Blogging for a Profit | Affiliate Products
If you are interested in blogging for a profit, chances are you’ve heard of affiliate marketing and affiliate products. This is a practice where a business or company rewards its “partners” or affiliates for every visitor/customer referred by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. This is an attractive business model for those looking to earn a tidy sum or steady income through their blog. There are several types of affiliate products and success depends on which ones you use and how you market or promote them.
There are many benefits to using affiliate products and services for your blog. If you’re looking to increase your traffic, affiliate products will attract not only those interested in your blog content, but also 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.
There are several reputable affiliate programs and products 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 mind a physical store. There’s no headaches with customer service, shipping, or any other inconveniences a traditional business has. Once your affiliate links are in place on your blog, you can focus on promoting or marketing your chosen merchants however you choose.
The merchants you choose now have a wider market to sell their products to so there’s no need for them to splurge on 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
If you’re 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, e-books, video courses, software, legal advice etc. There’s an overabundance of items you can choose from.
Aside from what you’re actually promoting on your blog, you can earn with various affiliate programs. These are the most popular ways:
- Pay per sale. If your blog reader 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. With this option, your merchants pay you a one-time fee for each referred visitor from 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 the chosen merchant through the link on your blog (which can be a text or banner link), whether that visitor ends up buying anything or not.
- Flat-fee referrals. Your merchants pay you a flat fee per referral you send them regardless of what they buy.
- Single-tier programs. They only reward affiliates on direct transactions they’ve generated, not any additional affiliate sign-ups.
- Two-tier programs. Affiliates are rewarded by direct transactions AND for bringing new affiliates in.
- Multi-tier programs. There are several options merchants can reward affiliates who bring in new affiliates or are able to generate sales of products.
Using Affiliate Products
Now, you have decided you’d like to give affiliate products a try on your blog. Before you get all excited and rush into the nearest program you can find, you need to consider the following:
- Consider your blog’s audience. Don’t forget, they are 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 example, selling subscriptions to fly fishing magazines won’t necessarily work if your blog focuses on weight loss.
- Your personal recommendations. Part of having affiliate products on your blog is promoting them as well. Having relevant products works best because anything else will just sound like a hard-sell when you promote it. Whereas, products you can genuinely recommend or endorse have a better chance of attracting your readers and establishing your credibility as an affiliate blogger. Don’t forget, although you want to attract more traffic to your blog, you want to make sure they keep coming back.
- Quality comes first. Everyone wants good quality and this applies to your affiliate products as well. Do your research and look for products that have a good reputation and consistently good reviews.
- Contextual links work best. There’s many options for displaying affiliate links, but the most successful ones are the ones set in context. Don’t forget, your traffic is visiting your blog for what you have to say and share. If someone is reading your article about gardening and there’s a link to some gardening tools, they are more likely to click on it, rather than if it’s located at the top of your blog or on your sidebar.
- Don’t clutter up your blog. With affiliate programs, that is. I can’t tell you how many blogs I have seen that are CLUTTERED! You do not want your blog becoming one giant advertisement, this is more likely to alienate your current readers than attract new ones. Choose the programs and products that best serve your audience and blog.
- Be honest and open. Be transparent that you do use affiliate products on your blog. Don’t be afraid to inform your readers that they are clicking on an affiliate link. Do not try to fool your readers, you will only be insulting their intelligence….most are smart enough to know and they will stop visiting.
- Track and adjust. The best affiliate programs allow you to track statistics and other data so you can plan your future posts using your affiliate products. This allows you to see which links generated the best results and make any necessary adjustments.
- Remain focused. 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. Don’t get so focused on inserting as many affiliate links as you can that you stop crafting relevant blog posts.
Next: Blog Exposure