The Business of Blogging – Affiliate Links

How to Transform Your Passion Project into Your Business


In the real world who you associate with can play a significant role in establishing your reputation and credibility. The same ideology applies to blogging. Who or what your blog aligns and associates with will directly affect your blog’s traffic and engagement. Capitalizing on the relationships your blog content generates is a great solution for monetizing your content – especially if you’re not ready to jump into advertising.  Affiliate marketing is a tactic based on relationships – between blogger and audience, and blogger and brand – to generate quality leads and actions.

By definition, affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each customer generated by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The term “affiliate” essentially means publisher. So in the affiliate marketing process, publishers, or bloggers, are rewarded for each customer they produce through their own blogging efforts. However, publishers are not paid for every click they drive, but, rather, for every action taken – a reader must click on the affiliate link and then choose to download or purchase for the blogger to receive compensation.

Unlike advertisements, affiliate marketing does not affect the look or design of your blog. Your readers’ attentions will not be redirected by right rail ads or targeted banners. Instead, affiliate links will appear within your content, when relevant, so as not to startle or alter a reader’s experience on your blog. So, if you’re sold on what affiliate marketing can do for your blog, the first step you need to take is to sign up for an affiliate program. There are a number of available affiliate programs with unique strengths and weakness. It’s best to choose your affiliate program based on the nature of your content. If you primarily focus on fashion content, then it will be most effective for you to become an affiliate of a retail brand. If your content relates to a niche industry or audience, it may be best to join an affiliate program like Amazon Affiliates, as this kind of larger affiliate network encompasses a wide range of products. A few more affiliate programs to consider include:


Reward Style

CJ Affiliate

Share A Sale

Once you have settled on the best-fitting affiliate program for your blog it can be tempting to jump into the process and include links as often as possible. However, a link-first, content-second approach to affiliate marketing will not set you up for success. Remember, affiliate marketing only works if you have established credibility with your audience as a creative and well-informed publisher. If you starting posting shallow content for the sake of including links, the quality of your blog will undoubtedly suffer and your users may lose interest. To maintain the esteem of your blog, its best to exercise caution and selectivity with affiliate links. You know your blog and your audience better than anyone else, so use your own judgment when it comes to determining when, where and how many affiliate links to incorporate into your content.

When executed appropriately, affiliate links are powerful options to bolster your monthly income. Interested in learning more ways to grow your blogging business? Up next in this Business of Blogging series, we’ll explore commerce and sponsored posts!

Don’t forget to check out our Business of Blogging – Advertisements and Commerce posts,  and stay tuned for Sponsored Content!

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