Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers: How to Monetize Your Blog - OnlinebizBooster

Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers: How to Monetize Your Blog

When bloggers say they made a fortune from blogging, most of the time, what they really mean is they monetized their blog, turning it into an online revenue stream.

Earning big bucks doesn't happen overnight, however. And the big money doesn't come in until they connect their blog with affiliate products.

Take it from John Chow who is considered a superstar in affiliate marketing. In just two years, he managed to take his online business to a whole another level, generating a monthly income of $40,000 to $50,000.

how to monetize your blog_john chow blog

Another one is Pat Flynn who exemplified what being a phenomenal success looks like in affiliate marketing. He started his online business in 2008, made his first income of around $8,000 the same year. Five years later, his revenue is estimated at more than $50,000.

affiliate marketing for bloggers_pat flynn blog

There's money in monetizing your blog. But if you really want to make more, you should learn how to create an affiliate marketing blog.

Be the next success story. This article will provide you with the right steps to take.

I'll show you:

At the end of this post, we want you to be excited to make the best blog for marketing affiliate programs and get the opportunity to grow your fortune too.

But first...

What is affiliate marketing and how does it work?

Before we delve into the details of monetizing your blog, let's first talk about a blogger's primary source of income - affiliate advertising.

The process is pretty much like earning a commission for every sale you make. The only difference is you promote a merchant's or advertiser’s products or services through your blog.

what is affiliate marketing

Once you join affiliate marketing programs, you'll be given a special/affiliate link to add to your content or post. Whenever a reader clicks the link and purchases a product or service, you'll receive a commission from the sale.

Depending on the affiliate program, you may receive a recurring commission for 12 months or throughout a customer's lifetime. Some even pay you when a visitor only clicks the affiliate link.

You must remember though that marketing affiliate offers won’t make you rich quickly.

It has its pros and cons as well.

  • It's a great source for a passive income, but you're not in control of the products on offer or how you can distribute or sell them.
  • You don't need a marketing experience to become an affiliate, but competition for clicks and leads can be tough. So it pays to have a bit of SEO and digital marketing knowledge.
  • You can market affiliate programs during your free time, so you don't need to quit your day job just yet.
  • Be aware that there are fraudulent affiliate programs, thus the need to find reliable and reputable source of affiliate products to market.

Despite some disadvantages, monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing is beneficial for the web visitor, the advertiser/merchant, and you, the affiliate.

Visitors of your blog get to know products/services that they may never have heard of if not for your blog post.

affiliate marketing benefits

Merchants and advertisers can increase their potential sales and connect to a completely new audience.

You, on the other hand, can help improve the lives of your readers by showcasing products and brands that they need, while building your side income at the same time.

With that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff.

How do you get paid via affiliate marketing with your blog?

When I said the good stuff, what I really meant is one of the most important things that matter - getting paid.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, there are 3 common ways for bloggers to earn money.

Get paid per sale

Pretty self-explanatory. The more sales you generate for the advertiser/merchant, the more commission you receive.

How much you earn exactly may be based on a commission set for a specific sale that comes from your referral visitor. What you make from merchants that offer different subscription plans, for example, will vary accordingly.

Get paid per lead

In this payment arrangement, you earn every time you bring a lead to the merchant. This is often used by organizations that want users to sign up for email blasts, trials, demos, or newsletters.

Some examples of affiliate marketing programs for bloggers that pay up to $100 per free lead or sign up are:

  • Personal Capital pays $100 per qualified lead or valid sign-up. 
  • ShareASale where you earn $30 per lead. 
  • RankPay, a search engine submission website that pays you $25 per lead. 
  • Affiliate Manager that pays $1 per lead. 

While most affiliate programs that pay per lead start at just $1, it can quickly add up. When those leads convert into paying customers, you have the opportunity to make additional sale commissions of up to $100 or more.

Get paid per click

This sounds like a jackpot, right?

But because not all clicks convert to a sale, this is rarely offered by merchants.

Click-through affiliate marketing pays you every time a visitor or reader clicks on a merchant's affiliate link on your blog. This could've been the easiest way to earn money. Unfortunately, it can become quite expensive for merchants. Not exactly a good deal for them.

Regardless of how you get paid to blog about products, one thing is certain - affiliate programs reward bloggers who can generate the most leads so they’ll be encouraged to promote products and services.

This leads us to one of the fundamentals of performance-based marketing - how to monetize your blog.

Affiliate marketing for bloggers: What you need to monetize your blog

One of the questions that have been thrown around for a long time is can you do affiliate marketing without a blog or website?

The answer is, yes.

There are channels that you can use to generate leads and make people click on an affiliate link.

You can promote via social media, online communities and forums, email campaigns, and YouTube. You can also write an e-book that is relevant to the affiliate program and will bring value to your readers.

With a blog or website, however, you can efficiently promote products and improve their exposure. You can also increase your potential earnings by creating shareable content, effectively extending your reach to a wider audience for more potential clients.

blog plan

Of course, you need to create an attractive blog to get a good mix of steady traffic and a long mailing list.

To make it easier to monetize your blog, you must first establish two things:

Steady traffic

You know traffic to your blog is steady and strong if you get the same number of visitors each month. You don't need tens of thousands to start a blog, but a thousand or more would be great.

An alternative would be to identify how many visitors you need to earn a specific amount each month.

Say, you want to make $5,000 a month for a product that will pay you $50 per sale. You'll then need 100 people to click the link and convert.

That shouldn't be too hard to achieve, right?

Don't worry, I'll teach how to get 100 people or more in a short amount of time.

Extensive email list

When it comes to blogging, one of your main goals should be to build your email list. A targeted email list can provide you with returning visitors to your posts and increase your income.

Alternatively, you might directly embed your affiliate links inside your email content.

lead magnet2

Many successful bloggers didn't start with an extensive email list. But many of them managed to grow that number they had through a variety of strategies.

You can do the same thing.

If you’re promoting WordPress themes, for example, cold email businesses and give them feedback about their choice of website themes and what they can do to improve the overall aesthetics and attract more visitors.

You should also join Quora or Reddit, and then answer questions related to the affiliate product you're marketing.

If you're selling e-books, invite people to sign up as beta readers. Make sure to keep them engaged by updating them about the progress of your product.

Now that you have ideas, how do you apply them to practice?

This is the part where you use your blog to its full potential.

How to turn your blog into a money-making machine

Affiliate marketing may not be an entirely alien concept for new bloggers but seeing the entire process for what it really is can be daunting.

The goal is to monetize your blog the right way and, if possible, on the first try, so you can generate income soonest.

The secret? Creating content that converts.

It's all about what you write and say that can make or break your shot at becoming a successful affiliate marketing blogger.

Build and grow your blog audience quickly

​Everything you do revolves around your target audience, readership, and following. The more people you connect with the more opportunities for a bigger payout.

The fact is, it's not easy to build a blog audience much less increase the number in a short amount of time. But it's not rocket science, either.

What you need to do is to create a chain reaction to widen your reach and generate more leads and engagement.

What do you need to make this happen?

blogging is one of the most profitable business ideas


Specific niche and target audience

People are likely to resonate and relate with you if they know that you have a good grasp of what you're selling. In-depth knowledge of the brand you promote will also help you advertise effectively.

Combine that with the knowledge of your target market: 

  • Demographic (age, gender, location, income level, etc)
  • Personal characteristics (attitude, interests/hobbies, lifestyle, etc)
  • Purchasing behavior
  • Decision-making factors, and more

You will become an effective affiliate marketer.

On that note...

  • Only work with brands that is relevant to your blog
  • Promote products that you know will solve your market's problems or pain points

Since this is the first step, consider this as your minimum value product to build on.

If you have an existing audience, communicate directly with them. Create a survey to gain inputs from them. Run polls on social media to find out what other interests they have.

Their response will provide more insights into your target audience and the niche that they identify with. Put two and two together and you can grow your reach.

Compelling and outstanding content

Content is key in affiliate marketing through a blog. After all, whether you sell a product depends on how convincing your blog post is.

The rule is simple - don't write just for the heck of it and NEVER focus on the hard sell.

content marketing

The best content provides readers with:

  • Valuable takeaways
  • Answers and ideas
  • A feeling of enlightenment 
  • Accurate and reliable information
  • Actionable tips on how to apply the information shared
  • Thoughts that engage the mind 

Most importantly, the content should tell a story that people would love to share with others.

Think about it; if you discover a new life hack, aren't you compelled to share it right away?

Once you've published your content, work to keep your blog updated. With a target audience hungry for more of your amazing posts, you need to write more.

Monitor content that is trending. Check out what's being discussed and write about it. Look into the content your competitors are writing and deliver something better. 

Community

Even the best blog ideas for affiliate marketing won't fly if you don't network. So think about engaging with other bloggers as a way to reach out with people who share your goals.

Then, forge a mutually beneficial relationship with them.

There are several ways to become a part of a community of affiliate marketing bloggers:

  • On social media
  • Via email 
  • Through guest posting

Share their social posts, for example, or leave comments on their blogs.

From there, you can build and exchange links and contribute a guest post. Both of which will help you build the best blog for affiliate marketing.

Guest blogging

As previously mentioned, guest posting increases engagement opportunities with other bloggers.

It also allows you to extend your reach in promoting affiliate products. You'll not only advertise to your own target market but to other bloggers' audience as well.

guest blogging

Since you already know your niche (remember requirement #1), blogging about it is easy.

To increase the chance of your post being picked up:

  • Go on a reconnaissance mission and know the blog owner.
  • Pitch your contribution according to what a blogger wants to publish on their website.
  • Use cold email templates to start a conversation. 

When creating a guest post, make sure to add an author bio and a link that points to your website or opt-in page. By doing so, you increase awareness about your website and boost the exposure of the products you're marketing.

Social media

There's no easier way to connect with your target audience than through social media. Add social media share icons on your website and you can easily grow your target market.

This is where the valuable content you created is shared. If it's shared more than 1,000 times, then you will become a social media star.

Once you achieve such status, people will be looking out for your next post and then share it instantly.

social-media-platforms

To get the most out of your social media icons, placement is vital. Your best options are floating on the side, before, or after your content.

It all connects like pieces of a puzzle.

If you want to grow your blog audience quickly, you must know your niche and target market so you can write content that is valuable to them. If your readers share your post on social media, you increase awareness of your blog and establish your credibility as an affiliate marketer.

Engage with other bloggers and you can throw your net over a bigger ocean, so you can catch more fish.

Search engine optimization

Optimizing a blog for search helps bloggers generate organic or paid traffic.

It starts with a good on-page SEO...

  • Writing high-quality content
  • Writing long-form content
  • Switching to a mobile-friendly/responsive design
  • Targeting one primary keyword with a high search volume
  • Optimizing meta titles and descriptions
  • Adding ALT tags to images added to content 
  • Using proper heading and title tags
  • Ensuring fast load page speeds
  • Linking to other pages internally 

But it doesn't stop there.


It should also include backlinks that link out to articles relevant to your content or page. Doing so reinforces the value and credibility of your blog to Google's eyes.

It also boosts keyword relevancy that is sure to help increase your ranking in search.

When building backlinks...

  • Create a linkable asset, any content that people would want to link to. 
  • Link out to trusted and authority websites. 
  • Link out to a page or site that is topically relevant or related to your own blog.
  • Include your target keyword in the anchor text/link.
  • Choose a "dofollow" link so search engines will not ignore the backlink you're building. 

It all connects like pieces of a puzzle. 

Add a money page for the best results

Now, to turn your catch into profit that you can fit in your bank account, you must create a page that is designed to compel people to buy what you're selling.

Aptly called the money page, this page is intended to make you money.

It's one of the vital parts of creating an affiliate marketing blog that earns big.

Creating a money page depends on several factors - the affiliate product you're selling, your niche, and the overall marketing strategy you want to use, among others.

There are a variety of money pages that you can add to your blog. 

Squeeze page

Also known as the landing/capture page, its only purpose is to get people to opt-in or subscribe to your email list.

ebook

It stands out because...

  • It's often different from your standard blog template.
  • It's an in-your-face page with no sidebar, links, or anything else that will distract a visitor from the real purpose of the page. 
  • It comes with an ethical bribe, such as a short course or an ebook. 

Basically, it squeezes a visitor until what little resistance they have left will vanish.

What's even more advantageous, is that the landing page can be redesigned for other products. You can also easily split test it to gauge which converts best. 

Comparison page

As the name suggests, this is where you review 2 to 3 products, giving your target audience a choice.

photoshop vs gimp

By listing down your top-rated affiliate products, you make a sale whichever a visitor buys.

An effective comparison page lists down the pros and cons, best and not-so-best features, pricing, and other details.

Unlike the squeeze page, you can add a link on the comparison page that redirects to a detailed review or to a sales page if you use an affiliate link.

Resources page

The simplest and the most fun money page to create. This is where you put together a list of tools you highly recommend or use yourself to achieve your goals.

resources page

By sharing what works for you, people would be encouraged to use the same products.

Think of the resources page as telling a story while earning a commission by promoting products that are relevant and useful.

Review articles

Writing reviews is one of the most successful strategies of blog marketing.

Statistics show that purchasing decisions of 93% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. The number is even higher for reviews on local businesses. 97% of people to be exact.

adobe photshop review

Clearly, online reviews have a huge impact on consumer decisions.

Providing people with a detailed review will definitely boost your income opportunities.

Take note, however, not to add too many affiliate links for SEO reasons. No need to stoke the wrath of Google and watch your blog's ranking drop. 

Quiz funnel

Not many bloggers use this for monetization purposes, but it has amazing potentials when done right.

quiz funnel

The idea is to get people to start a quiz where their answers will take them to relevant money pages and then join an email list.

Everyone loves a good quiz, which makes this strategy something to play with. But only if it's compatible with your niche.

Want to see what a quiz funnel looks like?

Check out Better Help, Warby Parker, and Blue Bottle Coffee.

Find the best (not just lucrative) affiliate products to promote

The whole process of creating a blog for marketing purposes could start with choosing affiliate products that are high quality and with better conversion rates, rather than with choosing a niche and knowing your target market first.

This is the wrong approach. Not to mention that you could end up focusing on different affiliate programs that are not related to each other.

Therefore, if you establish a niche and target audience first, you can promote multiple products on your blog.

How do you choose the best and most relevant affiliate program?

Two words - no crap!

Regardless of how big the commission you'll earn, never advertise products that are less likely to attract buyers.

happy customer

What’s the point, really?

So, narrow down your options.

Choose a specific type of affiliate offer

  • Physical products are anything tangible, from clothes to electronics. The Amazon affiliate program is the best example. 
  • Digital products and services, such as web hosting, software subscriptions, and digital courses. ClickBank is a prime example of this type of affiliate offers. 

Between the two, you're sure to earn a higher commission rate with digital products. Why not monetize your blog with such offers?

Clickbank example:

clickbank

Besides, you can find here the best affiliate programs with recurring commissions that I promote. I can assure you that list includes only high-quality products.

Pick a commission structure that works best for you

  • One-time commissions, as the name suggests, only pay you once per conversion. 
  • Recurring commissions will keep paying you for 12 months or for the entire lifetime of a customer after the initial sale. 
  • High-ticket sales funnel makes you money through upsells. 

Using these criteria, you can choose which products to promote on your blog.

Use the best strategies to advertise through your blog

Surprisingly this can be done in four steps.

1. Promote the right affiliate offer to the right target market. This goes back to knowing your core audience so you know exactly what to sell them.

2. Use the product yourself to be effective at marketing it through your blog. Your campaign will be weak if you don't completely understand how a product works.

3. Limit the number of choices you provide your target market and you can keep your blog simple and with a specific purpose. Important pages and money pages should be just one click away.

blog resources

4. Maximize impact by placing your affiliate links where they should be. 

  • In product titles when writing a review or about a product.
  • In email content when creating an email list.
  • In video descriptions when you want to increase subscriptions to your vlogs. 
video description

Doing these things is far from easy. But knowing the fundamentals would help you start an affiliate marketing blog the most effective way.

Different ways to add affiliate links to your blog

So you know where to place an affiliate link. This time, I'll teach you the technical side of the process.

Once you get the code from the marketing program you signed up with, you can do one of 3 things:

  • Add it to your blog as HTML
  • Add it to your blog as a WordPress widget
  • Add it to your blog as a Blogger gadget (If you use Blogger instead of WordPress)

Optimize your blog for mobile

To boost your success rate, you must optimize for mobile.

February 2019 statistics showed that 48% of worldwide website views originated from mobile, giving a greater advantage to mobile-first markets such as Asia.

Why not get a share of that pie?

This will prove beneficial if your target market uses their smartphones and mobile devices more than any other gadget.

Mobile optimization is also good for SEO and increases conversion rates, thus increasing revenue.

responsive-design

For a mobile-ready blog...

  • Opt for a responsive design so that your website automatically changes resolution according to a device's screen size. This can be done whether you build an affiliate marketing blog with WordPress or other platforms.
  • Streamline your site for mobile. 
  • Don't use Flash and Java 
  • Break up long posts for readability 
  • Keep file sizes small, especially with graphics
  • Use scrolling to your advantage 
  • Make sure other pages are easy to find and click
  • Don't include many pop-up windows 

Most importantly, test your mobile blog as many times as possible until you're certain it has all the optimum features of a responsive website.

Integrate calls-to-action (CTA) in your affiliate marketing strategy

It’s vital that you tell your target audience what to do with every post. It's how you make money long after a site visitor reads your blog content.

A relevant CTA will lead them towards your primary goal of making a sale for the affiliate merchant and earning you a commission.

While there's no one formula to add a strategic call to action, some of the best locations are the following: 

  • Sidebar
  • Within the content
  • At the end of every page or post
  • Direct link to the opt-in page
  • Homepage

Some of the most highly-clickable CTAs are:

  • Try for free
  • Join us
  • Subscribe
  • Learn more
  • Get started
  • Sign up
call to actions

How do you make the CTA in your affiliate marketing blog stand out?

  • Choose a color that catches attention but doesn't clash with your website's background. 
  • Stick to a simple design and a short copy.
  • Keep the button size sensible, not obtrusive. 
  • Stick to just one CTA, but provide two when you're targeting two different markets 
buttons

More than anything, the CTA must be the next obvious action. Use action words similar to the examples above.

Test, learn and improve

Through testing...

  • You'll catch mistakes that you might have missed. 
  • Gain valuable insights to help you improve your results.
  • Make changes where needed to ensure optimum returns from affiliate programs. 

Split testing is the most commonly used tool in marketing. It's used to compare two versions of your website to see which one works best.

Let's see how Wikipedia is doing it:

A-B testing wikip

source: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FY1415ABTesting.png)

Part of the process is to track where people drop off and make improvements to change results.

For example, if you lose people at the end of the funnel on your landing page, this particular section could use an overhaul.

You can also use heatmaps to check which page your visitors interact the most.

Then, track results using tools such as Google Analytics. 

Ready to take a leap?

Nobody said affiliate marketing for bloggers is easy. But with a bit of work, you can start a blog that is designed to ensure an upward journey towards success.

Use the strategies listed above. Doing so is vital.

Most importantly, just start. Even if you have doubts, take the first step to monetize your blog through affiliate marketing and see where it will take you.

Follow

About the Author

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

>