Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers : A Definitive Guide

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You must have heard that affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for bloggers like you to make some good money.

Well, it is true when people say that.

It is true because statistically, Affiliate Marketing tops the list for me in some months and other months, something else takes the lead; either my coaching program or my digital products.

The thing is, affiliate marketing is one of the surest ways for bloggers who are willing to make some money to whip in some good cash (by the side) at the end of every month or even every two weeks.

So many of my friends who run a blog or two have turned affiliate marketing into their main source of blog income over time and there is no wonder why since nearly a whopping 65% of affiliate marketers generate traffic through blogging (TrueList 2020)

The most interesting thing about affiliate marketing that interests bloggers the most is that they really do not need to continue with recurring work; all they need to do is to set the system in motion and see it running.

If they wish, they would come back to it to twist and tweak it a little (which is advised) to make sure it keeps performing as expected.

Your question right now must be “what is it, for real?” and “how do I start?”

Well, this is not going to be like some article that you must have already read by now which gave you a clone of what you saw on another blog.

We will go to a great extent by talking about affiliate marketing (from my experience) and how you should get started with affiliate marketing.

Before we talk about how it works, let us clearly define affiliate marketing in a way that a 12-year-old who is interested in video games, workouts, or yoga would understand.

Shall we?

What is Affiliate Marketing (for Bloggers)

Everyone sees affiliate marketing differently but for a blogger like you and I, we have a different lens through which we should see it.

So what does it mean for a blogger?

For a blogger, affiliate marketing means to sell someone else’s products or services through our blogs either by writing an article that promotes such a product or service or by selling advert spaces on our blog (through banner ads).

The bottom line is that you will receive a stipulated amount of money or percentage for every product or service your blog visitors buy through those links you promote in your articles or by clicking on those advert banners on your blog.

As we go on, I’ll point you to a few things you need to be careful about.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work for Bloggers

For affiliate marketing to work, there are three major things that should be in place.

It is just like writing an article for your blog where you must have an audience you are writing to, a problem you want to help them solve, and a goal you want to achieve by helping them solve their problems.

As an affiliate, you’d need a product to sell (which must come from a seller or product creator) and a hungry audience that would buy what you are selling or promoting.

Let us talk about these three people in better detail.

  • Seller or Product Creator

The seller or the product creator is the principal owner of the product.

These are the persons or companies that produce or create products that affiliates sell for them.

The products could be physical products like furniture, accessories, or even food supplement or digital products like e-books, video courses, sign-ups or subscriptions, or even memberships.

A seller or creator comes up with a brilliant idea and translates it into tangible products for sale.

  • Affiliate or Advertiser

You are the affiliate or advertiser.

I know by now, that you have come to understand that your role is to help the creator to sell their products in exchange for some money or other incentives.

What you do as a blogger is to get the affiliate links of those products and attach them in the ‘salesy’ articles you publish on your blog so that people who read those articles and believe that the product you are promoting can help them can follow those links and get help or solution.

There are, however, a few things to be careful about.

Be sure to leave a disclaimer that tells your audience that your article contains affiliate links. Do not also forget to only promote products that agree with the niche of your blog.

You do not want to confuse your audience.

  • The Consumer

The consumer or buyer is the blog visitor or any person that clicks through a link on your article to “check out” and buy a product or subscribe to a service your link is promoting.

As you write any article, you’d have to figure out a way to point your reader to click on links that promote those products.

As a pro blogger, I do not always tell my audience to “click a link to buy stuff’. I write my article in a way that would remind you of the problem you have and I ignite the desire to find a solution while subtly pointing you to it.

Isn’t that what they call copywriting?

Oh, and by-the-way, you should learn the basics of copywriting if you want to do better as a blogger going forward.


Now you know what affiliate marketing means for bloggers and what three people are involved in the affiliate marketing system, we’ll have to talk about how best you can succeed as a blogger with affiliate marketing.

Who knows, after implementing a few tips you’d gain here, you can finally take that trip to Andros Island for a weekend getaway when you get your first few payouts.

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Affiliate marketing for Bloggers

Pro Tips to Succeed With Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers

Bloggers who do well with affiliate marketing are smart people.

They know from experience that there are some things that they do not have to do if they must succeed.

Let us rather focus more on the things you should be doing if you want to succeed as a blogger with affiliate marketing

  • Sell High-ticket Products Often

This is one of the biggest hacks for bloggers who want to do more with affiliate marketing and I will tell you why in the next paragraph.

If you are like me and your blog income goals per month run into thousands of dollars (do you think we should target millions?), then you should pay attention to this analogy.

If 15 of your blog visitors buy a product that gives you a $20 commission for every sale, you’d be making $300 from those sales which is not a bad deal by any means.

How about 5 visitors buying a product that gives a $100 commission for every sale?

Obviously, you’d be making $500 from fewer people which beats $200 by more than double!

Here is the deal now; always promote products that have a high commission rate.

It usually takes the same amount of energy or less to rake in the same number of visitors who would buy through those links.

It is always better to sell less and make more than to sell more and make less.

This is not to tell you to stop promoting products that pay a little less but if you must focus on any, it is more rewarding to focus more on affiliate links that give a higher commission.

It is easier for you that way.

  • Write Product-based Articles Often

What kind of articles do you write?

Do you just pick a topic, research the CPC value, and stuff them with words?

That is a lame way to run your blogging business.

Always seek out products you should promote through your articles at least half of the time.

Product-based articles are articles that tilt towards selling or promoting a product or service. How it works is that it subtly talks about a common challenge and offer those products as a solution.

For instance, if I want to promote a customer management software that offers an affiliate program on my blog, I’d pick on a customer management problem that the software helped me solve and talk about it.

I could write about “how to set up a call center service for your small business” and promote the product that helped me solve the same problem. (Sorry, I’m not promoting anyone here …just yet)

I hope you understand what I mean by now.

Moving on…

  • Make it as Personal as Possible

A key element of success for bloggers in affiliate marketing is promoting stuff from a place of experience.

This article was written from a place of deep experience and if you are careful enough to notice, we are really “discussing it through” (is there even something like “discussing something through”?)

Your experience with a product or service would help you convincingly write your articles. People often advise that you promote ONLY what you have used and are convinced about.

While I subscribe to that ideology, I discovered a hack!

If you have not used a product or service and want to promote it, you should study the product well with attention to its features and people’s reviews of the product.

If you’d like to promote an affiliate link for, say, an email service provider that you have not used, it makes sense that you visit their website to check out their features and pricing plus what people say about them.

That way, you would write from a place of conviction.

People spell desperation and “unsuredness” from the first line of your article if you do not know what you are talking about.

  • Review Products and Services

This is rather easy and straight forward.

Pick a product, review their services and pricing, and offer pros and cons of the product.

This is different from the regular article you write.

Here is an article where I compared ConvertKit with GetResponse. It would throw more light on how to write a review or comparison article.

Here is another one where I reviewed the 7 best email marketing software for businesses.

One thing with this article is that I took some time to give relevant email marketing statistics and tell you what you should be looking for in an email marketing software before even reviewing the list.

Whether you are reviewing a product or comparing it with another product, the rule is the same – attach your affiliate links so that you will stand a better chance to make some dollars or cents if they click through those links.

  • Promote Articles That Contain Those Links More

For bloggers, traffic generation is one thing they would not have enough of.

I have one question for you though. Where is your traffic focused on more in your blog?

Affiliate marketing works better for bloggers if they have their traffic focusing more on articles that promote stuff.

Do that as well. Focus more on dragging traffic to those articles that contain affiliate links.

Never stuff your articles with affiliate links. For me, I’d advise that a few links are just fine.

Remember that those links lead your audience out of your blog; be careful with them.

Before we go, let us take a minute or two to look at how best to promote those affiliate links.

Other Articles on Blogging:


How to Promote Those Affiliate-linked Articles

  • Email List

Email marketing is not going anywhere any time soon.

It is even getting stronger.

The reason why we tell you to build an email list is that email lists give you a huge advantage and great access to people’s email addresses.

Do you already have an email list?

What do you promote through them? What do you talk to them about each time you send a broadcast?

It is alright to just converse with them (I think), but if you must build a great community and make some money off of it, you should understand their pain points and help them solve those problems by referring them to products or services.

If your email list is not converting as you expect, you should check out my article on how to increase your email open rate by at least 10%. It has a few tips you will find helpful.

  • Utilize Forums

Yes! It is the same with drawing traffic to your blog.

Employ forums like Quora, Reddit, etc. to promote the articles that contain those affiliate links.

Forums are question-and-answer websites and so, pick questions that are related to your articles and give an intriguing answer while attaching the link to your articles to them.

You are also allowed to tell them to read your article to learn more about the subject matter.

Forums have their terms and conditions. Follow them thoroughly so you don’t get restricted.

  • Rethink Social Media

You are a blogger but what do you do with social media?

While having fun with it, do share some of your articles so you can draw some traffic.

If you have a product to promote, seek out communities that have people with the problems your affiliate product solves and just share your ideas with them while dropping a link to your article for them to read more.

For instance, if you are promoting a weight loss product, you could share your article for your followers to read and maybe buy those products.

You can look for groups and communities that address weight loss challenges and offer them free tips while dropping the link to your article.

Again, follow rules here.

If their rules prohibit sharing links, do not worry. Drop useful tips that tell them you can help and soon enough, someone would hit your inbox where you direct them to read your article or even give them your affiliate links to buy through.

Disclaimer: if you are not convinced about the functionality or efficacy of the product you are promoting, avoid bringing them to social media. There are trolls and monsters on social media waiting to ruin your life or career.

  • Paid Adverts

A paid advert is another way of promoting your affiliate links.

This is a win-win in two ways: it helps promote your article and in turn, expose your affiliate links to a larger audience.

Alternatively, you could whip up a landing page that strictly promotes those products and advertise the landing page. This makes it easy for people who visit the page to take immediate action on them than just reading through an article to willingly click on a link or two.

However, you should carefully consider how much you are spending on ads.

If the affiliate revenue or ROI would not cover your Ad Spend, then it is meaningless except you are promoting your own product.

Final Thoughts

It is a long way already but I believe that you have gotten a thing or two in this article.

Affiliate marketing is a great way for bloggers to make some quick bucks with their blog. If you are new to blogging and have not started making some money from your blog, pick a few “good” affiliate products to promote so you can start getting something real quick.

I wish we can spend some more time talking about how to make you some money as a blogger but let us leave that for some other article.

You could sign up for my email list here so you’ll be informed when the article comes live.

Would you be trying affiliate marketing soon?

Now, be a champion and leave a comment, please.

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Jesse Kanadi

So straight. Easy to understand.

I’ll implement everything written in there.

Jeanine Byers

Ten years ago, I had did take a trip with money that came from affiliate marketing. But these days, it seems much harder! Thanks for your tips. I will keep them in mind.

Lisa Alioto

This is some fabulous information here!! Bookmarking this!


Very detailed advice. Thank you for sharing, especially for us new bloggers.

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