So you’ve decided to monetize your blog through affiliate marketing, and you’ve chosen an affiliate network that’s right for you, your blog topic, and your audience. And that affiliate network offers you all kinds of “creatives” you can use to promote products and services that you’re willing to stand behind. There text links, and banner, and widgets oh my. Now the question that remains is “what are you going to do with all of it?”
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It’s easy to pack your blog full of ads, but that’s necessarily going to roll over well with your readers. You’re going to need to keep a few things in mind so that you don’t disrupt user experience and lose the traffic that it possible for you to become a successful blogger and affiliate marketer in the first place. Well, depending on what your blog topic is and the range of products you’re promoting as an affiliate marketer, you have a couple different options.
Now, just about every affiliate program will offer you text links, and these are great to put in the body of your posts. The only catch is that the affiliate program you belong will probably have to have an array of products for it to be worth your time.
For example, if I have a travel blog and I join the affiliate program for a travel site, then I’ll be able to get text links for hotels and flights no matter what I’m blogging about. Whether I’m blogging about the Top 10 Caribbean resorts or a new tourist attraction in NYC, I can name drop a few different airlines and hotels that my readers might want to consider if they’re planning such a trip.
If you’re promoting a more narrow range of products on your blog, however, you might find text links less useful. For example, if I only blog about iPhone Apps, I can’t reasonably link to a site that discount iPhones in every post. For starters, it will suggest that I’m suggesting that that page is the most relevant page for iPhones, and that will erode my credibility as an authority blogger. Furthermore, it will look kind of ridiculous that have the same keywords as a hyperlink all the time.
Flash and GIF banners are a bit more straightforward in their implementation. Basically as long as you don’t plaster them all over your site, and keep them in places that are appropriate for a blog ad, you can’t go wrong.
In addition to the usual header and sidebar banner place, however, blogs offer you a couple other options. For instance, you can place an affiliate banner between the text and the comment section of a post. First, banners there won’t clog up your index page. Second, the users that will see them are the engaged ones who have already clicked through to the individual post. This way, you can make sure that active (rather than passive) users see your banners, without eroding the user-experience of your index page.
Another place to, er, place affiliate banners is in your RSS feed. The advantage of RSS ads is two fold. First, the readers that are going to see it are the regulars that subscribe to your feed. This means that they already enjoy and trust your content, and are that much more likely to defer to your recommendation.
More importantly, because an RSS feed is void of all design elements, a banner stands out that much more. Your readers, then, are bound to notice them. Consequently, if you’ve been doing your job of maintaining their trust and showing them products that are relevant to your content, your RSS affiliate ads should convert relatively well.
Instead of using your sidebar real estate on regular flash or GIF affiliate ads, consider widgets. These often rotate products everytime the page refreshes, and will show your readers products based on their geographic location.
Provided you’ve joined an affiliate program that has a wider range of product offers that are relevant to your content, then, widgets can be effectively way to keep your sidebar looking fresh. This dynamic affiliate marketing tool will help prevent your trusting readers from going banner blind, and keep and eye on real estate other than the post content.
Now remember, the trick to being a successful affiliate blogger is tied up with why bloggers can make such affiliates in the first place: you have an established rapport of trust with the community that you’ve built around your content.
So when you’re considering where to put what affiliate marketing tools where, you have to keep it clean. You have to respect that community and its experience. If you try to spam them with affiliate links, you just end up spamming your own site, and before you know it, your readers are gone and you haven’t made a dime.
Rather, approach affiliate blogging as you would a good friend. As an affiliate blogger, you must always think relationships before sales. Make the products you promote add value to the relationship you have with your community instead of sapping value from it.
If you don’t, you won’t be much of a blogger for very long, and you’ll be in no position to make any referrals or sales because you’ll have no traffic.
Top Earning Blogs and How they Make Money Blogging [Infographic]
The top earning blogs in the world are generating millions of dollars every month. However, blogging is not just about million dollar blogs… actually the majority of blogs on the internet don’t make more than $2,000 per year.
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Understanding how these blogs make money, what the end goal for their sites are and how they turn their content into a business is what’s most important for bloggers of all niches and sizes to understand.
That is exactly what we are going to be covering in this post — and even more exciting, we have an infographic to break down the key points as well!
Breaking Down the Different Types of Bloggers in the Blogosphere
There are well over 100 million blogs in the world today and thousands of new content pieces and articles are going live every hour. This means you are up against a world of competition when you start a blog, so it’s extremely important for you to quickly discover what type of blogger you are going to be and where you would like to be six months to a year from now.
Which of these blogger types would you fall into?
- The Part-Time Professional
- The Hobbyist
- The Full-Time Professional
- The Corporate
- The Entrepreneur
Still not sure where you fit into the blogging mix? Be sure to check out our 15 Great Blogger Interviews that Will Blow Your Mind post to learn from some of the best blogging experts in the world today!
How Much Are Bloggers Earning with their Blogs?
As mentioned, most blogs simply don’t make enough money to be considered a full time job or a legitimate source of income. Stats show that only 14% of bloggers are actually earning any money through their blog at all. This could be for a number of reasons, such as blogs being for non-profit, a hobby or the blogger simply has no idea how to get started or isn’t getting enough traffic to their sites.
Let’s take a look at this breakdown of how much bloggers are actually earning with their blogs:
- $24,086 is the average annual earnings
- $33,557 average annual earnings for corporate bloggers
- $1,000/year is what the average blogger earns when they are getting paid to post content to their site.
However, for those blogs that are generating revenue off their content and traffic, there are many different methods for them to choose from.
The most popular blog monetization methods are through Google Adsense, direct banner advertising and affiliate marketing. The good news is that these monetization methods scale across all niches and platforms, which means anyone with a blog and a loyal audience can start generating revenue with their blog as long as they put in the time and effort.
A perfect example of a blog that went from nothing to making over a million dollars per year, is PerezHilton.com. If you take a look at the site you will notice that there is a lot of banner advertising on the site. Perez could be monetizing his traffic through various different methods such as trying to sell his own products or merchandise, but instead the focus is on paid banner advertising.
When visiting their site, be sure to scroll down and see how many different ad placements are located throughout the site. Banner ad sales for PerezHilton can easily top over $45,000 per month for a single ad campaign.
Bloggers are coming up with new and creative ways to monetize their content and traffic all the time. If you’d like to learn from over 50 different professional bloggers and how they are monetizing their audience, be sure to check out our Meet the Bloggers series.
Top Earning Blogs on the Internet
When you think of blogging, you probably don’t think of names like Huffington Post, Mashable and TechCrunch… but they are blogs and they are all running off the WordPress platform.
With that being said, not only are these legitimate blogs, but they are making millions of dollars per year through the use of their content and growing audience.
We all visit these sites on a daily basis. Now it’s time to discover how much some of them are making!
- Huffington Post $2,300,000
- Mashable $560,000
- Perez Hilton $450,000
- TechCrunch $400,000
- Smashing Magazine $190,000
- Timothy Sykes $150,000
- Gothamist $110,000
- Tuts Plus $110,000
- Car Advice $70,000
- Venture Beat $62,000
Of course this is just a small sampling of the many blogs out there that are making money. I could probably add another ten to the list that I know are generating over $100,000 a month easily! Just look at John Chow for example… his blog went from $0 to $40,000 per month in it’s first few years, to now generating over $1,000,000 a year now!
How to Start a Successful Blog & Make Money in the Process
Now that you’ve seen the money being made by some of the top bloggers in the world today, I’m sure you are now more excited than ever to get things moving in the right direction!
Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you will need to consider when getting started and planning for your longterm blogging success.
- Pick a great domain name for your blog. Stay away from numbers, hyphens and non-.com/.net/.org TLDs.
- Always go with a quality web hosting company. Web hosting is cheap, so there is no need to go with an unknown company.
- When you start to monetize your blog content, don’t sacrifice your user experience for a few dollars. It will hurt your blog in the long run.
- Affiliate programs are a great way to monetize your audience, as you will earn commission on products and services that you may actually be using.
- At the end of the day, the success of your blog comes down to your content, audience and brand. Niche down, create killer content and build a brand that people can trust.
For anyone who is looking to get started on the right path or bring their current blog, brand and business to a whole new level, I highly recommend you check out blogging.org, which is our premium online blog marketing training course.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to ignitespot for creating this very high quality infographic, which has made the process of breaking down the blogconomy that much easier. You can view the full infographic below.
How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business with Little to No Money
Nearly two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, saving minimal funds or none at all. If this sounds familiar, you might feel like it’s impossible to turn your financial situation around. After all, you need to have money to make money, right?
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Actually, the truth is a little bit different. There are some lucrative side gigs you can start right now with no funding at all. Eventually, these side gigs can even turn into full-time jobs.
One of those no-money gigs you can start right now is becoming an affiliate marketer.
Wondering how to start an affiliate marketing business? We can help. This guide provides everything you need to get started – keep reading to learn how to make the money you deserve!
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is one of the newer and more exciting ways to make money online while working at home.
Basically, you’ll partner up with a business to help them sell their products online. You create a website and add useful content, such as product reviews. But you also put affiliate links in your posts; that way, people reading your posts can use the links to buy the products you mention.
Every time someone makes a purchase using one of your affiliate links, you’ll get paid a commission on it. As you grow your site, add more links, and gain new readers, your profits can increase exponentially.
This is a win-win situation for both you and the brands you’re linking to. They make money because you’re helping them gain exposure to new customers. And, of course, you generate revenue with every sale made through your site.
However, you can’t just create a website, start linking to products, and call it affiliate marketing. You need to use the proper affiliate links to get commissions from the sales.
Is Affiliate Marketing Right for You?
There are many things that make affiliate marketing appealing to beginners.
First of all, it doesn’t require any money to get started. You’re not selling products that you carry, so you don’t need to stock up on inventory. The online marketing tactics you’ll use to gain customers don’t require any funds, just some time spent learning how to do them.
You can also choose any niche for your affiliate marketing site. You don’t want to have a general site that features all kinds of random products. Instead, you can choose an area that you’re interested in, such as cooking or fashion, and build your affiliate marketing site around that.
The people who succeed most with affiliate marketing tend to be motivated self-starters. There won’t be anyone watching over your shoulder to make sure you get the work done. But if you’re committed to the idea of making money as an affiliate, you shouldn’t find it too hard to invest the time needed to get off the ground.
How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business: The Step-by-Step Guide
Ready to get started? Let’s take a look at how to start an affiliate marketing business with no funding at all.
1. Get on Social Media
If you already have a thriving social media presence, you’re on your way to affiliate marketing success. No social media presence yet? It’s time to start building.
Social media is another way to put your affiliate links in front of potential customers. You can start making affiliate marketing money on your favorite social media sites before your website or blog is even finished. However, to make money this way, you’ll need to be sure to have a solid following. Famoid is a perfect example of a company that focuses solely on social media, and has helped improve branding and reach for thousands of accounts and social profiles.
You can also use social media to experiment and figure out your niche. Explore your interests and see which products you can create the most buzz about. This might help you decide on the direction for your affiliate marketing site.
2. Select Your Niche
After some preliminary research, you’re now ready to decide on your niche.
Your niche should be both something that you’re interested in – and something that people want to buy. Luckily, there are products you can sell for just about every interest you can think of.
You don’t want your site to be too broad, otherwise, it will be hard to find and connect with the right audience. However, you also don’t want it to be too narrow.
Make sure to pick a niche with a healthy interest so plenty of people will want to read – and buy.
3. Build Your Blog
Now, you can work on building your affiliate site or blog. Of course, if you find lots of success on social media, you can also just stick with that!
Lots of platforms, such as WordPress, offer free, easy-to-use website builders. The site doesn’t need to be too elaborate, but it needs to provide a good home for your content.
In this step, you’ll also need to find the right affiliate program to provide you with links. Major sites like eBay and Amazon have affiliate programs. You can also do a Google search for affiliate programs in your niche.
4. Work on Marketing
Once you have your site up, it’s time to work on marketing that site.
Of course, posting regularly is an important part of marketing. People want to see a site filled with useful, interesting content. Make sure to start building up a body of posts with affiliate links in them.
However, you also need to make your site easy to find. This means learning modern digital marketing tactics, such as SEO.
There’s plenty of information on this online, and it’s all free! Financial experts like Bonsai Finance can also provide you with a source of quick cash while you get your affiliate marketing site off the ground. Not only are they experts in the financial space, they’ve also had their fair share of online and affiliate marketing to grow their brand into what it is today.
Stuck on Affiliate Marketing? We Can Help
Anyone can learn how to start an affiliate marketing business and find success along the way. If you get stuck at some point in your journey, don’t worry. Help is available.
We offer assistance with everything from site development to marketing – check out our site articles and resources to learn more!
A Guide for Canadian Bloggers to Get Out of Debt Fast
Canadians owe 1.69 dollars from every dollar of household disposable income. Are you dealing with a mountain of debt?
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With blogging on the rise across the world, many Canadians are looking to start a blog of their own to try and push down some of these negative finances, while also getting out of debt in the process. All too often, the dreams of making money with blogging are great at first, but then people start to find themselves working on their blog and not seeing much money come in.
Blogging is definitely a legitimate way to make money online, but it’s also a slow and tedious one if you are looking for success to come through organic search results and free social media traffic. While all of this is going on, you might find yourself getting into even more debt over time.
For Canadians that are currently blogging and trying to work their way out of debt, there are some other considers to achieve your financial freedom you may want to consider.
We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to get out of debt and start your journey toward financial freedom.
Your Personal How to Get Out of Debt Guide to Achieve Financial Freedom
Financial freedom may sound next to impossible for many people. Yet, if you implement the right plan, you can start getting out of debt today.
Don’t know where to start? Here are the must follow steps to regain control over your finances.
1. Make a List of Debts
The first step toward financial freedom is making a list of all your debts. It should include everything from your credit cards to your mortgage.
Don’t forget to list details about your debt, such as the interest rate, amount owed, minimum monthly payments, and months or years left until the repayment for loans kicks in.
If you are running an online business or blog of your own, this is something you should be doing for your side business as well.
Hosting costs, mailing lists, content creation, outsourcing… it can all add up over time.
2. Review Your Monthly Budget
After listing your debt, take a hard look at your monthly budget. How much is your monthly income? What are your typical monthly expenses?
You should balance your budget and eliminate any unnecessary expenses. Consider opening a savings account and depositing the money from unnecessary expenses in that account.
If your budget is too tight, seek ways to make money online or start a side hustle. One of the best ways for bloggers to start seeing immediate financial success from their results, is to freelance and start writing for other sites and clients.
3. Develop a Debt Repayment Plan
Once you figure out how much money you have left after expenses, develop a debt repayment strategy. You may think that paying off your highest balance is the best approach.
Yet, experts recommend paying off your account with the highest interest rate first to become debt-free faster and reduce your interest. Another strategy you may consider is consolidating your debt into one monthly payment.
Keep in mind that achieving financial freedom won’t happen overnight. Develop a plan with a realistic timeframe in mind and commit to it in the long term.
4. Consider Consulting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
Most people believe that becoming debt-free is a lonely journey. But you don’t have to do it alone. Consider consulting a licensed insolvency trustee to help you develop the best plan of action.
Your advisor can provide the help you need to achieve financial freedom. Read more now about how they can help you restructure your debt and even avoid bankruptcy.
5. Avoid Taking More Debt
You can make all the right financial decisions and become debt-free. But, if you continue to spend money, you’ll fall into debt once again.
Change your spending habits and cut any expenses that are not really necessary. Discipline is the key.
Again, this goes back to blogging as well. If you have an online business, or any monthly recurring costs (like a gym membership), cancel these asap to avoid more debt build-up over time.
Can You Start Getting Out of Debt Today?
You can start getting out of debt today, but achieving your financial freedom may take some time and commitment. If you follow our how to get out of debt guide and stay disciplined, you’ll take control of your finances and become debt-free soon.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more ideas for paying down debt and making money online, be sure to check out this expert roundup.
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