There are blogs and then there are blogs that actually convert and make money.
I am guessing you have found yourself here at the Rat Race Escape Project because you do indeed want to profit from your attempts at making money online.
No one wants to toil with no reward right?
Part 2 of our Affiliate Marketing Playbook focuses on making the money blog so read on to find out how you do it.
If you were curious click on the title to read Part 1: 4 Tips for Blogging Beginners.
These techniques are relevant for any blog post that you hope to monetise. They can be used on niche websites, shopfront or basic affiliate shop type sites and even personal blogs that you want to generate some revenue.
Use my tips for blogging and top quality SEO on your posts and website in general which will get you the traffic; then once you have some people looking you need to convert those people into buyers.
You will know if you have read any of my other articles, I do go on a bit about helping people (OK maybe a lot) and this still needs to be your core focus.
You are not a salesperson, affiliate marketing is first and foremost in the business of helping people.
Now don't be concerned you can do both and you can do it professionally and ethically. Let me show you how.
You Need Affiliate Partners
Unless you are going to market your own products, to make money from a blog, you need to join an affiliate company. These are businesses who offer to pay you a commission when you market their products and one of your visitors clicks through your link to purchase.
There is no additional expense to the buyer so you are not ripping someone off when you recommend a product from an affiliate partner.
You need solid reliable affiliate partners. Whatever you do don't team up with shonky sellers or companies.
Research not just the products they offer but also check the following:
- Their refund policies
If your visitors buy something and for whatever reason, they wish to return it can they do so easily, is there any money back guarantees, do they make people jump through hoops to return products? Just because a company doesn't offer a return policy doesn't mean you shouldn't use them, but you might want to let your readers know this when recommending the product.
- Do they regularly run out of stock?
This is not good for you or your visitors. If a visitor clicks on your link and it goes nowhere cause they have removed the link, or they get there and the product is out of stock, not only do you miss out, your buyer then needs to start all over again - most annoying!
- How easy is it to buy from them?
What will your visitor see when they land on the new site - what does it look like? Is it professional or does it look a bit backyard, does it make it easy for the visitor to actually buy the product, do they offer a few different ways of payment? Some people are wary these of buying online so when it comes to parting with their money they need to be assured that they are going to get what they paid for.
- How easy is it to get your affiliate links?
Some programs are complicated and make it far too difficult to actually get the product links. Or they only offer links to banners not actual products. Again this is fine if you want to put their banner or advert on your website but what if you want to link directly to a product can this be done?
- Do they have a minimum sell to keep your affiliate partnership going?
Amazon is possibly the most notable in this regard. When you are starting off they will often approve you to use their links BUT you have to have three unique sales in the first 180 days to keep your account. Initially, 3 sales may not sound like much but when you are growing your site you may not have enough visitors to conversions to reach this target.If you don't all your links may either continue to work but you won't get the commission or they may stop working all together and give your visitor an error message. Not good either way! You can either re-apply but you will need all new links, or you can remove the links and try to find other products to replace them with - what a pain!
As you can see it is worth taking some time to investigate your affiliate partners. You hope to have a long and profitable relationship with them.
Make sure they are the sort of companies you want to be associated with and who will offer the best products and services to you and your visitors.
Promote What You Would Buy
You've done your research on your affiliate partner and you like what you see, you've joined up with their program and you are ready to market their products.
I am assuming you already know generally what they sell or you have a product in mind that you want to tell your readers about. Otherwise, why did you sign up with them in the first place?
Don't sign up with every Tom, Dick or Harry Affiliate Program that comes along if you don't think you are actually going to market their products. It is a waste of your time and theirs.
Choose really good products that you would buy yourself. Don't market rubbish products.
If you are not personally familiar with the item see if you can get your hands on one, talk to people who use it or you will need to do some very thorough research so you know what you are promoting.
I did this with a Clickbank product for my niche site a few months ago. You can read all about my experience here if you are interested. Suffice to say I speak from experience when I give you these tips!
You may review a product that you don't recommend but you should give your readers an alternative. They have come to you for advice and are expecting you to make a recommendation to help them. This does not always have to be a product or service and it doesn't always need to cost money.
Make sure you balance out your marketing with just good old fashion advice and service. Not every blog on your website needs or should be monetised. Sometimes you will provide information and then direct them to another blog on your website where they can make a purchase.
Top quality products also do not always need to be expensive. Consider all the options for your readers, do the research on their behalf and provide them with all the benefits regardless of if there is a more expensive option.
You may review several products - see Best Of Posts below - and in the end recommend the cheaper version because it is just as good.
Keep your integrity at all times, your readers will trust you and you will be able to sleep at night knowing you are in fact helping people not ripping them off.
Call To Action - Don't Leave Your Visitor Hanging
Make sure you provide a really clear path or opportunity for your visitor to buy. They need to be told what to do next.
Without being rude, it has been suggested to me that you need to treat them like sheep. You need to be the shepherd who directs them where they need or want to go next.
This is called a "Call To Action". You would have all seen the highlighted links saying BUY NOW or BEST PRICE HERE. These are both a call to action, they tell the person what to do next.
I review a lot of websites as part of my training and I see so many blogs where people say something like "the C300 security system is the best on the market".
And there is either no affiliate link to buy the system or the link is included as part of the text but not highlights, so unless the person hovers their mouse over it doesn't stand out at all.
This is leaving money on the table, you have made it too hard for the person to do anything next. What if they really wanted to buy the C300 security system? You have made it near on impossible for them to do so by not highlighting the product and the fact that you can provide them with the means to purchase it.
Don't you think they would be more inclined to click on something like this?
We are talking about monetising blogs here so I am specifically talking about having the person click on your affiliate link to purchase.
But call to actions can be any action you want the reader to take. You might like them to share your blog post on social media, provide a comment on your blog or perhaps click over to another one of your articles.
You have to ask them. You will notice that at the bottom of pretty much all of my blogs I ask you to share on social media and offer for you to leave a comment so we can start a conversation.
Best Of Posts - These Are Gold
I'm sure you would have seen these in your travels around the internet. You know the ones - Best 7 Widgets Of All Time or the Best Gadgets of 2018. The blogger goes on to review multiple products, some will then make a recommendation for the best one or two or sometimes they just leave it as the Top 7.
These posts are gold. They often rank well in the search engines so you appear nice and high, hopefully on page 1 if you have done your keyword research as well.
Plus your reader is already in a buying frame of mind because they searched looking for the best product to purchase. And double plus you are bound to have reviewed a product that suits them out of the group you chose so your visitor is more inclined to buy at that moment.
You will of course have placed your affiliate links for each product in a fantastic call to action so the visitor knows where they can get the product, now that you have given him or her all the information they need to make a decision.
People have a buying cycle
This is another post in itself as there can be anywhere from 3 stages to 7 depending on how in depth you want to look at it. At this stage all you need to know is you want to help your visitor no matter what stage of the buying cycle they are in.
AWARENESS: Your visitor might come to your website because you provided an engaging headline and they were intrigued to read some more. They are not looking to buy anything, but as they read your post they start to think perhaps they do need that product or service.
CONSIDERATION: Or they already have a problem and they are looking for information on how to solve that problem. Your blog provides that information and in the process you suggest a product or service which will help them fix the problem they have.
PURCHASE: Or they have already decided they need a product or service and are now searching for where to buy it, probably at the best price and with the best service eg. speedy delivery, money back guarantee etc.
Three different stages of the buying cycle, but as you remember we are there to help not sell, and so your blog will provide the information they need and if they are at the buying stage you will more than likely get the sale.
How Do I Know All This Stuff?
Want to know how I know all this stuff and how I am creating blogs and websites which do sell?
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as correctly monetising your blog. I could go on for pages and pages, there is just so much you need to know to create blogs that make real money.
These tips will get your blog moving in the right direction but if you are hungry for more knowledge, and faster profits, you can get it all in the one place.
I learnt through a step by step training which has allowed me to build and monetise a niche site as well as the site you are on now.
The training covers every aspect of making money online with affiliate marketing. You move through the training at your own pace and build out your website the correct way the first time.
You don't have to wait months to know if you have a blog that is monetised correctly because they show you and teach you exactly how to do it right.
I have written a straight forward Guide which will show you how to make real money online and includes links to the platform I use and recommend.
You can build your first website and get 10 lessons FREE. All the links are included in the Guide so click below to check it out.
I hope you enjoyed the 2nd part to our Affiliate Marketing Playbook - Making the Money Blog and if you did please comment below, it always makes my day when I hear from you guys.
Share this blog with your colleagues that could benefit so they actually make money from their blogging. They will love you for it. Social Sharing buttons are on the side of the page.
Heidi, you have put a lot of work into your website. There is some great information about affiliate marketing. I am still writing content and figuring out affiliate marketing, so your site is very helpful in what I need to do. Hopefully you will soon quit your 9-5 job and enjoy the life of your dreams.
Thanks Carol I get closer to being a full-time blogger every day.
For fantastic step by step training you might want to check out Wealthy Affiliate Carol. It’s free to explore all the features for 7 days and their Premium membership which has everything you need to learn and run an affiliate marketing business is less than $1 per day – click here if your interested in having a look.
It can be easy to waste precious time or have to go back and re-do things if you don’t get it right the first time round. It’s a steep learning curve, that’s for sure, and I’m glad my site can help you out with a bit of additional motivation and knowledge. We love to be of service at the Rat Race Escape Project.
Wishing you the very best for your business.
Thanks for the informative and helpful post.
I am a fan of Affiliate Marketing and it changed my life. I got great insights from your post.
“Best of” Posts hit me on my head and made me to think. Being a full-time blogger I have written 150+ posts but the sad news is… Of the 150+ not even one post is “best of post” so I realized where I am making the mistake and thanks for sharing this great information in your post.
I missed these Gold and going forward I will mix my posts with “Best of posts”
The Buying cycle you discussed is full of valuable information.
Wishing you great success!
Hi Paul definitely do give Best of Posts a run, you’ll be amazed at the results. First up people who search for those terms are primed already to buy, they are in the buying frame of mind they just need the right information to make an informed decision.
Don’t skimp on the details in a Best Of Post either, be super thorough or else your visitor will still need to go somewhere else for more info before they make a decision and then well obviously they are unlikely to come back and buy from you. I know bloggers with Best Of Post with up to 10,000 words. As long as your blog is well laid out and easy to navigate visitors will skip to the info they want and 10,000 words is not a problem.
Remember to keep in mind that we are here to help not sell. So help your visitors make an informed savvy decision about how to spend their money and they will thank you for it. My most profitable blog on my niche site is a best of post. It ranks for many many keywords and converts very well.
My best wishes for your ongoing success and your new Best Of Posts.
I just had a baby a couple months ago and only work one day a week, so I’ve been trying out affiliate marketing. It’s been about a month, and so far I’ve made $0. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the tips!! I just applied for a couple affiliate programs and was accepted. Hopefully now I’ll be able to start making some money.
Hang in there Maurissa once you start writing more blogs and monetising your site you will see an increase in traffic and then sales.
Make sure you choose your affiliate partners well, you want to provide the very best value for money and shopping experience to your readers. My rule of thumb is if I would buy it then I will promote it. I think you can’t go wrong with that attitude.
My very best wishes to you for a bright affiliate marketing future. If you would like to join my mentoring program please click here, I would be very happy to help you out at anytime.