All You Need to Know About Monetizing Your Blog (Affiliate Marketing)
Hi boss babes! Today I want to talk about something that has been asked daily! It’s no secret that everyone is dying to know how to profit from affiliate marketing and how you can better use affiliate links! This question is constantly being brought to my attention in my Boss Girl Bloggers group, so here I am, trying best to help you understand affiliate marketing!
*affiliate links are used
When it comes to making a profit from affiliate marketing, it’s important to note that, in order to see decent results you should:
- Have a larger audience or an engaging audience: In order to see the $$ you need to have an audience, otherwise there is no one to click & buy the items you are promoting. Having an audience that is larger gives you a better shot at having someone click your link. Or having an engaging audience that reads your posts consistently + clicks around your site often.
- Learn your audience: Do you have a looking or buying audience? You will find more success if you have a buying audience. The reason for this is because a lot of affiliate links run off of commission. You get a percentage of the sale made. If your audience isn’t a buying audience, the $$ you make won’t be significant, HOWEVER there are some affiliate programs that pay per click. (will talk about that further down).
- You won’t see the income right away: I find that too many others will say “purchase this course to get fast, money making results.” OR “Purchase this course and get your first affiliate sale in 24hrs.” but let’s be honest, how many actually see FAST results. FEW. I am not going to sugar coat anything! You gotta work to make the money. So make sure you have patience. If you keep up with the affiliate marketing and links and continue to grow your audience, YOU WILL see results, but it WILL take some bit of time. So don’t give up! The length it takes to make decent income from affiliate marketing varies for each person.
IN WHAT WAYS CAN YOU INCORPORATE AFFILIATE LINKS?
VIA A BLOG POST
- Product reviews
- Product Round Ups / Monthly Favorites
- How to’s
- Product Comparisons
- Fashion Look Books
- Outfits of the Day
- Favorite Looks / Fall Looks / Winter Looks
- Must Have Products
- Banners throughout your post
- Create Youtube videos about products etc. and add where they can buy them in the description!
What I Recommend First – Before You Start Monetizing
I really don’t know how many times I need to repeat myself before I catch on. When it comes to monetizing your blog + having complete control over your blog, you should 100% self host!!!
Free sites can seriously mess with your blog design when it comes to adding ads etc. It also can cause limitations. You can read my full opinion on why you should be self hosting a wordpress blog – here.
My all time favorite self host to go through is site ground. I’m sure you’ve heard me blab all about them before. Ever since I made the switch to self hosting with site ground I have had excellent server speed, phenomenal customer service experience, zero issues or errors, a stress free site transfer, and high security!
I wish I knew what I know now, in the beginning, because I wouldn’t have waited. I would have started off self hosting. It pays off in the end.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to start monetizing your blog. Like I said earlier, to really succeed in affiliate marketing you need to grow your audience, especially your “buying” audience. It is possible to make a GREAT income from affiliate marketing. If you need extra tips to build your blog traffic – check it out here.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
First, you sign up for affiliate marketing programs. There are many that I will share with you. Once you are signed up and approved, you can start using the affiliate links in your blog posts, on pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Each time someone purchases the product linked to your affiliate link, you receive commission/ or percentage of the sale at NO additional cost to the buyer. Super cool right?! But not as easy as it sounds. It takes some learning to make an income off of affiliate marketing! Even I am learning more everyday!
Affiliate Programs to Check Out
Here are some of my go to affiliate programs that I am actually a part of! I recommend them all because I have made income via each!
Amazon – It’s a start, but it definitely is a slow growing income. For me at least. There are so many products to choose from which is what makes it so popular! The more you sell, the more you earn.
shareasale – This is one of my favorites. They have so many different companies on there to work with! You have to get approved to work with their affiliate programs but once you’re in, you are golden.
Some of my favorites on share a sale are
Joss + Main
Stella + Dot
Ebay – This program intrigued me because their minimum payout is only 25$! Most are usually at least 50$!
Ebates – Ebates is great because it can tie into a lot of different blog niches. If you have an audience big into shopping, they will love hearing all about Ebates! You can earn great money through their referral program!! Definitely recommend checking them out. Not to mention it’s a great money saving app to begin with.
Ibotta – Another awesome program if you having a buying niche that loves to save money!
Site Ground – If you self host like me, an added bonus is their affiliate programs. I have made great money via site ground’s affiliate program. The reason why I love their program so much is because 1. I believe in site ground, absolutely love self hosting through them which makes it so easy to recommend them. 2. If you make monthly 1-5 sales you get 50$ per each sale, 6-10 sales you get 75$ per each sale, 11-20 sales you get 100$ per each sale + 21 plus sales for that month you get 125$ per each sale!
It’s a great way to make side income while also using the best servers for your blog! Truly can not go wrong.
Target – A lot of people don’t know that Target has an affiliate program. I mean come on who doesn’t love target?!
Style Collective – I love style collective because it’s a great platform for fashion and beauty bloggers to connect on. It’s helped me grow my Instagram as well as allowed me to meet other fashion + beauty blogger’s in my area! SC also offers a ton of information that is essential to bloggers. Their affiliate program allows you to receive 10$ per referral. It’s easy side cash for a great platform!
Awin – Awin is awesome! I really enjoy it. If you don’t have an invitation code it’s 5$ to sign up but you can easily make that back!
Shop Style Collective – I love shop style collective. Especially for pinterest! It’s slow earning in the beginning but easy to use for starting out! It also has some pay for click as well!
Flex Offers – What I love about flex offers is that they offer pay per click too! Which can make it easier to earn if you don’t have a fully “buying” audience. They offer tracking of your statistics so you can keep track of your traffic and conversions. Not to mention they offer a variety of products! I definitely recommend to sign up!
Alright enough about what programs you should be using, it’s time to talk about how to succeed in affiliate marketing!
Pinterest is your best friend when it comes to affiliate marketing! Some make money purely through Pinterest, without even having a blog! Affiliate marketing is a very passive income which is amazing. You can continuously receive commission from the same post without any effort if your post is popular enough! On Pinterest you have an entire Pinterest audience to help spread your links! So how should you use Pinterest to up your sales?
CREATE AFFILIATE LINK ONLY BOARDS
One board that I have on my Pinterest dedicated to affiliate links is called “Shop My Favorites”. I will post all of my favorite products from beauty, to looks that I love to wear and will use my affiliate links for people to shop my favorite products! It’s a great way to incorporate affiliate links and to let other’s know about products they NEED to try!
You can also do a board along the lines of “blogging resources”. For example if you have purchased an E-Course and have an affiliate link and discount code for bloggers, you can post them to this board! This will allow your followers to know that if they ever need a discounted, good course, they can check out this board!
You can join group boards on Pinterest and share your affiliate links to them (if allowed) Group board rules are usually in the description of the group. There are many fashion/look book/Inspo group boards that are perfect for this! OR even some Mommy Blogger group boards that you can post your everyday mom and baby essentials! (affiliate links) Great way to get exposure to your links and an even better way to get your link to go viral!
DESCRIPTION IS KEY
Now that you are using the affiliate link, it won’t link back to your site that describes a product, but rather the product itself. This is why it is essential to create a descriptive description that includes why you recommend the product! Use detail! Make them want to buy this product! (a mini review, if you will)
DON’T BE SPAMMY
You don’t want to overload your Pinterest with all affiliate links because that is a TURN OFF. Make sure you are pinning a variety of other things too. Break up your affiliate links a bit. You want to keep your blog and Pinterest authentic.
ONLY RECOMMEND WHAT YOU LOVE
If you don’t love a product, PLEASE DON’T RECOMMEND IT! You want your audience to trust you. If you are only recommending a product for the sake of money, your audience will catch on and they will start dropping like flies. You want a trusting audience, and if you recommend crappy products, that trust will be gone. You will never make a sale if your audience doesn’t trust you.
CREATE + TEST IMAGES FOR YOUR AFFILIATE PINS
Pinterest is a very visual platform. The most viral pins, tend to be pins that are eye catching, and creative! You don’t have to stick with the product image provided by the product seller. You can create your own or add a personal touch! Spice it up! See what attracts repins and clicks, and what doesn’t. Be different!
SCHEDULE YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS
You should absolutely break up your affiliate link pins with non affiliate link pins. You can actually use tools that will schedule your affiliate link pins so that you aren’t posting them all at the same time. The best part is, you don’t have to do the work! It’s like making money on auto pilot! USE IT!
My absolute favorite pin scheduler is TailWind !
DO NOT USE SHORT LINKS ON PINTEREST
It is against their Acceptable Use Policy to use “pretty link, bit.ly etc” to shorten your links on Pinterest.
FOR THE BLOG
When it comes to affiliate links while blogging there are some important tips that I have learned!
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Make sure you take the time to get to know your audience. What products would they be more likely to purchase? What niche is your blog based off of? Compare and contrast which products sell better than others. Pay attention to your audience, sales and posts. What type of posts preform better? FOCUS on creating posts that bring you the most sales. Keep a notebook of what works and what doesn’t.
USE TEXT LINKS
I find that text links receive more action than banner links. I think that readers find banner links to be very “in your face” and “off putting”. Readers are less likely to click on banner links. Incorporate text links throughout your post. Too many text links in one paragraph can also be obnoxious, so don’t get too carried away!
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT
If you are trying to promote a product via affiliate links, make sure you actually know what you are promoting. There is nothing worse than a “fake” promoter. Someone who is only focused on the money. I can absolutely tell when someone hasn’t actually tried the product long enough themselves. It certainly creates a distrust and I would be less likely to want to purchase a product if the review of the product isn’t knowledgable enough. Be truthful and get to know the product, and make sure you love the product before actually promoting it! AUTHENTICITY IS KEY
CREATE A RESOURCE PAGE
This is a great way to incorporate affiliate links. A resource page is a page that you can create on your blog that lists every helpful site etc. for your readers. You can have a Shopping section and include money saving sites like Ibotta and Ebates. You can also include your self host that you use, which most likely has an affiliate program, like site ground. An easy way to get those affiliate links viewed, while also being helpful!
POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
If you have over 10,000 followers on Instagram, you have the ability to incorporate your affiliate links on your Instagram Stories. Many fashion bloggers will have fashion “try ons” via their Instagram story and will add their affiliate link for the outfit they are wearing. This makes it easy for others to purchase! It’s a great way to profit through your Instagram account!
Learn how to grow you Instagram following and engagement here
You can also tweet your links too or even share on facebook!
CALL TO ACTION / MAKE SURE LINKS ARE VISIBLE
Make sure you try to incorporate a call to action. If you invite your audience to click on your link for more, they will be more likely to. Sometimes links can go unnoticed. You want to make sure your links are visible. Place them where your audience is most likely to see first, like the top or the bottom of your post! Encourage your audience to click for more, or end your post with a relevant affiliate link.
DON’T OVERDO IT
Your audience can tell if your post is “forced”. It is important to make sure any of your posts that are affiliate, flow naturally. You need to find your voice and win your audience over. You want to make them want to purchase the product without sounding like a sales person. Talk to them like they are your closest friend. Make your audience find you relatable. Nothing is more obnoxious than reading a blog post that sounds like a commercial. I’d much rather read a creative post that sounds more personal.
Also note that you should always break up your posts. Having too many affiliate blog posts in a row can be a turn off for a lot of readers. Have a good variety, find your balance. You can absolutely have affiliate links in every blog post if you want, but make sure you are authentic about it!
LINK BACK WHEN APPROPRIATE
What I mean by this is, link back to previous blog posts that include affiliate links when you can. For example, if I am talking about my monthly favorites, at the end I may say something like “If you enjoyed this month’s favorites and haven’t seen my previous monthly favorites, click here.” That way you have even more of a chance to earn more, and you also have a chance to get your audience to continue reading more posts on your blog! It’s a win, win!
It is vital that you disclose that you are using affiliate links! This is not only a requirement for your blog, Pinterest’s terms, or affiliate programs, BUT also needed for FTC regulations. Even if you add #affiliatelink at the end of your description on Pinterest or stating that you use affiliate links in your blog post. You can get into some serious trouble if you don’t disclose. I even added a disclosure to my blog itself for extra protection! Google Adsense actually makes it mandatory that you have a disclosure on your blog.
This is all that I have learned through my Affiliate Marketing journey thus far! Hopefully this will help you succeed in Affiliate Marketing too!
A quick announcement: Coming this holiday season will be my first ever EBOOK feature helpful info like what was featured in this blog post! I am creating an Ebook that has all the tips and tricks that I have learned during my blogging journey that have helped with my success! I will also be talking to you about how to find your voice, your confidence, + how to pursue your dreams as a blogger. Everything you need to get you to your end result. I can’t wait for you all to check it out! STAY TUNED BOSS BABES!!!
Until Next Time,