Since blogging about a toy flower I bought my wife I got multiple emails from guys who said they bought them for their wives. And one member went so far as paying Mahalo answers $10 to find the exact flower in the video. Think of how irrelevant a toy flower is for the audience on this site, and yet that casual mentioned likely caused over $100 of commerce to happen. What more if the offer was relevant to this site's audience?
If people want media free then I think it makes a lot of sense for publishers to use affiliate links to get a cut of the action. I reviewed SEM Rush before they had an affiliate program, and that likely added thousands of dollars in business for them. They have since added an affiliate program, and I have since went back to that old post and added affiliate links. Their affiliate payout is 40%, but I still have not earned that much because their price point is too low for what their tool does. They could increase their price 400% and it would still be a good value.
A lot of high payout affiliate marketing is sleazy (diet scams, hyped network marketing, reverse billing fraud, cookie pushing, etc.) but if you have a real site with decent reach you can profit significantly from giving people discounts and recommending high value offers that you are proud to endorse. I shared some affiliate program integration tips in the forums, highlighting a couple of our blog posts that made 4 figures and 5 figures each.
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