Affiliate marketing can be a great way to generate extra income on your blog. But it is by no means easy money. Very rarely can you just slap up a banner ad in your side bar and watch the money role in.
Advertisers like affiliate marketing because they only pay when a sale has been made. While it can be a risk for you, the publisher, if you take the time to consider your audience and pick products that are highly targeted. Items you know are relevant to your readers, you can do quite well with affiliate marketing and make more than you would from a tradition banner ad.
So, what is affiliate marketing anyway? This infographic gives a great overview of how it all works.
How do I find affiliate programs to join?
Here are a few large affiliates programs or directories to help get you started. Affiliate networks bring together publishers and merchants, then manage the transaction between the two. Many have 100’s of merchants you can search through and apply for, there is sure to be something to fit many niches.
- Clix Galore AU
- DGM AU
- Jackmedia AU
- Commission Factory AU
- Linkshare AU
- Share A Sale
- Commission Junction
All of these are either Australian, or have programs opened to Australian publishers.
If there is a product or service you think would be an excellent fit for your blog and readers, and they do not offer an affiliate program. You could try getting in contact with them and explaining the benefits of affiliate marketing.
So, you have picked some relevant products to promote, now what?
Don’t just focus on banner ads
Banner ads can be great if you want to fill some inventory in your side bar, or if you think it is something your readers will really be interested in. Generally, text links within copy will perform better than banners. Especially if you take the time to include it in a genuine review.
Build your mailing list
This is something you should be doing anyway. Including affiliate advertising in your newsletter works really well and can be a great way to monetise your mailing list.
SEO is your Friend
Sure you want a good result when you first publish and promote the post. But try and think long term. If you take the time to optimise the SEO for the post from the start you can drive continued traffic and maximise earnings.
Disclose, disclose, DISCLOSE! Be upfront.
While it is not yet law in Australia as it is in the US to fully disclose affiliate advertising, it’s just common courtesy.
You can even turn it into a selling point. By letting readers know that purchasing these items that you’ve personally selected and approve of, they are helping to support your blog, they maybe more inclined to make a purchase.
Checkout our disclosure showing in the footer.
Don’t turn every post into a hard sell
The key is to earn your readers trust. If you start trying to flog them something at every turn, you are going to lose your credibility and ultimately your readers. Again, be sure to pick products that your readers will find valuable. As with all advertising your aim should be to create a WIN WIN WIN situation. Something for you, the advertiser and your readers.
Track and monitor
All affiliate networks offer tracking and statics on your sales so you can monitor what is and is not working and tweak you advertising accordingly. Don’t just set and forget, keep an eye on your stats and make changes to maximise your return.
Got any tips of your own, or questions? Share them in the comments.