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.

ShoemoneyX Open Again

The beginners affiliate program that Shoemoney started (ShoemoneyX) has been opened back up for fresh subscribers.  It’s a 12 week course that consists of a weekly email from Jeremy.  Each of the emails has a lesson and then some “homework” to do that relates to the lesson.

  1. Week 1 – The Beginner’s Guide To Internet Marketing
  2. Week 2 – Affiliate Marketing 101: Everything You Need To Know To Start Promoting Products
  3. Week 3 – Market Research: How To Crush Your Competitors And Discover Hot Niches
  4. Week 4 – Introduction to Pay Per Click
  5. Week 5 – Advanced Pay Per Click
  6. Week 6 – SEO Tips, Tricks, and Tactics
  7. Week 7 – Content Creation: How To Create Articles That Attract Users And Increase Sales
  8. Week 8 – Marketing: How To Use Social Media To Spread Your Brand
  9. Week 9 – Make That Cash: 10 Ways To Monetize Your Site And Increase Profitability
  10. Week 10 – Testing & Tracking: How To Optimize Your Site & Make Sense Of The Figures
  11. Week 11 – Building Your Team: How To Network With Others And Find Long Term Partners
  12. Week 12 – Launch Day: How To Kick Start Your Business And Manage Your Projects

When Jeremy first started this program, I signed up for ShoeMoneyX immediately.  It’s well worth the time, and at the price (Free), you really shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to have one of the leading affiliate marketers teach you a little bit about the profession.  It certainly is aimed at beginners, but even many of you veterans will likely learn something.  Even if it’s just what some of your fellow marketers are thinking about things.  I know I didn’t regret signing up for the program.  Jeremy is a trustworthy sorta guy, so you don’t receive a whole bunch of spam once the program ends either.  Give it a try.  It’s pretty easy to unsubscribe if you don’t find it valuable.

Sign up for ShoeMoneyX

Define: Affiliate

There are several definitions for the word affiliate.  The meaning that we hear most often in the Online Make Money area is the use as an affiliate for someone.  As in affiliate marketing or as an affiliate of an affiliate network.

The easiest way to think of this use of the word is to think of the relationship between a manufacturer, distributor, and retailer.  The company who provides the item(s) is the manufacturer.  The affiliate network is the distributor.   And you are the retailer.  It’s your job to find the best ways to sell the manufacturers product through your “store”.  And of course, your “store” is the internet.  You’ve got many, many “aisles” that you can place your items on.  The main difference in this analogy is that, you as the retailer do not get to set the price of the item.  It’s already set by the manufacturer.  Similar to a MSRP I suppose.

When it’s all said and done, who has made the most profit?  Not the retailer.  And probably not the Manufacturer either.  The distributor in this case is all smoke and mirrors.  A secure website with a small crew to keep it running and handle customer service.  No need for any physical storage of items for “distributing”, just track the clicks and sales and collect your profit.

Next in line is the manufacturer.  The affiliate makes the least of the bunch.  And yet, there are still millions to be made as an affiliate.  But you can easily see that if you want to continually make money, you need to branch out into these other areas.  It’s difficult to begin operations as a distributor.  It’s easy to become the manufacturer.  Write an instructional e-book.  Create a template and sell it.  There are a large number of things that you can create.  Then, just sign up a distributor and let your affiliates sell it for you…