AOP: What was the inspiration behind Clicks for Homeschooling?
Turner: We knew that affiliate marketing was a reputable way to earn extra money and we wanted to give people visiting our website the opportunity to support a cause important to them as they shop online. This is win-win, since the audience is already shopping for products online, at no extra cost to them, they can support us.
AOP: Who has benefited from this program?
Turner: Our affiliate earnings go to the Home School Foundation (HSF), a non-profit charitable organization that helps homeschooling families in need. Examples include widows who want to continue homeschooling their children, families affected by Hurricane Katrina that lost their entire curriculum in the storm and its aftermath, and scholarships to Patrick Henry College. It's exciting to know that these little contributions—which add up to tens of thousands of dollars each year for HSF—are not just helping an organization's bottom line, but are directly impacting people’s lives.
AOP: Have you promoted the Clicks for Homeschooling campaign to homeschool families?
Turner: Every chance we get! We have many vendor affiliate programs that we participate in and we promote them with a topical index on our site. We have ads in many places on our site that encourage people to use the Clicks for Homeschooling program, and by having so many popular retailers and service providers in our program, our site visitors are very likely to find someone selling the product or service they want. In addition, we are communicating with over 100,000 people every week by email, and we promote the Clicks program in many of those emails. Our magazine sent to our members is another way to promote the program. For us, the goal is to change the way people shop online—to get them to always start their shopping trip at our Clicks page. It's been very successful, but there is a lot of room for growth.
AOP: Would you recommend Affiliate Marketing to other homeschool organizations that might be looking to generate revenue for scholarships, special programs, or other activities?
Turner: Affiliate marketing is a great idea, but to make it pay off you need to have traffic to your website. If you have an affiliate relationship to only one or a few companies and your audience is interested in those products/services, that can help increase the return. If you can take the time to follow the vendors' promotions, you can pass special event information to your audience and drive up commissions. The key is having enough web traffic to make it worthwhile. If you don't, you could have your site visitors use another organization's affiliate links, to help boost that organization’s totals.
To learn more about how AOP’s Affiliate Marketing Program can provide an easy and innovative way for your group to fund special projects, field trips, and activities, call 800-682-7391 ext. 7929. This is a FREE program and we encourage Homeschool Groups, Bloggers, Ministries, and Family Friendly or Educational sites to apply. Contact us today!