It sounds like a dream being able to write articles about whatever you want and earn a living. Blogging is still a new career, but affiliate marketing has been around since the 1990s. Essentially, you earn commission on products and services promoted on your website. Whenever someone clicks an ad or makes a purchase, you earn a percentage of that sale.
While you may not earn thousands of dollars per post right away, getting into affiliate marketing can help you turn your blog from a passion project into a profitable business. But before you can start earning money as a blogger, you need to learn exactly how to set yourself up for success.
Define a Niche
Content will be what drives your audience to trust you and, as a result, trust your product recommendations. You’ll need to build a community around your words, but that doesn’t happen if you’re writing about things you have little interest in or know nothing about. While some lifestyle bloggers make a mint waxing poetic about whatever comes to mind, you’re better off honing in on a specific niche market to begin your blogging adventure. If you already have a blog, make sure you are centering the bulk of your content around a central theme. Are you passionate about mental health? Maybe you offer parenting tips or love to publish your own recipes. If you can find a way to narrow that concept and make it something even more relatable, you’re more likely to get affiliate invitations from relevant brands.
Get Serious About Your SEO
If you want to join high-paying affiliate programs, you’ll need to bring something valuable to the table. In the blogging world, that’s a credible site with a lot of traffic and engagement. This translates to potential conversions for retailers and brands that might work with you. For total beginners, read as much as you can about SEO. The beginner’s guide by Moz is a great starting point. This will teach you the ropes about what exactly website optimization is and how SEO works. If you’re already blogging, then begin to look in-depth at your strategy. The best way to do this is to start incorporating weekly analytic round-ups into your blogging routine. Metrics to pay close attention to are:
- Referral keywords.
- Total views throughout the week.
- Your most popular posts for the week.
- The average time spent on your site.
- Most frequently visited pages on your site.
- Hyperlink clicks.
Implementing, optimizing and analyzing SEO can be a full-time job, and you may benefit from hiring an SEO freelancer. These professionals are able to dedicate their time and expertise to growing your site. Many also specialize in cross-channel marketing, which helps drive traffic to your blog from outside platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Create an Email List
Many affiliate networks want more than just a popular site with heavy traffic. They want a thriving brand with a network of email subscribers who are all potential customers in their eyes. To come up with good email content, take a look at your blog’s top-performing posts. What are the categories people read the most, and what keywords generate the most views?
Comments and shares are two additional factors to consider. Whatever content people can’t get enough of, that’s what you want to expand upon through emails. You can also offer sign-up incentives, like a free PDF guide or some useful resources or an e-book. Whatever you decide to go with, make sure it brings value to your audience and that there’s plenty more where it came from. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of having people sign up to get an incentive and immediately opt out of future emails. An email list can be a fun way for you to deepen your connection with your audience. It also helps you notify them of new content by interweaving links throughout the narrative.