Affiliate marketing can be a mutually beneficial business relationship between a merchant and a website owner. A merchant gains sales through website links and the website owner gains interested visitors. Basically, the way an affiliate relationship works is that the affiliate, or blog owner, receives commission on profits generated through the links and ads located on the website. The compensation may be based on the visitor completing registration (pay-per-lead), or completing a purchase (pay-per-sale), or for just visiting the merchant’s site (pay-per-click).
Only you can decide if affiliate marketing is right for your blog. Some visitors may be turned off by affiliate links and ads, while for some blogs this marketing method will encourage readers to keep coming back for more. The following are just a few reasons why you may want to start an affiliate program on your blog and some tips for making it work for you:
1. Great Opportunity to Make Money
More than likely you use your blog to share what you love with others. There will inevitably be times when you mention products and services that you have tested and approve of. If you are already going to refer your readers to a merchant, you might as well make money doing it. For instance, if you are blogging about designing business cards and you recommend a merchant that prints business cards, you should contact that printer and work out an affiliate relationship. Both you and the merchant win in this situation.
2. Adds Value to Your Blog
Acting as a go-between for your visitors and a merchant can be a very helpful move for all parties involved. You can direct your visitors to a merchant that will help them out with their needs. The merchant gains new customers, and you can make a percentage on each transaction that occurs from your referral. Just be sure to check out every merchant for yourself so that you do not end up recommending a bad company to your visitors. A poor referral could really hurt your reputation.
3. The Set Up is Easy
If you have a blog or a website, then you are already set up to make extra money. All you have to do is sign up for an affiliate marketing program and copy the tracking code onto your website. The code will then let the merchant know which customers have come to their site directly from your blog. Need help finding some affiliate programs? Try AffiliateTips.com or AffiliateScout.com.
4. Very Low Start Up Cost
As a blogger, the only cost to you is your time with SEO efforts. Part of becoming a highly desired blog for affiliate merchants involves the standing you have with the search engines. A high search engine rank means more visitors, which equals more chances for clicks on ads. It takes some time to gain a high search engine rank, but the result will be upper level merchants for your affiliate programs.
5. Develop Multiple Income Streams
You can work with as many merchants as you want, which means that you do not have to rely on only one merchant for income. If you often offer advice to your visitors about designing business cards, you are in a great place to develop an affiliate relationship with merchants who design and print business cards, photographers, or designers. However, keep in mind that too many affiliate links and ads on your blog can clutter the page and make reading and navigation difficult. Maintain the right balance, though, and you could be receiving a nice income each month.
Your best bet for success with affiliate marketing is to choose the right affiliates and to limit the amount of affiliate links and ads in your blog. Usually success with affiliates takes a lot of trial and error, so do not get discourage if you cannot get your programs to work well right away. Be sure to listen to your loyal visitors and be willing to remove those affiliates that are a distraction. Eventually, though, you will be able to build a blog with valuable affiliate relationships that benefit everyone involved.