Monday, July 30, 2007

Blog, Blog, Blogging Your Way to a Better Affiliate Marketing Program

Did you hate group work in school? Perhaps you hated group work because you were the fearless leader who couldn't understand for the life of you why your group members were so apathetic and impassive. Or, perhaps you despised the dreaded group sessions because you resented the uptight, A+ student who always had to be the shining star of every project?

Group work is not easy work.

In a sense, The Internet, or more specifically the World Wide Web, is like a big conglomeration of individual and group projects that millions of people around the world have the opportunity to contribute to. You, for instance, are likely part of a school or organization that displays its website online. You of course may not agree with much of what your company professes or with your school's “bragging rights” but hey - isn't that the “charm” of group work.

The interesting thing about the World Wide Web is that it's not just about group work...it's about the individual as well. Blogs happen to be one of the most useful tools for the individual who's finding new ways to express herself online. Affiliate marketing happens to be blogging's online economical cousin. In other words, blogging and affiliate marketing are potentially some of the most powerful online tools for the individual.

Isn't it refreshing to say what you really think?

Why Blogs? Why Affiliate Marketing?
If you don't quite trust the Madison Avenue crowd then blogs and affiliate marketing might be your tools of preference. Blogs can be used by people who want to write about issues they believe in and sell products they would actually use themselves. Could blogs and affiliate marketing provide us with benefits that are almost too good to be true?

It might seem that way when you receive benefits such as the following:

#1: Blogs and Affiliate Marketing Don't Require Personal Compromise
If you choose the right blog space and the right affiliate marketing program, you still (of course) are not an autonomous entity, but you won't be a slave to your online tools either. There are possibly hundreds or even thousands of hosting potentials who will provide you with blog space you need at extremely low rates and affiliate marketing programs abound as well. The online competition is likely to keep prices low (at least for a while) and doesn't require that you invest any thing more than dollars/per month and the willingness to sell products that (depending on your affiliate merchant) you are likely to be able to select for yourself. Basically, blogs and affiliate marketing allow you to choose and express with more power than ever before.

#2: Blogs and Affiliate Marketing can Save You Time
One of the great things about blogs is that they can save you time. Sure, you still have to take 10 minutes+ to write each blog entry but with some content management systems you can quickly have your blog content uploaded to your website for safekeeping when beforehand you might have loaded entry page by entry page in a tedious round of content management. New and edited content on your website is also beneficial if you are participating in an SEO (search engine optimization) campaign. An affiliate program should rarely require much time on your part, especially if you choose a merchant that allows you to choose your own products, hand-pick your link types and then sit back as it provides affiliate reports for you. With a relevant affiliate program and a website that already attracts many visitors, you can literally make a good portion of revenue while you work on other projects.

#3: Blogs and Affiliate Marketing to Express Your Individuality
Blogs can help you express your opinions, your humor, your sarcasm and your happiness, while reaching a greater audience. Affiliate marketing can express the products that you support and help you make money online. Blogs and affiliate products can even be merged into one when you write about products that you have tried/proven. Affiliate banners can also be displayed in or near related blog entries for easy access to interesting products by blog readers.

#4: Blogs and Affiliate Marketing as part of a Network
Blogs and affiliate marketing allow you the option to network with a variety of online entities. However, once again, you can maintain your autonomy (your decisions in general do not have to be totally influenced by the network) as you simultaneously become one of many.

#5: Blogs and Affiliate Marketing
Blogs and affiliate marketing can contribute to an online atmosphere of transparency that for consumers is almost akin to a neighbor or friend recommending a valuable product. The power of commerce may indeed lie in the lap of those who provide honest opinions about the products they have tried and tested themselves.

Blogs and affiliate marketing allow for independence and often require only small investments of time and money. Decide for yourself how blogging and affiliate marketing, separate or combined, could make a difference for your own home-based or large-scale corporate business.

Marci Crane is a copywriter for Main10 in Orem, UT. If you have questions in regards to affiliate marketing please feel free to contact a Main10 representative

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