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So you're running an affiliate program on your site, but have you considered flipping the switch and earning some extra dough from your business's blog? Turn your blog into a sweet recurring pay packet with this guide on how to use affiliate marketing in your blog.
You've seen your affiliates write passionately about your products and rake in commissions as your sales soar.
Dedicated affiliate marketers who pitch is just right have even earned themselves the big bucks to ditch their 9-5.
Watching their magic at work begs the question: can you make this sorcery work for you and your business?
Maybe you're already running a blog for your business for SEO purposes and want to leverage it for a bit of extra cash for your business. Or perhaps you're interested in starting a side-hustle and making affiliate marketing work for you personally.
Whatever your reasoning, bloggers can (and have) hit the big time with affiliate marketing, and it's not complicated to get started.
All it takes is time, effort, a pinch of luck, and, of course, the know-how to set yourself up on the right path.
And that's where we come in.
In this article, we'll talk affiliate marketing for bloggers and how to get started.
You'll learn how to turn your blog into a cash-making machine and how you can increase your business's bottom line with a few simple changes.
Let the knowledge transfer commence!
4 Steps To Starting Your Affiliate Blog
Step 1: Choose Your Products
It's critically important that you choose to represent products you can really get behind, and that are relevant to an industry you want to write about.
Your credibility is on the line and it's important to always prioritize value for your readers if you want to be a successful affiliate marketer.
Revise Your Existing Content
If you're already running a blog for your business, you probably already know these products intimately as they relate to your own industry.
For example, let's say you run photography classes online. You've probably already written several blogs that include advice about physical products lenses, tripods, and gimbals, etc.
You've probably also got plenty of opinions on the best editing software. These are all opportunities for affiliate marketing.
Think About Your Interests
If you're starting a blog from scratch, the most important thing to consider is whether you can sustain your interest in that industry over time.
You'll need to write in-depth about the products and the industry, and regularly update your blog. For your blog to go the distance and sustain its success, you need to write about something that genuinely interests you.
You also need to choose products you can happily promote to others. If you can write passionately and persuasively about a product, you'll be more likely to drive sales for those products, and therefore get better commissions.
Research Affiliate Programs In Your Industry
Now you should have a list of products to research. Check to see if your preferred brands in that industry have affiliate marketing programs. Not all will, but you'll find that it's more common than you might think.
Brainstorm & Research Related Industries and Products
Hopefully, you have a healthy list of affiliate programs for products that directly relate to your industry.
But don't stop there! Think about other products your audience will find useful.
Let's use the photography classes example again. You could write a blog post about the best locations for nature photography, and partner with travel agencies or tour operators that offer specialized photography trips.
By promoting these trips, you not only provide valuable information to your readers but also earn a commission for every booking made through your referral.
Furthermore, think about the lifestyle of your target audience. A photographer might also be interested in coffee table books featuring renowned photographers, or even ergonomic chairs and desks for their editing workspace.
The possibilities are endless when you start to think outside the box.
Step 2: Set Up as an Affiliate
With your brands picked out, it's time to set yourself up as an affiliate!
Some affiliate programs have an application approval process. In these instances, you may need to work on your blog and social media presence to meet their requirements. Other affiliate programs, however, let you start from scratch.
Take some time in this step to read through all the information provided by the affiliate program. You'll want to pay attention to:
- Payment amounts
- Payment schedule
- Legal obligations
Be sure to look at the information carefully and follow the steps needed to become an affiliate partner. This can be a lengthy process depending on who you're doing business with.
As you know, affiliate programs want your help in selling their products. Even if it takes some time, they'll make the setup process worth your while in the end.
The commission you earn per sale will depend on the program and the product. The more value the product has, the higher the commission is likely to be.
Don't be surprised if their affiliate requirements and approval process look very different from your own.
Step 3: Promote The Products
With everything in place, it's time to turn your blog into a cash machine.
If you use Easy Affiliate to run your own affiliate program, you'll know that as an affiliate marketer, you are assigned a unique URL for linking to a brand or product.
Use these links effectively and ethically in your blog posts. Your aim is to use links strategically to maximize click-throughs while enhancing the experience for your readers.
Affiliate Link Use Best Practices
While it's essential not to overload your content with links, strategic placement can increase click-through rates. Consider placing links at the beginning, middle, and end of your content.
Include a Call-To-Action (CTA)
Encouraging readers with a clear CTA boosts engagement and click-through rates, guiding them on the desired action to take with your affiliate link, whether it's to “Learn More,” “Buy Now,” or “Check Out the Deal.”
Relevance is Key
Don't shove your affiliate link just anywhere. Ensure that the products or services you're promoting are relevant to the specific content of the post.
Things like product reviews allow you to go in-depth on a product, which provides plenty of opportunities to drop in your affiliate link.
Take some time to look through Google for investigational keywords. Words you'll come across frequently include:
These words help you to figure out the types of posts to create.
Don't saturate your content with affiliate links. It can make your content seem insincere and can be off-putting to readers.
If you repeatedly use the same link across your blog it may affect your SEO rating.
Adding the “nofollow” attribute to affiliate links signals to search engines that the link is commercial, not an organic endorsement, helping maintain your site's SEO integrity.
Use a Link Cloaking Tool
There are two main reasons for using a link cloaking plugin:
- Scammers use bots to look for affiliate links in blogs and then attempt to hijack them. Link cloakers hide these affiliate links from bots.
- Affiliate links are long, awkward, unbranded and frankly, ugly. Link cloaking can improve the user experience by making them more appealing and shareable.
Some affiliate programs, like Amazon, don't permit cloaking their affiliate links, so check your affiliate agreement before using a link cloaking tool. But overall, link cloaking is considered best practice amongst affiliate marketers.
Include an Affiliate Disclosure
Be transparent about the use of affiliate links in your blog. Include an affiliate disclosure explaining to your readers that your blogs contain affiliate links.
Choosing a Link Cloaking Tool
Link cloaking plugins include other features and benefits that can help you as an affiliate marketer.
Both these tools provide automatic keyword linking to convert specific keywords into affiliate links across your site. This is really useful if you already have a lot of blog content and want to save time manually placing links throughout your site.
Both plugins also offer detailed affiliate marketing reports to monitor link performance so you can see what strategy works for you.
As you start to see results, take some time to see what brought people to you. You can use Google Analytics to see exactly what keywords people used to find your site.
Both tools enable you to sort affiliate links using categories. When you're juggling multiple affiliate programs and many more unique URLs, this features comes in super handy.
Group links by product, program, platform, campaign, or any other criteria that help keep everything organized and accessible.
Pretty Links has the added feature to sort links further by tags, adding another dimension to your link organization strategy.
ThirstyAffiliates lets you schedule affiliate links in advance. This is particularly useful for time-sensitive promotions. Put a start and end date on your affiliate links
to ensure they're only active during the promotion period. This way, you can plan your campaigns ahead of time and ensure that outdated promotions don't confuse or mislead your readers.
ThirstyAffiliates offers a unique feature that automatically uncloaks specific links, which is essential for those who use Amazon affiliate links.
As we've already mentioned, Amazon's terms and conditions prohibit link cloaking, so this feature ensures you remain compliant by revealing the original Amazon link when necessary.
Step 4: Get Paid – Repeat
As you develop more posts on your website, the chances to make sales will increase.
As long as you're following the legal obligations of the platform, you'll enjoy regular payouts. Keep seeking new products you can promote to maintain a steady flow of income.
Also, make sure there's a common thread running between the products you promote.
If you decide you'd like to branch out into new territory, your best bet is to start a new blog.
This will help to maintain your position as an authority in one subject and will prevent your blog from looking like an affiliate marketplace.
Blogging is one of the easiest and best ways to start on the path to earning some passive income for you or your business.
Just keep repeating these four steps and make the most of the tools at your disposal, and you'll keep making money.
It's that simple! Expand on the different steps, and your rewards will be even greater.
Most importantly, have fun! You'll find that the more engaging your content, the higher returns you'll enjoy.
Do you have questions about how to get started with affiliate marketing for bloggers? Ask away in the comments!