You’ve heard the term affiliate marketing bandied about in blogging circles, but I bet you’re still wondering what is an affiliate program. And especially how you can use it to make money with your blog. Here’s the low down to get you started.
At its simplest, a merchant’s affiliate program is a commission program. You put work into promoting someone product and when it sells, the merchant gives you a commission. That product can be anything from a physical product that’s sold through a retailer (think Amazon) or a blogging course from your favorite blogging guru. Depending on the program, the commission rates will vary.
One way to think of yourself is as an online sales person. Your goal is finding the online buyers who are interested in the product you’re selling. And the more buyers you find, and products they buy, the more money you will make. The Internet is filled with bloggers who have managed to make thousands and thousands of dollars… monthly!
Instead of a brick and mortar storefront or office, your “store” is your blog and the products you sell relate to your niche. You might have a recipe site and want to sell kitchen related products. Say, you’re writing about making heart shaped brownies for Valentine’s Day and you’ve found the perfect pan on Amazon.
With a blog, you can branch out and sell more products through a mailing list and even directly on sites such as Pinterest which now accepts affiliate links.
Signing Up for an Affiliate Program
Joining a merchant affiliate program is a win-win for everyone. The merchant sells his product and you as the affiliate make some money. Amazon is one of the biggest affiliate programs and is easy to join. And there are so many products it’s easy to find something that fits your niche. And there’s a lot more programs than just that. When you start looking for an affiliate program, here’s some things to keep in mind.
- Before joining any affiliate program read the affiliate agreement and if you have any questions contact the merchant directly. All programs come with terms and conditions which work for both parties involved. The best affiliate programs will have referrals or testimonials from other affiliates. This gives you the opportunity to examine the pro and cons of joining a particular program.
- You also want to check on payment methods. Many companies pay you through PayPal or they will send you a check in the mail. Just be certain that you can receive payments. Some companies have certain countries restricted so make sure yours isn’t on their list.
Making an Affiliate Program Your Own
There are lots of affiliate programs to choose from, but you don’t want to promote any and every thing. Spend some time thinking about your niche. And more importantly what your readers would like to see. Then seek out those affiliate programs that make sense. It just takes a little time to do some research and find the best affiliate program suited to you.
If you are just getting started with affiliate marketing then use the promotional material provided. Once you have a little experience you can easily create your own articles and material. This will make your website stand out from all the other affiliate marketers promoting the same company.
Something to Consider
Affiliate marketing isn’t as simple as dumping a bunch of affiliate links into a blog post.
The quote above is from one of my favorite affiliate marketers, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner. She’s the blogger behind Making Sense of Cents and her blog income reports are infamous… and heartening for new bloggers. In her current report (for April 2017), Michelle reports she made $62,942.35 just from affiliate commissions. Wow!!
Michelle also has one of the best affiliate training programs around. I recently wrote a review of that course. But if you’re interested in more information, you can head right over to Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Training for more information.
See ya all soon,
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