By now your blog should be in pretty decent shape. You’ve made it look nice with your theme, you’ve gotten your hands on the right tools, and you’ve produced a bit of content. Great!
Now is the time that we can speak in more detail about how to actually make money from, or “monetize”, your blog.
You’ll remember that way back in Day 1 of the course I told you that the way you make money from your blog is by growing and retaining an engaged readership who will potentially sign up for or purchase various products and services that you advertise or recommend on your site.
Today we are going to talk about how to find and promote these various products and services on your blog so that you get paid!
🤔 1. What Kind of Products and Services Should I Promote?
Easy answer: relevant ones. You should only promote products and services on your blog that are relevant to your blog’s topic. If you have a blog about travel, but you are promoting, say, an online brokerage, your blog will feel inconsistent and a bit “off.”
My blog is about personal finance, so here is a sampling of some of the products and services that I promote on my blog:
- Student loan refinancing services
- Net worth tracking apps
- Personal loan services
- Investment services
It would be out of place and feel “off” if I started promoting, say, nutritional supplements unless I found some way to make the connection to personal finance. I may do that in the future, but as my blog is somewhat new, I stick with promoting products and services that are obviously connected to my niche.
So what kind of products and services suit your niche? Here are some ideas:
- Parenting/Family Blogs: meal planning services, pet products, educational services and products, grocery delivery, Ibotta
- Travel Blogs: lodging, car services, airlines, credit cards with travel points
- Food/Recipe Blogs: grocery delivery, stores where readers can purchase ingredients, cooking schools
- Health/Fitness Blogs: nutritional supplements, self-improvement books, exercise programs, gym memberships
- Beauty Blogs: cosmetic companies, skincare companies, hair products
When I launched my blog, I took a course in which there is a module that lists all kinds of specific affiliate programs for various niches. I will tell you more about this course in a later module since it really did jumpstart my blog income.
🔗 2. Affiliate Links Basics
Now that you have thought of some products or services to promote on your site, how, exactly, will you promote them? You will do so through strategically-placed affiliate links on your blog.
An affiliate link is simply a special link to a particular product or service that uniquely identifies your blog as the source of the traffic to that product or service. And when one of your readers clicks one of your affiliate links and completes an action such as, say, providing their contact information or signing up for a service or purchasing a product, you receive a commission.
If you’re still a bit confused, I’ll walk you through exactly how this works using one of my real-life affiliate links.
So one of the services that I promote (and that I use myself) is called WiseBanyan. It is a free robo-advisor that I promote on my blog post How to Invest in the Stock Market + FREE $20 to Get Started.
Throughout this blog post, I have placed my WiseBanyan affiliate link, which rewards those who sign up for the free WiseBanyan service with $20 to invest in the stock market. It is most prominent in the button pictured below that I have placed at the top of my blog post.
But it is also found in little hyperlinks throughout the blog post. If you actually go to the blog post itself, you will see underlined words. These underlined words actually link to my affiliate link.
I did, however, mask my affiliate link placements using the Pretty Link plug-in I told you about in Day 4 so my links appear as millennialmoneyclub.com/wisebanyan when hovered over rather than https://wisebanyan.com/r/YTDEyCoAj.
And here is the fruit of my labor! I receive $20 for each person who signs up and makes a $1 deposit to WiseBanyan (they also get $20 for signing up through my link).
🕵️ 3. Finding Affiliate Links
Now that you understand how affiliate links work, I will tell you how to actually find links to place on your blog.
There are two primary ways of finding affiliate links.
The first way involves going directly to the company whose product or service you are interested in promoting and seeing if they have an affiliate program. The quickest way to do this is to simply Google something along the lines of <[company] affiliate program>.
As an example, I will show you how I found the LendEDU affiliate program. LendEDU is a company that compares student loan refinancing rates among different lenders, and as many Millennials have student loans, I decided to promote LendEDU on my site.
And I found LendEDU’s affiliate program simply by Googling “lendedu affiliate program”. I clicked the relevant search result and followed the instructions on the page. It consisted of giving them my email address. The affiliate manager, Alex, sent me an email, and I told him why I was interested in joining the LendEDU affiliate program, and I was off to the races!
The second way of finding affiliate links involves joining an affiliate network. An affiliate network is a network that brings together many different affiliate programs in one place. You typically have to apply to be accepted into affiliate networks, so I would recommend waiting until your blog has at least some decent content and traffic before applying.
Here are some of the major affiliate networks:
😊 4. Quick Tips for Affiliate Linking
I’ve seen a lot of new bloggers do affiliate links the wrong way, so I thought I’d share some tips on doing them the right way:
- Don’t place affiliate links for products or services that you don’t believe in. I’m not saying that you have to personally use every single product or service you promote, but you should at least believe that all of the products and services you promote will be helpful for their intended customers. Remember, you want to help people.
- Learn about the products and services that you are promoting. Don’t just throw a bunch of affiliate links in a blog post and hope that someone clicks on them. You will not have any success this way. Take the time to truly appear like an expert on the product or service you are linking to, and your readers will be much more likely to click your affiliate link because you have built credibility.
- Properly disclose your affiliate links. The Federal Trade Commission has strict rules about making it very clear to your readers that you may reoceive commission when they click on links on your website. You will notice on my blog that at the top of every blog post I have the brief language below plus a link to my disclosure page.