Today, for the first day of the A-to-Z Blogging challenge, I’m starting with a round up of one of my very favorite subjects – Affiliate Marketing! These posts, when taken together, will help you learn affiliate marketing basics so you can start making money with your blog.
I love affiliate marketing. I’ve been making an income as an affiliate for the last 10 years. I got my feet wet with Amazon.com, and before long, I was creating entire niche blogs around affiliate products.
Affiliate marketing is a great way for new bloggers to monetize their blog. You don’t need as much traffic to succeed as you would with an ad network, and to be honest, I’m not crazy about ads in the first place. Seriously, why work so hard to get traffic just to send your readers off to somewhere else to buy something??
On the other hand, as a new blogger, you’re still learning how to blog – you may not have the time to create your own product to sell. In that case, you can quickly learn affiliate marketing basics and start getting paid for offering other people’s products.
If you’re hoping to do sponsored posts in the future, affiliate marketing is an excellent way to start monetizing until you’ve got the clout to hook up with those brands you’re interested in. And even later, it can be a steady stream of income that tides you over between larger sponsored projects.
So what exactly is affiliate marketing?
Well, basically, it’s about hooking up with a company of some sort to promote their product. They give you a special link that you can use on your blog, on social media, or where ever, and if someone clicks your link to make a purchase, you get the credit for the sale and a commission. It’s really that simple.
What always seems to create problems for new bloggers trying to learn affiliate marketing basics is this feeling that they have to know how to make sales, and most bloggers don’t really want to be salespeople, they want to write fun or helpful blog posts.
And this is where people get affiliate marketing wrong. You absolutely do not have to be a salesperson. In fact…
Here’s my number one tip about affiliate marketing:
See, that’s the beauty of affiliate marketing – you don’t have to sell a thing!
But you do need to know your niche – and by that, I mean you need to know who you are talking to. Get over this “I want to help everybody!” because trying to be everything to everybody is one of those things that will make your blog suck.
When you know who your niche is, you know what kind of problems they have.
Let me break that down a little bit more – say you’re creating a blog about healthy living. You’ve lost a bunch of weight, and want to help others do it too. Well, which “others” would that be?
- Women with children?
- Older people?
- Pregnant women?
- People with diabetes?
- People looking for fat-burning exercises?
- People looking for food plans?
And that list could go on and on and on – and you have to know which of those people are reading your blog. Because while some of their goals may be the same, retired men and pregnant women are going to have different challenges when it comes to losing weight.
Do you see what I’m saying? While you’re busy trying to be everything for everyone, pregnant women are saying “Half these articles seem like they were written for old men – this is no help for me.” And you end up not pleasing anyone, and you get very few people who come back to your blog.
And here’s a scoop – despite the fact that I know this, I made the same mistake when I started this blog. I thought that focusing on “work at home moms who want to make money blogging” was enough. But do you realize how many different ways there are to blog? To monetize a blog? And I was trying to write for every one of them.
My traffic suffered and my income suffered, because I wasn’t talking to a specific audience. While I had lots of great info, people who came here would often see a lot of information that didn’t really apply to their situation.
Fortunately, it only took me two years (haha 😜) to come to my senses and really “niche down”. I realized I needed to get back to what I know – to “dance with the one that brought me”, so to speak, and that was affiliate marketing. Since I refocused my blog and started writing more posts about affiliates, my traffic has started shooting up. (I also redesigned my Pinterest to be more tightly branded, and my traffic from there is increasing too!)
So. Find a niche. Know who you’re speaking to.
And then, figure out what their problems are. Write posts about solving those problems, then show them where to purchase products that solve those problems.
So there’s my deep insight into affiliate marketing. If you’re ready to learn affiliate marketing basics and more, check out these posts:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing
- What is Affiliate Marketing and How To Use It On Your Blog
- 7 Mistakes Made By Affiliate Marketing Beginners
- 3 Ways to Market Affiliate Products on Your Blog
- How to Write Reviews That Drive Clicks and Sales To Your Affiliate Products
- 7 Steps to Finding the Perfect Affiliate Program
- 7 Steps to Making Affiliate Sales on your Blog (Yes, I love writing posts with 7 steps. Don’t judge me.)
- Why You Should “No-Follow” Affiliate Links – and How to Do It
- How to Install Affiliate Banners on Your WordPress Sidebar
- How to Setup Amazon Native Ads on WordPress
How exciting! I’m done with my first post in the A-to-Z blogging challenge – I hope it was a big help to you! Come back tomorrow, when I’ll be moving on to the letter “B”!
PS: If you’re serious about making money with affiliate marketing, I recommend the Pajama Affiliates marketing course. I love Robin and Lesley – they’re no-nonsense, down to earth women who are serious about helping people create a profit online. They’ve made their money on the internet the same way I have, and they teach the method I’ve used. I appreciate that they made an excellent course so I can be an affiliate instead of having to create my own!
In fact, I purchased their Business Bundle myself, so that I could check it out before recommending it – and I was not disappointed. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or already have some blogging under your belt, I wholeheartedly recommend their courses.