Today I will break down affiliate marketing, the basic income stream for most bloggers. If you are a blogger already, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
Side Note If You Are a New Blogger: Affiliate marketing is an advertising model where a company pays compensation to third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services. The third party publishers are referred to as affiliates and the commission fee incentivizes them to find ways to promote the company.
Source | Investopedia
My Point Of View
To me, affiliate marketing is something that we have to do with care. For example, in my everyday life, I am a very sharing person. When I visit a place and get good service I tend to spread the word around. Sharing on my social media, tell my family etc. It is my way of appreciating something good that I was provided and I want other people to have the same experience as me.
Now let’s see this from a bloggers point of view. You get a product or service and you are disappointed. Would you recommend that to your audience? Probably not.
Yet, there are bloggers out there making a huge mistake. I will explain that.
Related Post: How To Make Money Blogging
Affiliate Marketing – The Right Way
As I was saying in my Why You Should Start Blogging post, most of us bloggers are starting blogging to generate an income. And that is totally cool. Things tend to get ugly when someone promotes a product or service without first testing it to see if it works, and basically lie in order to get a commission.
Don’t get me wrong. I love affiliate marketing and it is one of the ways this blog will have some profit, but I am only suggesting products I have used and/or still using. Products or services I have paid for and never let me down. Keep in mind that this is a blog where you will see many links to companies for services or products that I am not affiliated with. It’s purely because I love what they offer.
What You Should Do
Be honest with your audience.
I visited Kimi’s blog the other day, and read her post about Why she Switched To Manual Pinning. Kimi is a subscriber to Tailwind, but after a LOT of testing and trying she realized that manually pinning is better for her blog. Not that Tailwind isn’t working, she is still using it, but you will see that what I absolutely loved about that post was her honesty. That’s one of the reasons Kimi got a fan. Plus, she has a very interesting and beautiful blog, I love her “voice” and the way she explains things.
Way to go Kimi! So, yes, do it like Kimi, girls.
The reason why people are visiting our blogs is that they are in search of something. Let’s make that something creative, valuable and honest, you know?
If you are ready to start your blog, you can head over to my super easy to follow guide on starting a blog, at only $3.95 per month (this low price is through my link) for blog hosting. IF your goal is to make money blogging then you NEED to be self-hosted and not on a free blogging platform.
Important Note: Always let your audience know that a specific post contains affiliate links. Add that at the beginning of your post.
Put your affiliate link (Im’not referring to other links, like sources etc.) close to the beginning of your post, in the middle and at the end of it. Don’t put links every 2 sentences.
What You Shouldn’t do
Don’t do this on your blog. It may get you a few bucks, which I highly doubt, but in the long run, it will actually kill conversions and your credibility.
Do not add affiliates you have NOT personally tried and worked well with. You are risking your credibility. And blogging is ALL about credibility. Trust me on this.
An Example: I have read in some blogs about a survey website (I won’t disclose which one yet) that was legit, blah blah blah, and how they made money with it. So, I was like, ok why not? Long story short, it sucked. It was nothing like they were writing about. The surveys were paying like $0.01 and most of the time the following scam took place. I was clicking to take part in a survey. They asked for my contact info (+email) and when I clicked to get the survey it said: “Sorry, you are not qualified for it”. I was like “What??”. You took my email though!
I lost trust in those bloggers and to me, they are not a valuable source of information. Period.
Are you using a product or service and you are extremely satisfied with it? Share it with your audience. Don’t get money hungry on day one. Built a valuable network with your knowledge of your niche and then you can be certain it will become a solid, profitable business for you.
You know why? Because you have built it with care.
Your turn: Are you using affiliate marketing on your blog? How is it working for you?