At a certain point, you may decide you want to make money with your blog. Monetizing your blog can prove easy if you have a large number of subscribers to your posts or to your email list or a huge amount of traffic each day. However, even with a small following, it’s possible to make a bit of cash each month as a blogger. One of the best monetization strategies I know and use is affiliate marketing.
Unlike some monetization strategies, such as paid advertising, affiliate products can bring in some cash even if you have just started blogging. However, it becomes more effective as your subscriber lists and unique visitor counts grow.
What are Affiliate products?
Affiliate products can range from books on Amazon to courses or webinars offered by experts in a particular area to services provided by the company. You introduce them to your readership, and if someone buys one, you receive a commission.
You may have heard affiliate products, or affiliate marketing, called referral programs. Companies have offered these for ages to reward loyal customers who refer clients and customers. Sometimes a doctor will give you a free appointment for a referral or a store will give you a credit.
With the advent of the Internet age, companies selling products and services online developed systems to track referrals via affiliate links—special URLs created to track click through and purchases to the original referrer.
If you choose to introduce your readers to affiliate products targeted to their needs and interests, those products will be perceived as valuable resources. If you have used the product, or you know the author or expert, and can vouch for their value, that’s even better. Your readers will trust your recommendation. If they then choose to purchase, you will earn passive income via affiliate sales.
How to Begin Selling Affiliate Products
To begin making money with affiliate marketing, you must first identify an ideal product. If you don’t know anyone with affiliate products, search for some on ClickBank or E-jukie.
A better approach is to visit the sites of some of your favorite expert, authors or bloggers to see if they have products you can promote. Finding affiliate products in this manner becomes a win-win for everyone. You introduce them to your audience, and you both make money.
If a person or company has an affiliate program, you can usually find it easily on their site. They may have a page labeled “affiliate program” or “affiliate partners”; some have them hidden, in which case you have to contact the company to inquire if they actually have a program.
Next, sign up for the program. Sometimes this will be handled directly through the company or a secondary source, such as ClickBank or E-junkie.
Once you’ve signed up, try out the product. Or if you know enough about it, go ahead and write about it on your blog. Include your affiliate link in your content. Include a logo, and link that to the product using your affiliate link. (Caution: Don’t include Amazon affiliate links in your e-books.)
What Affiliate Products to Sell
What affiliate product should you sell? Choose ones that you feel comfortable recommending—best to have tried them, know a lot about them or know the creators of them—and that your audience wants and needs. You must provide value each time as well as quality.
I could provide a list of potential products and services, but every blogger will have different possibilities based on the market.
How Much Can You Earn?
The amount of money you can earn through affiliate marketing varies by product, promotion and size of your list. I made over $1,300 on one affiliate product promotion—and continue to earn money on that product almost every month. I currently make over $300 per year just on Amazon affiliate sales (mostly books). And just yesterday I received an automatic deposit for $130 from a company whose products I promote as an affiliate with an ad on two of my blogs; I receive deposits from this company every few months.
Some products I’ve promoted bring in affiliate sales all year long, and others only bring in sales if and when I write about them on my blog or in a newsletter sent to my list.
You can see, however, that affiliate marketing can provide quite a boost to your bottom line. While it is “selling,” it’s also providing value to your readers. Thus, it’s a win-win. It helps you create income from you blogging efforts, and that supports your continued blogging efforts, which means you keep giving your readers the beneficial content they seek.
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