Are you looking for a way to start monetizing your blog? Look no further. Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate income through your blog traffic!

If you’re a brand that wants affiliates to promote your product, read this: Best Practices for Affiliate Marketing as an Advertiser/Merchant

Otherwise, let’s get started!

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way to earn passive income* by promoting a company’s products on your website. You’ll place a link on your website, inside your blog content or through an add in the sidebar, and each time someone clicks through and completes a purchase, you receive part of the profit.

*Passive income is income that’s generated without being actively involved. With passive income as a revenue stream, the cash flow will continue to accumulate with little to no effort on your part.

There is a small hitch, though. In order to be successful at affiliate marketing, you need to have a few basic foundation pieces in place.

  • Have a blog with a following.
  • Truly believe in the product you’re promoting and frequently use it yourself.
  • Your following must be engaged enough that they trust your recommendations.

How It Works

1.Promote a Product You Use

Say you run a travel blog. During your travels you swear by using a certain type of backpack. It’s tried and true, it has never let you down, it shows up in all of your travel pictures, and people constantly ask you about it. Your followers trust that you wouldn’t lie to them about the quality of the backpack and would therefore be likely to purchase it.

By being an affiliate marketer, you can place a link to purchase that very backpack on your travel blog. Then, each time someone purchases it through your blog you’ll receive a commission. The best part is that your readers are not charged a higher price for buying the backpack through your website. It simply works as another sales channel (sans salesman or department store) for companies to sell their products!

2. Write a Product Review Blog
You can start your affiliate marketing journey by reviewing products in your niche. Looking for a sunless tanner that actually works? Look no further. The Small Things Blog has the best recommendation. Interested? This hair, beauty, home, and lifestyle blog’s readers are! By writing a review blog titled “i found a sunless tanner that works!” Kate, the blog’s owner, was able to link to five different products that she recommends in one blog post. FIVE. First, she started by linking link to an product page on Ulta beauty’s website for Jergen’s Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer, which she doesn’t recommend using, by the way. It’s too streaky for her. But, she did suggest using Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Lotion, before also letting her readers know where they could invest in a self-tanning mitt (as to not dye your hands a beautiful shade of orange), as well as where they could purchase her white t-shirt and denim jeans. Shocked?

You should be.

3. Collect Emails

By collecting the emails of your blog’s readers, you can connect with them any time you want. This way, you don’t have to publish a new blog post and hope that they read it – you’ll be able to send out a newsletter and know exactly how many people opened it and how many people clicked through.

Suggested Read: Don’t Let These Email Marketing Myths Hurt Your Campaigns

How Do Companies Know Consumers Clicked From My Page?

I’ll show you, but you have to pay attention. Go back to Kate’s blog and click on the Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Lotion link.

Watch the URL.

Did you see it go through a series of redirects?

The final URL is: http://www.sephora.com/gradual-tan-classic-everyday-body-lotion-P407451?SKUID=1808724&om_mmc=aff-linkshare-redirect-QFGLnEolOWg&c3ch=Linkshare&c3nid=QFGLnEolOWg&affid=QFGLnEolOWg-FU8A8kT5sDCIkiiQV8ek_w&ranEAID=QFGLnEolOWg&ranMID=2417&ranSiteID=QFGLnEolOWg-FU8A8kT5sDCIkiiQV8ek_w&ranLinkID=15-1808724&browserdefault=true

Pretty interesting, right? Companies simply track all of the traffic and sales from your blog via the URL. It’s like using UTM Parameters for Google Analytics.

Do Consumers Know They’re Part of an Affiliate Marketing System?

Some people choose to be transparent about their affiliate marketing being financially incentivized, while others don’t.

Whether or not you let consumers know you’re an affiliate marketer is completely up to you.

Always keep in mind that even though affiliate marketing is a way to earn passive income, it’s still a lot of work to get your blog to the point where you’ll successfully earn revenue consistently over time. It’s like a small business; many fail within the first 5 years. Work hard and make sure you’re blogging about something you love and are passionate about. You can do it!

Have questions? Leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you.

 

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