Last Updated on September 18, 2021 by scottkandh
Are you’re disappointed with the progress of your affiliate income? These pointers will lead you in the right direction so that you can get your affiliate links to start making you some extra bucks.
This post contains affiliate links, I’ll make a commission at no extra cost to you
should you click through and make a purchase.
Affiliate marketing is an art and using affiliate links is more than just randomly placing your affiliate links on a page and hoping that they’ll turn into sales. This blog post aims to change the way that you promote your affiliate links so that they leave you happy because your affiliate links are converting into sales.
I’ve identified several tips that make it possible for your blog to make sales.
From these tips I hope you’ll get the hang of how easy it is to be using affiliate marketing the “right” way.
My blog posts are geared towards the “new” and “intermediate” bloggers. Therefore, let’s take a moment to fill in our new bloggers about what is affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
People click on a product that you’ve recommended. You’ve steered them to the site, and you get a piece of the pie by promoting other people’s products. It’s an easy way to earn money on your blog.
After you’ve joined an affiliate program, they usually provide you with sample images and a link to recommend their products.
For the best results, you’re going to want to use a program like ThirstyAffiliates to cloak the link. Visitors to your blog do look at the link before they click on it. They don’t want to go to a link that has a whole bunch of numbers at the end of the link. With ThirstyAffiliates you add the link that you use for the product and the program changes your link to usually something like www.yourwebsite/recommends/product (don’t click on that link, it’s a made-up link).
Read on to dramatically increase “your” affiliate income.
Reasons why bloggers like to use Affiliate Marketing
- It’s for nearly any niche – Affiliate income works for any niche. For best results you should match your products to your blog’s content.
- Solve problems – one of the best ways to profit from affiliate links is to solve problems that your readers are having and offer them a solution.
When you’re doing affiliate marketing correctly your providing solution to your readers problem. At the same time add a link to your affiliate product that provides more help to fix their problem.
- Great for beginners – New bloggers just starting out don’t have as much traffic as other bloggers that have been at it for a while.
So they won’t probably won’t be able to take advantage of ads or sponsored posts. And they’re unlikely to have created their first digital product yet because they’re learning the ropes of blogging first.
- It’s passive – There’s some work that must be done up front and you need to learn how to set up your blog. Which includes using the right types of content to promote your affiliate links. Once everything is in place, there’s not much more to be done.
- You don’t need a lot of traffic on your blog – the people that are going to buy something from your blog are the people that
- trust you
- listen to your advice, and
- are following your blog posts — they are your subscribers.
That’s why it’s so important for you to at least once a week to contact your subscribers. This is something I personally haven’t been doing because I feel like I’m bothering them with e-mails. But that something I need to overcome, especially since I’m working on a new online course.
Working on a new online course that you’re going to be introducing? That would be a great example of a time that you should be contacting your e-mail subscribers.
That would be the opportune time to let them know about your upcoming online course. One of my to-do items is to add my new RSS subscribers to ConvertKit (they don’t get added automatically).
Tips on how to Make money with Affiliate Marketing for your Blog
Create a resource guide
A good way to maximize affiliate revenue for your blog is by creating a resource guide. It’s list of all the resources that you’ve used and that you recommend that are in your niche. Don’t forget to include a short explanation as to why you’re recommending the items in your resource guide.
To make it easy for your visitors to find you’re going to want to put a link on your homepage or in your menu bar that points to your resource guide.
One of the reasons that resource guides are so helpful is for the curiosity that people have (especially bloggers maintaining a site of their own). They might be wondering what other bloggers are using for their website. Please have a look at my Resource Guide on the post called: Free Resource Library and how to grow your blog series post.
Create gift guides!
Write a post a post that’s actually a gift guide and includes your affiliate links. For example, one of my posts has more than 8,000 Social Shares for Star Trek Pins.
Rather than having the existing post cluttered with too many affiliate links that distract from the page, another post can be created called Star Trek gifts and at the same links to the viral post.
You’ll want to create gift guides that are related to:
- Your niche
- The Seasons and
- Special occasions
What makes a gift guide a good opportunity for affiliate marketing? People are going to be in the buying mood when looking at your gift guide. It’s especially helpful for them if you’re providing suggestions for them that they can buy a gift for someone else. For example, I’ve often seen are what to buy a blogger for Christmas.
Create a bunch of Pinterest pins!
I highly recommend creating a minimum of at least 10 pins per blog post. One of the bloggers I know on Facebook creates 50 pins for each of his posts.
Pinterest is a gold-mine to promote your blog and has a search engine optimization technique all of its own which is unique to Pinterest.
One of the things to know and keep in the back of your mind when creating your pins is that there’s a type of intent called investigational intent.
It’s where a user is searching for information and they’re likely to make a purchase. Pinterest is used by many people that are unknowingly using the technique of investigational intent. You can promote a lot of information from within your Pinterest pins to promote your blog.
By putting descriptive information in the Alt + Text field, the description of the pin, the file name that you use for the pin, and the description that you use when you pin it.
You also need to ensure that you’re using keyword research properly, and that your optimizing your blog posts for the search engines when they crawl your website and index it. This is one of the best techniques (other than SEO itself) to grow your Search Engine Optimization (by using Pinterest).
That’s why it’s imperative that after you’ve created your affiliate post, that you’ve also created images to pin. A minimum of at least two and preferably 10 or more.
Create posts dedicated to ‘selling’ affiliate products
The main objective for when you’re writing your posts is to be solving problems and they appear that they are designed for your readers. The posts need to be designed in a way that naturally leads to your bloggers wanting to make a purchase.
I thought that at one time a good way to capitalize on affiliate marketing would be to promote your top posts that are bringing traffic and focus a lot of your attention on those posts. However, after doing my research I’ve found that it’s better to create posts that are “specifically” designed to sell your affiliate links.
What you want to avoid is that you’re not saying buy this product and here’s why you need to buy it now.
More than likely that’s the problem I’m having on my blog that I don’t create posts dedicated to solely selling affiliate products. I’m in the middle of updating PinArtwork’s SEO Hurdle Course.
Even though my online course isn’t an affiliate product, the same method would apply in this circumstance to write a blog post specifically about the online course and promote it. The shell of the course has been created with the various lessons and there are still a few lessons that need to get updated and then it should be ready within a week or so.
I know that I’m getting a little off the topic, but I’m writing this as a memory tickler.
To recap if you’re also designing an online course, your efforts would be similar to mine that:
- Write the post with the intent to solve a problem
- Deliver real value and provide helpful solutions
- Naturally lead your visitor to buy the affiliate product
Create posts targeted at the right keywords
When you write your posts, they need to be created in mind with which intent are you writing the blog post for to make the sale. There are four types of Google searches which are:
|Type of intent||People want to…|
|Informational intent||Find information on a specific topic|
|Navigational intent||Access a specific website by entering the term in a search engine (i.e. PinArtwork).|
|Commercial intent||Doing research before making a purchase|
|Transactional intent||Buying something, after they’ve done their commercial intent searches|
Investigational is also referred to as Commercial intent. You’re more likely to make affiliate income by using Investigational keywords.
This is the intent that your visitor is more likely to buy an item and they are doing their last bit of research before deciding to make their purchase.
Now at this point, I honestly can’t tell you the difference between an Informational and an Investigational keyword. Because I’ve just learned about this myself. But I want to learn about the difference between the two and so should you.
Because one of the biggest mistakes that many bloggers make is that they are targeting their affiliate marketing using informational keywords rather than investigational keywords.
If you look back up to informational keywords that’s the instance where people are just browsing on the Internet and are unlikely to make their purchase.
I have two programs called KeySearch and Ubersuggest to look up keywords.
To the best of my knowledge, neither of those two programs tell you if a keyword is an investigational or informational keyword. My educated guess is that comes with experience as you learn about affiliate marketing
Do your keyword research
If you don’t know how to do proper keyword research, I’ve written an 11-part blogging series on it.
- A Keyword Research Glossary for Bloggers
- Need more Traffic Focus on using a Holistic SEO Approach
- The importance of using a Holistic SEO approach
- How to improve your SEO score with Keyword Research
- Keyword Research Strategy to defining your blog’s mission and USPs
- Keyword Research – How to make Conversions
- Using Content in your Keyword Research
- Examining Keyword Research to Optimize your website
- The Basics of proven best Keyword Research
- How to do Keyword Research for SEO
- Holisitic SEO Wrap Up for new bloggers
What really helps make a difference is having traffic coming to your blog. With more people and traffic coming to your blog, the opportunities for sales get proportionally increased.
For more information on that topic, I just wrote a blog post called: How to get your Blog Noticed and Increase your Page Views
One of my favorite bloggers is Eb from Productive Blogging. In a post that I wrote called: 10 Sites to become an expert at Monetizing your Blog Eb is featured right at the top of the blog post for being my #1 site to monetizing your blog. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing keyword research.
However, I personally (and I’m sure that you do to if you have a blog) want to bring my knowledge of doing keyword research to a new level that’s why I’m recommending her post called keyword research for bloggers it gives step by step instructions to exactly how to do keyword research and includes keyword research calculator!
Don’t sacrifice quality and value for affiliate links
Here’s one of the best kept secrets for how to make money from affiliate marketing. Deliver high quality and valuable content to your readers on a regular basis.
Content to help solve problems and I as mentioned before and to stress an important point to naturally persuade them to buy your affiliate product.
What you don’t want to do is to place so many affiliate links on one of your posts that it’s so full of affiliate links that your going to lose trust with your visitors and it’ll be obvious that your in to try and make money. Don’t make that obvious.
When people start spending more time around on your blog and you start to see average session duration substantially change, you’re more likely to start seeing the sales from your affiliate sales. Because you’ve earned their trust.
Get serious about email marketing
Your websites subscribers are one of your best chances to make money from affiliate sales. If you think that you’re going to be making money from your blog posts, it’s the other way around.
The reason behind this is that people normally buy from someone they already know rather than perfect strangers. E-mail marketing is an extremely important item that you can use to making more affiliate sales.
A person on your e-mail list is more likely to buy than a reader on your blog. One of the ways that you can take advantage of using e-mail for your affiliate links is to create a welcome sequence.
After new users have subscribed to your blog, they’re greeted with a series of e-mails that you devise to send them e-mails on a regular basis, like one email every day for a period of 7-days.
ConvertKit has the ability to do with their program. At the present time the number of subscribers on my website is 94. The free version of ConvertKit only allows managing up to 1,000 subscribers.
I’ve got a number of subscribers that I need to add to ConvertKit and very soon I’m going to start using the Creator version of ConvertKit and start making e-mail sequences.
So some of my next posts are going to be concentrating on suggested e-mail sequences that you can use.
The “Creator” version of ConvertKit costs $29/month and here are the advantages of that program (which includes automated funnels and sequences):
Manage 1,000 subscribers
Unlimited landing pages & forms
Send email broadcasts
Sell digital products & subscriptions
Here’s a very basic e-mail 7-day campaign example:
- 1: Welcome and here’s your freebie
- 2: Follow up regarding the free offer
- 3: Share a story about life without your product or service
- 4: Share testimonials from previous customers – with link to your Sales Page offer
- 5: Uplifting personal story and walk through all the benefits of your offer
- 6: Establish a deadline – price going up soon
- 7: Reminder: special offer ending soon
This is a simple Sales Funnel example, provided to give you the general idea! Once a customer has demonstrated that they will open up their wallet to purchase a product from you, they are far more likely to buy future offers. Paying customers are the best customers.
By nurturing your subscribers in the long run the more affiliate products you’ll sell.
When you do e-mails to your friends, mention your affiliate links in those e-mails.
Take your affiliate marketing to another level by treating the affiliate links that you have like they were your very own product. Build a sales funnel that’s purely dedicated to having your subscribers buy the product that you’re recommending.
The thing to remember though is that in your e-mails to your subscribers (and your friends as well) that you’re not twisting any arms. Don’t try “too hard” to sell your product.
You don’t want to come off as over the top. You need to strike a happy balance.
Pro-Tip: One of the ways to that is to subscribe to other people’s blog posts and then when they send you their sales pitch take a look at theirs and emulate their technique.
Remember that you want to:
- Come across as being “helpful” to your readers.
- Only recommend the products you personally use and believe in
For more information about e-mails and sales funnels, please take a look at my post called: Learning the secrets of blogging success – use funnels
Keep it Legit!
Here are the 3 main things you should focus on because you need to follow a few simple rules and stay legit with certain legal requirements (i.e., an affiliate disclosure).
1. Make sure you properly disclose your affiliate links – Don’t break any advertising rules and be honest with your readers.
2. Make sure you make all your affiliate links No Follow – this is required by Google and failure to do it “could” negatively affect your SEO.
3. Make sure you read and abide by the affiliate merchants’ terms of service – if you don’t you could get kicked out of the affiliate program. For example, check to see if you can promote your affiliate link in email marketing. (Not all affiliate programs permit it).
Make an ‘Affiliate Links’ page – Once you’ve done a good job of affiliate marketing, visitors to your blog will start asking about where your affiliate links are. Don’t wait for that, be proactive and post a link to your Affiliate Links post. The post or page should lists all of the affiliate links that you have.
This is the link to my Affiliate Links page and there are a few affiliate links that I still need to add to the page. Plus, it also makes it easier for you to see what affiliate programs that you have on your blog, and they may even prompt you with a post to write.
The last time it was updated was in late July so I’m not too far behind and there might be just one or two that I need to add to the list. I’d suggest checking it about once a month or so. More often if you have a lot of affiliate links.
Optimize your blog posts for SEO
Learn how to take advantage of Holistic SEO for your blog. Don’t stop at keyword research, also spend some quality time to optimize your blog posts. For help with this topic, refer to my blog post How to get your Blog Noticed and Increase your Page Views
Use Monster Insights Headline Analyzer – “Did you know that 36% of SEO experts think the headline is the most important SEO element?
Yet many website owners don’t know how to optimize their headlines for SEO and clicks. Instead, they write copy and hope for the best, only to see disappointing results.
Now there’s an easier way! With the MonsterInsights Headline Analyzer, you can get targeted suggestions to improve your headlines, right in the WordPress editor.”
I’ve been using this tool and I love it. When using this tool, I often see the headline score increase by 30 to 40 points. Eventually all of the little things that you do on your blog will increase your search engine optimization results.
Optimize your blog posts for affiliate sales
Just as you need to take the time to optimizing your posts with SEO, you also need to devote time to optimizing your posts for your affiliate sales.
Don’t take for granted that people are going to click on your affiliate link if you’ve only put it on the page one time, you need to provide opportunities throughout the post for your readers to click on the affiliate link, i.e., beginning, middle, and end of your post.
One of the reasons behind this is that some of the readers might not even make it to the end of your post.
One of the ways to make your post natural is to put yourself into your readers shoes and “thoroughly” help with their problem. Casually mention and provide a link to your affiliate product. Here are some examples that you can put right at the end of your post:
- if you really want to excel at this
- if you want to take this to the next level
- do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way
Remember also that you want your visitors to believe and trust you so include:
- Why you personally recommend this thing.
- What has been your personal experience of it?
- Why do you recommend this one and not other similar products?
- This type of personal recommendation and experience will often seal the deal!
Optimize your top posts
One of the first things that you should do (if it hasn’t been done already) is to look at your top blog posts and optimize them for affiliate income.
It’s possible that you might not be able to provide an affiliate product for them but give it your best try because they’ve already proven that they’re bringing you traffic.
Don’t add an affiliate link just for the sake of adding one, the affiliate product needs to be related to your post contents. Two good programs to look at your top posts are Google Analytics and Jetpack. I prefer to use both.
Picking the right affiliate products for your blog post
First, pick products that you know your audience is likely to buy.
Second, pick products that you ‘truly” believe in. If you promote the product and you don’t really like it, it’s going to show and you’re unlikely to make a sale.
Third, focus your affiliate marketing efforts on the items that are making conversions.
Monitor and do more of what works
The best piece of advice from this entire post is to take a look at all of these suggestions. Try some of them out and see if they work for your blog.
Monitor the progress of the changes that you’ve implemented to see results, use the post I wrote called: Setting goals and objectives with SMARTER goals to set your goals of the suggestions that you want to implement to start making money with affiliate marketing for your blog.
For a whole bunch of what kind of posts to write, here’s a good post with a slew of various posts that you can write to build up your blog’s content – 52 Types of Blog posts to substantially grow your blog.
I’m careful to only recommend products and services that I feel new bloggers actually need. I also provide lots of free resources (freebies) too.
I’d like to hear from you. What’s your best tip for increasing affiliate income? Let me know in the comments below!