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Best Affiliate Marketing Strategies from the Pros

Have you ever looked at blogger income reports and wondered, “How do they make that kind of money?” Now, these pro bloggers are sharing their affiliate marketing strategies to help you grow your profits.

Have you ever looked at blogger income reports and wondered, "How do they make that kind of money?" Now, these pro bloggers are sharing their affiliate marketing strategies to help you grow your profits.

When I have a question about profitable blogging, I always turn to my amazingly talented friends who have been in this business longer than I have. Their advice is always solid, and I feel a little guilty about having such an awesome resource available, just a text message away.

So this time, I went and asked a question for you.

I asked seven bloggers with incredible expertise (and tremendous monetary success too) what they would say was their #1 tip for using affiliate marketing on a blog.

Can you tell me what you consider to be the best thing/strategy you implemented to generate income through affiliate links?

Erin ChaseThe best and smartest ways to increase conversion on affiliate campaigns is to 1.) make sure that your audience is the right fit for the product and that the product solves a specific problem for them, and 2.) tell a personal story about your struggles and how the product helped you, carefully explaining how it will help them.

Erin Chase, Grocery Budget Makeover & MyFreezEasy

ameeThe links have to appear in an authentic way, tied to relevant content. They need to be helpful to your reader’s ability to replicate what you are teaching.

Amee Cantagallo, Real Advice Gal

jessie alonzoMy most popular and successful affiliate posts are the ones that solve a problem- not the ones pushing a promotion or discount. That’s our strategy when working on a post that we want to do really well- solve a problem. It can be a silly problem like stinky hands after cutting onions and garlic to a little more serious one but if one of our team has that problem it’s a safe bet that others do too!

Jessie Alonzo, Moola Saving Mom

laurie hiseMake sure you’re sharing products that you genuinely believe in, and connect with your audience either through Facebook live, daily emails, or more personal posts so they feel more “at home” with you. And, always be up front and honest about letting readers know if you’re receiving a commission on a product. Also, just logistically, make it easy for your readers to find the place where you want them to land. After adding a “click to save” button on certain affiliate posts on my site, my affiliate income has gone up significantly simply because people know exactly where to go to find more about the item I’m sharing.

Laurie Hise, Passionate Penny Pincher

kim sorgiusI have found the most effective affiliate marketing strategy is to be super picky about what you are putting before your audience. Protect them by offering high-quality resources that fit closely with the message your audience has come to expect from you. This builds trust and creates a customer eager to buy anything you share.

Kim Sorgius, Not Consumed

gina lukerCreating shopping guide style blog posts are important – but the key is to research your keywords so you are writing content people are searching for. And if you keep to a niche that isn’t overdone you’ll have much better success!

Gina Luker, The Shabby Creek Cottage

>>READ: How to create content that produces a profit for more information about using keywords in your affiliate marketing strategy.<<

heather bowenThe best strategy I have implemented for generating income through affiliate links is crafting a personal email to my subscriber list and organically adding the affiliate link along with why I love the product and/or why they need the product. Utilizing my email list for these type of promotions has been one of the best sources of income for me.

Heather Bowen, Life of a Homeschool Mom


Best Affiliate Marketing Tips from the Pros

Just in case you were not taking notes, let’s review these affiliate marketing strategies…

  1. Be an affiliate for products that match your reader’s needs. Solve their problems.
  2. Connect the product to relevant content, like a personal story. Your readers want to know how you are using the product.
  3. Be honest and transparent. Let your readers get to know you through live video (like Facebook Live) and they will be more willing to click through your links.
  4. Have a strong call to action. Attach your affiliate link to an image that says, “Buy Now” or “Save Here” so your reader knows how to get the product.
  5. Don’t be an affiliate for anything and everything. Choose affiliate relationships that match your blog’s message.
  6. Research keywords and match those to lucrative affiliate opportunities. This sends buyers straight to your website from search engines.
  7. Don’t forget to use your email and social media but keep it personal. Avoid sending canned emails to your readers. Be true to your audience by giving them YOU.

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, I highly recommend taking Making Sense on Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner.

start affiliate marketing

You will learn how to replicate the affiliate marketing strategies that helped Michelle grow her income from $0 a month to over $50,000 a month!

Sign Up Here

More Helpful Affiliate Marketing Strategies

Be an affiliate what you love

Look around your house and business. You do not need to invest in new products to start affiliate marketing. Talk about the items you are already using.

Create a resources page

A resource page listing the products you use that are related to your blog niche is the perfect way to start building affiliate income.

You can link to this page from your menu, sidebar, and even from your posts. Drive as much traffic to that page as possible and make sure it includes a pinnable image.

Work your affiliate links like you would a sponsored campaign

You know the effort you place into making your sponsors happy? Use that same initiative and creativity when pushing your affiliate link.

Create new content, post social media ads, send a newsletter, and/or host a Facebook Live. The more often you mention the product in a consecutive campaign, the more sales you will receive through your link.

Use tracking links that can be changed

Companies often change their affiliate platforms. To avoid combing through your blog looking for each link, use shortlinks with a plugin like Pretty Link. You can set the link inside the plugin so you only have to change that one location to have the other links redirect to the correct location.

Plus, you can track the number of clicks through the link. If you notice you are seeing significant traffic to a product, promote it more often.

Prepare for the holidays

My blogging friends in the deals and coupons niche plan for the holidays like it is an alien invasion. No kidding. It’s very tactical and strategic. But we could learn something from them.

Since the holiday season is the most profitable season of the year, create a plan IN ADVANCE that puts your affiliate links in front of your readers before they are shopping.

Place your efforts on high commission potential

Consider the payout amount when you are promoting an affiliate link. If the link pays $0.03 per click, automate that link in your social media but don’t spend extra time planning how to promote the link. Instead, save your efforts for the affiliate items with high commissions.

Have a great tip for maximizing your affiliate marketing strategy?

Leave a comment. We would love to hear how you are monetizing your blog with affiliate links.

Also read:

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How to Start Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a primary source of revenue for most bloggers. But when you start affiliate marketing, it is easy to misunderstand the best practices for affiliate marketing. I made tons of mistakes in the beginning, and honestly… I still have a lot to learn about affiliate marketing strategies.

Start affiliate marketing and make more money blogging with best practices for affiliate marketing. Use affiliate links wisely to boost your commissions.As a blogger, I am very aware that I need multiple streams of income in order to achieve consistent revenue. My income is grouped into three buckets: advertising, products, and affiliate marketing.

>>You can read more about my income buckets on the May 2016 Blogger Income Expense Report.<<

However, my bucket for affiliate marketing appears to have a leak because the money does not accumulate as much as I would like. So I am striving to learn more about affiliate marketing and how to make it work for my blog.

An Affiliate Marketing Success Story

michelle I bumped into Michelle Schroeder-Gardner after attending FinCon last year, and her story stunned me.

Michelle is younger than I am… much… both in age and in blogging experience. My ego took a hit, and I was tempted to shrug off someone I considered to have less experience. But her income reports were hard to ignore.

Having started a blog in August of 2011 as a hobby, Michelle thought about using affiliate marketing to build her blogging revenue but thought her blog was “too small to make any real money from affiliate marketing.”

Then, I started applying different affiliate marketing strategies to my blog, and they were working. I saw my blogging income increase dramatically every single month.

Now, I wake up and cannot believe the amount of income I am earning through affiliate marketing, all while living a great life and being able to help my audience.

Michelle started affiliate marketing, growing her income from $0 to over $50,000 per month, and now makes over $100,000 each month.

I have much to learn from Michelle’s affiliate marketing strategies.

Start affiliate marketing and make more money blogging with best practices for affiliate marketing. Use affiliate links wisely to boost your commissions.
CLICK to learn more about Michelle’s affiliate marketing course.

What is affiliate marketing?

Many companies choose to expand their reach by enlisting bloggers and other companies to be partners, or affiliates. Each affiliate is assigned a unique link by which they can generate traffic to the company’s product.commission based sales (explain)

When a person clicks the unique link and makes a purchase, the affiliate receives a commission.

Where to find affiliate marketing opportunities

When you discover a common problem among your readers, you have the ideal opportunity to seek out a product that will give them a solution. Then, become an affiliate for that company and connect your readers to the products they need.

Everyone wins!

The company benefits because they are growing their reach. Your readers benefit because they are finding the answers they seek. And you… you are making money with your blog in a very authentic way.

But where do you find the companies with affiliate programs?

Many brands work through a third party agency:

Others host their own affiliate programs.

You can locate a company’s affiliate program with one of these strategies:

  • Visit the company’s website and look for a link marked “Affiliates,”  “Referral Program” or “Partners.” The link is often in the footer or sitemap.
  • Search the internet for terms like “ affiliate,” “[company] affiliates,” or “[company] referral program.” If your search doesn’t work, try again with a variety of terms.

Start affiliate marketing and make more money blogging with best practices for affiliate marketing. Use affiliate links wisely to boost your commissions.

  • Contact the company directly through Twitter or email and ask.

And don’t fear being rejected. Some companies have requirements based on your location and traffic but the majority are eagerly looking for someone just like you to be a partner.

Technical words to understand

Just like blogging, there are a collection of terms you should understand before agreeing to represent a company.

Cookie – When someone clicks an affiliate link, a tracking code is placed in their browser that contains the unique affiliate ID. This “cookie” will last for a designated amount of time as set by the company. Purchases made while the cookie is in their browser are commissionable sales.

Commission – Typically, affiliate sales are commission-based, meaning the partner receive a percentage of product sales or a flat rate per purchase, depending on the affiliate agreement.

Tracking – The company will give you a specialized affiliate link to use and will track the statistics related to your link which may include the number of times the link appears on a page (impressions) and the number of times it is clicked.

Bidding – This term confused me for a very long time since it is normally associated with a list of keywords. In the beginning, I thought I could not use those keywords in my post but “bidding” is actually referring to targeting keywords through Adsense when you are purchasing ads and has nothing to do with what you write on your blog.

>>View a reference of affiliate marketing terms to understand.<<

Which affiliate links to use

To remain authentic, you want to use affiliate links that relate to your audience. Ideally, you will create products to help your readers, but when you don’t have time to create your own product or when someone has a product that is superior to anything you could create, use an affiliate link.

If you are struggling to brainstorm a list of potential companies, begin with your favorite products and items you already mention on your blog and/or social media. Then, visit other blogs within your niche and view the advertising in the sidebars.

>>Learn more about how to write posts for profit.<<

You can also search for posts related to the most popular content on your blog and see which ads show in the Adsense search results and other network advertising in the resulting blog’s header, footer, and other key locations. Then, check to see if these companies have an affiliate program.

Bad Affiliate Marketing Strategies

As with any aspect of blogging, bad strategies will kill your potential for growth and success.

Do not apply to multiple companies.

No. You need to research brands and products across multiple companies and third party networks because often the cookie life is longer or the commission rate is higher.

Individual brands often list on several third parties with different terms on each.

Recommend anything and everything just to get a payout.

No. Stay true to your personal brand and the focus of your blog. Dedicate your intentions to connecting your readers to the products that will solve their problems.

Hide your affiliate links. No one needs to know you are getting paid.

No. Always disclose and do so in a lawful fashion.

>Learn more about how to disclose your affiliate links.<<

Ask people to click through your affiliate links.

No. Many companies consider a plea for using your affiliate link as a violation of their policy. Likewise, some companies such as Amazon will terminate your affiliate relationship even if you phrase your disclosure as a thank you note. For instance, you cannot say, “Thank you for using my affiliate links.”

Best practices for Affiliate Marketing

Use fewer links per post.

Yes. The temptation is to load your posts and sidebar with affiliate links in hoping of capturing a sale. However, the best practice is to use one link per post and connect it with a strong call to action like “buy now” or “learn more.”

Use your social media to promote your affiliate links.

Yes, if it is allowed in the affiliate terms. Not every company will allow you to promote your link directly on social media but most do. Just make sure to disclose your affiliate link.

Track your links.

If tracking is not available through the company (and sometimes even if they allow you to view your tracking statistics), use a separate plugin like Pretty Links or a URL shortener to track the number of clicks through your link and compare the number with other reports.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is a step-by-step class to guide you through creating and making money with your own successful affiliate marketing strategy.

This course makes affiliate marketing achievable. You can see your blogging income grow from the beginning, and the information in this course will help you well into the future.

Change your affiliate marketing strategy now

Psst… A special bonus is available through September 4, 2016. Go check it out!

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