Look, I totally see the value of personally experiencing a merchant's product so you can speak to it in the most natural way. But there's a process -- and more importantly a relationship -- that needs to be recognized and respected. You know how we get all pissy about those pitches that ask us to promote their company or product without any sort of compensation? It's kind of like that.Read More
It's important to keep your affiliates in the loop, regardless if the news is good or bad. But especially if it's bad.
Affiliate Summit East is almost here, and I'm so, so sad I won't be attending this year (thanks, #babything). ASE is one of my favorite conferences, and I dare say I enjoy it more than Affiliate Summit West -- ASW is like a party, ASE is a bit more business-focused, in my opinion. My very first speaking gig was at ASE '14, and my first solo session was at ASE '15. I also love New York, and the energy of the city really helps the vibe of the conference.Read More
How the hell do you even get started in affiliate marketing?
Let's get back to the basics, kids, and start from there.
First thing's first: You'll need to join some networks.Read More
When I work with wedding bloggers, I often hear "I want to work with wedding-related companies and well-known retailers who sell wedding stuff." Honey, of course you do. That's obvious. But you might also want to work with sports memorabilia retailers, steak suppliers and meal delivery services. Why? Because they'll still be relevant to your audience:Read More
It's frustrating as hell. You've emailed at least a couple of times trying to pry an answer out of your affiliate manager, only to be met with total radio silence. You're not really sure how to proceed, and in the meantime you've been racking up mad clicks and conversions for their merchant. You're starting to feel like just another cog in the wheel, and it's a pretty shitty way to feel.Read More
While I don't claim to be old hat at affiliate marketing, I do feel as though I know my fair share about it. I always read the T's & C's for programs, because I've seen some funky things (like not being able to use images from a merchant's site or not being allowed to post about the merchant on social unless it leads back to my blog). But this is the first time I have seen an affiliate marketing program require exclusivity among its affiliates. And the whole concept has my head spinning.
The one figure I most often hear bloggers talk about -- whether they're stoked or balking -- is commission. And why not? It's important to know how much scratch you're going to earn when you're able to make a conversion. And of course, the bigger the better, right?
But cookie length is important too, maybe even more important. And it's an oft-overlooked metric that plays a huge role in earning you that hard-earned commish in the first place. Especially for wedding and some lifestyle bloggers, knowing the cookie length you're working with is integral to deciding which merchants to promote.Read More
I work with a number of bloggers, mostly in the wedding space, who are just starting to get their feet wet in affiliate marketing. And they have questions. Lots of 'em. Which, I totally get because it wasn't that long ago that I had all the same damn questions. Hell, I still have questions and ask them of my AMs or friends in the industry without abandon. So, I thought I'd answer a few of these FAQs for you, because it's better to know than not know, right?Read More
I see a lot of bloggers, both big and small, struggle with managing their time or finding the ways to help them be better and more efficient at what they're doing. I'm frequently involved in discussions about which tools are awesome, what functionalities are needed and the like, so I figured I may as well lay it all bare so you can decide for yourself.Read More
You've had your 1:1 meetings. You lost your voice from all the networking. You're tired, maybe a little hungover and full of ideas. You've got a stack of business cards to sort through, a list of merchants you met with and tons of new blogger friends. You learned about a few new aspects to working with ShareASale, like reports you didn't know existed or ways to optimize your blog for better monetization.Read More
People all too often hear "passive income" and they're all "Hellz yeah! Sign me up, bro!" without considering what it means, what's entailed and what can result. Because passive income = sippin' on some piña coladas and getting a sick tan while the skrilla racks up, right?Read More
One of the biggest benefits of ShareASale ThinkTank is being able to schedule one-on-one time with your current or prospective merchants and OPMs (that's Outsourced Program Managers). Sure, you might email back and forth with them throughout the year, but it's not very often you'll get to sit down and have legit face time carved out to go over how you can be of benefit to one another, so it's my recommendation that you take full advantage of this opportunity. And if you're doing this as a total n00b, these meetings have the potential to open a whole new world of possibilities (trust me). However, since the meetings are a bit short -- most are going to run about 15 minutes -- you're going to want to come locked and loaded to get biz done. Oh, and don't forget to grab your free downloadable spreadsheet to help you keep track of your meetings (available at bottom of post).Read More
ThinkTank has played a huge role in my affiliate marketing life -- the Denver show in 2013 was my inaugural event, and it's where I met the people who have been integral to my success in the industry. (More about that here.) That first ThinkTank was also my very first foray into any conference having to do with affiliate marketing ... and look at what I've done in the time since! I've spoken at four Affiliate Summits and will be speaking at Performance Marketing Summit the day ThinkTank kicks off. Not too shabby, eh?Read More
With hundreds, if not thousands, of emails coming through our inboxes every day, bloggers are already facing inbox fatigue. It's essential to be efficient, succinct and detailed in your pitch, but do so in a personalized fashion. If you're trying to holler at us wedding bloggers, specifically, that definitely takes a delicate touch ... we're special snowflakes, after all. Remember: You're reaching out to pitch us, so make it good. Make it worth it. Make us want what you have to offer.Read More
And while it can get frustrating fielding PR pitch after PR pitch (and responding with our media kit), there is nothing that grinds my gears nearly as much as a company inquiring about sponsored posts only to turn around and ask that we give them the post at a fraction of what our price is. This is especially infuriating working with a blog such as The Broke-Ass Bride, which has been around since 2008 and has earned its stripes in Blogland. There has been quite literal blood, sweat and tears poured into the work to get BAB where it's at over the last eight years, and that work is worth something.Read More
It's nary a secret that ShareASale is my favorite network among the affiliate networks out there. The tools are a blogger's dream -- from the deep-linking Product Discovery bookmarklet to the widget-y Product Showcase to the consultant's idyllic two-tier and referral links -- and the interface and reporting are super idiot-proof. Not to mention the SAS team is uber responsive with pretty much any question I have -- and those tend to be many.Read More
Once you really get started in affiliate marketing, it's easy to rack up a ton of programs and lose track of which network who is in and what's the affiliate manager's name again? Trust me, I get it ... I sooo get it. With The Broke-Ass Bride being in over 200 merchant programs across at least five networks and Bourbon & Sparkle steadily nearing that amount, it can keep ones head spinning just trying to make heads or tails of it all.
So, of course, I'mma help you out with that. I've found the easiest way for me to keep track of everything is by using a spreadsheet that I pretty much always have open. So, I made one for you, too, using Google Sheets.
I've added enough space for you to keep track of everything from login details to default text links to your affiliate manager's contact information (you're gonna need that). Is it missing something? Holler at me and I'll add it!
Category: Bridesmaids, Guest Attire
Affiliate Manager / OPM: Affiliate Manager
About the program: Henkaa was founded in 2009 by current CEO Joanna Duong-Chang who combined her want for fashion-forward frocks with her economically-sensible principles. The dresses, called convertible or infinity dresses, can be worn a variety of ways -- or as Henkaa states on their home page: 5 Dresses, Over 100 Ways to Wear It. Additionally, the site offers accessories and other goodies perfect for gifts as well as some men's accessories.
Top 3 Best Sellers:
Recently, Target announced that they're pausing their registry programs and a collective sigh of frustration was heard across Wedding Blog Land.
It's still Engagement Season and now is the time when we start promoting registry programs super hardcore -- because now is when newly engaged couples start building their registries. It's kind of a #duh, no brainer. And while the bounty for Target's wedding registry isn't astronomical by any means -- like, $6, I think -- it still adds up and it's pretty shitty when they halt the ability to collect said bounties, especially when they are pretty much the only thing that tends to convert on the regs.
Similarly, many of us saw a few major retailers knock the top off commissions over the holiday -- also one of the ultimate moves in shitty program management. It kind of says to us: Hey, I know you're going to promote the shit out of this stuff because it's Q4 and everyone's shopping, but we don't want you to make as much money as we want to make ourselves though we still want you to promote us.
As an affiliate, especially a super-niche blogger affiliate, it can feel a bit like a personal insult: But I've been a good affiliate! I follow the rules and drive traffic and have made conversions. What in the actual shit would make them do this to me?
First, it's not personal it's business -- and often bad business. As Greg Hoffman told me, the reason why this may happen may include:
So, it's not about us. But there are a few things we can do to make the situation a bit more bearable.
- Reach out to your affiliate manager. Because they're s'posed to be your BFF, and they should be able to provide you with a (hopefully) logical explanation. Ask them what -- if anything -- they can do to make this a more mutually beneficial situation.
- Get whiny (note: this is not popular opinion, but you know what they say about the squeaky wheel). If you have a good relationship with your AM (this won't work as well if you hardly ever communicate with this person), don't be afraid to bend their ear but be ready to back your shit up: Have the stats to prove you drive traffic and conversions. Without solid data, whininess is just whininess.
- Wait it out. Take a step back on actively promoting the merchant to see if this is just a temporary deal -- there have been cases of merchants not budgeting wisely enough for the affiliate channel and getting surprised by the success (oh, such a problem) and the amount of payouts they have to pony up.
- Cut and run. Quit the program, hit the pavement and find a competitor to work with instead.
Mike Nunez of AffiliateManager.com suggests:
Similar to when a direct advertiser decides not to renew, it sucks, but it's not the end of the world. It just takes a little bit of refocusing (mourn for a minute if you want to) and a little more elbow grease, but it's possible that if you do turn tail, you'll find another merchant who is just as good, if not better.