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.
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.