What is affiliate marketing? It’s the very first way I start to monetize my blogs. You can earn passive income on your blog through affiliate marketing and this affiliate marketing training will show you how to get started making money online.
In this post you will find
What is affiliate marketing?
The simple meaning of affiliate marketing is the making of a commission by sending traffic or sales to an external party’s website, product or service.
When you highlight a product or service on your blog, in your emails to your subscribers or on your social media channels, using a unique link given to you by the company that you are marketing for, and someone clicks on this link and makes a purchase or completes some other task, you are paid a commision for sending that sale to the company.
Therefore, you can link to a product once in your blog posts and it is clicked hundreds of times while you sleep, causing you to earn income without doing anything else after having written that post. Oh sweet, passive income.
The absolute best course in the industry for learning everything about affiliate marketing for beginners is the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents.
Michelle currently earns over $50,000 every single month through affiliate marketing. I have taken the course and believe it is an excellent affiliate marketing course for beginners.
How to Get Started With Affiliate Marketing as a Blogger
The steps that you will take begin affiliate marketing are simple:
- Identify a product that you want to promote.
- Join the affiliate program for the product.
- Add disclosure notices to your blog and marketing channels.
- Promote the product on your blog or through your email and social media channels.
- Get paid!
Identifying the product
It is likely that you already have blog posts on your blog recommending products that make your life easier in some way. How awesome is it to be able to receive a commission for recommending a product that you already use and love to your audience?
In this case, you’ve already identified the product that you want to promote.
This is the best way to start off with affiliate marketing, by promoting a product that you are familiar with. This way you can give an honest review of the product and speak to the benefits of the product.
This is more convincing and readers are more likely to click through after reading your experience with the product.
Join the Affiliate Program for the Product
Oce you’ve identified the product, the next step is to joint he affiliate program for the product. The easiest way to do this is to Google product + affiliate and see what comes up.
For example, if you want to promote a particular brand of blenders for smoothies, simply google the brand name of the blender plus the word affiliate and see what comes up. The two likely options are that they have their own affiliate program or they are a part of an affiliate network.
In the two examples above, Vitamix has their own native affiliate program that users can join on their website. Ninja, on the other hand, is a part of the affiliate network company Flex Offers. You would have to first join the affiliate network company and then join the Ninja affiliate program within the network to be a part of the Ninja affiliate program.
Affiliate Network Companies
Affiliate network companies offer the benefit of housing multiple programs and companies under one roof. This means that you could potentially join one network company and then join multiple affiliate programs within the company.
This makes it easier to track your affiliate income since all the programs you have joined are now pooled into one company. This also makes it easier to get paid since most affiliate programs will have a minimum threshold that you must meet before you get paid.
Promoting multiple products means you may reach the threshold quicker than promoting each product individually.
An example of this is the Amazon Affiliate Associates program. Imagine the hundreds of thousands of products sold on Amazon and what a pain it would be to join multiple affiliate programs and keep track of all your income trickling in from each one.
With an affiliate network company such as Amazon, you can promote multiple products across multiple networks and have it all count towards one minimum threshold for payment.
Other affiliate networks to check out:
Disclosure Notices For Your Blog
A disclosure notice is an announcement to readers that the products and services that you are recommending are affiliates and you will be paid for recommending them. It’s a legal requirement by the US Federal Trade Commission and you can get into serious legal trouble for not disclosing that you’re affiliated with the products and services that you’re promoting.
You can read up on exactly what is required in your disclosure but the long and short of it is that you’re to let people know, before you drop your link, that you’re affiliated with the products you’re recommending and will get paid if they choose to buy the product using your link.
I have a disclosure notice above every post on my blog automatically, to cover all of my posts as I am most likely going to link to a product in each and every post that will make your life more lucrative as a blogger.
Some themes include this setting in their integration options, like mine, the Divi Theme from Elegant Themes, while others do not. For those that don’t, you can use the WP-Insert plugin to add a disclaimer above every post automatically.
It is important to note that your notice should be written in very clear language, making it easy to understand that the products recommended in the post are affiliates. Simply saying This post contains affiliate links is not enough. You need to explain what that means and you should not link to a disclaimer page to do so.
You can link to a disclosure page to explain further, but it should be immediately clear that you benefit from the reader clicking and purchasing through your link. This also goes for emails that you send.
On social media, simply using the word #ad or #sponsored in the post is usually acceptable for brevity, however, it must come within the first three lines of the wording and cannot be buried deep within a string of hashtags.
Promoting the product on your blog
When creating content specifically to promote an affiliate, there are a few things you want to include to ensure maximum exposure and conversions (getting people to buy.)
- Include the link as early as possible in the blog post. People very rarely read down to the very end of your posts so try to include the link in the first paragraph.
- Include the link again in the middle of the post. If the post is a long one, and it should be, include the link again somewhere in the middle where you feel you’ve given enough details that the reader may be convinced and ready to make a purchase.
- Include the link at the end. People are lazy and may not scroll back up to grab the link so if they made it all the way to the bottom, be sure to place the link there again to encourage that click.
- Always be honest. Tell of your experience with the product and any cons that you’ve found, not just all the pros. You can include your workaround for the con but it gives the impression that you really know and love the product and help convince your readers.
This post gives you some great tips, 21 of them in all, on getting more traffic to your blog posts. The more eyeballs on your posts, the more opportunities there are to land an affiliate sale.
Promoting the Product on Social Media
Sometimes, you won’t even need to create a blog post to promote products online. You could simply tweet about it, include your affiliate link t the product in your tweet, and get the commission if your follower purchase through your link.
I have had great success using Pinterest to promote my affiliate products. Simply create a pin for the product using Canva or PicMonkey, head to pinterest.com and upload your pin and use your affiliate link in the URL field.
Just remember to include the word (ad) in the first few lines of the description of the product you’re promoting and always check with your affiliate manager to see if promoting on social media channels is allowed.
The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course details some other ways that your affiliate manager can come in very handy when it comes to increasing your affiliate income.
Where to Get Affiliate Links
Once you’ve joined an affiliate program, you are given unique links specific to you to use to promote the company’s products or services.
On Amazon, after joining their Associates program, you will get access to their site stripe at the top of the pages where you can easily grab links to products. If I click on text, I will get the text link unique to me that I can use to promote this pillowcase. If I click on image or text + image, it will give me a snippet of code to include in my blog post where I want the image to show up.
Other affiliate programs will have a back-end where you can search for products and grab your affiliate link t the product once you’ve found what you’re looking for.
Optimizing High Performing Posts with Affiliate Marketing Links
In my free 5-day blog traffic growth challenge, I show you how to find and optimise your top ten posts for SEO and Pinterest traffic. These are also the posts that you will want to make sure you have affiliate links since they are your best-trafficked posts.
Which affiliate programs should you choose? Pay attention to the commission percentage and cookie length.
Amazon, for example, pays out only 4% commission on the majority of the products that you can promote on their site. If you have a post with a high ticket item like in our blender example, you may want to check and see if they offer an affiliate program through their own website or another network company which may pay a higher commission.
However, Amazon is a trusted network with thousands of products. It may be easier to convince a reader to purchase on Amazon instead of a random website like bestblenders.com
4% of lots of sales is better than 10% of no sales.
The cookie length refers to the length of time that the reader is stamped with your unique code in their browser. Once you click on an affiliate code, your browser stores a code called a cookie that stays with you for a number of days unless you clear your browser cookies manually.
This period of time varies by network. Unfortunately, Amazon falls down in this area as well, allowing only 24 hours for a purchase that can be attributed to you.
Other networks have cookies that last as long as 30 days, some even longer. This means if someone clicks your link, checks out the product but closes the page and then decides to go ahead and buy it at a later time, within the cookie time period, you will still get the sale once they’re using the same browser to make their purchase. (If they clicked on their phone then later purchase on their laptop, you’ve lost that sale.
There are lots more tips and tricks to affiliate marketing that you can use to begin earning income on your blog. It is one of my favourite ways to earn income since it can be done with relatively small traffic and is fairly passive.
Learn the best ways to start your affiliate marketing business with the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course and begin making money online today.
Please share this post or pin it for later if you found it helpful. Let me know in the comments if you’ve started affiliate marketing on your blog and how it’s going for you.
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