I believe online businesses often benefit from diversifying their revenue streams. In plain English, that means you have more than just one way to make money. Just like an investor will advise you to diversify your investment portfolio in order to reduce risk, I’m suggesting you can do the same thing with an online business. Diversifying your revenue streams not only has a good chance to make more money for you, it has a good chance to prevent hiccups in your revenue, too.
Let’s say your money comes from freelance services. What if you experience a dry spell and get no clients for a while? What if you have difficulties getting a client to pay on time? What if a deal you thought was “for sure” falls through? Without additional revenue streams, you could have a hard time.
Content & Revenue Together
In addition to providing more (and more steady) revenue, affiliate marketing provides you with content, too. This is because people love to read reviews about something before they buy it. In fact, a recent survey showed that people prefer to read blogs for product information over other sources because they trusted them more.
This fits in nicely with your need to produce relevant content. Only in this case, your content benefits you in more than one way. Your content will accomplish the same things it normally does for you, such as enhance your credibility and educate your customers. But it will also provide you with an additional way to make money from affiliate sales.
The problem with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is not necessarily easy. Why? Greed vs. trust, that’s why.
Your readers need to trust you or they’ll not only fail to buy through your affiliate links, they’ll stop reading your blog, too. But people get greedy and make mistakes without even realizing it. You may not see the dollar signs flashing in your eyes, but other people will.
The only way to avoid this that I know of is to always make sure you put your customers and readers first, no matter what. The question of truth is this: would you recommend a product or service even if you weren’t an affiliate?
A good rule of thumb is this: if you yourself use and like a product or service, then it’s fine to recommend it to others. Being compensated for that isn’t wrong.
Nobody believes in your rainbows
But you’re not out of the woods, yet. How you review something matters. If you continually only ever have positive reviews, people will begin to suspect that you’ll say anything just to make money from affiliate sales. It’s almost impossible to recover from a lack of trust like that.In other words, you have to be critical in your reviews, or you won’t have any real credibility.
Talk about what’s both good and bad with a product or service as you see it. Give your readers real information to help them decide if your affiliate offer is right for them. They’ll respect you for it and continue to trust you.
Do you engage in affiliate marketing?
I’m not sure if it’s fitting or ironic that there are no affiliate links in this post.
In either case, my question to you is: have you done affiliate marketing? How’s that going for you?