Editor’s note: This post was written by Tim Hinchliffe, an American journalist who has written for such publications as the Ghanaian Chronicle and Colombia Reports. His articles have been featured in FOX News, BBC, NBC, Al-Jazeera, and the Washington Post, among others. When he is not working on the next story, Tim enjoys fishing, cooking, strumming the guitar, and exploring his new-found love, Medellin, Colombia.
Every blogger faces the challenge of trying to make money out of their passion. At the same time, there are online retailers who just can’t quite seem to find the best distribution channels for their products.
Affiliate programs or referral links are some of the best ways of getting revenue to your blog, according to many of the most successful bloggers.
Referral links are sometimes controversial because visitors feel that they are tricked into using them or that bloggers tint their reviews differently based on whether or not they can earn money from referrals.
However, if you do them right, namely disclosing them directly or using them in a way that makes it clear, they can be a good source of revenue.
A new advertising platform has been launched that seeks to change the way bloggers and publications monetize and approach online retail by making it easier to to connect to more affiliates through a single algorithm.
Founded by Dutch startup pioneer, Steven Lammertink, Cirqle is a new platform that enables bloggers to connect their content with thousands of popular brand name products while earning revenue on every sale inspired.
“Anytime you recommend a relevant product or service to your audience, check to see if they have an affiliate program. If so, sign up and use your affiliate link,” says David Risely of the Blog Marketing Academy.
“The idea for Cirqle came when we saw that bloggers, many with very large audiences, were having challenges with monetization. At the same time online retailers were not finding the distribution channels they were looking for. Cirqle was designed from the start to solve both of these problems. This is a market that has not yet actualized, and our goal is to create it out of nothing,” says CEO Steven Lammertink.
According to Kevin Muldoon of Elegant Themes Blog, one of the best ways to earn money through blogging is to use an affiliate program that pays commissions on generated sales.
“For one of my old blogs, affiliate income represented around 75% of my total income,” says Muldoon.
A platform like the Dutch startup makes room for commissions to be paid to the blogger without having to setup multiple accounts with different companies. This can be profitable to not only both the author and the retailer, but readers can benefit as well because they are already viewing content that interests them.
Author of “4 Easy Ways to Monetize Your Blog,” Elaine Pofeldt, says that affiliate programs “will reward you for driving traffic to a particular marketplace by giving you a percentage of the money made from each sale. The trouble is that it can be time consuming to set up each account.”
The Cirqle platform was designed to speed up that process through its algorithm that connects to thousands of different brand accounts through a single application.
As suggested by the WordStream Blog, “Many people have trouble with affiliate links because it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Getting sales from affiliate link clicks involves some knowledge of affiliate marketing. If you don’t know the proper way to promote your affiliate links, you’ll end up frustrated from lack of sales and will probably end up pushing away many of your visitors.”
To eliminate this type of frustration, using one platform to handle all marketing strategies seems like a sure way to go.
With a program that would eliminate the need for setting up multiple affiliate accounts, like Cirqle’s, bloggers wouldn’t need to spend as much effort and will be able to focus on revenue for their blogs, as well as focus more on sharing their passion for creating quality content.