Today I’m back with my friend, and MiloTree Community Manager, Paula Rollo.
Paula is an affiliate marketing pro. She’s back on the show to share her advanced affiliate marketing tactics. These will help you make even more money through your affiliate marketing strategy so you don’t have to worry about pageviews.
In this episode we cover why you want to treat your affiliate products like they’re your own, how to find ideas for affiliate products in your own life, what the MiloTree Affiliate Program is all about, and much more!
Paula has so many tips to share. If you want to grow your affiliate income, don’t miss this!
- Beauty Through Imperfection
- How Blogging Makes You Braver with Paula Rollo
- Catch My Party
- I See Me Personalized Books
- MiloTree Affiliate Program
- FTC Rules
- The Blogger Genius Podcast on iTunes
* May contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Transcript – How to Make Even More Money with Advanced Affiliate Marketing Tactics with Paula Rollo
[00:00:03] Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast, brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian: [00:00:11] Hi everyone. Welcome back to The Blogger Genius Podcast. Today I am excited because I am joined by my good friend, Paula Rollo.
Jillian: [00:00:23] You guys might have already been introduced to her. Paula is the MiloTree Community Manager. She’s also my right hand woman. I’d be nowhere without her.
Jillian: [00:00:34] She’s a blogger who has been blogging for many many years. Her blog is called Beauty Through Imperfection. And today we are going to be talking about advanced tips for affiliate marketing.
Jillian: [00:00:46] Paula has been doing affiliate marketing forever, and she really upped my game. So hopefully she can yours too. So welcome to the show, Paula.
Paula: [00:00:56] Thank you for having me.
Jillian: [00:00:59] Absolutely. So this is your second time on the podcast.
Paula: [00:01:02] Yes I’m excited.
Jillian: [00:01:03] So I will link to your first interview and. I thought it was terrific. We talked about a whole host of things.
Jillian: [00:01:13] But little did I know that you were an affiliate marketing exper. So tell us what you think about affiliate marketing and what tips you have to kind of up someone’s game.
How to Improve Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Jillian: [00:01:27] We’re thinking that this is for people who understand what affiliate marketing is, who’ve tried it with some success, but who really want that passive income stream.
Paula: [00:01:40] Sure. So I love it. It’s one of those things that I ignored for a few years. Then when I really understood it, and just really finally was able to wrap my brain around how powerful affiliate marketing is, I’ve been all in since then.
Paula: [00:02:00] I feel like it is one of the most passive ways you can have an income. Obviously nothing is truly passive, but where a sponsored post disappears as far as your income goes, affiliates don’t and they can get stronger and stronger.
Paula: [00:02:19] My goal is to have my affiliate income matching my sponsored post, and my ad income if not exceeding it.
[00:02:25] Because it’s not as dependent on pageviews, it’s not here today gone tomorrow, like sponsored posts. You can truly have a steady income stream.
Paula: [00:02:38] Which is why I’m so passionate about it and excited about using it, and making sure other people use it well.
Jillian: [00:02:44] Exactly, and you know what I would say is when we started with Catch My Party, brands would reach out to us and I would feel so happy like, oh my God, Target wants to work with us. That’s incredible.
Jillian: [00:02:58] And then what I realized though pretty quickly is that we would work really hard on those sponsored posts. But the problem is you can’t scale them so soon as it’s over, it’s over.
The pros and cons of sponsored posts
Jillian: [00:03:10] The money is good and then it’s gone. And it’s not like that post is useful anymore, and then you’re waiting for another brand, or you’re reaching out to brands.
Jillian: [00:03:21] But what I realized is when I had a plate full of sponsored posts, I’d be happy, but I’d also go, oh no, I know have all this work to do. And then once that work’s done, it’s done.
Paula: [00:03:33] Exactly. It’s never coming back. Maybe they’ll hire you again in a year, but you’re going to have to put in the same amount of hours to do another amazing post for them, which is a lot.
Jillian: [00:03:45] And I feel like people were upping their game, so that what used to work as a really good sponsored post back in the day, no longer was good. Brands got smarter or just more demanding.
Paula: [00:03:59] Yeah both, I think both.
[00:04:03] Sometimes they come to me now and say, well we wanted your images to look like this.” And I’m like, “Well there is not an image on my blog that looks like that. So why would you expect that from me?”
Jillian: [00:04:12] Right. Or they want this number of social shares, it used to be kind of easy and now they want you to hit these numbers with them.
Jillian: [00:04:19] So I have found that the world of sponsored posts, even though we’ve been doing them for years and years. It hasn’t gotten easier. It’s actually gotten more time consuming.
Paula: [00:04:28] Yes a lot more demanding.
Jillian: [00:04:29] A lot more demanding and it is a little bit of trying to hit a moving target.
Jillian: [00:04:37] Just in terms of before the brand would be like. Thank you. Great. Here’s your check. And now they’re like can you re-shoot this or it’s not exactly what we were thinking.
Paula: [00:04:49] Yes. It’s so hard.
Jillian: [00:04:53] I found it more difficult.
Paula: [00:04:55] That’s one thing that when I’m communicating with brands on my own, one of my favorite ways to do that is to try to get sort of a hybrid going.
Paula: [00:05:07] I’ll ask them for 50% of my normal sponsored post fee, and I’ll let them know what my sponsored post fee is. And then I asked them for an affiliate commission too.
How to structure a sponsored post fee and an affiliate fee in one campaign
Paula: [00:05:23] Some brands don’t have the technology set up for a affiliate program yet. But a lot of them are willing to set it up or give me a code so that it can happen.
Paula: [00:05:35] It is kind of the best of both for both parties. The brand has a little bit of security where I’m actually going to make some sales or I’m not going to make up the rest of my my income that I wanted from this post. So they know that I’m I’m planning to do that.
Paula: [00:05:50] But then I also have security. You know sometimes I think a brand’s going to do amazing and it doesn’t, and it falls flat. I got some pay today for the work that I put in.
Jillian: [00:06:01] Can you give an example of a brand that you’ve done that with?
Paula: [00:06:05] It’s oftentimes like smallish brands.
Jillian: [00:06:08] OK.
Paula: [00:06:08] So maybe an app. A lot of the more techie brands will do it that way. Or a small travel company has hired me to talk about their bags and traveling with kids.
Paula: [00:06:22] They gave me a small sponsored post fee, and then they gave me an affiliate commission. I still make money off of that post, which was technically a sponsored post ,and was technically below my pay grade because I got the commission as well.
Paula: [00:06:37] That’s one of the most interesting ways that I think a lot of people aren’t taking advantage of. You can do it on both sides. If somebody is contacting you about a sponsored post, pitch them that you want an affiliate commission as well.
Paula: [00:06:48] Or if you’re working regularly with an affiliate, you can reach out to them and say, “I want to do this super-mega-awesome sponsored post for you. You should pay me extra on top of my affiliate commission.” A lot of them will agree to that as well.
Are affiliate commissions negotiable?
Jillian: [00:07:04] I love that. Here is a question. Are affiliate percentages, like what you get paid, negotiable?
Paula: [00:07:15] Absolutely. That’s another thing I do frequently with brands. It has to be someone you’ve worked with before. They have to be able to see that you’ve done something for them.
Jillian: [00:07:29] That made money, right?
Paula: [00:07:30] Exactly.
Jillian: [00:07:30] You made everybody money.
Paula: [00:07:31] Yeah. That you brought in customers to them. There’s this brand that every month I’m selling. These I See Me personalized books. People love them.
Paula: [00:07:43] That’s one of my biggest commissions every single month on my blog. So a brand like that that you have a track record with you can reach out to.
Paula: [00:07:50] Say this is what I’m planning. I want to do this amazing post. I want to do it at this time. Will you double my affiliate commission for this month?
Paula: [00:07:58] They’re not going to keep your affiliate commission at that level forever. They’re not normally allowed to do that.
Paula: [00:08:05] But you can ask them for a special promotion, say would you mind doubling it? Would you mind bumping it up from 15% to 20% or things along those lines.
Paula: [00:08:15] And then when you push that new post, or you push that Christmas Roundup or whatever it might be. Instead of getting $10 per sale, you’re getting $15 and that adds up.
Jillian: [00:08:26] I’ve never thought to do that. That is a very good idea.
Paula: [00:08:32] Normally, those affiliate people are really excited.
Jillian: [00:08:35] Because you’re excited.
Paula: [00:08:36] Because you’re excited and they want you to stay excited. So I wouldn’t ask for something crazy but even just asking, “Is there any wiggle room? Could you increase it?” And see what they come back with and just kind of take it or leave it.
Anchoring as a negotiating tactic
Paula: [00:08:51] If you’re not super comfortable with throwing out, “I want this number,” I know a lot of us are kind of timid about negotiating still, and that’s OK. But just asking what they can do is good to get your feet wet to see what’s possible.
Jillian: [00:09:05] I will just say that I went to business school and spent a ton of money on business school, and I’ve come back come out with a couple little pieces that I remember.
Jillian: [00:09:17] And one of them is the concept of anchoring. Negotiating is tough. And it’s especially tough for women. But if you have the courage to throw a number out, that will probably benefit you more than saying “Tell me what you can do.”
Jillian: [00:09:35] Only because what tends to happen is if I say, “Hey how about 30%,” they will negotiate even without knowing that they’re doing it around the number that you throw out. So that’s just a thing that I remember, that I want to share.
Paula: [00:09:50] Yes.
Jillian: [00:09:50] So that little gem was like $10,000 for business school.
Jillian: [00:10:06] I always think about that when negotiating, that even though it feels uncomfortable to put a number out. Because they will negotiate around it.
Paula: [00:10:14] That’s awesome.
Jillian: [00:10:14] OK so tell us more. Well first of all we should take a minute just to say that you run the MiloTree Affiliate program.
Paula: [00:10:25] I do.
MiloTree Affiliate Program — What is It?
Jillian: [00:10:25] Will you talk a little bit about lie what your job is. What you do and how you have helped us grow through the affiliate program.
Paula: [00:10:33] All right, so I’ve been an affiliate of MiloTree for years. Long before I knew you, really other than being the CEO of MiloTree.
Paula: [00:10:45] And I’ve always loved it. MiloTree is one of those really good affiliate programs I feel like. And I’m not just saying that because I run it. It was really good two years ago when I started being an affiliate.
Paula: [00:10:58] Because you get $20 per referral, What you’re referring is such a cheap product, like as far as how much money they’re putting out right away.
Paula: [00:11:08] With most affiliate programs you get a commission. So if they buy a $10 product I’m probably going to get a dollar, which is not very exciting.
[00:11:18] But MiloTree is 30 days free and then they have to pay $9 and as soon as they pay that $9 I get $20.
Jillian: [00:11:25] Well, wait. One thing ,they have to go through two pay cycles.
Paula: [00:11:29] Oh, OK.
Jillian: [00:11:30] So therefore we make $18 and then we give out $20.
Paula: [00:11:35] So they get the 30 days free and then two more months.
Jillian: [00:11:38] Right.
Paula: [00:11:38] But still, I feel like that’s very cheap. Because in the person’s mind, they’ve only spent $9 because it’s been two months of $9.
Jillian: [00:11:45] Right.
Paula: [00:11:47] So that’s a pretty easy sale for me to make, and normally to make $20 off of one thing, like I just sold a mattress or something, which is not going to happen very often.
Paula: [00:11:56] But I can sell an app that’s $9 a month pretty easily. So that’s one of my favorite programs.
Paula: [00:12:03] Programs that work like that as an affiliate are some of my favorites to participate in because it’s easy to make you know $50 to $100 a month off of one product, which is always the ideal.
Jillian: [00:12:16] If you join our Affiliate Program, you will get emails from Paula with tips. So it’s even worth it to join. I’ll put a link to join the affiliate program.
Paula: [00:12:27] Yes because I try to send out tips every other week, with ways that you can implement MiloTree and advertise it on your site.
Paula: [00:12:34] Here’s a feature you didn’t know about because I know I’m constantly using things. I don’t know all the features.
Paula: [00:12:40] I’ve used MiloTree for two years and didn’t realize it had email. So I’ll send out those tips and that helps you.
Paula: [00:12:50] But the tips are evergreen. You can you can apply them to other affiliate programs that you’re with. I know you’re not just an affiliate of MiloTree.
Jillian: [00:12:58] In fact I think you’re all about making people smarter affiliates.
How affiliate marketing serves your audience
Paula: [00:13:01] Yes I am. Because it’s such a wonderful way of promoting products. I think it serves the reader better than most other marketing ways.
Jillian: [00:13:16] Can you explain what you mean?
Paula: [00:13:17] Yes. So, ads. I use ads and I love them. Obviously love the paycheck I get from my ads every month. But they’re not really serving my reader all that much.
Paula: [00:13:29] It’s like you have to see something in an ad like what is it, like nine times before it starts registering.
Paula: [00:13:37] So that’s not a great experience for my reader. I have ads because they’re making me money.
Paula: [00:13:43] Sponsored posts may or may not serve your reader. It depends.
Paula: [00:13:50] Sometimes you just get those brands. It’s funny, my son gets this. I got this sponsored post one time and I was driving in the car and I think it was actually a sponsored tweet.
Paula: [00:14:03] We were driving, and he’s like, oh where are we going? He’s like 6 at the time. I said we were going to the store to get something for a blog post. And he was like, oh what are we getting.
Paula: [00:14:11] Sometimes that means like a toy or something exciting. And I said oh we’re getting water because they were paying us.
Paula: [00:14:22] And literally my 6 year old from the back seat goes “No offense mom, but I think everybody already knows about water.” And I’m like, you’re right.
Paula: [00:14:32] This is not a very effective thing that they’re hiring me to do. I would never post an affiliate link to water because everybody already has water. Everybody already has their opinions about water. I’m not changing anybody’s mind.
Paula: [00:14:46] But the products that I sign up to be an affiliate for, like MiloTree, like I See Me, for these personalized books like all these other affiliate programs I’m in.
Paula: [00:14:56] I’m in that particular affiliate program because I adore the product and I’m excited about it, and I feel like it’s something my readers might not know about.
Paula: [00:15:04] So I’m connecting with them by solving a problem. Where yes, my readers need water, but they’re not really coming to me for that.
Jillian: [00:15:12] It’s kind of like I think you can be a much more authentic helper.
Paula: [00:15:17] Absolutely yes. And you can solve problems that they didn’t know they have also.
Paula: [00:15:22] Because you’re bringing up products you know before I mentioned it my reader might not have known about MiloTree. My reader might not have known that they could get this personalized book about becoming a big sibling for their toddler.
Jillian: [00:15:36] Right. Right.
Paula: [00:15:37] And so it’s bringing them brand new information. Instead of just being like, Hey this big box store that you already know about has water which is a product you already know about.
Jillian: [00:15:46] Right. And again if you are that kind of person who sees people at drop off for your kids, and is like oh my god. Have you tried this? There are always those people.
Jillian: [00:15:56] If you are one of those people, I think affiliate marketing is perfectly aligned for you.
Paula: [00:16:02] Yeah for sure. And I mean I’m ragging a little bit on sponsored posts. I do them. And I do my best to make them useful, as you can make a sponsored post useful.
How to add value to your audience with a sponsored post
Paula: [00:16:12] Even if it is just about water. And I do. But it’s a much easier, or more organic, more authentic thing when it’s a product that I’m actually really excited about, and not a product that I’m kind of meh about, but I’m weaving it into a more useful story.
Jillian: [00:16:29] Right and for us, to when we do a sponsored post we always say, OK what value add can we provide, whether it be a free printable, whether it be a recipe, something that the brand hasn’t asked for.
Jillian: [00:16:44] And yes it’s serving the brand, but we always say how can we justify this.
Paula: [00:16:50] Absolutely.
Jillian: [00:16:51] Versus we’re just shilling for this company, because it feels bad.
Paula: [00:16:55] It does feel bad. But then it’s frustrating because you created this whole recipe. And you’re not going to be making money off of that recipe for the rest of your life.
Paula: [00:17:04] Where if it had been affiliate product, you would be making money off of that recipe for the rest of your life.
Jillian: [00:17:11] So tell me some more things that I would not have thought of.
Paula: [00:17:14] OK. So one of the biggest things, and this one is always funny to me because I’ll mention it like it’s old hat.
Paula: [00:17:22] And everybody would be like oh my gosh! And I’m like oh, I thought we were all thinking about it this way.
Paula: [00:17:27] So I don’t know where I picked this up, or how I just kind of automatically started thinking about it this way. But the way I view affiliate marketing and affiliates in general is that I’m going to treat them like they’re my products.
Treat affiliate products like they’re your own products
Paula: [00:17:41] Meaning if I wrote a book (which I did). Or if I made a course (which I did). I squeezed that thing into everything that I can on my site. I talk about it all the time.
Paula: [00:17:52] Every relevant post has “look how great my book is, look how great my course is.” I spent 10 years trying to create this thing, so you better buy it, is how I feel.
Paula: [00:18:04] Because I spent all that time making it and realistically for a lot of those products I’m not going to make that money back in the time that I spent on it.
Paula: [00:18:11] I created it because I wanted to. My book doesn’t sell millions, I wish. But I put it everywhere.
Paula: [00:18:19] Now affiliates save you time, because you have this ready made product that’s amazing and you can put it everywhere. You can rave about it like it’s your own, because you hopefully have this personal connection with it. It’s changed your life in some way. Put it in everywhere.
Jillian: [00:18:37] So give me an example.
Paula: [00:18:39] This isn’t for an Amazon link. This wouldn’t work with Amazon because Amazon gives you nothing. For something like MiloTree, where you’re working with another blogger.
Paula: [00:18:48] If another blogger has a book. If another blogger has a course. You generally get higher percentages from other bloggers because they’re so excited. The only way that they’re getting out there is if we all help each other.
Jillian: [00:19:01] Got it.
Paula: [00:19:02] Another blogger is probably you know, here’s a $10 book they wrote. Well they’re going to give you 5 of those dollars to promote. And that’s a huge win, versus if I promoted a book off of Amazon I’m going to get like 10 cents.
Jillian: [00:19:17] So what I think I hear you saying is, if in fact you’re somebody who creates courses, then you’re of course, want to promote your course. But, what about promoting somebody else’s course.
Paula: [00:19:32] Absolutely. So I think, do I need to make this course? Or is there really good course that I can promote instead. You can save yourself a lot of time.
Paula: [00:19:42] Now there are people of course that make like $10,000 courses and they make their millions and all of that. But the amount of work and effort that it takes to have a $10,000 course is more than I’m willing to do personally. And more than most of us are even able to do.
Paula: [00:19:59] But we can ride their coattails in a way, and make a couple hundred a month off of each of them, because we didn’t have to do any work other than researching the product a bit at the beginning. And then adding it to our relevant posts.
Paula: [00:20:12] And so if I’m really passionate, if I’m really excited, if I know the brand backwards and forwards, I can treat it as if it’s my product.
Jillian: [00:20:21] Yes.
Paula: [00:20:22] Obviously I’m not telling people this is my product, but I adore it like it’s my own. And I talk about it like it’s my own, because I’m actually making more money off of that than if I made my own product.
Jillian: [00:20:33] And of course all the time you save. I remember interviewing another blogger and she makes meal plans or recipe books. And she said I will promote my competitors because there’s enough that goes around.
Promote your competitor’s products
Jillian: [00:20:53] You know there’s enough, in that if I can make a sale maybe a product that’s similar but slightly different, or for a slightly different audience. She will still promote it, and I remember thinking wow that’s genius.
Paula: [00:21:05] Yes.
Jillian: [00:21:07] So it’s like even in your own space, to believe in abundance, and to offer multiple options, not just your own option.
Paula: [00:21:16] Well and it will build your credibility, because you can say, here’s the product that I offer, and here’s who it’s for. But if you are this person you might actually better be served by this product from my friend.
Paula: [00:21:30] You’re making money off of both but the person is like, wow I can really trust her. She’s not telling me that her product is the end all be all, but she’s realistically giving me the view.
Paula: [00:21:41] She says this recipe book has this type of recipe, and that recipe book has that recipe. I can make my decision as an informed person now, instead of going to her site and reading her bias about her product, and going to someone else’s site and reading their bias about their product, and not really knowing what’s the best choice for me.
Jillian: [00:21:57] That is terrific. And if there’s a product, like let’s say somebody makes a printable or a course or something, and they don’t have an affiliate program. You might want to reach out to them and say I’d like to promote this. Could you set up an affiliate program because it’s not that hard to do.
Paula: [00:22:14] Yes. I’ve gotten people to make them for me.
Jillian: [00:22:18] Right.
Paula: [00:22:19] Because a lot of times people think, especially if they are new to the industry, they think, “oh no one would want to sign up to promote my product”. If they’re not really sure, they’re not going to spend time on it.
Paula: [00:22:29] They don’t know that there’s interest right right away, because they don’t know how to do that piece of finding new affiliates. So it’s a hard thing to do when you’re starting.
Paula: [00:22:38] So reaching out, and saying that and even just saying here, sign up for Gumroad or Refersion or you know, get one of these and work it out oftentimes they will do it.
Jillian: [00:22:49] Okay that’s great. So tell me do you have any other ideas?
Paula: [00:22:54] Okay. Yes I have so many ideas. Fitting them all into however much time we have is the issue.
Paula: [00:23:02] Another strategy that I use that I think is a little underrated by people. I don’t know, people just don’t pay attention to this stuff, and I love it.
Paula: [00:23:13] Thinking about, not going broad. So we think with our affiliate links like “I just need get people to click them.” I’m going to put a gotcha, and they’ll just click it and it’ll be great.
Paula: [00:23:25] And that’s just not effective, people don’t buy that way. But if instead of casting a really really wide net, try to cast a narrow net, where people are actually looking to buy.
Paula: [00:23:41] So yes I do put affiliate links in every post when I can. I forget a lot of the time. But my intention is to put an affiliate link in every post, because if they’re going to buy something, I want them to buy from me.
Do affiliate roundup posts that are niche
Paula: [00:23:53] But my actual strategy is not based around I’m putting affiliate links in every post. My strategy is based around trying to hone in on some keywords that are smaller and more niche.
Paula: [00:24:06] They aren’t getting a bunch of noise from everyone about. That they’ll actually want to buy.
Paula: [00:24:13] So there’s two sides to this. One is that like going into Christmas we’re all going to be making these toy roundups and gift roundups. And I mean that’s just what you do at Christmas time right.
Paula: [00:24:25] Affiliate link, affiliate link, affiliate link. And they’re annoying but effective so do them. But there’s a way of doing and that’s more effective.
Paula: [00:24:37] If I put a affiliate roundup of the “best gifts for toddlers” for example. It’s not very compelling and they could go to my list, and it has however many things it has. Like if it has only 10, they might not be interested in something, but it has a 100 they’re going to be overwhelmed.
Paula: [00:24:55] And so getting someone to actually act on something that’s like gifts for toddlers is really really hard. You’re not going to get that much actioning from that.
Paula: [00:25:05] But doing more niched in roundups, like the best board games for toddlers (that’s an actual post I have). The people coming to that post actually want to buy a board game.
Jillian: [00:25:16] Right.
Paula: [00:25:16] They’re already ready to buy a board game. They’re interested in a board game and you’re just going to tell them which one to buy and why.
Paula: [00:25:21] Where, best gifts for toddlers, they might be looking at that before they go to Target and buy a gift for a toddler, and just getting some ideas and inspiration.
Paula: [00:25:33] You’re not going to make the sale as easily as you would from somebody who’s already decided that this is a toddler. It’s my nephew I’m buying him a board game. Tell me which one I should get, and I’m going to order it right then and there, because I don’t know if Target has it.
Paula: [00:25:46] Instead of saying “I want to reach every mom of toddlers,” no. Absolutely you don’t. Because right, it’s going to be pageviews. But it’s not going to be purchases on your affiliate links.
Paula: [00:25:58] You want to go narrow and think what specific thing might someone be looking for, and create a really useful roundup of those things.
Paula: [00:26:08] You’re going to get a lot less pageviews. But the pageviews that you get the intent is actually to buy from you. So it’s a lot more powerful, even though it’s probably not going to go viral.
Paula: [00:26:19] But honestly, the chances of your “toddler best gift ideas” going viral is quite slim because everybody has a best gifts for toddlers post. I have one from before I knew better.
Paula: [00:26:29] It’s still on my site. I still promote it. But it makes me much less money than the board games for toddlers does, or the gifts for kids who like to wiggle, or things along those lines.
Paula: [00:26:40] Where you think like, Oh Billy likes to wiggle. I’m going to click that and I’m going to buy him something because you resonated with me already.
You already showed me that you understand this child more than just “a toddler.” You know who my son or my nephew, you know who they are as a person. And so I want to buy from you because you get them.
Jillian: [00:26:59] And I would say, Tell me if you agree to start with yourself. So if you have a wiggly kid, you understand what wiggly kids need.
Find ideas for affiliate posts in your own life
Jillian: [00:27:09] I don’t have a wiggly kid. So for me to do the wiggly post doesn’t make sense.
Paula: [00:27:15] Right.
Jillian: [00:27:15] But go look in your own life. Like if you love moisturisers, and you have serious opinions about moisturisers for dry skin because you have dry skin, go write about that.
Jillian: [00:27:28] Or let’s say even better, you’ve got eczema. And so you understand that whereas if you’ve got oily skin, don’t be writing about dry skin because you think the dry skin market is bigger than the oily skin market.
Paula: [00:27:42] Yes exactly. Exactly.
Jillian: [00:27:44] So look around your own life and pull from your own experience.
Paula: [00:27:49] Yes. Because I think especially with those roundups people just try to cover everybody.
Jillian: [00:27:56] Yes.
Paula: [00:27:56] And that just makes it where you’re actually covering nobody. People don’t go and say “Oh I feel so understood after reading this. She addressed every issue that I had with my skin type.”
Paula: [00:28:07] Instead of thinking, she literally just went to Amazon and took all the five star rated things and threw them in a post and I could have done that. Now I’m annoyed and I’m mad.
Paula: [00:28:17] Actually my husband literally does this. If he lands on a post like that, when he’s looking for information he will x out and then go to Amazon himself, to look at the same product because he doesn’t want to give them the sale.
Paula: [00:28:30] He knows how it works, so if they give him good information and he doesn’t buy right then, he will go back to the site like a week later and click it because he knows how it works.
Jillian: [00:28:41] Right.
Paula: [00:28:42] So it amuses me he is that way and he’s he’s not even a blogger.
Jillian: [00:28:46] Right. But it is that ideal, if you are providing value people will want to thank you. It’s a way to say thank you.
Paula: [00:28:55] They are happy to help you make money if you’re providing them value.
Jillian: [00:28:57] And it doesn’t cost them any money.
Paula: [00:28:59] Right. Exactly.
Jillian: [00:29:00] So it’s not like well you know contribute to my Patreon account right.
Paula: [00:29:06] Right.
Jillian: [00:29:06] So tell me some more.
Paula: [00:29:10] So that second thing with this is kind of like a two part thing is having a second page strategy.
Have a two blog post affiliate strategy
Paula: [00:29:18] And what I mean by this is, I read something a long time ago and I wish I had bookmarked it because it was from like an actual, like I think, psychologist.
Paula: [00:29:28] But they were talking about how clicking through to a second page on your site builds a lot of trust. If someone is willing to do that, then they trust you a lot more. And so psychologically they’re more interested in purchasing from you.
Paula: [00:29:42] They’re more likely to purchase from you if they’ve gone through and clicked through a second page.
Paula: [00:29:47] So I was fascinated by this. And I tried it out. And I’ll just give you that example of a post I’ve done it in, And I’ve done this in like multiple posts since.
Paula: [00:29:59] But there is this initial post that I wrote years and years and years ago, that did extremely well. It was during the stage where things were still going crazy insane viral on Facebook.
Jillian: [00:30:09] Yes, a long time ago.
Paula: [00:30:12] 2014 or 2015 somewhere in there. I don’t remember when I initially wrote it. But I wrote this post about overcoming child abuse, and it was about how to talk to your kids about abuse in age appropriate ways.
Paula: [00:30:25] And you and I were actually talking a little bit about this before the show. But how to have those conversations, like I talk to my preschooler or I talk to my toddler and little ways that I do that, not like terrifying ways. Just little subtle things that you can do to empower your kids and make them feel in charge of their own bodies.
Paula: [00:30:44] To let them know if something weird happens, that they can come and tell you without having to have a concept of what different types of assault are, and what could happen and things along those lines.
Paula: [00:30:55] So anyway, I created this whole post. It was great, it was going nuts it was going viral. Well there’s these children’s books that talk about these things, which I adore like Your Body Belongs To You, and I Said No.
Paula: [00:31:09] There’s a whole collection of them that you can read literally, with a toddler and it introduces these topics that they’re really fun. And they’re bright and they’re colorful and the toddler doesn’t really know what they’re learning, but they are great.
Paula: [00:31:22] And so I initially had one of those like Amazon native ads in there with all those books, and it was not performing well. Those things never performed well for me, but I had it been there and all the books were there. But it wasn’t doing anything for me.
Paula: [00:31:39] And what I did was I created a second post, second page whatever you want to call it. And it was essentially a round up just of these books.
Paula: [00:31:48] So it was like Books To Teach Your Child About Child Abuse. No one is searching that on Google, I can tell you right now.
Paula: [00:31:55] No one is on Pinterest looking for this post, but I created this post anyway and I talked about, I think it’s just four or five of the books.
Paula: [00:32:04] There’s lots of them, but I talked about the ones that I had read. I talked about what ages I thought they were appropriate for and how I would use this book, how into detail that it goes.
Paula: [00:32:13] Because some people want more detailed books, like as my kids got into elementary school I told them a lot more than what we were talking about when they were 2 and 3.
Paula: [00:32:21] But we did start these conversations legitimately, when my kids were 2 and 3. And so I talk through each of the books with a picture with an affiliate link.
Paula: [00:32:29] These are all going to Amazon. You know I don’t like Amazon but this is just where those books are. So it’s all of this.
Paula: [00:32:38] And I just link to it at the bottom of this very emotional, very personal post, about overcoming child abuse and talking to your kids about it. And then say “If you want to read more, if you want to learn how to talk to your kids about this, click here I’ve created this resource for you.”
Jillian: [00:32:54] Wow.
Paula: [00:32:55] And so people have this emotional experience with me but I’m not just leaving them.
Jillian: [00:33:02] Yep. Like, “buy my stuff.”
Paula: [00:33:03] Yes. And I’m also not leaving them there. They want to action it because they’re feeling something.
Jillian: [00:33:08] Yes.
Paula: [00:33:08] And so then they click through. Only the people who are interested in actually click through and then they but the books.
Paula: [00:33:15] I wrote this post years and years ago. On Amazon you can see exactly what’s purchased and so many of these books still sell every single month.
Paula: [00:33:24] It makes me so happy because I know so many kids are getting educated on this.
Paula: [00:33:27] But it works because I don’t promote this post otherwise. Like the images for it are abysmal and just the topic like how do you phrase, “how to teach your kids about child abuse” in a way that makes people want to click on it? You can’t do it.
Jillian: [00:33:41] No.
Paula: [00:33:41] Not until they’ve first read this other post.
Creating an affiliate marketing purchasing funnel
Jillian: [00:33:43] Right. I mean you’ve created a purchasing funnel.
Paula: [00:33:49] Yeah I guess so.
Jillian: [00:33:50] The idea behind the funnel is somebody comes in at the top and they kind of go down the funnel and funnel gets smaller.
Jillian: [00:33:59] Meaning that lots of people at the top, but not everybody comes out the bottom. But that you’re being intentional as you move through, so that they trust you, so that they understand what they’re buying.
Jillian: [00:34:10] And you’re kind of guiding them rather than being like, Oh here’s this personal post and just here are some links to buy stuff. You’re saying OK you want to learn more, go here.
Jillian: [00:34:22] And this is more of me because you’re putting yourself into these posts, into the post with the books.
Paula: [00:34:29] Yes. They already know me and like me, presumably from the first post.
Jillian: [00:34:33] Right.
Paula: [00:34:34] Or they wouldn’t have clicked through. Where if they just came upon that post all on its own. And I feel like this is how a lot of those round up posts end up, like you’re kind of annoyed.
Paula: [00:34:42] You’re like, oh I thought this was going to be really helpful and it’s just them selling a bunch of products.
Paula: [00:34:47] Where if there is a step one. Now instead of landing on that post and being annoyed, they’re landing on that post and being like, oh my gosh this is so helpful. She did all the work for me and I can figure out what I want.
Jillian: [00:34:59] Yes.
Paula: [00:34:59] So that second page post is actually really really powerful, and can convert a lot of sales because you’re really doing all the work for them. Even for like other products like this.
Paula: [00:35:12] This is one I haven’t done but is on my list to do this month. I See Me brand that I keep talking about, I sell a ton of their books because I have all of this content about becoming a big sibling, and they have a personalized book specifically for becoming big sibling.
Paula: [00:35:28] And so I sell those in the post themselves, but I could actually do a review post. Which I’m not a review blogger and generally like just promoting a review post on its own, I’m like “yuck.”
Paula: [00:35:40] I know that there are review bloggers and those are valuable on their blogs, but on other people’s blogs I’m like, why are you just reviewing something, that’s annoying.
Paula: [00:35:47] But I can tuck this review post, I’ll backdate it on my site so it’s not on my home page. It’s not what I’m known for, but I can put like “for a full review of this product click here” in those other posts.
Jillian: [00:35:57] Right. Right.
Paula: [00:36:00] Or same with MiloTree, doing a whole review of Milotree and putting it on my front page, not going to do it. I love you, but I’m not going to do it.
Jillian: [00:36:07] No, I get it.
Paula: [00:36:07] But I mention MiloTree in a lot of my blog posts, and it’s helpful to be able to have a little like, “I use MiloTree, it saves me time in growing my social media.” That’s like one point in a post of maybe 10 points about social media growth.
Paula: [00:36:23] But I can link them to “here’s a full review of MiloTree, I’m going to tell you everything about how amazing it is. If you’re interested.”
Paula: [00:36:31] But you didn’t have to spend 45 minutes scrolling past that interview about MiloTree if you already have it, you already know about it, you already love it.
Paula: [00:36:39] So it’s really kind of serving people better by making them click a second time.
Jillian: [00:36:43] Yeah and having these very focused posts.
Paula: [00:36:48] Yes.
Jillian: [00:36:50] Again where you go down that funnel like fewer people are going to click on your second post than clicked on your first post.
Paula: [00:36:57] Right, but those people have an intent to buy.
Jillian: [00:37:00] Right and you want to get to those people and make them feel comfortable and get them excited to actually make the purchase.
Jillian: [00:37:06] Versus, I see, gosh how many products a day. Like thousands? And how many do I buy a day? Maybe less than one?
Paula: [00:37:18] Right, of course.
Jillian: [00:37:20] But it is interesting to see as a consumer are going through your experience on the internet. What is it that makes you want to buy?
Jillian: [00:37:32] Think about your own behavior. And even now hearing you tell the story as you’re talking about the second page, if I went to that page. I would buy. But I wouldn’t necessarily buy on the first page.
Paula: [00:37:48] And if I came to that second page on its own I wouldn’t buy.
Jillian: [00:37:52] No.
Paula: [00:37:53] But if I came to it from the first page I would. And that’s what’s so fascinating about it to me.
Jillian: [00:37:57] I get it, it’s a little bit like connecting the dots and help holding my hand through the purchasing journey.
Paula: [00:38:05] Yes. Yes. And you’re making this sale personal instead of just trying to make the sale.
Paula: [00:38:11] Because people know if they’re being sold to and it annoys them.
Jillian: [00:38:16] Yes.
Paula: [00:38:18] And some people won’t even buy from you if you’re trying to sell to them. It’s counterintuitive because we just said people won’t mind if they like you, and that relational piece is what makes the difference.
Paula: [00:38:30] The difference is between people knowing they’re being sold to and being angry, and people knowing they’re being sold to and thanking you for it.
Jillian: [00:38:36] Right.
Paula: [00:38:37] People in my real life have thanked me for the second page post because they purchased the books.
Paula: [00:38:43] But that’s how you can know, how authentic it was because sometimes when I do things people in my real life are like “really” or “you’re doing that? That’s not necessarily in line with who you are as a person.” And I’m like I know, but it is for my readers or whatever.
Jillian: [00:39:01] Right.
Paula: [00:39:01] But for something like that and for an affiliate thing, people in my real life know how true this is and they go buy.
Jillian: [00:39:10] Right. They can feel it.
Paula: [00:39:13] And my readers can feel the same thing. They don’t know me personally but they think they do, and they go buy.
Jillian: [00:39:19] Right. OK give me one last tip.
Paula: [00:39:24] I feel like it would be remiss to talk about affiliates without talking about the FTC.
FTC regulations for affiliate marketing
Jillian: [00:39:29] OK let’s do it.
Paula: [00:39:31] So we’re going to have the link to the FTC in the show notes.
Jillian: [00:39:36] Great.
Paula: [00:39:36] And I’m going to say to bookmark this page. Because every few months there will be a meltdown on Facebook about the FTC changing rules.
Paula: [00:39:47] Or is this allowed or is that allowed or whatever. And I don’t even engage in those conversations anymore because people get so irritated with each other. And so just in their head about what they allowed to do and what they’re not.
Jillian: [00:40:00] Yes.
Paula: [00:40:01] And I’m very strict about the FTC rules. Like I absolutely do not just look at what everyone else is doing and follow them because most bloggers are breaking the law.
Jillian: [00:40:10] OK good. I mean I’m glad we’re getting to this.
Paula: [00:40:15] Doing #aff is not legal.
Jillian: [00:40:17] OK.
Paula: [00:40:18] “Affiliate link” is not legal. That’s just not according to the FTC. But the FTC is very clear about what they want. They don’t say you have to say xyz, you can do it in an authentic way.
Paula: [00:40:30] You can do it in a way that makes sense for you. But you have to disclose. You have to disclose it properly. And it has to be able to be understood by the average person.
Paula: [00:40:42] That’s where they are at right now, and this is August of 2018. So if this is anything but August 2018 when you are listening, click that FTC link that we’re giving you and go make sure that it’s the same.
Paula: [00:40:52] Because that’s the frustrating thing to me. This is the reason why these conversations get brought up and people freak out about it all the time.
It is because they’ll listen to a podcast or they’ll read an old blog post and it’s from 2015 when the FTC had different rules.
Paula: [00:41:08] And so then they’re like oh my gosh, I have to change everything and they get everybody riled up on Facebook, and people are freaking out and you need to just go to the FTC yourself and read it.
Paula: [00:41:15] It’s much simpler now than it used to be. It makes sense. I’m still annoyed that we have to do it. But that’s just a pet peeve.
Jillian: [00:41:24] Yeah.
Paula: [00:41:24] And you can do it in a way that that’s authentic and that makes sense to your site. Like “I’ve partnered with these people I adore them.”You know I try to make it authentic sounding.
Paula: [00:41:34] On social media it’s more difficult to do that and oftentimes I’ll just put ad.
Jillian: [00:41:37] Right. Right.
Paula: [00:41:39] Because you can’t put “affiliate link”. And I know that for people industry like “it’s not an ad!!!” I know that, but that’s all that the average consumer understands and so I’ll put AD.
Jillian: [00:41:50] We did a lot of work with Bounty. And the truth is I use Bounty and I love it. The environmentalists out there, you might not like me because I love paper towels.
Jillian: [00:42:00] Anyway but I would write, “This is a sponsor post, we are partnered with Bounty but I do love Bounty, I use it every day”.
Paula: [00:42:13] Absolutely. And I actually in some of those I have a second page for my disclosure as well. Not the legal disclosure that we all have to have up. But I have a page that explains sponsorship to my readers.
Paula: [00:42:26] So it’s like if you have any questions, click here and on it I explain, this is my full time job. This is why I do these sponsored posts.
Paula: [00:42:35] Also I’m able to tell them, you know sometimes I get really high paying jobs and I’ve turned down a $900 job before because I didn’t believe in the company. And that means something to people.
Paula: [00:42:47] They’re like OK she’s not just literally shilling for anybody. Like yeah I did the blog post about the water, or it was a tweet. But did I think that that was really changing anyone’s life? No but it was helpful.
Paula: [00:42:57] And I believe in the brand and the service that they were offering. It was kind of a unique-ish service with water but I still laugh about it, but it worked. It was OK I don’t feel bad about it.
Paula: [00:43:07] But then there was a laser hair removal post that I was offered a lot of money to do, and I was like I can’t, I’m just interested in that. It didn’t work with my readers.
Paula: [00:43:23] But I can put all of that information there and kind of explain my heart behind sponsorship behind affiliate links behind why I’m making money on this. And I’m not trying to take advantage of them.
Paula: [00:43:33] And for the few people who care, or are curious, they click through and I have gotten some click throughs on it. And I think that it builds trust for those people.
Paula: [00:43:41] Without me having to spend a whole paragraph explaining I’m doing this in a way that’s not lying to you. I’m not misleading you. I can keep that authentic.
Paula: [00:43:51] And yes I adore this brand, and I normally try to put those things in there but I can keep it to a sentence, and then have another link out to something else that’s a little bit longer that shares a little bit more of my story.
Paula: [00:44:03] Like I sent back product to a brand because I emailed them and said I’m going to give you a bad review, or you can take your product and run. And they took their product and ran.
Being authentic and honest with affiliate marketing
Paula: [00:44:12] Things like that happen and I’m not just going to give a good review to get paid.
Jillian: [00:44:16] One thing I really like about what you’re saying is you will use pages on your blog or a second post to elaborate, to tell who you are to be your authentic self.
Jillian: [00:44:36] You recognize most people don’t care. But for the people that do you’re going to go that extra step and explain yourself.
Jillian: [00:44:48] And if somebody wants to know who you are by reading your blog they can.
Paula: [00:44:55] Yes.. And that’s important to me, and as a writer, it is easier for me to do that. I feel like some people who writing is not their thing. It’s hard enough to get this blog post out today. I’m not writing a second blog post.
Paula: [00:45:10] I get that for sure, and you can do some of these things in video form, if that’s easier for you just set up your iPhone and have a chat with your readers or just space it out a little bit more.
Paula: [00:45:20] I have now this initial second post that I was writing about with the books I have like 6 posts that all point to the second post now.
Paula: [00:45:29] And so you can try to create things like that as well where you can look and say you know these four posts on my site do pretty well.
Paula: [00:45:37] I’m kind of like halfway way trying to sell this product in each of them. I’m going to write one more post, even if writing is a challenge. I’m going to write one more post and really sell this product and just link to it in all four of these posts and you’ll see more results from that than you will from writing a brand new post and linking it in as an afterthought.
Jillian: [00:45:58] Yes and I talk about this a lot, which is you want to find your thousand true fans. You don’t need a million, and if you get an extra fan because you’ve explained yourself and how you feel about affiliate marketing, chances are somebody is going to read that page and you will have turned them into a raving fan.
Paula: [00:46:22] Yes. Instead of just mildly interested.
Jillian: [00:46:27] Yeah and by the way I’m sure those pages do not get a lot of traffic.
Paula: [00:46:32] Oh not at all. They’ve never been in the top 10. They’re probably not even in the top 100.
Jillian: [00:46:36] But kudos to you if you could get somebody interested enough to want to know more.
Paula: [00:46:44] Yes. Well there are pages in my top 10 that will never make me a dime other than ads of course.
Jillian: [00:46:50] Yes.
Paula: [00:46:50] There’s this post I did when Beauty and the Beast came out .It got I think like 300,000 pages in 2 days or something insane.
Paula: [00:46:59] But nobody bought anything for me. Nobody stuck around. Nobody cared about me other than my opinion on Beauty and the Beast, and a lot of people got really angry about me for my opinion.
Paula: [00:47:18] I got a huge payout from my ad network from those 300,000 views, that was insane.
Paula: [00:47:28] But, today it’s like 18 months since Beauty and the Beast came out. My blog has had no positive impact from that post at all.
Jillian: [00:47:35] Right.
Paula: [00:47:36] Where the 10 people, I don’t know, maybe it’s 50. I don’t look at the numbers on the second page posts hardly ever.
Paula: [00:47:42] But however many, very few people read that post every single month has a huge impact on my blog because they make purchases. Because they stick around, because they send it to their auntie or their mom.
Paula: [00:47:55] Because they’re like, hey I’m trying this new thing with my kid and he did not just like force hugs on him anymore or whatever.
Paula: [00:48:01] It’s being passed around and it’s changing people’s lives. Which is important to me.
Paula: [00:48:06] I know that’s not important to every blogger, and it doesn’t need to be but that’s important to me and the pages that matter on my site reflect that.
Jillian: [00:48:14] Wow. Paula I love this.
Jillian: [00:48:17] It’s like you get to change people’s lives you get to make the world a better place and you get to make money.
Paula: [00:48:22] Yes. Which is also nice, I’m not against the money.
Jillian: [00:48:25] No. Then that’s the thing. But it’s like finding those things like the wiggly kid. And it’s exploring parts of yourself in your own life that you feel comfortable sharing. And figuring out how you can be of service to other people who might be struggling with this and find solutions to help somebody.
Jillian: [00:48:45] And then the benefit make money off of it.
Paula: [00:48:48] Right and don’t feel bad about banking money off of it.
Jillian: [00:48:52] Right. And then you can repeat it.
Paula: [00:48:54] Exactly. You can find the next thing that will help someone and they’re saying and the next thing.
Paula: [00:48:59] And brands love it because they know that that’s converting true fans, and you know your readers love it and you love it. And it’s that’s the sweet spot for me, has to be Happy Brand, Happy Reader, Happy Me.
Jillian: [00:49:13] So Paula this is great. So if people want to learn more about affiliate marketing, about how to take their their post to the next level. How could they reach out to you? How can they work with you?
Working with Paula Rollo to learn more about affiliate marketing
Paula: [00:49:28] So I offer a few different services because I feel like everybody’s in a different place, and has different needs. And I’m passionate about affiliate marketing so I want to be able to help you wherever you are in that.
Paula: [00:49:42] So I do affiliate masterclasses where I just kind of teach you some of what we were talking about today, and how to implement this. I walk through it with you. But it’s a group setting. So that’s the low budget option.
Paula: [00:49:58] Then there’s also one-on-one coaching. If you’re like, I don’t know what my blog needs, but I need it to be working with affiliates I need to do better. But you want to do it yourself.
Paula: [00:50:09] I can do one on one coaching with you where I’ll go through your site and I’ll come up with a plan for you. And then we’ll talk on the phone and I’ll give you that plan and tell you how to implement it.
Paula: [00:50:18] And that’s always really fun because people feel like very empowered that they did this themselves. But they have all the tools they need to do it which is important. So we don’t get stuck spinning our wheels. So it removes all of that worry and just lets you know exactly what will work for your site.
Paula: [00:50:35] And then the last thing I do is affiliate management which is different. Like I do it on both sides so like for Jillian, I do manage her affiliate program and so all of her affiliates I talk to them and I help them do well.
Paula: [00:50:50] But I do the other side as well, where if you’re a blogger and you know that you need to implement affiliates. Maybe you have some idea of what brands you want to work with, maybe you don’t. But you can hire me to come and optimize your site for affiliates.
Paula: [00:51:07] So I’ll add the affiliate links in your site. I’ll add the images .I’ll go through everything and update it. Because I know when I started working with affiliates I was like 800 post deep in my blog and it took me like 18 months to to add all the affiliate links that I knew I needed to add. And do everything that I knew I needed to do.
Paula: [00:51:27] But the reality of having a business and trying to add in something else is a little bit daunting.
Jillian: [00:51:32] So if people were to reach out to you what is the best way.
Paula: [00:51:38] Yes you can email me directly my personal email is just my name. PaulaRollo@gmail.com
And if you reach out to me personally, I’ll get back to you and we can talk strategy and figure out what you want done. Or I can help you figure out what might be the best fit for you.
Paula: [00:51:55] Anything like that just let’s have a conversation and figure it out.
Jillian: [00:51:59] I love that. OK wait we have to do one more plug for MiloTree. So if you have not joined our affiliate program, definitely do it’s on the bottom of our home page you can see a link.
Jillian: [00:52:10] We’ll put a link in the show notes. But you’ll get to hear from Paula and from me and hopefully to be honest, when I get to send money to our affiliates, it makes me really happy.
Paula: [00:52:24] Yes. Everybody’s winning in that scenario.
Jillian: [00:52:27] Absolutely. Absolutely. So anyway Paula I love working with you. Thank you for being my right hand person. And thank you for coming on the show for part 2. And we will come back and do more affiliate stuff in part 3.
Paula: [00:52:44] Thank you for having me.
Jillian: [00:52:46] I hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you’re liking the blogger genius podcast please head to iTunes and give give us a five star review. It will really help.
Jillian: [00:52:58] It will help other people be able to find the podcast. It will help me get really good guests and I thank you in advance. So thank you.