How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog + What to Avoid
One of the simplest ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing, it is also the most profitable for a lot of bloggers today. The best thing about affiliate links is you don’t have to have a ton of traffic to get started. You can begin adding affiliate links to your blog post as soon as you set up your blog. You can share your love of writing with the world while earning some extra cash on the side. If you are passionate about a product, why promote it for free?
Haven’t started a blog yet? Read this guide on How to Start a Self-Hosted Lifestyle Blog. Below I show you how you can use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog, find companies that fit your blog, find affiliate programs to sign up with today, and how to promote products the right way.
This post contains affiliate links to help keep this blog running.
Affiliate Marketing? What is it?
Affiliate marketing is when you promote a company’s service or product. You can promote a product through a special text link or through a banner. Each link is tracked via a special link so companies know when to pay you. Every time a reader clicks your link or banner and makes a purchase, you receive a small commission, and sometimes a compensation depending on the company. It is important that you choose an affiliate partnership that is right for you and your audience.
Tips on Getting the Most Out of Affiliate Links
*Don’t break your readers trust
This just means don’t sell out to make a quick buck. You may be tempted to write blog post full of affiliate links, so you can make as much as possible. This is not the right way to start earning, if you are pushing links on to your readers every post. It will be very transparent, and your readers may start not to trust what you recommend because it doesn’t feel genuine. You will potentially be earning money from what someone buys during their session. So you want to make sure your recommendations are genuine. If you are recommending any old items for the sake of earning money, you may be responsible for someone spending money on a crappy product. A fun way to promote a product is to Show your readers how a product can benefit them by writing a “how-to” guide.
*Don’t forget about old post
When I first started utilizing affiliate links I went back to old post to see if there were any opportunities to place a link. There were a lot of places where I had talked about a product, so I was able to go back and insert a link for that product. If you are just starting out, there is a high chance you previously written a post that can be updated and monetized.
*Talk about what you know
If you have a product you absolutely love, don’t be afraid to let your readers know why you love it. The best thing to do is to write a paragraph about your experience with the product, instead of just inserting a single link. Connect with readers by providing a personal experience with the company, or a photo of you using the product! This shows your readers that you actually know what you are talking about. Not only will it show them you previously purchased it, but that you actually use the item. When you write about your personal experience with the product you sound less like a commercial, but more like a friend who is just recommending a product to another fried because you yourself had such a good experience. You want your readers to trust you, not to pull away from you.
*Be mindful of what you are recommending
You know your audience more than anyone, meaning you should know their budget. Don’t go promoting a $200 foundation when your readers are single working moms. If you yourself are on a budget, be mindful of your audience’s budget as well. Connect with readers by providing a personal experience with the company, or a photo of you using the product.
Whatever you are promoting should be helpful to your readers in some way.
How can I start helping my readers and monetizing my blog?
– Search for companies related to your niche that you would like to promote.
– If they have an affiliate program, follow the steps to apply for their program. Some companies do not have their own affiliate programs, but they will be a part of an affiliate network. Affiliate networks like Sharesale, and awin are great because they work with a variety of brands worldwide.
Where Are Some Good Places to Start?
Awin partners you with a variety of brands worldwide. Many of their brands are known world wide like Hyatt, Etsy, and Nike. There are brands for every niche travel, lifestyle, finance, and beauty. The best part about joining Awin is the opportunity to promote Etsy products. Etsy is a huge marketplace with sellers promoting their own WordPress themes, homemade products, clothing, graphics, stock photos and jewelry there are so many ways you can promote Etsy in different blog post on your blog. When you sign up, they require you to pay a $5 deposit that can be returned to you in whole later when you get your first payment.
Amazon Affiliates has a great and easy to use affiliate program. Amazon is a well-known company so your readers are very likely to trust a product from Amazon. You can find a product that benefits every niche, because there are literally thousands of items on Amazon. It’s easy to sign up and start adding products to your site. Check out this post if you want a more in depth post on the Amazon Affiliate program, and ideas on how to promote Amazon products. How to use the Amazon Affiliate program to make money
Promote Your Hosting Company
If you are signed up with your own hosting company, you can start recommending them to others and earn a commission. My blog is hosted by Siteground, and when you sign up for Siteground’s hosting, you are automatically eligible for their affiliate and referral program. Siteground is amazing by the way, and beats out more popular hosting websites in my opinion. They install WordPress for you within minutes. They have amazing 24/7 customer service. One morning my site was down after updating WordPress in 15 minutes they solved my problem and gave me tips how I could prevent it from happening in the future. Thinking about starting your very own blog? Check out Ultimate How-to Guide on Starting a Lifestyle Blog to see how to set up your blog today.
Share a Sale
ShareASale is a great affiliate program for bloggers, and influencers. They have a huge base of well-known brands for bloggers in every niche!
Ebates is a site built on affiliate links, they share the commission they earn from their affiliate links with their users. Ebates works with a lot of popular well-known companies including Nike and Amazon to give cash back to their users. If you are shopping anyway, it’s basically free money. Haven’t joined Ebates yet? Click here to get your first $10!
ShopStyle is a shopping search engine with hundreds of brands and products all in one place. The affiliate program (for all niches) lets bloggers, and influencers create clickable widgets and links to those products, which they can then share with their followers on their blog and on social media profiles. When someone clicks on your link you get paid, really simple way to earn money from your blog The first thing to do is create a ShopStyle Collective account and get acquainted with their website. They have a fairly simple set up so it won’t be hard to get your account up and running. You can start by using the navigation bar to search for different products. Here is a more in depth post on the best way to earn money using shop style affiliate links. Earn money using shop style affiliate links
I love staying at Airbnb, They offer great alternatives to staying at a hotel or hostel. You can offer your readers $40 in travel credit. After they book their first trip, you get $20 of travel credit The perfect travel niche affiliate program. The Many Pros of Using Airbnb & How To Use it Plus a Coupon Code For Your Next Vacation
If you have not created a blog yet, you should here are just a few reasons:
- Creative Outlet
- Friendship & Blogging Community
- Inspire others through your content
- Side Hustle & Passive Income
- New & fun hobby
I’ve written a guide to get you to start a successful lifestyle blog. I also have helpful blogging post like how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic and engagement, and how to never lack time and my favorite blogging tools.
Resource page: A resource page is a great way to make good use of affiliate links. Every niche can create a resource page, a resource page is a place your readers can get resources on a certain topic whether it be blogging, or traveling on a budget. You can monetize your resources page with relevant affiliate links. Here is my resource page if you want an example. Resource Page.
Staying true: You will potentially be earning money from what someone buys during their session. So you want to make sure your recommendations are genuine. If you are recommending any old items for the sake of earning money, you may be responsible for someone spending money on a crappy product.
Do you use affiliate links?
What are your favorite companies to work with?