Bloggers are authority figures in their niche topic… or at least they strive to be. In being so, we are always on the lookout for new information and inspiration. We Google search our topic words and when we see another blog writing about the same stuff as us, we look for inspiration from that blog. We sign up for the newsletters of the sites we admire and we follow the links in the emails we get from them. They either maintain our interest or they eventually fall short of our expectations. This is true of everyone who has ever signed up for a newsletter.
What we as bloggers seek to do is to never fall short of anyone’s expectations of us as topic authorities. And here is wherein lies the opportunity for us to one-up our affiliate competition. It is easy, and I now do it every time I promote a product as an affiliate… as part of my system.
Keep signing up to receive the newsletters of others whose sites you admire, or start doing so if you haven’t been. Many of these newsletters will send you emails containing affiliate links that go directly to the product sales landing page. They do this because they are only interested in the chance you will buy the product, thus giving them a commission on the sale. If they actually knew what the product was really about… if they had actually tried it, they would not send you directly to the product sales landing page. No, rather, the link in the email would be to a personal review of the product that they have posted on their blog. Their review blog post, never the email to the review, would then contain the affiliate link.
Your reputation depends largely on the reputations of the companies and products you advertise for on your site. NEVER promote a product that you have not personally reviewed. Even if it is an otherwise quality product, but the high price is not worth the limited content… or if it is an upsell-scam type of thing… you run the risk of losing readers… fast!
I ALWAYS review the products I promote on my site… (I know I said ‘never’ in the last paragraph, but…) UNLESS:
- It is glaringly obvious just from looking at the product sales landing page exactly what I would be getting and that it meets my minimum standards for affordability and quality… (this is a rare);
- AND, it is a product for which a review copy is not available.
One-up your affiliate competition by going to the product sales landing page via the link in the email and give it a quick once over. If it is something you think might be worth the time and energy of your readers, then go down to the bottom of the page and go to the ‘Contact’ link and get their email address and send them an email explaining that you have a website (include a link to your homepage) of integrity, that you are an authority on your topic, and that you believe it would be mutually beneficial for you to promote their product on your site by way of a personal review of it.
I have an email template that I use to send review copy requests. I do not always use it, but it is there in case I feel like falling back on it… it simply saves time. You are free to use my template, but I highly suggest you come up with something in your own unique writing style that reflects who you are by way of the way you communicate. But, make sure your email gets these two vital points across:
- You are an authority on your niche topic.
- Your reputation is everything to you.
My email template:
I am founder & president of Ecoculture Village, a starting nonprofit organization concerned with teaching self-sufficiency, ecological sustainability, and ethical community practices. We have several blogs that all stem out from ecoculturevillage.org like spokes on a wheel hub. We are in our beginning stages, but we cover a variety of topics that is being added to as interest and relevance to our mission grows.
It is one of our online goals to be self-sufficient, by way of affiliate promotions, etc., and we believe we would like to promote your product. We believe your product ‘Product name’ would be a great fit on EcocultureVillage.org’s Useful Gardens Blog.
The way we promote products is a little different than some other affiliates. We do not send direct affiliate links in our emails (and not only because it is against the rules of our email marketing service provider MailChimp), nor do we host ads for physical products that we do not have personal experience with or have a real reason to believe in their superiority over others in their “genre”. Having no control over what ads we run and thus no way to verify the quality of each product advertised on our sites, is why we do not use Google Adsense… even though we would be making money in doing so.
Rather, when we send an email to our newsletter list, we send, in the text, a link to the article in the relevant Ecoculture Village Blog where we have written a review of the product after having given it a thorough examination… our honest unbiased criticism is what we know will make sales. We do this because we have requested review copies before that fell short of the quality we feel is minimum for us to promote. We are only interested in promoting affordable unique products of high quality.
Here is an example of a review of a product on our blog Survival Ways… Balkan War Survivor Turns Year Long SHTF Experience Into Survival Course.
If you feel as though Ecoculture Village + ‘Product name’ will bolster the reputations of both our endeavors… please send me a review copy and I will get right on it.
Looking forward and all the best,
Before long, your blogging workday will be composed of several systematics like this… and the money will come. But please always remember that to be a truly successful blogger, you must know that blogging is about caring about your reputation as a respected authority on your topic.
I am interested in what you think. What is your opinion on an email containing a direct link to a product sales landing page, as opposed to containing a link to a personal review? Please discuss below in the comments section.
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About me, the author… Troy Boylan
Ecoculture Village Founder & President, Anthropology BA, Interdisciplinary Studies: Ethnobotany BS. Two things I think are worth anything at all… all things wilderness and ecoculture… and well, RPGs… and skateboarding!
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