FeedFront Magazine, Issue 11

Page 8

By Cathy Stucker

Michael Buechele, Stephanie Lichtenstein and Trisha Lyn Fawver

Cathy Stucker

Guest Posting for Traffic and Links

Why Was My Affiliate Application Declined? By Trisha Lyn Fawver

I hear a lot of affiliates ask this question, wondering why their applications get declined by various merchants or advertisers. As a former affiliate manager, there are a lot of reasons why I might reject an application. There are many managers out there that are, shall we say, less than stellar in the communications department. Therefore, in an effort to bridge this gap, here are some things affiliates should consider when their applications are declined. Are my website URLs correct? I’ve seen instances where affiliates have misspelled their domain names accidentally, added an extra http://, left off the extension (.com? .net?). Many affiliate managers are savvy enough to omit the extra http:// or try adding the .com to see if a website loads, but I know some are not so diligent, so it’s best that you make checking your websites as easy as possible for the affiliate manager. Have I been declined a lot? There may be a bigger issue at hand, like problems with your hosting company. If you’re experiencing a lot of declined


applications, you should check to ensure that all your sites are up and running properly. Try viewing your website in different browsers (Firefox, IE, Chrome, etc.) to see if something isn’t loading correctly. Some merchants are very sensitive to the content and layout of a site where their advertisements will potentially be seen. Do I have any unprofessional or questionable content on my website? Some brands are more sensitive when it comes to the content on a website where their ad will appear. For example, the Apple Store has very strict guidelines relating to website content and where you’re allowed to place banner advertisements. Larger brands tend to have stricter guidelines, and may choose to decline you if your websites do not convey a similar professional image that is on par with the brand. You can consider changing your website to meet their standards or finding another merchant with more lenient standards to promote. Are all my websites listed in my profile? Some networks require you to apply to programs for each of your websites, but most

simply ask that you to list all of your affiliate sites. It is an affiliate manager’s job to check out the affiliate’s websites to find that good, niche fit. If you’re applying for a software affiliate program and only have your knitting website listed, the affiliate manager may not see a good fit and choose to decline you. Having all your websites listed shows the affiliate manager that you work in different verticals and they can see more potential for appropriate promotions. There are hundreds of other reasons why you might be declined. It ultimately depends on the merchant and what kinds of affiliates they want to work with. Always attempt to reach out to the affiliate manager if you’ve been declined for a program you really want to promote. It never hurts to ask for an explanation or a second chance.

Trisha Lyn Fawver is a client support specialist at ForMeToCoupon.com and blogs at TrishaLyn. com.

Guest posting on other people’s blogs has both short and long term benefits. In the short-term, you’ll garner exposure to a new audience and increased traffic as they click through to your site to learn more about you and what you do. In the long-term, the links you get will help your search engine rankings, and the visibility and credibility of being featured on many blogs will build your reputation as a leading authority in your industry. To get the greatest benefit from guest posting, you need a strategy. Here are some ways to make guest posting work for you. Guest post regularly. Get in the habit of seeking out blogs that can use your content and offer posts to them. Add an entry to your calendar to seek out guest posting opportunities and create content for them. Post to a variety of blogs. Think creatively to find blogs that are not in direct competition with your blog, but may share an audience. For example, on my blog for mystery shoppers I have run guest posts on topics ranging from online surveys to cheap ink and toner refills to green shopping. I even had a post from a mystery novelist who writes books with a mystery shopper heroine. Give your best content. Guest posting is not a way to get rid of posts that are not good enough for your own blog. This will be many readers’ first exposure to you, so make sure they see you at your best. Generally, you should not republish your guest post anywhere else.

your preferred links. That doesn’t mean you should load up your post with links. Many bloggers will allow you to have two links in your bio, including anchor text links. Some will even allow links in the body of the post. Ask for what you want, but accept that you may not get everything you ask for. Promote your guest posts. When your posts are published, let people know about them. Post the links to Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. Bookmark and Stumble the posts. Post links to them on your site. Submit your guest posts to blog carnivals. The more people who see your guest posts, the more valuable they are. Use your guest posts to build relationships with other bloggers. Submitting a guest post does not have to be a one-time event. It can be a stepping stone in building relationships with bloggers in your niche. In addition to promoting your guest posts, respond to reader comments on the blog and stay involved with the blogger and their audience. Keep the door open for future interactions, such as reciprocal guest posts, joint ventures and more. Just a little time invested in guest posting can pay big dividends in traffic, search engine rankings and dollars in your pocket.

Cathy Stucker runs a free service to connect bloggers and guest posters at http://BloggerLinkUp.com/.

Ask (nicely) for the links you want. Some bloggers have specific rules about how they link to guest posters, but many are open to using


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