Maybe you’ve been pouring your heart into a blog, but your friends and parents seem to be the only people who read it.
Or maybe you’re running ads for Google or Microsoft, trying to earn a few dollars from your blog … but instead of hearing the cash register ring, you’re only hearing crickets.
You’ve heard that some people are earning a regular monthly income from their blogging efforts — but HOW?
Here’s a big part of the puzzle: Affiliate marketing for bloggers. And here’s why: You don’t have to create products or do anything fancy at all. You only need to create an affiliate relationship with companies who DO create products (whether info products or tangible products) and send people to their sales funnels.
Let’s look at the basics of affiliate marketing for bloggers. I’m going to show you the easiest and quickest way to get started. My aim is to make sure YOU gain from the time you’re investing by reading this article.
There are just five things you really need in order to begin earning a good monthly income from your blog. Just five simple things.
You can drop all the stuff that’s been holding you back. You don’t have to pay for Infusionsoft, ClickBank, write a bestselling book … or any of that. Follow the path I’m laying out here, and you will be on the direct path to start earning money from your blog.
What is the topic of your blog? Is it about gardening? Weight loss? How to make money online?
The most important thing to know about your topic (or niche) is that you must have one. Blogs that try to cover “everything” draw interest from nobody.
If your blog needs a topic tuning, do that first. Decide what you will focus on and begin drilling down into that one subject. Talk about other topics only as they relate to your main topic.
How do you know which topic is the best topic?
Here’s a simple test: Which do you personally care most about? You can always change your mind later or start a second blog, but pick a niche and explore it. Those with deep passion for their topic are better able to do the work of getting more visitors and converting traffic into dollars.
Once you’re sure about your niche (topic) and are focusing your blog posts on that topic, you should ask yourself one question: Who really cares about this?
Sure, your mom and grandfather want to read your blog whether they are actually interested in your topic or not — but who are the people who really do want to find out more about the topic you’re covering?
Who are THOSE people?
Your next job is to find out all you can about the audience you’ve identified. Those are your best readers AND potentially your best prospects. Find out where they hang out online. Are they in Facebook Groups? Do they prefer LinkedIn? Do they follow certain blogs? Don’t think of the leaders in your niche as competitors, rather you should think of them as teachers.
Find out where your best prospects congregate, then go there and begin striking up conversations. Don’t try to sell them something or beg them to visit your blog, just be helpful and friendly. Give value before you ask for anything at all. Definitely, don’t start dropping affiliate links everywhere you go. Save that for your own articles and email campaigns.
You have a topic, you know who your prospects are and where to find them. Now you listen closely to understand their problems. Amazon is an excellent place to do this (in addition to the blogs and social media platforms you identified earlier).
Search for books related to your topic on Amazon. Look for the ones with plenty of reviews. Now scour those reviews with an eye and ear straining to hear their PROBLEMS. What do they hate? What is making them angry? What do they think they need?
Make a list of all the questions, irritations, and flabbergasts your audience keeps running up against. Those are the nuggets that will help you accomplish your dreams of being able to work online from home, the beach, or anywhere else you have an internet connection.
You know your topic, your audience, and their problems. Now you need to make sure the content on your blog is addressing those issues from every angle you can come up with. Position yourself as a problem-solver — someone who understands your niche and is capable of helping others avoid pitfalls and get through their difficulties.
Best of all, with affiliate marketing, you don’t have to develop your own books, videos, or anything else before you can start earning money. Other entrepreneurs, just like you, have already created sellable solutions. Your job now is to find a few products you like and begin promoting them.
Here are just few of the places you can look:
Registration on these sites is FREE. You don’t need to pay even a penny to get started with affiliate marketing. Bloggers only need to have a blog to begin earning money online.
You can have the most amazingly helpful product offers on the planet, but if nobody sees them … your sales will still be zero. You’ve identified your best readers (prospects), you’ve found out where they hang out, you’ve begun forging relationships with them … the next step is to get them to visit your blog — and that’s why I began with the idea that you should know your niche and dig deeply into it.
When people complain about a problem or want advice on a problem in your niche, you can point them to an article on your blog. Keep doing your community-building work, but instead of giving full answers to the questions that arise, link out to your articles. Just make sure the posts you recommend definitely DO focus on the problem you’ve promised to solve.
Of course, the quickest way to get traffic to your blog is to pay for it. Facebook, Google, Bing, Instagram, Twitter … all have advertising programs. Do it right, and the money you spend will come back to you double.
But how do you do it “right”?
Simple: Use the targeting tools the advertising platform provides to show your ads to your best prospects. Advertising can jump-start your affiliate marketing efforts like nothing else. That’s not to say you can’t succeed without buying ads, but it will probably take you considerably longer to quit your day job (if that’s your ambition) and begin working full-time from home.
Don’t confuse affiliate marketing with advertising. As an affiliate marketer, you’ll be promoting highly-relevant products to your readers. You’ll be helping them get the answers they seek.
How do you promote affiliate products with your blog? You do it by inserting affiliate links in your articles and on your site.
If you’re writing about how to be a better swimmer, for instance, you mention a solution and use your affiliate link to send readers to the sales page for the product you’re promoting. As an affiliate, those tracking links are supplied to you. Always use your personal links to be sure you get credit for the sales.
You should also be collecting email addresses from your visitors. That will allow you to do some “outbound marketing” by sending information to them, rather than waiting for them to visit your site again.
We’ll go deeper into how the linking works, how to build your mailing list, and how to launch email campaigns in other articles.
For now, do you have questions? If so, send them to email@example.com.
Everyone here at Online Money Monkey wishes you great success. Don’t hesitate to write and let us know how to serve you better.