Are you leaving affiliate money on the table?

Last week, Morgan Brown and I hosted a presentation at RE BarCamp LA on affiliate marketing… The premise of the conversation being: are you leaving money on the table by *not* accepting affiliate links on your site?

I asked Morgan to join me because I’ve been impressed with how he monetizes his DIY loan modification post and he didn’t disappoint during the conversation. You’d have to ask others to give a less-biased account, but I thought he rocked at describing how he manages to monetize traffic that comes to his site in a way that doesn’t conflict with any of his values and actually compliments the services he is able to offer his readers.

My interest in talking about affiliate programs, however, wasn’t just to learn from Morgan. I recently helped design an affiliate program for one of my clients that I think would be of interest to real estate professionals and I wanted to bounce the idea off some people at the conference. The feedback I got was great, so now I’m hoping to get a few more readers into the program…

With the team, I made a two key requests for the widget:

  • It needed to provide a complementary service that would complement a REALTORS website and
  • It needed to pay realtors for leads (none of the usual “drive us leads and will give you a pretty map” that most real estate widgets deliver)

widget-on-rcgI’m super pleased to say that the team implemented things flawlessly… I’ve had the widget up on EVERY blog post of RCG for a few weeks now (check out the right-panel of this post for example) and have enjoyed getting the emails every time a new user requests a moving quote!

Back to the two key points… I’d argue that the widget offers an extremely complementary tool and I know for a fact that it pays. The reality is that for most consumers (and even realtors), finding a quality mover is often a crapshoot. Who to recommend and why??? When you tap into the database of movers for your clients, you get a few benefits: 1) they thoroughly vet each mover in their program, 2) they insist each mover in their program agree to abide by their Consumer Bill of Rights, and 3) they remove movers when they get complaints. I’ve spent a decent amount of time with the team and I feel very comfortable saying they take their reputation for recommending quality movers seriously.

So what does it pay? Well that depends on the type of lead that you send them and they’ve documented it pretty well on their sign up page.

The moving widget is available in two forms… You can either get it as a WordPress plugin that easily integrates into your sidepanel or they can give you the javascript that will let you put it in individual posts (or on non-worpress blogs!) like this:
Moving Companies

If you’d like any more information on this widget, just let me know! And if/when you’re ready to get yourself signed up for the affiliate program, head over to their sign-up page where you can register for the program!

I’d love to have this blog layout match …

I’d love to have this blog layout match my style a little better… Any advice would be appreciated.

Update: Just noticed that the simple Bloglines layout is exactly what I want on 4 Realz. I’ll keep the colors/formats of the Neat theme, but I really only need the limited amount of functionality of Bloglines.