As a full time blogger at Socialbuzzhive.com, I started SBH with the intention of doing it part time. I was a freelance Marketer, seeking a creative outlet and got bitten by the blog bug!
I really didn’t have any intention of doing it to make money. However, once I made $100 from literally less than 5 minutes of work, I was into it.
You may of heard some negative things about affiliate marketing and that the market is just too saturated but that’s simply not so. We are just beginning to touch on the Digital expanse of online influencers and there will ALWAYS be advertisers out there seeking ways of promoting their products and services. Future opportunities for making money through affiliate marketing is only going to INCREASE.
Digital Advertising, my friends is not going anywhere. Forrester Research says “the affiliate industry will grow to $6.8 billion by 2020”.
I was able to do this as so many others are, largely due in part to discovering Affiliate Marketing. My affiliate earnings since that first $100, has been outstanding and I want to share with you some of the best Networks out there so you can do the same.
Now this is not a get rich quick scheme of any kind but a legitimate way to earn extra money through advertising. It also requires diligence, consistency, laser focus and determination.
Before that first $100 of earnings, my first month I made less than $15.00. The 3rd, almost $500. Now, my income is steadily growing due to the techniques and methods I’ve incorporated.
The top earners in Affiliate Marketing make in the $150,000 range! This is not a get rich quick scheme and there’s various levels of income you can earn. However, with the right techniques and systems in place it is a highly lucrative form of ‘passive’ income. I prefer the term flexible because you can earn money from anywhere at any time even while you sleep.
The great thing is that even if you don’t have a blog or website you can still do Affiliate Marketing which is just awesome! But for this article we’re going to assume that you do:)
There are many different ways to earn from your blog such as:
- Ad revenue
- Sponsored posts
- Affiliate Marketing
- Direct Sale of product i.e. digital download, eBook, PDF, physical product etc.
Each type is important, but affiliate marketing is my absolute favorite way to earn money because it results in the quickest return in relation to the time I put into it.
I’m going to provide some EASY tips on how you can get a jump start on earning more in affiliate sales right away.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is the process by which you earn a commission by promoting other merchant’s or company’s products.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work For Bloggers?
If you have a blog or website, Affiliate marketing works perfectly for blogs – it doesn’t matter which niche you are in. You can easily find products to recommend and share links to things that you love and use yourself. It is best to recommend products that you yourself have tried because that way you stay reputable.
You do have to put a disclosure statement on your blog pages when you use affiliate links letting your audience know that you are getting a commission from the products you’re promoting. People appreciate your being forthright about this.
Here’s an infograph about how affiliate marketing works:
Affiliate Marketing works for you, your reader and the company. Everyone benefits! Here’s how:
- Your reader will not be charged anything extra to purchase using your affiliate link.
- Your audience and social media followers like you and they are also interested in what you like. If you can provide value to them they will be happy that you shared it!
- You provided FREE advertising to them and perhaps something that they needed at that exact moment in time.
- You earn a commission for the free exposure you’ve given a company or brand.
Sometimes affiliate marketing has gotten a bad rep because some folks promote products they haven’t tried or don’t believe in. I don’t recommend that you do this because people can see through this right away.
All of the products I promote on my pages have been tried or sampled by me. Companies send me samples and I feel good about giving them extra exposure. If I don’t like them I don’t advertise them, simple. Check out my Resources page for some of my favorites.
I earn significant affiliate revenue simply by linking to products that I mention or picture in my posts or on social media.
Affiliate marketing, interestingly so, is NOT directly tied to page views. Sometimes you can earn more through affiliate sales during months when traffic is lower than when it is high.
I have found that I can share affiliate links in many different ways that are not so obnoxious and in your face. If you promote your articles on Pinterest those affiliate links that took me 5-20 minutes to insert into a post can earn money Indefinitely because the pins live on in Pinterest forever. What’s better than that?
Why is including affiliate links in your blog or website so Powerful?
For SEO. Including links in your blog articles is very important for the search engines to index your page and therefore figure out what your content is all about. It gets a higher ‘ranking’ grade in the organic search and people can find it easily. After all, no traffic, no business right?
I don’t link to EVERY single item. Each link is not necessarily an affiliate link either, I mainly link to what I think my audience may be interested in and want to click through and see.
Your audience who clicks on your Affiliate link may not even wind up purchasing what they clicked on originally. They may wind up making another purchase and then you get a commission on whatever it is they wind up purchasing. The total purchase! This is called ‘deep linking’. It’s very powerful and could lead to commissions in the hundreds or thousands!
How can a blogger get started with affiliate marketing?
It’s really simple to identify and apply to affiliate programs that include products and retailers you can promote on your blog in an authentic way.
If you are just starting out, I recommend joining the following three affiliate programs/networks: Amazon Associates, Share-A-Sale and ClickBank.
Applying to a program takes only a few minutes! These are all the affiliate networks I work with below:
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliate
- Shopstyle Collective
- Affiliate Window
FYI – Amazon Associates is used to promote Amazon products only. All of the other affiliate networks essentially act as affiliate managers for TONS of retailers and brands, i.e. Mixbook, Gymboree, SallyBeauty , Laura Mercier, etc.
So, when you join the other affiliate networks, you will then need to search their brand directories and select those brands that you would like to promote. They’ll ask you simply how you are going to promote their products and send you an email saying you’re accepted.
If you are accepted, you will be able to get started grabbing the links and getting started right away! If you don’t get accepted into a company’s affiliate program don’t get discouraged! There are plenty that will let newbies in. A company like Nike for instance only caters to blogs that have a certain number of followers or session views. But that’s something to set your sights to right?
It can be tempting to rush out and start adding affiliate links to your posts right away. But take a moment and slow down. You will want to approach affiliate marketing in an organized manner, or you will drive yourself crazy.
Here’s an Affilorama Review. Read my review of both Wealthy Affiliate vs Affilorama here.
Follow These Steps For Affiliate Marketing
1) Apply to all affiliate programs that interest you and become familiar with their respective dashboards and how to obtain links and banners from each of them.
2) I like to use Google Analytics and Pinterest to see which posts retain the most traffic and determine what my audience interests are. This way I can fashion the affiliate links to their interests as well. But remember to make sure you stand behind the company and products!
3) As you optimize each post, schedule that post for ongoing promotion. You must constantly promote on social media to keep them fresh in your audience’s mind.
4) As you draft new content, be sure to optimize each post with affiliate links going forward. It takes a lot of work but it’s so worth it!!
As your traffic grows and you continue to promote older posts, those links will still “be alive” and ready to earn you income. (Provided that there’s no expiration such as a special offer that’s only good for a certain time). It’s MUCH easier to add them each time you write a post as opposed to having to revisit old content and add affiliate links later. Which is what I did in the very beginning! Live and learn!
Food for thought…
Affiliate marketing takes time and dedication. The more you work on affiliate marketing, the more affiliate marketing will work for you. Affiliate marketing is one of the largest online industries and has become a key source of online income for many thousands of professional bloggers, webmasters, and entrepreneurs.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income makes over $100,000 per month with Affiliate marketing
Michelle Schroeder Gardner of Making Sense of Cents $150,000+ per month
The Penny Hoarder $20,000,000 last year. Yikes!
Just to name a few…
Remember the statement in the beginning of the article: “The affiliate industry will grow to $6.8 billion by 2020″ – Resource Forrester Research
This quick start guide barely scratches the surface of affiliate marketing!
Whether you are new to affiliate marketing or you simply want to increase your earnings I hope this guide will at least motivate you to get you started in this billion dollar industry.