This is the ultimate guide to making the best of affiliated links and generating a decent income from them. Find out the best affiliate programs in the most lucrative niches and discover how much money you can make.
How much do bloggers make from affiliate marketing
According to the stats, 81% of brands and 84% of publishers rely on affiliate programs. In this article, you’ll learn about the basics of affiliate marketing and a possible revenue it might provide you with. Moreover, we’ll shed light on how to get affiliate links on your blog and use them to your advantage.
What’s affiliate marketing
An affiliate program (AM) is a system that connects a manufacturer or service provider and their customers via affiliates (partners). AM is the way to earn money while introducing goods or services to the customers through an affiliate link. For example, a blogger inserts affiliate links into the content on the website, and by clicking on them, people get redirected to the manufacturer website where they can proceed to shopping. Any purchase will bring a certain commission to the blogger, and with a large number of links, it might become a decent income.
What is an affiliate link
Now, let’s dive deeper into the definition. An affiliate link is a regular URL and the connection between two resources. The ultimate goal is to direct the traffic to the affiliate website and generate income for the marketer. Besides, an affiliate link can be presented as a URL, but also as a banner, a widget or a search form. These links track sales and offer numerous opportunities of promotion for the products advertised.
To identify an affiliate transaction, a partner gets a unique personal ID implemented into the link to inform the vendor of the purchase.
How it works
How do affiliate links work? In an affiliate program, the merchant pays for the inflow of customers that were directed to the website through the link on your blog. In the majority of cases, a commission is rewarded for a click, and others – only for an actual purchase. As you can see, affiliate marketing offers can benefit for both a merchant and a blogger (affiliate).
All the blogger should do is place the link on their website, then e-commerce or shipments are not their concern. However, a substantial revenue will be generated only in case of a good traffic and well-targeted audience. So, as simple as affiliate marketing may seem at first glance, it is still resource-intensive. And then, the income will also depend on your merchant’s affiliate commission policy.
For example, to join the Travelpayouts Affiliate Program, you should place the affiliate link on your website. The type of a link will largely depend on the topic of your website, whether you want to promote a specific hotel or a for flight search results page, for instance. Besides, you can use the link to attract new affiliates or place several links at once and then track their conversion by adding the additional marker to monitor sales for each traffic source separately.
There are different ways of generating income from affiliate links. You can get paid per lead or per click. Sometimes, the payment is generated per qualified lead when the visitor either subscribes or signs up for a free trial, for example. Alternatively, advertisers resort to the pay-per-click model because clicks alone do not ensure sales, and there is no need to pay for them. It is usually the case of ad networks.
Where do you sign up to be an affiliate
How can you get affiliate links? First, you need to choose a highly-specialized market, and to find one, you can make use of dozens of services on the Web. For example, Quantcast has a list of the top 100 sites, so that you can find a trendy resource corresponding to your website. [pic]
After choosing the niche, you’ll need to pick up an affiliate program. To get an affiliate link from the profitable program, you can recourse to numerous affiliate retailers as ClickBank, for instance. There, you have a good opportunity to check the niche industry and get a list of products you could sell. Besides, some metrics are developed to display statistics on the sales of the affiliate product. [pic]
Then, it is crucial to check the cost per click of your keywords to reveal the competition. For this purpose, you can use Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner. Also, you can sometimes see the level of credibility of a particular affiliate program. Here are some tips on how to find an affiliate partner:
- Focus on “evergreen niches” with all-year-round sales, rather than industries with season goods or products that might go out of style.
- Check the product’s page (design, quality, usability, etc.).
- Learn about the seller and their reputation.
- Look through comments, reviews and feedbacks on the product.
- See the product’s page on social networks.
Also, you need to take into account the affiliate policy of the company you are interested in, because it will have a huge influence on the success of your affiliate campaign.
- Ways to promotion (maybe the company forbids the method you’d like to use).
- Storing partner tags.
- Price of the product.
- Payout frequency.
List of the best affiliate programs
Here is the list of the top 10 affiliate programs that are considered to be trustworthy businesses within their niche.
- Travelpayouts is an affiliate program in the travel niche. It covers the entire range of travel services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, insurance, transfers and much more.
- ShareASale is a mediator between the merchants and affiliates, offering a plethora of companies and manufacturers in various industries and businesses to cooperate with.
- PeerFly provides a wide range of CPA offers, and a personal affiliate manager will help you pick offers with the highest conversion.
- Wide Markets Ltd delivers a cross-channel advertising solution for e-commerce. It covers fields such as fashion, media, e-tickets and e-stores, education and leisure, and a dozen other industries.
- Rakuten.com is an e-commerce company with over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners.
- Payolee Partners is an online payment service for small businesses, that boasts a 55% monthly commission share for every customer.
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant, comes with CPA offers, and is very popular among bloggers and small web publishers.
- Amazon Associates suggests tons of product categories including Amazon-branded products and services.
- ClickBank will suit marketers that want to promote digital information products with affiliate links. This network contains over six million unique products in order to reach two hundred million customers worldwide.
- CPAmatica works in verticals such as health and beauty, dating, mobile and much more.
You can also view the full list of affiliate programs that could be interesting for you.
How much do affiliate links pay
How much do affiliate links pay on average? Within the travel niche, the TripAdvisor Affiliate Program payout policy might be an interesting example. One can source content from their website and link visitors back to the original content through the tracking link. The program offers text-links, banners and content widgets. You get 50% commission for every confirmed booking.
Let’s take another example of affiliate payout from the beauty niche: Madison Reed offers up to $20 per sale and $10 per affiliate referral if you invite other bloggers to join the program.
- AKRacing is one of the best gaming affiliate programs, ensuring 5% per sale while the product prices might reach $699. You’ll earn with AKRacing by placing banners or links on your website, pages in social networks or streaming channels. Pre-generated affiliate links (not direct) guarantee that the transactions are properly tracked and credited.
- Lambda Affiliate Program is a SaaS platform in the industry of cross-browser testing. You’ll get a flat 25% recurring commission on all yearly plans. On monthly plans, get 50% revenue on the first transaction followed by the regular 25% monthly commission.
- ShareASale PPL lets you profit from every lead you’ve delivered. The platform cooperates with brands around the world in a variety of business fields.
- Bidvertiser practices the PPC model and is a direct ad network to monetize your websites by placing several ad formats and PPC ads.
Reasons to use affiliate links for bloggers
Since 2015, income from affiliate marketing programs increased by 10% annually.
The affiliate links for bloggers is one of the greatest sources of supplementary income for bloggers. It allows them to generate up to $5,000+ monthly from promoting helpful products.
Substantial income is possible if you are able to reach out to a large audience that will listen to your voice. It is even more profitable for bloggers that have “evergreen” content providing permanent conversions.
You can get a decent income with any program. For example, ShareASale offers both PPC, PPL and pay-per-sale programs with a starting payout of $50. If your blog has content for travelers and you prefer pay-per-sale model, consider choosing Agoda to get a 7% commission (the average commission in similar programs is 5%).
How to make money with affiliate links
After you’ve joined the affiliate program, you get access to a dashboard with a set of different affiliate marketing links – text links, banners, widgets and search forms, as a rule.
To add a banner to your website, you’ll get the HTML code provided by the affiliate program. Text links are added via HTML code with a set of words from a merchant. Besides, you can use URL only (this method is good for social platforms) and add the affiliate link to any other link. HTML codes should be implemented with the aid of HTML editor of your blogging platform.
However, when you get an affiliate link on your website, make sure it fits the content and design, and also has a good placement to attract the attention of readers. Besides, A/B tests are required to reveal the most effective types of links. Here, you’ll find more on how to effectively insert a link.
How to choose affiliate links and add them to your site
When choosing an affiliate linking program, make sure your website’s content is appropriate and carefully examine terms and conditions of the program, the commission policy and, of course, its credibility. Let’s look through some nuances further.
Links should be relevant to your content
Certainly, your website is consecrated to a particular topic, but it’s highly likely that it is still diversified. Normally, bloggers publish different kinds of content such as articles, reviews, descriptions and much more. There is no sense to implement the same offer in the various types of content. For example, if you post news, search or subscription form will be more pertinent than the text link. On the other hand, if you write a review using a comparison chart, the text link will do its job.
Only use trustworthy affiliate programs
A blogger should only invoke trustworthy and high-quality products to justify audience confidence. Otherwise, you could lose followers and readers quickly. Nobody wants to feel pushed to buy a particular product solely for the blogger’s profit. On the other hand, people appreciate real help (tips, hints, tutorials, etc.), and one example of a helpful resource is the Nomadic Matt website whose owner Matt Kepnes earns up to $50,000 by telling people how to save money on traveling.
Integrate links into as many posts as possible
When thinking of how to use affiliate links, don’t overcrowd them with content. All your updates should have an implication or significance.
Track the popularity of your posts and insert links only in the articles in demand. Use Google Analytics to see the traffic for every post and choose the most frequently visited publications to add links there. This method gives you the opportunity to add links to the old posts without creating new content too often.
When creating an anchor of the link, pay attention to its spelling, punctuation and readability. Avoid using the same words in the link that search engines can perceive as spam. Links that contain mistakes are broken: they mislead the visitors and reduce traffic.
Consider adding some accompanying data to make a more informative and engaging content. Attract attention to the link and get readers clicking on it. Also, it might be a good idea to color links to make them more noticeable.
Earn affiliate income on product reviews
People will click on the link if the the review seems promising to them. Write about your first impressions and the first touch with the product. It is always good to read about someone’s personal experience. To make the advertisement less obvious, share the negative side of the product as well. In the end, it is crucial to explicitly say how this product is able to help resolving a problem your readers might be looking for a solution to.
Try to engage the audience into discussion according to its pain points. Don’t forget to provide alternatives. Be honest and avoid hyping the product.
Use social media to promote your links
How ca you make money from affiliate links without using a personal website? It is possible to recourse to social media, but you’ll need to create an attractive redirect link on your page. Focus on the content and use photos and images to make links more enticing. Direct your followers and readers right to the offer, but not to your website’s page.
To place links on your Facebook page, ask for feedback or write a question to increase the number of comments and shares.
To promote the product on Instagram, by publishing a story and inserting an affiliate link in the “swipe up” feature (available for bloggers with over 10,000 followers). You can also post product demos, reviews, behind the scenes photos and other types of content. If you use Pinterest, place the affiliate link in the image description or create several boards according to the product categories.
Use email newsletters
Add the affiliate links to your newsletters, and it will help you make an email more valuable for the addressee. Otherwise, the audience might lose interest in content that is of no use. There are some other nuances in creating the newsletter for an affiliate marketing, and this page might help you learn all the subtleties of building an email list.
How can you track affiliate link traffic
Use Google Analytics to measure the affiliate link’s CTR and conversions, but note that its code only tracks the visitors’ interaction with your website’s pages. You should add the event tracking code to the webpage and every link you’d like to track.
You can also install different plugins on your website to track external campaigns in emails and on social media. Here are some useful tips on how to track the affiliate links.
How much money will you make with affiliate links
Let’s see the average income from an affiliate program in some of the most profitable niches.
Travelpayouts delivers its affiliates between 50% to 70% of the income they get from agencies and airlines. The definite sum depends on the agency and the plane ticket price, and as a rule, it is 2.2%. That means that the affiliate gets up to 1.6% of the plane ticket price – $5.5–$6.2 respectively. Therefore, if you manage to invoke 20 sales a month, you can earn $110–$124. Travelpayouts covers the entire range of travel services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, insurance, transfers, and much more.
Amazon offers a 4% to 8.5% commission on sales. Therefore, you should sell as many goods as possible to have a decent income. With a bigger audience and better content, you can earn $1,000 a year with near 20-40 hours of monthly work, for example.
Love Affiliates offers up to $12 per lead, up to 5$ for referral commission, and up to $500 for the first order (sign up). The commission is based on the number of new sign ups that you bring to their RuBrides or BridesDating sites per month. Less than 15 sign ups a month implies $300 of commission. The commission increases when you generate more than 15 sign ups.
Leadpages practices recurring payments. It means you get paid every time (monthly or yearly) someone makes a payment with a 30% commission on each payment. For example, a purchase of a yearly subscription worth of $577 through your link will bring you the $173.10 commission the first year and the next year as well if the buyer prolongs a subscription.
As you can see, affiliate marketing can bring you quite a substantial income. However, it won’t come unless you have the necessary resources. Let’s sum up the most important ingredients of success.
- Choosing a profitable niche.
- Choosing a trustworthy affiliate program with favorable terms offering high commissions.
- Creating content that will correspond to your readers’ needs and help them find the solution.
- Placing the affiliate links correctly to make them active and click-effective.
If you wonder how to get affiliate links on your blog, focus on the programs that correspond to your personal experience, preferences and skills to not only promote the product, but also to grow as an influencer and build a trustworthy resource.