This blog post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links help keep SYWB up and running, for more information on using affiliate links in your own blog just keep reading!
Ok, this is what you’re really interested in, right? Me too. It’s what I’ve always been interested in. There are people who love blogging and do it out of passion and love. Unfortunately, I’m not the type of person who can do that. Blogging is a lot of work, and while I love it, I don’t want to be doing it if I’m not making money. So how do you do it? I’m going to break down how to make money blogging starting with affiliate sales.
What are affiliate sales? Affiliate sales are a way in which companies get people to share their links by offering them a small percentage of whatever sale they may make through sharing that link. This means, if I am wearing a dress on my blog that is from an affiliate, I can use my special affiliate code to link people to the dress. If anyone buys it I make money from that sale. Throughout this post you’re going to see a lot of links – nearly all of them are affiliate links. That’s how you do it. You look at your post, see what you’re able to make into an affiliate link, and make it happen!
Why use affiliate programs? Simply put… why not? If you are a blogger who promotes/purchases from a certain company why not take the time to sign up and make a percentage? Even if YOU are the only one who ever purchases from your links. If you sign up to be a fashion label affiliate, and regularly buy from them, you’re automatically making back a percentage of what you spend. Also, affiliate links are amazing passive income. If you keep links active in popular posts you can be making sales from posts from many years ago, as people continue to find your posts through places like Pinterest!
How do you get started with affiliate sales? First and foremost, you need to sign up with affiliate networks and/or companies that have affiliate programs. There are different types of affiliate networks. Some networks like Shop Style Collective give you a percentage of any sale you make + a small amount of money for every click your link gets. Here’s the deal, ShopStyle is basically an umbrella for affiliate networks, they are what is called a “sub-affiliate”. They have taken 4-5 networks and made it into an easy to use system for bloggers. It’s very smart and very profitable and makes linking super easy for you. The catch is, you are getting a smaller percentage of the sale than you would if you went directly through the affiliate network. This may be worth it to you, if you are looking for something very quick and easy to use and don’t want to dedicate a lot of time to making sure your links are correct and working properly. It’s also a great option for people who have a large audience of “shoppers” but not “buyers”, because of the additional small amount of money you get just from clicks. But it’s not my favorite route.
If you’re like me, you want to make as much money as possible and you’re willing to put in the extra work to make it happen. I know my audience and because of the specific niche nature of my market they are “buyers”. They see something on my blog and they want it and they’re going to purchase it. This means that using an umbrella company like ShopStyle Collective is not as effective for me. I belong to several affiliate networks including (in order from best to worst in my opinion): Cj.com, Amazon, Shareasale, PepperJam, Affiliate Window, Linkshare. Each of these affiliate networks houses anywhere from 2-25 of my favorite brands. CJ has what I believe is the most effective interface and has a toolbar button you can install so that any time you find something from one of your affiliates you can just hit the button and it brings up your link code (Pepperjam and Affiliate Window also have tools similar to this).
How much money can you make? That depends on your commitment to using affiliate links and centering content around brands that you are affiliated with. When I find a brand I love I immediately look to see if they have an affiliate program. If they do not, I contact the brand and tell them I think they should and that it would make it so much more beneficial to promote their brand if they did. I am not afraid to tell a brand that I love them and that I would like to be helping them make money. I still promote brands without affiliate programs, because no matter how much money you want to make, if you’re leaving someone without an affiliate program out that might not be good for your readers. Rule #1 is always do right by your readers.
CJ and Amazon are my highest earning affiliate programs. Each of them is currently bringing in right around 1k/month. The beautiful thing about affiliate links is, once they’re in your content they’re there forever, so even my posts from a year ago that are still getting traffic have updated and active affiliate links in them so that anyone who goes back and sees the post will be utilizing affiliate links. This also means you need to keep your old content up to date. It’s a big job, but it pays well and you can dedicate about 3 hours a week to looking through old posts and seeing where you need to update affiliate links. It’s a small amount of time for such a great passive income.
Who has affiliate programs? Everyone. Tech companies, fashion companies, start-ups, food companies, websites, organizations. Whether they sell a product or a service, they all have affiliate programs. And if they don’t, they should.
We’ll go over how to use affiliate programs and tips and tricks for making money with your networks in our next affiliate marketing post!
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