I’ve been hesitant to share any income reports on my blog, and have been going back and forth about the idea. But then I realized that without other bloggers sharing their income reports, I would have never known that you could make money blogging. There are a number of different ways bloggers make money, from sponsored posts to ads to offering courses and ebooks, but today I’m going to be talking to you about affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service for someone else and they kick back a portion of the sale to you. Many bloggers use affiliate marketing as a main source of income, and although I’m not quite there yet, I have picked up on some tips to help you make your first few hundred dollars with affiliate marketing.
I decided around June that I was going to start taking my blog really seriously and eventually wanted to turn it into an income-generating machine! I never gave too much thought to affiliate marketing, but as time has gone on, I’ve decided that I want to make it a bigger part of my blogging to business plan.
This $500 didn’t happen over one month. It didn’t even happen over 2 months. In fact, it happened over 5 months. But I have to say, I’m pretty proud of this number! It proves to me this it IS possible to make PASSIVE income from my blog (AKA without providing services or doing sponsored posts), and I’m super excited about it!
What I’m even more excited about is that this shows me my readers are trusting me enough to make a purchase based on my recommendations and this means SO much to me. If I ever recommend a product, it’s always something that I’ve used and loved and I guess this is showing through my writing! So thank you!
Here’s the breakdown of when I made my affiliate income and where it came from.
October: $250 (Bluehost)
November: $93 (Ultimate Bundles + SiteGround)
January: $105 (SiteGround + Blog Clarity)
February: $63 (SiteGround)
Okay, so it’s actually $511 but $500 sounded way better for the title!
As you can see, most of my affiliate income has come from blog hosting services (through both Bluehost and SiteGround). I hosted through Blue Host for my first year of having my own domain and I had only positive experiences with them. They were always really helpful whenever I had a problem and they never failed to get things back up and running when something went wrong on my site.
However, I have heard other bloggers talking about having issues with them, especially bloggers with higher traffic. So when my traffic started to grow I made the switch to SiteGround to be on the safe side. SiteGround has been amazing, and if you’re looking for a reasonable hosting package with amazing customer service, I highly recommend them!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
There are many affiliate programs out there these days. Find ones that work for you and your blog. Amazon Affiliates is really popular and so is Etsy and Creative Market. If you use social media schedulers like Tailwind or BoardBooster, they have affiliate marketing programs as well! Do some research and find some affiliate networks you can either sign up for or apply to! Every affiliate program will kick back a different percentage to you, just make sure anything you’re an affiliate for is something you use and love!
Now, let’s check out my best tips for affiliate marketing!
1. BE AUTHENTIC
As I mentioned above, I only recommend products/services I have used myself and found to be helpful and solve a problem for me. If I don’t like it, there’s no way I’m going to recommend it to my readers, no matter how much money I get paid.
It’s important to keep your authenticity as a blogger. I think sometimes bloggers get caught up in the glitz and glam and focus too much on the moolah, but it’s SO important to stay genuine. You readers/ fans will see right through you if you don’t and it’s going to hurt your influence in the long run.
2. CREATE A RESOURCE PAGE
Having a resource page is a great way for bloggers with any focus to promote affiliates they love. For me, my resource page contains links to courses I’ve taken, my hosting plan, my email service provider, anything I think will help my readers on their blogging journey.
But it’s not just helpful for business bloggers! If you’re a food blogger, you can have a resource page filled with your favorite cook books, kitchen appliances, etc. If you’re a beauty bloggers, you can link to your favourite place to buy makeup brushes, and eye shadow palettes you love! There are so many possibilities!
Take a look at my resource page here!
3. CREATE A “START A BLOG” POST
My post on how to start a lifestyle blog is one of the most popular posts on my site! And guess what? That’s where I link to Site Ground now, and where I used to link to BlueHost when I used them! Seeing that BlueHost and Site Ground have brought in the most for me in terms of affiliate income, this post has been essential in my affiliate marketing success!
4. WORK AFFILIATES INTO YOUR BLOG POSTS
Write blog posts where you can work your affiliate links in. Don’t randomly link to an affiliate product in an unrelated post. If you’re blogging about a new café you visited over the weekend, don’t link to your hosting site at the bottom. Too much of a good thing can turn things sour.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA
You can also use your affiliate links in social media posts! Since you are sent a unique link and tracking code, whenever you use the link you’ll get the credit. You social media followers want to hear your recommendations, so it’s a great place to share your affiliate partnerships!
6. EMAIL IST
Have you started an email list for your blog yet? If not, you’re going to want to get on that STAT. Having an email list is a great way to establish and grow relationships with your readers. And guess what? Once you have a relationship they’re more likely to trust your recommendations! When you have an affiliate link you want to promote to your audience, send it out to your email list! These people are your biggest fans and want to hear what you use yourself!
If you loved this post on how to make money with affiliate marketing, make sure to share it on Pinterest!