It seems to be a no-brainer. You have clients. You help them find the right hosting for their WordPress site. But be careful. How you approach this will also reflect not only your expertise but how clients perceive you.
The Big Picture: Hosting Reviews and Recommendations
We have published some a few hosting reviews here, but we don’t do a lot. We recently did one on Liquid Web Managed WooCommerce Hosting. Why? Because we truly believe that they are a great solution for a specific need.
But when it comes to affiliate marketing, which involves recommending a product or service for which you receive a small part of the purchase price, there are always the people who ruin it for other people. I saw a tweet the other day that essentially said someone says a certain host is best because:
- They honestly feel that way or
- They pay the biggest affiliate commissions.
Although that might be true in some cases, it is a harsh way to label all affiliate marketers.
A Couple of Examples of the Way Not to Do It
First off, this is strictly my opinion, but I would stay away from:
Creating a post of best options for hosting. Yes, I agree, this often is nothing more than affiliate link bait. Though there are a few that have really taken some serious time on these kinds of posts, in the end, most bloggers are not objective. Their motives are often one two things, to:
- Bash hosting companies that they don’t like.
- Increase the odds of a sale, hoping that by listing them all, someone will click through and they will make a few bucks.
Neither of which helps the reader.
Offering free web setup with the chosen host. You have probably seen it. Someone offers you a free basic WordPress setup if you use purchase a specific hosting service. They are their time spent with the affiliate payment they receive. Now the issue I have with this is that they are forcing a choice on you. Unless you planned on using that host already, you are unduly pressured by the enticement of the free setup.
Even if they offer it with a few different selections, it may be the best option for you.
But as a Designer or Developer, You Have More Opportunities
If you design or develop sites, the opportunity to make a few extra bucks is there. Think of it this way. You likely have hosting that you recommend to clients. They have already hired you for your expertise. They trust you. And they will probably ask you for recommendations on hosting. When they do, there is nothing wrong with giving them your affiliate link. It fits. Naturally.
I found that when I was designing sites not one single client objected. They did not feel forced. Of course, I did take the time to look at their needs and what options would best meet them.
In other words, I never forced a single choice on them.
And when the decision was made, if they were purchasing it themselves (which I always had them do), I sent them an email explaining that if they used this link I would make a few extra bucks. It was that simple.
Now of course, if you are a reseller or manage the site entirely, your process will be a bit different, but much of this still holds true.
They trust you.
Give them enough options.
Be open-minded to their needs and their budget.
And this really goes beyond devs, designers and hosting. Anyone recommending hosting or other products to clients or can take advantage of this.
Making money on affiliate links does not have to label you as scum 🙂