Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online, either through a Web site or a blog. The concept is simple: You sign up with an affiliate program, decide which products you want to feature, and place a specialized code on your blog. If your readers click on the ad and purchase any of the products, you receive a commission. Some programs will pay a commission based on an actual sale, but others will pay a set amount based on the number of clicks the ad receives or the number of customers who provide their personal information after clicking on the ad. Income potential from affiliate marketing varies widely, based on a number of factors including the popularity of your blog and the affiliate programs you choose. Some bloggers only make a few extra dollars a month, but others claim to make thousands. If you are interested in trying out affiliate marketing for yourself, here are a few ways that you can maximize your efforts to make the programs profitable:
Choose Quality Programs
The easiest way to get your readers to check out your ads and to buy the products is to choose quality programs that offer products they will want. Ask yourself whether you would want to buy the products that you are featuring. If you wouldn’t, why should they? Also consider the reputation of the company or its products. Amazon is a well-known affiliate program with a solid online reputation amongst its customers and quality products. Its affiliate program would be an ideal choice for your blog. Programs that have a poor reputation (or none) or poor products should be avoided.
Write Related Content
If your blog is about ice fishing, why would you sell products for dog care? The idea is to sell products related to the content of your blog so that you are targeting the same demographics. To really emphasize the products that are being offered on your blog, you could also write targeted posts about the products or a related topic. For example, if you write a blog about education and one of your affiliate programs is for an electronics supplier, you could write a post about the use of technology in the classroom or as study aids. Doing so will not only maximize the SEO efforts of your blog (drawing keyword traffic for both your content and your ads), but it will also be a subtle influence with your readers promoting the quality of the products. Just be sure that any opinions you are sharing are sincere and not designed to simply sell the product. If you lose your readers’ trust, it will be difficult to regain.
Build Traffic to Your Site
The more readers and subscribers you have for your blog, the greater your odds of conversion (getting those readers to become customers for your affiliate program). There are many ways to build traffic to your site, including improving your search-engine ranking, adding subscribers, and growing your opt-in e-mail list. Strategies for increasing your search-engine ranking include using targeted keywords (identified through keyword research), building quality backlinks to your site, writing regular, quality content, and more. Invest the time in making your blog as visible and as popular as possible, and you will greatly increase your opportunities for sales through affiliate marketing.
Guest posting on other blogs is a great way to build quality backlinks to your blog and to increase search-engine ranking and traffic. Some blogs will also allow you to include links to affiliate programs in your guest posts. In either scenario, you are getting greater exposure for your blog and your affiliate programs with a new reader base. Choose quality blogs with high traffic and keywords that suit the strategy of your blog. Your exposure on the guest blog will help boost your search-engine ranking, as well.
As with any business endeavor, the success you will experience with affiliate marketing will depend on the amount of effort you put into it. Take the time to develop a quality blog, choose good programs, and pursue a developed strategy for promoting both the blog and those programs and you are likely to see successful results.
About the author:
Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on latino grants and student grants in tennessee.