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Diversifying your Blog’s Income with Affiliate Marketing

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Diversification is a word you hear everywhere. It is a popular concept among investors who use it to manage risk in their investment portfolio. But the term diversification also applies to other areas of personal finance.

In the context of blogging, diversification involves the use of multiple monetization methods to create a sustainable income model for your blog. Affiliate marketing can be a popular way for diversifying your blog’s income, along with programs like AdSense and e-commerce. Let us understand Affiliate marketing in detail.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing gives you an opportunity to sell someone’s product for a commission.

Why should you implement affiliate marketing in your blog?

There are great perks to having an affiliate marketing business model. As an affiliate, you do not have to worry about creating a product you wish to earn from. You also don’t have to worry about complex business processes like supply chain, logistics and inventory management. You can create a blog and write promotional posts with affiliate links embedded in your content. And bingo ! You start earning commissions from qualifying purchases.

Do note that your success as an affiliate will depend upon how well you are able to help your readers make a good purchase decision. When done right, affiliate marketing can help you create a scalable business model with minimal to no investment.

How to become an affiliate marketer?

You can become an affiliate marketer by signing up for an affiliate program. Some popular ones are:

There are many other affiliate programs available, however, I only use the above ones. By doing a simple search on Google for “affiliate marketing“, you can find tons of popular affiliate programs suitable for your niche

Promoting Affiliate Products on Blog

Once you sign up for an affiliate program, the next step is to promote products or services using special links that have a tracking ID. Whenever someone purchases the product through your links, you get paid. How cool is that !

Types of Affiliate Links

Affiliate Links come in all shapes and sizes. Some are simple text based links while others are complex JavaScript codes. If you run a free blog, the text links are the only option for you. However, if you have a WordPress business plan, or a similar custom hosted site, you can make use of a wide array of affiliate JavaScript codes

Amazon, for example, offers widgets like banners, search bars, and image codes with affiliate links embedded in them. Similarly you can get custom maps, booking widgets, and more depending upon which affiliate program you have signed up for.

The ability to add JavaScript to your posts is crucial if you want to make use of these HTML features. However, unlike Google AdSense, it is not mandatory to have a paid blogging plan to participate in affiliate marketing.

How to start affiliate marketing with no money?

There are people who do affiliate marketing with free blogs using text affiliate links. And many of them are quite successful. What matters is how much audience you are able to attract, and how much value you create for your readers ultimately.

How much can you earn through affiliate marketing?

Depends. Usually, the earnings depend upon your conversion rate. If a thousand people visit your blog every month, your earnings per month will depend upon how many of your readers end up purchasing through your affiliate links. There is a maximum amount that you can earn from each purchase, usually expressed as a percentage. Below screen shot shows an example of Amazon Affiliate Commission rates:

amazon affiliate marketing rates

It is important to note that your success depends upon writing content that converts, and serving those contents to the right audience. Some people create paid ad campaigns to attract targeted traffic to their blogs. When done correctly, this offers a scalable way to generate income through affiliate marketing without depending upon organic traffic.

Considerations to make

As an affiliate marketer, there are some some ethics you need to follow. When you are promoting a product, give genuine info without misleading your readers. Also, make sure to add value through your promotional content. Having a thin affiliate page with no added value can lead to account disqualification and lost earnings.

Many affiliate programs require you to put an affiliate disclaimer to let your readers know that the links you are promoting are affiliate links. You need to explicitly specify that you will earn commission if people purchases through those links. In this page, there are some affiliate links that will earn me commission if you purchase through them.

Why CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction) is so popular in 2021?

CJ Affiliate is one of the world’s biggest and oldest affiliate programs. It is popular for its pay for performance program. Pay for performance is a broader term that defines affiliate marketing in general. It is a scheme where some one is incentivized and rewarded for achieving goals or objectives (which in this context is to sell products through affiliate links). CJ Affiliate is a part of a Fortune 500 organization and is referred to as Alliance Data Systems. Some of the features that make CJ affiliate very popular are

  • Real-Time Reporting
  • Great choice of products
  • Incentives for top performers

Since this blogpost is about affiliate marketing in general, I will provide some links in the resource section if you are interested in knowing more about this program.

Bottom-line

Gone are the days of job security and government pensions. Today the gig economy is becoming the new norm, and competition is more brutal than ever. It is therefore very important to diversify one’s income stream, so that if one fails there are other back-ups to count on. 

If you are someone who wants to pursue blogging as a profession, or someone who simply wants to supplement their income, affiliate marketing can be a good choice.

External Resources

Amazon Associates Operating Agreement

Federal Trade Commission guidelines for Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing PPT

CJ Affiliate

CJ Drop shipping

CJ affiliate for beginners

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