Did you start your blog and want to make money? With no doubt, affiliate marketing is by far the best way to make money for beginner bloggers.
If you master affiliate marketing, it can be an amazing source of income for months and even years. It’s the dream of making money while you sleep.
In this article, you’ll discover exactly what is affiliate marketing, how it works and of course how to earn thousands per month as an affiliate.
What is affiliate marketing?
Basically, affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission, just for promoting other’s people products or services.
The amount of money that you’ll make is pre-determined by the product owner. But usually, you can expect to earn anywhere from 15-75% depending of the kind of affiliate offer you are going to sell.
Physical products usually have lower affiliate earnings, while services and digital products (like courses or digital programs) will have a higher commission.
As you can note, some affiliate programs can offer very high earnings for their affiliates. And you must be thinking why would someone give away up to 75% of their earnings?
The reason is very simple. Because selling is never easy, and you are going to do the hard work of promoting and selling the product.
In short a summary, the affiliates are the ones responsible for doing the hard work of getting visitors to the sales page and for convincing the readers to buy the product.
Any honest marketer will admit that selling is never easy, otherwise, everyone would get extremely rich easily, and for this reason, product owners are “forced” to pay high a high percentage of their earnings to attract affiliates.
If they don’t pay attractive rates, hardly anyone would be interested, because why would someone waste time, resources and even money buying ads to get a small 5-10% commissions from a product worth $50 or $100 bucks?
As you can see there’s a smart logic behind how the affiliate program works.
And for product owners, the more affiliates they get, the more money they’ll make. Because as a product owner you don’t have extra costs for paying up to 75% of your product earnings to your affiliates.
Why affiliate marketing is the best way to earn money with your blog?
Essentially there are only 2 ways to make money with your blog:
1. Using advertisement platforms like Google Adsense
With no doubts, it’s the easiest way to make money with your blog. You just need to join an advertisement platform, copy some lines of code into your blog and every time that one of your readers makes clicks you’ll earn somewhere from 10 cents to $1.
It’s very easy to set up and 100% passive, you can earn money while you sleep with absolutely no extra work needed.
The problem with these ads?
The low low risk and work involved come with the lowest reward. And you’ll need tons of traffic to make a good amount of money. Imagine that your blog receives 10,000 visitors per month and the average click-through ratio is around 1%. At this rate, you’ll get 100 clicks making $100 considering that you’ll get $1 per click.
The earnings are not going to be worth the time you’ll need to invest to write articles and get traffic.
2. Selling products and services
On the other side creating and selling your own products and services is the most profitable way to make money for beginners. Instead of wasting time to get cents you’ll be investing time to get $50-100 per sale or even more.
You don’t need to be smart to understand that making just 1 or 2 sales per day, you can earn countless times more than by publishing ugly ads on your site and hoping that people will click on it.
But like everything on life, higher earnings come with higher risks.
Creating your own products or services is expensive, takes a long time and you still have the risk of creating a product that your audience will not like and will not buy from you.
And here is when the affiliate marketing model comes. With this model, you have the benefits of having your own product without the risks of investing time and money to create a product that doesn’t sell.
By promoting affiliate products you have all these benefits:
- No worries about shipping and customer support;
- No need to deal with refunds and chargebacks;
- You can test which affiliate product sells better;
- Can work on auto-pilot.
The only downside is that your earnings will be a bit lower compared of having your own products and services. However, the cost to start promoting an affiliate program is very low and the same applies to the risks.
As a new blogger (and even for experts) with no doubts is better and smart decision to get started with affiliate marketing instead of creating your own products and services.
I know many bloggers making over $10,000 per month just promoting affiliate products and services.
How to start making money with affiliate marketing?
Getting started with affiliate marketing is relatively easy. In the first step, you need to join good and reliable affiliate networks or programs.
There are literally tons and tons of affiliate programs online. Even some of those huge companies have affiliate programs.
For example, you can join Amazon Associates and start making up to 10% commissions. Or you can make a deep search and find individual programs or services and promote them.
For example, one of my favorite programs that I use and promote is Aweber, this a popular email marketing service that pays a good 30% lifetime commission for all customers that join their service.
However, if you don’t want to spend time looking for individual affiliate programs you can simply join an affiliate network.
The best affiliate networks for bloggers
If you spend some time on search engines you can find several affiliate marketing companies, however, just a few of them are good and reliable. Below are some of the most popular affiliate networks.
As I said, there are many other affiliate networks, but if you are starting now, it’s better to focus on only these above. If you register on these platforms there are hundreds of products to promote in any niche that you can imagine.
The best way to promote affiliate programs and earn over $1,000/month
Here’s the most exciting and important step to make money with affiliate marketing. After that, you chose the affiliate offers you want to promote is the part to apply the best and most profitable strategies to generate sales.
However, there are a couple of super important golden rules to follow in the affiliate marketing or if you want to sell something online:
- Maybe the most important factor to sell a product is trust, nobody will buy what you have to offer if they don’t trust you!
- Besides trust, you must prove to your readers why they should buy from you. What you are promoting is worth and valuable to them? If you are selling a product that promises to solve their problems, you must show how and why they must pay for this.
- You need to create interest in your readers. If for some reason they are not interested in what you are selling they will never buy from you. No matter if you have the best product in the world.
Basically, to sell a lot and be successful you need to create interest and make your readers trust in you. And these principles apply not just to affiliate marketing, but almost for everything that you have the intent of selling online or offline.
Below are the best strategies that successful bloggers are doing and work very well if you know what you are doing:
Using articles to promote your affiliate product
This is relatively easy to implement if your site has good traffic.
Basically, it works in this way: if you have a page that talks about a determined product or service that solves a specific problem then you can add affiliate links promoting this product.
But here’s the point, you CAN’T simply write a short article saying “buy this product because it’s a super deal that will resolve all problems in your life”.
You need to write an HONEST article that points to the benefits and disadvantages (in a soft way), explaining exactly how this product will solve that specific problem.
You can’t write this kind of article in an aggressive way with exaggerated promises because this will take the opposite effect creating distrust.
There are several types of articles that you can use to sell affiliates, the most popular ones are review articles and product comparison.
Using email marketing to generate sales
Do you dream about getting rich with your blog?
It’s by far the most profitable way to generate tons of sales.
As I said before to generate tons and tons of sales you need to build trust and interest from your audience. By sending frequent emails to your audience you can:
- Send emails that trigger curiosity.
- Explain who you are and why they should purchase from you.
- Send emails providing valuable info that build trust and authority.
That’s why you can see many bloggers saying that the money is in the list. If you know how to use email marketing properly, it can be a goldmine to promote your affiliate offers. Even if you are a new blogger with a small email list you can start generating passive income.
If you use an email marketing platform like Aweber, there are available two types of emails:
- One-time emails (Broadcast): this type of email is used if you want to include a link promoting your affiliate for a specific date and hour, for example, you can send a one time email to send a discount for the next weekend on a product that you are promoting.
- Automated email sequence: basically you can create an automated sequence of emails, it can be 10, 20 or even 50 emails that are sent automatically every 1 or 2 days with valuable info and with a link promoting your affiliate product.
To make money, what I really recommend is that focus on the automated emails, simply because you can invest some weeks writing emails about your offer an after that your sequence is done you can earn passive income and earn money even when you are sleeping or away from your computer.
What kind of email you should write?
Of course, is not so easy to generate sales and money, email marketing can be very powerful but only if you know how to use it effectively.
There are basically 2 types of emails that you must work hard and focus your energies on:
- Purely informational emails: As the name suggests, this type of email is created just to give away free and valuable information to your users. Informational emails are great to build trust and authority.
- Hybrid emails: this is my favorite type of emails and it’s the type that I’m sending to my email subscribers. Essentially hybrid emails are a combination of informational emails that have the intention of educating your readers with information at the same time that will recommend (aka sell) your products or affiliate offers.
If you are creating your automated sequence of emails, I recommend that the first 5 or 10 emails are purely informational emails and the next ones only hybrid emails.
Remember that before trying to sell anything you must build trust, curiosity and finally a solid interest from your users. If you don’t build these elements you’ll never make sales and commissions.
Advanced Affiliate Marketing: 5 Tips for Making 5 Figures per Month
Making 4 or 5 figures per month with affiliate marketing is not easy, but at the same time is not so complicated. Essentially to earn a lot of money with affiliate marketing you need to master your ability to sell.
And how to improve your abilities to sell online?
By testing and testing. But if you follow these 5 tips below you can dramatically increase your chances of making sales and commissions online.
1. Email marketing is your top #1 tool to generate sales
There’s a valid and solid reason for every successful blogger using email marketing. If you are promoting your affiliate offers on your fan page from Facebook, at anytime Facebook can change their algorithm or rules and your fan page reach can dramatically reduce (already happened several times) or even worse for any reason they can close your page.
But your email list is an asset that you own and nobody can take it from you.
Although the average open rate using email is very low nowadays, you still can make tons of sales with affiliate marketing. Below are some useful tips when using email marketing:
Focus your energy creating very long email sequences
I see many people using email marketing with a short sequence of only 10-15 emails. And this is a big mistake because 99% of your email readers will not buy from you after reading your first emails.
Repetition is the key here, and you also can’t generate sales if you are sending one email per week only. For example, my main email list sequence is made of over 90 emails that are sent in an interval of only 2 days. It will guarantee that people are always getting entertained with my informational emails and later with my offers.
2. Your niche matters a lot
Not all niches are profitable with millions of people prepared to spend money. For example in the health and fitness niche, people are used to paying low prices. So if you found an affiliate product where the price is $300 or more, it will be very hard to sell.
In this niche, is hard to sell anything above the $100 rate. And it applies to many other niches.
So, in this case, to make a lot of money your unique option is to increase the volume of sales. And you’ll need to calculate if the return will be worth or not.
On the other side, there are some niches like finance or in the “make money online” niche, which is much easier selling high priced products. For example, if you are promoting a product that teaches how to make 4 or 5 figures online, the odds of selling for a higher price are great.
People will pay $300 for this product if they believe that it can make a return of 1000%.
The result is that choosing a profitable niche is crucial to earning money.
3. The average cost of your offer is also very important
Along with the right niche, you must find an offer at the right price.
And why the right price is so important?
Imagine that your goal is to make $10,000 per month and if you are promoting an affiliate offer with the cost of $20 that pays you a commission of 50%, how many sales per month you need to make to achieve this goal?
Every sale will make $10 for you, so in the end, you need to generate 1,000 sales per month or 33 sales per day.
This is a huge volume that will require a lot of people visiting your sales page.
But here’s one super important trick that I learned: did you know that selling a $20 product has the same level of difficulty that selling a $90 product?
Some studies are demonstrating that selling a $20 product or $100 has almost the same difficulty level.
So, here’s the point, if you chose an affiliate product that costs around $100 instead of $20, it can be 5x easier to make $10,000 per month.
The cold truth is that bloggers making 5 figures per month are using affiliate marketing to sell higher-priced affiliate products. It’s very common to see bloggers doing well and making fortunes promoting $200-300 products.
4. Remember that you don’t own the affiliate offer
As said previously fewer risks, comes with fewer rewards.
Because you don’t own the product, you can’t control the price. If you think that determined program could still sell a lot increasing the price, sorry but you’ll have to be satisfied with the actual earnings.
If the product is good but the sales page sucks, again there’s nothing you can do.
And the same applies if you find an amazing offer to promote but the commission is low or if the product owner simply decided overnight to lower their affiliates commissions.
That’s the natural risk when you don’t own the product.
5. Use a Plugin to Disguise and Track your Links
Most of your affiliate links will look something like this:
As you can see this is an ugly URL. When the link gets visible, people can believe that this is a suspicious link.
You can easily resolve this problem using WordPress plugin called PrettyLink, with this plugin enable you can create pretty links and “hide” that ugly affiliate links.
You can turn the ugly link above to something like “myreferrallink.com/myaffiliateoffer.”
PrettlyLink also provides useful data to track your links. So you can discover how many clicks you are receiving from your affiliate offers and how well you are converting.
A lot more goes into affiliate marketing and it includes:
- Learning who your target customer is and what they are effectively interested in.
- Choosing the right product to promote to your audience.
- Getting high-quality traffic (visitors) to your site.
- Learning how to write interesting emails that makes your readers interested in buying what you have to offer.
- Learning how to use the best tools for affiliate marketing.
As you can see there are several skills that you must learn if you want to learn how to make money with affiliate marketing, but learning an effective strategy to make sales using affiliate programs is totally worth your time and investment.