Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tips for Making Money off Blogging: Affiliate Programs

So you have created a blog, but how do you make money from it? Though you can sell products directly from your blog, this type of passive income takes months if not years to show any results.  Instead, bloggers can make a lucrative blog by just posting advertisements through affiliate programs.

What is an Affiliate Program?
Basically, an affiliate program pays you a commission percentage when people buy a product or visit a website via your blog. Typically programs pay between four and nine percent commission, depending on how much traffic you bring in, how many products you sell, etc.

There are hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs out there, but to be successful with an affiliate and actually make money, you need to use them properly.

Who Reads Your Blog?
Before signing up for an affiliate program, ask yourself a simple question “Who reads this?”. Your audience is the first deciding factor in what type of affiliates to post on your site. For example, if you write about cake decorating, then you want culinary and cake decorating supplies listed on your site, not iPads and computers.

Be Genuine
Do not just promote any and ever product on your site. Instead, be genuine about the links and products you promote. Using the cake decorating example, if you are trying to teach people how to frost a cake, but tell them they need a particular tool, advertise that particular tool. Use a tool that you use or have used and you actually recommend.

Correlate Advertisements
Make sure the advertisements you use correlate with the blog post you are writing about. Do not just post random banners for Amazon or eBay all over your site. This will not only limit the chance of anyone clicking on it, but limit your income.

Strategically Place Your Links
Don’t just put a link at the bottom of the page and assume a reader will click on it. Even the best products need strategic placement. Position your advertisements in a hot spot of the page instead.

Drive Traffic
You won’t make money from your affiliate programs if you do not have traffic coming to your site. The more people that visit your site, the more likely a few of them will actually click on those links. Blogs that only have 100 visitors per day might make some money, but blogs that have over 1,000 visitors per day will really make the money.

Don’t Be Obvious
Do not be obvious about your affiliates or that you are outright trying to make money from your blog. Pushy advertising and sales is what drives people away from your blog. Instead, be subtle, be crafty and most importantly, be smart about how you advertise.

Keep Track
Check monthly reports from your blog and posted affiliates. See what types of links got the most attention and from what posts. Use that data to create more successful post/link combinations on the blog to optimize commission sales.

Check out Savvy Freelancers “Guide to Making a Successful and Lucrative Blog in 30 Days” eBook for tips on how to use affiliate programs, 50 affiliate programs that work and strategies that will make you money before the month is over.

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