When I first started my website, I always wondered what affiliate marketing for bloggers was. I always remember seeing the words floating around the blog sphere and not really having any idea on what it was or how it applied to me. The idea of turning your hobby into a way to make money can seem scary, and honestly it is. Sometimes when people do that, their hobby stops being fun. Which is why when you introduce money into anything, you should always be careful.
Affiliate marketing for bloggers can look different for every blogger. The way I use affiliate links in my posts, might be different to how another would use them in their content. It’s not a one size fits all approach. Which is why in this guide, I’ll be sharing the techniques I have tried and used. These techniques work for me, and I hope they work for you too.
SO, WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?
“Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.”– Wikipedia
To put that quote into plain English, have you ever seen when an influencer or blogger uses the words AFF? Or includes a disclaimer in their posts saying if you buy something through their link, they receive commission? Well, thats affiliate marketing. Companies provide opportunities for those who influence on social media and the internet. Those opportunities means that those creators are able to make a small percentage commission through ever purchase made from their own individual links.
So let’s use an example here. I have an affiliate code that I use on my site for Flodesk (My email marketing company I use.) Whenever I post this code and a blog reader clicks it and signs up to a paid plan, I get a set amount in payment for this. Sometimes brands will give a percentage of the sale, some it’s a flat fee.
HOW DO I GET INTO AFFILIATE MARKETING?
It’s actually quite easy to get into affiliate marketing for bloggers. All you need to do is sign up to an affiliate marketing programme such as Amazon, or ask brands you work with to see if they have one you could sign up to aswell. Some of the companies who have official affiliate programmes might have a criteria you have to hit to be able to get in, but that differs from company to company. Alot of companies provide them without you even realising. You don’t even need to be a blogger or influencer to do it either.
Now that the basics are out of the way, onto my advice to you!
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HOW DOES AFFILIATE MARKETING WORK?
Affiliate marketing is actually quite easy for content creators, all of the back work is done by the brands and organisations offering it. I found this great diagram from Smart Blogger that shares the process of affiliate marketing and how it works.
I thought sharing a diagram was easier than explaining the steps one by one. Usually your affiliate payments are made once a month and at the end of the month. But, it varies between each company.
ONLY START WHEN YOU FEEL READY
As I mentioned in my intro, I always saw affiliate marketing links and tips in posts when I first started blogging. It wasn’t until about a year in that I have really started to dip my toes into that world. One piece of advice I really want you to remember is that you don’t have to go into affiliate marketing right away. As I said, it took me a whole year to get into it, and I have only really scratched the surface so far. There are bloggers out there who make thousands and month from affiliate marketing. So it is possible and it can be done.
Only start getting into affiliate marketing if you feel like you are ready and your blog is ready. Honestly, I’d wait until you have established a following and know your readers will benefit from it. If you jump into it too quick, it might come across that you aren’t being genuine and you’re only in this for the money. There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to make money from your hard work, but bring it in when it feels like the right time for you.
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ALWAYS USE DISCLAIMERS
With anything that involves money, there is always a legal side to it. Here in the UK if you are including affiliate links in your posts, you should always declare it. It’s actually against the law if you don’t. Now these rules and laws will differ depending on which country you live in, so always check those regulations for your own country.
If you don’t put a disclaimer where affiliate links are used its failing to inform your customers(readers), and this can go negatively against you. It’s really all about transparency and being open and honest about making money. There is no reason to lie about the fact you make money from purchases made.
All of my legal documents for my blog are created with Iubenda.com. They are a great site that generates and creates your privacy policies, disclaimers and many more. They have a great free service but also a great paid service which allows you to pay monthly for the documents they create. As I know nothing about privacy policies and that side of blogging, it was refreshing knowing that its all been done for me and I have nothing to worry about. Click here to sign up.
Feel free to use this disclaimer that I use – This post contains affiliate links. Meaning any purchases made through the link will generate a small commission for me. This is at no cost to you.
Something short and sweet but straight to the point. As long as you include key wording, you can create your own disclaimer statement. For more information on requirements for disclaimers please visit Termsfeed.com.
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Have you tried affiliate marketing for bloggers before? If so, what was your experience? If you haven’t, why?
I hope you found this guide helpful. I know I would have appreciated a guide like this when I first started learning about affiliate links. Remember the legal side at all times. It’s one of the most important parts of it.
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This post contains affiliate links. Meaning any purchases made through the link will generate a small commission for me. This is at no cost to you.
I don’t have enough of a following to start affiliate marketing yet 😅
You’ll get there one day! Keep going🤗
I want to begin when I know I have enough following that can benefit from it. Thank you for this post!🤍
Me too! 😅
Beauty & Books
Still waiting for a better following. Need more interaction.
Thank you for this post! I haven’t added affiliate mktg yet but intend to eventually, so this is super helpful. I’m collecting all the info now so I’ll be ready later.
Another interesting post. I myself use my main blog as a creative outlet, so I don’t foresee myself doing affiliate marketing, but who knows, perhaps I could start a niche one in the future. Thanks for sharing!
Great post Olivia! I do have a question, maybe you can answer. I recently got an email from a company asking me to create a post/review on their product. They will send me some samples to try. No compensation was offered, which is fine but does this seem ok to do and if so what do I add to my blog since it wouldn’t technically be considered an affiliation. Thank you!
I tried it early on and failed due to following. I wish I had waited. I am going to pursue this option again very soon :). Great post 😀
Alicia from Nourishing Foods.Tasty Meals
Thanks for this informative post Olivia. Much appreciated. I wasn’t really able to grasp the concept of affiliate marketing fully and this article, for me, was a good, detailed post on being a beginner affiliate. Thanks so much for this!
A very informative post Olivia. I wonder if there was that sweet spot for when to start incorporate affiliate marketing to your blog? I’m definitely not there yet but I hope to be one day…! Haha 😅
Very helpful as always.
Great post and very informative
Thanks so much, glad you think so!
Great post! I really liked the graphic you used to explain how everything works. Do you have any recommendations for how much of a following before starting to use affiliates? Also, did you feel the need to announce to your followers when you started utilizing them? I know sometimes it can seem odd to a reader when all of a sudden they see disclaimers or ads show up.
I don’t actually think your following determines whether you should do it or not. You can do it if you have one or 10,000 followers 🙂
This is a really helpful post. I love it❤
I haven’t tried affiliate marketing before because I don’t think any company would actually be interested in working with me. Also because I don’t know how to do it😅. But this post has really helped. Thanks for the awesome post💜.
If you don’t mind me asking, how long were you blogging for before you went into affiliate marketing? And is it easy?
Once again thanks for writing this post🙏🏼
I was at least over 1,000 followers when I started looking into it. But honestly follower numbers don’t matter!
This is so helpful especially the part that advice people to always use disclaimers. great post. I also made a post on how people can turn visitors to subscribers easily. Check it out https://wordpress.com/post/learnunlearnfree.wordpress.com/96
Thank you Olivia for sharing this. Now I will wait till my audience grow then only I will promote affiliate links and will use the disclaimer too. 🙂
Hello Olivia, this is a really informative post! I have been doing affiliate marketing for nearly 10 years and using content marketing such as a blog is one of the best ways to scale your business online. Really great job on this!
So through word press I still have the free version. I’m still going through school so I don’t have the finances yet to pay for a subscription. Would you recommend paying for one to use affiliate links and to get a following?
Hey! You don’t need to upgrade to use affiliate links. Those links can just be pasted into your posts. Doesn’t affect your WordPress account (not that I’m aware of anyway)!
Tech Savvy Thoughts
I’m beginner for affiliate marketing this blog really help for me thanks for posting.
This content was really helpful, for real. I’m going on a journey to get loan from Paypal to make I business real big so I can push my blog I guess then start this whole process.. you can check my guide on how to get loan from Paypal tho https://techlittleblue.com/paypal-loan-login/
Now Show Me The Money
WOW! I love how you explain in every little detail what affiliate marketing is, and how it works. FANSTASTIC!!! thank you for sharing that.
You’re so welcome!