Want to make money with affiliate marketing? Who doesn’t! Affiliate marketing is a both popular and lucrative way for bloggers to earn income from their websites. However, there are plenty of pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. To help you stay on the straight and narrow, I put together this list of my best affiliate marketing tips for bloggers.
Ready to get started? Let’s do this!
21 affiliate marketing tips for bloggers
Only promote products you believe in
It’s so much easier to promote an affiliate product you actually use and believe in. Trust me, your audience can tell if you’re just pitching a product to make a quick buck.
For example, a product I promote heavily on this blog is the Astra Pro blog theme. I do this because it’s the actual blog theme I use on this blog (and others I own, too).
If you want to make money with affiliate marketing, there’s no better blog theme to use than Astra Pro. Let me explain why.
To rank in Google, you not only need great content and backlinks but a fast website that provides a good user experience. These are factors that Google will be emphasizing more in the future (source).
That means you need a blog theme that’s built for speed and ease of use. I’ve gone through a ton of different themes and haven’t found one faster than Astra.
Only promote relevant offers
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you can match the blog post to a relevant offer. Ads, on the other hand, don’t let you do that. On a particular blog post, only promote products that match not only your blog niche but the topic of the article.
For example, I promote Bluehost on many of my blog posts. But, it’s not something I’d promote on this post because the audience on this page already has a blog host.
Don’t add too many links
While it’s important to add affiliate links to your blog posts, where appropriate, don’t go overboard. You don’t need to fill up a blog post with a bunch of links.
When I’m promoting a product, I make sure to add an affiliate link near the top of the article, again in the middle, and one more time in the end.
Don’t be salesy
I get it. Your goal is to get the reader to purchase a product. But you don’t do that by begging. Instead, try explaining the benefits of the product or service. Go into detail about why you use it and how you use it. Explain how it has made your life better in some way.
Cloak your affiliate links
Keep your affiliate links clean by cloaking the URL. I use the ThirstyAffiliates plugin for WordPress to hide my ugly affiliate links.
It will turn a link that looks like this:
Into a link like this:
Highlight the benefits
Rather than focusing on the features of the product you’re promoting, highlight the benefits.
For example, if you’re selling an online course, people don’t want to hear about how long the videos are or how many modules it has. It’s more important to show how a product made you feel or how it made your life easier.
Nofollow your affiliate links
Google wants you to nofollow promotional links. In the WordPress post editor, you can set affiliate links as nofollow. If you’re using the ThirstyAffiliates plugin, you can set links as nofollow by default in the settings. And finally, you can add the rel=”nofollow” tag to your links.
End the post with a CTA
Many readers scroll to the bottom of a long blog post to read the conclusion. Don’t miss this important chance to end your blog post with a call to action.
Add a clear link to the product and mention the most important benefit.
To create a CTA that will drive sales, you should be action-oriented and capitalize on their fear of missing out. Use these with different colored text and compelling copy to push sales through your referral link.
Unfortunately, you won’t know exactly what works for your audience except through trial and error. Try different CTAs, different font styles, and different products to get an idea of what CTAs push your audience to buy.
Offer a bonus
Check with the affiliate program before doing this. But if they allow it, offer an added bonus to sweeten the offer. If you have an ebook or a related product, mention to your readers that they’ll receive it if they buy the affiliate product.
You probably won’t be able to deliver the product automatically, so let readers know to email you to redeem the offer.
You can also offer to help people best use the affiliate product.
Promote high priced products
Obviously this depends on your niche. But you will never make good money if you choose to promote low cost products. It’s just a math thing. You can’t beat math. Math is undefeated.
Follow with me here, let’s say you have a goal of making $5,000 per month via affiliate marketing.
If you promote a product that pays you a $5 commission, you’d have to sell 1,000 products!
I don’t care how good at marketing you are or how much traffic you have, it’s not going to happen.
I don’t think I’ve ever sold 1,000 of anything, ever!
Instead, promote a service that pays you $100 per sale. Then you’d have to make 50 sales, or less than 2 per day to reach your goal.
It takes roughly the same effort to sell a high cost product than a low cost product.
Selling is selling. You have to convince someone to open up their wallet. You need to convince them that this is a product they can’t live without.
If you adequately explain the benefits of a product to your ideal reader, you will make sales. It’s more about how a product will help them solve a problem they have than the price tag.
Look for recurring income affiliates
Recurring affiliate offers can help you build a steady stream of recurring income. For example, if you provide an affiliate referral to a product or service with a monthly fee, recurring affiliate offers will provide you a cut of that fee until the user cancels their subscription.
This can be great for building up reliable income from affiliate marketing. After a few months, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how much income is being generated by recurring affiliate offers. This offers you extra security.
Some programs, such as ConvertKit (which is an email marketing program like Mailchimp), pay 30% lifetime commissions. Their product costs $49 per month. That means you collect $15 per sale – per month. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that’s $180 every year for just one sale.
Don’t promote too many products
You might think that the more affiliate links you add the more clicks you’ll get and ultimately the more money you’ll make.
This just isn’t true.
You need to be authentic with your audience. If you’re recommending a bunch of products, it will sound like you’re just doing that just to earn a commission.
The goal should always be to help your ideal reader. When you do that, the money will come.
Share honest product reviews
Just dropping links in articles doesn’t work. You need to have a content marketing strategy. You need content geared towards making affiliate sales.
And when you’re trying to make money with affiliate marketing, there’s no better blog post to create than a product review.
If you want your blog’s viewers to use your affiliate marketing links to purchase a product, write great product reviews. When you tell readers about a product, how it works, and what you think about it, you give them the information they need to feel comfortable making a purchase.
You can write reviews on products you’re already using. For example, if you have a digital photography blog, you can write reviews for each of your cameras and the lenses and accessories you’re already using. These reviews can be used to make sales through your affiliate marketing program.
Write product comparisons
Put two competing products up against each other. Treat it like two reviews in one blog post. Give your opinion of the winner at the end.
In these types of blog posts, add an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand product table or comparison chart. It can help your readers make an informed decision between two or more products. Include product prices, features, reviews, and more. This provides your readers with lots of valuable information.
Write product tutorials
Another blog post type that works well with affiliate marketing is writing product tutorials. Find a product in your niche and explain how to use it.
Write best list of tools or resources
This affiliate marketing method may be my favorite. Create a page where you list the tools and resources you use and recommend. Build this page using a page builder like Elementor.
Add a link to this blog post or page directly on your main menu to give it maximum exposure. Here’s a link to my blog resources page as an example.
It can be easy to feel discouraged if you aren’t seeing high income from your affiliate marketing efforts. However, building a successful blog and effectively using affiliate marketing will take time. For many bloggers, it may take six to twelve months before they see any significant income.
If you’re too pushy with your marketing, you may turn people off from visiting your site. Balancing reader experience and your profitability may take time to figure out. But if you’re aggressive with your marketing, you may turn readers off.
It helps to mention a related free product along with the affiliate product. To be helpful and authentic with your audience, offer a free alternative that’s useful but may have limited features.
Let your readers know you get a cut from their purchases. When you’re upfront with them, they’ll know that they can trust you to give accurate information. A lot of websites use spammy or shady tactics to drive sales through affiliate marketing. Don’t be one of those.
The law in the United States requires you to disclose that you’re a part of an affiliate marketing partnership. In this disclosure, let your readers know that you’re not only recommending the items because you’ll make money from them, but because you honestly believe in the products or services.
What’s a key ingredient for getting more affiliate sales? Trust. When you have it, your readers will buy what you recommend. When you don’t have it, they won’t buy a thing.
Here are a few ways you can establish trust on your website:
- Provide valuable free content
- Be a helpful member of the community
- Start an email list and write your list every week
- Have a professional logo and design
- Get an SSL certificate so your site is on HTTPS
- Make sure your website loads fast
Understand your audience
While you will typically earn more by promoting higher-cost products, this depends entirely on your audience. For example, if you run a budgeting blog, it doesn’t make sense to offer high-ticket items.
Understand your audience and make sure the items you’re promoting are in a price range that’s accessible to your readers.
Wrapping it up
Got any tips on affiliate marketing I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,