Bloggers are all about their audience and content. They don’t lead with offers and sales pitches. So refreshing …
But they must eat too!
Bloggers have a great opportunity to grow their audience size, earn ad revenue AND have affiliate income.
A blogger’s approach to affiliate marketing is more conservative than someone with many micro-niche sites or those flipping Internet sites. A blogger needs to protect their audience. You don’t want to lose visitors because of crappy ClickBank offers for instance,
Let’s take a look at how to use affiliate products and grow, not churn, your audience,
What NOT to do
From the standpoint of audience churn there are a few things to be wary of …
Let’s start with what not to do as a blogger. With the exception of bloggers in the Supplements and Make Money Online (MMO) or related niches, stay away from almost all offers at ClickBank, JVZoo, and Warrior Plus. There are some safe and good products there. For instance for someone that needs good keyword research tool you can get Long Tail Pro at ClickBank.
But all those info products that usually start with a video and a narrator saying, “I am about to show you the greatest …”. I would just stay away. The occasional sale will be well offset by the people who roll their eyes and stop visiting.
Affiliate Display Ads
I would keep this to a minimum. They don’t convert as well as a CTA in an article and are visual noise. If my page has a sidebar I might put one for the product being discussed in the post as a widget. I use the free WordPress plugin Widget Logic to control what pages widgets appear on.
If you step up your email sending aggressively with affiliate products you will get many unsubscribes and spams. This not only decreases your audience but puts your list at risk for banning by your email service provider. You also should check your email providers’ terms of service (TOS). They may not allow affiliate links. MailChimp, for instance, allows affiliate links but you can not recruit affiliates.
I find it best to make the email about your article that mentions the affiliate product. Treat it like a landing page for the email CTA. If you do put direct links in keep it to a minimum.
Don’t put lots of affiliate links in your email as it will send more emails away from the inbox to promotions, spam, etc.
Best Affiliate Networks and Programs for Bloggers
Some of the safest and most productive affiliate networks for blogger are …
- CJ Affilaite
You just can’t ignore them. First they have products for any niche. Secondly they are a conversion machine. Many of your sales will come from purchases your visitor makes that are entirely different from what you sent them there for.
- Everyone accepted
- Huge Brand
- Amazon Signup Link
More Amazon Affiliate Tips and Details
CJ was formerly known as Commission Junction. There are many offers to choose from including: Booking.com, Cheapoair, As Seen on TV.. They also provide many types of performance marketing programs including : CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC.
- Publisher toolbox to track your earnings
- Deep Link generation to any page at the target company
- Great merchant widgets
- CJ Signup Link
Rakuten has been around since the late 90’s, they used to be known as LinkShare. Not as big as some of the others but they still have 1900 advertisers. The offers are grouped by category for easy discovery with a good mix of products from both large brands like Dior to trending companies in tech like TextNow.
- Great Dashboard
- Voted us the #1 Affiliate Marketing Network
- Join Rakuten
Other Networks and Programs
You definitely should take a look at a few other programs. Often a particular vertical is dominated by a specific affiliate network.
Go to our in-depth Affiliate Program pages ...
How to Promote Affiliate Offers as a Blogger
As a blogger you already have channels for your affiliate offers established. Any of the following are viable places for affiliate offers:
Your website is the most obvious place for most bloggers. Content marketing is the best way to monetize your blog. It starts with keyword research.
You need to determine what your niche's audience is searching about. What they need help with.
Affiliate marketers need to be careful to have a combination of information keyword posts along with their "money posts" or those with buying keywords. Buying keywords are those that are being searched for by people with buying intent. Bloggers already have a body of work that is informational. I would just focus on buying or transactional keywords ...
|Buying Intent Keywords|
There are lots of free tools to do this and some premium ones that will make this much easier.
Free Keyword Research Tools
- Soovle — Soovle provides keyword ideas based on historic autocomplete suggestions. Soovle works with data from Google, Bing, Amazon and others. A great tool to see what queries people are making.
- UberSuggest — This is Neal Pattel’s free keyword tool
- LSI Graphs — Think of these as synonyms. You don’t want
- Google Trends — Trends will tell you the whether a keyword is up or down-trending. It is also useful for seasonal traffic issues.
- Keywords Everywhere — This tool gives you keyword volumes and related keywords as you search in Chrome or Firefox. This recently became a premium tool but you can buy very cheap credits. $10 will last a long time.
- Serp Robot — This is a handy tool to see how a keyword is ranking on your site. You can compare to up to 3 competitors as well.
- Answer The Public – Generates questions being asked around a keyword (5 free searches per day)
- Keyword Tool — Much like Soovle it is free for 750 searches
Premium Keyword Research Tools
- ahrefs — If I could have only 1 tool this would be it. An all-in-one type tool with keyword research, competitive research, backlink research. $7 * 7-day trial
- SEMrush— Goes head-to-head with ahrefs.
- Longtail Pro — Good tool for finding under-served keywords
- SEO Cockpit — Keyword research and analysis.
- Surfer SEO — Good tool for analyzing your content vs. competitors
Social Media to Promote Affiliate Offers
From an affiliate marketing standpoint, I primarily use FaceBook, Pinterest, Twitter as a content marketing tool. When a new money post gets published I inform my social channels. Very occasionally I will have a direct linked affiliate offer on platforms that allow it.
People love videos and talks. Some of the better performing videos from an affiliate standpoint are the video demonstration and "what's-in-the-box" type presentations.
Affiliate marketing can be a great source of income for bloggers. But your first concern is always growing and maintaining your audience. So choose your partners and products carefully and present them in ways that are acceptable to your audience.