Today we have a beginner’s overview for those of you who have heard of affiliate marketing but are still slightly unsure what it is, and whether it’s something you should be doing on your blog! Even if you do use affiliate marketing as a way to monetise your blog, please do read on and give us your experiences in the comments section; hearing from experienced bloggers and getting your views is always incredibly valuable!
So…What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is essentially a rewards and commission based system. It allows 3rd parties (so in this case, you, the blogger) to promote and sell products, usually for a commission. For example, if you are an affiliate partner for a beauty website, you’ll be provided with a special link which will track visits directly through to the beauty client’s website from your blog. Any purchases made through this link, will be attributed to you and you’ll be given a commission on that purchase!
Can I actually make money doing this?!
In a word, yes. However generally it’s very hard for a blogger to make substantial profits from affiliate links without large volumes of traffic and a very trusting audience. The commission rates are generally very low, and the only way you can really make a living from affiliates is if you have a high amount of traffic to your site, and are able to convert a good percentage of this traffic into purchases.
There are a few pointers I can give to help steer you in the right direction when it comes to selling through affiliates and actually making a profit:
– Focus heavily on building a trusting relationships between you and your readers: If your readers feel that your posts are designed only to sell and not to advise then you’ll have trouble making any money!
– Make sure that you are only using affiliate links for products you fully endorse: Further to the above, if you start using affiliate links for shoddy products that you haven’t tried or don’t actually like, your readers will cotton on to this pretty quickly- and that’ll be your whole affiliate plan down the drain
– Create genuinely valuable and detailed content around the products you are trying to sell: If as mentioned, you’ve found a product or even a range of products that you really love to use and think your readers would love to, then make sure they know why you’ve chosen to promote these products! Shoving a few affiliate links into a post that you already had planned isn’t going to cut it; if you’re trying to sell to your readers then make sure they know why you endorse the product, and why you think it’s worth them parting with their money
Should I disclose affiliate links to my readership?
Yes, you should. Not only to make sure your readers are aware that your readers are able to trust you and understand why you are featuring a product, but so you are in line with ASA guidelines! Your readers need to know if you are making a profit from coverage, so be clear that you are. You can of course let your readers know that your views are all your own and your opinion hasn’t been swayed; just because you use affiliate links doesn’t mean your opinion has