Affiliate marketing is one of the ways you can earn money as a blogger and is great if you’re looking for ways how to make money as a blogger beginner. In the Ultimate Guide To Blogging I talk about other ways to earn money as a content creator, but affiliate marketing is definitely my favorite way. Implement the links right, and you’re ready for success.
I personally earn quite a large percentage of income with affiliate links, and this blogger earns over 1 million each year by implementing her strategies on her blog.
I’ve written a complete guide to affiliate marketing for beginners so read further!
Where to start: affiliate marketing for beginners
Did you know that there are affiliate marketing programs that pay you recurring income? I thought it was time to tell you about them so you can skyrocket your income. I think the main focus in your affiliate strategy should always be: focus on recurring paying programs over the temporary ones because you’re creating very easy and passive wealth.
You can find my favorite recurring paying affiliate programs here and on the bottom of this page, check it out to see if there’s one that you already use and love or that first your niche.
Check if the programs and products you already use + love have affiliate programs (sometimes they’re called ‘refer a friend’ program). If so, sign-up and replace links* on your blog that already forward to the products.
So you know about recurring affiliate programs, now it’s time to sign-up for pay per click (PPC) affiliate programs where possible. Because adding PPC affiliate links to visually awesome products to Pinterest is a great way to earn income if you don’t have a lot of traffic or followers.
Other programs pay you per lead (so when someone purchases the product). This can be a bit more though when you don’t have a lot of traffic, so when you sign-up make sure you look for things like:
Along cookie period. So after someone clicks the link, how long will the purchase be traced back to you? Often this is 14 days to 60 days. The longer the better!
All about commission
How much commission will you receive? This may vary from your industry, from as low as 6% to as high as 70% is normal.
Information about the payout: will you receive the commission every month or as soon as you hit a certain amount? The latter is not ideal if you’re just starting out as it may take ages before you get paid.
Sign-up for ‘large affiliate marketing places’ like ShareASale, Awin, and CJ to find even more programs you love to promote.
Kicking off with affiliate marketing
Let’s dive into some effective affiliate strategies to promote your links because just putting them on your website is not enough and that’s not really a strategy is it?
The most important thing to know is what your readers want. If you’re promoting things they’re not interested in, there’s no way you will be successful at affiliate marketing. So it’s time to figure out what your audience wants, no matter how small.
How to determine what’s hot in your affiliate marketing niche:
Search for questions asked by your audience. Whether it may be emails you’re receiving, or dms, or maybe just questions on Google or Facebook groups. When you see a question asked over and over again, you know it’s time to answer that question.
What’s your most popular blog post? Keep track of your top 10 most read articles in Google Analytics, and come up with links you can swap for affiliate links.
Browse through the affiliate networks, what are popular companies to work with?
Browse through your blog friends’ blogs. What are they promoting?
Readincome reports, what are profitable affiliate networks or companies for other bloggers?
Once you’ve determined which programs you want to promote, it’s time to start promoting them right.
Affiliate marketing is more than just adding links to your site, you need a strategy. It’s perfectly fine to start with swapping normal links to affiliate links, but that’s not a strategy.
Here are some tips for success:
Build trust to earn more affiliate marketing income. No one will believe anything you say if they don’t trust you. You easily build trust by blogging authentically and not overdoing to whole ‘ad’ thing. Become an expert or the best in your niche, deliver quality content and be valuable for others.
Only create quality, long-form content. That doesn’t just focus on promoting the links, but that helps the reader using the product.
Add your affiliate links multiple times, but no more than 5 times in a post. How about one, in the beginning, the middle and the end? Also, make the link visible. I saw a huge increase in click-throughs when I changed my link color on the blog. This small change has increased my revenue a lot, so make sure your links are visible for others that are not really familiar with your design and content.
Make all your images (if logic) affiliate links clickable. I swear people want to click logos and screenshots from products, so make sure you include your links there too!
And more tips for pros!
Create special deep links. When you link to ‘Barnes & Noble’ make sure you don’t link to their homepage when you’re talking about a specific book, but link to that specific book.
Making ‘buy now’ your call to action is never a really good idea. Provide the link as a simple solution to someone’s problem and you’ll have more success than a ‘buy now link text’. No hard sales work better in my opinion and you don’t come off too sales-y, there’s no need for that. Something like ‘get x here’ works better.
Make sure you use a call to action link, something along the lines like ‘click here to learn more’. Seriously, you have to spell it out for people in order to grab their attention and to get them to move towards clicking.
Don’t be afraid to let your followers know when something is on sale. You can easily do this on Instagram Stories (if you have the swipe up function), Twitter or your newsletter.
Decide what works best for your audience: ‘cheaper’ or ‘more expensive’ products that you promote by starting out with both. I suggest you start out with just a few links to promote in total, maybe 7, and see what works best. I noticed I get the best ROI on items priced around $25 – $75 a month and by making sure I get paid in recurring commission, about 40%.
Some affiliate marketing promotion strategies:
It’s better to promote one product more than to promote more products once. You can easily do this to decide which things you just LOVE using, and then talking about them a little bit more often. You do this by using different promoting strategies.
Create different types of blog posts to start with. Best converting posts are reviews and ‘the things I love’ kind-of-posts. But you can use affiliate links in all sorts of content you create. Think freebies, emails, newsletters, your courses, your ebooks, your social media updates and your tutorials. Here is an example of a tutorial that’s converting very well for me, and my resource page, as I received a lot of questions about the tools and apps I use, I created a separate page for them.
Let your readers know that they are supporting you as well when they click your affiliate product, this will strengthen your bond – I always love using someone’s link if I were to get something anyway.
Do not underestimate the power of Pinterest. Since they started to allow affiliate links again somewhere a year ago, I have earned a great percentage of my affiliate income via Pinterest. More on that in another lesson, but you can get started today to create a Pinterest account and add some boards you can monetize.
We will discuss more strategies throughout the course when we discuss more marketing techniques and how to combine different strategies but the strategies mentioned above are great starting points.
Take it to the next step
As soon as your affiliate income takes off, and you’re promoting one product that’s doing really well, you can either expect an email from your affiliate manager or you can email them.
I go into affiliate marketing detail in Blogging Wave how you can raise commission, the specific email script used to do so, how I went from $65 per lead to $95 per lead by changing just one thing and the legal side of affiliate marketing, because you need to know the rules to play. More information and detailed step by step plans here.
Hi there! I'm Noni May! I’ve been blogging for over 15 years and have been working in the communications & marketing field for over 10 years. I started out young once I knew what my passions were. I also studied in between working and have a BBA and I now work as a freelance content marketer and blogger. I used to live the digital nomad lifestyle for years while traveling as much as possible! I'm passionate about entrepreneurship, finance, health, traveling and all things homes, so that’s what you’ll most likely read about here. I'm helping you live a life you love, finally build or grow that business and navigate the world while traveling.
My blog is read by business owners, digital nomads, bloggers, aspiring entrepreneurs, personal finance junkies, and travelers. On the blog, I share my experiences as an online entrepreneur and full-time traveler, and I write about business, PR, marketing, lifestyle, and money, just have a look at the 1500+ posts in the archives!