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These days, it seems like everyone is talking about affiliate marketing. But what is it, and how can it benefit you?
Here at Bloguettes, we get so many questions about affiliate marketing, affiliate networks, affiliate programs, you name it. So, we decided to bring in an expert for our 2018 conference, The Workshop!
Deanna Ritter is the Business Development Manager at ShopStyle Collective, an affiliate network that makes it possible for their 14,000 bloggers, influencers, and content creators of all kinds to monetize their influence across their blog and social media with affiliate links. At The Workshop, Deanna will be teaching you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing and how to make ShopStyle work for you!
We’re so excited for Deanna’s sessions, and we recently had the chance to sit down with her for a Q&A! Read on to get to know Deanna and get a sneak peek at what she’ll be teaching in her sessions.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today!
I’m originally from Long Island, NY and went to school for Merchandising and Marketing in NYC at LIM College. It’s funny, I feel like i’ve been involved in all facets of the industry and have a pretty long resume. To make a long story short, I started in a very NY Devil Wears Prada job, took a one year stint in Taipei teaching English, worked in visual merchandising for Urban Outfitters and Levi’s, and then I found my love in tech startups as a buyer for Fab.com, Operations at Warby Parker, and now Business Development at ShopStyle Collective.
I’ve always had a love for fashion, product, beautiful content, and been an avid blog reader, so when I met the team at ShopStyle Collective I knew I needed to be involved. I had no idea my dream job of working with content creators actually existed. The past few years have been exciting, challenging, but most of all rewarding. I absolutely love meeting influencers and working with them to help define and achieve their goals.
What is affiliate marketing, and what role does it play in online retail sales?
Affiliate marketing is a form of performance marketing — in the simplest terms, it is when users shop on ShopStyle or a blogger’s site, and everyone gets paid. Affiliate provides tools that empower influencers and publishers to easily monetize their content across all platforms – blog, video, Instagram, and other social channels.
What are the benefits of utilizing affiliate marketing?
Affiliate gives you the ability to generate revenue — whether it’s extra income while you pursue your side hustle or blogging is your full time job.
Most importantly, affiliate performance helps prove your influence. If you’re using affiliate links within your blog and social content, you’re driving clicks, which are converting into sales and all of that is trackable. This gives you the ability to take a deeper look at your performance and analytics and allows you to make more informed business decisions helping you to create profitable content. It also provides you with the numbers and assets you need to create case studies, develop brand and retailer pitches, and update your media kit and pricing.
"Most importantly, affiliate performance helps prove your influence."
What are some things to consider when choosing an affiliate network that works for you?
It’s important to think about how you want to and plan on working with affiliate. Think big picture and decide what you are hoping to achieve from and for your business. Ask yourself a few questions:
What is it that you want your blog to be?
What sort of tools are you looking for?
What type of content do you want to provide your readers?
What do you need from your affiliate partner?
The great thing about ShopStyle Collective is while at our core we’re an affiliate provider and provide users with the tools they need to monetize content, we also provide a network to help grow your business. We’re your partner and are available for questions big or small, deep dives into your data, and want to collaborate on building out your content strategy.
Who can benefit from using ShopStyle Collective? Is it for everyone?
I think there is something for every content creator at ShopStyle Collective. Bloggers, Vloggers, Instagramers, Pinners, stylists, interior designers, you name it. All of these creators can generate links and create widgets to use within their blog content, description of their YouTube videos, as well as monetize Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
The tools and dashboard are simple to use with dynamic search and data features, so we make it easy for you to make any content shoppable, no matter what you do and how tech savvy you are.
What are some characteristics of monetizable content? What are some things bloggers should keep in mind when creating content that they want to monetize?
The 3 biggest things to keep in mind are to be authentic, consistent, and educate.
I know we hear it time and time again, but it’s true, be authentic. Your followers know you and your content, they know when a post isn’t genuine. Remember they follow you for a reason and you are their “go-to” or “expert” in a particular category.
It’s important to stay consistent with your content; posting at the same time during the day and having a format to your content that your followers can trust and expect, so they are visiting your blog or Instagram at those times each day. This will also help provide you with the data and analytics you need in order to decide if these times are effective or not.
Educate your followers on the tools they can use to shop your content, and do it often. Remind your followers how they can shop your Instagram looks or your favorite monthly items as they may have missed the initial announcement or you gained new followers since then.
What are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to affiliate marketing?
Similar to the above, the “Do’s” are to stay consistent and true to your content, as well as informed. In the age of social media, everything is ever changing and important to keep your finger on the pulse as monetizing tools develop and change. As the landscape grows, move with it, and don’t be afraid of change and trying something new.
“Don’ts” are tricky — there are so many ways to utilize affiliate and you have the option to make it work for you however you need. The one thing I will say is don’t abuse it, you want your followers to trust you and your expertise, not to feel like they’re being sold to. Your platform is a safe place for them to visit and be inspired.
Give us a sneak peek at what we can expect from your workshop!
You’ll learn the ins and out’s of using ShopStyle collective and how to best utilize all of the tools in order to be rewarded for your original content.
When you’re not busy at ShopStyle, what can we find you doing?
My husband and I love to travel so most likely we’re planning our next vacation or trip and digging deep for the best restaurants and Instagram hotspots. Also, I just got a new dog and i’m basically obsessed, so i’ve been spending a lot of time with him these days.
Wanna attend Deanna’s sessions at The Workshop? We only have a handful of tickets left, so be sure to grab yours today!