USuggest: Another way to monetize your blog

Make money with USuggest when you mention products in your blog, e-mails, or forum posts.

USuggest, which launched today, lets you make money when you mention products in your blog, e-mails, or forum posts. It's not the first "affiliate marketing" product out there, and in its current alpha test stage it's not quite robust enough to use regularly, but it's got some interesting tweaks on the concept.

Nearly every retailer out there has a program to cut you in on profits if you drive sales to its online store. What USuggest does is aggregate all these deals together so you don't have to pick one store to do your business with. If you want to use affiliate marketing in your blog that's a plus, although you might also just use Amazon's program, which is much more mature and doesn't lack in product selection.

USuggest offers something different, though: Although you can create an affiliate link to a single product, CEO Hasan Davulcu strongly believes that products sell better when displayed in context with other products and recommendations. So one of the key activities for sellers on USuggest is tagging products. Once you tag a product, it will appear alongside other products tagged the same way, and if somebody buys a product from one of these auto-generated comparisons, the person who tagged it will get a commission. (Oddly, though, you can't create your own tags. You have to select from a list, and I don't know who wrote the options, but some of them are bizarre.) Bloggers can link directly to tagged collections, which are much more likely to generate sales. We find the same thing in CNET.com's reviews--readers find comparisons more useful and actionable than single product write-ups.

It's an interesting twist on both affiliate marketing and social shopping, but I found the site incompletely implemented. There were products I should have been able to find and couldn't, and features that didn't work as advertised. It's also conceptually complicated. Affiliate marketing is complex enough; USuggest is also a social shopping site and a vertical search engine. These concepts do not work in harmony on the site. USuggest's navigation needs work.

By the way, here's a USuggest link to a Dyson vacuum cleaner. If you buy it, I'll get half the commission (commissions average 10 percent of sales) and will donate any income to charity.

See also: MyPickList, Squidoo, Yub, and, of course, PayPerPost.

 

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