A typical blogging business model is to find a niche, slap a bunch of related affiliate ads all over a blog, learn just enough about your blogging niche, create content [Notice I didn't say quality content.] like crazy that's been optimized for search engines so it can be found by everyone looking for information based on those keywords, and then market it like crazy. It depends heavily on high [and I mean high] traffic to your blog or website.
So why do I think affiliate advertising isn't the way to go for blogging genealogy?
It's like setting up shop on Main Street, Anywhere, USA, and telling every visitor who comes into your shop to go and buy elsewhere.
Why the heck would you do that?
Your blog is your shop. It's your hub for everything you do online, which might be the whole of your business. And for goodness sakes, you want your visitors to come in, look around, have some tea or coffee, a cookie, and to talk to you. Then? You want them to come back. And you want them to do business with you. Repeatedly.
And you're sending them away for, like, 10 cents a book at Amazon or for a very, very small percentage from genealogy-related affiliates.
And genealogical societies? Do you realize what kind of visitor stats you'll need to even warrant wasting the time messing with affiliate ads? Are you getting 5000 visitors a week? If you are, then what percentage are converting on your affiliate ads?
And really? If you're getting 5000 visitors per week, then why are you directing them away from your site where you could be signing a percentage of them up for a membership or helping them with their genealogy conundrums?
Genealogy-related businesses and genealogical societies are better off selling themselves. Again, the 5000 visitors? Really? And you're sending them away?
If your company sells genealogy database software, then you should be selling that.
If you are selling your genealogy-related services or if you've written a book, then sell your services and books ~ not someone else's products or services.
If your 'business' involves obtaining and maintaining members like genealogical societies, then you should be selling the benefits and features of your society.
Even if your 'business' is finding cousins, then you should be concentrating on that. That ad on your sidebar that took, like, forever to figure out how to add to your site isn't helping you to find your cousins, and you're not getting enough visitors to your site to pay for the time it takes to add the ad to your site. And chances are you never will.
Again, if you don't have very high traffic on your site, then affiliate advertising doesn't work in your favor.
But inbound marketing does.
What is 'inbound marketing'? As defined on Wikipedia, "Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found and drawing customers to your website by producing content customers value.
It's also called 'content marketing'. As defined on Wikipedia, "Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action."
Please note that the technique is not called Send-visitors-off-your-site-so-that-they-can-buy-something-from-another-business-and-never-come-back-to-your-site Marketing.
You already have the content.
Tell and show your readers what you know about your ancestors.
Tell and show your potential members why they should join your society.
Tell and show your potential clients and customers why and how you can help them.
Just quit sending them off your site and risking them never coming back.
"Inbound Marketing." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 15 July 2012. Web. 20 July. 2012.
"Content Marketing." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 15 July 2012. Web. 20 July. 2012.