All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means I’ll receive a commission for any products/services you purchase through them. It’s not a lot, but enough to help keep this blog up and running! Thank you for your support!
This is another article in the series of posts I’m writing about affiliate marketing to help bloggers like you learn how to succeed at earning passive income.
You may be wondering if affiliate marketing is for real, and if it’s even worth the time and effort. My answer to that is – absolutely! If done correctly, you can be earning passive income while you aren’t even in front of your computer.
The one thing that this article will NOT teach, and that is how to get rich quick from affiliate marketing. While there may be some bloggers out there who have made a lot of money right off the bat, it’s not common, and I don’t expect any of you to expect that kind of performance as a result from this post. Creating a good business strategy will help you achieve consistent results. What I want to teach you today is how to set yourself up for long-term success and build a foundation that can lead to higher income down the road.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is simply advertising and promoting a merchant’s products and/or services on your blog in exchange for a commission whenever someone makes a purchase through those links. For example, I signed up for a WONDERFUL candy subscription box service called “Candy Club.” Candy Club is a monthly service that delivers its customers fresh and delicious candies right to their door. When I signed up to be an affiliate for Candy Club, I gained access to their list of creatives (banners, links, coupons, data feeds, etc). I then placed a banner within my sidebar as well as many of the links within my blog posts. I even did a full review of Candy Club (Thanks to Candy Club for sending me a month’s box for FREE!) Candy Club’s commission structure is $23.50 per sale. Every time someone clicks on my affiliate links and makes a purchase (regardless of the amount spent), I get $23.50 deposited into my ShareASale account. Isn’t that cool? (Oh, and I totally just promoted one of my affiliate links! – see how easy that was??)
Affiliate marketing is more than just slapping up a few banners and links. To really make it worthwhile, you need to only promote products you truly believe in and use. Because I have experienced the Candy Club service first-hand, I was able to speak to how wonderful it is and why my readers should try it out too. Even though I wrote the review of Candy Club months ago, I continue to share the post and affiliate links as much as possible. In fact, I shared the review yesterday and woke up to 2 new sales! Amazing!
If you join an affiliate marketing company, such as ShareASale, all of your stats will get tracked real-time. I was able to log in to ShareASale this morning and see that my balance had gone up from $26.00 to $73.00. Hey, it’s not a lot, but it’s something! I can also see reporting of how many times my links have been clicked and even the time of day it was clicked.
Check this out!
Different Ways to Earn Money
So, each merchant has its own earning structure, so pay close attention when you are thinking about signing up for them. Some pay you a commission per sale only. Even if I sent 1,000 visitors a day to a merchant’s site, if 0 visits resulted in a sale, I still end up with $0. Other merchants pay per click. If 1,000 people clicked on my link to a merchant, I’d get either a flat rate dollar amount, or a certain percentage, even if none of the 1,000 visits resulted in a sale. Many other merchants also pay per lead in addition to the other two ways above. If I send 1,000 people to a merchant’s site and 500 people enter their contact information into their form, I’d get commission on those 500 entries. Pretty cool, huh? It makes you want to open the flood gates and advertise the hell out of your links.
Is Affiliate Marketing Better than Selling My Own Product?
It depends. If you don’t have a product of your own to sell, nor the funds to make that happen, affiliate marketing can be a great alternative way of earning income. There are no production costs to affiliate marketing, no monthly fees, no physical locations you have to go to, no storage or shipping costs, and you can practically promote your products to anyone in the world who has access to the internet.
I’m not going out on a limb to say affiliate marketing is less work than selling a physical product because it’s not. Just like with a physical product, you definitely need to promote affiliate products to the correct market. You also have to get very creative in promotional methods, and be willing to change on the fly if current strategies are not working.
How to Become a Pro at Affiliate Marketing
Have you read my post, “20 Secrets to Affiliate Marketing Success” yet? If so, great, what did you think about it? If not, you should really check it out because it gives you insight on how to really make income as a normal blogger. Here are a few tips I’ve learned on my own that have helped me develop my skills at promoting affiliate products:
1. Don’t Promote Everything Under the Sun
One mistake many bloggers make in the beginning of promoting affiliate products is that they feel like they have to hit the “sign up” button on every affiliate program in the world. Don’t make this mistake! Only promote products you actually use and believe in to your subscribers. Trust me, if you promote just to try to make a quick buck, your readers WILL notice this and it will be the last time they visit your blog. NOT GOOD!
2. Use the Right Keywords
I can’t stress enough how important the right keywords are to not only boost your blog traffic, but also to drive affiliate sales. The advantage to working with an affiliate marketing network is that the account managers for each merchant are more than happy to work with you to provide helpful keywords to help drive in traffic. After all, their company benefits from your traffic with each sale you send their way!
3. Keep Promoting
Don’t just share a link once or put up a banner on one blog post. The secret to building affiliate income is consistent promotion. There are so many ways to do this:
- Create a pin with your affiliate link and schedule in Tailwind.
- Send an email to your subscribers suggesting a great product.
- Promote your links on Facebook and Twitter.
- Write a product review.
4. Focus on Subscribers First
So many bloggers just throw up random links and make it obvious that they are only trying to make a quick sale. Don’t be like them. Establishing trust and focusing on what’s valuable to your readers is paramount in driving traffic and sales. If you are focusing on their needs, they are going to develop stronger relationships with you and with what you are promoting.
5. Add Affiliate Links to Old Posts
We all have them – old blog posts sitting out there gathering up dust. (Well, I hope they aren’t gathering dust! I hope you are continuing to share them!). Take a look at some of these old posts to see if you have the opportunity to include some of your affiliate links in them. Chances are, you’ll find more opportunities than you think. Not only should you look to add affiliate links to your old blog posts, but you should constantly be looking to revitalize the posts for current information.
You CAN Earn Real Income Too!
If you work hard at affiliate marketing by constantly practicing the tips above, it’s a definite reality that you can earn a real income from promoting affiliate links. Don’t give up, and keep working on trying new promotional methods. If you have any questions about what’s worked for me and what hasn’t, drop me at line at firstname.lastname@example.org.