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Last Updated on February 6, 2021 by Arif Chowdhury
Everyone wants to earn a passive income that will generate automatically even when they are sleeping. People usually do not like to do a job under the command of other people. They want freedom. There is only one way to achieve freedom. That is – having a business of your own.
Though almost everyone knows that having a business of your own can bring freedom. However, starting a business needs a considerable amount of capital. Along with the underlying risk that most people cannot afford.
So what is the alternative? The answer is: building a website/blog is your ultimate freedom. Because unlike a business, a blog does not require huge starting capital rather you can start it with only $15 per month. Like a multinational company, your blog can reach a global audience. Therefore, your growth potential is limitless.
So, how are you supposed to make money from blogging? Well, using monetization methods. There are many ways to do that. In this guide, I will show you how you can monetize your blog using affiliate links and earn a passive income from it.
Let’s start then.
What is an Affiliate Program?
When an organization wants to make more sales by using outsourcing then they use the affiliate program. It is a cost-effective method for them, as they only pay their affiliate when they make a sale. The commission structure is varied from companies i.e. 3% to 20%.
For example, you become an affiliate of Amazon & start promoting their products on your blog/website. Every time someone visits your site and makes a purchase, you will get a commission. Simple as that.
How Does an Affiliate Program Work?
When you sign up with an organization affiliate program, they will ask your website details like how many visitors you are getting every month, from which niche, how many subscribers you have, how much revenue your website generates every month, etc. In this way, they will get an idea about your influencing power.
Sometimes they reject simply because you do not have enough visitors or subscribers. But in most cases your application will get approved. After you register with them head to their resource section, you may find several forms of “referral link”. Text referral link, banner with a referral link, etc.
Referral link: https://www.example.com/ref/dfrd012
This is just an example, here you can see that the website’s main URL is “example.com” & your unique referral link is “example.com/ref/dfrd012”. Here, “dfrd012” is your referral id. When you want to promote their website you have to use this link so they will be able to recognize who is sending visitors to their site. And if someone among your visitors makes a purchase they will be able to credit you.
There is one more thing. Every affiliate program has a unique cookie duration. It can be 30 days or even 1 year long, depending on company policy. If someone visits through your affiliate link, however, didn’t purchase right away. But after 20 days later, he visits their site again & makes a purchase but this time, not through your affiliate link. Yet, that sale commission will be credited to you. If their cookies duration is at least 30 days long & they credit the first cookie, not the last one.
How to Register for an Affiliate Account & Get Started?
There are many affiliate programs that exist that you can search in Google using the “Affiliate program” keyword and get started. However, this is not that easy as it sounds. You must have to prepare yourself before you join an affiliate program and make some money.
First, take a look at your website visitors. How many visitors do you get monthly? If it is below 1,000 then you better work to get at least 5,000 visitors per month. Okay for the sake of this example, let’s say you have 5,000+ monthly visitors to your blog. Now, what to do? It is time to register for an affiliate account that suits your website audiences.
Here is a list of Affiliate hub you should check:
Recommended Reading: 11 Largest Affiliate Networks You Should Join to Make Money (Review)
Why a Reasonable Amount of Quality Visitors Needed?
Like I said before, if you have below 1,000 monthly visitors then you should work hard to reach 5,000+ monthly visitors. But why should you wait for it? Some affiliate networks will accept your application even if you have zero monthly visitors. So, why should you work hard to reach 5,000+ visitors?
Well, it’s mainly because of the result. If you have only 100-200 monthly visitors and register for an affiliate account. The probability is that you won’t be able to make a single sale not even in the next 6 months. So what’s the point of all the hassle of registering and promoting affiliate links?
Not only you won’t make any commission also your reputation on those affiliate networks will reduce to zero as even after 6 months your performance is good to nothing.
Yes, that’s why you need to focus on your website monthly visitors first, then register an affiliate program to get started.
How to Utilize Affiliate Dashboard & Start Promoting?
After you have done registering, visit your new affiliate dashboard and locate the resource section where you may find referral links. My suggestion is, use only text referral links for promotion. Do not use their banner ads in your blog. It’s not a major issue though unless you want to mark your blog mainly for advertising to your audiences.
Quick Note: If you want to grow your blog for the long-term then do not use banner ads everywhere. Then your readers will start to leave your site because your blog looks spammy.
It’s so obvious, ask yourself, which one you would like the most. When you visit a site & see so many ads here & there (footer, middle of a paragraph, sidebar). Or, when there is no ad at all, only a nice & clean blog post. Obviously, the 2nd one you would like the most.
Then the question is, how am I supposed to promote affiliate links without putting ads in my blog? Simple, use “contextual links” inside of the article body. For example, if you want to promote an online service about SEO then write a review about their service and put a link within that article’s body. In this way, it will look natural and your audience will love it. As your audience loves your blog, eventually it will grow and you will make a profit of thousands of dollars. It’s a smart way of marketing without putting ads on your blog.
How to Track Your Performance?
When you have done writing reviews and put affiliate links within it. It is time to check your performance from the affiliate dashboard. First, visit there, and check the “performance section”. Here, you will be able to see how many of your audience click on your links and visit the affiliate site. How many leads & sales made from your audience?
If you get any commission then it will show there. You can visit the “payout section” to request a payout through your favorite payment provider (PayPal, Skrill, Stripe, Credit/Debit card, etc.) Sometimes they have a minimum payout threshold for example, a $100 commission must have to accumulate before a payout can be requested.
Proven Methods to Promote Your Affiliate Links
There are many ways to promote affiliate links. However, you should be aware of “link spamming” because if you are not careful when promoting affiliate links you do not only lose your commission but also will lose your affiliate account altogether.
Therefore, you must have to learn how to promote affiliate links without spamming it. Below I will show you 10 proven methods to promote an affiliate link.
Method 1: Write a Review Article
This is by far the best & safest way to promote an affiliate link as long as it is within your website niche. You have to write a meaty blog post, let’s say at least 1,000 words article, and provide enough evidence. Why you are recommending this product/brand to your audiences, you have to prove it within this content.
A small article that is below 300 words won’t do any good at all. Because, Google counts them as thin content, besides you won’t be able to write much about that product or brand. Therefore, at least 1,000 words should be enough to do the job.
Try to provide enough evidence. For example, if it is a product then what is it? How to use it? What are the benefits users get from it? Is there any issue you found personally, whether the price is reasonable enough, etc?
For example, if you are writing a review of a social media marketing service, then provide some inner details of the results you got from them. How effective their marketing is? How many sales do you make from them? What was your ROI (Return on Investment) ratio?
By providing this information, you are encouraging your audience to use their service. And promoting them without doing any sort of advertisement. If you write a high quality & engaging review then most likely your audience will purchase their service & you will get a commission.
Recommended Reading: How You Should Write a Product Review (Guide)
Method 2: Write Product Tutorial
This is another smart way to market affiliate links. Instead of writing only a review, a product or service tutorial can be much more effective and profitable. Because, when you write a tutorial, you provide actionable insight that directly helps your audience. For example, if you write a product review of photo editing software, you do not provide any in-depth analysis, only a review of good or bad about that product.
However, when you write a tutorial about that photo editing software, you provide detailed information. For example, how to use this software in your professional life, how to edit a photo using this software, how to handle color contrast, why this software is much easier to operate than other photo editing software, etc.
In this way, you will be able to pull more visitors to your blog. Remember, people love actionable insight rather than a generic article. Thus writing a product tutorial can be very effective for product promotion. Just include a text link inside of the tutorial blog post & that’s it. You are good to go.
Example of in-depth actionable insight:
- How to operate the product
- If you get stuck, how to solve (specific tutorial)
- Exclusive product tips
Method 3: Alternative of Banner Ads
I already warned you not to use banner ads in your blog. As it looks spammy when you use too many of them. Your blog will be suspicious to them, as every space is filled with annoying ads. Sometimes readers cannot even read properly because these ads keep flushing in front of their nose.
Then how should you get the advantage of banner ads? What is the alternative? Well, use high-quality images from your affiliate site. If they do not have any images except banners then visit their homepage and take a screenshot, and crop it. Make it informative and related to your article.
For example, take a look at my blog post. Here I reviewed several VPN software & this blog post length is 2,500+ words. It’s a high-quality pillar blog post containing only text, images & links nothing else. No banner ads, no annoying sidebar ads, no footer ads, nothing at all.
Even after that, I have injected affiliate links in every VPN software review. So, when my audience reads this blog post, they won’t feel annoyed by unwanted ads. Still, they can click on affiliate links & I will earn a commission.
This is a smart way of marketing without making your blog spammy.
Method 4: Smart Email Marketing
I am not talking about bombing your audience with thousands of spam emails that are never opened by your readers. Instead, smartly implement an email marketing method that eventually will work.
To make it work, first, you have to make them trust you. How should you do it? Simple, install email marketing software in your blog. It will offer value to your audience by asking them to submit their primary email address.
Now, what is this value I am talking about? Well, it can be anything related to your website niche. For example, if your website is about digital marketing & SEO related then offer your audience an eBook. This eBook should be valuable to your audience. Write a 20-50 page eBook that contains actionable insight i.e. “How to Become an Expert in SEO”.
This eBook offers your audience value in exchange for their primary email address. As you can see, you are giving away a valuable eBook. Which in turn makes you trustworthy to them. Now do not start bombing them with promotional offers from the next day. Try to send them some useful articles from the next day & continue this generous unselfishness task at least the next 7 days.
If you can do this for 7 days straight, the probability is that – You will become trustworthy to your audience. Now start sending them promotional offers (blog post link that contains affiliate links). However, do not overdo it. Try to send them one promotional offer every 7 days. This way you won’t lose their trust and be able to keep promoting your affiliate links.
Recommended Reading: Best Email Marketing Software for 2021 (Review)
Method 5: Provide Valuable Resource & Tools
This is a new trend in online marketing. Sometimes even better than writing a high-quality blog post. By providing value i.e. resources & tools to your audience you can easily increase your traffic by at least 120%.
For example, let’s say your blog is about photo & video editing. Then you can offer a resource page to your audience that will contain several useful website links that are related to photo & video editing i.e. image compression, crop, editing, banner creation, logo creation, video editing tools, etc.
You can even purchase various online tools for your website & offer these to your audience for free. Visitors will start to come back to your website to use that software. If they like it, they will share your website link across the internet. You will start to get thousands of extra visitors & an abundance of powerful backlinks which will increase your authority rank.
Though, it is not directly connected to your affiliate link promotion, however, when your blog rank & traffic increase. Eventually, more visitors will see your blog post thus more commission you may earn.
Recommended Reading: Best Online Tools for Your Website
Method 6: Inside of Digital Contents
I already told you to provide value to your audience to earn their trust through email marketing. But that is only for increasing your website rank & traffic. It is not directly related to your affiliate links promotion.
How about you input affiliate links within the digital contents you create. Let’s say when you write that eBook “How to Become an Expert in SEO” you can input some of your affiliate products’ links as a suggestion. Or, make a list of SEO services or software like “7 Best SEO Services You Should Try”.
Therefore, inside the eBook, you will write how to become an SEO expert and also add some SEO service links. Hence, your readers will love it & click on those links to check out. It’s another smart way of affiliate link marketing without spamming it.
Method 7: Promote in Video Platform
Similar to writing a review or tutorial of products. You will make a video of that affiliate product. It can be a review or tutorial. Tell your audience clearly why you are recommending this product, what the benefit a user gets, how to use it, where to purchase it, etc.
After making a video, upload it to various video-sharing platforms. Most of the time the audience loves to watch rather than read. Ask yourself, what you generally do when searching for a product review or tutorial. In most cases, when we search for this kind of resource like a product review or tutorial, we look for a video to watch. Because it is easier to understand than reading an article with lots of description & images.
List of Video Sharing sites:
- Daily Motion
In this above example, you can see how they inserted their product/service links in the video description. You can also show links within a video that will be even better. It’s called YouTube annotation. You can add a call to action button at the end of your video & it is clickable. Therefore, create a nice & detailed video about your affiliate product then insert a call to action button by using YouTube annotation then add your affiliate link.
Recommended Reading: How to Make YouTube Video (Beginner’s Guide)
Method 8: Promote in Social Media
Social media is just becoming a gold mine for all types of business. More than 4.4 billion people on earth use social media, which is 49% of the world population. Therefore, you have a great chance to promote your affiliate links here. However, do not try to spam affiliate links here & there. You are not only going to blacklist yourself in social media but also the affiliate website will ban you because you spammed their links.
So, what’s the best way to promote affiliate links in social media? Well, the first search for a related social group. Join there and start discussing with people about your affiliate product. When they ask you to send them a link, do it. In this way, you are not doing any spamming & promoting affiliate links legally.
You may also open a business page for your website on social media. Promote that business page. And when you reach thousands of audiences then start promoting affiliate links there. Some people do not even own a website. They simply started their business by creating a social media page.
Recommended Reading: How to Build a Perfect Social Media Marketing Plan (Complete Guide)
Method 9: Promote through SMS & Push Notification
Probably it is one of the most popular methods among webmasters. SMS marketing is not new however, the web push notification is rather new. Though a majority of websites around the globe use this service to reach their audience. There is not much difference between SMS & push notifications. In push notification, the audience must have to give permission prior to sending, yet SMS marketing does not need any of it.
Now, the question is why SMS & push notification is more effective than email marketing?
It’s simple, in a recent study it has been found that people tend to use mobile phone more than other devices. Here are a few statistics for your reference:
- More than half of consumers check their cell phone messages more than 5-6times per hour.
- Age between 18-29 check message, even more, 7-10 times per hour.
- An average of 65% of consumers checks their cell phone within 5-10 min of walking up.
- More than 90% of consumers are tending to reply within 30 min upon receiving a text message.
As you can see, email marketing is for formal communication however, for faster response SMS & push notification is even better.
Method 10: Promote in Forum
The forum can be another excellent & smart way to promote affiliate products. It is the predecessor of social media. Therefore, you can say that social media is the next generation of the forum. But forums are still active and thousands or even millions of people are still visiting various forums around the globe.
So, you can take advantage, just like you did on social media. First, use Google to make a list of forums that are related to your affiliate niche. Then join them and start doing conversation with people.
Some forums have strict rules that you simply cannot join and start posting links. You may have to become active & prove yourself before posting any links at all. For example, you have to post at least 20 replies before you qualify as a verified full member. And then you may post a link.
Just like social media, start a conversation about your affiliate product. Then, if someone asks only then post it in the forum.
Method 11: Promote in Q&A
Q&A means Question & Answer. There are many websites all over the internet where people ask for help. For example, Quora is one of the top-rated Q&A sites with more than 450 million monthly visitors. Almost all kinds of topics are discussed here. Thousands of questions you may find related to your affiliate link.
Use the search box and try to find a relevant question about your product. Again, do not simply drop your affiliate link. You will become suspicious as a spammer and may ban from Quora.
So, use smart tactics. Write at least 300+ words short articles about your affiliate product & describe how it can solve his/her problem. In this way, people will love your answer, share it & more sales you may get.
A list of Q&A sites you could use:
Registering for an affiliate account & promoting its products is not that hard, as long as you know how to do it perfectly. If you do it honestly then it may consume lots of time & effort however, you will start to see results. And there is no worry for you to get banned or blacklisted in the future as well.
There is another way to promote affiliate links that I forget to tell. That is, use a PPC advertisement. It may cost you a considerable amount of money however, if you take it as a business then all it’s come together.
For example, invest $100 in Google advertisement for affiliate product promotion and get a $150-$300 return. Which is a great ROI (Return on Investment). Though there is a chance that you may not get that much profit. Only if you choose a bad affiliate product that has a very low conversion rate.
Therefore, choose high-quality affiliate products that have a high conversion ratio then invest in Google ads.
Further Reading on Cliobra: If you want to promote your website/blog & get millions of free organic traffic then I suggest you read my guide “How to Increase Rank in Google”. By doing so you can reduce a huge amount of advertising expenditure thus, increase your profit margin significantly.