I’m going to explain how I make money from my blog every month.
Basically, I make money blogging by using affiliate links on my blog.
This is a simple and easy way to monetize your blog without doing sponsored posts or partnering with individual brands.
And since this is a blog post about affiliate links, this is also where I place my disclosure saying *this post may contain affiliate links*!
An affiliate is a person or business who promotes a product or service offered by other businesses, and you become an affiliate when you promote an affiliate product.
But first, you have to make sure you have a blog! It’s super simple to set up your own blog through WordPress and Bluehost hosting. I’ve worked out a special price with Bluehost, so if you sign up through my affiilate link you’ll get the cheapest price for blog hosting PLUS a free domain name.
Check out my step-by-step guide to getting your own site set up in minutes.
Make Money Blogging with Affiliate Links
First, it’s important that we understand what an affiliate link is and what it does.
An affiliate link is a link on a website or blog that sends traffic to an external sales page. These links use “cookies” to monitor traffic and sales. Cookies set a “tracker” on your ip address.
If you buy something from that link, the person who posted the affiliate link will get a small percentage of the sale price of your purchase. It doesn’t cost the consumer anything extra.
Many affiliate links have a 30 day cookie, or tracking. That means that if someone clicks on an affiliate link, looks at a sales page, but doesn’t purchase for a few days, the person who created the affiliate link will still get the sale as long as it’s within that 30 day tracking time.
Companies that work with affiliate sales have different tracking criteria and times. Not all are as generous as 30 days.
If someone makes a purchase by using an affiliate link, the company will normally let the blogger who posted the affiliate link know that they made a sale. Then, the blogger will receive a percentage of that sale through paypal or by check.
Payouts from affiliate companies also vary. Some pay every week, others once a month.
Choosing Affiliate Opportunities
So how do you choose which affiliate links you will use on your blog?
I always make it a rule that I will only promote things that I like and use. I stick to this rule for a few reasons.
One, I know that the product I’m promoting is quality because I use it myself. Two, I make sure that the promotion actually helps my readers. I mean, it would be weird if I all of the sudden started promoting kitchenware. My blog has nothing to do with cooking, and frankly I don’t know my way around the kitchen very well anyway. So it wouldn’t make sense to promote, say, a chef’s knife when I actually have no idea how to use it without sending myself to the hospital! Do you get my point?
Your readers have a pretty good BS meter so just stick to what you know when choosing affiliates.
Popular Affiliate Programs
I recommend starting off with a product that you are very familiar with. A great place to start is to become an affiliate of an e-course that you’ve taken.
Currently, the majority of my blog income comes from affiliate sales of e-courses, both my own and other peoples.
My e-course Productivity Freedom has an affiliate program. That means other bloggers are promoting my course to their readers.
Alternatively, I am an affiliate for other people’s courses that I’ve taken and have found useful. Some of these include
- Melyssa Griffin’s blogging courses
- Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course on affiliate marketing
- The Selling Family on Amazon FBA
- Gina Horkey on Freelance Writing and Becoming a VA
Another way to promote e-courses is through Ultimate Bundles. This is a company that collects a lot of really good courses and bundle them together into a one price package. I’ve taken soooo many courses this way because they make it so affordable.
Ultimate Bundles has a great affiliate program. One of the bonuses of working with them is you also a get a discount on the bundle your selling. Also, there are a lot of ways to get the bundle for free!
Sign up to work with Ultimate Bundles HERE.
Another great way to make money blogging is through joining affiliate networks.
These are companies that act as affiliate managers for hundreds of companies who want to get their products in front of a large audience.
Affiliate networks are great because they represent a huge amount of businesses from clothing companies to finance. Affiliate networks allow you to choose which companies you want to promote.
There are two affiliate networks that I use the most:
The first is Flex Offers. Every account is assigned to a dedicated account manager that will help you maximize your earning potential and make sure that you are joined to the best affiliate programs in their network according to what type of blog you have.
The second affiliate network I work with is Share A Sale. You can join Share A Sale as a merchant and promote your own products, or as an affiliate and promote other business’ product.
An Easy Way to Start Making Money From Your Blog
One of the easiest affiliate programs to get started with is Amazon Affiliates. I list this one last because in my opinion, it’s the hardest network to make money from when you are just starting out.
The Amazon affiliate program lets you link to any product that Amazon sells. That’s a lot of stuff! Unfortunately, if you don’t have a lot of traffic, your sales percentage can be pretty low. But, with more time and experience you can really make a good income through Amazon affiliates.
Ways to Use Affiliate Links
There are lots of ways to make money blogging by promoting your affiliate links.
The simplest way to use affiliate links is to use them organically in your blog posts. For example, if you write a blog post about quick weeknight dinners, you might include an affiliate link for a crock pot or recipe book. Or, if you write a blog post about decorating your living room, you could add affiliate links to some decorative baskets for organizing and storage.
Another great way to make money blogging is through email marketing. I’m sure you have heard how important building an email list is to your blog. If not, check out this post all about building an email list.
You can add affiliate links to emails that you send out to your list, just make sure that they are relevant and you don’t SPAM your list! People trust you and have shared their email address with you because they like what you have to say. So don’t betray their trust by sending them a bunch of stuff they don’t want.
Try a free trial of ConvertKit for bloggers when you’re ready to take your email list to the next level.
Related Post: Email Marketing 101: How to Build Your Email List
Make Money Blogging
As with any affiliate marketing program, don’t get discouraged if it starts out slow. As your traffic grows and you build trust with your audience, you’ll start to see a payoff in your affiliate sales.
Also, make sure that you follow all of the directions for each affiliate network. For example, Amazon doesn’t let you post their affiliate links in email campaigns. So make sure to read the fine print on every affiliate program.
With a bit of trial and error, you can make affiliate marketing work for you.
Most of what I’ve learned about affiliate marketing, I learned through the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I literally made my money back from the course in less than a month.
The amount of traffic your blog gets will affect how well your affiliate links work. The more people click on your site, the more opportunity to have to make affiliate sales. Pinterest is the number one driver of traffic to most blogs and Tailwind will help you tap into that potential. Try Tailwind out FOR FREE through my affiliate link.
Go ahead and sign up with some of the affiliate programs I’ve listed above. It’s never too early or too late to get started with affiliate marketing and start making money from your blog!
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