Last updated on October 16th, 2018 at 07:39 am
Have you started a blog in hopes of earning money? Are you tired of earning pennies from Google Adsense? Today, I am going to share some tips that will help you learn affiliate marketing so you can start making more.
*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you
I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite affiliate marketing training courses that will teach you everything you need to know about this monetization method.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Before we dive into getting started with monetizing your blog, let’s first tell you what it is. Affiliate marketing is nothing a performance-based marketing, where the marketer receives commissions for visitors who take some type of action.
Google’s Affiliate Marketing Definition
A marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays a commission to a marketer for traffic or sales that are generated from the exernal website.
That sounds easy right? I mean you don’t have to create any products or deal with customer service. It’s not too hard to drive traffic to another website?
If it’s so easy, why do so many people struggle with earning money with this form of monetization? And why do so many people choose to start with Google Adsense as their form of monetization?
Why I Love This Form of Monetization
I am a huge fan of affiliate marketing because if done correctly, you can earn great commissions. All you have to do is drive traffic to a reputable product or service and that’s it.
You don’t have to worry about customer service, issuing refunds, complaints or anything else.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I still don’t create my own products, because I do. I’ve created a few eBooks that I currently sell on this blog.
But a large portion of my income comes from affiliate marketing. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing some of my tips below that will hep you get a jumpstart.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing?
The concept is easy, you want to join som eof the best affiliate marketing programs to work with. When choosing the right program, pay attention to:
Fits With Your Niche
This may be obvious, but is so important if you want to make sales. Find products and services that are related to your blog niche. It will be impossible to sell fitness products if your blog is about car care.
If you do write about fitness, there are so many things that you can promote instead of just eating right. You could also promote things like health insurance, weight loss, bodybuilding or anything related to health and wellness.
Consider Buying The Product
I am a huge believer that you’ll have a lot more success with your affiliate marketing promotion, if you actually use the product yourself.
It can be challenging if you’re promoting something like insurance. When people land on your blog, they want to know why you’re recommending that particular product or service.
They also want to hear your story about how it has helped you and why you recommend it or why you don’t. This is why so many people spend time reading online reviews before they make a buying decision.
I’m sure you’ve spent time reading online reviews before making a decision to buy or not to buy a particular product or service.
Cloak Your Links
If you’re planning on using SEO as one of your traffic methods, which you should. You need to take the time to cloak those long and ugly affiliate tracking links.
Google doesn’t like them and some people may be scared or uncomfortable clicking on them. It’s a dead giveaway that you’re trying to sell them something, and people don’t want to be sold to.
Making your links shorter and prettier, just give a more professional appearance. My favorite WordPress plugins to make my links pretty are PrettyLinks and ThirstyAffilites. I currently use ThirstyAffiliates on this site and PrettyLinks on my second blog.
Create An Affiliate Disclaimer
Anyone who does any type of affiliate marketing will need to create an affiliate disclaimer for their blog or website. Affiliate link disclosures are mandated by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
It sounds confusing, but it’s really not. Once you create it, you can use it over and over for all your blog posts. I’ve created a step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to create an affiliate disclaimer.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Once you’ve signed up and been approved to some networks, it’s time to start driving traffic to your referral links. I’m going to share the best method you can use to start promoting your links and getting traffic.
Most people will tell you to use Pinterest to start driving traffic. Yes, you should do that. But if you want to really turn your blog into a passive income stream, you need to be thinking long-term SEO traffic. It’s not hard, it just requires you to learn how to be patient and wait.
Here are the steps you take to get started.
Write Helpful Content
As a blogger, you’re going to be writing a ton of content. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to write content 2x per week or 3x per week. My point is that you’ll want to write content that your target audience is looking for.
Your goal is to help them solve their problems. If you can provide content that actually helps them solve their problems and recommending products and services (your affiliate links) you’ll eventually start making money.
Finding the Right Keywords
Before you write any content, you need to understand the importance of keywords. When I started this blog, I didn’t pay enough attention to keyword research.
I ended up writing tons of blog posts that I’ll never be able to rank on the first page of Google. They are either targeting keywords that are too competitive or don’t target anything at all.
Which totally sucks because if I tally up those hours, it’s probably over 80 hours that I wasted writing the wrong type of content. Don’t do that, make sure that you’re using the right keywords for your blog posts.
Related: KWFinder Features and How to Use It
I’ve noticed a huge increase in traffic since I’ve started using KWFinder. If you don’t know anything at all about SEO, do yourself a favor and read anything you can get your hands. Here are some resources you can start learning about SEO:
- Neil Patel – SEO Made Simple A Step-by-Step Guide
- Backlinko – How to Learn SEO In 2018
- SEO Guide: 10 Simple Steps to Get More Google Traffic
Don’t worry about getting everything perfect. You can always go back and update your old content, later on, the important thing is to start publishing content.
Adding Your Links In Your Content
One of the mistakes that so many people make at the beginning is to try to add too many links. (I did this when I first started)
Adding more links inside of your content is just going to look spammy and won’t result in more sales. Try adding one affiliate links per 1,000 words. You can add a little bit more if you want, just don’t overdo it.
The Right Way to Link to Your Content
The most important thing you can do to increase your click-throughs on your links is to make sure that you’re adding a link properly.
Instead of adding a link to the text click here. You want to make the link flow smoothly with the text, this way people won’t feel like they are being sold to.
See how I just add a link into this paragraph, it’s not pushy or salesy at all.
Oh, and you want to make sure that your affiliate links are set as “nofollow” and are cloaked properly. This free plugin will make sure that your links are set up properly without you having to lift a finger.
Promote Your Content
Once you’ve written your amazing blog post that helps your audience, it’s time promote it. I know that there are people who say you shouldn’t care about pageviews or traffic.
If you’re brand new, you need those pageviews. Without traffic, you’ll never get anyone to click on your affiliate links. The affiliate game comes down to being a numbers game, at least till you have a well-established email list. (but that’s another story)
There are so many ways to grow a blog, what works for some people won’t necessarily work for you. This is what makes blogging so challenging.
You’re going to have to find out how to promote your blog. Here’s a blog promotion checklist that will give you some ideas of how to get started.
Rinse and Repeat
You got your first blog post published and you’ve worked hard on the promotion. Now it’s time to repeat the whole process again.
If you’re trying to build a profitable online asset, you need content. The more content that your blog has the more doorways you create for your blog.
Imagine if you can write 2 blog posts per week, at the end of your first year, you’ll have 104 posts published on your blog. This is 104 doorways from the search engines, social and referral traffic that people can enter your traffic.
Eventually, you’ll have a virtual real estate property that earns you money.
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners Course
There’s a lot to learn to create an affiliate marketing websites that actually make money. This is why so many people say that it’s important to have a strategy.
Yes, you can learn everything on your own without investing in an affiliate marketing course. Just know that there’s a learning curve that you’re going to have to overcome.
If you can follow the steps that I shared above, there’s no reason why you won’t eventually see success.
I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible. However, there’s only so much that I can include in a blog post. If you want a step-by-step course, then I highly recommend any of these training courses.
They lay out everything in simple easy to understand instructions. You’ll cut your learning curve in half and start seeing commissions a lot sooner than trying to figure out everything on your own.
How Much Money Can You make As An Affiliate Marketer?
Is it really worth your time to invest your time and effort into using this method of monetization? I get it, it’s a lot easier to just slap some Google Adsense on your blog and hope and pray that it makes money.
I started out using Google Adsense on this blog but removed it after I was only making pennies per click. Once my blog reaches 25,000 sessions on a 30 day period, I’ll be joining better ad networks.
But right now, I am pretty happy with my affiliate marketing results. It’s nowhere near what other people make, but that’s okay, it will only get better as my blog matures more.
Affiliate Marketing Examples
Now let’s take a look at some affiliate marketing examples that will help you understand what’s possible. I’m only showing you these because I want you to realize that with some hard work, you can turn your blog into a passive income stream.
The cool thing is that you can always add other revenue streams to your blog.
Making Sense of Cents Income Reports: Michelle makes over $100,000 per month with her blog and a good portion of it comes from affiliate income. You can read her income reports, here.
Smart Passive Income: Pat Flynn makes hundreds of thousands from his blog and a lot of his income comes from recommending products he uses and believes in. You can read his income reports here.
Pinch of Yum: Lindsay a former 4th-grade teacher has created a money making food blog that makes thousands. She earns a lot of her monthly income from advertising, affiliate marketing and selling her own product. You can check out her income reports on her blog.
How Much Will You Make?
We’re all different and just because so and so makes $10,000 or more per month, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get started.
It will take time but with the right strategies, you can literally use your laptop and the Internet to create passive income that will change your life.
Final Take Away
There are thousands of people who are changing their financial circumstances with the help of the Internet. You and I are no different.
Those people who have managed to create successful passive income websites knew what they wanted. Most of them had no clue what they were doing when they started. They just knew that they wanted to change their current circumstances.
So they jumped in and did whatever it took, regardless of the mistakes they made along the way. That’s what I am doing with this blog and my second blog.
If you’re ready to get started, I’ve created a step-by-step tutorial post that will help you start your WordPress blog. Nothing will ever change if you don’t actually get started.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- 11 Ways to Make 500 A Month On The Side
- 17 Blog Income Reports That Will Inspire You
- 13 High Paying Affiliate Programs That Will Make You Money
Have you started a blog in hopes of earning an income? If so, let me know, I’d love to hear your story.