Affiliate marketing is still one of the most profitable ways to earn money from blogging, and the great thing about it all is that any blogger can do it.
I won’t deny it, one of the very things that got me attracted to blogging in the first place was the idea that I could earn an income doing affiliate marketing.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but having seen the likes of Darren Rowse, John Chow and Pat Flynn making mind boggling amounts of money from their blogs, I wanted to try and do the same.
When I first started, I did the most obvious ‘silly’ thing that most newbies do. I covered my blog with affiliate ads, affiliate links from top to bottom.
Did I make any money from doing that?
Yes I did, actually, I made $3o from an affiliate sale, three months later.
Admittedly, my traffic wasn’t that great. I was averaging around 100 visits per day. But, that first affiliate sale really inspired to learn more about how to do affiliate marketing the right way.
The mistakes bloggers make today
When it comes to doing affiliate marketing, some bloggers are making a lot of silly mistakes still.
Here are some of those mistakes –
- Covering their blogs/websites with too many useless affiliate ads and links from top to bottom, like I did.
- Promoting everything and anything they can find.
- Not putting enough time and effort into creating useful content.
- Not paying special attention to building an audience/community for their blog.
- Trying to make every affiliate marketing strategy work.
- Focusing too much on SEO and getting traffic.
Luckily, knowing of some of these mistakes can help a blogger make better decisions about how they do affiliate marketing.
What has been working for me?
Over the years, I’ve tried many tactics to increase my affiliate sales.
I’ve personally found that creating useful, compelling, problem solving content around the products and services I want to promote has helped me to boost affiliate sales conversion rates.
Creating great content works for me, always, so I can’t see why you can’t do the same with your blog by creating great content too.
However, before you go off and create more content, check out the list below of things I recommend doing to help you increase your affiliate sales.
#1. Build up your online reputation, first.
When I started doing affiliate marketing with my blog, I failed to recognize the importance of two critical things.
Trust and Credibility.
Getting lots of search engine traffic is all well and good, however, if your blog doesn’t have a great reputation, all that traffic is just going to go to waste.
My advice to you if you want to increase your affiliate marketing sales in the near future is to build up your online reputation and credibility first.
Here are some things you can do to help you with this:
- Make it crystal clear to your site visitors what your blog or website is about. Your marketing message needs to have clarity.
- Put yourself in front of your audience. If you’re trying to build a personal brand with your blog or website, make sure your face is on the cover of everything.
- Create awesome, compelling content! I’ll show you how later on in the post.
#2. Build a targeted email list
List building is just one of the critical ingredients needed for doing affiliate marketing, for the simple reason that you can promote relevant products and services to your email subscribers as and when you need to.
Your email list needs to be targeted, of course. With a targeted email list, you’re less likely to come across as an affiliate spammer, because the people who are on your list are actually interested in learning more about the offers, products, and services you promote to them.
In addition, be careful with your email marketing service provider. Some providers are against the use of affiliate links in marketing emails. MailChimp isn’t one of them, thank goodness. Just as long as you play by their rules. See image below.
Here are two hot tips to help you build a great email list specifically for promoting affiliate products, services, and offers.
- Build a targeted email newsletter list. Target people that will actually be interested in learning more about your affiliate offers.
- Segment your email list by topic of interest, i.e. WordPress themes, web hosting, productivity tools, etc.
#3. Create honest and useful ‘online reviews’
The undisputed king of affiliate marketing strategies is creating online reviews, honest reviews, compelling reviews.
Reviews, regardless whether in written form or video form, should focus on a product’s usefulness. Reviews shouldn’t just be about the features and benefits, but also look at what kinds of problems using a product can help customers overcome.
When ever I find and use a great product I want to review on Magnet4Blogging, I always ask myself the following questions –
- How would my readers benefit from using this product or service too?
- How can I prove to my audiences how this product or service is helping me do great things in my business?
The problem with a lot of online reviews these days, they focus too much on features, specifications, and other silly gimmicks.
Check out this post I wrote on how to write product reviews that convert into sales.
#4. Create in-depth ‘tutorial articles’ and include some videos
I love creating tutorials as much as I enjoy watching or reading about them.
The great thing about creating tutorial articles is that you can use them to promote your affiliate products and services, simply by showing people how to use a particular product you really want to promote.
At the end of the tutorial you can add a short paragraph telling people where they can purchase the product or service online.
You can make your tutorial articles even more valuable by creating and including a tutorial video too.
If you’re telling yourself right now that you simply can’t create videos, then you might as well tell yourself you’re not interested in increasing your affiliate sales too.
The statistic below speaks volumes when it comes to using video content in your online promotions, I think.
#5. Create your own product comparison blog posts
Buyers love to compare products and services online before making a decision on which one to purchase.
This is your perfect opportunity to take some of the hottest products in your niche right now, and create a comparison post for them.
There’s an awesome post over on Rob Cobbon’s blog about comparison posts, with some great tips to take on board, so please do check it out here when you can.
I’ve created only a few comparison posts here on Magnet4Blogging, however, I can honestly tell you that I’ve been able to boost my conversions for one or two products I promote on my blog.
You can compare essential things like usability, benefits, prices, features, support and documentation, and much more.
Check out some of the comparison posts below for inspiration on how to create yours –
#6. Create some case-study articles
Case study articles in affiliate marketing can be very powerful indeed, especially if they’re done correctly.
In affiliate marketing, a case study can be used to document and show readers of your blog, how you were able to overcome a problem or obstacle using a method, strategy, along with a product or service you want to promote.
For instance, you could create a case study showing how you were able to increase email opt-in conversion rates using some list building plugin you purchased!
Matt Woodward is great at creating case studies over on his blog to boost his affiliate sales conversions, check out this one for some inspiration.
Your case studies should include –
- Screen captures.
- Graphs and charts.
- Before and after images.
- Links to resources, tools you used, articles you’ve read and more.
In your case studies you can include screen shots, before and after shots, graphs and charts, test results, links to additional resources and much more.
#7. Write and publish some useful eBooks
Writing and publishing eBooks is another great way to share useful content that will help you promote your affiliate products and services.
If you’re thinking to yourself that you haven’t got the time to write eBooks right now. Well, you don’t need to write them. You could just turn some of your already written tutorials, guides, and how to articles into eBooks.
Or, how about creating a tools and resources PDF guide to use as an incentive to help you grow your email list?
#8. Drive traffic to your tools and resources page
Chances are you already have a tools and resources page for your blog, right?
If you don’t have one, here’s how to create one.
If you do have one, here are some ways to drive traffic to this page and boost your affiliate sales.
- Add native links from inside your blog articles to your resources page from time to time.
- Link to your tools page from your main navigation menu.
- Link to your resources page from your guest post author box.
- Add a link to your tools and resources page at the bottom of your email newsletters.
- Insert a link to your recommended tools page in your email newsletters.
- Every time you create a tutorial post or video, add a link to your tools and resources page at the bottom.
You don’t need to waste money on eBooks, money making systems, paid ads, or any other gimmick programs that promise to teach you how to make money from blogging doing affiliate marketing.
You don’t need to bust your guts trying to increase search engine traffic either.
All you need is some common sense and proper guidance.
Don’t worry about making a few mistakes when testing out new strategies either, we all make them, it’s the only way to learn and get better at it doing anything online.
The last tip I want to give you is this one –
- Focus on one strategy at a time.
Pick a tactic or strategy and really make it work.
When you start reaping the rewards from implementing one technique, move on to the next one.
The very best of luck.