How to Use Affiliate Links On Your Blog

How to Use Affiliate Links On Your Blog

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission. 

One very popular method of monetizing your blog is through the use of affiliate links. Affiliate links can appear to be complicated on the surface, but once you learn how to do it and implement a strategy for your blog, you’ll be surprised at how easy it really is.

So, if you are a new blogger, welcome to the wide, wide world that is blogging. I’m sure over the next few months you are going to hear and read about so many ways to monetize your blog. Affiliate links are the easiest way to monetize if done correctly.

So, what is affiliate marketing and how do you get the links?

Affiliate marketing involves the promotion and selling products from merchants that sign up to an affiliate marketing platform. Bloggers who sign up to promote these products are called “affiliates” and earn income from registering with an affiliate marketing platform, such as ShareASale (read my review of ShareASale here) or AvantLink, and then with the individual merchant. The merchant’s page in the platform will provide the affiliate with links (text, banner, etc) as well as any promotions or coupons they have to offer customers.

Once the blogger has been approved to promote a merchant’s products and has placed the links onto their blog, any resulting sale from a customer who has clicked on the affiliate link will result in a commission for the blogger.

Commission rates for each merchant vary. Some provide income for sales, while other provide income for leads. It is crucial to read the commission details up front so that you are not surprised in the end when you make your first sale.

I’m approved as an affiliate – now what?

Once you have become an approved affiliate and you have access to the merchant’s links, the next (and most important!) step is to put the links on your blog. I use WordPress, so the easiest way to insert the link is by highlighting the text in your post where you want the link to go and click the link button.  It’s as simple as pasting in the link and then you are good to go!

You should be very careful using these links and definitely do not bombard your readers with them.  Your content is what drives your blog.  To get readers interested enough to click on your links, you have to have quality content. Throwing up a few blog posts whose only goal is to entice readers to click links will lose you readers every time. Be smart about it, be creative, and be willing to try new ways of promotion.

Legal requirements for you as a blogger

The FTC requires bloggers to disclose affiliate relationships any time affiliate links are included in a blog post.  You must include a statement such as:

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission. 

Do not forget to disclose this information to your bloggers.  The FTC can and will shut your blog down.  I recommend this article at Bloggy Law for more information on how and when to disclose.

How to make money

So you’ve signed up for an affiliate network, received approval from merchants, placed your links on your blog. When does the money flow in?

I can’t give you a specific time frame as to when you will start seeing money flow in, but as long as your blog is optimized for SEO, has valuable content, and the links are appropriately placed, you are guaranteed to start earning money.

Don’t be stressed if you don’t make money for a while.  It takes time to build up your blog followers, but the sales will eventually come.  Keep at it and be willing to try new ways to get readers to your blog.  The higher amount of visitors that find your blog, the better chance those views will convert to sales.

Affiliate link pointers

Take it from me, once you get your first merchant approval, you are so tempted to throw your link around all over your blog.  Here are some tips I have learned along the way to make the best use of affiliate links:

  • Use hyperlinks:  The links must go into text as hyperlinks. Your blogging platform should make this easy to do. Do not copy and paste the whole affiliate link into the body of the post. Make the links appear naturally. Use links within the phrasing of the words.
  • Review older posts: Take the opportunity to add affiliate links to older blog posts. Maybe you talked about a product that got a lot of attention, or maybe you mentioned a book that’s on Amazon.  Old posts still deserve your full attention.
  • Aim for one link per post:  Try to make it a goal of adding at least one link per post.
  • Write more product reviews: Product reviews are amazing spots to add affiliate links. They go into detail about a product or service and they are great finds for search engines.
  • Promote products you believe in: Promote those products you would recommend to your readers. Don’t try to sell yourself out just to make a quick buck. Look for products that tie in with your niche and work them into blog posts.

A few of my favorite affiliate products and their current deals:

  • NFL Shop:  NFL Shop usually has some great deals to pass along to your readers. Right now, they have their spring outlet sale going on.  Save up to 50% on sale items through March 9, 2017.  It’s a great time to stock up on your favorite NFL gear and be ready for next season!
  • Gymboree: Gymboree has always been one of our favorite places to buy our kids’ clothes. They usually have AMAZING deals!  Right now, you can get 40% off of your entire purchase through March 26, 2017.
  • Cricut: Cricut is a great site to visit to create professional-quality personalized products.  Whether your project is for home décor, parties, events, weddings, or fashion, Cricut makes it simple.  Their March Mystery Box is $34.99 through March 21st.
  • Precious Moments:  My mom has been collecting Precious Moments since I was a kid. She must have bought 30 of them just for me and my brother.
  • Bitsbox: Bitsbox is a really cool idea!  It’s a subscription box for kids to learn how to code. Although they don’t have any deals right now, I highly recommend checking them out if you have a child interested in coding.
  • StrollerDepot.com: StrollerDepot.com is a family-owned stroller, infant car seat, and baby product company.  If you are in the market for one of these products for the first time and have no clue which one to select, their knowledgeable customer service can lead you in the right direction. Their current offers include 20% Off Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat and $150 Off Phil & Ted’s Sport Double Strollers (Black Only) 5 In Stock, Now $499

Conclusion

I hope this post is helpful for you as a blogger looking to make some extra money through affiliate marketing. It’s fun when you see a sale go through, and all of the work it took to get to that point makes it all worthwhile in the end. If you have any other questions about affiliate marketing, drop me a line at jeremy@goaskyourdaddy.com

Here are other blogging-related posts I’ve written:

 

2 thoughts on “How to Use Affiliate Links On Your Blog

    1. I know that some of them require that you blog in a niche that works well with products they sell, while others require a certain amount of social following. ShareASale merchants usually don’t have this requirement (at least the ones I’ve applied for). I’ve only been rejected for 2 programs and I’ve applied for about 25 of them.

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