Affiliate Marketing: How to Make Your First Sale

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how can I make money blogging

As a blogger, your job is to provide great content to your readers.


Stuff they can use almost immediately.

But does that mean that you can’t make money from them?

In fact, they’d love to buy things from you. That’s if you’ve been treating them right.

So, do you have to create your own product?


How will you make money then?

Well, that’s where affiliate marketing comes in.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is simple.

You promote someone’s product and every time you make a sale you earn a commission.

Here’s how it works:

  • You choose a product and join its affiliate program.
  • You can share, promote, or recommend a product using your affiliate link.
  • You earn a cut from every sale you generate.

How Bloggers Can Earn With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the easiest way for you to earn money. Especially if you already have some traffic coming in.

And below, I will show you how to make money as an affiliate/blogger.
Before you even think about promoting products and making sales, there’s something important you must do.

Choose a Quality Product

The first step to becoming a successful affiliate is to choose a product.

But, it cannot just be any old product.

It’s got to be great. It’s got to help the customer solve his or her problem.

It’s got to be a good affiliate program. It’s got to have a good commission rate. And, it’s got to have a trustworthy merchant.
Don’t worry about how much it costs. If it’s awesome, people will buy it. Your commissions will stack up on top of each other until they’re taller than the Empire State Building.


It’s got to relate to your blog’s topic. You can’t be trying to sell video game accessories to people who’re interested in losing their belly fat.


When you’re choosing a product to recommend to your readers, follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure the product is nothing short of great. If you can give at least a 4/5 rating (based on your experience), that’d be awesome.
  • Make sure that it has a good affiliate program. A good one will have tools like custom link tracking, etc.
  • Make sure the price and/or commission rate is worth your while.

Now you’ll need a way to promote that product.

7 Ways To Promote Your Affiliate Product

1. Write a Product Review Post

Product reviews are one of the best ways to get people to click your affiliate links.

According to a source, about 70% of consumers rely on reviews before making the purchase. And 72% will take action if it’s a positive review.
They’re even highly searched in the search engines. Particularly Google (obviously).
affiliate marketing for bloggers Seeing as how most of your potential affiliate product customers will come from organic search traffic, this is a big deal.

2. Write a Product Comparison Post

Another great, but hardly used, affiliate technique is the product comparison post.

It’s almost like the product review, but instead of reviewing just one, you review several. Also, don’t go all out or in-depth like you would with a normal product review post.
It’s also very similar to the product roundup post, which we’ll get into in a minute. But with 2 differences:

  1. You’ll talk a lot more about the products. It’s more than a roundup and than a review.
  2. You’ll go more specific. Instead of “best marketing tools” you’ll go with “best email marketing tools”.

A great example of this is Blogging Wizards’ post on the best social sharing plugins.
affiliate marketing So when you’re creating your own product comparison post, look at it for inspiration.

3. Create a Recommended Resources Page

Perhaps the most underrated affiliate marketing tactic of them all, the “resources” page is one of the most visited pages on a lot of websites.

Why? Because people love using stuff the people they look up to use.
You may have seen them before.
A Resources page is where you talk about your favorite tools or the tools you use to achieve success.
For example, if you’re a blogger you would recommend resources like your web host, favorite WP themes, the plugins you use, and more.

4. Sprinkle Links Throughout Your Content

This is simple. And could get you a sale here and there. The link will still have to be relevant.

If you’re talking about anything related to the product you’re promoting, 90% of the time you’ll get to sneak your affiliate link in.

You can link to it when you mention the product itself, or even when you mention the product type.
Sometimes, you can even add a little note section where you recommend the product to the reader. It’s something like this:
Note: If you need help managing and cloaking your affiliate links, we recommend you check out Pretty Link (Lite).
You see what I mean?

5.  Create an Expert Roundup Post

Let’s call it the Affiliate’s Expert Roundup Post, or AERP for short.
Anyway, AERPs aren’t like regular expert roundups. They have one big difference…
Instead of asking the expert contributors for some sort of advice, you would ask them what their favorite tools are.
A great example is the one I did on Blogging Aid where I got 63 pro bloggers and marketers what email tools they’d use to grow their lists.
blogging affiliate marketing
In that post, I received a lot of great answers. And, I’ve even made a few hundred bucks from that post.
affiliate marketing for bloggers Pro Tip: Create a list of all the top tools with the most mentions and feature it at the top (before the actual expert contributions), like this:
affiliate marketing for beginning bloggers This is where you can link to your affiliate links.

6. Create a Product Roundup Post

We talked about the comparisons a few minutes ago. We mentioned the 2 differences, which means roundups are broader (in terms of topics). And you don’t go all out or in-depth when talking about the products.
As an example, let’s go with Sue’s ultimate list of blogging tools.
affiliate marketing She’s got nearly 100 tools in about a dozen categories.
Perfect example.

7. Product A vs Product Z

What about the regular comparison posts where you compare product A with product Z?
Sure. But today, you rarely see them.
The reason? No clue.
Perhaps it’s because there are too many popular products in every category. Or maybe consumers already know which product they want.
You know what I mean?
With that said, you can still compare A vs. Z and see some success. But you’ll have to feature the right products. Otherwise, it’ll just be a waste of time.
A great example of this would be BloggersIdeas’ OptinMonster vs. LeadPages post.
Jitendra, the owner, puts 2 of the best lead generation tools against each other.
You could even go bigger. Like what a Karol K did on CodeWP where she put 4 of the best lead generation tools against each other.
One thing I’d highly recommend, though, if you do create one of your own vs. a post, create a comparison table to go along with it.
CodeWP has one for theirs and it looks amazing. And I bet at least half of their visitors don’t even read the rest of the post.

affiliate marketing for bloggers Conclusion

Affiliate marketing is easily one of the best ways for bloggers to earn money.
It’s easier than most monetization methods because you’ll never need to create your own product or process orders and deliver.
All you need to do is choose the right product for your audience, introduce it to them using the methods above, and bam! You’re there.
If you have any questions or comments, we’ll see you in the comments section below.
Julian’s been blogging for 2 years. He’s the owner of Blogging Aid, where he shares advice on how you can become a better blogger. You can also find him Twitter.

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