The initial plan was to set up a blog and make money from it.
Other people make it sound so easy that you thought that it was not a big deal, and that in no time, you’d be earning good money from your blog.
It turns out it’s not as easy as you thought it was going to be.
You tried all sorts of blog monetization methods such as PPC advertising and selling ad spaces, but to no avail.
What if you learned that there’s another way to monetize your blog, and it is usually more profitable than advertising?
It’s called affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing refers to the online business model wherein you are paid to promote another person’s or company’s product on your blog.
Each time a visitor in your blog clicks an affiliate link and purchases the affiliate product, you get to earn a commission.
This type of online business actually benefits all the parties involve, which include:
- The visitor to your blog – Your visitor gets to find out where to buy a product that he/she needs.
- The merchant or owner of the product – He/she gets to save time and effort selling products.
- You as the affiliate – You get to earn money without having to create your own products and go through complicated processes of shipping and inventory and so on. This means extra money in your pockets as well.
But the real question here is: does affiliate marketing work?
These stats will answer this question for you:
- In the last 2 years, there has been a 175 percent increase in affiliate network memberships
- Affiliate programs now generate up to 30 percent of business’ online sales
- Sales revenue from affiliate marketing has increased by 240 percent
- More than $6 billion is expected to be spent on affiliate marketing
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
If you’re wondering how exactly bloggers get paid, there are actually various ways.
The most common methods include:
- Pay per sale – This is the most common way bloggers get paid when they become an affiliate marketer. They earn a set amount of commissions whenever a visitor on their blog clicks the link and purchases the affiliate product. The more sales, the more earnings the blogger will make.
- Pay per lead – There are some companies that won’t require you to make a sale but would already pay you whenever you bring in leads to their business. There should be a specific call to action that your blog visitor should complete such as sign up for an email list, watch a product demonstration, complete a product trial and so on.
- Pay per click – In this method, the merchant pays you whenever your blog visitor clicks on the ads that are in your blog. Since not all clicks lead to sales, this method is rarely chosen by product owners.
Positive Effects of Affiliate Marketing on Your Blog
In this section, we will tackle the ways affiliate marketing can help you as a blogger.
# 1 – Generate more traffic
If you’re going to read tips and strategies for affiliate marketing beginners, you’re always going to find the advice about working to increase traffic.
The more traffic your blog generates, the more blog visitors will visit your blog and the more chances for affiliate links to get clicked. This means more earnings for you.
But did you know that affiliate marketing itself can help drive traffic to your blog?
Once you become part of affiliate marketing, you’ll most likely engage in various methods for advertising and promoting your affiliate products in different online venues such as social media, forums, and email.
The link to your blog will also appear in affiliate networks.
All this can result in a significant increase in your blog traffic.
An increase in blog traffic can help your blog in many different ways.
After all, traffic is the lifeline of your blog, from which every good thing starts—conversion, leads, sales, revenue, and so on.
Always remember that when it comes to your blog: the more traffic the better.
But of course, you also have to consider good quality traffic.
Since you’re into affiliate marketing and you’re promoting products that are related to your blog’s topic or theme, you’re likely to attract visitors who are within your target audience.
# 2 – Increase conversion rates
Affiliate marketing can also have a positive effect on your blog’s conversion rates.
How? Once you take part in this type of online business, you have no choice but to carefully analyze your conversion rates and do what it takes to increase them.
This is because without conversion, you’re not going to make any sale. And without any sale, you’ll not earn any money.
So let’s say that your blog currently generates 1,000 visits per month at 2.5 percent conversion rate, this means that you get at least 25 leads. Now if you’d like to ramp this up to 50 referrals, you need to get an additional 1,000 visitors to get a total number of 2,000 visitors. This would immediately shoot up the number of referrals at 50.
Now the problem is, it can take a lot time and effort to get an additional 1,000 visitors.
What you can do instead is to simply optimize your affiliate marketing strategies so you can increase the conversion rate instead from 2.5 percent to 5 percent.
What are the ways to optimize your conversion rate? Here are some tried and tested techniques:
- Test your copy
- Improve your page layout
- Strengthen your calls to action
- Optimize your landing pages
These affiliate marketing strategies take less work so you can expect quicker results.
# 3 – Establish your expertise in the niche
When you become an affiliate marketer, part of your job is to promote products and services that you think would be of great use to your target audience.
A consequence to this is that you don’t only earn money from getting these products sold, you also help these people find what they need along the way.
By helping them get what they need, and helping them make their lives better and more comfortable, you inevitably become the “go-to” person that people will approach whenever they have related needs, issues and concerns.
So let’s say that you have a blog about natural healing and one of the affiliate products that you promote are essential oils.
Whenever someone who’s part of your audience would look for a specific essential oil product or have an essential oil related question or issue, they’d immediately think of you and reach out to you.
Obviously, this would help a lot in building your expertise and authority in the niche, which is something that all bloggers aspire for.
# 4 – Build relationships with fellow bloggers
Networking is a natural part of affiliate marketing.
You can’t get into this type of online business keeping everything to yourself. You will eventually have to open up to others and connect with them, as this is the only way you will succeed in this money making venture.
Some of the people that you will meet and connect with along the way are bloggers. Most of these bloggers are the ones who also belong in the same niche as yours.
Instead of seeing them as competition, you can look at them as allies.
You can exchange guest blog posts with them, exchange links, refer them to your blog audience and so on.
Affiliate marketing can definitely do wonders in broadening your network, getting you to meet people who will play various important roles in your business and in your blog.
# 5 – Open up other opportunities
With affiliate marketing, the opportunities usually do not stop flowing in.
There’s a lot that can be done when you’re an affiliate marketer. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that there are various ways to diversify your affiliate income, and there are many methods for promoting your affiliate products. You will also get to meet a lot of people along the way.
All these can pave the way for more opportunities.
The more your affiliate business blog grows, the more opportunities will come knocking on your door.
Here’s just one example, you’re running a tech blog and you’ve established your expertise in the niche, giving honest and objective product recommendations that your audience loves.
In no time, you will probably get invitations to speak in seminars and trainings, or to be interviewed in podcasts or even internet shows that are related to the tech industry. This can be a big opportunity for you that will help you succeed and grow in this niche.
# 6 – Build a highly engaged community
If you’re able to do affiliate marketing the right way and that is by doing it with credibility and integrity, more and more people will want to become part of your blog’s audience.
This is also because they know that they can get great value from your blog.
Your blog community will not only increase by the number, but you will also get hold of people who will actively engage with your blog.
They will participate actively in discussions as long as you provide them with a venue where they can share their insights and ideas, and talk to each other.
# 7 – Helps with your blog’s ranking
Another way affiliate marketing helps your blog is increasing its ranking in the search engine results pages.
Google and other search engines favor blogs and websites that are high in authority and generate good amount of traffic.
They also look at the number of inbound links from other high authority sites.
All these can be achieved when you do affiliate marketing the right way. As a result, your blog will eventually get a higher ranking in the SERPs. This means more exposure to your blog, increasing traffic, conversion and sales. And the cycle goes on and on.
# 8 – Set up a reliable source of income
Of course, this is the most obvious benefit of affiliate marketing.
As mentioned at the start of this article, affiliate marketing can be an effective method for monetizing your blog.
For one, the earnings are higher than what you’ll get from other blog monetization methods.
For example, if you enroll your blog with Google AdSense, you will only earn a few dollars each time someone clicks on to the related ads it places on your blog. There is what experts call “advertisement blindness” which have caused a significant decline in the number of people clicking ads.
But if you become an affiliate marketer, you can earn a lot more. Some merchants give up to 50 percent commission of the total sale made. So if someone buys an affiliate product using your affiliate link and it costs $50, you will instantly get $25.
The earnings you’ll get from affiliate marketing and ecommerce don’t differ that much. But what’s different between the two is the amount of time that you will spend to set up the business and get it running.
Since you’re not promoting your own products when you’re an affiliate marketer, you get to skip many time consuming tasks such as keeping inventory, processing orders, shipping products, dealing with refunds and returns and many more.
You earn just as much but you will spend a lot less time, which is why, many consider affiliate marketing as a good source of passive income.
Tips for Bloggers Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
Of course, all these benefits won’t happen instantly without you doing your part. Here are some tips that can help you make affiliate marketing work for you.
- Publish excellent quality content. For affiliate marketers, everything starts with great content. This is what will drive traffic to your site, establish your expertise in the niche, and get people to believe what you’re saying. By excellent quality, we don’t only mean flawless grammar and spelling as that is just one part of it. We also mean unbiased insights and recommendations that will make people see that your main objective is to help them out, not to make money.
- Know your audience. The only way you can give people what they need and want is to get to know what these are. And you can only determine what these are if you take the time to know who your audience is. Go to social media sites and other online venues where they can be found and listen to their conversations, which would usually include their grievances and rants. Once you get to know what these are, then you’d know what it is that you can give to them to help them out.
- Take advantage of various ways to promote your content. There are many ways you can promote your content. And you need to do your part on this aspect of affiliate marketing as you need to expose your content to get more people to find out what you have to offer. Include in your marketing plan using email, social media, forums and other online platforms that will increase awareness of your blog.
- Use the right keywords. SEO is one of the things that affiliate marketers cannot overlook. It’s important to conduct proper keyword research so you can use the right keywords within your content that will help your blog rank higher in the search engine results pages. You also have to pay attention to link building, go after high quality inbound links and insert internal links within your content.
Blogging can indeed be a lucrative source of income. But it’s important that you’re able to choose the proper monetization method—one that won’t take too much of your time and effort but would give you more earnings.
One of the best choices you have is affiliate marketing. As you can see from this article, not only would affiliate marketing help establish a reliable source of income for your blog, it can also help your blog in different ways. These include generating more traffic, building an active online community, helping your blog rank higher in the search engine results pages, establishing your expertise in the niche, and many more.