One of the questions I get asked most often (as a professional blogger and social influencer) is “Is affiliate marketing worth it?” When I first started my blog over 10 years ago, I hadn’t even considered monetizing it. When I made the decision to do so– through sponsored posts and affiliate marketing– I felt totally overwhelmed.
In this post, I am going to walk you through one of the more popular ways of earning money from your blog and social media– affiliate marketing–so you don’t have to go through all of the research and trial and error that I did! The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t need a minimum number of page views or followers to start earning money (although the more you have, the more you will make)!
There are a number of different ways to monetize your blog: sponsored posts and social media, advertising, selling your own products and affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can be one of the more challenging monetization strategies to implement, but if you do your research, it can be very profitable!
What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you recommend a product through a special link and you earn a commission on the sale generated by that link. Commissions vary by merchant. A cookie is installed in the browser of the reader viewing your link (length of cookie varies) so that if they purchase during a certain time period following the initial click, you get credit for the sale.
You can share your affiliate marketing links on your blog AND on your social media channels. It’s important to be aware of certain program restrictions though. For example, you can’t use Amazon Affiliate links in emails or e-books.
Popular Affiliate Marketing Programs
There are a number of different affiliate programs you can join, and some of the more popular ones are listed below:
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant
- Rakuten Marketing
The Best Way to Use Affiliate Links on Your Blog
If you use affiliate links correctly, they can be a great source of income for your blog. One of the most important things to remember is to only share affiliate links for products you have used or you know your audience loves. When you blog, you work hard to build a trusting relationship with your reader, and nothing will ruin that faster than recommending products that are a waste of money or low quality just to make a commission. Your readers will see right through it and it’s just not worth it.
Here are some of the best ways to incorporate affiliate links into your blog posts or website:
- Write review posts about your favorite products.
- Include affiliate links in how-to posts or tutorials. It’s helpful to link to them in a “Supplies Needed” list.
- Use affiliate links when recommending products on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- Go back to old content (especially your most trafficked posts!) and add affiliate links.
- Create gift guides for different holidays.
- Check with companies to see if they can give you a coupon code or special deal to offer your readers through your affiliate link.
Don’t Forget to Disclose Your Affiliate Relationship!
Not only is disclosing your affiliate relationship the right thing to do according to the Federal Trade Commission, but it’s also another way to demonstrate transparency to your readers. I always disclose affiliate links at the beginning of a post by saying something like:
“This post contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you purchase items through these links, with no additional cost to you.”
If you are currently using affiliate links, how do they work best on your blog or social media channels?