This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for keeping my creativity afloat.
Can you really make money with affiliate marketing? The answer is, yes. I know some bloggers that are making over $5,000/month with affiliate marketing alone! I don’t make nearly that much (yet), but my earnings have been steadily increasing ever since I took the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. When I took Michelle’s course, I was making zero dollars off of my blog.
Six months later, between sponsored posts and affiliate marketing, I’m making about $500/month. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but I haven’t put a ton of time and attention into affiliate marketing the last three months. I work full-time, I opened up a brick and mortar Thoughtfully Thrifted location, and I’ve also grown my digital marketing business. Because blogging full-time is a HUGE dream of mine, I want to get back into implementing everything from the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course. In fact, I’m going to go through the course from start to finish again as a refresher and motivator to grow this part of my business.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is essentially you selling other people’s products and/or services for a commission. Think of yourself as their sales force (except you get to be your own boss)! Its a convenient and profitable way to make money as a blogger because you don’t have to actually manage inventory or ship orders! You are simply the referrer to the product or service.
How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Once you are an affiliate, you will have access to affiliate links. When you share these links and your audience clicks on them and makes a purchase, a cookie tracks that purchase back to your digital platform and you earn commission. A cookie is simply a bit of data stored on a users Internet browser (yes, people can turn off cookies, but the majority of users don’t).
Affiliate Marketing Networks
Chances are, you have purchased something through an affiliate link. Tons of brands and businesses have affiliates who promote their products and services through their personal online channels using affiliate links. First, you have to sign up to become an affiliate. This can be done directly through the brand/business OR you may join an affiliate network. Here are some examples of affiliate networks:
- ShopYourLikes (Get an extra $100 when you make your first $300)
- CJ Affiliate
- Amazon Associates
Affiliate networks such as ShareASale, give you access to tons of brands where you can then apply to be an affiliate for the specific brand working with the network. For example, I’m an affiliate with Minted and Lulus through the ShareASale affiliate platform. As an affiliate, I also get access to banners that can be placed on my website for people to click on and shop. Here’s an example of them:
ShopYourLikes actually pays you per click vs. paying on commission. I like pay per click because you get pain regardless if the user buys anything or not, however, it stinks when you sell thousands of dollars worth of product and only make a few bucks! I currently earn 8 cents for every click.
Rules, Regulations & Requirements
As an affiliate, there are tons of stipulations to be aware of. Every affiliate network and brand will have their own rules for what you can promote and how you can promote it. For example, Amazon requires you to put the following on your website, “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” Moreover, it’s essential to ALWAYS disclose that you are earning from qualified affiliate links. This should be obvious and at the very start of your content. I always put mine at the top of my blog post in Italics. Make sure you have your website/tech stuff set up correctly as well. One month, I got a message from ShareASale saying they couldn’t pay me out because I didn’t have something set up correctly on my website.
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Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing
If you are just getting started with affiliate marketing, I highly recommend taking the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I had my blog for two years before taking the course. During that two years, I didn’t make one dollar. Now, I’m making around $500/month, and the crazy thing was, I saw ROI from the course right away, and after month two, the course had paid for itself and then some! Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing will give you everything you need to get started with making money from affiliate links. This course is worth every penny!