Digital Marketing and Tech Trends

Why Aol’s Fired Freelancers Should Embrace Affiliate Marketing

Not too long ago, we touched upon one of the biggest riddles of the internet marketing domain: Why so many emerging blogs opt for CPM over CPA advertising.

But either way, the enterprising spirits behind them understand one key facet: That professional blogging is not only about generating provocative editorial content (or as they’d call it, the fun part of their job), but also about marketing the blog and finding a way to make money off it (or as they’d call it, the scary/boring/very necessary part of their job.) By this definition, are the writers penning entries around the clock for venerable outlets like Wired, Ars, or AllThingsD non-bloggers because instead of publishing their own work, they work through a middleman?

Not really. Blogging has long-been the target of hair-splitting. Some claim it’s beneath journalism. Others claim it’s as good as journalism. But unlike old-school journalism, blogging is a form of reporting that finds itself directly linked to display ads: What this means is that bloggers contributing to some of the most well-viewed blogs around could unknowingly be providing a huge sales push to an existing ad campaign without reaping the rewards.

Sure, brand association is a capital of a different kind, how many of us would rather collect a check over the privilege of saying that we’re a blogger for Fancy Blog X–a fleeting perk that, in a city like New York, can’t even pay for a Metro Card?

This isn’t to say that editorial and marketing were ever really mutually exclusive; it’s that as one industry continues cratering and another thrives.

But more importantly, with big publications blithely undervaluing bloggers’ talents and asking them to contribute for free, perhaps there’s never been a better time for ambitious bloggers to build the backbone of a new business model for themselves, one that will see them getting a payday while maintaining their editorial vision.

What unites blogging and affiliate marketing is the desire for workers in both segments to be truly self-sufficient and with more freelancers being asked to contribute for, well, free, the time for an upgrade may be now.