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Just as many bloggers and influencers are finding their way into affiliate marketing, I’m doing the opposite. For the last 10 years I have focused almost completely on affiliate marketing, with blogging really just being a little piece of that and almost no influencer marketing at all.
As times are changing and new monetization methods are becoming popular, I’ve decided to give some of it a try myself. Over the years I have done a few paid posts but they were few and far between because I focused on the affiliate side of the business. Back in November I dipped my toes into sponsored tweets with a national campaign that I felt was a great fit for me and paid well for the amount of work I had to do.
What’s the Difference?
It should not feel like a stretch to take a flat rate of money rather than a commission for talking about a brand. For some reason it does to me. Getting paid X number of dollars rather than just writing the post and including an affiliate link feels completely different. Here are the main differences I am seeing in the process:
- Generally with affiliate marketing I am finding the merchants and choosing which ones I want to write about from a BROAD spectrum of brands and prices. With influencer marketing they are coming to me and the selection is much smaller.
- The message is more controlled. As an affiliate you can say just about anything you want about a product in any way. When you are under contract, you are given “talking points” that they want you to work into your messaging.
- As an affiliate, I know that the merchant is not losing anything if my posts or Tweets don’t make any money for them. When I am getting paid up front for the work, I worry more about making sure that I am giving the merchant a return on their investment.
- With affiliate links I often talk about competing brands and products, sometimes putting them all into one post. Often as an influencer you have to agree not to be sponsored by any other competitors in the same time frame.
Where’s It All Coming From?
I’ve decided to jump into all of this mainly because I really trust a couple of the companies that are showing me the opportunities. My favorite so far has been Clever Girls Collective and I am anxious to start seeing opportunities from Fresh Press Media. Both seem to really GET what the merchants and the bloggers are trying to do and make it easy for them to do it.
So over the next few months I will be testing this all out in earnest and seeing if it is right for me. Affiliate marketing will continue to be my primary method of monetization, but I plan on weaving in some of the influencer marketing as well to see how I like it. As always I will be disclosing what is sponsored so everyone will be able to tell. I’m anxious to see if my followers/readers even notice or care about the difference!
Have you had experience combining both affiliate and influencer marketing? Which do you prefer and why?
Wow, Tricia. I am so overwhelmed with info everywhere, it’s wonderful to see your clear and well written guides and opinions on here!
I was wondering about Fresh Press Media and others like it. I saw the different advertisers have requirements for you to promote their products, such as written blog posts, tweets etc. My question is, how do you get the actual product to try out and give an opinion? Is this a completely different piece of the puzzle? Thank you so much for all that you share!
Tricia Meyer says
Great question! Every advertiser is different. Some of them will specifically say that they want to send you the product and have you write about. Some of them are just informational campaigns where they don’t need you to give an opinion but rather just help them advertise (like Tweeting that a new movie is opening this weekend). They will all say in the description of the campaign whether they are going to send you something to review, just send you talking points, or let you say whatever you want to say but use certain hashtags. Then you can decide from there if you feel comfortable enough with the product/campaign to apply for it.
This is very interesting.
I’ve actually never been “the influencer” in influencer marketing. Or have not used it in the way you’ve talked about in this post.
They way I’ve been doing it is by me looking for influencers and reaching out to them for help.
Anyway, this seems like easy money.
But I guess you have to be considered an influencer. Obviously. hehe
I’m actually so interested in this. I kinda wish some company can reach out and ask me for something like this. 😀
Tricia Meyer says
Thanks for your comments, Julian! I would definitely recommend getting signed up with a few services (Fresh Press Media immediately comes to my mind) to help you in finding more of these opportunities. Often other brands will search specifically for different sponsorship or influencer language across sites to see which people are available for those opportunities.
Dave Nicosia says
I’ve never heard the term “influencer marketing” before. Thanks for teaching me something new today! I just discovered you blog and I’m looking forward to reading more.
Any good resources about influencer marketing I you can share?
Great insight! I can imagine it would have a different feel depending on which you’re focused on at the time. Good to hear the input from someone experienced with both avenues!
What an interesting and timely article! Im keen to see where the influencer model goes, and how it relates to the affiliate business ongoing.