Rockstar Affiliate: Natalie Slater of BakeandDestroy.com
Natalie Slater, a native Chicagoan and ShareASale affiliate, is the mastermind behind the cult vegan blog, Bake and Destroy. The blog is an extremely popular cooking and baking site featuring recipes, chef interviews, contests, reviews and giveaways. Due to her blog’s success, she has appeared on several TV shows including Food Network, The Cooking Channel, and WTTW Chicago Tonight as well as on the pages of Time Out Chicago and Bust Magazine. In 2013, she published her first book Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans which was picked up and sold in Crate & Barrel stores in 2014.
Natalie recently stopped by the ShareASale headquarters to spend some time with us answer a few questions about her experience as an Affiliate.
Q: When was your company founded?
Q: What inspired the launch of your site?
A: I started Bake and Destroy while on while on maternity leave. In a previous life I worked as a baker while I studied journalism in college, so food blogging seemed like a good way to combine my love of recipe development with my compulsive need to write about everything I do.
Q: In what ways does Bake and Destroy utilize affiliate marketing – what are some examples of how you would describe your methods as innovative?
A: I have banner ads on my site, but I see higher conversions from collages I make and post on social media. I put together outfits, or pull together products that fit into a specific theme. They take the guesswork out of shopping for people who like my style, which means more commissions for me. I also work with Merchants to host sweepstakes and product giveaways.
Q: What makes Bake and Destroy unique from competitor websites?
A: I have a very distinct voice and style. I mix classics with retro with punk and throw in a bunch of pop culture references while I’m at it so there’s kind of something for everyone while also being unlike anyone else. Food is what unites all of my readers together – but even there I find a lot of variety. I have some fans who are vegan and also happen to love that I’m obsessed with horror movies, while I have other fans who’ll eat anything, but love that I talk about wrestling and eat nachos at least once a week. So there’s no one quite bringing people together in the weird ways I have. Because of this distinct points of differentiation, I have a pretty dedicated community of followers and supporters which is visible through my various social networks. I have a collective reach of 40,000 across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
Q: What are the key determining factors when looking for new affiliate programs to join – what do you look for in a merchant partner?
Q. What do you look for in Merchant communication – for example, newsletters and direct email?
A: I’m not as concerned with frequency as I am with relevance. If there’s nothing to say, don’t bother me with a newsletter just to remind me that you exist. But if there’s a new collection or a promotion that’s relevant to my readers I don’t care if you email me three times in a week as long as there’s something I can use in those emails.
For general communication, Merchants should put on the content marketing hat and think about what suits a particular blogger’s content needs when pitching. If you sell umbrellas, don’t expect me to blog about umbrellas. But, approach me with the best vegan recipes for a rainy day and we might have something there.
Q: What types of banners do you use the most (sidebar, leaderboard, square?) Do you like promotional-themed, seasonal or product focused?
A: The way my blog is designed sidebar ads look the best and draw the most attention. I tend to use product-focused ads because even though my site is about food, veganism is a lifestyle. The easier I can make it for people to find cool vegan-friendly products the better.
Fill in the blanks:
“I love it when merchants __________.”: Get it, or at least attempt to get it. Even if their brand seems like a weird fit if they can show me an example of a post where their products could have made sense I’ll give them a shot.
“I don’t love it as much when merchants __________.”: Don’t take the time to find out what my blog is about, and pitch me things I am not interested in.
To inquire about an Affiliate partnership through ShareASale, email Natalie at firstname.lastname@example.org