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Affiliate marketing is my favourite way of monetising my blog.
And that’s not because I’m a pushy, salesy person or I’m very good at sales. Actually, I have never worked in sales in my entire life, and truth to be told, I’m not cut for it. I don’t have what it takes. I wouldn’t be able to lure someone into a product to get a commission on their purchase. I wouldn’t be able to approach any customers, I would feel like bothering them. So, basically, due to my personality, I would be the worst sale(wo)man ever seen in the history of sales!
At the same, though, I’m that kind of person that when they truly like something they can’t stop raving about it. It has happened in real life when I found out about Hello Fresh, when I started doing Yoga (by the way, did you know that you can have access to + 1000 Yoga classes of professional Yoga teachers from the comfort of your house at your own pace any time anywhere? You see? I’m doing it again!!! I told you, I can’t refrain myself! But seriously, if you’re into Yoga or want to find out if it’s for you, try MyYogaWorks, they have a free trial for 14 days, after that it’s only $15 a month, but you can cancel any time anyway), or it has even happened when I finally found a GP that was thorough, knew their stuff and gave proper treatment. No need to say that half of my family and friends now see the same GP!
So, you see, if I find a deal or discover something that works wonders, I get so passionate that I can’t shut up about it. And that’s why I love affiliate marketing.
With affiliate marketing, I feel I can offer a service by making recommendations on things that I use myself and love, so that other people can benefit from them. With the added bonus that I get compensated for doing that. But without selling my soul! It’s a win-win situation really.
What’s affiliate marketing
I won’t spend much time explaining what affiliate marketing is because I assume that if you’re reading this post you most likely know what it is and you may even have had a go at it.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a process where you earn a commission by promoting other people’s or companies’ products and services if the sale is generated through your link or promotional efforts.
Basically, there are three parties involved in the process: a merchant/company providing products or services, a customer buying these products or services, and an affiliate, that is the “middle man” promoting these products or services to potential customers and earning a commission on any sales generated through their promotion. Sometimes, the affiliate may even earn a commission per lead or click.
If you find this definition still a bit confusing or you’re not yet familiar with all the different terms and jargon, have a look at this comprehensive glossary.
While for me the beauty of being an affiliate is the ability to share with people I care about, products that I have tested myself and absolutely love, affiliate marketing also provides me with the opportunity to earn a nice passive – and I emphasise the word PASSIVE – income while blogging.
I emphasise the word passive because with affiliate marketing you can earn money while sleeping, travelling on holiday or spending time with your loved ones, with no much effort and very minimal work required: you write a blog post or a review and you get to earn money from it for years down the track.
Isn’t that a dream?
So, if you’re thinking of monetising your blog or social media accounts (you don’t even need to necessarily have a website/blog to be an affiliate), you should definitely look into affiliate marketing.
How to succeed at affiliate marketing
If it’s true that affiliate marketing is a very easy way to make money, you can’t really just place a few links on your blog and expect people to click on them and get you a commission.
What has worked for me so far to succeed at affiliate marketing and get a great conversion rate from my posts is
- Having a winning strategy in place
- Joining affiliate programs that make your life easier
Learn your affiliate marketing strategy from the best
I’m a lawyer and a researcher by trade (PhD), and I’m therefore used to process massive amounts of information without getting overwhelmed. So, whenever I start something new, I always research the crap out of it.
When I was extensively researching a good strategy for affiliate marketing, and found out that Michelle of Making Sense of Cents had a complete course on affiliate marketing, I looked no further!
I mean, seriously, she is one of the most successful bloggers in the world. She is only in her twenties and makes over $ 50K a month through affiliate marketing. Yes, that’s not a typo, she earns over $ 50,000 through affiliate marketing, not yearly, MONTHLY! And thanks to her successful and profitable blog, she gets to travel full-time with her husband and their two dogs.
She does live a dream life, and if that wasn’t already amazingly inspirational, she went on and shared her successful strategy and everything she knows and learned over the years about affiliate marketing in her ultimate step-by-step course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing for all of us to benefit from.
Her comprehensive course consists of 6 modules, over 30 lessons, over 20 worksheets, plus several bonuses. Throughout the course, Michelle goes through everything:
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works
- Why affiliate marketing is great
- The exact steps she’s taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
- How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
- How to increase conversions
- How to build trust and not lose followers
- Required disclosures that you need to know about
- The one major tool you need for affiliate marketing
- Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
- How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing
On top of that, you also get several extremely useful bonuses
- How to always get approved to an affiliate program
- Pinterest strategy – how to receive hundreds of thousands of visitors from Pinterest a month
- 9 things you must do when something goes viral
- How to increase your page views
- Worksheet – my affiliate products and services
- Worksheet – the perfect affiliate link checklist
The course also comes with access to a very supportive exclusive Facebook group where you get the chance to get help and feedback from other students of the course and even Michelle herself.
You can check out the course further by clicking here. You can learn more about the course, read the FAQs and get more information about the bonuses.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I want to learn something, I want to learn it from the best of the best who has a proven record that their strategy actually works!
So, for me enrolling in her course was a no-brainer, and I have found it so useful that I’m here today to recommend it to you.
Sure, the price of the course (US$197) deterred me at first, but I do believe that to make money you need to spend money, and if you’re serious about blogging, you should definitely invest in your blog. I know, when you’re only starting out, and you’re not generating any income from your blog, $197 does sound a bit steep, but you will basically make the money back in no time by learning and implementing the strategies taught in the course. Plus, payment plans are also available.
There are so many things, products, courses, e-books and whatnot heavily promoted to bloggers every day. And I’m sure that they’re all valuable to a greater or lesser extent, but having started blogging only recently, I wanted to keep the expenses to a minimum and I have therefore been very picky so far on what or what not to purchase for my blog. This course and Tailwind are the only two (relatively) big expenses I have taken on so far, because I really felt they would bring a great return for a relatively small investment. And they sure did! I have no regretted my purchases one bit! And thinking back, I can now actually see how the value of the products exceed in fact their price.
So, if you want to have a profitable blog or want to improve your blogging income even further, take this course. No matter how new or old your blog is, no matter whether you’re a new blogger or you’ve been blogging for years, no matter how much traffic your blog drives, this course is perfect for anyone and enhances any blog’s income!
Of course, if you’re a seasoned blogger, you will find that the information shared in the first few modules are not exactly eye-opening or unheard of. To be honest, I knew pretty much everything addressed in the first modules. But again, firstly, as I said, I’m an obsessive researcher, and secondly, I still like the fact that this course is comprehensive and doesn’t give anything for granted or assume you know already lots of information.
The second part of the course is so jampacked with actionable tips, useful information and innovative strategies that no matter what level you are at, you will learn something that will significantly improve your marketing strategy and make your investment well worth it.
Plus, this course is extremely popular amongst bloggers. So, you don’t want to be one of the few left behind, when everyone else is a step ahead by applying this proven winning affiliate marketing strategy.
So, again, if you’re a new blogger wanting to make money blogging, if you tried affiliate marketing but had no luck or if you want to improve your blogging income even further, don’t miss this opportunity, enrol in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course today by clicking here.
As Michelle often says, if you’re not making money through affiliate marketing, then you’re leaving money on the table!
If you’re a beginner on a tight budget
If you’re on a tight budget and can’t currently afford enrolling in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, don’t waste time! If you’re a beginner but eager to start affiliate marketing the right way, I still have the perfect resource for you!
In fact, in the meantime, I would recommend getting the From Zero to Superhero bundle from The She Approach.
This bundle is a fantastic collection of resources and tutorials including
- A 50+ pages e-book covering everything a beginner should know, namely affiliate practices, common affiliate marketing terms, advice on how to find and pick the right affiliate programs for you, tips on where to insert your affiliate links & drive traffic to them, the legal implications of affiliate marketing and so much more!
- A collection of 200+ handpicked affiliate programs, carefully categorized by niche.
- Video tutorials
- Access to a private Facebook Group
You can check this bundle out here.
It is quite affordable (only US$ 57).
Affiliate programs that make your life easier
Once you have a winning strategy in place, you need a few tools that will make your strategy easy to implement.
Most companies offer affiliate programs on their websites, usually in the footer. From there, you can apply to join their program as an affiliate. If accepted, you will receive a unique and trackable affiliate link and most times, banners and other tools and resources. Once you’re an affiliate, you can start promoting products and services by placing your affiliate links and/or banner on your website if you have one, via email or in your posts or pins on social media platforms.
Instead of applying for different individual affiliate programs, and having, as a result, several accounts to keep track of, many logins to remember and money sitting in different accounts waiting to reach payout thresholds, I suggest picking a few good affiliate networks and stick with them.
I have picked ShareASale and Skimlinks over any other affiliate program, and I’m extremely happy with my choice.
The many reasons why I have chosen them and would recommend them to any new bloggers are
- They are popular and have a great reputation
- They are FREE to join
- The process to get accepted as an affiliate is very easy and straightforward
- The payout threshold is only $50 for ShareASale and $ 10 (ONLY TEN DOLLARS!!!) for Skimlinks (compared to $100 of most affiliate programs out there including Amazon)
- They pay on time
- You can get paid directly to your bank account via a direct deposit
- They don’t require minimum traffic
- Most importantly, the earnings from different merchants are consolidated in only one account!!!
Skimlinks has also the added bonus that, unlike any other affiliate network, you don’t need to apply for each affiliate program individually. Once you join Skimlinks, you automatically become an affiliate for over 20,000 merchants, including Amazon and e-bay, but all your earnings will be consolidated in your Skimlinks account with a payout threshold as little as $10. There are so many other benefits in joining this program that I think Skimlinks deserves a full review in itself. I may post it in the near feature.
Lastly, a special mention to one of the best and highest paying affiliate program out there: Ultimate Bundles.
Ultimate Bundles are collections of online resources sold at the whooping discount of 90-98% OFF the original price. Some bundles are open for sale for limited amount of time (usually 5 days) while others are evergreen and are available all year around.
The reasons I strongly recommend joining this affiliate program are:
- A generous commission of 40% for every sale you refer
- As an affiliate, you get access to a further 40% discount on the bundles’ price
- The bundles are absolutely awesome, they’re affordable, they’re basically a bargain and they sell like hot cakes
- There are bundles for many different niches so you would definitely find some that are interesting and valuable to your readers and yourself
- When you join the affiliate program, you also get FREE marketing training from the insightful and resourceful Ultimate Bundles Team
- And many more benefits.
Here is the list of evergreen bundles available all year around:
- Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle
- Gut Health Super Bundle
- Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle
- Work-at-Home Super Bundle
- Parenting Super Bundle
In addition to those, for limited windows of time trhoughout the year, other bundles are available for sale on a range of topics from crafting to photography to food and recipes, and much more.
Every bundle is an incredible value for your readers, and therefore I definitely recommend joining the program.
So, with the right resources (From Zero to Superhero if you’re a beginner on a tight budget, or the comprehensive course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing), ShareASale, Skimlinks and Ultimate Bundles you’re set for success!
Finally, if it’s true that you don’t need millions of visitors to succeed at affiliate marketing, of course, the more the merrier! So, if you’re struggling with blog traffic, you may want to read how I went from ~ 1K page views a month to ~2K page views a day in my third month of blogging.
Good luck with your affiliate marketing! Let me know in the comments below if you have tried affiliate marketing already and how it’s going for you.
If you’re after more tips, come and join our private Facebook Group Blogging for New Bloggers.
Our Facebook Group is a supportive community where like-minded bloggers grow together by sharing tips, establishing a real connection, fostering collaboration and promoting their blogs and social media accounts through daily promo threads. The Group is geared towards new bloggers but established bloggers are more than welcome to join too!
After joining the Facebook Group you will also find an invitation to join our Pinterest Group Boards and Tailwind Tribes.