Affiliate Marketing: Blogger’s Holy Grail

Affiliate marketing has been around since the inception of the internet and it was first used by amazon.com through its Affiliate Associate program. All a blogger has to do is fill all the details along with his/her blog link to connect with amazon.com. Now the way it works is that as a blogger, you are blogging on a defined niche, on which you have gained knowledge and expertise. You can have links of Amazon on the sidebar of the blog or maybe a widget. When you drive traffic towards amazon.com using your blog traffic, you facilitate the sales of Amazon products. If anyone buys a product through the traffic driven from your blog, it will register as a cookie in the Amazon associate program. So when a sale has been made, a commission based on the percentage value of the product will be credited to a unique ID which has been given to your blog.

You can increase the influencer effect on your users by posting promotional posts on the products of the sites you have affiliated with. But you need to be specific and non-biased. I also recommend that you should have tried out the product first before you recommend it to others. If you don’t like a product or its packaging or USP, then don’t promote it and say why. Just because you are an affiliate for that product doesn’t mean you have to give biased and wrong advice. Remember, credibility and faith is a must that your readers should have on you otherwise they will never trust you and you will never be able to become an influencer blogger. The money will be credited to your account as commission every month. This can be an effective way to make sure-shot money through online marketing. But remember, this is a slow task as it takes time to build an audience and trust. So be patient with it and do not expect immediate results. Also, you need to read up on the products, their specifications, price and make before you can talk about them and promote them through your blog. Also, get your niche right and don’t spread across many categories. Gain knowledge and depth on a few niches that work well for you.

You can start adding affiliate product links to your posts as plugins. DIY posts are the best plugins as you can compare the technical and performance aspects of a product. You can do a product comparison and also write a quick tutorial about the product. Use coupon posts effectively and link them to the merchant site. Remember, you only get a commission when the customer clicks on the affiliate button to buy the product. Stick these posts to the front page of your blog to increase traffic and visibility. Use the visibility button in the edit post section to activate this feature.

Banner ads can also make money through clicks but make sure you don’t have too many banners for many different brands because it will end up confusing the readers. Do not have more than one banner ad for one specific brand on the sidebar. Only advertise brands you are sure of and have seen their benefits through personal use. You don’t want to lose credibility.

Link out to your affiliate websites directly from your blog instead of giving links through promotional blog posts. That is a more effective way. Start linking out directly to the product landing page instead of review posts and you will see skyrocketing results.

 

Other Tips

  • Write insightful and informative product posts
  • Create courses and series articles around the product
  • Do comparison posts
  • Create posts when the product gets a new feature or upgrade
  • Write a post on why you changed Brand loyalties
  • Create video tutorials about your product
  • Create coupon posts

 

How does affiliate marketing compare to direct click-through banner ads?

Well in banner ads, when someone comes to your blog and clicks on the banner to go to the brand’s site, then you get paid and that is a minuscule amount. However, in affiliate marketing, you get paid when the user buys and thus the commissions are higher for this. This way, you can make more money through the affiliate route than the advertising route for which you need very high traffic to get any money.

Have a very effective and proper email subscriber list as that is your gold mine. You can promote affiliate products through posts with offer links and promotional codes directly through emails to your loyal readers who have also willingly subscribed to your newsletter. This is a great way to increase reach and influence your users toward a brand or website.

 

Why Affiliate Marketing is Easy

It’s easy and quick to implement. All you have to do is plug the links in your post or link to landing pages. There is no need for a back-end services team, payment gateways, tracking of orders and customer service.

It is a low effort and low-risk job as you are not launching your own products. So you can make course corrections by promoting new product launches.

It does not require any special expertise. You should just have an adequate knowledge on the notches you are promoting.

Don’t jump into affiliate marketing immediately. Make sure that you get regular with your blog posts and have at least an email subscriber base of 500 plus e-mails. Then only it makes sense to start this program. In affiliate marketing, the single most important thing is your relationship with the user and the trust you have been able to build with him over a period of time.

 

Things to Watch Out For

Do not pay any kind of a fee to become an affiliate nor any membership fee.

Don’t be persuaded to use Black Hat SEO techniques to inverse traffic. This can alienate your audience.

Never promote a product until you are on the e-mail list of your affiliate partner and know exactly what the follow-up mail to your reader will be.

 

Show Me the Money

  1. You will get a unique ID when you join a merchant program.
  2. As an affiliate, you will embed affiliate links in your posts and e-mails and invite the audience to click on the links.
  3. When a buyer clicks on the link to visit the merchant site, a cookie is realised which ensures that the publisher gets the credit of a referral sale even if it occurs days or weeks later.
  4. When the sale prices are complete, the merchant sees the sales record for a cookie identifying the source of the referral.
  5. The affiliate ID is credited with the sale.
  6. Reports are sent to track commission.
  7. The merchant pays the affiliate commission by the end of the payment period agreed upon.

 

Which are the Products and Services to Promote through Affiliate Route?

The best products and services to promote are digital products and services as they are feature rich, plus these products fetch very high commissions. Digital downloads and web hosting services are also in great demand and make good money for the affiliate. Online courses are another way to make quick money and, at the same time, engage with your audience and share information and knowledge with them. They also come in the form of easy digital downloads or webinars. They also have high price point so you can potentially earn more.

So for a travel blogger like me, sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Ebay, Airbnb, Bookings and Tripadvisor would be the kind of sites I would choose to do affiliate marketing with first. I can also link with travel apparel and other sites that sell luggage and air ticketing like MakeMyTrip.com.

So go out there, get your hands dirty and get more money through the affiliate route. Happy blogging!

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