I’ve been approached through emails from a few individuals asking how to make money with their blogs. While Google Adsense and selling ad space are probably the most profitable when you’re first starting your blog, they take attention away from your content at a time when you should be focusing on obtaining regular visitors, RSS subscribers, and fans. Affiliate Marketing can be hidden right in the middle of your blog posts, actually enhancing the quality of your posts and preventing distractions. Once your blog or website grows to a substantial number of regular contributors and readers, your affiliate marketing will generate much more passive income then any Google Adsense ads or paid ad space on your site.
These reasons and more are why you should familiarize yourself with, and begin using, affiliate marketing in your first few posts. The more you use it, the more you will become most comfortable with the right frequency of affiliate links, maximizing your passive income.
I am by all means not an expert on affiliate marketing, but I am very familiar with the concept, advantages, and the methods that go along with including it on your site or blog. I feel every blogger should gain at least a good amount of remedial information about this marketing technique so they can weigh the benefits and drawbacks to determine if it is right for them.
W hat is it?
Put simply, affiliate marketing is a web-based incentive process in which a business rewards an individual for each sale brought to them through the affiliate. What exactly does this mean? This is how it works:
- You place a unique link containing your tracking information somewhere on your site directing visitors to a product page / an e-commerce site.
- An individual clicks on the link.
- A cookie is placed on that person’s computer for a set amount of time (Usually 30 days).
- If that person purchases from that website while the cookie is still active, you will receive a percentage of that person’s sale.
- At the end of the month, you’ll receive all of your affiliate earnings in the form of a check, paypal payment, or automatic deposit to your account.
- You are an Amazon Affiliate. You are reviewing the Dreamweaver software in a blog post, and link to the Amazon page featuring Dreamweaver as a product using your affiliate link.
- 20 interested readers clicks the link to learn more about the price and details of the product.
- A cookie is placed on those computers the second he/she clicked the affiliate link, and will remain there for 30 days.
- 5 of the 20 clicks purchased the Dreamweaver software on Day 3 of the active cookie. You receive about 4% of the sale, yielding approximately $80 in earnings. Over the thirty day life of the cookie, 10 of the 20 clickers returned to the Amazon site and purchased books, software, or other amazon products, yielding $25 in affiliate earnings.
- At the end of the month, you recieve an automatic deposit to your account in the amount of $105…all from writing one simple blog post.
Of course, this example may be slightly atypical, especially if you still have a small audience.
What companies offer affiliate programs? Most large companies offer links to affiliate marketers, but you may have to sign up with an affiliate network to work for a specific company. An affiliate network is a network of companies that offer affiliate earnings. A user of one of these networks have all of their earnings from every company they are an affiliate for combined. This is helpful if an individual is an affiliate of many companies, as they have only one username and password to remember, and all of their links are available in one place. Networks include:
You have just read through a very basic explanation of what affiliate marketing is and how you can benefit from it. If you’re still interested in using this technique to give yourself some passive income, I suggest visiting the following resources to learn more about implementing it on your site or blog.
- Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing
- Do You Have the Guts to be an Affiliate Marketer
- IAB Affiliate Marketing Guide