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Affiliate marketing can be a great source of blogging income. For those of you who may not be familiar with affiliate marketing, you can read our beginner’s post about it here. I love affiliate marketing because it is something you do once and benefit financially from years later. One of my top affiliate earners each month comes from a blog post I wrote back in 2009! That being said, it has to be done correctly.
- Only recommend products that you have either used or you know them to be credible.
- Be honest in your review. Describe what you like and don’t like about the product or service.
- Update your blog post whenever you receive additional information. This can be good updates or even negative experiences.
If you are just getting started in affiliate marketing, then we recommend starting out with the Amazon Associates Program or by opening an account with Commission Junction. Bob did a great job of explaining step by step how to make money with both Amazon and CJ in the Blogging Your Passion University 201 course.
How to Organize and Expand Your Affiliate Relationships
I wish I would have logically organized all my affiliate relationships early on. Here is a screenshot of a spreadsheet that I use now to organize my affiliate relationships. You want to have this information handy at all times. Do not only mention affiliate products in a review post. Mention them in other blog posts when it makes sense to.
While you can refer them directly to the home page of the product or service, I have found it to be helpful to refer them to my review post in order to do some “pre-selling.” This can be an important step as well. You do not have to do this every time, but it is helpful when you can.
Lastly, you should always be looking for ways to expand your list of affiliates. This must be done in a healthy way, but you should do a search for “your niche affiliate program” in Google to see what type of services or products show up.
I have found some wonderful products this way. Add what you find to your spreadsheet. That way you can investigate them more closely later. I created a separate tab in Excel to keep track of the new products that I come across.
You can download and use my spreadsheet by clicking here: Affiliate Program Spreadsheet