Many people start their blogs with grand dreams of earning hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You may have been one of those people. You started your own blog and found a niche group of readers that loved what you were saying. You’ve proven your value to your tribe and now it’s time to turn your blog into the money making machine you’ve always dreamed of.
But how do you go about monetizing your blog? You could spend hours researching then creating your own informational product. It could take you a few weeks to several months to complete your product and even then, you might find that it’s easily dated.
So, what can you do instead? Try affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, someone else has already done the hard work of creating an informational product. For example, on this website, I promote the high quality affiliate marketer training program Affilorama. You simply promote a product to your readers and you can earn a commission. Some commission programs pay as much as fifty or even seventy-five percent of the product price, and sometimes that can even include monthly recurring commissions. I have 3 different affiliate partners that pay me monthly commissions for the lifetime of my referral.
Affiliate Marketing Must Be Done Right
But affiliate marketing must be done right. You can’t just slap a couple of banners up and expect instant results. You deserve to earn an income from all of the hard work you’ve put into your blog, but you don’t want to alienate your readers in the process. The first thing you should do when considering affiliate promotions is to check out other blogs in your niche.
You should sign up for your competition’s mailing list and visit their blogs regularly. Study which products your competition is promoting and how they’re promoting them. This will give you a good idea of which affiliate products your readers will buy and enjoy.
Exploiting Weaknesses Of Your Competitors
As you’re reviewing other blogs within your niche, pay attention to what’s not being covered. Read the comments and note issues that readers bring up repeatedly. For example, you might blog on stress management and find that readers are always asking for resources on stress management in the workplace.
You could go to an online marketplace and look for a product that delivers what your readers want. Using the above example, you could promote a stress relief meditation track that your readers can keep on their smartphones and listen to when they’re on break at work. This allows you to earn money while giving your readers exactly what they want.
Choose High Quality Products And Services To Promote
Don’t choose a product just by pricing or commission level. That’s a terrible way to choose products to promote and can be harmful to your blog. If you promote spammy products or ones that don’t deliver results, then you could lose the respect and trust of your readers. The trust your readers have given you is one of the important assets of your blog. You should work hard to preserve it.
When you do find a product that you think your readers might benefit from, test it out yourself. Use it several times before promoting it. As you’re using the product, take notes on what you like, what confused you, and what was annoying about the product.
Then write a review of the product and post it on your blog. Some bloggers make the mistake of plastering an advertisement on their sidebar then expecting readers to clickthrough to view the sales page. This seldom works because ad banners are known to convert poorly in most niches.
You’ll be far more likely to make a few sales if you promote the product in a blog post and include one or two contextual links to the product. When you’re ready to write the blog post, try to think about the product from your readers’ perspective. Mention anything you disliked about the product or areas where the product creator could improve their offering. When you point out flaws as well as advantages, readers are more likely to trust your review and try the product for themselves.
You should also disclose if you’re receiving any type of compensation for the post or if you received a free or discounted copy of the product. It’s far better that you be honest about this from the start. If your readers discover that you weren’t honest about your disclosures, then they may feel cheated and have difficulty trusting you again.
Ultimately, affiliate marketing can be a great way to monetize your blog. You’ll earn affiliate cash while helping make life better for your readers. Stay truthful in your blog posts and tell your readers if you’ll be earning a commission when they click on your link. This will allow you to preserve reader trust and make visitors think you’re one of the good guys.