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Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog

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​​​​One of the best ways for bloggers and website owners (even some who don't have blogs and websites) to generate income is through affiliate marketing.  Affiliate marketing gives website owners and bloggers (publishers) the opportunity to ​advertise for popular brand's (advertisers) on the blogger's site.  These ​publishers (bloggers) receive a commission when a consumer clicks on the advertisement link and makes a purchase from the brand (advertiser).

affiliate programs, affiliate

​Affiliate Marketing Definitions

Here are a few definitions:

  • Publisher - a blogger or website owner who joins and is approved for a brand's affiliate program. The publisher promotes advertisements through sponsored text, videos and banners for a brand.
  • Advertiser - also called sponsors, are companies that create affiliate agreements with publishers (bloggers. website owners). Once approved, bloggers and website owners promote sponsor's products and services. 
  • Affiliate sales - ​A sale that occurs when visitors from the publisher's blog or website click on the publisher's affiliate link and travels to the ​sponsor's website ​and purchases products. 
  • Affiliate commissions - a ​percentage of an affiliate sale received by the publisher when ​visitors buy products and services on the brand's (advertiser's) website.  If the buyer clicks on the publisher's affiliate link and makes a sale the publisher will receive a percentage of the sale.  

Affiliate marketing is a great home based business idea.  It's a way to earn passive income (also known as residual income) that will enable you to stay at home with your kids, supplement or replace income, leave a job you hate, build your retirement nest egg or all the above. 

Affiliate marketing is a great fit for most​ new​ owners because it ​only requires ​a few simple steps:

  1. Finding great programs - That fit your knowledge and abilities and products​ in your niche to promote.
  2. ​​Building a blog - That provides a platform that you can use to promote your affiliate products and services.  ​
  3. Writing great content - Research your market to determine which topics are popular in your niche. Write content that your readers are looking for. 
  4. Promoting your links - When starting out, you need a platform that will allow you to promote your affiliate links. ​
  5. Building an audience and driving traffic to your links - Traffic is a major component of affiliate marketing. You need an audience that is interested and engaged with your blog, that will purchase your affiliate products.  

Another great thing about affiliate marketing is that you can work in an industry or niche that fits your passions and interests.  So take a moment to read this article and get started!  Also, in case you were wondering, this article is an example of affiliate marketing.  

Stop wasting time

This page may contain affiliate links. We recommend brands that we have used and believe in, because we feel they are a good match for the interests of our readers.

With affiliate marketing, it's best to have a blog or website that you can use to promote affiliate links.  If you don't have a blog, it's not impossible to earn income with affiliate programs, but will be hard to track the links that are performing best. Without tracking, it's hard to see what's working and not.

​One of the best ways to promote your affiliate links is to build a ​blog, focus on building your audience and traffic, and writing quality articles and product reviews. If you don't have a blog, this is another great reason to create one.  If you're not convinced about blogging, read our article on why you should have a blog or website.    Blogs provide a platform that you can use to generate income, whether it's through direct sales, network marketing (MLM) or affiliate marketing. 

Affiliate marketing allows a website or blog owner, to get paid to sell products and services for another company. The advertiser will provide you with an affiliate code and many of them will serve up images, banners and badges that you can place on your site. 

When your readers click on those links and place an order on the advertiser's website, you receive a commission. The more sales generated from your website, the more you will make.  

While a lot of affiliate programs are free, many of them have criteria that your site will have to meet in order to join.  For example, some advertisers require a certain amount of traffic before you will be approved. Some have limitations on the kinds of advertising you can use. For example it's a violation of Amazon's terms to use affiliate links in email marketing.

Make sure to read the requirements for each sponsor (advertiser) to make sure you meet their criteria. ​Affiliate programs are a great way to help the parent (advertiser) company drive traffic to their website, exposing customers to even more potential buying opportunities.  For example, a company that pays a 10% commission if a visitor to your web site clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase on their site, will pay $10 for a $100 purchase. This would be a pay per sale transaction.

What Affiliate Type is Best for Your Brand?

The "best" affiliate marketing program is really an individual decision.  It requires research to determine which options are available and which programs are best the best fit for your brand.  Pay per sale transactions represent only one available method.

There are many other types of affiliate programs including pay per lead, residual income, (also known as recurring commission, recurring income, lifetime commission and lifetime income).  There are also affiliate networks, CPA networks, two tier programs, popups, pop unders, ad networks, and contextual ads.

Here are a Few Brands That Offer Affiliate Programs

All of these commission structures will provide earasswnings, but the specific method of making the connection between the consumer and website may be a better fit for your company. The amount you earn depends on how effective you are at converting buyers and the amount of effort you put into working with them. The more targeted traffic you have to your site, the better.  If you're not sure how to get targeted traffic, check out  these titles on Amazon.

Shareasale, Rakuten and GoldenCAN are companies that manage affiliate programs for other companies. Join their site to find numerous affiliate programs that you would never be able to find on your own without a lot of time and effort.

Affiliate Marketing Tips

Many popular brands offer affiliate marketing opportunities.  Make sure that the companies you sign up with offer a great experience for your customers. For example, make sure they have great customer service, a good return policy, brand recognition, and quality products/services.  Learn how they compensate affiliates and whether the products/services they offer would be a good fit for your company. If they are a great brand, but their products don't fit your niche, it's probably best to pass on the opportunity.

Another tip for affiliate marketing is to promote products that you actually use or companies that you have had interactions with. If you think a product/company is not above board, don't select their program because of they offer a higher commission. In the long run it will be a headache for you and a reflection on your business to involve yourself with a company that is not above board and fair with customers.

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For example, we are part of the Amazon affiliate program and though we haven't purchased every single product they offer (that would be pretty difficult), we have purchased from them for years, so we're familiar with their policies and customer experience.  We know they have great customer service, product reviews for most every product and a return policy that will allow customers to send items back if they are not what they expected. We feel very comfortable sending our customers to their website to make a purchase. .

Check out our favorite resources and tools for more information on great tools and affiliate programs we use to generate income from multiple income streams. 

Stay tuned for more articles on affiliate marketing and how they work to boost your income.  For a dedicated resource to research affiliate marketing and options, contact us at your convenience.

This page may contain affiliate links. We recommend brands that we have used and believe in, because we feel they are a good match for the interests of our readers.

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