You followed our advice to establish your blog. You utilized our guidelines for increasing your traffic. Your next question concerns how bloggers make money, and it is important to answer.
After a lot of work creating high quality content that puts you high in the rankings for search engine optimization (SEO), it is time for all that work to pay off. You’re ready to monetize this blog.
There are a lot of great ways of making money from a blog. Once you’re an established authority, you can easily monetize your services. Write an ebook. Teach a seminar. You can even offer your services as an expert at an hourly fee.
How bloggers make money with affiliate marketing
There is one prime money maker that anyone can use, and most do. One of the most popular ways to make money is through affiliate marketing which is a partnership between you and an online retailer where you agree to market their products in exchange for a commission of every sale they make through your site.
When it comes to writing a blog and getting paid for it, affiliate programs have grown in popularity as more and more bloggers find ways to market niche products through their blogs. I’m going to review my five favorite affiliate marketing programs for you here, then offer some guidelines for affiliate marketing to help you get started.
Top Affiliate Networks
Cost to Join
Up to 10%
Up to 75%
Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce sites on the Internet, so naturally it also has one of the largest affiliate programs. I want to spend a decent amount of time with this review, because it is one of the most popular and simple ways how bloggers make money.
Product reviews are one of the main ways that people are making money from a blog. If you stay transparent and endorse a product that you believe in, you can make great money. When users see your review and notice your enthusiasm for the product, they will be likely to click through and buy one for themselves.
Best sellers are a great way to leverage product reviews. These are already popular and trendy, and linking to them will give you commission for a sale people are interested in already. You can also use the reviews to your advantage. While it’s prohibited to use their reviews as your own, you can leverage the feedback to build trust in the product.
Social media is another great way to promote your content. When you post, stay transparent. Let people know that you are posting an affiliate link. Amazon takes transparency very seriously. Make sure these are mixed into actual posts, because no one wants to see nothing but advertisements.
You can sign up on Amazon by filling in all their forms. Read the rules first so you understand everything. As I mentioned, they have a lot of them.
You can search the Amazon site for different products to promote. When you enter a keyword, Amazon will generate a list of related products. Once you find a product you want to promote, you simply click the Get Link button to create your specific Amazon affiliate link.
Choose your products carefully. They should fit your brand and match your topic well. Seamless integration of affiliate marketing posts is the goal. If you promote something you wouldn’t buy yourself, you will start losing trust, and your reputation will take a nosedive. This will cause you to lose followers which obviously also results in less sales.
Again, remember that it is mandatory to disclose your affiliation. Not only will you keep your trust and reputation, but you won’t get banned from your affiliate programs or put in jail for breaking the FTC guidelines.
ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate market programs around right now. It can compete against other affiliate programs in an evolving market.
They have been in business for nearly 20 years and have consistently worked to improve their program for both affiliates and merchants.
They have a reputation for being a fair company that deals in honesty. They provide some of the best customer service out of any affiliate program and accurately report with easy-to-understand tracking tools.
They were acquired by Awin, another large affiliate program, so they have a network that is nearly as vast as Amazon itself. New affiliates will be presented with welcome kits to help them learn some of the basics of affiliate marketing and strategize ways to make money faster.
Another marketing affiliate giant is ClickBank. Entrepreneurs developed this site, so their network enables you to make money blogging. As with other sites, this one allows bloggers to search their marketplace for products to endorse and make a commission for sales.
One thing that distinguishes ClickBank from other programs is that the vendors are the ones who set the commission for their sales affiliates. This can work against affiliate marketers, but most often it actually works in their favor. This site shows commission payouts as high as 75%, and when affiliates can choose which products to endorse, it encourages vendors to set a competitive commission rate.
Are They Legit?
Because they are such a large community, but not associated with well established programs, people are always asking whether or not ClickBank is legit. Expert niche marketers have made insanely high revenue from this site, and they rave about it a lot. This also contributes to a sense of “too good to be true”.
The good news is that ClickBank is legit. You can make money with their affiliate program. The bad news is that hype is usually just that.
The average user won’t make those high sales numbers until they’ve spent a lot of time increasing their reader base and gaining the trust of their subscribers. You need a high traffic rate to make lots of money with affiliate marketing. After all, if people can’t find your link they can’t use it.
One of the other things that hurts their reputation is that they aren’t the best at weeding out bad products. The site has great service, a user-friendly and speedy interface, and a great payment processing system. A lot of people are offering great products. The issue is that, with ClickBank being large and unwilling to perform some basic quality control, you can also run into some real duds.
Rakuten Marketing Affiliate Program
One of the other giants in affiliate marketing is Rakuten. This is a global network that connects businesses to new audiences using your site. Rakuten has one of the best reputations in the business, so you can support them without fear.
Rakuten is driven by performance. They are very selective when it comes to accepting affiliates into their program.
They don’t stop there, either. Once marketers make the program, they are still monitored to ensure that their content is high quality, and they are effectively using the program.
Rakuten’s size is an advantage. They have a lot of extremely well-known brands, like Lego, Best Buy, New Balance, Mac Cosmetics, and several major department stores. This means that they work a bit differently, though.
Unlike others, this network is a conglomeration of different affiliate networks. Once your account is approved for Rakuten, you still have to apply for each individual marketing program. Each of these will manually review your website and determine whether your products are in line with their brand and relevant to their market.
CJ Affiliate has also been around for a long time. They have evolved along with technology, ensuring that they consistently rank among the top affiliate programs.
They are considered one of the largest affiliate programs in North America and have only seen steady growth over the last decade.
How do bloggers make money aside from affiliate marketing?
While we focused on reviewing some of the top affiliate marketing programs, that’s only one way to make money with blogging. There are a lot of different options:
How bloggers make money: our conclusion
Now, you know how bloggers make money. There are a lot of great ways for bloggers to make money online.
Skype consultations where you charge a large hourly fee for one-on-one training is something that can only be easily managed when you have long been established as an authority. Advertisements are falling out of fashion nearly everywhere, so they are unlikely to gain you money unless you have a very high-traffic site where people are clicking everything.
Because of this, I recommend using affiliate marketing. If you’re just getting started and don’t have as much traffic, then ClickBank is a great starting point. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with Amazon!