When I first started researching how to make money from my blog, can you guess what one thing kept popping up? If you guessed affiliate marketing, you guessed correctly! Aside from services like blog consultations and freelance writing, affiliate marketing has been the one way I’ve made some pretty good income from my blog! But it’s not as easy as dropping a few affiliate links here and there. If you want to know how to become an affiliate marketer, and a successful one at that, read on!
Now, I don’t consider myself an affiliate marketing guru. Not even close. But I’ve made a number of sales from affiliate marketing, and no, not just a few dollars here and there. We’re talking hundreds of dollars since I started incorporating affiliate links about 6 months ago, which I’m pretty proud of! And I know other bloggers who make thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars through affiliate marketing alone. If that’s not enough to get you hooked, I don’t know what is!
But let me back up for a second. If you’ve been reading through this post wondering what the heck affiliate marketing is, let me tell you. As an affiliate marketer, you help promote a product or service that belongs to someone else. If you end up selling the product/service, the owner will pay you a portion of the profits since you helped them make the sale!
As a blogger, you can become an affiliate marketer for a number of companies, from your email marketing platform and blog hosting company, to social media schedulers (think Tailwind and Board Booster), to blog courses you’ve taken and loved! Online stores like Amazon and Etsy also have affiliate programs you can apply to.
How it works is, after applying to or signing up to be an affiliate (different programs have different rules), you’ll receive a unique tracking link. You can use this link on your blog, social media, emails, wherever you can, and if someone clicks through your link and makes a purchase, you get your affiliate commission. Just make sure you’re always informing your audience about the affiliate link. This can be easily be done by putting a disclaimer at the top of your blog post saying “This post contains affiliate links.” Easy as that!
If you’re interested in learning how to become an affiliate marketer, but don’t know where to start, check out these 7 tips for success!
1. Add affiliates to (almost) every blog post
Whenever it makes sense, add affiliate links to your blog posts. You’ll want to do this as much as possible so you have more opportunity to make an affiliate sale. In order to do this, write posts where you can work in your affiliate links and go back through your old posts to see where you can add them.
Just make sure they make sense in the post! You don’t want to be writing about a pizza recipe and all the sudden throw your affiliate link for a coffee machine in. If you’re able to add affiliate links to almost every blog post, you’ll be set up for success!
2. Be genuine
Only promote products/services you’ve used yourself and know are amazing. Trust is so important as a blogger and you want build authentic trust with your readers. Imagine if you raved about a product and your reader buys it and it’s nothing like you said. You’re going to lose a loyal follower who could have ended up buying a lot more from you in the future. Keep it genuine and all will end well!
3. Talk it up
If you’re writing about an affiliate product, make sure you tell your readers how it can benefit or solve a problem for them. Don’t only talk about the product itself. Sure, it’s awesome that your favorite hair conditioner has aloe vera and coconut oil, but how does that help your reader? Does it eliminate split ends? Does it add volume to dull hair? By helping them solve a problem, you’re not being salesy, you’re being helpful, and your readers will appreciate that more than anything!
4. Change it up
Don’t just use your affiliate links in one place (aka blog posts), use them wherever you can! Do you have email subscribers? Use them in your monthly newsletters! Do you post on Facebook and Twitter? Use them there! You can also use them on your side bar or header. Like I mentioned above, just make sure you let your readers know you’re using an affiliate link whenever possible. It all comes back to trust.
5. Round-ups and gift guides
Round-ups and gift guides are an awesome way to use a bunch of affiliate links in one post! You can do anything from holiday gift guides, to a list with your favorite baking accessories, to must-have items for your carry-on bag. Whatever your niche, a round-up is a great way to get your affiliate links out there!
6. Write a review
When you review a product, you’re giving your readers insight to exactly what you thought about it and how it worked for you. Let’s say you tried out an amazing face cream for acne prone skin that cleared up your complexion right away, so you decided to become an affiliate for the brand. Others with acne prone skin relate to you and want to know how they can clear their skin too! Write an honest review and use your affiliate link. Your honesty will shine through and you’ll more than likely have a few happy buyers!
7. Let your expertise shine
If you’re a blogger, you mostly likely focus on a few main things on your blog. Over time, you become an expert in these areas and are seen that way by your readers. Write and share affiliate link about products in your areas of expertise. Are you a fashion blogger? Stick to affiliate programs in the clothing, shoes and accessories areas, for instance.
If you’re stumped on how to become an affiliate marketer, I hope these tips have helped you out! Find some affiliate programs you love and start implementing these steps for success!
Want to learn MORE about affiliate marketing? My friend Michelle from Making Sense of Cents made over $55,000 in affiliate sales in December 2016, and she makes that kind of cash through affiliate marketing month over month. She has been a real inspiration in the blogging world, and created an awesome affiliate course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I recommend the course to every blogger as it’s made such a difference in my success with affiliate marketing. You can check it out HERE!
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