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Spring into Affiliate

Springtime is fast approaching, and whether you're already easing into warmer weather on the west coast or still waiting for that heat wave to hit elsewhere in the country, I'm sure everyone is excited to “spring forward”. We often associate this season with new beginnings and a time to refresh. What better time to revisit some frequently asked questions surrounding affiliate marketing, to help you bring some new life to your programs?

Recently, another Advertiser Account Manager and I had the privilege of taking part in a Q&A session with some of our publishers to give them the inside scoop from the advertiser’s perspective. Since many publishers don’t have access to the CJ Advertiser Account representatives, we decided to put together a list of the questions reflecting those we are asked most frequently.

Q1

So far, I haven't had luck pitching a sponsored post idea to a brand. Any tips or tricks for what they are looking for?

ML
It is important to note that some advertisers simply don't offer the option of sponsored posts. However, for advertisers that do have the budget for sponsored posts, a best practice when proposing a post is to have a clear idea of what you'd like to write about (summarized maybe in 1-2 sentences) with a specific focus on how you would feature a product or service—bonus points if you already have URLs to products you would showcase included in your proposal! Lastly, your rates and media kit are also essential—this helps the brands justify spend based on your reach.

Q2

What is the best way to negotiate a commission increase with an advertiser?

ML
The best way to bolster your request for a commission increase would be to prepare a promotional schedule that will merit that increase. For instance, if you are looking for a 3% increase during the holiday season, you could let the advertiser know that for that increase they would receive one social media shout out (across all channels) per month, two dedicated blog posts, and a logo banner featured on your site for the duration. Of course, your offerings and commission rate request can be different, the main point is that showcasing your value ahead of tie is always appreciated from the advertiser side.

Q3

I often get denied from programs. I have good traffic and I have good content so I never know why what they are looking for. Do you have any advice?

ML
Every advertiser is different in how they bring new affiliates into their program, and getting denied from a program is not uncommon (particularly if you are a newer publisher). Don’t get discouraged! First and foremost, make sure you are targeting the right programs to join. If your website is all about adventure & hiking for example, you could filter programs in the “Advertisers” tab of the CJ Account Manager to something like “travel” or “recreation & leisure”. This should provide you with a prime selection of advertiser programs to apply to that are related to your website content. Still not getting accepted? One of the best ways to get to the bottom of why you were declined is to reach out to the advertiser directly through the 'Messages' tab in the CJ Account Manager. You can also use this portal to make more of a case for yourself by explaining what your reach is and how you would promote the advertiser.

I hope this overview of our most frequently asked questions will help you spring right into your affiliate program! There is also a wealth of information in the CJ Support Center pertaining to a variety of topics. If you're ever wondering about payment status/tax information, product catalogs, or simply looking to learn more about CJ and everything it offers, I highly recommend this valuable resource.

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Maureen Lenehan, Associate Account Manager

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