I’ve been in and out of affiliate marketing here and there for as long as it’s been on the web (though I really don’t identify as an affiliate marketer). For the most part, affiliate marketing is a dismal failure for the type of audiences I attract, mostly because most of them have ad blindness, and they’re just not all that likely to go buying stuff on my affiliate code out of the goodness of their heart.
One thing that has continued to make lots of money for me over the years is associating my name with Eventbrite, and anytime I can pimp a conference that I really want to go to or recommend, I try to do it with an affiliate code of some kind. There are nuances to Eventbrite’s affiliate program that make it successful over most, but that’s not the thrust of this post, so I’ll save that for another time.
My big question is this: Why are obvious heavy users of Eventbrite averse to using the affiliate program to sell their tickets?
Chris Brogan, a good online buddy I was finally fortunate enough to meet in person this year in Austin, is coming to town for a speaking gig. Naturally, I’m going to be there, even though the ticket to the event is $50, and I typically try to weasel my way into any event using the “press pass” schtick.
If Chris is able to get my cheap ass to fork over the cash on this one, he’ll probably move a few units if I did a blog post pimping the crap out of the event. Like I said, Chris is a buddy, but if I can make a couple bucks off his good name, I definitely will.
I’m intentionally blotting out the names and dates to protect the event organizer here, not because I want to prevent people from going, but because I really don’t want to start a flame war with this fellow – he seems nice enough, but the email was a little bit of a brush off, and didn’t really explain anything. More importantly, he’s not the only person who’s done this sort of thing recently.
Blogs, events and affiliate programs go together. We pimped an event in the way-early days of SiliconANGLE when it was mostly just John’s neighbors, my wife, his wife and Rex Dixon hitting the site on a daily basis, and we still managed to move about 12 tickets to the event.
Is there a hidden danger to letting bloggers pimp your event and make a cut of the door price that I’m not getting? I mean all the big blogs I’ve ever worked for or been connected with do it. Techcrunch does it for some of their events. GigaOM definitely does it. I’m pretty sure we did it back at Mashable.
Speaking of Mashable (and probably most of those other sites mentioned), you know those event posts that you see every week there? Most of those links are affiliate links.
If it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for anyone.
(While you’re here, you should click on and sign up for Eventbrite. The button’s over on the right sidebar. Or click here. Just sayin’. Relevant disclosures below.).