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Affiliate marketing seems to be a point of confusion or frustration for a lot of bloggers – but it doesn’t have to be hard. For years, I made maybe $100 from affiliate marketing. I thought it was worthless, and frustrating… so I never really paid attention to it.
Does that sound like you?
If it does – I’m here to explain that affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does have to be strategic.
Can you make money from affiliate marketing?
2018 was the first year I made 5 figures just from affiliate marketing. ($10,188 to be exact. You can read my 2018 Food Blog Income Report here) I realized there was a lot of potential in affiliate marketing, so I started to dive a little deeper and put more of a focus on this revenue stream.
In 2019 – I 4xed my revenue from affiliate marketing, ending the year with a total of just over $50,000. (Check out our Food Blog 2019 Income Report here.)
In 2020, I made over $100,000 from affiliate marketing.
That BLEW my mind. It was insane to me that I could make more than my previous salary, simply from people using my links/coupon codes.
Obviously there is more to affiliate marketing than just calling out a few ‘Swipe Up’s’, but affiliate marketing doesn’t need to be difficult. I’m sharing all of my tips below!
Affiliate Marketing Programs:
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, joining some of the big affiliate networks can be helpful. Shareasale and Commission Junction are a few of the largest affiliate programs. Two of my largest affiliate partners – (Daily Harvest & Thrive Market) are hosted on these programs
Thousands of brands host their affiliate programs on these platforms and once you are on them, you can apply to join the brands.
The largest affiliate program out there is probably Amazon. You can apply for Amazon’s affiliate program directly through your amazon account. It’s relatively quick and easy to set up.
Amazon Affiliate Marketing
In my opinion, Amazon is the easiest affiliate marketing program to join/use. A majority of shoppers use Amazon prime daily, and for ease of use/user experience – it is nice to direct them where they like to shop.
Many bloggers have been removing their Amazon affiliate links because they’re upset over cut commissions. I don’t think this is a wise move. I want to be of service to my reader, and most of my readers are shopping on Amazon. To make things easier for them (and for me!) it makes sense for me to link out to amazon.
On amazon you can create links using their affiliate tool bar, or create a shop with your favorite things. It’s super easy to navigate.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing:
If you’re looking to start affiliate marketing… just start!! Your best option is starting with Amazon. Otherwise – reach out to the brands you love/use and see if they have an affiliate program – or join some of the larger platforms like Shareasale/Commission Junction and see what brands stand out to you.
Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
Alright.. now what you came for: how the heck do you succeed with affiliate marketing?? Here are ALL my tips.
Don’t become an affiliate for everything. Pick 3-4 brands that you love and talk about them all the time. Not in a sleazy, salesy way – but just show how you use them in your everyday life. I think that in order to really be successful with any affiliate you need to constantly be talking about it. It’s not enough to mention an offer or product once or twice. I aim to talk about my top affiliates at least 3x a week if I can.
Talk about your affiliate products like you’re talking to a friend. You know when you meet someone and they tell you they like your shirt? Or earrings? And you immediately respond with where you got it, or how you got it on sale, or why you love them too? That’s how you should be talking!
Sell to your email list. (If you have one which everyone should!!) I regularly email my list so when I have a good deal they’re not surprised to see me talking about it in my inbox. Learn more about how I do that here.
Write blog posts about your affiliates that are SEO keyword rich. If you can answer questions about the cost, the service, the products, how it arrives, why it’s good, why it’s bad, etc – you can rank high in google for searches and capitalize on organic traffic.
This is my main strategy for all of my main affiliate partners. Not to be braggy or sound like it’s no work…but I’ve consistently made $1,500/month from Daily Harvest because I have a ridiculously detailed blog post about it that ranks for many questions people have about it, as well as for the main keywords related to the product. I updated it often with any questions anyone sends me about it, as they get new products, etc.
The key to succeeding on amazon – The key isn’t to necessarily sell your one item.. it’s really just to get the click and the cookie. People are ordering on amazon every day, so I try to link to it in stories at least once a day. Even if they don’t buy the product I recommend (which I hope they do!) I hope I can at least make a little off something else they might purchase.
Don’t only link to ‘fancy’ things. My highest converting products on amazon are a food processor and $5 chop/stir tool. Because I talk about them/link them EVERY time I use them.
Be evasive.. but not click baity. Ex – with that food processor, I write ‘you can get it for less than $15 and it has nothing but 5 star reviews, swipe up to see it!’ This peaks their interest and doesn’t get you in trouble with Amazon for calling out price.
Using a plug in like Tasty links instantly increased my affiliate income by over $200/month. It saves me time and makes it just so easy to do. Tasty Links automatically links commonly used words to whatever affiliate you want them to go to. Click here to read an in depth review of Tasty Links!
As with all things – the key to affiliate marketing is being consistent! Using the above tips consistently can help you bring in more money with affiliate marketing
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