If you’re a blogger, then you’re probably thinking about making money from your blog, right? Well, let me tell you that there are a ton of ways you could make that happen, as you probably know already.
However, some ways are more beginner friendly than others, and one of them is affiliate marketing. In this post, we’ll explain in detail how affiliate marketing works.
What is Affiliate Marketing
Any time you recommend other people’s products and people buy them, you get a commission from the sale. This is the very definition of an affiliate marketing program. Let’s imagine that you have a blog about video game reviews. Each time you write a review about a new video game, you could insert a link in your blog post so that if people click and buy that game, you get a cut from that profit.
How to Get Started
Affiliate marketing is everyone’s favorite way to start generating income from your blog. This is because you don’t have to create the product, so there’s no starting cost. The other advantage is that you’re not responsible for customer service, shipping, or storing the product.
All of the above is a big advantage. Affiliate marketers can make money out of thin air using products that others have created. Do you like the idea? Here’s how you can start doing affiliate marketing on your blog:
Step 1: Find a good product to promote
That’s the first step. You have to find something that’s good quality and that your audience would like to use. The product must also be relevant to your niche and your audience in order for you to get sales. If we take the previous example of video games, some products you could promote could be video games, gaming PCs, maybe some badass equipment like a mouse or keyboard for gamers, etc.
I think you get the idea. The product you’re promoting should interest your readers. Give them something that they want, not just something that can make you money of.
Here are a few good ways to find products:
- Start with yourself. What’s a good product that you’re already using that you like and can really help your readers?
- Go to Google or any one of the other search engines and type in “Best selling (insert your niche). Doing this will pull up a few blogs that will show you the top performing products in your niche. For example, if you type in “best selling video editing,” Google will show you the most popular video editing software. That way, you can start to see what people already like and maybe try out some of these products.
Step 2: Become an affiliate marketing business
This is how to get set up:
- You can go to the product’s website and look for a link that says “become a partner,” “become an affiliate,” or go to google and type in the name of the product with the keyword “affiliate” or “partner program.” Many products and companies have programs that you might be able to join.
- You can also find an affiliate network and join. An affiliate network is basically a website that enables you to become a marketer. Once you create an account, you’ll be able to sell a variety of products and get a commission for each sale you make.
I will say that both ways are legit, but if you’re just starting out, I would strongly recommend you go with the second option and use an affiliate network just because it’s more convenient and beginner-friendly.
Step 3: Link to your products when relevant
Now that you’re a marketer, it’s time to start promoting your products. The trick here is to know when to mention your products so that people buy from you. For example, let’s say you have a blog about photography. A good way to promote products is to write posts where you review certain equipment and then at the end of that review; you can link to the websites of the gear so that the readers who like it can buy it.
However, be careful of spamming readers just to make money when the products make no sense. You should always have your reader’s interest at heart when recommending a product.
We mentioned them a few times in this post. Affiliate links are special links that are unique to each marketer used to track if you made a sale or not. It’s basically a link that tracks the people who click or buy after clicking it so that you get paid if someone buys something through your link.
Each product has a unique link for each marketer. Say for example two similar blogs promote the same piece of software. If you go and click on the link to that software from the two separate blogs you’ll notice that while it’s the exact same product, the links are different.
Why? This is because that’s how the merchant or the affiliate network know who made the sale.
The main goal of affiliate marketing is to make money from the traffic you’re getting to your blog. More visits on your site mean that more people are likely buying and you’re likely to make more money. So, how do you bring more traffic to your blog? Social media is an effective way to reach readers. Try creating a content calendar and posting articles, photos, and video regularly. If you leave your audience without fresh content for too long, it will get bored, and you’ll lose clicks.
As I said earlier, there are various networks and programs that you can choose from. However, some are better than others, and there are some affiliate programs that are well-known and reputable.
We’re going to take a look at one of the most popular programs out there: ClickBank.
Here’s what the home page looks like:
It’s not very different from other programs out there. The concept is the same: you promote a product, and if someone buys it through your personalized link, you get paid.
The interesting thing about Clickbank is how they calculate affiliate commissions. Whereas Amazon, for example, has a commission rate between 4% up to 10%, ClickBank offers rates that range between 1% and 75%, so there’s a huge difference between different niches and products.
Other than that, it’s a legit network if you can find reliable products that are of high quality.
Here’s a list of the best programs you should start with:
If you didn’t know already, Amazon also has an affiliate program. One of the biggest pros with Amazon is that they have a wide selection of products so no matter what you want to sell, you’ll most likely find it there.
There are other perks to Amazon’s program. For example, you get a commission for anything that a person buys after they click your link. This means that if they just entered the site through your link and they didn’t buy that product, but they found something else and bought it, you’ll get a commission for that.
Another big advantage is that you’ll get a commission for everything that a person buys from Amazon if they return to the site in less than 24 hours after clicking your link. So if someone goes to your link in the morning but doesn’t buy anything, and later remembers to go to Amazon again and buys something, you’ll get the credit for that sale, and they’ll pay you a commission.
ShareaSale seems to be one of the most reliable networks out there. It has a wide variety of products, and it’s fairly easy to use.
Now known as CJ Affiliate, it’s easily one of the oldest networks out there. This site a legit and reputable network that’s not much different from Amazon or ShareASale.
I think the biggest difficulty with CJ is that even if you manage to get accepted into the program, you still have to apply independently to each merchant and get approved to promote their products while it isn’t the case with Amazon, for example.
Top Paying Affiliate Programs
It’s really tough to give you a list of high paying affiliate marketing networks because it depends on your niche and your overall content strategy. For example, some blogs are more geared towards businesses so they will naturally sell expensive products. Others are more suitable for individuals so they’ll sell more reasonably priced products.
Do you see where I’m going here?
The thing is that what works for someone won’t work for everyone. See this extensive list if you want to discover the highest paying programs out there in detail then check out of 67+ highest paying affiliate programs.
Travel Affiliate Programs
Let’s look at the top programs out there, ranked by popularity. If you’re a travel blogger, pay attention. This might be a game changer for you!
This is the perfect opportunity for travel bloggers to help their readers find affordable accommodation when they are on the go. They also offer generous rates ranging from 25% up to 40% from your overall stay per month. The other great thing is the more people book through your links, the more your rate goes up, so you’re rewarded for your performance.
Trip Advisor program
Similar to Booking.com, this is also a great opportunity to make money. Trip advisor is a trustworthy website for booking accommodation and checking reviews before going for a trip. On top of that, they offer a 50% commission so you’ll get half of anything that people pay for. That’s pretty good.
Sky Scanner program
Sky Scanner is a website that gives you the cheapest flight rates. Definitely worth checking out their affiliate program if it suits your audience.
Affiliate Managers (Get to Know Them)
Before we understand what an affiliate manager is, we need to understand a few other things first. You see, in this type of marketing, there are two main parties:
- The advertiser: This is the company or the person who owns the product. They’re the one who creates the affiliate product so that other people (like bloggers and content creators) can promote it.
- The publisher: This is you, the blogger (or a youtuber). This is the person that promotes the product to get a commission when people buy it.
An affiliate manager is someone who manages the program for the advertiser. What happens is that a company (or a person) creates a program, and then they hire someone to manage it. Their job is to sort through applications and select who they want to work with the company, deal with customer service issues, and improve performance over time.
You’re probably wondering whether everyone who applies as a marketer gets the gig. The answer is that while most people have no issues, the more traffic your site has, the better your chances of getting in and making a profit.
It’s always a good idea to find out who’s in charge and connect with them. This way you can ask for tips and winning strategies on how to advertise a particular product from the site. Don’t be shy and network.
Courses & Training
Check out this great video from Stefan James that sums it up in a way that you can easily understand.
If you’re a total newbie and you’ve never heard of affiliate marketing before, you should have a pretty clear picture by now. Creating successful affiliate marketing campaigns depends on choosing the right products for your audience. You’ve got plenty of options thanks to huge sites like Amazon.
Make sure to integrate whatever you’re selling into your site’s content. Otherwise, readers won’t be engaged and won’t buy, which means no commission for you. Good marketers are often times great content creators as well, regardless of that’s writing or video.
If you want to find out more about how you can get paid to become a blogger and make money online, check this detailed post out.
Got any questions or suggestions? Leave us a comment below!