Affiliate marketing is, and has been one of the go-to income streams for bloggers and everyone else trying to earn a dollar digitally (for many years).
It’s cheap. Meaning you don’t have to invest hundreds and thousands of dollars on product development and all the other costs that come with it.
For instance, a fancy website that looks legit so potential customers don’t have to think twice about whether or not they’re getting their money’s worth.
Not to mention the marketing. Wow.
However, some day, when your digital marketing skills and knowledge are honed and at an all-time high, creating your own products will likely be your go-to income stream.
But until then, affiliate marketing will do you just fine.
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What is Affiliate Marketing?
To put it in the simplest terms, it’s where you’d promote another person’s product in exchange for a percentage of the sale. Commission.
How does it work, you ask?
Let’s say your blog is getting about 50 to 100 visitors per day. And you want to find a way to monetize it.
With affiliate marketing, you would find a product that is so good your readers would be fools not to get it themselves.
Then, you would join the product owner’s affiliate program, get your special (affiliate) link, and share it with your audience.
Every time one of them purchases the product, you would get a piece of the pie.How big the piece depends on the affiliate’s commission rate. 10% of a $100 product would get you $10. Not bad. But it would add up.
[page_section template=’1′ position=’default’]NB: Amazon Associates is the world’s #1 Affiliate Program. Check out The Ultimate Guide To Amazon Associates by Perrin Carrell @ Authorityhacker.com [/page_section]
To actually get your readers to buy your affiliate product can be quite difficult.
However, with that said, it’s not impossible. It’s actually rather very possible.
Let me show you:
4 Ways to Make Your First Sale
Here’s the deal:
For a blogger to make their first affiliate sale, they would have 2 primary options:
- Get people on an email list.
- Create affiliate-type blog posts.
Assuming your mailing list is small, or none at all, we’ll have to focus on the latter.
Shall we check them out?
#1. The Product Comparison Post
Product comparison posts are almost like product roundups, which we’ll get to later. But there are a couple differences.
One, you’d go a little more in depth. Not as much as you would with regular product reviews, we’ll talk about them next, but more.
Two, you’d go a little more niche, in terms of the topic. Or in this case, the product type. Example:
- social sharing plugins = yay
- social media tools = nay
Let me show you an example of a real life product comparison post:
Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard has this one where he’s brought 10 of the best social sharing plugins for WordPress in one post and showed them off to the readers.
For every product in their post, they started with the product’s name (obviously), a relevant image, and a summary.
Then the product’s best features, its pricing, and a link to its sales or signup page.
And then at the end of the post are the recommendations.
Note: Their affiliate links are highlighted in the screenshot above.
Does it REALLY Work?
Well, I couldn’t ask how much money he’s made from just that blog post alone. Because that’s just rude.
But to show you how effective a quality product comparison post can be, let me show you this:
The post was created in 2014. It says so in its URL. But he’s maintained it ever since.
It currently ranks in the top 3 for many search terms that is related, even broadly, to social sharing plugins.
The high search rankings alone makes the blog post 10x more valuable than most (in its topic).
What’s even more is that people are sharing it with their blogger buddies.
So, when you’re creating your own product comparison post, use Blogging Wizard’s post for inspiration.
For each product in your post, they’ll each need:
- The subheading
- The product image
- The summary
- The pros and cons OR the main features
- The pricing points
- The affiliate link
And in that order.
If you need more help, here’s a basic checklist of what your post would need:
- Product #1
- Product #2
- Product #3
#2. The Product Review
Product reviews are somewhat like the product roundup posts. But you’re only review one. And you go 10x more in depth.
Sometimes, you can share what greatness the product has done for you and others. Like what AffiliMarketer did with Wealthy Affiliate.
Sometimes, you can show how to use the product effectively. Like what Matthew Woodward did with SEM Rush.
Sometimes, you can do everything.
Does it REALLY Work?
When you dive into the world of affiliate marketing, you will likely create many product reviews.
Why? Because you’re able to show more of the product without any distractions. You know? It’s just your words and the reader.
If that doesn’t sound good to you, maybe this will:
- Nearly 70% of consumers rely on reviews before making a purchase
- 72% of consumers will take action after reading a positive review
For an affiliate/blogger, those numbers are mighty fine.It means if the product you’re promoting is in demand, a product review will do you just fine.
Here are some tips to help you create a product review that can convert its readers into dollars:
- Search traffic will likely be its main traffic source. So optimize for it (SEO).
- Don’t promote it if you wouldn’t use it.
- Buy the product yourself, review it thoroughly, and share it with your readers.
- Consider using video.
- Use plenty of images.
- Don’t leave out the cons.
#3. The Product Roundup Post
This is one of the best ways to not only get your readers interested in your affiliate product(s), but it can also get your blog additional visitors.
That’s not all:
With a product roundup post, you can promote an X amount of products. It would be totally up to you.
It’s almost like the product comparison post. Except this one rounds up products in a broader range.
Here’s an example: 101 (Neatly Organized) Marketing Tools For Nearly Any Marketing Task
In this post, Ahrefs’ contributor Joshua Hardwick rounds up 101 tools for digital marketers and organized them into several categories.
Categories like backlink research, competition research, local SEO, and email marketing.
Does it REALLY Work?
Sure it does.
For ones that round up products in the dozens, you can generate loads of traffic and shares. Just like how Ahrefs’ post generated over 500 shares.
So how do you create your own?
- You can start by picking a broad topic.
- Gather up dozens of tools.
- Join affiliate programs of the best ones.
- Create the post.
- And promote it like a madman.
When you create the post…
- Organize them into categories.
- You’ll only need around 50 words for each product.
- You don’t need images for every single product, but consider having one for every category.
When you’re promoting the post…
- Share it on all your active social media accounts. And more than a couple times.
- Mention some of the product owners in your social media posts.
- Email everyone to let them you you’ve featured their product in your post.
#4. The Affiliate’s Expert Roundup Post
Expert roundup posts. I’m sure you’ve seen them, right? They’re everywhere. They’re a great way to create high-quality content and provide help for the blog visitors. Just like what Minuca Elena did on the Successful Blogging blog.
Her expert roundup post received so much attention it’s still one of the best I’ve ever seen. More than 3.2K shares, 163 blog comments, and tens of thousands of views.
But, that’s not the affiliate’s expert roundup post. That’s just a regular roundup.
An affiliate’s expert roundup post, let’s call it AERP, is one that features products. Not tips, tricks, or anything like that.
An AERP is like the one Robbie Richards created on his blog, where he got 61 marketing experts to share their 3 best keyword research tools.
Tools = Product. Product = Affiliate Programs. Affiliate Programs = Dollar Signs.
Does it REALLY Work?
I can’t believe you’re asking me that. Of course it works. 😛
Using Robbie’s roundup as the example, an AERP can give your affiliate products thousands of potential customers.
Just think about it…
Robbie generated over 3.7K shares and received 138 blog comments. That is a lot of potential customers.
AERPs can even have SEO value.
Robbie’s post currently sits among the top 10 for multiple keyword terms/phrases related to keyword tools.
And like I said before, high search rankings makes your post very valuable.
So, when you’re creating your own AERP, keep these in mind:
- Everything You Need To Create An Expert Roundup Post
- How to Create A Killer Expert Roundup Post (REAL Expert Advice)
Promoting other people’s quality products is one of the best ways to generate income on a monthly basis. Especially for bloggers.
The 4 ways I showed you above, mixed with some hard work and determination, I could see you earn your first sale in weeks. Possibly even days.
So go get started.
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