Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners
While some people choose to write a blog for personal reasons or a hobby, a good deal of us make a living from blogging.
Making a full time income from blogging is totally doable. With great content and the knowledge about how to monetize your blog behind you, the sky’s definitely the limit when it comes to making money blogging.
There’s a few ways you can generate revenue on your blog.
You can implement ads on your blog, where companies pay you for space to sell their products and services to your audience.
You can sell your own products and services… like ebooks, courses and printables, binders, checklists and planners.
Or, you can sell someone else’s products and services! This is called Affiliate marketing. Where you promote and sell another company or persons offerings to your audience.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing definition: Affiliate marketing is when one party pays another party a commission based on bringing in customers for their offering.
Affiliate marketing involves a merchant, a publisher and a customer.
This means that you’re literally promoting and selling someone else’s products and services to your audience.
As a blogger you can sign up with a company (affiliate program) or network (affiliate network) to promote products you love and that will resonate with your blog audience.
Once you have signed up, you receive a tracking link or code that when placed as a link on content, any clicks to that link will be recognised as being from you.
Traffic to the company website is tracked by cookies. Cookies last varying times depending on the company. Some as little as 24 hours (Hello Amazon) and some as long as 10 years! Yes, I said ten years!
You will receive a commission on the product so long as your cookie is active with that company. Once your time runs out, then the commission is once again up for grabs by others.
Affiliate marketing is great for bloggers because it gives you the opportunity to add real value to your audience by recommending products and services that are tried and tested by you!
It’s a personal recommendation and this goes a long, long way in your readers eyes. You can make some serious money from affiliate marketing on your blog, if you choose the right programs and networks.
Some of the mega successful affiliate marketers making big money include:
- Pat Flynn
- John Chow
- Kirsty McCubbin
- Missy Ward
- Andrew Payne
Affiliate programs vs Affiliate networks
Now, here’s where you might be getting confused.
Affiliate programs are those offered by single companies for their own products and services. You can apply directly to these companies to become an affiliate for them.
Good examples of affiliate programs:
Affiliate networks work a little differently. You sign up to a network and once accepted can promote one of dozens or even hundreds of thousands (hello Amazon) of products that are offered within that network.
Examples of affiliate networks:
- Amazon Associates
Both affiliate programs and affiliate networks fundamentally work in the same way.
Why should you use affiliate marketing on your blog
- Affiliate marketing can be highly lucrative. Some companies pay as much as an 85% commission rate.
- Affiliate marketing – once set up… is a source of passive income. Passive income is when you can literally sit at the beach and make money 🙂
- Affiliate marketing is here to stay. Stats predict that by 2022 affiliate marketing spend will reach over 8.2 billion – up from 5.4 B in 2017. (source: Statista).
- Consumers check search engines before they purchase! This means that more and more, great content and real human recommendations are playing a huge part in how and where people shop. 84% of shoppers use Google and 71% of shoppers use Amazon first as a research tool before they make a spending decision. Interestingly, 36% of shoppers used Facebook for this purpose too…
- It truly doesn’t matter which niche you’re in there are affiliate programs for you! Travel bloggers, Food bloggers, Mom bloggers, Business bloggers and many other niche specific blogerts all make good money through affiliate marketing.
- You get regular payments. Most programs pay out monthly or when you reach a certain dollar threshold amount. You can easily get paid into a Paypal account worldwide.
Find some of the best affiliate programs for each blogging niche here:
It’s a requirement that you disclose when you’re using affiliate links in your content. A simple message at the top of your post saying that your content contains affiliate links which you may make a commission works well.
Make sure you’re putting your disclosure in a highly visible place and that it is featured before any links. You want to stay on the right side of the law and make sure your readers know what you’re doing and what they are clicking!
I make my post disclosure a reusable element in WordPress so it’s easily accessed when I’m writing a blog post.
Google prefers that you to use the “rel=sponsored” link attribute on all your affiliate links on your site.
This just means that Google wants to know when a link is a money making one.
You can easily do this in WordPress with the link dropdown menu.
But, just as easily you can do this by adding a little bit of HTML code.
- Firstly make your link an open in new tab link.
- Then, click on the link in your WordPress editor – and select edit as HTML.
- Find the piece of code that says rel=”noreferrer noopener”
- And change it to rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow”
Simple as that! And soooo not scary at all right!
Affiliate marketing tips for bloggers
- Go through old posts and see where you can add affiliate links where it makes sense
- Dont link stuff! Be mindful of adding too many links so they become spammy… only add them where they add value to your readers
- Stick to your niche. Don’t sell stuff that’s not in your wheelhouse
- Respect your audience… only recommend things you love and use
- Utilize your social networks including Facebook and Pinterest as well as your email subscribers list when promoting products you love.
- Create a tech stack or resources page and post on your blog. Recommending all the things you love with your affiliate links
- Check your SEO. One of the top sources of your affiliate traffic will be for great content that is well optimised
- Check your most popular blog posts have affiliate links where appropriate, after all, these are your traffic generators
- Add banners to your sidebar for companies you absolutely love
- Use Pretty Links to make your links less icky! Plus cloak your links for security
- Always, always disclose your affiliate links in your content – its not only good practice for your readers but also a requirement
- It’s alllll about the relationship you have with your audience. Build trust first. Sell second
- Choose WordPress.org for your blog platform so you can easily monetize your blog. You can grab super cheap hosting with Bluehost here (AF).
Affiliate marketing is a fabulous way to monetize your blog. With many more people experiencing the need to shop online, recommendations for products and services from people they trust is becoming more and more important.
So, grab yourself a slice of the affiliate marketing pizza pie! It’s simple to get started and can help you to create the life and work balance you dream of.