Affiliate marketing can provide a nice income for a blogger. However, knowing the dos and dont’s of this monetization strategy is essential. Today, Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB) provides information to help you make your affiliate marketing efforts successful.
Affiliate Marketing is quickly becoming a multi-million dollar business. Promoting other companies’ products or services, or allowing them to advertise yours, extends the overall audience reach and significantly enhances sales. It can also create passive lines of income for years to come.
If you have a decent following for your blog, it may be time to add affiliate marketing to your monetization strategies, but be careful. You want to do it well. Otherwise, it could damage your reputation or become a giant hassle. Take the time to do it right. Keep these dos and don’ts of affiliate marketing in mind.
Do Make Sure You Like the Product or Service
Research is essential. The worst thing you could do is jump on the bandwagon to promote a new product or service only to hear from your followers that the item or service is of poor quality. You don’t want your fans sending you nightmare messages about their bad experience with a product you recommended!
So, first spend time looking through reviews and checking on the reputation of the company. Also, check with other bloggers who partner with that company; see if they recommend an affiliate arrangement or not.
And ask to try the product; many companies will give you access to it in some manner.
Do Disclose the Arrangement
It is considered best practice to disclose your affiliate arrangements. The easiest way to do that is to have a little disclaimer on your website that says something like, “Products or services advertised or recommended on this site may be due to an affiliate arrangement or some other type of compensation from the company.” Often the statement mentions that “blog posts may include affiliate links.”
Do Commit to the Program
Joining an affiliate marketing program takes time and effort. First, you need to apply to be part of a program. If accepted, the next step is usually to add some type of advertising or hyperlink to your website or mention the product or service in one of your posts. (You would then link to the product using an affiliate link or ad that includes your unique link provided by the company.)
If you are going to go to all that effort, make sure you are willing to commit the extra time and work required for the program to be successful.
Do Track the Results
You typically have to provide banking or PayPal information to affiliates so they can pay you per click or with a commission on every item you sell.
Make sure that you periodically check your results. Just like anything else in business, it’s not enough to do it once and forget about it. You need to analyze what’s working and what’s not so you can adjust your approach for greater success.
Don’t Overdue Banner Ads and Pop-Ups
Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to read something online and advertisements keep interfering with your ability to scroll through it! Nothing is more annoying to your regular readers than suddenly having a bunch of adds pop-up when they are trying to read your posts. Keep your banners and pop-up ads to a minimum or your audience might get fed-up and start reading your competitor’s blog instead.
Don’t Advertise Products That Aren’t related to Your Niche
All products or services you advertise on your site should be relevant to your readers. Don’t advertise baby products if your niche is senior citizens. Be sure the things you promote are of value to your specific audience. If, for example, your environmentally conscious readers start seeing advertisements for a new muscle car on your blog, they will probably wonder about your ethics and take their readership to a different site.
Don’t Be Afraid of HTML Code or the Technology
Some people hesitate to join affiliate programs because they often require adding some specific lines of HTML code to the back-end editor, adding a plug-in, or a specific link to your site. If you’re the type of person that starts to sweat like you’re working out at the gym, or your eyes glaze over when you think of anything techie, you might be tempted to forget the whole idea of affiliate marketing.
Breathe. It’s really not that difficult. Most companies with an affiliate marketing program have a support line, and one of their friendly representatives will be happy you walk you through the process.
Many bloggers make thousands of dollars a month, even a six-figure annual income, from affiliate marketing alone, so why not give it a try? First, introduce one product or service you think would be helpful to your audience, and do it right. Then, roll out another and another. Before long, you might see your bank balance growing and have discovered a whole new source of income.
Are there some other affiliate marketing dos and don’ts you’d add to this list? Add them in a comment below.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.