When it comes to making money from your blog, it is prudent to avoid putting all your eggs in the same basket. Just as you would diversify your investment portfolio, the same thing can be said about your strategies for making money blogging. In previous articles, we’ve already discussed AdSense and Amazon. In this article, we explore the wonderful world of affiliate marketing.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
When you insert a Google AdSense ad on your blog, you typically get paid every time that someone clicks on one of the advertisements. When it comes to affiliate marketing, you need that site visitor to take another step before you can get paid.
For some affiliate offers, this might involve submitting an e-mail address to a signup page. For other affiliate offers, this might require the site visitor to fill out a registration form for some kind of online service. For others still, you might need the site visitor to successfully complete a purchase on the advertiser’s site before you can earn any money.
Given the increased difficulty of getting a visitor on your blog to “convert” on an affiliate offer, why would you want to use affiliate marketing at all? Well, compared to “per click” ad networks, affiliate marketing can oftentimes pay a lot more. There are some offers out there, for example, that are willing to pay $100 or more per successful transaction. This can prove very lucrative on your part!
Banners and Text Links
This will vary from offer to offer and from affiliate network to affiliate network, but you can usually find affiliate offers that come with either ad banners or text-based ads. Many of these networks are also set up for email marketers and search engine marketers to make money, but in the context of running a blog, you can usually ignore some aspect of the network.
Different affiliate marketers and professional bloggers will provide you with different advice as to what would prove to be the most successful when it comes to affiliate marketing. However, a good number will tell you that relevant, in-text affiliate links seem to be the most successful. For instance, you might write a review about a tropical resort that you visited for your travel blog. If that resort has an affiliate deal, inserting that link into your review can work quite well.
For other offers, running ad banners on your site may prove more effective. Affiliate offers from web hosting companies can oftentimes be quite lucrative and, depending on the target audience of your blog, they may always be looking for a good web host. A suitable ad banner can prove successful in that context.
Stick to the Niche Your Know
One of the most common mistakes made by beginning bloggers is to try to capitalize on the most lucrative affiliate offers they can find, regardless of the relevance they have to their audience. You don’t want to make this mistake. Not only will you alienate (and frustrate) your readers, but you will be wasting your valued advertising space with ads that simply will not work.
Why on Earth, for instance, would someone be interested in an offer for kitty litter when they are reading a blog about astronomy? Why would someone fill out an offer related to custom business cards when they are reading a blog about the best restaurants in Vancouver? It just doesn’t make sense and you could very easily lose more than a few readers as a result. That’s not good.
Instead, it is much better to stick to the niche that you’ve chosen for your blog and seek out the affiliate offers that would not only be relevant to your readers, but are valued by your readers. By doing so, the “ads” will not be perceived as “ads” at all; they’ll just be a part of your overall strategy to provide your readers with useful information!