Aug 8, 2016

Affiliate Marketing in the Papercrafting World

source: jvcool.com
Over the past few months I've received affiliate marketing offers from some of my favorite online vendors. While I was thrilled to get the offers, I turned them all down. I wasn't sure why I turned them down, but I think I've figured it out. Thought I'd discuss the issue and would love to know your thoughts on the topic in general.

What is affiliate marketing in the papercrafting world?  

The offers I received went like this. I link to a product at a specific vendor site, and if you click on my link, and then make a purchase of that product within the terms of the affiliate agreement, I get a percentage of the sale. The terms include things like how long it took you to purchase the product. For example, if I link to a stamp set on August 1st, I could get a commission if you purchase it from that vendor within 10, 20, 30, 45 days, etc.  You pay the same amount to the vendor regardless of whether you purchase through an affiliate link.

Can you make money participating in affiliate marketing?

I think so. I base this on a conversation with one crafter who told me she is making a serious amount of money through affiliate marketing. I didn't have the nerve to ask what "serious" meant! Plus, a lot of bloggers are doing it, and it does take a bit of time, so they must be doing it for a reason.

Fantastic?

Yes!!!  This is an awesome development for crafty bloggers. Companies pay bloggers directly in a variety of ways -- cash, product, discounts, or some combination. Affiliate marketing is yet another way companies can reward bloggers for their hard work.

I think of affiliate marketing as profit sharing by the vendor.  It rewards bloggers for their hard work and their talent. And it provides vendors a way to bring more customers to their shop. I like that too. It's a win win.

But I Said No Anyway....

It has taken me a few months to sort this out. Here's how it would work if I did I affiliate marketing:

  • endless internal debates on which products to use and to link 
  • internal pressure to post more
  • paralysis over whether my stuff is "good enough"
  • constant checking to see if I was making any money
  • worry if lack of money meant my work was horrible
  • spending more to get more clicks 
  • not keeping good tax records (see Stamping Destroyed My Life!!!)
I think you see where my mind is....

So good luck to crafty bloggers. You work hard and I'm delighted if you are earning some money along the way. And thank you to crafty vendors for this development. You also work hard.

Now, back to crafting!




23 comments:

  1. Get out of my head, Joan. Your list reads like my own script. Thank you for putting it into words.

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    1. good to know my craziness is not "special"!!!!

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  2. Interesting to read Joan. Good to know !

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  3. Been there, done that and pretty much confirmed that I am a lousy blogger (in more ways than just marketing)

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  4. After retiring from the government, you deserve stress-free crafting! I think you made a wise decision. :) I also wonder sometimes how reliable an endorsement of a product is when they are getting "paid" to endorse it.

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    1. thanks for the note. A lot of what I see linked through affiliate marketing programs are basics -- well known stamp sets, inks, embossing powders and the like -- things we all buy and use. In those instances, I don't question the use of an affiliate link at all. On the other hand, I always like to wait and see what a wide range of folks think about a completely new product before jumping in; although I admit that I don't always exercise restraint!

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  5. I totally get what you are saying...(and you are a wise woman to know yourself so well) but I wish you weren't so hard on yourself. I always enjoy your blog and your stamping. Your way with words, coupled with your delightful cards is always such a treat. Keep on keeping on.
    Lu C

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    1. thanks. I'm happy to craft on my own terms. trying to be something I'm not is not a good thing!

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  6. All of the above, especially the part about worry and paralysis over not being good enough. Sometimes I get pretty bad about that.

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    1. you know I am one of your biggest fans so I am not going to say you are too hard on yourself. we are who we are!! And we need to live with it. would love to make $$ crafting, but it isn't me and I'm fine with that.

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  7. Joan, I love your work. I have followed various iterations of your blog, probably 50% for crafting, 50% for your wit. I would not be offended by affiliate links if you decide the opportunity is right for you. That being said, your list looks very similar to my own "what if I could make money crafting?" anxiety list. (well, that, and no one has offered me an affiliate marketing opportunity...)

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    1. Thanks. I don't find affiliate links offensive at all. I am thrilled to help out my crafty friends, so I totally understand where you are coming from.

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  8. Hi Joan, I respect and understand your reasons for turning down affiliate links, but I wanted to say as a reader and buyer I would love for you to get a commission for any item I might purchase after seeing your work. It would make me feel as if I were participating in your "success" as a blogger/writer. Although we all know that money doesn't always equal success, it does help support your efforts. Anyway, I love your humor and skills and enjoy your blog very much. Thank you for sharing your wonderful self!

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    1. You know, Trish, a comment like this is worth more to me than a commission. Thank you.

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  9. This was very interesting and echoes many of my own feelings regarding getting into the business end of stamping. I worry it would interfere with the pure joy and relaxation I get from the craft. Thanks for this post - it is nice to know someone has similar thoughts.

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    1. thanks. part of me really wants the $$ but not enough!! I admire the bloggers who go after it.

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  10. I loved your expose' about affiliate marketing and how it would affect the way you create and craft! I have had a crafty blog in the past and let it go for a lot of reasons - but I echo your sentiments pretty closely! If crafting is fun and you can work it and still find joy-that's fabulous! But I am very self critical and I think I would make myself nuts about it. That being said - I really love your crafty creations and I would also support you if you changed your mind!

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  11. I really like this post, Joan! As, I do all of your posts for what matters :)
    I totally understand why you would go that route. I love crafting, and I'm trying to get a channel running because I'd love to share with people what I make, and maybe inspire someone. I don't even have a blog, which a lot of my crafty friends are surprised about. I've never been much of a follower in the true sense of the word, I follow what I like, no matter if it's what's popular, and if it happens to be popular, then great. I like supporting people more than supporting brands.I enjoy doing things on my terms, so I don't think I would be a good candidate to do it if I had to be set to a specific schedule, product,etc. If I could just link to the things I used just because I wanted to use those, then I'd do it, at least that's what I think now. On the other hand, I know that when I see your cards, a lot of the times I look at the products you used so I can buy them because I love what you made. So, I wouldn't mind the links, and if it supports your creativity, I would love to contribute, too. In any event, thanks for sharing your talent with us! <3 <3 <3

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    1. Thanks for your note. The wonderful thing about affiliate marketing is that there IS no pressure. It is totally up to the stamper how much to take advantage of it. I wish that I had the mojo or whatever to participate!!!! I admire the crafters who do!

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  12. Great post! I always love to hear your perspective, Joan! I can relate to much of what you said for sure.

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  13. Thank you Joan. Both for explaining "Affiliate Marketing" and for declining to do it. I totally agree with your reasoning. I sell CTMH stuff and already feel "pressure" to post things that are new and current and on trend. I really hate that and have almost decided to let it go (i.e. not be a consultant any more). But I've been with them 15 years now and my customer base is good (do not translate that into making money - I don't). So, back to you, I understand and I thank you for your honesty. Hugs!

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  14. I think you are very wise for listening to your inner voice. It sounds like for you, it would add a layer of ick that may take away the crafting joy. I can relate. I love your cards, your wit, and your blog. You are a delight and your art is inspiring.

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  15. I think if I were in your shoes, I would make the same choice. I don't think pressure enhances your mojo! Not mine, anyway. To me, stamping is a hobby and I want to keep it fun.

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