Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing for New Bloggers
August 7, 2020
So you’re ready to start making money blogging huh? Here is your guide to getting started with affiliate marketing for new bloggers. As you probably already know and the reason why you’re likely here is because affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your blog.
So if you have not yet started or are in your early phases of affiliate marketing, this post is for you.
Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own
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Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing for New Bloggers
Ohh yeahh! You’re about to learn how to get started with affiliate marketing for new bloggers and it’s going to be awesome!
But before we jump in, let’s answer the most common question asked – when should you start affiliate marketing?
The answer is now! If you have a blog, you can start learning and implementing affiliate marketing strategies. You don’t have to wait until you have a massive following base.
Yes, of course more pageviews and more followers means you have higher chances at making more money with affiliate marketing. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.
We’re talking about you getting started with it which means learning how to do it the right way. This way, once you do start getting high pageviews and lots of followers, you’ll already have strategies in place to turn them into paying customers.
The key is to get started so let’s go ahead and jump right in to getting you started with these steps.
1) Know who your audience is
Yes I know this seems pretty basic but it can actually be easily overlooked. In fact, you may think that you know who your audience is or maybe your audience is everyone. Which for the record, one blog post cannot target every person in the world.
So here we have to start with the basics. Who is your target audience? If you have more than one niche than your audience will vary. But even within each niche, you should know specifically who you will be targeting when writing your blog post.
The more specific you can get with this, the better. It not only helps you write your post in a way that directly speaks to them, but it also helps you find better products or services that they’ll be more willing to buy.
So think about it. Who is your true target audience and what do they need or want from you?
2) Have your legal pages in place
Once you have figured out who your audience is, you can begin looking into affiliate marketing. But before you can start actually making money through affiliate marketing, you have to have all your legal documents in place.
This is a critical component to getting started with affiliate marketing for new bloggers. In fact, many companies and affiliate programs won’t even approve your application without them.
So what are the legal pages that you need?
And don’t worry, they are not as expensive as you think. In fact, they are extremely affordable when purchased as a bundle. This Legal Bundle Value Pack includes the three legal pages you need and were written by a trusted lawyer.
In fact, she even explains the importance of blogging legally in her Free Legally Blogs Course. So if you’re on edge and haven’t started legally protecting your blog, sign up to the free course to learn more and start making some money!
So once you know who your audience is and have your legal pages in place, it’s time to start signing up, yay!
But first I should share the difference between an affiliate network and affiliate program. An affiliate network is essentially a hub of different companies or affiliate programs they are partnered with. Once you’re signed up in one of these affiliate networks, you’ll gain access to thousands of companies which you can then apply for (affiliate programs).
Here are my absolute favorite and top affiliate networks to join as they are partnered with so many affiliate marketing programs for beginners and experts in just about every niche possible.
Now these three are very similar in which they each have different programs available in every niche, but they still have their key differences which I’ll cover below.
Now this one is my absolute favorite affiliate network and is where I make a good chunk of my affiliate commissions. Once in the dashboard, you’ll see just how user-friendly the site is. It’s definitely one of the prettier affiliate network sites as it’s super easy to navigate through it.
I especially love the custom link generator feature but I’ll get to that in just a second. ShareASale makes it super easy for you to find affiliate programs to join. As you can see from the list above, they have something for just about every single niche possible. And those numbers are always changing as new programs enter and exit the network.
Another great ShareASale feature is that it provides you with reports on every single transaction you make. It can even give you specific details on which link was used if you used their amazing custom link generator and created campaigns for the same link.
Remember I said you can create custom links? Yup, they have a super cool custom link generator which lets you create specific page links for any site in which you are an affiliate for. It’s a totally awesome feature I wish every single network had.
Oh man, FlexOffers is another top affiliate network provider as they too work with thousandsss of merchants. I mean take a look at the screenshot, as of this post date, they have over 12,000 merchants in which you can apply for. That’s insane!
I even tried making my screen text smaller to get a full picture of all the categories but that wasn’t even possible haha. But trust me, with 12K+, they’ll definitely have a handful for you to work with (no matter what your niche is).
They do have tons of reporting for you to analyze your merchant sales. Now, the one thing I wish FlexOffers had was the super easy custom link generator tool. However, they do have the option to create page specific custom links (known as deep linking) but only for some merchants.
Oh and the cool thing about their link generator (deep link or not), is that you can even select your preferred ending url. For example, my affiliate link for Tailwind via Flexoffers is: https://fxo.co/1182257/tailwind << I selected to add tailwind at the end.
Oh and if you’re a travel blogger, you’ll especially love FlexOffers because they are partnered with many of the biggest travel brands out there. But even if you’re not a travel blogger, remember that they have 25 affiliate program categories so you’ll definitely find something for you.
4) Research affiliate programs within these networks
Once you’ve signed up to these affiliate networks, it’s time to start doing some research. Yes research but why?
Just because you’re given the option to sign up for hundreds of programs within your niche doesn’t mean that you should apply to them all. Instead, you want to make sure that you are signing up to those that will actually provide value to your audience.
Here are some things to consider when researching the affiliate programs:
Will this product or service benefit your target reader?
Like I said, you want to make sure that whatever it is that you’re marketing is actually going to benefit your reader. Otherwise, this will be time wasted as they won’t buy it anyways. So before you start applying to programs, take a moment to think about your audience and what they need from you. Is this it?
Is the product or service coming from a trusted site?
Readers are more than likely to buy something if it comes from a well-known site. This is why the Amazon Affiliates program is super popular. People already trust this site but this may not be the case with all the programs in the network. It doesn’t mean you can’t promote those products or services, it just means you’ll have to try a bit harder to get the reader to trust you and the site.
How much commission is being offered?
Now this is a bit more tricky than just looking at the commission percentage itself. You want to take the cost of the product into consideration as well. So how much commission is being offered compared to the product or service cost? Your commission percentage may be lower but if the product cost is higher, then you’ll still earn more money than promoting a higher percentage commission for a lower priced item.
Thankfully, this Affiliate Programs Master List has already done a ton of the research for you. It’s a super comprehensive list with over 1,000 affiliate programs for 37 niche categories. It already lists high-paying affiliate programs (some which pay up to 50% per sale).
Yay! Now you’re truly ready to start applying to affiliate programs. Now I know there is so many different programs and even though you know what type of products and services your audience would like, it can be overwhelming to look through these all.
So I recommend you start by searching your favorite stores or brands that align with your blog. If you find them within your affiliate network then awesome! It’ll be so much easier to promote a product or brand that you already use yourself.
But these are not the only products and services you need to promote. You can choose to join any affiliate programs you truly believe will have a good impact on your reader’s life.
Now, in addition to the affiliate programs that can be found in the networks, I personally love these two below as well.
If you’re a newbie blogger, you may have never heard about Ultimate Bundles before. However, this is by far one of the best programs you can sign up for as their commission rate is 40% (or 70% if you’re a contributor).
The downside to this program is that it is primarily focused on limited time only bundle sales. Not all niches have a bundle but if your niche does, it not only pays out a great commission, but it provides a tremendous amount of value for your readers at an extremely low cost. Here is an example of the Work at Home Bundle post I wrote for a bundle put together by Ultimate Bundles.
Every year they come out with different bundles they believe will suit what readers are looking for in that year. The most common niches I’ve seen bundles created for include: finance, blogging, parenting, productivity and health. Now if your niche isn’t on this list, don’t get discouraged because like I said, this changes every year and I’m only mentioning the most common ones.
Now if you create your own ebook or digital products, then your benefit to joining this program greatly increases. Since it’s based off of limited time only sales, that means hundreds of bloggers within your niche are promoting the bundle at the same time. This greatly expands your audience reach as anyone who purchases the bundle would then have access to download or enroll into your digital product, thus gaining a potential new subscriber.
Yup, I love this program and is one of my absolute favorites.
I know in the most recent months you have probably heard about some people moving away from Amazon due to them slashing commission rates. I am not one of them.
Yes it sucked that they cut down the affiliate commissions but we must admit that Amazon is still the top performing site for online shopping. They have already built up their trust with the vast majority of the population and therefore, people are more than likely to buy something that comes directly from the Amazon site.
Remember my two things to consider when doing your research? Amazon is one of those that is highly trusted but pays out lower commissions and I would say this is one of the only exceptions to the high commission rule.
The other downside to Amazon is that they are extremely strict. In fact, they kick out bloggers from their program all the time. One of the most common reasons you may get removed from the Amazon Affiliates program is due to not having made at least three sales within the first 6 months.
This is a HUGE problem is you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing. However, this Amazon Affiliate Affluence eBook has laid out the foundation on how to make money specifically through the Amazon program. It’s one of the most affordable and detailed affiliate eBooks out there and can really help you get those first sales quicker than most.
6) Start writing your affiliate-focused blog posts
Now my blogging friend, you have made it and can start writing your affiliate focused blog posts! 🙌🏻
As you’re writing, remember to focus on your audience and naturally mention the affiliate product into your post. You don’t want to be too pushy or salesy but you do want to explain how that product or service can benefit them.
There are so many different ways in which you can promote your affiliate links into blog posts. You could do a resource list, a comparison guide, a gift guide or just fit it naturally where you can.
And because there is just so much more to be covered on this specific topic, I highly recommend the Affiliate Marketing Simplified course that not only covers affiliate networks, programs and how to join them, but helps you convert readers into customers as well. It’s your extremely detailed guide to getting started with affiliate marketing for new bloggers.