Many bloggers on their web blogs, YouTube, or Instagram utilize affiliate marketing strategies without people even noticing it. But, can Affiliate Marketing work for bloggers and give great results?
Many digital marketers suggest affiliate marketing methods to increase business profits as when it comes to blogging affiliate marketing can be an easy and effective way to monetize your traffic and turn it into a profitable long-term passive income stream.
So, if you want to start an affiliate marketing blog, or you already have a one, but not sure about affiliate marketing – you will find some great and useful information as you go through this article.
Can Affiliate Marketing Make You Money?
People have doubts and second thoughts when they hear about new and hot business models and that is completely normal. There are many get-rich-quick schemes out there that sell worthless guides and systems about making money online that are a waste of time.
However, affiliate marketing has been around for many years. Many legit brands depend on affiliate marketing for their revenue, and it has created many full-time marketers.
For a few interesting stats, in 2019, affiliate marketing remains the main source of income for blogs earning over $50K/year.
Also, 15% of the total digital advertising revenue is attributed to affiliate marketing, and affiliate marketing spending is expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2020 in the USA.
So, affiliate marketing is not a new and untested area, but a 6 billion industry. You can expect this number to grow in the next years because the internet and its number of users also keep growing.
The best part is that there is room for everyone. Many big brands are not online yet or have not created affiliate programs. It means more opportunities and income sources for affiliate marketers in the future.
You can also get into untapped niches with no competition and dominate them or at least take a big part of the industry.
The bottom line is that affiliate marketing can make you money and have already turned many people into millionaires. While we know some big names that use affiliate marketing as their main source of income, there are a lot of people who remain anonymous.
The biggest misconception about blogging and affiliate marketing is that this method can make you money quickly. You must treat it as a business and not as a trick for extra money. If you are not willing to invest in time and effort, you may get disappointed.
How does Affiliate Marketing work?
The internet has created many opportunities for those who want to take action. You don’t even need to create your own product or sell anything to start your own online business, and that is probably the main upside of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing allows you to recommend and promote other people’s products and make high commissions after a purchase. It works in a few simple steps:
- Blogger finds an affiliate program/product
- Generates a unique affiliate link
- Sends traffic to his affiliate links
- Gets a commission when someone buys a product via his link
It can work with many business models and sources of traffic as there are so many different products you can promote. Affiliate marketers normally send traffic to their links with search engines (like Google), paid advertising, social media, email marketing, etc.
Blogging is an effective way to get traffic and make money. However, you need to build your blog first, and then monetize it with offers from affiliate products.
The reason why this business model can be hard is that it takes time and effort to build up an authority blog that constantly generates traffic on autopilot. With this type of business, you need to put the hard work first before you reap the rewards.
The good news is that blogging can give you tons of traffic if you follow the right strategy, and there are unlimited affiliate programs on the internet. Most successful businesses that sell products online have already created their own affiliate programs or participate in affiliate networks.
For example, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Booking.com and thousands of smaller brands have affiliate programs, where you can promote any of their products and get paid for it.
And we are not talking about pennies for a reward. For example, Booking.com offers 50 € or 40% commissions for every single recommended hotel from its platform.
If you are interested in high commission payouts, the Clickbank is a digital product marketplace that offers commissions ranging from 50%-75% from a sale. There are many great products to promote on Clickbank, where you can get over $500 from a single referred customer.
When you have a blog and want to use the affiliate marketing method, your results depend on the trust that you build with your audience. If you can demonstrate that you are a genuine information provider and an expert in your niche, people will be more likely to buy your recommendations.
In a few words, you need a lot of content, traffic, products to promote, and trust between you and your visitors to make affiliate marketing work.
How to become a successful Affiliate Marketer:
We can break down the process of affiliate marketing for bloggers in four simple steps. While they are simple steps, taking action is a challenge for any beginner. So, here is how to get started:
Step 1: Choose your niche
The first step is to choose the niche of your blog. While the word niche sounds a little confusing it is only the market you want to target or the audience you want to reach.
When choosing the niche think of the things that you already like, even if you don’t recognize them. For example, you may have hobbies, passions, interests, things you are good at, videos that you watch on YouTube, and blogs you read.
If you have spent some time learning information on any topic, you probably can explain this information to other people. You can do this either by writing a blog about yourself or creating a blog based on a specific niche.
You don’t have to know everything to get started.
Most bloggers learn more about their niches when they research and create content for it. So, you just need a niche to get started. Anything that sounds interesting to you is good enough.
Step 2: Build a website
Next, you want to build your own website and get a domain name. There are people who create and publish content on free blogging platforms like Blogger and Tumblr. They may get some results through time, but they have a disadvantage from bloggers who publish content on their websites.
The steps for building your first website are the following:
• Buy a domain name
• Find a hosting provider
• Create a logo
• Create your first pages or posts
You need to keep in mind that your blog will become your brand. It’s up to you to create a personal brand or a niche-based brand.
The domain name of the site and the logo should be relevant to that decision. There is no right or wrong here, and it’s ok to get started with the one that motivates or makes you feel more comfortable.
When it comes to your first pages, you need to describe why you started this blog and how you can help your readers.
After that, you should dive into the content creation process and create a lot of blog posts, or videos relevant to your niche.
If you want to build your first website in under 1 hour here’s a step-by-step guide for you.
Step 3: Get traffic
If you don’t overthink the first two steps, you can complete them in a few hours. Getting traffic is the most important marketing part of a blog and the next step of the whole process.
With a new blog, you need to start from zero. The first step would be to find content ideas for new articles. Most profitable blogs get most of their traffic from Google and a smaller part of it from social media.
It is highly advised to put your focus on getting traffic from search engines like Google. In 2019 organic Google traffic still remains the most profitable traffic source for blogs.
If you want to follow this strategy, you want to write content that people want to read. The easiest way to achieve that is by finding keywords that people use to search on the internet and create content for them.
Another way to simplify this process is to visit question and answer websites like Quora and check popular questions that your audience is asking. Then, you can turn these questions into blog posts, or videos that will show up on the search engines.
Of course, when you are on the blogging business, you must create quality content and optimize your site and articles for search engines. Then, you can share your articles on social media and create discussions about them.
If you follow that process consistently, you will start getting traffic from search engines and build a following on social media.
Step 4: Make Money
Once you start getting traffic, the easiest part is to turn the traffic into money. You just need to find a good product that is relevant to your niche. For example, if you have a blog on the self-development niche, you can suggest a popular book, course, or seminar related to self-development.
These are the biggest affiliate product marketplaces on the Internet where you can find your favorite products to promote:
Some of your visitors will check your suggestions and a percentage of them will buy. Depending on the product, you can get commissions from 5%-75%, and this is the magic of affiliate marketing. You can earn the biggest part of the sale without creating or delivering the product.
What Is The Best Blogging Platform For Affiliate Marketing?
Most successful affiliate marketers and bloggers use WordPress. It is the most user-friendly blogging platform, and there are many hosting providers with great offers.
Starting with the obvious benefits over other alternatives, you can expect more options when it comes to themes and plugins because most people use it. There are unlimited options for a better design, and you can really do anything with your website without worrying about the technical part.
Next, you can install plugins that add functionality to your website and make changes with a few clicks. These changes will affect the user experience of your site, so there will be benefits on SEO and conversions as well.
Lastly, you can easily add users and manage the tasks of your blogging business. You can add authors, editors, SEO specialists, and more without giving them access to every part of your site. It will be really helpful when you want to hire a few people to help you or just want to scale your business.
WordPress is the best free blogging platform out there and gives you the option to start and run an online business with no experience or technical knowledge.
Affiliate Marketing is a still relevant way to start an online business for dummies or advanced. All you need to start making money is a bit of time and a self-hosted blog that costs very little compared to the financial returns.
If you already have a blog with some regular visitors – that’s even better. You can find affiliate products, which you can align with the topic of your blog. Make sure these products are selling or have the potential to sell, so you are not wasting time promoting something that just doesn’t make money.
Getting targeted traffic to your blog is essential to become successful, therefore focusing on Google traffic is highly advised, as it is the most profitable traffic source today.
The main key to success with this type of business is consistency. For many successful affiliate marketers who are millionaires right now, it took years to start making money online.
Paul Lian is a researcher, writer, and founder of WayToChanges.com. With over eight years of experience in blogging, digital marketing, copywriting, and digital products, he has built multiple six-figure income streams. Through his blog, Paul shares his best expertise, strategies, and tools to help readers achieve financial freedom and success in their own digital ventures.