Subtle ways to make money with affiliate marketing on your blog

For a lot of people, blogging is a full-time profession – it takes up all our waking hours, and the limited time we have left is spent in marketing the blog, and networking with fellow bloggers. If you’re wondering how all the famous blogs in your niche make enough money to sustain themselves, there really is no easy answer. All bloggers rely on different money making methods, but for those who are still exploring the world of blogging, affiliate marketing is a great place to start.

Before we talk about how you can make money with affiliate marketing, it’s important to understand what affiliate marketing is and why you shouldn’t overdo it. An affiliate marketing system pays you a commission whenever someone purchases the product you’re promoting. For example, if you have a food blog, you can promote a brand of flour or butter with an affiliate program. When a reader purchases this product, you receive a small commission, usually between 3% and 9% for most affiliate programs.

While affiliate marketing may look like a good way to make money, overdoing it will cause more harm than good. Don’t stuff your blog with ads, instead focus on creating relevant content, and use no more than one affiliate link in one blog post. If you want to use banner ads as well, avoid pop up ads.

Here are some interesting ways to use affiliate marketing successfully:

Have a niche – A niche helps you identify with a certain type of audience. A blog about photography tips will attract amateur photographers or photography enthusiasts. These people will be interested in improving their skills, getting suggestions on cameras, and even photo editing software. When writing posts about cameras, photo software, and camera accessories, you can use affiliate links to the product(s) you want to promote.

Give unbiased reviews and suggestions – While it’s understandable that your primary reason for using an affiliate program is because you want more people to purchase a product, so you earn more money, giving an unbiased review of a product will not only help people make an informed decision about purchasing it, but it will also give you extra points for the good karma! If a reader is happy with the product you endorsed, they’ll also be happy recommending your blog to their friends.

Generate a buzz around it – When you’re done writing a blog post, make sure you spend time marketing it. This is relatively easy if you use social media for promoting your blog. Introduce affiliate links in your tweets and Facebook updates, and also include a link to your post.

Depending on your audience, geographic location, and niche, you may have to experiment with different marketing methods to understand how your audience reacts to affiliate links in your posts, and what profit you’re making through it.

Joe Linford writes on behalf of Broadband Genie, a social shopping and consumer advice website for broadband, smartphones and tablets.