How To Use Impact Radius To Grow As A Blogger
As a blogger, I am always looking for more ways to increase my revenue and connect with brands. It can be challenging to make money, but there are tons of websites out there that can help you make the money you deserve as a blogger. One of those websites is Impact. Impact is a wonderful website aimed at helping brands create more successful partnerships. Today I am going to be talking about how bloggers can use their product Impact Radius to grow and make more money.
Note: Before I talk about my own experience with Impact, I do want to be clear about any biases I might have. I got the amazing opportunity to write a blog post for Impact earlier this year. I have connected with a few Impact employees online thanks to the power of the internet. I'm not going to be impartial, because I truly love Impact. I will do my best to share my complete feedback after using the platform heavily for around a year now. This post is not sponsored (I wish), but I wanted to share a platform with you that has impacted my blogging journey this year.
What Is Impact Radius?
Impact Radius is a product by Impact aimed at helping brands contract and pay bloggers and other partners. Right now Impact has four products (Radius, Mediarails, Altitude, and Forensiq.) Most of these products are geared toward companies and help them manage some aspect of the partnership process. Impact Radius is the only part of the Impact product suite that bloggers have a direct role in. Impact Radius is where the affiliate program aspect of Impact lives. As a whole, Impact helps companies create a whole slew of profitable partnerships with their tools.
How Do You Sign Up For Impact Radius?
Signing up for impact is easier than you think. It can be a bit challenging to find the sign-up link as a blogger, but it's not impossible.
One of the easiest ways to get set up as an affiliate on the Impact platform is by finding a company that uses Impact as its affiliate partner. Finding a brand that uses Impact isn't hard to do because so many amazing companies currently use Impact to run their partnerships.
If you can't find a partner, or you don't feel like digging, sign up on their website. The signup process is pretty simple, and it only requires a bit of information on your end. I don't remember the exact process I used to signup for Impact, but I don't remember it being extensive.
Once you are signed up, you will need to enter details like your tax and bank information, as this is how you'll be paid by Impact.
Using The Impact Radius Dashboard
Now that you've signed up for Impact Radius, it's time to log in and view the dashboard. Your dashboard makes more sense as you sign up for more programs and start making money.
Understanding Your Snapshot
The first big thing you'll see on Impact is a chart that's broken up into a few different views. Depending on the data you want to observe, you can open up a calendar on this chart for more robust data, data as it pertains to the current day, and everything in between. You may need different viewpoints depending on what you are looking for as a blogger. Don't be afraid to play around with this when you are looking at how to improve your numbers.
Note: These numbers are company-wide. We'll talk later on how to drill these numbers down even further so you can focus on different aspects of your affiliate marketing success.
This number represents the number of clicks your website brought on Impact links as a while. As you can see, in the image above, my website brought in 114 clicks on Impact links from my website or wherever else I placed them.
The next metric Impact tracks on your dashboard are actions. Actions are what happens when a click turns into a purchase, downloads, or a lead. Not all companies track leads, so these may not show up in your actions. Actions are usually what turns into income when it comes to affiliate marketing. As you can see, my 114 clicks turned into 21 actions in this timeframe.
Based on actions, you get payouts. Payouts are the (sometimes estimated) amount you'll get based on how many actions you drove. Payout is subject to change before it locks. Different companies have different lock dates for product purchases.
Typical payout dates are around 30 days after the end of the month you converted a click into an action. In the simplest of terms, if you created an action from March 1st-March 31st, those actions would lock on May 1st. Lock dates take so long because brands have to make sure the payment goes through and doesn't reverse before they pay you.
The estimated payout for these 21 actions is $400 in the example above. The payout number is subject to change until the payments have locked.
Next, Impact tracks sales amounts. This is the total sales your website has driven in the period you are looking at. In my example, I've driven $921 in sales during the period I am tracking.
After you understand your actions and clicks, you can quickly figure out your conversion rate. Conversion rate is actions divided by clicks. If you want an easier to read percentage, you can multiply this number by 100 to get your conversion percentage. Luckily, Impact covers this, and we can see that our conversion rate is 18.42% in the example above.
Some people try to get an even meatier conversion rate by analyzing how many page views they got on the blog post that converts their followers, then seeing how many people clicked, and finally how many people purchased. Impact doesn't keep up with all of this, though, so you'd have to do that on your own.
Lastly, Impact covers EPC or earnings per click. This number helps you understand how much money you can expect to make if each click gave a certain amount of money. While this measure is a bit weird because we know every click won't result in a purchase, it's still good to measure. Hopefully, your EPC is higher, mine in the example above could be better because it's only $3.51. If you want to take this further, you can multiply this number by 100 to get an EPC per 100 clicks. This will help you make even more projections about the profitability of your affiliate marketing practices.
This section is a list of the brands you can actively promote and make money with. This list gives you a quick snapshot of how much you make per sale, a link you can grab that sends people to the homepage of each website, and a way to view banner and text ads.
Create A Link
If you want to create a deep link to a specific page as an affiliate, you can use this section to make links quickly. First, use the dropdown menu to find the brand you are interested in based on brands you can promote. After that, use the landing page box to enter in a regular page link and hit create. After you hit create, you'll be given a link you can use on your blog and on social media to promote that specific product or page on the site.
Upcoming Contract Changes
This section isn't always on your dashboard, but it pops up if you ever have a contract that has a change in the works. I negotiated a deal with Freshly for a temporary increase in commission, and they set up the contract to fallback after the temporary increase is over. Since the contract change is on the horizon, it shows up under upcoming contract changes. If this pops up on your feed, it's essential to look at this so you can keep up with contract terms.
Which Companies Are On Impact Radius?
There are a plethora of amazing companies on Impact Radius. Here are a few:
- Banana Republic
- …and so much more!
No matter your industry, I think you'll find a fantastic company (or dozens of amazing companies) to connect with on Impact. Now, you do have to be careful when picking which affiliate programs to join because they won't all work for you, but that's another conversation.
One thing I love about Impact is the quality of companies on their platform. While they do have some small businesses on the platform, they have a ton of great household names, which will make promoting their brands easier.
How Do You Sign Up For Companies Using Impact Radius?
Signing up for companies can be a bit tricky on Impact Radius. One of the best things about signing up with Impact is that it makes applying to programs easier. After you sign up with Impact, applying for a new program is usually a matter of reading through the insertion order or contract and agreeing to it. From there, the brands will decide who gets added to the program, and you'll likely find out in a few days if you were accepted.
While Impact has made some strides with their Brands tab, I still find it pretty challenging to sign up to use this section of the site as intended. Instead, I use it as a database to see which companies use Impact for their affiliate program. Once I find a company that looks interesting, I search for “____ affiliate program” on Google. So “99designs affiliate program” might be something I would search on Google. From there, you can usually find a page on their website that will lead you to details of their affiliate program and a link to join them on Impact. It's a few extra steps, but overall it works.
If you get the brands tab to work for you by signing up for the brands marketplace, though, it will be much simpler to apply for programs within the brands tab.
I am so excited that they recently added the brand database on Impact Radius. It has helped me find so many more affiliate programs. I know it's only going to get better as they put more resources behind it.
Update: I Have Access To The Brands Marketplace Now
Literally the day after I talked about my issues with the brands marketplace, I finally got access to the marketplace. This is such an amazing marketplace because it helps you apply to brands quickly and easily. Also, when you get accepted into the marketplace your homepage changes a little to show you brands you can apply to:
Here are the instructions for getting into the brands marketplace. I don't think they accept everyone, but I am not sure what qualities they look for when accepting people into the brand marketplace.
The Importance Of Updating Your Marketplace Listing As A Blogger
Okay, I hate to admit this, but until recently, I hadn't truly updated my Impact Marketplace listing. Every blogger has a marketplace listing, and I was avoiding mine. Not on purpose, I honestly just didn't realize this existed or what it was for. Once you can, I encourage you to update your marketplace listing because this is a fantastic way to get in front of new potential partners.
Check out these instructions for updating your marketplace listing.
From this page, you can write a description of your property (aka blog), add SEO keywords, connect social links, upload your media kit, and so much more. It's a goldmine, and I was just letting mine stay blank. It turns out I was getting found via the marketplace, but entirely on a whim. Impact Radius gives you tools, use them!
The Pros Of Using Impact Radius As A Blogger
Now, let's move into some pros of using Impact Radius as a blogger.
You Can Technically Be Paid Multiple Times A Month
While you likely will only be paid once a month due to how most programs run, you could be paid more than once per month. Impact gives you a ton of control in how things are processed and paid to your account. On my account, I can cash out when I have as few as $50. This means every time my account reaches $50 or more I get the cash deposited into my bank account. You can also use Paypal as a payment method and as well as other methods for international partners.
You can also decide to get paid on a specific day of the month, but Impact doesn't recommend this if you have multiple brands on your Impact account. Since different brands can payout at different times, you don't want to miss your day of the month and end up with money you can't cash out. Alternatively, you may end up having no money in your account to cash out if brands don't pay before your payout date.
Many of the sites I use to make money don't have this same level of payment flexibility. For example, ShareASale only pays out once a month, and so does Google Adsense. If you are looking for the flexibility to be paid when you earn it, Impact Radius is a great platform to join.
Great Companies Are Always Proposing New Affiliate Partnerships
Impact Radius has 1,000 brands and counting on their platform. It would be nearly impossible to dig through every company looking for affiliate partnerships, plus they are always adding new companies to the mix. One thing I love about Impact Radius is that I am always getting emails from brands proposing new affiliate partnerships. I don't always accept these affiliate partnerships, but it's nice to have these partnerships come to my inbox sometimes.
Impact Companies Offer Pretty Amazing Compensation Compared To Other Affiliate Networks
The compensation I get on Impact is far and away better than the payments I get on most affiliate platforms. I feel like there are also a lot more recurring revenue opportunities on Impact, which is nice because it helps you make more money with affiliate marketing. More money doesn't always equal better programs, though. You have to be careful when picking which brands to promote on your website.
The Cons Of Using Impact Radius As A Blogger
As much as I love Impact (and boy do I love Impact!), there are still a few cons that I'd like to mention. With anything I promote, I always want to be upfront and honest with you all. I cannot be the best blogger I can be if I leave out the cons I've noticed after using Impact. While I wholeheartedly believe that every blogger should sign up for Impact Radius, I have to be honest with bloggers who join the platform.
It's A Very Corporate First Platform
There is nothing wrong with being corporate first, but I do feel like Impact could be better at empowering bloggers with better tools for success. If you go to the Impact website, most stuff is geared toward the corporations that use the platform and not the bloggers who use it. It's hard to find any help for bloggers outside of the tools that help you track success and a small help center. Impact has made some serious strides this year, such as their recently added brands tab that allows you to see all the brands that use Impact as an affiliate marketing manager. Overall, though, I think there is an extreme lack of affiliate marketing education, which Impact is under no obligation to provide, but it would be nice to have.
Brand Communication Could Be Better
This sorta goes hand-in-hand with the first con. I feel like the brands who use Impact, in general, tend to provide less communication to their affiliates than I've seen on other platforms. For example, I am also a part of several affiliate programs on ShareASale, and I feel like I get way more communication from companies there. This may be a symptom of the corporate and enterprise clients Impact tends to have. Impact does have way more household names on their platform than other partnership companies. But, I feel like communication is the center of every excellent affiliate program, so it would be nice if companies on Impact communicated more with their affiliates.
Sometimes You Might Need To Chase Down A Payment
I don't usually have this problem using Impact, but I have had a few later than expected payments on the platform. As much as I adore Impact, I feel like they should do a better job with overdue payments. Their website says they alert the advertisers when they have late payments, but I've still had payments that were overdue for well over a week, and it didn't seem like Impact did all that much to step in on my behalf. Instead, I felt like I had to take matters into my own hands to make sure I was paid the money I earned.
This could also be a symptom of the corporate first feel that Impact has, but it's one I wish had a remedy. Late payments can impact a blogger who relies on affiliate income and expects it to get deposited at a specific time. Again, I've only experienced late payments two or three times, but it can still be frustrating.
How To Increase Your Income With Impact Radius
Last but not least, let's look at how to increase the income you make with Impact Radius. Affiliate marketing can be a tricky subject, but I hope these next tips will help you truly thrive on the platform.
Look Further Into The Numbers
Earlier I showed y'all a very basic report that Impact Radius offers on the dashboard, but there is so much analytical data you can drill into. See the screenshot below for a portion of the reports you have access to. By default, your overview, performance by brand, and performance by day reports are already on your account. You can add all these other reports to your reports dropdown menu.
For example, let's look at the Performance By Device report below. Again, you can change the timeframe on any report you choose to look at. This report is an amazing one to look into because it might help you think about how you can make your affiliate content more mobile or desktop-friendly depending on how clicks and actions compare when you break it all down. While some of these have high EPCs, they also only relate to one click and one action. I can get a much better grasp by looking at Windows, iPhone, and Apple Mac data. It appears that desktop converts better, so maybe there is something I can look into to make my affiliate content convert better on mobile. Since Impact provides this robust data, I can make changes to my strategy to improve my blog's income.
Negotiate Higher Commissions Directly With Brands
One of my favorite parts of working with a website like Impact Radius is that each program has its affiliate marketing manager. Impact Radius has a ton of tools for brands that allow them to work with you on higher commission rates. If you are struggling to ask for a higher rate, wait until you have a good amount of commission under your belt, then ask for a temporary rate increase. One of the best parts about using Impact Radius for brands is the ability to create unique and temporary valuable partnerships with their affiliates. Use that to your advantage as a blogger.
Don't Be Afraid Of Deep Linking
While I love a good homepage link, sometimes deep linking can be just as powerful. Especially when you are talking about specific products in a review or haul, use Impact's tools to create deep links to the pages you are talking about. The less your audience has to work to get to the super cute sweater you can't stop raving about, the better your conversion rate will be.
Try Out Different Payouts On Impact
While most Impact Radius payout models are sale or lead-based, Impact does have the ability to use other payout models. It's worth looking into programs that use different models like mobile app downloads, calls, or partner referrals. Overall, it's never a bad idea to diversify how you get paid when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Check For New Brands Often
Impact is always connecting with new brands, and their database is growing all the time. Since brands change frequently, you never want to miss an opportunity to connect with another company. I am definitely eyeing one of their new companies, Plants.com, because I am pretty much a plant lady right now.
Okay, never thought I'd write a 3,000-word article on Impact Radius, yet here we are. I know that this platform can be so confusing to new and old bloggers, but I have found so much success using Impact Radius for my blog. I hope that this step-by-step Impact Radius background has given you the skills you need to use Impact in your own business. You guys know by now that I think we all have a seat at the table. So take a seat and start implementing what you know by joining Impact today. Once you are there, poke around, join a few programs, and start seeing some strides with affiliate marketing. I am always adding new affiliate marketing content to the blog, so keep coming back for more information to help you grow your business.
Are you already on Impact? Start implementing some of my more advanced tips to grow your income. I was on Impact for the longest time, and I just let it sit around and do nothing. I am glad I invested more time in the platform this year. I've had so much more stability this year thanks to the money I am earning from Impact, so I want to see other bloggers get those same results.
Are you on Impact? Why or why not? If you are, leave some of your best Impact tips, and let's continue the conversation.
P.S.: Do you want more affiliate marketing advice? Check out this interview I did with Samantha of Samanthability on her podcast Offbeat Grad. We dive deep into some of my favorite affiliate marketing tips on that podcast. You can also check out my recent guest post on This Girl Knows It where I share seven affiliate marketing tips for bloggers.
I have never heard of Impact until today. It sounds great and will check it out!
Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com
Thank you so much Amanda. It’s informative and inspiring.
Im going to give it a try and hope they approve me.