Affiliate ads can be a good option for a content site. Now, for someone who doesn’t understand what products would appeal to their readers, affiliate ads are not recommended. But, then again, if you don’t know what people who read your site are interested in, how are you pleasing them day after day? I’d bet if you really think about it, you can gauge what appeals to them. Of course, though, if anyone needs a hand with determining what might appeal to their readers, feel free to comment below and I’ll take a look at your site.
Now, a finance-based site may do well with an ad that offers a Quicken Loan ad (similar ads pay $5-15 per lead) or an ad that sells Franklin Covey products (which may offer a percentage of the sale). When these are compared to AdSense ads that vary widely from $.15 to $1.25 per click, the $5-15 per lead looks quite attractive.
The biggest delimma in a situation such as this is to avoid changing your writing in such a way as to recommend something because the spiff (bonus) is high. You may be tempted to do a post on Quicken Loans or spotlight a Franklin Covey product so you can raise your profits. However, if you don’t like the product, or haven’t even tried it, refrain from doing so. Nothing hurts your reputation more than knowing your blog or site is nothing more than a promotional tool. Respect your readers and steer clear of selling your soul for $5 a click.
If you are a product review site and you want to review a product that you happen to be an affiliate for, be sure to note it in the post. And, don’t go easy on it either. If the service stinks, tell your audience. If the product was great, but you had to deal with shipping headaches, be clear on that. Your readers will accept this honest review as fact and they still may go and buy it. However, if you gleam about it and it is horrid, your readers will know you just scammed them for a few measley bucks.
Ad Delivery Is Human
Affiliate ads are simply a more reliable ad-delivery option for some types of sites, especially ones who are all over the place in terms of content or ones that are highly made up of pictures/videos. As noted by Dan, sites that don’t consistently deliver the same types of keywords will deliver contextual ads that may be all over the place.
Dan’s site offers advice on all types of things. Therefore, one day he may be talking about a Hairless Cat and another day about Parenting. Can you just imagine the contextual ads he is delivered? Affiliate ads, for Dan, are a great way to target his demographic and serve them relevant ads. And, who better to pick out ads for your site than yourself?
As a bonus, affiliate ads look professional and they, because they are branded in the style of the advertiser, greater translate the feeling of the product, resulting in better click-thru experience in certain situations. Plus, studies have shown that images on a page (yes, even ads) increase the time a person will read, as does white space, by the way. I can believe it, because I spend more time reading very long articles via RSS that have images and ads than ones that are text only (I tend to skim them otherwise).
And, if your demographic is one that rarely clicks Google/Yahoo ads (ie any tech audience), they may be less likely to balk at clicking an ad on which you don’t get paid for the click but the sale. Of course, it pays to point out that many affiliate cookies last for 60 days so if someone clicks that Audible ad today and checks it out, I get nothing. However, if they type in the web address later this week to sign up for service, unless they’ve cleared their cookies, I’ll still get credit for the sale. CPC isn’t always better.
Again, this article is far too long. The final part of it will be published later this week. If you missed the first one, here is Affiliate Advertising – Publisher Sites.