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?