If you’ve been blogging for a while or are interested in blogging for profit, chances are you’ve heard of affiliate marketing and affiliate products.
A practice where a business or company rewards its “partners” or affiliates for every visitor/customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts, this is an attractive business model for those looking to earn a tidy sum or steady income through their blog. There are many types of affiliate products and success depends on which ones you use and how you market or promote them.
There are several benefits to using affiliate products and services for your blog. If you’re looking for more traffic, having affiliate products means you attract not only those interested in your blog content, but those interested in your affiliate products. This is an opportunity to welcome new readers to your blog while you earn from any products they purchase using your affiliate links.
Another plus is that there are several reputable affiliate programs and products that are available. These have name recall and brand awareness, so it’s unlikely your readers will need an extensive introduction to such products. Also, as these are online affiliate products, there’s no need to monitor details such as inventory or to mind a physical store. There are no headaches such as customer service, shipping, or any other inconveniences a traditional business has. Once affiliate links are in place on your blog, you can focus on promoting or marketing your chosen merchants however you choose.
In the meantime, the merchants you choose have a wider market to sell their products to, and there’s no need for them to splurge on say, a splashy marketing campaign if they can rely on leads generated by their affiliates. It’s a smart alternative to generating extra income for both parties.
Types of Affiliate Products
Looking to add a little oomph to your blog by sharing affiliate products? It’s best to check out what’s available so you can carefully match what will work best for you, your blog, and your readers. You can choose to market digital products or services such as e-books, video courses, software, legal advice, etc. There are a plethora of items you can pick and choose from.
Aside from what you are actually promoting on your blog, there are also several ways you can earn with various affiliate programs. Here are the more commonly known ways:
• Pay per sale. If one of your blog readers visits your merchant’s site through your blog and makes a purchase, you get a percentage of that sale. This is commission-based earning.
• Pay per lead. In this option, your merchants pay you a one-time fee for each referred visitor of your blog who fills out a questionnaire or application form.
• Pay per click. Similar to the pay per sale model, except that you are paid for every visitor you send to your chosen merchant through the link on your blog (which can be a text or banner link), whether or not that visitor ends up buying something.
• Flat-fee referrals. Here your merchants pay you a flat fee per referral you send them, irrespective of what they buy in their transactions with the merchant.
• Single-tier programs. These programs reward affiliates only on direct transactions they’ve generated, not any additional affiliate sign-ups.
• Two-tier programs. In this model, affiliates are rewarded by both direct transactions and for bringing new affiliates in.
• Multi-tier programs. As the term implies, there are several options merchants can reward affiliates who bring in new affiliates or are able to generate sales of products.
Using Affiliate Products
Alright, have you decided you’d like to try using affiliate products on your blog? Before you jump unto the nearest program you can find, consider the following:
• Think about your blog’s audience. They are, after all, primarily visiting your blog because they like what you have to say. So choose affiliate products or programs that complement your blog’s overall subject matter, niche, and the audience. Think about what products and services are relevant to your audience. For instance, selling subscriptions to monster truck magazines may not necessarily work if you yourself aren’t interested in them and your blog focuses on weight loss.
• Personal recommendations always work best. Part of having affiliate products on your blog is promoting or marketing it as well. This is why having relevant affiliates works best—because anything else will just sound awkward or, worse, hard-sell when you promote it. On the other hand, products you can genuinely recommend or endorse have a higher chance of attracting your readers and establishing your credibility as an affiliate blogger. You want to attract more traffic to your blog, but this also includes making sure they keep coming back. Being open and honest about the products your recommend works in this regard.
• Focus on quality. It’s no secret that everyone wants good quality, and this applies to your affiliates as well. Do you research and look for products that have a good reputation and consistently good reviews.
• Use contextual links to draw readers in. There are several options for displaying affiliate links, but the more successful ones that get the most clicks are when they are set in context. Remember, visitors are hanging out in your blog for what you say and share. If you have an article about kitchen organization and then have a link to some kitchen storage products, readers are more likely to click on it than if it were right on the top of your blog or your sidebar.
• Avoid cluttering your blog. With affiliate programs, that is. It’s akin to your blog becoming one giant advertisement and is far more likely to alienate your current readers than attract new ones. Pick and choose which programs and products that would best serve your audience and blog.
• Be open and honest. This means being transparent that you do use affiliate products on your blog and in some cases, informing your readers that they are clicking on an affiliate link. Don’t fool your readers—most are smart enough to realize it and they’ll stop visiting.
• Track and plan accordingly. Most of the best affiliate programs allow you to track statistics and other data that you can use to plan future posts and/or blog design using your affiliate products. You can see which links generated the most/least responses and make any necessary adjustments.
• Don’t lose focus. Remember, using affiliate products is one way to generate more traffic to your blog, but primarily you should be writing up new and relevant blog posts to draw readers in.
To Your Success,
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