How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to monetize your blog. It empowers your blog earnings by delivering products and services which can help your audience in many different ways. If you want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing, read this comprehensive affiliate marketing guide. This will teach you how to build a good online reputation before recommending products. And then you’ll be able to earn money from it.
Do you want to start an affiliate marketing blog? Do you want to know how to become an affiliate marketer? Read on for affiliate marketing tips and tricks!
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a practice of recommending someone’s products and services to possible customers, while generating a sale and getting a commission in return. A lot of bloggers already engage in this type of online sales tactic.
So, what is an affiliate program? How to make money with affiliate marketing?
An affiliate program can help you earn extra cash! It is a quicker way to provide products and services without the hassle of creating them yourself. Just find a product that you like from a reputable individual or company and promote it to your readers. With the right affiliate marketing blog strategy, you will definitely get a commission on a sale in no time! Sounds simple, right?
What exactly does an affiliate marketer do?
How do to affiliate marketing? From a simple personal website, how do you transform your virtual space into an affiliate marketing blog? Are you determined to know how to make money with affiliate marketing? What is an affiliate program? Are you familiar with free affiliate programs? There are lots of questions, but don’t ever feel intimidated! We’re here to help you.
A short explanation on how a blogger earns from his affiliate marketing efforts
Let’s say this particular blogger is upfront about how he has partnered with many companies as an affiliate. He announces to his readers that if they buy any of the products he recommends through the links in his pages, he’ll make a little money from the sale.
Throughout his website, you’ll be able to see graphics that look like ads. You should know that these graphics are not ads. They are called affiliate links. Some wouldn’t know the difference, but as a savvy blogger, you should be able to recognize it.
When you put ads on your website, you get paid when someone clicks on them. You’ll get money whether or not your visitors end up buying it. The advertiser is basically just renting a space in your blog.
The problem with this is that you usually just earn a small amount for clicks. To get real income from advertising, you need to have an incredibly high-traffic website. However, as an affiliate, you only get paid when a person clicks the link and ends up purchasing the product.
Commissions on the sales that you refer are usually much higher. There’s only a slight difference, though it can make an impact on your income.
Apart from the usual graphical links and banners, you can also use text links in your blog posts. This is typically accompanied by an indicator that it is an affiliate sale.
If you really want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing, you should learn how to include links in e-mails and sales pages. Continue reading this affiliate marketing guide to further understand what affiliate marketing can do for you as a blogger.
Why should you start an affiliate marketing blog?
If you want to make money with affiliate marketing, you should research the types of products your audience is looking for. Once you have figured out the right products and services to sell, let them get used to the idea of purchasing something from you. Increase the level of your readers’ trust. From there, everything becomes completely doable. You can do affiliate marketing even as a one-person show!
The benefits of affiliate marketing
- You don’t have to be a world-renowned expert in your niche to know how to make money with affiliate marketing. There is no required specialized expertise. Just be familiar with your topic area to be able to know which products are worth recommending to your audience.
- Easy to implement. Share a link to your readers. That’s it! No need to worry about tracking sales, setting up payments and providing customer service. All the support can be handled by the merchant.
- It isn’t exactly passive income—it doesn’t require a significant time or investment on your part.
Are you ready to produce more regular blog content?
Use your affiliate marketing blog to earn extra income! Is this the right time to contemplate on how to become an affiliate marketer? Are you excited to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing? Ready to explore free affiliate programs?
If you really want to know how to start affiliate marketing and be truly successful, you need to think about a few things first.
How will you attract more readers? Are you ready to produce regular blog content?
Make sure you have an e-mail list of around 500 subscribers. You need to keep those subscribers engaged around your topic to maximize your earning potential.
Any affiliate marketing guide will tell you to build your credibility first. Consider providing a lot of free value to your subscribers before you start asking for sales.
When should you start your affiliate marketing blog?
Are you thinking of offering finance, real estate and legal advice on your affiliate marketing blog?
If you are planning to sell professional services such as consulting, coaching, design and writing in the short term, it would be best to hold off on affiliate marketing.
According to service providers, selling services first is a blogger’s best bet. If you really want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, you should know that this is basically the most profitable way to begin monetizing.
Once you’re already making enough money from these services, and has finally learned how to make money with affiliate marketing on a comprehensive scale, that’s when you can consider adding affiliate offers into the mix.
Nurture the trust of your audience
How to start affiliate marketing? How to make money with affiliate marketing without selling your soul?
Bloggers who succeed in this online selling tactic understand this simple truth: The relationship you have with your readers and the trust that you build with them are your most important assets.
It is true that some bloggers have given affiliate marketing an unsavory reputation. This is because unethical marketers annoy their readers with general spam, junk ads and other offers that don’t apply to them.
If you really want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing, try your best to generate great value for you and your readers. Though, you might be, at some point, be tempted to venture into the obscure aspects of affiliate marketing. Don’t do it! Never do anything that will betray your readers’ confidence. Don’t risk the good relationship that you have with them.
Trust is very important in your blogging and affiliate marketing journey. Please know that in order to understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, you should invest the necessary effort and time to constantly nurture the trust of your audience.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing? Get access to “Today Hottest 17 Affiliate Programs for Bloggers” by joining our Free Resource Library, just CLICK BELOW!
An affiliate marketer’s golden, foolproof rule for success
If you want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing, and how to become an affiliate marketer, learn to live by this golden rule: Only become an affiliate for products that you yourself have personally used.
So, you want to sell something? Think about it first. Are you strong-willed enough to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing? Do you think there is the need to buy the product first, so you can check if it’s something you can truly recommend? If your answer is yes, do it.
Why? Because your reputation is on the line. You can’t afford to have your reputable name damaged.
Whenever we need to purchase something or we’re in need of important professional services, we usually turn to experts or some of our friends for recommendations. Any affiliate marketing guide would remind you that word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools. You would want them to talk about you on a positive note.
When you sell a product wholeheartedly, there is no doubt—your marketing will work. You won’t feel unethical or sleazy about it!
As a blogger, you should always recommend a product or service you’ve genuinely tried and liked. Your audience will surely appreciate your authenticity and feel confident purchasing from you. A good place to be for you and your audience, right?
Learning how to make money with affiliate marketing may sound a little too good to be true, but trust me, it’s possible! However, be reminded that a few cautions are also in order.
The Potential Trade-Offs and Pitfalls of Affiliate Marketing
All good things have downsides. You may have done your own research already, and realized that affiliate marketing itself is no exception. Knowing how to make money with affiliate marketing also means being knowledgeable of its potential trade-offs and pitfalls. Let’s do a reality check by discussing a few cautionary points!
1. Even the smartest bloggers can be fooled by unscrupulous merchants
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Contemplate on each opportunity thoroughly. Check if it is a good fit for your audience. Remember, even the smartest bloggers around can make dumb choices.
Do you think this merchant really knows how to make money with affiliate marketing? Do you think everything about his business is too honest and above board? If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
Don’t let yourself fall as a victim to the tactics of unethical affiliate marketers. Educate yourself more by joining affiliate marketing forums. Browse different affiliate marketing blogs. You can grasp numerous tricks and tips and learn more about free affiliate programs—enough to help you make lots of money.
2. Selling affiliate products is easy and quick, but it doesn’t mean it’s a breeze
Selling affiliate products seems like a really quick setup. You just sell them—you don’t need to create, market and deliver your own products. Sounds very easy, right? But I’m telling you, understanding how to make money with affiliate marketing is not a breeze. It’s not instant and free.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? In finding the best affiliate products for your readers, a considerable amount of time, money and energy should be invested. Don’t expect an overnight success and a miracle. You may have searched “how to make money with affiliate marketing” in Google a number of times already, but still, there are things left to learn.
In order to understand how to do affiliate marketing, you should know what strategy works best for you. Do some trial and error. Moving forward, you can already build a mix of offers based on your affiliate marketing blog’s long-term plans.
3. Earning money while sleeping doesn’t mean “set it, then forget about it”
If you think there’s an “easy button” in blogging, think again. No blog income is completely passive. Learning how to make money with affiliate marketing can be a challenging process, so if you want to get easy money, don’t be a blogger.
After setting up some affiliate offers in your affiliate marketing blog, you may rest for a while, but remember that the job doesn’t end there! You need to continue making great content to grow and engage your readers. Nurture the trust they are giving you.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Know the importance of your audience. Behind a successful affiliate marketing strategy is an engaged and loyal audience. Without your loyal readers, you’ll struggle to find success. Continuously grow your subscriber list, or else you’ll burn out the audience you already have.
Affiliate marketing is not an alternative to a successful blog. It is a money-making add-on to an already successful blog.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Every affiliate marketing guide cites these tips!
- Never pay any membership fee, setup fee or any other amount to become an affiliate.
- Get to know the strategy of your potential affiliate partner before finalizing everything. Don’t promote a product until you have successfully subscribed to their e-mail list. You should know exactly what your own readers can expect with regards to follow-up marketing. This potential affiliate partner may have a more aggressive strategy. If your audience is not used to this kind of approach, it will reflect poorly on you. Always remember that if there’s a big mismatch, don’t promote the product.
- Tempted to try some aggressive affiliate marketing tactics? Don’t let yourself be pressured into using a black hat strategy to drive traffic to your website. An aggressive SEO tactic is an example of a black hat strategy focusing exclusively on tricking search engines. This can alienate your audience, and can get you banned from search engine listings.
If you really want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with all the important concepts. Be prepared to face the nitty-gritty details!
Defining Important Affiliate Marketing Terms
Affiliate marketing may be based on a simple idea, though it’s understandable that some bloggers may find it confusing and complicated at first.
To learn how to become an affiliate marketer and how to make money with affiliate marketing, you should understand first how the affiliate marketing engine works. It’s important to remember these terms!
Affiliate Marketing Glossary
Affiliate — also called a publisher; someone who promotes the merchant’s products for a commission
Affiliate Agreement — a contract showing that both parties agree to specifying the responsibilities, rules, rates to be paid and other legalities
Affiliate Link — a click on every affiliate link is considered as a referral; this is a trackable URL that identifies the affiliate as the source of targeted traffic to a merchant’s website
Affiliate Network — this is where affiliates can find different products they can sell; an online marketplace where merchants list their products
Affiliate Program — once affiliates have referred people to their products, merchants use this particular program to pay for commissions
Commission — the percentage of the total sale to be paid to the affiliate for referring a sale
Cookie — cookies in affiliate marketing are used to assign unique IDs to buyers in order to tag purchases as being referred by you; they usually have a predetermined lifespan, so that even if the buyer fails to purchase right away, you can still get credit for the sale (if it takes place within a certain timeframe, usually 60 days or more)
Customer — the purchaser or end user of the merchant’s products or services
Merchant — also known as a brand or retailer; the creator or owner of the products or services
Referral — credit for a sale or a click that occurs when the affiliate sends traffic to the merchant’s website
The Mechanics of Getting Paid for Promoting Affiliate Products
Understanding how to make money with affiliate marketing also means grasping the technicalities of affiliate marketing itself. But you don’t need to worry about it. This affiliate marketing guide has all the details to get you started.
It is the merchant’s affiliate program software which manages and runs the actual affiliate marketing mechanics in the background. Here’s a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes:
- Once an affiliate joins the merchant’s program, a unique ID and a specific URL (to be used when promoting the product) will be given
- The link is included in the affiliate’s subscriber e-mails or blog content, inviting readers to click it to find out more about the offer
- Once the potential buyer decides to visit the merchant’s website and clicks the link, a cookie identifying the affiliate is automatically placed on the computer he or she is using. This cookie ensures that the publisher is still credited with the referral sale
- Upon the completion of the sale process, the merchant checks the sales record for a cookie which identifies the source of the referral
- The affiliate is credited with a sale if the merchant finds a cookie with an affiliate ID
- For the affiliate to see their sales and referral clicks, the merchant makes sure that specific reports are made available
- The merchant is scheduled to pay the affiliate a commission at the end of each payment period
The 3 distinct stages of affiliate marketing mastery
Are you excited to start your journey from a simple blogger to an affiliate marketer? Before you can master affiliate marketing, you need to go through these 3 stages—each stage having its own earning levels and strategies.
Everything you’ve read in your “how to make money with affiliate marketing” guides can, at some point, lead you through your blogging journey. However, knowing what level you are currently in is very important. Skipping ahead and using a strategy you are not ready for yet will lead you to failure.
First Stage – Getting Started in Affiliate Marketing
Do you think your blog is already a viable money-making platform?
You can say that your blog is already a viable money-making website if it has enough engaged subscribers. Generally speaking, you’re ready for this level once you already have 500 to 1,000 e-mail subscribers. And not only that—at least 10% of them should be opening your e-mails.
You can begin selling products to your readers once you have proven that your website topic is relevant, sustainable and would therefore maintain interest for a long period of time.
At this point, you can begin testing some products and find out your audience’s response.
Typical Earnings: You can earn up to $250 per month. This should be enough to cover your expenses and for occasional treats.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Any applicable strategies? To make money with affiliate marketing, find a “core earner” by experimenting with a few products or services first. Round out your affiliate offers with some complementary digital products such as e-books and packaged services.
Second Stage – Ramping
So, you already have an established website with an interesting topic and a few thousand subscribers? Then at this stage, you are ready to step up on your affiliate sales game!
At this point in your journey, you will be publishing high-quality content on a regular basis. Yes, you already have quite a significant amount of readers, but don’t ever feel contented. You will continuously grow your e-mail list, and build good relationships with influencers serving similar audiences.
Know what your readers like about you. Surely, by now, you are beginning to understand what your readers like about your blog, and what they need from you.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? You’ll be able to answer this by finding that product which earns consistently. You will plan further for the future items you’d want to offer in your blog.
Typical Earnings: You can earn a nice part-time income of around $500 to $2,000 per month.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Any applicable strategies? Try thinking outside the box. To know exactly how to make money with affiliate marketing, look outside your core offers and find more solid-earning products and services. You can also look into smaller-earning offers that can sell consistently.
Third Stage – Full-Time Earner
With an e-mail list of more than 10,000 subscribers, you are now recognized as a top-tier blogger.
You already have notable accomplishments and good reputation. Invitations to participate in major promotions and product launches always come by. Now, it becomes easier for you to build relationships with different influencers.
You’re also very experienced in selling to your subscribers, building writing sales pages and sales funnels.
Typical Earnings: Your blog is now providing you with a huge, full-time income.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Any applicable strategies? If you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, research on the “big name” authorities and build a close relationship with them. Try your best to make a connection. Who knows? You might meet them while participating in high-ticket product launches, and through major e-mail campaigns.
Not all bloggers go through the same path, though. In fact, only a few will successfully progress to the final level. However, you can still achieve significant satisfaction and success while being on the first 2 stages.
If you’re determined to create your own products, you can replace affiliate products with your very own offerings around Stage 2.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing? Get access to “The 17 Hottest Affiliate Programs for Bloggers” by joining our Free Resource Library, just CLICK BELOW!
To fully understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, promote your products in full confidence!
How to do affiliate marketing? Use your experience in generating revenue and start your blog monetization with affiliate sales. Learn what your subscribers would love to buy, then pivot your products with great confidence.
After learning about the typical stages bloggers go through when heading the affiliate marketing path, it’s now time to guide you in your search for the best products to promote.
Which products should you promote as an affiliate?
Well, you can choose among the many different types of products and services.
Expect some of these products to be more profitable than others, but remember that most of your affiliate income can come from 1 or 2 “ringers.” Your best bets, or “potential ringers,” are core products which pay good commission. They are mid-priced courses and services that can potentially benefit almost all your subscribers. These courses and services cost around $200 to $2,000.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Add complementary products to round out your offerings moving forward. Always think of new ways to help your audience, but identifying your core earners remains to be an important first step.
Products with great earning potentials
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Offer various products with great earning potentials.
Starting with digital products, courses and other digital services is highly recommended simply because they have great earning potentials. They pay higher commissions than physical products because there are much lesser overhead costs. Producing and distributing them are generally cheap.
Most merchants of digital products are individuals, not huge companies. Consider this as an advantage, since there is a chance to build a personal relationship with them. In order to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, you should maintain good connection with them.
Take note: Physical products are good options for certain niches, but this affiliate marketing guide would focus on digital products for the most part.
Once you have generated a steady affiliate income, you can now provide other similar hosted services and products. An example of these are e-books, since they can be helpful for many people.
1. Digital Downloads
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Sell digital downloads. These are resources that your subscribers can access instantly. No need to wait for a package to come in the mail!
- E-Books – electronic books that are either self-hosted on a merchant’s website or downloaded from iBooks, Amazon or other online sellers
- Movies, Music and TV Shows – in the form of audio or video files, media that is offered through Amazon, available through the iTunes affiliate program
- Software – applications, games, plugins, cloud services, downloadable programs
- Mobile Applications —available through the iTunes affiliate program and other mobile app affiliate networks
- No overhead costs for storage, production and shipping
- One of the easiest ways to get started
- Helps your readers with their problems
- Buyers can immediately begin access to the digital product
Software, mobile applications, e-books and other digital products are relatively affordable. To earn a significant amount of money, you need to sell a whole lot of them.
Go ahead and do it! But expect bigger earnings from the other options on this list.
2. Online, Hosted and Professional Services
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Represent providers and influencers you have worked with before. If you are interested in selling services as an affiliate, make sure that it will be accessible to your audience all throughout the world. It’s easy to become a service affiliate, but never limit your earning potential by geography.
Online and Hosted Services
- Course Platforms – Teachable, Ruzuku, Zippy Courses
- Website Platforms – Wix, Squarespace
- Backup, Cloud-Based Storage, Security, IT Support and Other Technical Services, Based on Monthly Subscriptions
- E-Mail Service Providers – Constant Contact, AWeber
- Website Services – anti-spam, hosting, security
- Media – Vimeo, Wistia, Telestream, WordPress plugins
- Lead Generation Services – Leadpages, Thrive
- Virtual Assistance and Customer Services – VA Affiliates, Zendesk Partners program, TempsASAP
- Niche Specialties – travel, pop culture, nightlife, tourism, crafts/artisans including pet care supplies Silvercar and zChocolat
- Research and Consulting Services – Snow Consulting, Questia, Touchstone Research Store
- Marketing Services – Hootsuite, Sprout Social
- Designers – Designmodo, 99 Designs, Zazzle
- Media and Creative Businesses – Music Radio Creative, Media Content Advantage, John Melley Voice Overs & Production
- Finance, Accounting and Legal Advice Services, as Permitted by Law – Motif Investing, Greatland, Finding Legal Forms
- Masterminds and Membership Sites – Freelance Writer’s Den, Serious Bloggers Only, Digital Marketer
- Offers a recurring commission, meaning you’ll get paid as long as the clients you refer continue to use the service
- Services are usually offered at higher price points, therefore it has a higher earning potential compared to digital downloads
- Helps your readers manage each important task requiring a specific expertise
Many professional service providers, even the ones you have experience with, don’t have affiliate programs in place.
You should do it, of course! How to make money with affiliate marketing? Find an excellent service provider who can potentially help nearly everyone in your audience at one time or another. This can be a strong, steady income generator.
3. Online Courses
Online courses are important subsets of digital products, especially for bloggers. The market for online courses is so huge that it deserves its own category in this list.
Want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing? Sell online courses. Why?! Because there is an online course on just about any topic you can think of. Some are free, some can amount to thousands of dollars. Other higher-priced programs even offer more promising results for students.
- Earning potential is higher since online courses are offered at higher price points compared to other digital products
- These are popular digital products, so it would be easier for you to find other influencers in your niche
- Gives you a chance to deliver incredible value to your audience with a little effort
- One of the best ways to help your readers find a solution to their problems and accomplish their goals
To protect your reputation, you need to spend a lot of time researching and reviewing the courses. You need to make sure that they deliver their promises.
If you want to help your readers and earn a huge amount at the same time, do it!
4. Physical Products
If you want to represent physical products in your blog, choose the most distinctive, high-quality ones which will strongly appeal to your subscribers.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Avoid community products that can be bought anywhere. The commissions are too small that you wouldn’t be able to earn good money unless you drive huge traffic to your blog.
A great physical product suggestion? A must-have gadget. It can make your readers’ lives easier and more convenient. If you think your audience will be thrilled with this tool, then go ahead and offer it. You may not earn a lot of money, but you can build goodwill.
- An established blog offering quality physical products can be approached by companies and get offered free products in exchange of a review. This should always be disclosed, since it can be seen as a conflict of interest.
- The best products to sell if you are planning on building a large review or shopping website
- Physical products give a very small portion of your blogging affiliate income
- Commissions are a lot lower because of the overhead production, storage and shopping costs, so you need to sell various products first before making a decent income
- Purchasing products on your own so you can review and test them can be very expensive
Only offer physical products under the following circumstances:
- If the products are great for how-to, fitness, fashion, hobby, food, cooking blogs and other similar niches
- The products are something your audience absolutely needs
- Directly related to the topic of your blog
- By buying and testing physical products on your own, you can be recognized as a truly objective reviewer
- Specialized and distinctive products that can boost your credibility and reputation
Follow these 7 steps towards affiliate marketing success!
Are you sure you know how to make money with affiliate marketing? This guide will help you build your own affiliate marketing machine!
Step 1 – Determine the Desirable End Goal
What are the issues your audience wants to address? The problems which slow them down? How can you help them achieve their goals? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to know the right products.
If you want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing, listen to what your readers are already telling you. Even with a small e-mail list, trust me, you still have many options.
Here are different ways to discover your readers’ roadblocks and goals:
1. Ask them by e-mail
Reach out to your readers through e-mail. Ask them what their biggest challenges and frustrations and how you can best help them.
2. Mine your subscribers’ blog post comments and e-mails
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Go through all the feedbacks that you have received from your readers. Surely, you’ll get useful information from previous e-mails and blog post comments.
3. Look into online forums related to your niche
Read discussions in online forums related to your niche. Quora can be one of the most helpful websites you can find. Amazon book reviews which are related to your topic are also enlightening.
Look for statements that begin in phrases like:
- “I’d love to…”
- “I wish…”
- “I hate it when…”
- “I’m frustrated by…”
- “Someday I’d like…”
- “I can’t seem to get past this challenge…”
Collect all the responses in a spreadsheet and look for commonalities. Then, choose an accomplishment that you know your readers would love to achieve if they finish certain steps.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing? Get access to “The 17 Hottest Affiliate Programs for Bloggers” by joining our Free Resource Library, just CLICK BELOW!
Step 2 – Take note of the steps needed to reach the goal
So, you’ve found a desirable end goal? Focus on their objectives, and start looking for products that can help them along the way.
How to become an affiliate marketer? List down all of the steps your readers should follow in order to achieve their goals. Setting up an indoor herb garden can be great example. The steps your readers need to follow can be similar to this:
- Look for a sunny or well-lighted area in your home
- Make sure that you use pots with drainage
- Use good soil in your pots
- Choose the indoor plants that you want to take care of
- Find and use a high-quality fertilizer
- Transfer the plant properly
- Humidify and water correctly
- Sounds good, right? Great.
Step 3 – How to start affiliate marketing? Identify your readers’ needs
Start identifying the things needed to get ahead by looking at the steps you have previously outlined. What do you think are the tools and resources needed to accomplish everything? Will they need physical products, like a fertilizer? What about specific mobile apps or online courses?
All resources and tools which are essential to success, or can give greater speed or ease, are great options for affiliate sales.
Some examples for specific groups
- Job Seekers — a professional networking course using LinkedIn, a salary negotiation book, resume rewriting services
- Emergency Fund Builders — an online course on changing bad money habits, places to sell their vintage stuff, moneymaking tips, financial planning services
- Gardeners — potting soil, tools, pots, fertilizer, reference books, an online course featuring how-to videos
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Here are some recommendations for each of the main blogging niches
- Parenting — memberships to discount websites, online courses, physical products, support groups
- Business and Entrepreneurship — masterminds, books, e-books, productivity applications, business growth courses
- Creative Endeavors — marketing courses, virtual assistance, media services, website services, online services
- Career — aptitude and personality assessments, resume and cover letter services, mastermind and networking group memberships
- Blogging and Social Media — e-mail service providers, WordPress themes, hosting services, web services, media services
- Culture, News and Entertainment — hobbies, toys, games, music subscriptions, restaurant and food review apps, movie streaming apps and memberships
- Freelancing — training programs, e-books, writing and marketing courses and memberships
- Technology and Gadgets — games, software, applications, physical products
- Marketing — CRM services, website services, e-mail services, lead generation tools
- Personal Finance — newsletter subscriptions, budgeting software, accounting software, membership sites, online courses
- Self-Improvement — e-books, books, tracking apps, courses, masterminds, coaching services
Have you started brainstorming a list of products you want to promote? Let’s narrow everything down in the following steps!
Step 4 – How to make money with affiliate marketing? Choose the best products to promote as an affiliate
Ethical bloggers are always constrained by the products they represent:
- You’re constrained by the products you have access to. In order to review them, you should either acquire a free trial or sample, or by purchasing them outright
- Your experience with the products that you’ve liked and used (that have affiliate programs and are a good fit for your subscribers) limits you in a way
How to become an affiliate marketer? Be ready to invest lots of time and money in your research. Your audience deserves the best products and services, so go ahead and choose whichever approach you like.
Want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing? Here are 3 options, listed in order of preference (number 1 is your best option)!
Option #1 – Make sure to promote the products you already love
This is perhaps the most common way bloggers get started with affiliate marketing.
If in any way, you’ve found great success from an e-book or online course, why not share it to your readers? They can also benefit from it. As a dedicated blogger, it only makes sense for you to share the results and spread the word.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Become an affiliate for a product or service you’ve used yourself. You had a good experience with it–surely you would feel good at recommending it to your readers.
Make an inventory of the products and services you already have experience with. Which of these would you be thrilled to promote?
The next step is for you to check if the merchant has an affiliate program. How about free affiliate programs? You can send the merchant an e-mail, or you can search through google using these keywords: “affiliate program + (product name)”
Run your options through this Good Affiliate Product checklist
- You have a personal good story to share about the product
- The offer suits your readers’ needs
- Based on your own experience, it is a product of great quality
- You have tested their customer support service
- You trust them so much that you believe that they will honor their solid refund policy, and wouldn’t abuse the trust you’ve built with them
What are the products that tick all the checkboxes? These are the best opportunities for a steady affiliate income. Surely, as time goes on, more and more products and services would be added to your list.
Now that you’ve found your product, you can start using the merchant’s process and promotions.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Well, as an affiliate marketing newbie, this first option is enough to get you started. However, some bloggers would want to try the next 2 options, too. It’s all up to you!
Meanwhile, if you don’t have an existing beloved product yet, it is best for you to thoroughly explore all of the other options in this affiliate marketing guide. This will help you find the perfect offering which is a great match for your audience, and has a corresponding affiliate program.
Option #2 – To understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, work with influencers in representing their products
If you don’t have any product or service in mind yet, try this next approach. One of the best ways to establish good relationships with the authorities in your niche is to promote their products to your readers.
Ask recommendations from the people you trust. Spy on the top influencers’ websites and check which types of products they offer. Does each product pass the good affiliate product checklist enumerated above?
Some bloggers who have affiliate programs usually follow an application process that you can go through to be approved. Sometimes it’s formal, sometimes not.
Affiliate program requirements
- The determination to produce regular content
- A decent-sized email list
- A good fit between the influencer’s audience and your own readers
If you think you have all of these things, reach out to the influencer. You can simply ask them a question. Establishing a relationship with them before asking to become an affiliate is also helpful.
In some instances, influencers approach bloggers first to make an offer. But in order to gain the attention of the biggest affiliate marketing authorities, you probably need to have around 5,000 to 10,000 subscribers.
At the end of the day, whoever makes first contact doesn’t really matter. It all boils down to making and maintaining good relationships. If you want to work with them, you need to invest months, or even years.
Great product candidates should address the vital needs of your readers
- Resources or tools which are crucial in completing the steps needed to succeed
- Assistance in answering reader comments and e-mails
- Address the issues they are currently struggling with
Influencers who are serious about establishing affiliate relationships will post program information in their websites, and include it in their e-mails. If you can’t find anything in their blogs, just send them an inquiry. If you have any positive experience with their product, reach out to them. Let them know that you’re familiar with their work.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Look for particular products and influencers in your niche by using the keyword “affiliate” + (product, company or topic). Go through all the results and check the items being promoted, Are these products a perfect fit for your audience?
There it is, the 3 options! If you happen to find some high-quality products using the first 2, then you can stop here. Though if you want to explore more short-term and long-term opportunities, go ahead and move to the third option.
Option #3 – Search for products through an affiliate network
Want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing? Help your readers by representing high-grade products. If you have no direct knowledge and experience with regards to the products in your niche, try checking affiliate products on affiliate networks.
This is not an easy task. To achieve your goals, you need to invest tons of time and money. You may need to dedicate countless hours for research, and a huge amount of money to buy products and test them yourself. The cost will be even bigger compared to the first 2 options. There is no prior knowledge and trust involved from the outset, so you need to go the extra mile to protect your credibility and reputation.
When exploring a network, you usually won’t know the merchant ahead of time and won’t establish a relationship with them. The network itself holds your business relationship.
Explore Popular Affiliate Networks
Amazon Associates and Clickbank are two of the biggest, and most reliable affiliate networks. If you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, explore the products in these platforms.
Clickbank represents both physical products and digital downloads. You may encounter junk from time to time, but trust me, there are a lot of high-quality products in this affiliate network. Which ones look promising for you? Go ahead and buy them! Most items aren’t very expensive, so you can easily get and test the products that you like. Research every detail about them.
The next step is to review all these potential products through the affiliate potential checklist.
Tips on finding good affiliate products on Clickbank
- Decide what major category your solutions should fall under, then review the steps your subscribers should take
- Look into the gravity scores of each product. Products with gravity scores of 30 or more have a proven track record of selling well for a lot of affiliates. Those with gravity scores below 30 can be considered risky, but of course there’s always a chance of success. Products with scores greater than 100 are the most popular. You may face competition, but as a long as there’s huge demand, everything will be okay.
- Check its description. It should indicate if they offer a $1 trial.
- Try looking for commissions of 65% or more, or at least $18 per sale
- Check every product’s return policy
Tips on finding affiliate products on Amazon
Amazon Associates Affiliate Program represents courses, books, digital downloads and more. Going through product reviews thoroughly, and reading at least 20 of them is highly recommended.
When you use Amazon, you will get a link for each specific product that you promote.
If you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing and promote physical products, you got to look for high-value, specialized ones. You need to find the most unique items for your readers to appreciate. Stay away from low-quality, mediocre products—it will reflect badly on you.
How to start affiliate marketing? Review products on your blog for value and quality. This can save your readers’ time and energy! Soon, you may be able to claim a tax write-off for the expense of any of your purchases.
Don’t limit yourself to Amazon and Clickbank, though! Check with your favorite retailers. You can also find physical goods in other networks such as Commission Junction, Walmart and Target. They offer a vast range of products from trusted sellers. Once you find great offers, apply and get approval.
Step 5 – Set yourself up as an affiliate
To work directly with an affiliate network or a merchant, you need to provide some information and get approval. There is an application process that needs to be followed so you can be paid.
You’ll need to provide the following:
- Bank account where the commissions will be sent
- Personal and business contact information, for tax and reporting purposes
In turn, the merchant must present you with an affiliate link. You’ll use this trackable link whenever you post about the product. The long tag at the end of each one will include your affiliate ID.
Here’s an example of an affiliate link
Directs to the merchant’s home page: https://merchantsamplesite.com/dap/a/?a=1199
It directs to another page on the merchant’s website
Need a few tips and useful assets to get started?
The welcome guide and affiliate reporting website usually include the following:
- Marketing tools such as banners and sidebar graphics
- Sample email/webpage swipe copy
- Instructions on how to use the platform
- Summary of payment policies and more
- Consistent communication with the merchant about new products, promotions and more
You can always check your network’s support pages for more information.
To understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, check out geniuslink. It allows you to track your overseas sales in iTunes, Amazon or Microsoft Store, and can be really helpful if you have vast readership on a global scale.
Step 6 – Start promoting your chosen affiliate products
Pushy sales messages can destroy the good relationship you have with your readers. If you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, compose your messages thoroughly. Balance out your offers with several valuable non-promotional content.
Include specific call-to-action statements, convincing them to purchase the products. You can do this once in every 4 e-mails. The last thing you want is for your readers to think that you care more about draining their wallets than helping them succeed.
Take note: Free content establishes a reservoir of good will with your audience.
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Create more content that is available for everyone. This will keep your readers happier, and more open to sales-related messages.
Don’t just rely on your e-mail list in promoting your products though. You’ll also need to cross-promote your offers in different platforms through different media. A lot of these promotional efforts, such as reviews, links, informational posts and resource pages, can be considered “soft sells.” They exist to guide your readers directly towards the products they need.
Step up your promotional efforts. Need some tips?
- Did you buy and use the product yourself? Write a review.
- Take note of affiliate product success stories and quotations from your readers
- Keep copies of other people’s testimonials (not your readers, only those who have enjoyed success from using the products)
Take a recommendation from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. According to him, you should become an authoritative and credible source of details on the products that you are selling. What does this mean?
Every merchant will always put their best foot forward, so most people would find all product information in every merchant’s website as too good to be true. Because of this, you and your blog have an opportunity to become a go-to website for even-handed details about specific products. Remember that it is important to discuss both negative and positive points!
Need to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing? Here are more options to promote your affiliate products
Option #1: Learn to put affiliate links in your blog’s key places
This proven method can help you get your readers attention, and make the most out of your blog’s real estate:
- How to become an affiliate marketer? Make use of marketing tools such as Exit Gate, Hello Bar, Popup or other WordPress plugins. Trust me, this will be very effective.
- Promote your products in your blog’s sidebars. A website’s sidebars are less effective than they used to be, but you can still benefit from it.
- Make use of resource pages for your promotional efforts. This can be effective when driving traffic both to your posts, and even your guests.’
Option #2: Regularly promote and create custom content
Want to know how to do affliate marketing? Let all of your affiliate promotional efforts center on custom content strategies.
Here are the strategies you can use to make a further impact to your audience. Take note that all of the following approaches assume that you are already gaining traffic by e-mailing your readers on a regular basis. You can gain big traffic by sending your readers updates at least 2 to 4 times a month to let them know what’s new.
a) Conduct Testimonials and Interviews
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Reach out to individuals who have had great success using the product. Once your readers hear their stories, they’ll think of it as some form of audio testimonial and can therefore make a huge difference.
Invite some individual merchants to chat how the product works, so your readers can find how useful the items are.
b) Strengthen your credibility by writing product reviews
Write detailed reviews of books, courses, software products, or other items you are promoting as an affiliate. These reviews can focus either on a single product, or a comparison of competing products.
Reviewing 2 products side-by-side is an important part of an affiliate marketing guide. It gives you the opportunity to promote several products at the same time. Arguably, this builds more trust between you and your audience, since you’re also giving them a chance to choose between 2 items.
c) Create exclusive content for your readers
Check with your affiliate if you are allowed to make many types of bonus content which can help your product gain even more value. If they are allowing this, then great! Readers love bonuses! To understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, make additional materials exclusive for your readers. This is also an excellent way to separate yourself from other bloggers representing the same items.
What bonuses should you offer? Here are some suggestions!
- Demos or video overviews
- Discounted or complementary services
- Step-by-step checklists
- Quick start guides
d) Promote your definitive content through guest posting
Researching on how to make money with affiliate marketing? Learn more about guest blogging. One of its many advantages is the chance to tap into someone else’s large audience. Look for potential targets. Make sure that the readers of the other blogger are likely to be interested in your post and solutions your affiliate products can solve. They should get a fair amount of social media shares and comments!
It is also important for you to check if they credit guest authors, since most bloggers won’t allow the author to include their own affiliate links. Just in case, the next best thing to do is to link the content to your own blog, either in your author’s bio or within the body of your post.
e) How to make money with affiliate marketing? Write definitive content based on a related topic
Why don’t you create comprehensive and definitive content for your website? This will help you “soft sell” your products and at the same time educate your readers!
It can be a blog post, infographics or video—just make sure that it’s evergreen content and it’s not a sales page. Keep in mind that it should be a post that’s likely to be valuable and useful even in the upcoming years.
An example of this is a complete guide to setting up a WordPress blog, where you can include all your affiliate links to hosting providers. It should be well-written, with an exciting tone. Inserting how-to parts, and authoritative lists can also be very helpful for your audience.
Option #3: Compose your promotional e-mails thoroughly
If you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, always craft promotional e-mails for your subscribers. Remember that your e-mail list is the key to driving traffic to your offers!
Are you sending messages in your list on a regular basis?
Then, you can already run occasional promotions more frequently. You can also modify your list and check if you can segment more interested readers into a separate list, so that only the “more interested ones” would receive your free promotional and informational e-mails. Some mailing list software tools allow this.
However, if you can’t segment your list, just try to send lots of compelling, valuable content to build anticipation for all your product offers.
Need to understand how to make money with affiliate marketing? Here are more tips!
- Offer occasional special deals exclusive to your readers (discounts, bonuses, etc.)
- Offer social proof giveaways! Ask your audience to share their experiences with your products in return for a chance to win.
- You can promote your offers indirectly by sending e-mails with links to your free content, may it be reviews or other blog posts
If you are selling affordable products such as e-books, hosting services, or digital downloads on an ongoing basis, you can add a signature link or P.S in your regular e-mails, with occasional links to custom content.
On the other hand, if you are offering courses or other higher-earning services, you can do soft launches once every quarter, and official launches once a year.
You may have different promotional plans for your products, but always follow your merchants’ lead. By participating in any of their major launches, you’ll be able to take advantage of the natural momentum that comes with it.
Use custom e-mail sequences to effectively promote your core products
How to make money with affiliate marketing? Send out a series of 5 to 7 e-mails, spread out over a period of two weeks. This can either run alongside your normal blog e-mails or you can pause your regular content for the duration of this e-mail sequences.
An example of an e-mail series
- A content-rich e-mail talking about problems and possible solutions, or a welcome e-mail for those who have joined a new interest list
- Send more helpful content. No selling!
- Mention the product and position it in relation to the problem that needs to be addressed. Don’t forget to add a link to the sales page.
- Include more free content with valuable advice and another product link, regardless of whether or not the subscriber purchases the product.
- Send an eleventh-hour last call to let your subscribers know that offers are closing very soon.
- Include testimonials, social proof, deadline reminders and other additional helpful information
- A “bigger sell” to incentivise the subscriber to purchase using time urgency (e.g. -This deal ends in 48 hours!) or scarcity (e.g. – Only 50 places available!) *
*Warning: Only use urgency or scarcity tactics if you intend to stick to the deadlines. Everything needs to be genuine. If you tell your readers that a deal ends for good once midnight strikes, then better take that deadline seriously. Once you offer it again the following week or month, you’ll surely lose your audience’s trust.
To truly understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, try different promotion approaches for each affiliate product. Eventually, you will realize which strategy your readers respond to the best. Never give up!
Option #4: Introduce products to your audience by running live events
Are you interested in doing webinars? It’s a popular form of an online event, and it wouldn’t be hard to host on your own! Exclusive live events, like webinars, are one of the most effective ways to introduce your new products to your readers.
If you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, focus on doing webinars. Hosting it with your merchant as a joint venture is also a good idea, though usually they only agree to participate if you can attract a big number of attendees.
If you think that your audience already has a strong interest in a particular product, then make it the focus of your webinar.
Give your attendees one of these:
- A personal case study, focusing on the results you achieved using the product
- A demonstration of any specific feature of that product which sparks the interest and curiosity of your readers
- Tips and tricks, and more importantly, an interactive walkthrough demonstrating how you use the product
What do you think are the specific outcomes your readers would love to achieve? Knowing how to make money with affiliate marketing means talking about your product thoroughly and in detail. You would want them to realize that that item can help them achieve their much-awaited results quickly and easily.
How would you separate product content from webinar content?
A common way to separate the two is utilizing webinars to explain carefully what you need to do to achieve a particular goal. Webinars should be valuable even for those who don’t end up purchasing the products.
Let’s say you are promoting a software product that automates blogger outreach. Then, your webinar should talk about different high-level strategies for outreach which your attendees can manually implement.
Learn how to make money with affiliate marketing. Position your product not only as a time-saver, but also as an important tool that can help you focus on relationship building, instead of just outreach.
Make sure to publish and promote webinar replays so those who weren’t able to attend can play it again.
Remember to Track Every Result
Know how to make money with affiliate marketing. Promote your affiliate products, and don’t forget to analyze and track all results. Eventually, you’ll discover the specific approach that works best for you.
For you to see what strategy works best for you, Pat Flynn recommends the use of Pretty Link. Pretty Link allows a blogger to make easy-to-use and easy-to-remember links for a clean and organized setup. Want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing the fastest way possible? Use Pretty Link. You can even use reliable analytics to track your progress.
This will help you see where your readers are coming from and the exact approach that works best for you—the very details that can guide your future affiliate marketing plans.
Step 7 – Take note of the legal requirements and best practices
An affiliate marketer complies with legal requirements and best practices.
If you are located in the U.S., you should know that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires you to inform other people that you’ll earn a commission.
However, even if it’s not required by law, we recommend that you still do it. Whenever you share an affiliate link to an e-mail or blog post, let your readers know that you will earn a commission once they purchase through you. On the other hand, if they choose not to buy using your link, that would be okay as well.
In order to understand how to make money with affiliate marketing, you need to be transparent. Transparency is part of good business. Let your audience know that you wouldn’t recommend anything if you hadn’t used yourself. They will surely appreciate your honesty and sincerity. Including an Affiliate Disclaimer page on your blog is also a good idea.
So, now that you know how to make money with affiliate marketing, I guess you’re ready to kickstart your journey as an affiliate marketer.
You may encounter lots of challenges along the way, but don’t worry. Just be patient! All you have to do is strategize, build a strong foundation of content, and regularly explore and try new things.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing? Get access to “The 17 Hottest Affiliate Programs for Bloggers” by joining our Free Resource Library, just CLICK BELOW!
It’s time to achieve your affiliate marketing goals
It is important for bloggers to know how to make money with affiliate marketing. Start strategizing and monetizing!
Learning how to make money through affiliate marketing is not just a dream. Just be guided by comprehensive affiliate marketing guides. I’m telling you—it’s an entirely achievable reality.
How to do affiliate marketing? It might not be as easy as pushing a magic button, but with knowledge and perseverance you can definitely make it. It’s so easy to get started! Use all of the affiliate marketing tips in this post.
Turn to affiliate marketing once you have earned respectable following and when you realize that you want to earn income from your website.
Always be transparent, honest and sincere
Do you really want to know how to make money with affiliate marketing? What is that one big thing your readers need to reach their goals? What is that one digital product that can help them and make everything more convenient? Do you believe in this product? If yes, share it. Tell the story of your success.
You can provide various valuable content which can not only help, but also educate your audience. Every detail doesn’t need to sound too salesy. Be transparent, honest and sincere in your intention to lend a helping hand for their convenience. Nurture the trust that your audience gave you.
Soon, all of your affiliate marketing efforts will pay off and all of your hard work will reflect in your bank account!
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