Affiliate Marketing: The One Thing Most People Do Wrong

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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 turn to affiliate marketing and get 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 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.

But it’s not true, and this is where people get affiliate marketing wrong. You 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?

  • Men?
  • Women?
  • Women with children?
  • Older people?
  • Teenagers?
  • 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.

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.

Don’t sell to your readers. Figure out their problem, then show them the solution.