Affiliate Marketing For Bloggers
1. What is Affiliate Marketing?
This is one of the most common questions we receive, and it’s actually quite simple:
Affiliate marketing is a way for you (the affiliate) to earn a commission for recommending products or services to your friends or readers.
To simplify it, here’s the 5 step process for how to start affiliate marketing:
- You find a product you want to promote
- Do a search for “product name” affiliate program. If it’s on Amazon, you can also promote it
- Sign up for their affiliate program
- You get a special link that allows the merchant to track the people who clicked your link
- If they buy the product, you get a commission.
Pretty simple, right?
It can get much more advanced, but in this post, we’re just going to start with the fundamentals and get you to the point where you’re ready to make your first commission.
2. How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
There are a lot of different ways to track affiliates these days, but all are based on someone clicking your special tracking link.
The most common and basic type of tracking is via a cookie.
When an affiliate link is clicked, a small file called a cookie is stored on the users computer. Then they buy a product, the merchant can see that they were referred by you.
There are also more advanced methods based on the email used or IP address – but we won’t get into those here, we’ll stick to the
3. Here’s How to Start Affiliate Marketing on Your Blog in 8 Steps:
- Step 1: Create a Website or A Blog
- Step 2: Choose an Industry, and then Niche Down
- Step 3: Research Products in Your Niche that You Can Review
- Step 4: Sign Up for the Amazon Affiliate Program
- Step 5: Find affiliate programs for the other products you want to review
- Step 6: Create content in the form of tutorials, review posts, resource pages or emails and use your affiliate link
- Step 7: Optimize the page and track your rankings in Google
- Step 8: Rinse and Repeat!
We’ll cover all of these steps (and more) in detail in this post, but it’s important to understand the general process from the beginning.
4. Choose the Right Affiliate Network
The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network.
Many affiliate networks exist, some of which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
You may have heard of ClickBank, one of the oldest and most popular affiliate networks. A billion-dollar company, ClickBank specializes in digital products like e-books and software, as well as membership sites.
If you haven’t considered selling digital information products, then you should seriously consider doing so considering all the benefits.
Digital information products offer much higher commissions (anywhere from 10 to 75%+) than physical products which usually only offer commissions under 5%.
Also digital information products and can be easier to sell in many cases because people can get instant access and immediate gratification when purchasing a digital information product.
Seriously consider selling digital information products as an affiliate, as they often offer much higher commissions than physical products.
Another network you should consider when it comes to promoting products as an affiliate is Amazon.com. As you may already know, just about any physical product can be sold on Amazon.com.
Though products on Amazon generally offer lower commissions than their digital product counterparts, selling products on Amazon as an affiliate can be a much higher volume business and most people trust Amazon as a merchant, making it easier to sell products as an affiliate.
Finally, in some cases, you may work with a company or individual directly as an affiliate; rather than going through a network.
Entrepreneurs or companies may run their own affiliate program and you can apply directly to them to promote their products and services.
If you see a product that you would really like to promote as an affiliate and the company doesn’t offer a formal affiliate program, you can always reach out to them to work out a private deal as well.
5. Marketing Your Affiliate Offers
We’ve already discussed that you can start affiliate marketing as a beginner with either a website, through social media or digital downloads and email newsletters. Most affiliate marketers use a myriad of approaches to promote their affiliate.
Here are a few more ways you can market your affiliate offers:
- Email marketing: You can start a free email account with Mailchimp, Drip, or another email marketing service and gather email addresses on your website or social channels. Then, use email marketing to send informative affiliate content and promotions to subscribers.
- Video marketing: Does your topic or content show well in video? Consider creating videos to promote affiliate products.
- Podcasting: Podcasts are a simple way to add a multimedia dimension to your website. You can promote affiliate products or services with your listeners.
- Mobile app: Some niche topics work well in a mobile app format, such as coupon and deal sites. If your content with affiliate links is something a reader might need on-the-go, you can use mobile marketing to promote products.
- Guest posts on high-traffic blogs: To increase traffic to your own blog and social channels, offer to write a guest post on popular blogs.
- Paid search ads: Google Ads lets you create ads that can drive targeted traffic to your website. Most social media networks offer paid advertising also.
- SEO for organic search: Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing tactic in its own right. Good SEO helps you get more relevant traffic to your website, which in turn helps you make more money. You may want to use an SEO plugin, and a popular one is Yoast SEO.