You can’t stick affiliate links everywhere and expect money to magically start rolling in. No matter what the “experts” say, it is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
To consistently earn money from affiliate marketing, you must build trust with your audience. It takes time, but it pays off in the long-run.
Since affiliate marketing is a low-cost, low-risk opportunity, many bloggers start here when creating a monetization strategy.
How To Become an Affiliate
Unless you are an affiliate with an affiliate link, you aren’t going to earn money recommending or reviewing products. If you just stick a standard link to an item on Amazon, or any other company, people can click on it and buy it all day long and you won’t see a dime.
You must first become an affiliate for the items or services you want to promote. Often companies or brands run their own affiliate programs. You sign up for these directly on their website. If this is the case, you fill out an online form to apply to become an affiliate. The company will contact you directly to let you know when or if you are approved.
Other companies outsource their affiliate programs to affiliate networks. In this scenario, you join the network and become approved to promote many products. ShareASale is one example. You click on the “Affiliate Sign Up” button on their homepage and create your account. Once approved, you follow a similar process to apply for the different brands. They represent companies like:
- Green Kids Crafts
With companies in several different industries, most bloggers find at least a couple of brands that are a good match for their audience.
If you’re struggling to find suitable affiliate programs, think about what products or companies you personally use and love. Then type “Name of company + Affiliate program” into Google. Many companies have affiliate programs available, so it’s a good idea to check.
Understand the Affiliate Agreement
When you become an affiliate for a company, make sure you read the fine print. Before you promote a product through affiliate marketing, make sure you know what the benefit is.
Sometimes you receive a percentage of the sale. Other companies have a flat-rate referral program.
Since companies want to make sure the sale goes through and the product isn’t returned, there’s often a delay in payment. Some affiliate companies pay out after thirty days, some after seventy-five days or even longer. This information should all be available for you. Become familiar with it.
You also need to be aware of any restrictions or expectations. For instance, Amazon requires you to have their disclosure statement on your blog (see chapter seven).
Terms and conditions get updated occasionally. When they do, read them and look for any major changes. You always need to know what restrictions are in place.
Companies like it when their affiliates are successful, because it means they are selling more. To help you promote their products, many provide you with a variety of tools. In addition to your unique affiliate link, you may find:
- Social media images
- Special coupon codes
- Ideas for promotion
- Video instruction to help you earn more as an affiliate
Take time to explore your affiliate dashboard (or portal) and see what is available. If you don’t know what you have, you can’t use it.