Well, I’m still trying to get my head around affiliate linking. I pretty much know I don’t want to work with an affiliate scheme business. The whole point about blogs is that they’re individual, and I want to work in an individual way with a handful of e-tailers. Why? Because I take affiliate linking really seriously and I want a proper relationship with the people I’m working with. After all, in effect affiliate links are a way for blogs to make money from the readership they’ve built. That isn’t a friendship I want to abuse in any way, shape or form. Some readers are really quite happy that bloggers get a small portion of revenue; in fact, they’re positively encouraging. Others view it – as someone in my comments section said – as a ‘blog for hire’ situation but I think maybe that’s more of an objection to advertising on my blog. Mainly, I blog about things that haven’t actually launched yet, so the only way that working with affliates would change BBB is announcing when a product has launched with a link to the e-tailer. It’s absolutely the reader’s choice how, where and if they buy. But, that’s why I want my list small.. if I’m sending people who have bothered to read my blog then I want it on my terms and the best possible terms for them.
So, given that blogs are individual, and e-tailers and their PRs are falling over themselves to get their products reviewed on blogs, you’d think a more open-minded attitude to individualism might be something they’d want to do. Not a bit of it! The e-tailers who ‘can’t do’ are really very surprising; they’re the ones with the biggest blogger outreach programmes and social media focussed PRs. It’s all very well to want to foster relationships with blogs but it isn’t a one-way street: there are plenty of brands desperate to make links with bloggers, and I’m actually asking for that exact thing – a personal link and relationship that isn’t confined to a commercial affiliate business but on terms that suit both. It’s not even hard to do; it just means that someone at the back-end of the e-tailing site has to do a little bit of tracking instead of leaving all that stuff to an affiliate company. Bearing in mind the Nofollow information, it isn’t an exercise in me helping to increase their SEO.. it’s about finding sources for readers to buy their beauty products that I personally trust and use. It’s rather ironic also that beauty blogs have pioneered a new way for people to read about beauty and base their purchases on honest reviews which sends thousands and thousands of consumers to various e-tailing sites, and here I am trying to start a new way of working with these sites and they don’t want to play.
It’s worth mentioning that some sites have been amazing: it’s a bit of a bother for them, but you’d never know it – they’ve been nothing but professional and helpful. I’ll publish a list of BBB approved affilates that I’m going to work with in the top tabs when I’ve finalised a list.