Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn money online and it’s also one of the best ways to promote your own products and make more sales. However, there are quite many things to keep in mind to earn a successful affiliate income. To help you out with that, I have prepared a full guide to affiliate marketing for bloggers, either you want to start working with affiliate programs OR make your own affiliate network.
Either you’ve decided to earn additional income with blogging, get more profit from your existing hobby or create an additional source of passive income, you might’ve heard that affiliate marketing is a thing to look into.
I’ve worked with affiliate marketing for several years and I can say for sure – no matter how big is your audience or what are your overall business goals, getting into affiliate marketing has only win-win kind of an outcome.
In this article, I have gathered tips that will help you earn successful affiliate income without losing too much time or focusing on the wrong path. I’d consider this article as a one-stop guide to affiliate marketing for bloggers, from A to Z!
Introduction to affiliate marketing for bloggers: what is affiliate marketing and how it works?
As Wikipedia dearly explains, “Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.”
Basically, affiliate marketing means earning a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products.
The task of the affiliate is to search for a product that he/she likes and then promote it, earning part of the profit for each sale made.
The sales are tracked with affiliate links that indicate your specific sales driven. You get a personalized affiliate link as soon as you sign up or get accepted in the affiliate program.
Affiliate marketing for bloggers is one of the best and most effective ways to earn passive income online. Since you’re already writing about your experiences and, quite possibly, adding links to relevant products, why not to earn additional income from it?!
The benefits of affiliate marketing for bloggers
As I’ve already mentioned, affiliate marketing is a quite versatile and overall good way to earn income online. However, let’s look into some of the benefits of affiliate marketing for bloggers!
- Passive income. Putting links in your blog posts and then earning money from your visitors is considered as one of the most effective ways to earn passive income. However, don’t get fooled! It’s not entirely passive and will request some preparation work before successful affiliate income start rolling in.
- Recurring revenue. Some of the best affiliate marketing programs offer repeated monthly revenue as long as your offered customer keeps purchasing the service you’ve suggested.
- Long-term strategy. Being an affiliate is a great long-term strategy not only to improve your income but also to drive more leads to your website, improve your SEO score and add more value to your content.
10 tips for earning successful affiliate income
Becoming an affiliate seems very tempting: you can earn commission per sales made and sell any type of product that has an affiliate program (and most of them do!).
But how to earn successful affiliate income without losing your mind over it?
You can see high-earning affiliates in many different niches:
- mommy and fashion bloggers, sharing clothing advice, daily products they use, cosmetics, kitchenware
- digital marketers and online business owners, earning income from sharing their favorite tools and software to use
- people in fitness, art, interior design or cooking… And well beyond that!
Even with small traffic, it IS possible to generate consistent affiliate income.
So here are some tips to keep in mind before getting into affiliate marketing:
TIP #1: Quality over quantity
Will it be more profitable to choose many different affiliate programs instead of focusing on one? No, it won’t! It’s really one of the first lessons you should learn when getting into affiliate marketing in general. Quality matters, quantity doesn’t.
Just like with anything else in life – half-done will never be really better than completed. Make sure to write ONE blog post with tons of useful info instead of writing ten with vague tips. Choose 3 powerful and relevant affiliate programs instead of 15 kind-of-good. Devote your mindset to your set goals, instead of wandering around and trying to do everything everyone else is doing.
TIP #2: Position yourself as an expert
One of the best tips for working with affiliate programs is to position yourself as an expert in the field. Let’s say, you’ve become an affiliate for the online course program. Writing one article about the program could give you some profit. But how about writing ten or making your whole blog about it? Positioning yourself as an expert will make you the go-to person in the field. Besides that, having your blog related to the topic will make it way more trustful than just having an article or two related to your affiliate product.
TIP #3: Choose relevant affiliate programs
One of the most important tips when it comes to affiliate programs for bloggers is this – choose relevant affiliate programs and don’t join a program just because it’s there.
That’s also why most of this blog post will be about choosing the best affiliate program for your blog and for your business goals. So it’s also tip #3. Choosing relevant affiliate programs IS crucial to your success! Who will buy if no one will be interested in your offer?
TIP #4: Join less popular affiliate programs
Amazon is great but… everybody uses it! Being an affiliate on Amazon can turn out to be tons harder than being an affiliate for a smaller brand. Most of the products are already massively promoted elsewhere, therefore, your offer is not unique.
While less-known programs, on the other hand, give you a chance to promote something really unique, interesting and many people might see this offer for the first time!
TIP #5: Make sure people know the product you’re selling
It’s great to be an affiliate for a product or company people already trust in. If you’re partnering with a new product or brand, selling will be hard since you’ll have to help the brand get the client’s trust first. As soon as you partner up with someone/something people already know and trust in, your job gets easier – all you need to do is to sell the product because trust is already there.
Yes, this is contradicting my previous point. But the golden middle way is the way to go! Find a brand that doesn’t have TONS of affiliates but does have the trust of their customers, that’s your way to successful affiliate income.
TIP #6: Make sure the commission rate is worth your time
Successful affiliate income is not only about the product you’re selling but also about the outcome of your effort – the commission!
Here’s the difference between being an affiliate for, let’s say, Amazon or little less known brand. On average, Amazon pays around 5% per sale. Smaller or little-known brands have commissions starting from 10%, on average being around 30%. Doesn’t this sound way better? Working your butt off for 30% rate is way more reasonable than 5%!
For example, MyThemeShop – WordPress theme shop – offers a 50% affiliate rate from each purchase made.
While Kartra – all-in-one online business platform – offers 40% recurring revenue.
TIP #7: Know what your audience is interested in
Choosing a program that will be interesting for your audience is the most important tip when it comes to affiliate marketing for bloggers.
For example, my blog is focused on different ways to earn an online income, especially, passive income. Therefore, I can clarify what kind of products my readers would be interested in and what would be the best affiliate programs to join for me. In my case, my most successful affiliate income is coming from online course creation programs, as well as WordPress themes.
Always narrow your field. Being a blogger and selling everything will lead you nowhere. Make sure to spot what YOUR audience is interested in. Make sure to check under the surface. Dig deep into what your reader is searching for.
TIP #8: Try the product you’re selling
Being an affiliate for a service or product you haven’t tried out yourself is plain cheating. After all, being an affiliate is all about suggesting something for others. Besides that, it’s just more of the work for you. Instead of sharing your experience and opinion, you’ll have to do additional research to understand the product.
The best affiliate programs to join are the ones for products you stand and fall for, for the products that you can actually write about and share your knowledge on.
TIP #9: Truly believe in what you’re selling
This one is closely connected with Tip #8. If you’ve tried something but you don’t like it – don’t try to sell it! Selling only products you truly like yourself will be the fastline to successful affiliate income.
TIP #10: Be picky and stay true to your goals
There are TONS of affiliate programs to join, many of them are truly great. My 10th of tips for working with affiliate programs is to find something that you feel like a great fit in all of my previously mentioned categories.
It should be a product or service you’ve used and you’ve liked. It should be something with a good commission rate and something people really trust in. But don’t follow the crowd!
Doing what everybody else does is not the path to success! Use the option to really tailor your chosen affiliate programs to your blog. Connect with the products and services and understand WHY your readers should be interested in it.
How to find good affiliate programs to join?!
As previously stated, finding relevant and good affiliate programs to join is an important step to successful affiliate income.
But where exactly to find such programs if you’re starting from ground zero?! It’s one of the most common questions when it comes to affiliate marketing for bloggers. Here are some ideas!
- Research bloggers in your niche. What kind of programs are they using? Would any of this be relevant for your audience? Can you get the inspiration for some new products to promote?
- See if products/programs you use and love have affiliate programs. These days almost any online tool does have an affiliate program so make sure to consider it!
- Google it. Sorry, I had to state the obvious! Sometimes simply Googling “your niche affiliate programs” will lead you to great results.
- Review the list ahead. I have gathered some of the best affiliate programs to join for online business owners in the next part of this article!
The best affiliate programs to join for online business owners
Keep in mind that the best affiliate programs to join are the ones that are the most relevant to your audience! However, I have gathered a list of the best affiliate programs to join for online business owners so take your pick if any of this seems relevant:
- Amazon (various products) – big commission range, from $3 to 10%, depends on each specific product/niche
- Kartra (All-in-one online business platform) – 40% recurring payment for all sales
- Pixelgrade (WordPress Themes) – $30 per lead
- MyThemeShop (WordPress Themes) – 50% per sale
- Tailwind (Pinterest scheduling) – $15 credit per lead
- BlueHost (website hosting) – starting from $65 per sale
- Shopify (Online store creator)
- SumoMe (Marketing tool)
- Mailchimp (Email marketing)
How to create your own affiliate program?
If you are an online business providing services or products, you can create an affiliate program for your product.
Keep in mind that some percentage or commission from each purchase will be paid to your affiliate (the one who will share your product). You are the one in charge of the commission rate, but don’t make it too low, because people won’t be interested in joining.
What are the products you can share through affiliate links? Whatever is on your mind!
- Your services like design, copywriting or photography;
- Physical products like jewelry, books, furniture or literally ANYTHING else;
- Digital products like e-books, online courses, webinars, etc.
Affiliate product networks
So you have decided to create an affiliate program for whatever you’re offering. Where to go and what to do? You’ll have to join the affiliate platform which will generate links for you, track your budget and show you how much your affiliates are getting in revenue (also how many clicks they’re getting to the shared links). These platforms are easy to understand and simple to use. They cost from $15 to more than $50 a month, but are so worth it!
- Directtrack – widely considered the world’s leading affiliate marketing and affiliate software tracking platform—powering the largest and most reputable affiliate networks and in-house affiliate programs;
- SendOwl – ”The only e-commerce platform that cares about conversion rates, ease of use, and owls”;
- WPAffiliateManager – Affiliate plugin for WordPress websites;
- LeadDyno – The best affiliate tracking software. Recruit affiliates, help them promote, and build a commish-only sales force. Works with any website.
How to choose the best affiliate network for your business?
Trust your gut is my main advice!
But besides that:
- See how long is their trial period. They vary from several days to a month. SendOwl has month trial period, which is one of the main reasons I made my choice the way it is!
- What’s the monthly price? It varies because whatever these platforms are offering varies a lot as well. Maybe you don’t need those top-notch options? There are affiliate websites that don’t look THAT good, but are offering pretty decent options! So take a look at least through few before making your decision. That can save your bank!
- How’s customer support? If you feel like diving into something that you’ve never experienced before, customer support is SUPER important. I have to be honest – I never really use it, except for some of my Squarespace issues. But in this case, I took a look at what each website is offering because we’re talking about money here, after all…
- How do they connect with other websites? Most likely your affiliates will be able to get paid through PayPal in any of these. But in case you’re curious about other options, take a closer look and make your decision wisely! Also make sure that your affiliate platform is not specified for a website host that is not yours (for example, WordPress only).
As soon as you’ve chosen, you just have to follow the instructions that will be provided by each website. In most cases you just have to provide your link to the product you’re sharing, some additional information & you’re good to go! You will receive the link that can be shared for people to join your affiliate program.
I hope this full guide to affiliate marketing for bloggers will help you to establish passive income with your blog and earn a successful affiliate income!
Do you have any more questions about affiliate marketing for bloggers or the best ways to earn successful affiliate income? Leave them in the comments!