This is part 3 of the affiliate marketing series.
Part 1: What is Affiliate Marketing, And How Does it Work?
Part 2: 18 Top Affiliate Marketing Programs to Join
Part 3: 10 Crucial Tips to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
Part 4: How to Multiply Your Affiliate Income Using The 80/20 Rule
Part 5: The Ultimate Guide: Step-by-step Affiliate Marketing For Dummies
Making money with affiliate marketing isn’t that difficult if you think about it.
When I first started, all I needed to do was sign up for a couple of affiliate marketing programs, and paste my affiliate link into my blog posts.
Yeah, it’s that easy.
But if you want to go pro and actually make some serious affiliate marketing money, here are some crucial tips that you cannot miss out on.
1. Stay legal
This is important. Protect yourself! If your business is based in the USA, you’ll have to disclose that your link is an affiliate link – as close as possible to the link itself.
The affiliate disclosure cannot be at the bottom of your posts.
I have personally seen a lot of big-shot bloggers who don’t disclose their affiliate links whom I know are based in the USA, and it’s truly an accident waiting to happen.
If you’re based somewhere else, you may want to check on the respective law(s) in your home country.
2. Cloak your links
Affiliate links are normally very messy. For me, I am an affiliate for a ton of products that I love, so it gets very confusing after awhile.
A pro tip that I have for you is to use the plugin Pretty Link Lite (it’s free) to cloak any affiliate links you have.
For instance, my Siteground affiliate link would be raelyntan.com/siteground instead of siteground.com/3439utwgsg (the latter is a hypothetical link, but you get my point).
This helps in a couple of ways. Firstly, it’s easier for you to give your affiliate link to others. Secondly, people already trust your domain, and are more likely to click-through (as compared to clicking on a spammy looking affiliate link).
3. Don’t recommend anything you won’t use yourself
This point, guys. This point is queen.
Genuine love and enthusiasm for a product cannot be faked over a long period of time.
As my business grows, I have to make more and more ethical decisions at the expense of profit, and this is one of them.
I don’t recommend anything I am not 100% for.
It becomes a “moral” issue, kinda, because sometimes, certain affiliate marketing programs will pay more but the products are not as stellar.
An example would be a particular product, Product X (that I recommend to you guys). (I’ve removed the exact product name because I don’t want to get into trouble). Did you know that if I recommend it’s competitor, Product Y, to you guys, I would earn 2x the affiliate revenue that I would receive from Product X? Product Y has one of the best affiliate programs, and they even emailed me to offer better terms if I were to join their team to promote them.
But to this day, I still recommend Product X to you guys (despite its crappy affiliate team) because Product X is good.
This is huge because: $300 becomes $600. $1000 becomes $2000. $5000 becomes $10000.
You get the point. It’s huge.
I love Product X and so far, everyone I’ve recommended Product X to loves it, and I want the best for my readers. Maybe one day I would recommend Product Y… if Product Y pulls their socks up. But not today.
4. Weave your links naturally in a tutorial on your blog
I strongly believe that all bloggers should master the art of recommending products in a way that is helpful and non-spammy.
Weave your links as naturally as possible!
Context, guys. Context.
If you’re going to be recommending something, make sure that it makes sense in the context of your post.
You wouldn’t, right? If you want to make money with affiliate marketing, the affiliate links you add must make sense. A great way to do that is via a tutorial.
Here are some examples of how I weave affiliate links naturally in my blog while proving massive #value to my audience:
- How to Start a Blog
- Why I Switched To Using Convertkit As My Email Service Provider
- 101 Best Blogging Tools & Resources
5. Add affiliate links to your most popular posts
For some of you, you would have really popular posts on your website.
If it’s appropriate, add affiliate links to your most popular posts.
If it’s not appropriate to do so in the context of that post, try to link to your top-converting blog posts that have affiliate links. (aka those tutorial posts I talked about in the previous point).
It doesn’t have to be complex.
If could be as simple as a sentence like, “Do you want to learn how to make green smoothies? Check out the top 10 juicers I recommend in this post!”
6. Resource page
A resource page is a page where you list out all the products you recommend. If you’re a health blogger, it could be a page full of health products that you love – people would appreciate such a great resource.
At your navigational menu, add a link to your resource page.
If you’re looking for mine, it’s currently under construction 😛
7. Target audience alignment
If you have readers but can’t seem to make any money with affiliate marketing, listen up!
This one is for you.
Chances are, you’re recommending the wrong products. The affiliate product that you recommend isn’t what your target audience would need.
For instance, if you’re a food blogger, your main source of income will not be from promoting blog hosting, right? It would be from recommending a food guide. Or certain cooking/ baking equipment.
This is because your target audience, foodies, may not necessarily like blogging. It would be like trying to fit a round screw into a square peg.
Often we see someone else having successful with a particular product and feel obligated to promote the same thing too. No! Keep your audience in mind first.
8. Experiment with different styles
Affiliate links come in many different styles. You may want to play around with them.
I’m talking about: Banners… Product images… Just a simple link… A coupon code… etc.
You may want to play around to recommending your products in different formats.
For instance, if the affiliate product that you are recommending is highly visual (eg. a certain kind of equipment), you may want to display a picture of it and then get people to click on that.
Include your affiliate links into your email campaigns.
Where appropriate, add your affiliate links to your newsletter or your automated follow-up sequence.
Very occasionally, I also send out newsletters with affiliate products that I really love. You could weave your affiliate links with my favorite newsletter content ideas, such as weaving them into an email challenge you are holding.
You’ve worked so hard to build that email list and get those subscribers, so don’t let it go to waste! You are also giving your subscribers value by directing them to great resources, so it’s a win-win solution.
10. Lead magnet
Adding your affiliate links to your freebie or lead magnet has been a proven tactic for ages.
You can bet that a majority of your audience would be consuming your lead magnet. If it’s relevant, add in your best affiliate links inside.
Talk about affiliate income that grows on autopilot as your subscriber numbers increase!
Here’s a summary of the 10 tips you can use to make money with affiliate marketing.
- Stay legal, add your affiliate disclosures
- Cloak your links
- Don’t recommend anything that you don’t love with all your heart
- Weave your links naturally in a tutorial
- Add affiliate links to your most popular posts
- Resource page
- Make sure your target audience actually needs them
- Experiment with different layouts
- Add them to your email newsletters
- Add them to your lead magnets
Continue to part 4 of this 5-part series: How to Multiply Your Affiliate Income Using The 80/20 Rule