Making a blog profitable may seem like a thing of the past. Well, I’m here to assure you that it’s not. Yes, the game has changed quite a bit over the years. But in doing so, the ways of making money from blogging have only evolved over time as well. In fact, now there are more ways than ever.
Let’s be real. Some of us pour our hearts and souls into our blogs, and doing it right takes a good chunk of time. It only makes sense to be compensated in some way for our time, effort, and the value that we’ve been adding to the lives of our readers.
Whether your aim is to turn your already established blog into a profit or to establish a blog in the hopes of turning a profit; affiliate marketing can work for you.
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Affiliate marketing is a commission-based business relationship where you (an affiliate) promote a product or service and in return get paid a percentage of the sales that were generated by your referrals. The referral is usually a link or an ad that the reader clicks which then takes them to the companies website. If you have a good money-making idea you can bring it to someones attention and get signed up.
This makes a blog the perfect platform for affiliate marketing.
How to Use Affiliate Marketing?
Getting involved in affiliate marketing can be quite easy. It’s usually just as simple as signing up on a website or shooting off a contact form to a company’s program. If you provide reviews of products or services this is a great way to get involved.
Hopefully, by now you have chosen a niche for yourself. This is important for several reasons but it’s going to play a major role in the success you have.
By having a niche, the products that you promote on your blog will seem like a natural fit and won’t scream of unauthenticity to your readers. A sure way to break the bond established with your readers is to hit them with a bunch of over-the-top and obvious promotion of random products.
Your readers trust your opinions and knowledge, which is why they’re drawn to your blog in the first place. This means that they trust the products that you promote to them as well.
We will discuss different styles of networks next. In the article we did about the different web hosts I work with, you will see that some are on small networks, large networks, and even individual networks. Let me break this down for you to make it easier.
Big Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks are third-party companies that serve as a platform for other companies who offer products or services to promote their affiliate programs. On an affiliate network website, the marketer (you) will have access to many affiliate programs at once. One of the companies considered a big network is AWIN. I would suggest you sign up with them as they have tons of different offerings for you to work with.
- Affiliate networks offer a directory which breaks down products by category.
- This makes it easy to navigate and go straight to the products that fall into your niche. This is also a good way to browse other products from other niches that may not normally be on your radar.
- Affiliate networks offer stats.
- On the more popular sites, the product’s statistics are often made viable. This allows you to check how many people are promoting a given product, how well it’s doing, and how much money is being made by referrals; among other things.
- Companies on networking sites offer ads, banners, and other tools for the marketer to utilize.
- Companies who sign up for affiliate networks are usually pretty serious about their affiliate marketing programs. Sometimes this is the basis of their business model. Due to this, these companies make sure to offer the marketer the tools to ensure that their referrals are a success. A popular way of doing this is through ads, banners, and YouTube videos for the marketer to utilize at their discretion.
- Networking sites are easy to use.
- It’s really as simple as signing up with an email and then browsing the products you’d like to promote on their directory. You are given a personalized link (used to identify you as the referrer) through the site that you then use to promote the products you wish to market.
- Products can be “Get Rich Schemes”
- Much of the products on networking sites are created by companies who are just trying to make a quick buck and then get out. This tends to attract marketers who are in it for the same reason.
- While it’s true that you can make a fast dollar off of these products, it’s usually not a wise decision to promote these programs if your own brand is looking to maintain any sort of longevity.
- You don’t want to break the trust you’ve built with your readers by offering them flimsy products.
- You can only choose from the products being offered on the network.
- Obviously, a given. But no need to worry. The more popular networking sites offer tons of products to choose from anyway.
Small Affiliate Programs
An affiliate program is similar to the above, minus the network. With an affiliate program, you are dealing with the company that offers the product directly. I do like this best.
- More intimate.
- At times going through a small affiliate program can feel more like an actual business relationship. I personally value this more, as I feel like I’ve specifically hand-picked products that I feel passionate about while connecting with companies who I believe in.
- You are able to seek out the products that align with your vision and the vision of your blog.
- You have full control over which products that you promote. This means that you are able to seek out the products you feel would be aligned with your vision while being ethical to market to your readership.
- This allows you to market products that you truly feel would benefit your readers.
- You need to find these companies who offer affiliate programs yourself.
- Not every company who sells a product offers an affiliate program. This isn’t as tough as it may sound and is, in fact, it can be quite rewarding.
- While affiliate networks accept anybody into its programs, companies who offer affiliate programs may do some vetting.
- Although, this is not always the case. And the screening process isn’t too grueling either. This isn’t meant to scare you away. Companies just want to make sure that you have a blog (or another platform), and in some more extreme cases; a blog that would be geared towards promoting their products.
Whether You Choose Big or Small
Whether you choose to go with big affiliate networks, small affiliate programs, or some combination of the two; affiliate marketing is a great way to turn your hobby into a profitable venture. As long as you go about this wisely, picking products that are a good fit, marketing them in a natural way; you are bound to see success from affiliate marketing.
Over time you will learn which software, provider and other assets will help bring your site to profit. There is a lot of information out there and I will continue to bring you as much of it as I can.