How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is basically promoting someone else’s products and earning a commission for it.
Affiliates create posts that mentions products, get traffic to their post either through social media or ranking the post in the search engines. These visitors click on the unique “affiliate links” that include an ID associated with them. In this way a cookie gets placed on the visitor’s computer, and the seller knows which sales were done by different affiliates.
They can get a one-time payment for a sale and/or a percentage of recurring revenue for the lifetime of the paying customers.
For example, if you were an Amazon affiliate and linked to some of your favorite books with affiliate links, if someone clicked on a link and purchased that book, or anything else in the next 24 hours, you’d get a small commission. Some affiliates have 30-day cookies, meaning that if someone didn’t buy right then but bought 20 days later, you still get a commission. While most affiliates pay per sale, some pay per lead as well.
Do Affiliate Links Work?
If you worry that your readers won’t click through your affiliate links and won’t like the fact that you’re making money, then change your idea about this.
If someone provided extremely valuable information to you, wouldn’t it be nice to reward them a bit? Maybe they taught you something. Maybe they saved you time for not having to search for the information themselves. Maybe they showed you some great uses for a product you were considering buying anyway. Whatever the case, if you’re providing affiliate links in that context, people will want to reward you back.
Additionally, the conversion rate on most affiliate marketing is only a few percent anyways. A couple of people refusing to click on your links won’t make a big difference.
How To Add Affiliate Links To Your Website Or Blog
Put links into all of your posts. Go back to old posts and add links. What are your most popular posts? What affiliate programs go with them?
Ask an affiliate for an exclusive offer. Do this only after you’re bringing that company in some decent sales.
Per actual experience, in-context links work the best, these are the best way to promote your affiliate products with your links.
What do I mean by that? An in-context link basically means that you place it inside a sentence where it is natural to do so.
Don’t try to sell, don’t pressure, just recommend, tell them to look at it. This seems to get the not only the most click through rate; but also the best conversions. People are expecting to be sent somewhere and are already prepared to buy.
The example in this next section demonstrates this use, even though it is not an affiliate link.
How Do You Make It Easy To Place Your Affiliate Links?
Keeping track of all your affiliate links in an Excel grid is a pain. I use Pretty Links to do this for me and it is free and very convenient. With this plugin you can add new links as you go, and insert your already existing links in a very simple way into the text you are typing.
It also changes an “ugly” affiliate link into a format like this: YourWebsite.com/product, which is more pleasing to the eye, you can recognize the link target more easily, and it also keeps track of the number of times people clicked on it, including the IP addresses.
Additionally, if an affiliate link changes and you have it 25 times on your website, you don’t need to go around and find all 25 locations and change them one by one, you just need to change it in the plugin.
In the above example I don’t tell them to click through, I just make the product enticing. Here is another example where I actually tell them, this may work better as new people may not realize that the above was a link…
A sales funnel is key for your profits. You should check out this fantastic book on how this guy makes $8K/ month with his sales funnel.
I think a sentence like that example works best.
Best Places To Post Affiliate Links On Your Blog
If you wrote a review about a product, you can make a big box (red is usually the best color for conversion), or a nice image of the product, with your affiliate link inside the image, and a button with some text like: “Check out the ____ product/website” that also has an affiliate link in it. button affiliate links convert WELL.
There are a few more locations where affiliate links may work well:
• A resources page
• Sidebar banner ads
• Within digital products
It’s worth experimenting to see what works best for your readers and for your blog. Then adjust your strategy accordingly.
For content based sites and review style posts you should place the link at the bottom of the article.
I have found that one thing converts really well – the ‘Offer Box’. People use banners provided by affiliate managers however a clean, simple box converts extremely well.
Comparison and Resource Page
These pages seemingly give people a choice, but in reality, one product is much better than the rest. When you put this product up against competing products, it shows how far better it is and will give your reader the confidence to click through and purchase. If they don’t go with your recommendation and choose a different product, well, that’s an affiliate link as well, so you will still make money.
You can also have a resource page where you list all your recommendations. You can get a lot of clicks from there.
Now, in order for this method to work, your traffic sources need to be external. E. g. from sites like YouTube and Facebook. For this you will need to place your affiliate links towards THE TOP OF THE PAGE…People go directly from these traffic sources to this page, see the link immediately, and a certain percentage will click straight through.
FTC‘s Endorsement Guide
This is an important aspect of your affiliate links: Have you read the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guidelines? The guidelines are meant to ensure that endorsements aren’t misleading. The Endorsement Guide has a section dedicated to affiliate or network marketing.
It’s important to know the FTC requires you to disclose your affiliate relationship “clearly and conspicuously” on your website, so readers can take that information into consideration while reading your post.
The FTC emphasizes the importance of placing your disclosure as close to your recommendation as possible. Don’t place it below your review or on a separate page. Your readers must notice it easily, and they shouldn’t have to look for it.
Note: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States that protects American consumers. If your business isn’t based in the United States, you’ll want to make sure your disclosures are compliant with local laws.
Are You Familiar With The Product You Are Recommending?
In addition to placing your affiliate links to the right place in the right way, there is one more thing to consider in order to be successful in affiliate marketing.
You should only recommend products as an affiliate that you are extremely familiar with, and preferably products that you have used. If you are not confident in the product and don’t feel it will positively help people, then do not promote it. At the minimum, get familiar with the free version/trial of the product. this way you can make your own screenshots and your recommendation will become more unique and authentic.
Also read any other professional or customer reviews you can find. It can happen that a review is biased, because the person is an affiliate, or because some competitor wrote a bashing review. In this case you should really figure out what the truth is and mention these reviews and describe what the real deal is about them. This will make your recommendation a lot more trustworthy, because the people see that you really did your homework.
You would be surprised by the amount of people who haven’t actually used the products they are endorsing. Although affiliate products are created by others, when you start promoting something, the product really becomes yours. If it is a crappy, spammy product, that will shed bad light onto your business.
Your Affiliate Site Content
In order to be successful in affiliate marketing you also need to have the right type of content that gets the message across.
If you have a website filled with high quality, original and interesting content, a higher volume of sales will be the result. Your content must be deep and relevant to the products or services you recommend. There is a lot of shallow content, like 5 steps to the amazing bla-bla. You read them and the barely scratch the surface. There is nothing in the article that the readers can use to improve their marketing.
It’s worth spending time on content that really engages visitors. It usually takes me 3-4 days to write an article like this and I always try to answer questions that your readers don’t even realize they have. Your content (and your site) must deliver real value, and should never look like it is created for the purpose of affiliate marketing. Publishing informative content regularly will help your website gain popularity. Most internet users will click on a link that looks like a good source of knowledge.
Nothing turns people off more than seeing a lot of content which is obviously promotional. Many affiliate marketers place keywords into their text just to attract the right visitors to their content, and the keyword doesn’t even fit the context. Your readers are not stupid.
Regularly monitor your Google Analytics account and make sure your visitors are spending time on your posts and don’t just bounce after 5 seconds. If this happens, you need to fix your content.
Once you have your great content, you will also need to promote it, using social media will be of great help.
Not All Products Are Winners
This is another key that new affiliate marketers don’t realize: You may post 10 or 20 products, but only one of them is going to become a consistent winner.
You need to be strategic about your products. You do this not only by picking products that fit your post, but also by making sure that your promoted products are high-converting and desirable in the first place. Just this one point, if done correctly, can boost your commissions and reduce the amount work you need to put into your website. of a lot more than any other factor.
You can achieve this by checking the sales history of the product (if available), how many sold total, were there any recent sales. Is there a Facebook group related to the product and how many members does the group have? How many reviews are there and how many other affiliates are promoting the product? If you see a lot of affiliate review articles and you get e-mails trying to sell it to you, that is a sign that the product is successful.
Get Ideas From Others
The best way to avoid useless work is to see what is working for others, what is generating revenue for them. I recommend that you take a look at these sites that make over $5,000 per month and see what they are doing correctly, then do something similar…