Since starting the blog I have had this internal struggle when it comes to the monetization of the content. I knew I would apply for ad networks when I qualified (woohoo! I did it in less than 2 months!) and that I would start to work towards the idea of creating a product (it is coming…I’m up to my eyeballs in production of it…shh it is still super secret) and Affiliate Marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Basically you are like a commission only sales force working for a kickback. How’s that for being blunt about it? You link to products you love *please for the love of all you value about your blog, ONLY link to things you actually love* and if someone clicks on your link and buys something you earn a cut. Your link doesn’t add any cost to the viewer so really it is no harm no foul to them but it can create a slippery slope if you aren’t authentic about it.
I currently have only a few affiliate relationships. Of the ones I have I have personally used every single one and would be happy to help someone with any one of the things/products/ideas/recipes I put on this blog. My favorite (and most hands on) affiliate relationship is with Amazon.
I signed up for this because I found that I was already linking to things on Amazon in almost every single post. I started thinking about an old blog I followed, Young House Love, and how I remembered they said something about Amazon sales. So I went off to find their post about Amazon and learned how completely unaware I had been.
I link to things in Amazon the way people search Wikipedia. If I reference a food item, I normally link to it on Amazon. If I mention a specific kitchen tool, I link to it. The thing I love about Amazon is
- I know I am getting people a super competitive price.
- I know Amazon, and I know if for some reason something goes wrong they will fix it (I’ve been a member for over 15 years and have had Prime for 10 years. That’s some love and loyalty there!)
- I LOVE how everything they sell is described/photographed to such great detail it lets my ocd/type A self feel like I don’t have to research any further.
- They have EVERYTHING.
- An easy way to make some income while providing a service and not annoying a reader with extra ads.
It felt natural for me to join and the process for linking up is simple. The only down-side is you actively have to link to items in your posts to give people something to view. So if you don’t like linking, then you
Mind you I had only been blogging for a hot minute (I think 16 days to be exact) but I felt like I couldn’t have been more of a newbie.
So I applied and in a few weeks I got my first purchase! I think it was 4% of $3.00. You would’ve thought I had won $1000.00 but no, I think I made twelve cents.
So here is what I recommend about Affiliate Marketing:
- Choose companies you actually know/love.
- Realize that when you recommend things you are personally vouching for it. Not legally of course, but because as bloggers your readers get to know you as a person, they take your recommendations as a person and will judge you for them should they turn out to be nightmares.
- Know your power. Don’t link to more expensive things to drive sales, think of your readers and what benefits them.
- Don’t go nuts with this. Google is not going to appreciate 30 links to things on Amazon. You will suffer Google consequences even if they are no-follows.
- Make the links no-follows! (Link goes to an article from Google about no-follows)
Then just give it some time. I actually got an email from Amazon letting me know if I didn’t sell anything for 6 months my account would be terminated. Now I sell about 25 items a month (yes I know, I am a baby affiliate, hardly any sales… growth is slow and steady here).
Any Amazon affiliate questions? I am doing a post about non Amazon affiliate information soon too. If I can help in any way I would love to.
In case you have any interest in checking out my store, here you go. 🙂