2017/06/21

Make Money from Your Blog: Become an Affiliate Marketer


Introduction

The ever widening innovations of the internet and technology with cookie trackers capable of predicting which products you're likely to purchase and interactive webpages.  It's know wonder that people have been taking advantage of this important technology.  With advertisements magically appearing when you're searching for something online, it's clearly taken the world by storm.

In the early days of the internet many people would have dodged most pop-up advertisements, but these days you have enticing ads and articles enticing you in to a good deal.  Somewhere in the world somebody has clicked on an advertisement and benefited from the product being sold while the webmaster gets a small commission for his handy work.

With this kind of double benefit both parties gain, and there are no losers.  Not a penny of cash is taken from the webmaster until he/she makes the sale.  It's a win- win situation for all involved.

Rakuten Affiliate Network Welcome Program

So where did affiliate marketing start?

Brief History of Affiliate Marketing

Paying commissions and revenue sharing are not new concepts, but the transition of revenue share principles to mainstream e-commerce began in November 1994, four years after the application of the world wide web.

Conceived and implemented by William Tobin with his company PC Flowers and Gifts it generated sales that exceeded $6 million per year, based on a business model that paid a commission on sales to the Prodigy network.

Another surprising pioneer in the field of affiliate marketing was cyber erotica, which had its own cost per click program.

By July of 1996 Amazon, via Amazon.com opened its own associate program which allowed affiliates to place ads and text links on their websites linking directly to the Amazon website.  If customers bought a book from Amazon, a commission was given to the associate.  The Amazon Associate program has been so popular its become a business model for many other affiliate programs.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

To put it simply affiliate marketers drive traffic to ecommerce sites, in return for a commission.  This entails the customer buying a product from a link or advert.

The Process

There are four parties involved:

Merchant

Usually a retailer or advertiser, looking to increase sales.  The merchant gives a publisher a trackable link to his site. The publisher includes the link in his content.  The reader/customer follows that link to the retailer's site and buys the product, the retailer pays the publisher a commission on that sale.

Network

Big retailers such as Amazon start their own affiliate programs, but go through an affiliate network.

These networks are essentially the middle man between multiple merchants and publishers.  This gives the publisher access to various merchants under the same network.

Publisher

These are the blog and website owners that include affiliate links on their websites and promote the products of their chosen affiliate networks in the hope that people will click on the links and buy something.

Customer

The client or prospect who clicks on the publishers site and purchases something through a link or advertisement.

Outcome:  A Revenue Stream Requiring Low Investment

Don't look at affiliate marketing as the be-all and end-all of making money on your website.

Choose various revenue streams for your website, such as services and your own products.  Stick to products within your niche and you can't go wrong.

How to Add Affiliate Links to Your Website

Before you start making money with affiliate marketing you're going to need to know how to use each affiliate link.  You'll do this through a unique ID which is given to you on signing up to an affiliate program.  Once you get this ID you can then be credited as the referrer and get your share of the commission.

Later on in this blog post we'll cover the dos and don'ts of using your affiliate links and how to add them to your content.

You need to be aware of the pit falls of using affiliate links and how this can be detrimental to you making money.

You don't need to worry about that yet though, because I'm going to run over some important points about how to use affiliate links on your blog below:

Sign Up With an Affiliate Program

I think the best place to start is to create your own website, from their you can decide which affiliate programs are best for your particular niche.

I've listed the affiliate programs I use below:
Write Great Content

A must for any blogger is to have content that captivates the reader, this is where you'll be placing your affiliate links.

It's good to have a few blog posts under your belt before you start adding your affiliate links.  It also gives you time to research on the best programs to suit your blogs needs.

Adding Your Affiliate Link

Once you've signed up to your affiliate program you'll be given an ID which is exclusive to you.

As an example below I've shown you where you can find your unique link in Amazon Associates:


Every affiliate program is different but the principle is still the same, you take you link and add it into your blog.

Creating Revenue With Your Affiliate Links

I use my affiliate links and my blog and Twitter, this means you have more places to make extra money.

You can be sure that once you start adding your affiliate links, money will start coming in.  If you have a regular audience of a 1,000 people per week, some of those people will convert to a sale.

Increase the effectiveness of your links with these recommendations:

1Add Your Link Within a sentence using a keyword.

2Use at least one link per blog post, but don't go overboard because that will do your website more harm than good.

3Write a product review.

4Cloak your link and make it pretty.

5Link to up to an image in your blog post.

6Don't use too many affiliate links within your blog post.

7Don't put affiliate links in the side bar of your website.

Why You Need an Affiliate Disclosure on Your Website

In December of 2009 the FTC made it mandatory for all affiliates to make a disclosure within their websites.

You'll notice I disclose on every blog post I use affiliate links as well as in my privacy policy.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Affiliate Links

Even though affiliate marketing is mutually beneficial for both sides it still has its downsides.

Advantages
  1. Merchants have a wider market to sell their products and services.
  2. Merchants can gain more customers with less effort and time.
  3. Valuable statistics and behaviour can be found through analytics at no extra cost.
  4. Owners and publishers can make extra income through affiliate marketing.
  5. No investment required in affiliate marketing.
  6. Affiliate doesn't need to worry about customer support and book keeping because the merchant handles it all.
  7. The affiliate marketer is his own boss and can work on his own time.
  8. With an Internet connection with the affiliate marketer still maintain a good financial position anywhere in the world.
  9. The customer doesn't need to drive anywhere to access the product or service.
Disadvantages
  1. Some merchants may give smaller commissions.
  2. Affiliates may engage in misleading and false advertising in order to get ahead.
  3. Dishonest merchants may close down a program without informing affiliates.
  4. Merchants may lure affiliates in with high commissions then drop the commission down after a couple of weeks.
  5. Links can be hijacked by outside parties, leaving the affiliate without the commissions.
Despite all of the disadvantages affiliate marketing still remains one of the newest opportunities to make an income on your own time.

Affiliate Programs

Amazon Associates

If you're starting a blog to make money, the Amazon Associates Program is one of the best affiliate programs around for making money on the internet.

See the 7 great reasons below why I'm an Amazon Affiliate:

1. A Trusted Brand on the Internet

Launched in 1994, one of the Internets largest retailers.  Amazon is one of the most trusted brands around.

2. Amazon Commissions

The commission rate starts at 4.00% but goes up after 7 items have been shipped.  If you're selling larger items such as electronics, it works out pretty good.

3. People Purchase More than One Item

When someone clicks your Amazon Affiliate link they don't have to buy that item.  They can purchase any product through the Amazon link you've provided.  With each item bought commission is earned within 24 hours of you sending them to Amazon.

4. Easy Integration

You have a choice of links, banners and ads which can be easily added to any website or blog.

5. Every Penny Counts

It can take a while for your first payment to arrive.  But you have to start somewhere.  Amazon products can easily be sold through your social media accounts for extra revenue.

6. The More Links, the More Doorways into the Amazon Store

You'll discover as your website grows, that with every blog post written, is another doorway in to Amazon for your readers.  Each time increasing your chances of a sale and return visits.

7.  Huge Range of Products

Amazon has moved on since its early inception in 1994.  Selling a wide range of products including its own brand.  Everything from:
  • Books
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Video
  • Audible
If you don't have many options for affiliate programs, Amazon could be a good place to start.

How to Sell Amazon Products with a Best Seller List

This technique is commonly used by business and industry to highlight what consumers are buying.

Some of the most well-known lists are:
Most music, video and bookstores have their own version, so do magazines and other stores.

Why Best Seller Lists Work
  • Humans are lazy and like short cuts to good quality items
  • Humans are social creatures and like to know what others are doing
  • We don't like being left out of Global Trends
Creating Your Own Best Seller List

On Amazon's website its easy to find the Best Seller list.  From there you can find books and products in any category, with the knowledge that these particular products are selling well.

Hostgator Program

Established in 2002, Hostgator has proven it's self to be one o f the most successful and reliable web hosting companies.  Hosting more than 80 million domains (2012) they offer a simple reliable hosting service.  If you're new to blogging checkout Hostgator: A Great Deal for Self-Hosting blog post review.

With unlimited hosting and quality customer support, and being a current user of Hostgator myself, I don't have any doubts in referring someone to Hostgator.

Hostgator offers an affiliate program.  Like most affiliate programs its free to sign up.


Hostgator Affiliate Program Review

Available to all, no hosting account required with Hostgator sign up.

Let's Get Started

Joining Hostgator is easy, they offer their affiliate program via Impact Radius.  

After you've joined Hostgator's affiliate program, it will take about 3 or 4 days for your application to be approved.

You'll receive a tracking link code which you can copy and pasted and add to your blog posts.


Getting Paid

You have the choice of being paid by check or PayPal.

Limitless Affiliate Income

The great thing about the Hostgator affiliate program is they pay according to the number of referrals received or people you refer, for example:
  • 9* $75: $675
  • 11* $100: $1100
  • 21 * $125: $2625
Features of Hostgator Affiliate Program on Impact Radius

Tracking

Affiliate links and coupon codes are the main tracking methods.

Reporting

You'll get a detailed insightful report on 20 data points with the ability to download customised reports.

Payouts

You'll get more flexibility with frequency and date of payment.  Receiving payments on a specific day of the month or when you hit the threshold.

PicMonkey Program

A lot of bloggers use PicMonkey to design their images, so why not make some extra cash to.

Benefits of PicMonkeys Affiliate Program

With 50% commission for the initial sale, if someone signs up for the Royal account through your affiliate link code.  If they buy a monthly plan you earn 25% commission for the months that are signed up for.

With pricing plans offered from $4.99 a month to $33 a year its an affiliate program worth considering.

Read More about PicMonkeyCreate Your eBook Cover for FreeSimple Ways to Create Fabulous Images for Visual Content with PicMonkey

Signing Up

1. If you're already signed up with a PicMonkey paid account, that's excellent! And one less thing to do.

If you're interested in creating awesome images with PicMonkey then sign up here.

2. To sign up with PicMonkey Affiliate Program you do it through shareasale.com.

3. Once you've been approved you can go straight to your PicMonkey Affiliate account and start adding links and banner ads to your blog posts.

Udemy Program

Udemy has one of the best affiliate programs on the internet. Selling educational courses of every kind.

How to Become a Udemy Affiliate

The affiliate program is through Rakuten Affiliate Marketing, and like most other programs is easy to apply for.  You can sign up here.

Udemy program pays its affiliates 50% commission of the sale price.  Which is a really good deal.

You have a choice of banner ads or links for your website.  I use links because they draw in the most revenue from my blog and social media.

Popular Courses

See which courses are the most highly rated and sell them in your chosen category.  You'll get information regularly about deals on various courses and offers.  So you can adapt your promotions to the current trends.

Social Media

The beauty of any affiliate program is being able to post those links on social media.
  • So why not use them on all of your social media platforms to gain extra revenue.
  • Create a weekly newsletter and send that out to all of your subscribers
Create an amazing Udemy Course yourself and do that alongside your blog.

SEMrush Program

Marketing your blog has changed and shifted to social networking sites, and leaving comments on well-known niche sites to boost traffic, those days are long gone.

If you're looking to increase the SEO of your blog, you need a tool to help increase your income and take your blog to the next level.

So What is SEMrush?

SEMrush is an internet market research tool, helping big brand sites gain insight into their website data.  It allows you to do Organic Keyword Research, Advertising Research and PLA (Product Listing Ads) Research, Related Keyword Research and so much more.

Pricing and Plans

There are 3 Plans and 1 monthly plan

Pro ($99.95/month)
Guru ($199.95/month)
Business ($399.95/month)

Make Money From SEMrush with these 5 Tips:
  1. Affiliate Marketing Reviews
  2. Site Audit Reports
  3. Competitor Analysis
  4. Backlinks Data
  5. Adwords Research

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


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