Affiliate marketing can be an amazing revenue stream for bloggers, but often it isn’t utilized it to it’s full potential.
I wasn’t strategic when it came to affiliate marketing on my own blog for such a long time, but when I finally started implementing some strategies and developed a system, things started to click. Conversions started to happen. And finally affiliate marketing became an actual revenue stream that brought in more than a few bucks every month.
Over 2015-2016, I saw a 4x increase in my monthly affiliate revenue.
Affiliate Marketing Strategies
So what are 5 strategies that you can start implementing today to take your own affiliate marketing revenue up a notch? Here goes….
1 // Optimize Your Best Posts with Affiliate Links
I want you to go login to your Google Analytics dashboard. From there go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. Here you will be able to see your most popular blog posts. Make note of the top 10 or top 20.
Now one by one, head into each of those blog posts and add in any affiliate links that you didn’t do the first time around.
Is it a DIY tutorial? Link to all the supplies needed for the project using affiliate links.
Is it a room makeover or update of some kind? Have a section with a “source guide” where you link to a lot of the products that are featured in the space (even if you can’t find the exact match, link to something similar so your reader can copy the look).
Ultimately it would be great to optimize every blog post, but getting going on your most popular 10 or 20 posts is a good place to start. You know that the majority of your traffic is going to those posts, so it makes sense to spend the time on them. While you’re in there, you could also upgrade the images or include a Pinterest-friendly graphic, if you hadn’t already.
2 // Add Affiliate-Heavy Recommendation Pages
Your ability to add affiliate links to your blog isn’t limited to posts. Have you ever noticed any “Shop Our Home” or “Fave DIY Supplies” type pages on a blog? Well those recommendation-type pages are a great spot to link up to your favourite products in one spot – and all (or as many as possible) as affiliate links!
Chris Loves Julia does a great job of this on their “Shop Our House” page. They show all the photos of their gorgeous home, and then identify where you can get the same products so you can achieve a similar look in your own space.
Pages like this are powerful because they don’t get lost and buried into archives like blog posts do. They live in a prominent spot on your website and are highly visible for new visitors.
Whatever it is that you blog about, there has got to be a related products page you could create. If you are a food blogger, it might be kitchen tools. If you are an interior design blogger, it might be online resources for furniture and accessories. If you are a fashion blogger, it would obviously be clothes and beauty recommendations. You get the gist!
3 // Use The Pre-Publish “Affiliate Lens”
You should be integrating affiliate links naturally into just about every blog post you write. If you go through each post with an “affiliate lens” before hitting publish, I bet there are quite a few spots you could add some links without it feeling sales-y.
Most of your blog posts should be offering value to your readers – you are likely teaching them something with each post. Whether it’s how to cook something, how to pull together an outfit, how to style a bookshelf, how to pull off a craft, how to design a room, whatever – most involve products of some kind. Products that you can link to!
Your readers want to emulate what you are doing and teaching them, so make it easy on them and provide the links to the products so that they can do just that.
This DIY driftwood hanger post of mine, for example, has all of the supplies linked as affiliate links (mostly from Amazon). It’s just a simple DIY tutorial but I have ensured that every thing that can be linked, is linked.
4 // Integrate a Round-Up or Review Post Every Month
I hope you are using an editorial calendar to plan your blog content (you can snag a free one in this post!). Alongside your regular schedule of content, could you include a round-up or review post every month?
When I say round-up, I’m referring to a round up of products that relate to a particular over-arching theme. Budget-friendly headboards, or the best products for infants, or the top 10 online resources to find yarn for knitters. Here is an example I did – a round-up of Fall decorations.
A review would be an in-depth look at a product that you are using yourself and want to recommend to your readers. Maybe you are a food blogger and have fallen in love with your Vitamix. Or if you’re a home decor blogger, maybe you want to review an armchair you bought for your living room. If you are a craft blogger, maybe you could review your Cricut machine.
Whatever it is, doing an in depth review where you go over the pro’s and con’s and show readers how you use it can definitely act as a great affiliate post if it encourages folks to purchase the same product. Even better would be to review a few things against each other – like the vitamix versus a few other brands of blenders. Obviously this can be more costly, but it will make for a more powerful review and recommendation.
I’m not saying to go out and review every single thing and fill your blog with only reviews (boooooring for your readers!), but if you genuinely use and love something and can write an in depth review that will be helpful for others, then you should do it. I know that I almost always google for reviews of any product over $50 that I’m planning on buying.
With these round-up and review posts, make sure they are well optimized for SEO so that you get the organic Google traffic for them. And like I said, don’t do them too often, but maybe once a month. Then if they are SEO optimized and have a good Pinterest graphic, they may make you money for months and years to come.
5 // Add a “PS: I’m loving ____” To Your Newsletters
If you aren’t building up an email list and regularly emailing your VIP, then start now. Seriously. An email list is going to be your best marketing tool for your business (read more about why here).
Your newsletters can be a great spot to add a very casual affiliate link here and there. Just having a “PS. I’m loving these ____ right now” line with a pic of whatever product you are recommending feels relaxed and not too pushy. If those subscribers are on your list, it’s because they love your style and really want to see what you are purchasing and using.
As an example, I get emails from Best Friends for Frosting. I love her content and the pretty pink newsletters! In the bottom of some of her emails are these fave finds. Such a great spot to use some affiliate links.
So, those are 5 strategies you can implement today to start ramping up your affiliate revenue. Don’t feel like it’s a lost revenue stream for you if you haven’t had success with it yet. Be strategic, go through all of your content with that affiliate lens, and over time that revenue will build up.
As you get more page views and your evergreen posts continue to gain traction through search engines and Pinterest, they can continue to earn you money for a long time to come.
Super important note? ALWAYS remember that you need to disclose your affiliate links everywhere you use them. In blog posts, on social media, in your newsletters. Everywhere.
Oh and in case you missed it, you’ll also want to check out this post where I go over the top 11 affiliate networks you should join to get all the affiliate links you’ll need for your posts.
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