“Should copwriters get involved in affiliate marketing?”

This is a question that gets kicked around copywriting circles, and one I get asked directly, every now and then.

My take is that the real question is probably: “Should I indulge in Affiliate Marketing? Is it a good fit for me?”

Would it be an extra source of income for you, would it take too much time away from your writing services, does it fit with your ethics, is it something you love, et cetera…

If you find yourself with ethical questions, is it really your values you’re questioning – or your discomfort with being “pushy” (an attitude peculiar to women the recent virtual telesummit “Bold and Classy Women and the Psychology of Selling” hosted by Anne Johnson opened my eyes to – it was absolutely incredible, by the way; and I’m signing up again next year!)

Dealing with your Own Discomfort

Affiliate marketing expert Angela Wills recently pointed something I found helpful in clarifying my own uneasy feelings about affiliate marketing: That ethical affiliate marketers pay for the products they endorse, find them genuinely useful, and expend a great deal of work and unpaid time promoting the product to their list via articles, blog posts, forums and creating graphics and promotional materials. They are doing their list members a service by alerting them to products they’ll genuinely be glad to discover.

She thinks that people who say: “This is not an affiliate link, by the way” as if it’s some kind of virtue are subliminally sending a message that there’s something not quite nice about affiliate marketing – when what they’re really dealing with is their own discomfort.

And as for the fly-by-night sort of marketers who are out to make a quick buck, don’t mind what they’re pushing and don’t invest the time in proper research and preparation, Angela makes short shrift of them today on her Marketer’s Mojo blog.

What It Really Means

But to get back to our question… If you’re a copywriter whose clients include internet marketers, having grounding and experience in affiliate marketing is almost mandatory. You don’t have to rival Rosalind Gardner in the time you invest and the results you get – but you should know exactly what you’re talking about.

There’s no reason why copywriters shouldn’t be affiliate marketers as well an anyone else on the planet: It’s a matter of personal choice. But I suspect most professional copywriters are simply too busy. If you don’t see me post affiliate links all over the place, it doesn’t mean I don’t believe in affiliate marketing.

It simply means that copywriting is my first love and today, I’ve got a deadline to meet!