Looking to start earning money on your blog and wondering how to get started with affiliate marketing? You are in the right place!
Today I’m going to give you a quick overview of affiliate marketing + a template for the 5 types of blog posts that you can craft to give your affiliate marketing efforts a giant kick in the booty!
Let’s get started!
What is affiliate marketing and should I use it for my blog?
Short answer? Ab-so-freaking-lutely. Affiliate marketing is a way to monetize your blog content that involves mentioning, reviewing or showcasing a product available for sale somewhere on the web. When you mention the product on your blog, you will link to it using a unique URL. Once people purchase that product using your unique link, you earn a commission. These commissions can be as low as 5% all the way up to 50% depending on the program.
If you take a look at most blogger income reports, you will see that a majority of bloggers use affiliate marketing as a monetization technique and some of them earn tens of thousands every month just by promoting products!
Want to know what it takes to make affiliate marketing really work on your blog?
You’ve got to be honest. Blogging is all about earning the trust of your readers. You NEVER, EVER want to compromise your integrity to make an affiliate sale. So you’ll want to make sure that you are only promoting products that you believe in, that you would use, that you currently use, and are aligned with your blog’s niche. For example, if you run a parenting site, it would not be in your best interest to promote e-Cigs…even though they might be paying $50 per sign up! Nor would it be in your best interest to say that you LOVE a product that you’ve never used before or actually have tried and hated. The best affiliate marketers keep it real and their audience appreciates their honesty.
How can I start using affiliate links on my blog?
- The first thing you’ll want to do is sign up with some of the bigger affiliate companies like Amazon, Commission Junction, ShareASale (my fave!), Linkshare and Pepperjam.
- Once you get accepted by the affiliate company, you will then have to start applying to individual programs. For example, if you become a member of Commission Junction, you can apply to work with Gymboree, Old Navy or hundreds of other individual programs. You must be accepted into the individual programs before you can start earning from them.
- Once you’ve been accepted into individual programs you will usually be provided with an assortment of text links and banner ads that you can use on your blog to start generating revenue.
- You’ll want to take those text links and use them in your blog posts to generate commissions.
Awesome! Now that you know how to get started with affiliate marketing, I’m going to take you a step further and give you some different blog post ideas that work really well for promoting products using affiliate marketing!
What Types of Posts Earn the Most Affiliate Marketing Revenue?
1. Round Ups: As I mentioned before, your readers LOVE to see what products you are using, what products you recommend, and what neat things you found on the web. You can easily publish a few blog posts like, “What I’m loving this Month” or “Gift Guide for a 2 year old” to showcase some killer products that your readers will feel encouraged to buy. (Example: 15 Mugs every Mom who keeps it real needs for her morning coffee)
2. Reviews: Product reviews are great way to introduce a product and get people to buy …as long as you do them right. I personally love product review blog posts so much, I have a whole blog dedicated to reviewing subscription boxes. The key to doing effective and lucrative reviews is to actually show yourself using the product. You can do this by using video or well lit photos. But the point is…your audience will WANT to see you using the product. They’ll want to know what you liked about it…what you didn’t like. So be sure to go into detail about what your true feelings are about the product! (Example: Birchbox Unboxing April 2016)
3. How-To: How-to posts are another great way to monetize your blog with affiliate links. Let me give you an example, perhaps you are doing a post like, “How to take better Selfies”. In that blog post you mention how you like to use a certain light like this RC Selfie Right light for example. So then you show your readers how to use the phone mounted light to take better selfies. They love your tip and buy the light so they too can take better selfies! Now this is a great post, because it is NOT all about the product. It’s about providing a benefit (better selfies) to your audience that just so happens to mention a product. (Example: How to start a Mom blog)
4. Sales: What do customers love? A good sale! Whether broke or rich, no one can resist a good sale. And as a blogger you can take advantage of these time sensitive sales by letting your audience know about them right as them happen. For example, let’s say your audience tends to be moms of young children…and it just so happens that Gymboree is having a blowout FREE Shipping sale! You can use this opportunity to promote the sale using your affiliate link in a blog post OR on social media! The one thing that you will want to make sure whether you post on social media or a blog post, that it’s a time sensitive deal…people need a deadline to get them to act fast! (Example: $10 off $10 Purchase at Payless!)
5. Email Blasts: Please tell me you have an email list? If not, head over here and read this blog post get your email set up and come back to this post! One of the more advanced affiliate marketing tips is to send out an email blast to your subscribers about a product. For example, if you found a new product that you just love and think will resonate well with your subscribers, craft an email with the subject line something like , “I just discovered <insert product name> and I think you are going to love it!”. Once you get them to open the email, tell them all the highlights, features, and benefits of the product. Be sure to include an actual photo of the product, (ideally not a stock photo) one that you actually took will work a LOT better at convincing your readers to make a purchase. Remember, they actually want to see that you use the product!
If you want a few more tricks on how to increase the profitability of your affiliate posts, check out this post!