Do you want to get a homeschooler’s attention with very little effort? It only takes one word. Do you know what it is?
Bonus points if you said “FREE.”
We swoon for this word. Really! We’re like a group of teenagers in the presence of our favorite star. We hear the word FREE and flock to it at lightning speed because, let’s face it, if we aren’t fiercely scoping out these good deals, homeschooling can become challenging mentally, physically, and financially. We need every spark of creativity we can get. Every time-saving, energy-recovering educational resource calls out our name, and the price tag “free” screams even louder.
Have you ever noticed that Target puts its low-price and $1 items at the front of the store? The company trusts that once you browse through those great deals, you’ll keep walking and spending all the way through the store and back to the checkout lane. Most of us do just that.
Savvy affiliates also know that free and low-cost items draw customers in, whet their appetites, and lure them back for more. They are willing to throw out these opportunities to their readers to build trust and interest in the brands they are promoting.
The Old Schoolhouse offers many free resources that affiliates can use on their blogs or websites to stir up an interest in our products.
No, offering free materials will not bring you direct commissions, since there is clearly nothing to sell. “Okay,” you ask, “what will I gain from sharing these freebies?”
First, you’ll build your reputation as a generous blogger. Readers like bloggers who connect with their audience by providing resources of value. The freebies TOS offers are not junk. These are quality materials your readers will thank you for pointing them to.
Take a look at some of these free resources you can offer your readers:
- FREE Fall Digital Issue (Use text link #338484 or 338485 or Banner #338505)
- Homeschool With Confidence (Use affiliate Banners #175605 or 244228)
- E-Homeschooling: Embracing the E-Book Revolution (Use affiliate Banners #186233 or 186234)
- 2011 Homeschool Freebie Directory (Use affiliate Banners #275935, 275940, 275941, 275945, 275946, 275947, 275949, 275951, 275952, 275954)
- 2010 Homeschool Freebie Directory (Use affiliate Banners #212058 or 212059)
- Homeschool 101 Digital Supplement (Use affiliate Banner #231144)
- TOS Lab Presents: Your Guide to Examining Curriculum (Use affiliate Banner #244226)
- What About Public School? (Use affiliate Banner #244229)
- The TOS 2010 Digital Holiday Supplement (Use affiliate Banners #261712 or 261713)
- FREE Resources for Your Homeschool Journey (Use text link #301990)
Second, free offers will build your traffic, which will increase the marketability of all of the affiliate promotions listed at your site. Each new visitor represents one more person exposed to TOS and invited into the store to shop and earn you commissions. This doesn’t even address the value it brings to your platform and the overall mission of your site. Offering free resources can only be a good thing.
Third, you will track cookies for 45 days. Our products, even the free offers, are well done. Once your readers have a chance to explore the content and see it for themselves, we are certain they’ll be back to the store to see what else we offer. That’s where you cash in on your kindness.
Fourth, generosity is always rewarded. Okay, maybe that idea sounds a bit naive in our current society, where survival seems to be the mantra and looking out for old No. 1 is paramount; however, if we believe that God has our best in mind, it seems reasonable to also believe that every act of kindness is seen and valued by Him. The thought of pleasing God is a bigger goal than any payday I could ever hope to have.
“Are you really saying that something as small and trivial as sharing these free offers could make God smile? Really, Heather?”
Yup, I’m saying that. I’m saying that it matters greatly to the single mom who can’t afford that resource. It blesses the family that is prayerfully considering homeschooling but needs the extra encouragement to get them off the fence and committed to the call. To some, these are more than a free resource—they are a timely blessing and an answer to prayer for which you may never see the full reward. God sees, though. Sometimes affiliate marketing is about money, and sometimes it can be a ministry. If you are faithful, I believe it can be both.
So yes, FREE is an attention-grabbing word that will surely hook the homeschool audience like no other. However, it’s so much more than a word. It has the power to bless your audience immensely. What can be better than that?