There’s literally millions of bloggers out there in the world and with over 70 million of them on WordPress alone you’d think the problem of monetizing your blog would be something that is long solved.
Monetizing anything is always a challenge, but thankfully bloggers have one advantage due to their large body of content: affiliate marketing.
If you want to make decent money online from your writing then you should monetize your blog with affiliate marketing.
In this affiliate guide we’re going to take you through the 5 steps of monetizing a blog with affiliate marketing.
So without further ado, here’s how you can go about turning those thousands and thousands of words into a veritable gold mine.
1. Choose relevant affiliate programs
Because affiliate marketing is an activity about connecting people with products they want you need to make sure you choose your affiliate programs wisely.
Picking the right set of affiliate products to promote can mean the difference between a good conversion rate or a poor one.
Here’s three tips for picking the right affiliate products and programs:
- Make sure your audience will want the product or service – this is affiliate marketing 101, the customer has to have the desire to purchase the product. Better yet, it helps if they’re just about falling over themselves to buy the product. Nothing helps your conversion rate more than motivated buyers and a better conversion rate means less traffic for the same money (or more money for the same traffic if you prefer to look at it that way).
- Make it un-boring – depending on your niche your range of products to promote can be quite boring. So what can you do to jazz it up? Sometimes if you put on a bit of a show, do some demos, report on statistics, and more you can make even the most boring product sound exciting to potential customers.
- Reinforce your trust – a blogger survives by their audience having trust in their recommendations. Are the product you are promoting trustworthy? Would you be happy to genuinely recommend these products to your audience? If the answer is no or you have a gut feeling that it might sounds a bit scamming then it’s better to err on the side of caution. Trust is a fickle thing, so you only want to promote products and services that reinforce that trust.
2. Create powerful content
You’re probably already doing this, but if you’re not creating sticky content and building your audience then you should start writing more engaging, powerful content.
A good metric to watch is to measure the number of subscribers you’re gaining via your articles (you are building your list, right?).
By writing epic content that really grabs people’s attention and adds value to their lives you’re boosting the popularity and trust of your blog as a whole.
A popular blog can not only drive more traffic to affiliate offers but it also carries more weight when it does make a recommendation.
So be consistent, create great content and always aim to add value to the lives of your audience because without them you don’t have a chance of making anything substantial with affiliate marketing.
3. Review what your niche uses
Reviews are a super powerful way to generate affiliate commissions.
In fact in our new e-course (which you should sign up for by the way) one of our experts explains how he dominates the search engines by creating reviews of products his audience are actually wanting to see and use.
For a blogger, there’s no better way to leverage the two main assets you have: your content and your audience.
Here’s 4 tips to keep in mind when creating a great review:
- Always be genuine – since people have heard how great reviews are for affiliate marketing there has been a spike in fake reviews about the place. Always try to be genuine when you’re reviewing a product or service and don’t just copy what others say about it. Expose the positive and negatives if you can.
- Demo the product/service – I know it’s hard but ideally you should demonstrate the product or service in action, people trust reviewers more when you can show them the product in action.
- Go in-depth – don’t be afraid to write an epic article explaining all the ins and outs of the product or service. Lots of people do research by reading reviews before buying. Go in depth and give them what they want.
- Review things you use – putting a personal spin on your review adds to the credibility. My best converting review is something I wrote out of frustration not being about to find a solution to a problem, then sharing my relief when I finally found the solution. I actually get personal notes from people every other day thanking me for writing about my experience and how they had a similar problem but my recommendation helped them solve it.
4. Display your affiliate links the smart way
Here’s where I get a bit more specific and tell you some more about ThirstyAffiliates so bare with me. It is a free product, so this isn’t a sales pitch.
Displaying your affiliate links raw is a mistake for a number of reasons:
- It leaves your links open to affiliate code overwriting – this is a very real and more widespread problem than you might realise and people make millions off unsuspecting affiliates that just paste their affiliate links directly into their articles with the affiliate code exposed.
- Ugly affiliate links are not as trust worthy – think about it, as a visitor would you prefer to mouse over a link and see a bunch of illegible codes, or something more like example.com/recommends/product-name.
- You can’t easily replace them should the affiliate program require you to change your links – yes, it does happen. Sometimes the smallest change in the format of your affiliate links means that thousands of links across your website can become invalid overnight. ThirstyAffiliates helps you solve that by giving you a central dashboard and one place to manage your affiliate links so that when this happens it’s just a simple 5 second change.
5. Systematize the process
When you’re writing a blog typically your posts are anywhere between 400 and 1200 words long (sometimes longer).
If you take an average of 600 words per post and just 2 articles a week you’re looking at well over 60,000 words a year which is a long as a novel.
That’s a huge opportunity for monetizing your website when you consider that throughout those hundreds of posts you will likely mention products and services you’ve come across quite often.
Remembering to monetize all of these, or worse, having to go back through your hundreds of posts and insert affiliate links can be very time consuming and that’s why lots of affiliates that use ThirstyAffiliates also go on to purchase the Autolinker add-on.
It lets you define a list of keywords to be automatically links throughout your blog posts which means you can monetize all those old posts that still rank well in the search engines.
I’ve seen people explode their monthly affiliate commission earnings by using this plugin almost overnight because of the number of blog posts they were previously just sitting there idle.
That’s why I always recommend that if you’re a blogger, and you’ve been at it for more than a few weeks, to use the Autolinker add-on to make monetizing your blog posts more efficient.