliate manager, 3) a blogger who doesn’t use affiliate links, or 4) a blogger affiliate. I am anxious to see if it makes a difference.