If you’ve been blogging for a while or are interested in blogging for profit, chances are you’ve heard of affiliate marketing, affiliate products and affiliate income.
If not, then allow me to explain what affiliate income is and how it can benefit you, especially if you’re new to the online world and came here to learn ways to make money online.
To earn an affiliate income you need to find a company with affiliate products that you like and preferably use. Your affiliate company will then reward you for every visitor or customer you bring in with your own marketing efforts.
This is an attractive and very simple business model for those looking to make money online through their blog.
There are many types of affiliate products and your affiliate income depends on which ones you use and how you market or promote them.
What are the major benefits of selling affiliate products?
If you’re looking for more traffic, having affiliate products means you attract not only those interested in your blog content, but also those interested in your affiliate products. This is an opportunity to welcome new readers to your blog and earn and affiliate income from any products they purchase using your affiliate links.
My strongest recommendation is that you use affiliate products that have name recall and brand awareness, so that your readers won’t need an extensive introduction to the affiliate products you’re promoting.
Also, as these are online affiliate products, there’s no need to worry about inventory or the day to day running of a physical shop. There are no headaches such as customer service, shipping, or any other inconveniences that a traditional business has. Once affiliate links are in place on your blog, you can focus on promoting or marketing your chosen affiliate products however you choose.
On the flip side, the affiliate companies you choose have a broader market to sell their products to, and there’s no need for them to splurge on expensive marketing if they can rely on leads generated by their affiliate marketers. This keeps the prices of their products competitive. It’s a win-win for both parties.
To earn serious affiliate income it’s best to check out what’s available so you can carefully match what will work best for you, your blog, and your readers. Do you want to market digital products such as e-books and software, or physical products that can actually be delivered to someone’s door? There are so many affiliate products to choose from and I’ll recommend a good starting point at the end of this post.
Aside from what you’re actually promoting on your blog, there are also several ways you can earn affiliate income. Here are the more commonly known ways:
- Pay per sale. This is the easiest way to earn serious affiliate income. When one of your blog readers chooses to go to your affiliate company through your blog and buys an affiliate product you have recommended, you get a percentage of that sale. This is commission-based earning. That’s why it’s important and also ethical to use the products you recommend. You become an authority on them and people will trust you more.
- Pay per lead. In this option, your affiliate companies pay you a one-time fee for each referred visitor of your blog who fills out a questionnaire or application form.
- Pay per click. Similar to the pay per sale model, except that you are paid for every visitor you send to your chosen affiliate companies through the links on your blog (which can be a text or banner link), whether or not that visitor ends up buying something.
- Flat-fee referrals. Here your affiliate companies pay you a flat fee per referral you send them, irrespective of what they purchase in their transactions with the merchant.
- Single-tier programs. These programs reward affiliates only on direct transactions they’ve generated, not any additional affiliate sign-ups.
- Two-tier programs. In this model, an affiliate is rewarded by both direct transactions and for bringing new affiliates in.
- Multi-tier programs. As the term implies, there are several ways affiliate companies can reward affiliates who bring in new affiliates or are able to generate sales of products.
Using Affiliate Products
Alright, have you decided you’d like to try making an affiliate income via your blog? Before you jump into the first program you can find, consider the following:
- Who is your audience? They are, after all, visiting your blog because they like what you have to say. So choose affiliate products or programs that complement your blog’s overall subject matter, niche, and the audience. Think about what products and services are relevant to your audience. For instance, selling lawnmowers from Amazon won’t work if your blog focuses on Internet Marketing Strategies.
- Personal recommendations are best. Part of having affiliate products on your blog is promoting or marketing it as well. This is why having relevant affiliate products works best—because anything else will just sound insincere when you promote it. Products you can genuinely recommend have a higher chance of attracting your readers and establishing your credibility as an affiliate blogger. You want to attract more traffic to your blog, but this also includes making sure they keep coming back. Be open and honest about the products you recommend.
- Focus on quality. It’s no secret that everyone wants good quality, and this applies to your affiliate products as well. Do your research and look for products that have a good reputation and consistently good reviews.
- Use contextual links to draw readers in. There are several options for displaying affiliate links, but the more successful ones that get the most clicks are when they are set in context. Remember, visitors are hanging out in your blog for what you say and share. If you have an article about keyword research and then have a link to a product that performs stellar keyword research, readers are more likely to click on it than if it was irrelevantly placed on the top of your blog or in your sidebar.
- Avoid cluttering your blog. With affiliate programs, that is. You don’t want your blog looking like Times Square at night. All flashy lights with little substance. This will alienate your current readers and do very little to attract new ones. Choose affiliate products that will best serve your audience and blog.
- Be open and honest. This means being transparent that you do use affiliate products on your blog and in some cases, informing your readers that they are clicking on an affiliate link. Don’t fool your readers—most are smart enough to realize it and they’ll stop visiting. It’s OK to make an affiliate income by promoting affiliate products, but readers like to see you being open about it.
- Track and plan accordingly. Most of the best affiliate programs allow you to track statistics and other data that you can use to plan future posts using your affiliate products. You can see which links generated the most or least responses and make any necessary adjustments.
- Stay focused. Remember, promoting affiliate products and making an affiliate income will generate more traffic to your blog, but your primary focus should still be writing up new and relevant blog posts to draw readers in. Don’t get so focused on making an affiliate income that you stop creating relevant and valuable blog posts.