Affiliate Marketing: How to Authentically Market

Affiliate Marketing: Why I chose Amazon Diversifying Income Streams while staying authentic.

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

  1. I know I am getting people a super competitive price.
  2. 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!)
  3. 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.
  4. They have EVERYTHING.
  5. 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:

  1. Choose companies you actually know/love.
  2. 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.
  3. Know your power. Don’t link to more expensive things to drive sales, think of your readers and what benefits them.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 🙂


About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Hi Sabrina! I’m new to the monetizing blog world. Help! Do you use AdSense for the AdChoices ads I see on your site? I did a Google search and don’t know how to add AdChoices. Do you add multiple ads from Google AdSense or another network? How do you add ads to your blog? Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Hi, Jamie! When I started with ads, I used a combination of Sovrn, RhythmOne, Gourmet Ads, and AdSense. Some networks allow you to “waterfall” ads to other networks so that it maximizes your fill rate.

      However, once you get to 100,000 monthly views, you can apply to have AdThrive take over your ads and not have to worry about it anymore. I made that switch as soon as I could and I’ve been very happy with them!

      1. I could’ve sworn I replied to you. So sorry! Thank you for your help. By the way, if you don’t mind me asking, how much do you make off this blog? I had seen income reports on here but I think they were removed? Or maybe I missed the post? Anyways, congrats on your success + thanks again for the info!

        1. Hey Jamie! I did for the first three months list income reports but the powers that be (all friends and family basically) were super critical of the choice. So I’m including them in my blogging e-book I am writing and releasing for sale this fall but not putting it out there on the blog for public view. Plus I found that most readers were here for recipes and were pretty annoyed by the reports. That being said I would be totally happy to share the info with you one on one if you wanted to email me: contact @ dinnerthendessert . com 🙂