Once your blog begins to receive traffic and you develop a following in the blogosphere, the next step for most people is to monetize their blog. In this article, affiliate marketing for dummies, I will show you how I make most of the money that I make online and offer some advice based on things that I’ve learned over the years.
Affiliate Marketing for Dummies – Primary Techniques
The “Promote Your Link” Method
The “promote your link” method of affiliate marketing is the simplest form of affiliate marketing. You will not have to ever interact with the customer. The only requirement is that you display your affiliate link online and get customers to purchase products using your affiliate links. You don’t necessary need a website to accomplish this. This can be done using Google ads, Bing ads, banner advertising, list swaps, social media other methods. When the customer buys a product that you’re promoting with your affiliate link, you receive a commission for making the sale.
This technique is popular because it’s not necessary to invest a lot of time (or money) in order to build rapport with potential customers. However, when using these techniques, it can be difficult to establish yourself online and build a community. There is a lot of work involved in building a following online, so this type of affiliate marketing is easier for most people. However, I’m not a fan of this method because it’s difficult to sustain. This is a short term marketing method to make money and nothing more. It does not give you the opportunity to build a brand or create customer loyalty. So, this truly is affiliate marketing for dummies because it simply isn’t sustainable over the long term in most cases.
The “Familiar” Method
This method requires you to establish a reputation on the internet with a website (like Squidoo, InfoBarrel or your personal website) or some other form of communication. At the end of your communications (ex. article of posted somewhere online), you place affiliate links to the offers or products you are advertising. Many people involved in this form of affiliate marketing have never really tried the products they advertise. A long time ago, ads with text links were very popular. Even today, there are many “internet marketing” websites promoting these ads, even though they most likely never tried those services out themselves.
You can make extra money by filling your web site with affiliate ads and links that are relevant to your industry. If you have established some rapport with your readers, they will trust your judgment when you recommend a product. It doesn’t matter where on your site you place the ads. Like many other blogs, I also display these ads on Blog Basics.
I periodically include an advertisement for “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” in the sidebar. Obviously, being the owner of BlogBasics.com, this is a field that I’m interested in. However, I didn’t use this product to build this blog – even though I have reviewed the product and believe in the methods that are taught within the coursework. This is a form of affiliate marketing that I really like, but it is not my main source of income. I make most of my money online through a more personal method of affiliate marketing.
The “Personal” Method
This method of affiliate marketing is a little bit different than the others. It really consists of truly understanding the products you promote and advertising products that you actually use within your business and enjoy. You are in effect recommending the product by saying that you will continue to use it even if your readers never do.
This type of affiliate marketing requires a much higher level of commitment and research. You can’t just promote anything. The products you recommend become linked to your credibility and your brand, and if you are dishonest and promote products that aren’t useful, your reputation will suffer in the long run.
In this form of marketing, products are promoted more through articles, pictures and video as a part of your lifestyle. You are referring people who identify with you to a product and saying that you are willing to stand behind it. This is diametrically opposed to pay per click affiliate marketing, where you are able to remain completely anonymous. People who look up to you and following your brand, will believe that if it worked for you, then it can work for them as well.
This is a more personal type of affiliate marketing and requires a long term commitment. You are putting yourself on the record as a supporter of the product, and if it is a disaster, people will remember that you recommended it. I do not take this lightly within my business. If you visit my product recommendations page, you will see many of the products that I use every day in my business. I will continue to use these products, even if no one chooses to buy them.
Personal affiliate marketing is very similar to word of mouth advertising – but online. It is like making a recommendation to a friend about a quality product that has worked for you. You’re leveraging your credibility along with your online brand and using it to make money. On this blog, I promote BlueHost website hosting services. I have used them to host websites for years and never had any problems that they didn’t resolve quickly. Since this hosting provider has worked so well for me, I recommend them to others to use also.
Ultimately, you are free to decide what kind of affiliate marketing you will use. But, from my perspective, utilizing your credibility and online brand in an industry to promote products that you have actually tried and enjoy is the best form of affiliate marketing. This is why I primarily utilize personal affiliate marketing over the other types of affiliate marketing. People are more likely to spend their hard earned money on things promoted with personal affiliate marketing because they see evidence that the product is effective, they see a mentor that can assist them with the product and they have a scapegoat if they fail. So, I suggest that you dedicate yourself fully to “personal” affiliate marketing and your online income will increase.