What is Affiliate Marketing?

There are many ways that you can begin to earn an income through blogging. Some are considered to be low maintenance ways while others require more of your time and attention. For example, creating your own products can be a great way to build trust and authority with your followers. As more people benefit from the products that you produce, you begin to establish a unique voice. People want to share in your knowledge and expertise.

However, creating your own products can be time consuming. My first ebook was a 40 page document and took a good bit of my time. I also created an 18 week online video membership site that definitely took some effort on my part. So, how can you leverage getting more products in front of your audience without creating new products every week? This answer is affiliate marketing.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

To most people’s surprise, affiliate marketing has been around for a long time. In fact, there are reports that affiliate marketing got its start as early as 1994. To best explain affiliate marketing, let’s take it out of the online world for a minute. In the offline world, companies hire salesmen to go out into the community and convert prospects into sales. Anytime they get someone to buy, they earn a commission of the sale.

The same is true about affiliate marketing. Anytime you introduce a new product or service to your readers you have the opportunity to earn a commission. Most bloggers do this by way of doing a demo of the product and then writing a thorough review on their site. Unfortunately, some bloggers have taken this to an unhealthy level. They “over-hype and over-promote” a product for the purposes of making a sale. This is bad behavior in my opinion and it will eventually catch up with them. People buy on the approval of others and if the product you are promoting does not live up to your review, your authority is in question. This is why I always write white I like and what I do not like about a product. People appreciate an honest review.

What is the Earning Potential With Affiliate Marketing?

Most affiliate products (not all) are online digital type products. Because of this there is a much higher markup for the product. This allows you as an affiliate marketer to earn big commissions (typically 50%). For example, I once reviewed a popular ebook in my niche and the cost of the ebook was $24. The commissions were set at 50% meaning that I earned $12 for each sale. I targeted a popular keyword phrase for that ebook and ended up ranking #1. Over the next year I consistently made money each month from a blog post that took about 30 minutes to write. I was adding a benefit to my readers because the ebook was very good, and at the same time I was earning a nice passive income from the review.

Just think if you were able to write one product review a week. After a year, you would have 52 ways to earn an income with your blog. Remember, choose quality products and write honest reviews.

Question: Have you ever made an income using affiliate marketing?


    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    • http://www.seoimpressions.com max

      I hear after latest GOOGLE changes, Google penalizes affiliate websites. I think income has gone down for people as a result.

      • Jonathan

        Hi Max,

        Yes I do agree with you. I would not recommend creating a “thin” site that points to affiliate sites. We are all about using it in a helpful, effective way. By adding honest reviews and giving lots of good content about the subject you can avoid any google penalties.

    • Tim Huegerich

      Do you need to put a disclaimer on your post revealing that you will make money if readers purchase the product through your link?

      • Anonymous

        Yea the FTC started cracking down on this a year or two ago saying that bloggers needed to disclose affiliate relationships. Some bloggers have ignored this completely, some put disclaimers in the footer section, some put them in the post, and we have chosen to add it the sidebar. However you choose to do it, we recommend adding the disclaimer.

        • Tim Huegerich

          I’m kind of hung up on this, but I’ve become personally convinced that the only ethical approach is putting a disclaimer in the post itself. Otherwise, most visitors will not see it and they won’t know which products you are paid to write about / mention / link to – you are effectively lying to them by allowing them to assume you are not being paid to write about it. The legal issue is secondary.

    • Fink38

      Thanks for the tips. I am learning alot
      Jeff
      [email protected]