*This post contains affiliate links and I’ll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content.
Good Day, Friends!
I want to make sure that everyone has been introduced to Affiliate Marketing. I like to call him Afmark for short. He’s an Aquarius, which means… Nothing. He’s actually a very straight forward guy. Afmark is exactly what he says he is and does exactly what he’s meant to do.
So, what is Afmark and what does he do?
IDEALLY, Afmark is what happens when you like or even LOVE a product so much that you decide to put a ring on it. I believe you should use or want to use a product that you endorse. (Yes, affiliate marketing is much like an endorsement of a product.)
Afmark allows you to tell people that you LOVE Rainbow vacuum cleaners and refuse to clean house with anything else. Then, someone says, “Hey! I’m gonna try one of those Rainbow vacuum cleaners because Nicki thinks they’re the freaking rock stars of vacuums.” That someone then clicks on your Affiliate link, they contact Rainbow and schedule an in-home demonstration and purchase the vacuum. Rainbow then says, “Hey, thanks for the referral Nicki! Here’s some money.”
At this point, I would jump for joy. Sadly, Rainbow doesn’t have an affiliate program that I know of… Hint hint. Cough, Rain(ahem)bow. I would be the first to sign up. Why? Because I’ve used a Rainbow my whole life. There really is NO OTHER vacuum I would use. I would be the IDEAL Affiliate for Rainbow.
So, to summarize…
Affiliate marketing is when you like a product or believe in a product so much that you recommend that product to others. In turn, you are paid when your recommendation link is used to ‘click through’ or send them a new customer.
Some companies will pay per sign up (including free accounts) while others pay only when someone purchases. There are many variables, depending on what the company offers.
Why do you need to know about Affiliate marketing? There are two main reasons that YOU need to know about Afmark. Either you are a blogger who wants to earn an income from their blog, or you are a person visiting a blog.
If you are a visitor to a blog, you may see affiliate links on articles that you read. If you click through and sign up, or make a purchase, it does NOT cost you anything extra. The blogger just gets a little something for the referral. Sometimes, it even saves you money to use a referral link. Some bloggers are able to negotiate a discount for their readers, making affiliate marketing a benefit to the visitor.
Most every blog and website you will ever visit utilizes affiliate marketing in some way or another. It’s just another way to advertise to the consumer.
Bloggers: (get a pad and paper… I’m gonna drop some knowledge)
This is a large source of blogging income. ALL bloggers should be using Affiliate Marketing to it’s fullest potential.
I will check to see if a company or product (that I like and mention) has an Affiliate program before I write the blog. If they do, I go ahead and apply for their program. Getting accepted to a program can happen instantly or take a few days. The delays are why I try to plan ahead for my affiliate links.
If I fail to plan ahead, I sit here with a finished article that I can’t publish. Even though I work for myself, I still have deadlines. Failing to plan ahead is the same thing as planning to fail. I prefer planning… I’m not a big fan of failure.
What do you do if your company of choice doesn’t have a program? You can either omit the product name or mention it anyway. Just like I did with the rainbow example above.
I was able to find a Rainbow for sale on Amazon, so I linked to it. I found a second option. (YAY) So, if a product you love doesn’t offer an Afmark program, see if AMAZON carries it! IF you are writing about something that you use, love, or believe in… LINK TO IT.
Blogging is an expensive hobby. Affiliate links help us cover costs and eventually help give us a paycheck.
Let’s talk about the WHY of Affiliate marketing. I’ve heard some of you complaining that Affiliate links and ads feel like sales… you aren’t a salesman, so you don’t think you should be selling. Well, the first thing you need to understand and EMBRACE, is the fact that you are a salesman. What? I’m a salesman? No… Nicki, you are very confused. I blog. I’m a blogger. I don’t sell.
Ah, but my friend, it is YOU that’s confused. As a blogger, you are INDEED a salesman. You sell Something every single time that you tickle the keyboard then click publish. I know what you’re thinking… But, I don’t even use Affiliate links or anything. So, you see, I really don’t sell. But you do. You sell YOURSELF when you blog. You write your story and get followers. People follow YOU. You are now an influence. That’s why it’s very important that you Choose your Affiliations WISELY.
ALWAYS become an affiliate for products you use, love or believe in. If you become affiliates with companies you don’t use, love or believe in, you will come off as phony. How can you write about something in a compelling way that makes others want it if you don’t use it, love it, or believe in it? Stick to what you know.
Even if you are still blogging on a free platform, you are selling. You are selling yourself to your followers, and the platform is placing ads on your blogs! Wouldn’t it make sense to choose your own ads? To place links that go along with the vibe of your article? The answer is YES. YES! You should be placing links and ads according to your article. The good news is, it’s not that hard to learn or to implement Affiliate marketing into your blog!
(You do need to Blog outside of the free platforms to tend your own affiliates. Click HERE to get started.)
I am frequently asked where to begin with affiliate marketing. I put together a little list for you!
TOP AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
First and foremost, you should blog on a platform that encourages and enables growth. This is why I fully believe in Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate has free classes, so you are not left wondering why it’s not as easy as other bloggers make it out to be when you self-host a blog. Wealthy Affiliate (WA from here on out) gives you that ‘community’ that ALL bloggers say you need. People to give you feedback about your website/blog, (and leave comments)or to answer your questions even if it’s 3a.m… Community is big time important and you get it by the busload at WA.
WA is basically a university for building, using, and growing an online business. Before I found WA, I didn’t even know how to add a link, or pretty much anything outside of writing. (I was a NOOB. Not a newb… a newb is someone new that barely knows anything and is eager to learn. A NOOB, however is a bit of a moron with no direction at first. lol I bounced all over the place before getting into my groove.)
WA took me by the hand and helped me find my place online.
I initially signed up because it was free. I was about halfway through the free training when I realized what I had stumbled upon at WA. I upgraded to a paid membership a week after my initial sign up. Now, you can stay with the free starter membership if you like. There is a wealth of knowledge to be learned from the free membership. You even get 2 free websites! But, if you want your own domain (and eventually you will) you will need to upgrade.
Try the free membership. Fill out your profile. Talk to other members (including me!) Take the free classes. Take ALL of the free classes. You will learn so much! But, most importantly, you will not regret it, and you will be well on your way to building your online EMPIRE! Ready to take control of your future and build your website/blog? Click HERE to start your future now.
THE BEST AFFILIATES FOR BLOGGERS
Ready to get your own domain name? I used namecheap to register licensetoblog.com. For about $10 per year, you get your domain name and whois guard. Trust me, you want whois guard. This protects you from just any shmoe looking up your name and address because they like your site and want to meet you. ALWAYS get whois guard, no matter where you get your domain.
They also offer an affiliate program! I use namecheap, and I refer people to them. This is how I like to do business, and that is exactly how affiliate marketing should work! Check out namecheap when you’re ready to start your blog.
Now that you are ready to place and use Affiliate marketing, there are a few basics to get you started. The FASTEST and EASIEST way to get started with affiliate marketing is to begin with SHAREASALE and AMAZON. Let’s start with;
Shareasale is a great fit for bloggers! Sign up is FREE and they have A LOT to offer. Aside from having a large amount of merchants to choose from that enables you to completely customize your ads and affiliations, they have business tools too!
Sign up takes just a few short minutes and once you’re signed in, you will find tracking tools, custom links, banners and loads of business building information.
With SHAREASALE, you can write an article about vaping and then go into shareasales merchants and find a vaping company you like and link to them. You can write an article about ANYTHING you like and find links and banners that compliment it! Sign up for SHAREASALE today!
I have found AMAZON to be an amazing bonus for affiliate marketing. I started as an affiliate simply because RAINBOW had no affiliate program that I could find. I had even emailed a fairly local Rainbow distributor with no luck. I searched and found both new and used Rainbows on AMAZON. Further searches found both new and used Rainbow replacement parts and accessories. I signed up to be an affiliate… (scroll all the way to the bottom of the AMAZON home page to find ‘become an affiliate’ and click on it:)
I was already an Amazon member, so signing up to become an affiliate is a cakewalk. I’ve been a member for a few years now and love Amazon video. (Not a member yet? check out the free trial membership to Amazon Prime)
Aside from being able to place links and banners for specific products that you write about, you can also EASILY open an Amazon store. It’s a pretty awesome program that you won’t regret checking into. It will easily help you make your site look more professional too! Check out Amazon HERE.
Picmonkey is a super awesome photo editing program that you ABSOLUTELY must have. I use it to create pictures with text for Pinterest, photos for my articles, and just playing and learning the program (which is super easy to learn). If you have a blog, you know the importance of good pics and photos! Picmonkey is easy to learn and will have you looking all professional in no time. Go get Picmonkey now. You won’t regret it.
Viraliti is set to change how we make money on social media. Right now, you need an invitation to get started. Once accepted, you build your network. Once they are ready to launch out of beta, you and your network will use viraliti to Pin, tweet, and tube. (Pinterest is the main vehicle right now while they get twitter and youtube going) The best part about Viraliti is that they pay per pin click AND you get 7% commission from your referrals! If you want in on the ground floor of what is set to be an explosive way to make money on social media, click the invitation link to VIRALITI now. As a blogger, you are already pinning… this gives you an amplified earning potential!
Okay, my lovelies…
This ends our introduction to Affiliate marketing. These are a great starting point to begin monetizing your blog or website. Start applying to these now, as it can take up to 2 days to get accepted. And here’s a little bonus for you:)
TIPS FOR FASTER AFFILIATE APPROVAL
Use your blog/website email address when signing up. It looks far more professional! See for yourself;
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Obviously I should use licensetoblog!
Do a super-summarized version of what your site is about. If you are a blogging aficionado, that also talks about her crazy dogs, you might say something like, “myblog.com teaches others how to create a successful online presence with a focus on my canine friends”. Short, sweet, simple and professional.
Good luck my friends!
As always, please comment below with any questions, or hit my email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time:)