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Can You Really Make Money with Affiliate Marketing on Your Blog?
I’m sure you have heard all about affiliate marketing and how you can use it to make money on your blog. But does it work? Can you really make money with affiliate marketing on your blog?
The answer is yes.
I was able to make my first few affiliate sales with zero followers to my blog even! So, what exactly is affiliate marketing? Just so we are all on the same page, here is the Wikipedia definition:
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, it means that you can get paid for promoting things on your blog. Whether that is a company, a product or a brand. The most common is promoting a product and getting paid when a reader purchases that product.
Depending on each particular affiliate program is how and what you get compensated.
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If you are new to blogging, I am sure this is the one way to make money that you have heard the most about. It is a very simple concept yet when I explain it to anyone outside of the blogging world, they look at me like I’m crazy.
Affiliate marketing is essentially getting paid to advertise or sell for others. I recently found out that companies will even pay you for leads you send to them not just purchases made.
Here is how you can use affiliate marketing on your blog to make money.
Let’s say that your blog is about puppy training. You love to write about how to care and train your puppy.
While writing a blog post about the best products to use for puppy training you will most likely be suggesting the products that you use and trust. Now let’s say that your readers want to purchase that product because they trust your opinion.
If you were an affiliate for that product, your reader could click on a link that would take them to that product for them to purchase it.
This is a win-win for everyone involved.
- Your reader was able to solve their problem and get the product that you recommended to help them train their puppy.
- If they used your affiliate link to click through and purchase that product it will tell the company, you sent that customer and the company (depending on their affiliate program) will compensate you for sending them a paying customer.
- Then, of course, the company wins by receiving a new customer with little effort on their part.
How does it work?
When you sign up to be an affiliate for a company, they will give you a special link that attaches a “cookie” to the reader that clicks through the link. It depends on the affiliate program on how long that cookie will last.
- For example, I believe Amazon’s cookie only last 24 hours. However, I am apart of affiliate programs where the cookie lasts 365 days! This cookie tells the company who sent that customer and it is a way to track where the customers are coming from and who to compensate for referring them.
- So, if someone clicks on your link and has a cookie that only lasts 24 hours that means that if in the next 24 hours they make a purchase, you get credit for it. Unfortunately, if they put that item in their cart and purchase it later after the cookie expires, you don’t.
You can get paid for the leads you bring a company, the sign-ups you bring, or the sales you bring to the company. Again, it all depends on each particular affiliate program.
You can get paid either by a certain percentage or a flat dollar amount.
- For example, I am an affiliate for many courses through Teachable and most of them will pay you 40% per sale. However, I am also an affiliate for SiteGround, and they pay a certain dollar amount per sale. It also grows depending on the number of sales I get per month!
Each program pays out differently, so you have to check those details when you sign up.
All of the affiliate programs I am a part of will pay me even if the customer that linked on my link purchases a different product.
- For example, if I have an Amazon link on my blog to a book and a reader clicks through but doesn’t purchase that book but instead purchases something else in the correct time frame then I will receive compensation for that purchase.
As I said before if they click on your link but don’t purchase your product until later when the cookie has expired you don’t get compensated. However, if they click through your link and purchase everything they have been holding in their cart then you get paid for all of that!
So yes, sometimes you may miss out on a sale because of the cookie expiring but you also have to opportunity to make more if they purchase more, which we all know too well can happen on Amazon!
- Another example is if a reader clicks on one of my links to one of the courses that I recommend such as Michelle course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing that cookie lasts 365 days so any other purchases they make during that 365-day time frame, I get compensated for as well.
There are some stipulations such as they would have to be on the same device they used to click the original link but that is still pretty cool! If that reader that clicked through my link decided later to purchase another product from Michelle, I would get compensated for that!
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
- There is no upfront money needed.
- There is no product creation needed.
- You can make very good money with affiliate marketing.
- You only have to add links to your blog posts.
- There are affiliate programs for every kind of product out there!
- I was able to make my first couple affiliate sales with zero traffic to my blog!
- Although, the more traffic the more sales. Here is how to get traffic to your blog!
- The products are endless!
- You don’t get paid as much as you would for creating your own products.
- You have to remember to always disclose in each post and should put a disclosure page on your blog.
- There are different rules you have to follow for each affiliate programs.
- You have to check your links often to make sure they still work just in case.
- You have to be accepted into each affiliate program and avoid getting kicked out.
How do I find and sign up with affiliate programs?
If there is a certain company that you know you want to work with then you can go to their website and scroll to the very bottom and look for a link that says Affiliate or Affiliate Program.
If they don’t have a link, then you can try to contact them and ask if they offer an affiliate program. Some of the bigger companies use affiliate networks.
These networks host affiliate programs for multiple companies. This just saves that company from having to deal with it themselves. They just have that affiliate network take care of it for them. Some of these networks include Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Rakuten(Link Share).
You can go to those websites and join the network and have access to join hundreds of name brand companies.
If you don’t know a company but you just are interested in a product, then you can google that product + affiliate and it will list all the companies that have that product and offer an affiliate program.
Another obvious one to join is of course Amazon!
There are literally thousands if not millions of affiliate programs out there. The most popular one is probably Amazon. It covers such a wide range of products that you can pretty much find any product you want on there to add to your blog.
Amazon doesn’t pay out a large amount per sale and as I said the cookie doesn’t last long either. They also have strict rules on disclosure and making sure you aren’t hiding or concealing anything from your readers.
Make sure to read through all of the terms and conditions before signing up.
Amazon, like other affiliate programs, only gives you a certain amount of time to make a sale before they kick you out of the program. Don’t worry though you are able to try again to rejoin and make a sale.
Also, know that not all programs will accept you and you can be kicked out.
Side note: In Michelle’s course she brings in an expert to give you tips and advice on how to ensure you are always accepted into affiliate programs and what to avoid to make sure you don’t get kicked out.
- Amazon is a great program to start with for affiliate marketing. They don’t pay a huge amount per sale but they have so many different products that you can add a lot of links to your blog.
- They do have rules that others don’t usually so you want to pay attention to that. One major one is where you are allowed to put the links.
- They let you put the links of Facebook but you can’t use them on all Social Media platforms and they are adjusting the rules all the time so you need to just check the current rules before posting a link.
- They also don’t let you cloak your link, which means to change it to something different.
- What that means is if your Amazon affiliate link for a product is https://amzn.to/2GWDo2c but you don’t want your readers to see that, there are plugins you can use to change the link to be prettier. Such as https://momblogfromhome.com/ringlight.
- BUT REMEMBER AMAZON DOESN’T LET YOU DO THAT.
There are three different options to add affiliate links to your blog from Amazon.
Here is an example of what an Amazon affiliate link may look like with the text and image option.
You can choose if you want the link to only be text so you can add it to any phrase on your blog such as this! This is different than cloaking your link. By changing the link from the Amazon link to a link with your URL it looks like it’s your product and misleads your readers.
Adding it to a phrase in your blog post about that product is not the same thing. Your readers know that by clicking on that link they will be taken to where the product is sold.
Lastly, you can just have it be the image itself with no text like this one below.
Either way that ring light is awesome and I love mine!
Here are some more tips on Affiliate Marketing!
- You have to disclose you are using affiliate links with each blog post and a with a page on your blog.
- Affiliate links she be no follow links.
- Pretty Links is the plugin used to make your affiliate links (other than Amazons) look cleaner and prettier.
- Remember to only share links to products you truly recommend!
- Don’t spam your posts with links.
- Don’t write blog posts to only promote products (too salesy!)
- Here is how I got traffic to my new blog.
- You can add affiliate links to Pinterest! As of right now, you can add affiliate links to Pinterest. That has changed a couple times in the past so make sure you double check at the time of reading this but as of right now you can make pins on Pinterest with your affiliate links!
- If you need to learn how to make images for Pinterest check out my free course right here!
Affiliate Marketing is definitely a great way to make money with your blog. Even if it is new you can easily start earning money on your blog!
Pinterest is a blogger’s best friend and especially a new blogger who hasn’t established SEO and doesn’t have traffic organically coming in.
I really do highly recommend Michelle’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing if it is something you are serious about doing!
I took the course and learned SO much and I did a review on the course that you can check out as well to learn a little bit more about what’s in the course because it is packed with amazing information!
Michelle makes over $50,000 per month with affiliate marketing so she definitely knows her stuff!
I hope this helped answer any questions you had about making money with affiliate marketing.
Have you made any money with affiliate marketing? I would love to hear!
Helpful Blog Posts
- How to Drive Pinterest Traffic to Your New Blog
- Hiding Images in Your Blog Post Can Get it More Views
- What I Use to Grow My Traffic as a Small Blog
- How I made my first affiliate sale (with zero followers)
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- Check out the other ways to make money on your blog with my post – How to Make Money Blogging
- How to Provide Services on Your Blog to Make Money