Some people blog as a means of de-stressing, writing out all their frustrations of themselves or as an anonymous confession of all their sins in front of the whole world. Some people blog for making the world a better place, for educating people and sharing their worldviews and ideas with others. But the vast majority of people writing a blog of any type write to make money – and one of the best ways to do so is through affiliate programs.
The truth is, affiliate marketing is quickly approaching a $7 billion dollar industry, with more money flowing in daily. Ever since Amazon launched their affiliate program back in the late-90s, everyone has been jumping in on the craze and grow their business in the process.
At the same time, affiliate marketing has become an amazing opportunity for anyone working from home, or even just having a blog of their own. These affiliate programs come in all shapes and sizes, some generic, others very specific, aimed at specific types of readers and specific niches. Once such market that has been growing rapidly around the world is the online gaming niche. As an affiliate, you can urge your readers to join 7Sultans and receive $500 free in tailor-made match bonuses, while earning a hefty commission in the process (usually over $100 CPA). Other affiliate programs might be housed in larger d affiliate networks like Shareasale or Commission Junction, and can pay anywhere from .50 to $300+ per lead.
Yes, affiliate marketing is this versatile and diverse. But some affiliates convert and make a lot of money, while others can’t make even a single sale. And sometimes the main difference between them is in the way they present their offer to the reader.
Is there a better way to place affiliate links? Let’s try to find out.
Don’t insult your readers’ intelligence
I am a frequent reader of an old and reputable blog that, among personal notes, also covers important news from online marketing, social media, and the internet in general. The guy writing it is not a CEO, he doesn’t have a degree, he isn’t working at a major publishing company or advertising agency – he is, in turn, a guy with experience in this area, with many connections, and valuable insights on the industry. And he routinely posts affiliate links on his weblog.
He was among the first to make it clear to his readers that he makes money off his blog (which has a pretty decent traffic) by placing affiliate links in his posts. He didn’t insult his readers’ intelligence by trying to masquerade affiliate links as innocent recommendations. Instead, he said it to their face: if you click on this link and buy the product it points to, I will receive a commission.
Your readers are not stupid: they will recognize an affiliate link. Don’t try to play innocent in front of them – after all, you work to make your blog better for them, and you expect to be rewarded for your effort. Hiding affiliate links might work until a point but in time, it will cause your blog to lose some of its credibility.
Be honest with your opinions
Whenever you try to sell a product, try to cut back on the empty marketing phrases and try to be honest. Focusing too much on the benefits of a product, no matter if it’s a juicer, a car or a web hosting service will make your article less credible. Be sure to point out what you didn’t like about it – it will not only potentially start a debate but will also show your readers that you have actually tried the product yourself and your opinions about it are not just something you read in a press release or a flyer but actual experiences that you have.
Ask your readers
You don’t always have to have experience with a certain product to place an affiliate link to it. If there is a product that you consider using, you can ask your readers whether they have any experience with the product and place an affiliate link inside this article. If you have the right community on your blog, your readers that have tried the product will share their opinions about it, and there will be others asking questions about it – and perhaps there will be some that will be convinced by this debate to buy it and earn you a commission.
Have a “resources” page
If you use a certain product, no matter if it’s a toaster or a photo manipulation software suite, and it happens to have an affiliate program (you would be surprised how many of them have) make sure to list them all on a separate page that you can call, for example, “My Resources” or “Software I Use”. There, you can list all the products you have used and would recommend to your readers with a brief description of the product itself and a few aspects that you love (or even hate) about it. Some top affiliates have revealed that such pages are perfect for generating passive income on their blogs.
When it comes to putting your best content forward and trying to make money at the same time, it’s all about customer engagement and providing value. Follow each of the tips above and find the best affiliate offer that relates with not just your content, but also the goals of your audience.