Affiliate marketing tips for more sales
Looking to make more money on your blog with affiliate marketing? This post will help you to either get started from scratch OR give you helpful tips on how to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here.
The following affiliate marketing strategies will prove effective for both beginners and intermediate marketers. But first…
What IS affiliate marketing?
If you’re brand new to the concept of affiliate marketing, basically, an online retailer (the merchant) pays you (the affiliate) a commission to promote or drive traffic to their sites, resulting in sales.
This merchant or company provides you with a unique tracking link that you can then use to promote to your audience.
When someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you are credited with that sale and are awarded a commission in return.
Sounds pretty great, right? It is!
Check out the commissions and payouts I’ve received lately.
And this is just showing one page worth of sales.
AND it’s just one of many affiliate platforms I’m a part of.
Most of these commissions I’ve woken up to notifications about. Meaning, this is money I made while I was asleep.
For blog posts I wrote months or years ago! I owe a lot of this to the strategies I learned in this course: Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
Affiliate marketing is usually the very first way most bloggers begin monetizing their blogs. If you’re on a tight budget and want to learn the basics, you can take this free affiliate marketing course.
But first, read on to understand how you can maximize your affiliate marketing efforts once you’ve got a good grasp of how it all works.
Join affiliate programs
In order to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts, and sales, an obvious first step is to join more affiliate programs.
I’m not suggesting you join every program out there right away. But in order to keep seeing growth in your affiliate sales, you’ll want to join new programs as you find them.
Especially if you use a product or take a course you genuinely believe is valuable and worth promoting.
A couple good affiliate networks to start with (especially if you’re a beginner) are Impact and Shareasale. They both have lots of merchants looking for affiliates in many different niches. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find something to promote.
Plus, they are free to join and easy to use.
How to find affiliate programs to join
Check the website – If you have a product or brand you’d love to promote, a great first step to learning if they have an affiliate program is to simply go to their website and scroll to the bottom footer.
More often than not you’ll find a link that says “affiliates”, “become an affiliate”, or something similar.
Some use the term “associate” or “partner”. Click on the link and follow the steps outlined for you.
Reach out – If you’ve taken a course or bought an eBook from another blogger you admire, simply reach out and ask if they have an affiliate program.
Many times, an offer to become an affiliate is provided at the end of many courses. But if it’s not, send an email explaining how much you enjoyed the product and feel your audience would benefit from it too.
Ask in Facebook groups – Some good groups can be so valuable when looking for resources and information.
When you join Facebook groups, you can ask questions to the other (often more experienced) members.
Simply explain that you’re looking for affiliate programs to join in the [insert your niche here] niche, and are looking for recommendations.
Check out my list of Best Facebook Groups to Grow Your Blog.
Grab some lists – Lots of bloggers offer a “master list” of their favourite programs. Often listed by niche, so there’s something for everyone.
Here are a couple great options:
Join the Amazon Associates Program
Becoming an Amazon Associate is a very popular way to use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog.
Pretty much everyone has an Amazon account these days. They are trusted, convenient, and sell just about everything. So chances are no matter what niche you’re in, you can find something to promote to your audience.
Not only that, if you suggest a product, your reader clicks over to Amazon through your link, and goes on to buy anything, you get the commission! Even if they don’t buy what you recommended.
There are certain stipluations with this lucrative program of course. For example, you need to make 3 sales within the first 180 days of joining or you’ll be removed as an associate.
Again, this is where some good Facebook groups can come in handy. Some even offer threads specifically for people looking for those first 3 sales.
Or you can join my group and just ask in any of the daily request threads.
Say something like “I need to make my first 3 Amazon sales. If anyone is making an Amazon purchase soon, I’d love it if you could buy through my link.”
And then provide a link to a blog post that has Amazon links in it.
To learn more about all the ins and outs of the Amazon Associates program, check out my full post: How to Get Started as an Amazon Associate
Then, grab Debbie Gartner’s free amazon guide:
7 Insider Tips to Earn More on Amazon Associates
Grow your email list
One of the best ways to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts is to build, grow, and improve your email list.
Having an engaged email list can make an enormous impact on your affiliate marketing success. This is especially true when you are on the new side of blogging and don’t have a ton of blog traffic yet to drive those clicks to affiliate links.
But if you start your email list right away by offering an amazing and helpful freebie, you’ll be able to reach your audience easily and suggest products on a regular basis.
Here are some great (and free) resources to help you improve your email marketing techniques:
Build a strong relationship with your audience
If you truly want to maximize your affiliate marketing efforts, you need to build trust with your readers.
Whether it be via email, blog posts, or social media, you need to engage with and build a relationship with your audience. Make them want to buy from you because of that relationship.
Build trust so that when you do suggest a product you’re an affiliate for, they believe you when you tell them it’s a smart purchase.
It should also be noted, while it’s not imperative, it is best to be an affiliate for products you’ve actually tried out yourself. Being truthful and genuine with your readers will pay off!
Let’s say you’re on someone’s email list who you’ve been subscribed to for ages. Someone you trust as an expert in their field. And let’s say they email you about a sale on an amazing product that could help you in some way.
Then, imagine you’re scrolling Facebook and see another blogger promoting that same product.
Are you more likely to buy it from the one you’ve been engaged with and trust? Or the random one showing up in your newsfeed?
Personally, if I’m going to buy it anyway, I’d much rather give the commission to the individual I already have a relationship with.
The same will be true of your audience IF you treat them right.
Carly Campbell has a great course on this called Engaging Your Audience and I have to say, she’s who I had in mind while writing all of the above! She’s someone I always buy from because she does such a great job of creating and nurturing a relationship with her audience.
Anyone who follows her will agree!
Make sure you’re disclosing properly & legally
If you want to ensure affiliate marketing works for you, you’ll need to make sure you’re disclosing your links properly.
You need to disclose you’re using affiliate links within blog posts, email newsletters, and social media posts. This is for both legal purposes and for the sake of being transparent and trustworthy to your readers.
There’s that thing about creating a good relationship with your audience again 😉
This is incredibly important as an Amazon Associate and many other programs.
I personally used this Affiliate disclosure statement by lawyer/blogger, Lucrezia Iapachino. It’s an easy to use template you can fill in with your information.
It also gives you clear instructions on how to use it, where to place it, etc. As well as info on the special requirements of the Amazon Associates program.
In fact, having all your legal pages in order is an important factor in maximizing your affiliate marketing efforts. You’re more likely to get accepted into various affiliate programs this way.
You’ll look professional and be taken more seriously during the approval process. Many companies will review your blog or website before approving you as an affiliate. And if you don’t have the necessary legal pages on your site, they may choose to pass.
I used the Legal Bundle Value Pack to get all my legal pages done. Which by the way, includes that affiliate disclosure template I mentioned above.
Don’t skip freebie links
A lot of affiliate programs offer free products. And you might be inclined to avoid promoting the free stuff. But that’s a mistake. Here’s why.
Those free products and courses almost always have an upsell at the end. So the potential for you to earn from promoting free stuff is still there.
And what is your audience really more likely to click on? The link to the free thing, or the link to the paid thing?
While the paid thing could result in an instant commission, the free thing could pay off in the long term and is likely to get more sign ups. Therefore increasing your chances of making the sale.
I suggest using a combination of the two, but don’t skip the free links altogether.
Last but most definitely not least, the true key to maximizing affiliate marketing efforts, is to get the proper education.
I just can’t stress this enough…if you want to succeed at something new, you need to learn from people who have already done it!
There is a very legit reason why professional bloggers charge good money for their courses and eBooks. Because their experience and knowledge is valuable.
After years in the blogging industry, I’ve learned that when you bite the bullet and invest in your education, it always pays off. It took me a long time to accept this fact. But it’s true.
Here are a few affiliate marketing courses, ranging in price and in my opinion, effectiveness:
And if your main focus is Amazon, THIS is the eBook for you: Journey to the Center of Amazon
I hope these tips give you some fresh ideas on how you can maximize your affiliate marketing efforts, develop a successful strategy, and make more money with your blog.
Affiliate marketing is the easiest way to earn passive income until you can create your own courses and products or have enough traffic to apply to ad networks.
The bottom line is that your success will rely on the effort you put in. Give these tips a try and watch the affiliate sales roll in!
P.S. I’m currently looking for more affiliates. You can join my affiliate program HERE.
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Affiliate marketing tips for passive income