Apr 4, 2019
Written by Zoë Pedziwiatr
You may be wondering however, how to go from being just another Publisher joined to an affiliate program to creating a deeper partnership with an Advertiser. The first step to working with Advertisers through affiliate in a more direct way is your pitch—which includes setting rates. That said, it can be difficult to decide what that number should be as there are no real guidelines around how to set pricing. While we can't tell you what you're worth, we CAN give you some advice and a list of things to consider when evaluating your pricing structure.
Affiliate is a pay for performance marketing channel, so you'll find that brands will be a bit more careful when paying outright for sponsored content or even sending free product. This is because their number one priority is usually return on investment (ROI). When you book sponsored content through the affiliate channel, keep in mind that brands will pay you commission through your links in addition to the rate you set and they're able to see performance to judge the success of your post and their investment.
Because of this, you should boost content that contains affiliate links. If your content performs well with your readers, you'll earn additional income through the links in your post (possibly for a very long time). In theory, the more traffic and engagement your post receives, the better your post will perform, resulting in more commissions earned. This also means the Advertiser generated more sales/leads, which makes them much more likely to invest in you again. A win-win for everyone involved.
Your unique monthly visitors play a huge a part in how much you should charge. There is such a thing, however, as being small but mighty. An engaged readership can take you far. Do you receive tons of comments on your posts? Do your readers take your recommendations seriously? Does your audience click every link? The number of eyeballs reading your content means less without actual engagement.
Your social following might be larger than your blog readership. This can be a great value add if social is included in your sponsored post package. Just like with blog engagement, the number of followers you have on your social platforms is more valuable if they're engaged followers—followers who comment, like, share, pin, etc. There is a ton of information online that you can leverage to help you calculate your engagement rate for each of your social channels. Some, like Phlanx (for Instagram) will even pull this number automatically for you.
Advertisers love the idea of working with Content Publishers/Influencers because they feel like they're getting something special. You (and/or your team) are stellar writers, designers, photographers (or all 3!) You write to inspire, inform, and educate and the content you create has major impact for brand awareness and drives your readers to purchase what you recommend. The type and quality of content you create for a brand should influence your pricing scale. Here are some things to consider as you build out your menu of opportunities:
How much content do you provide? This could include number of posts, number of social shares, newsletter inclusion, etc. Other value adds: linking to the post in future content, featuring the post in your blog sidebar, deal round up posts, a Friday link round-up, etc.
Affiliate tends to have a smaller budget for what we sometimes call "flat rate placements" where you'll be paid for a sponsored post rather than commission. You might find you have more success pitching brands through affiliate if you're flexible and open to a hybrid form of payment. This could be something like a discount to your normal rate + product/service + a commission increase. Don’t sell yourself short, but it might be worth getting creative in some instances in order to jump start a relationship.
Are you a Content Publisher that’s interested in connecting with brands that are serious about content? Join our exclusive Content Certified Program and get approved for your favorite affiliate programs immediately plus additional support from a team that truly gets content.