If you have read any of my income reports then you will know that I am earning thousands of pounds a month, passively, from the use of affiliate links. When I first started my online income reports, I was making £581.59 per month from affiliate marketing. At the highest point I have made £5,195 in just one month from affiliate marketing. If you have been interested in starting affiliate marketing, then here is my affiliate marketing guide.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a really simple idea – you find a product or service that you like and rate highly and you earn a commission when a sale is achieved as a result of your promotion of that product or service. The company are happy to pay you a percentage of the sale to thank you for introducing a new customer to them
It is really important that you promote products that you have used yourself and that you like. Your readers are coming to your blog to read about you and your experiences and they trust your endorsement. Your readers have built a rapport with you and they will be able to tell if you don't genuinely like, use or trust a product or service.
The benefits of affiliate marketing
There are so many fantastic benefits of affiliate marketing, the biggest for me is the passive income that I can earn from affiliate marketing. By this I mean income that I don't have to actively work to achieve. With over 600 blog posts, I have lots of posts that receive daily traffic and generate a sale. I wrote those blog posts once, and bar popping back to update the information every year or so, I don't have to do much else. That income keeps trickling in whilst I'm sleeping, out shopping, on holiday or even if I am working!
Another fantastic benefit is that you don't have to rely on selling one product that you have created yourself, or that you have bought in to resell. You don't have to lay out any money by purchasing stock, you don't have to parcel any items or deal with returns. All you need to do is place relevant affiliate links into your blog posts and then continue promoting the blog posts like you normally do! There's no extra work involved apart from getting the link!
Affiliate earnings are uncapped – you aren't tied down to promoting just one product, service or company. You can sign up to as many affiliate programs as you want and promote products wherever they fit well into your blog. There are so many examples of how this can work, from a parenting blogger promoting a book their child is loving to a thrifty blogger promoting a sale. There are also plenty of ways to promote affiliate links – they can be shared on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to reach more potential customers and increase sales.
How to get started
There are a few ways to get involved with affiliate marketing. Some companies keep their affiliate marketing in house and can often be found by searching the internet for “company name affiliate program” or you can join a company who oversee a whole lot of affiliate programs. I use a mixture of both.
You will need to have an established blog, website or social media channels as many programs require this information during the application process. If you don't have a website then I've put together a guide to making your own WordPress website.
You will also need to have a rough idea of what you will be promoting so you know which programs would be relevant to you and which ones are worth applying for.
Below I have listed a handful of my favourite affiliate programs, as well as details on getting started with them.
How to SMASH Affiliate Marketing as a UK Blogger
Too often we see American bloggers making 5 figures in affiliate income every month, but replicating that as a UK Blogger might seem impossible.
I have put together all of my affiliate marketing secrets into one place for you, in How To SMASH Affiliate Marketing as a UK Blogger. In this video and text course I cover everything from which affiliate programs to join to how to get over that fear of emailing your list.
AWIN affiliate marketing guide
AWIN is the UK's largest affiliate marketing website, and it is easy to see why. With 2,100 advertisers on their platform and supporting 75,000 other publishers, you can find everything you need to get started.
Registering at Affiliate Window is really easy. During the registration process you will need to make a £5 deposit – this is automatically added to your Affiliate Window balance and will become payable once you meet the minimum payment threshold.
Amazon is by far the biggest online retailer, so being an Amazon Associate is a great way to boost your affiliate marketing income. The Amazon tracking cookies last for 24 hours. This means that if you wrote a review about a product and the reader clicked through to Amazon and went on to purchase anything from Amazon (not just the item you linked to) within 24 hours, you will make commission. You can also use a clever little trick to increase the cookie tracking to 90 days. You can earn anything from 1% – 10% of any sales you generate which makes this an ideal program to sign up to.
In order to register you will need to have a website which meets the following criteria set by Amazon:
- The website is functional and has value-added content that can drive incremental purchases on Amazon
- You are in compliance with the Amazon Associates Operating Agreement
- You have a valid phone number and bank account that can receive direct deposits. You will need to provide this payment information during the application process.
Completing the application is easy, once completed Amazon will review your application and send you a confirmation email telling you whether you have been accepted into the program. If you haven't then they will also tell you why your application wasn't successful.
If you are looking for a simple, fuss-free way to add affiliate links to your website or blog then Skimlinks is for you. Note that you cannot use Skimlinks on social media accounts.
When you register at Skimlinks you get instant access to over 20,000 affiliate programs without the hassle of having to sign up for individual programs. This means that you aren't waiting around for approval from merchants and you don't need to go to the hassle of creating affiliate links. It really is a great place to start if time is against you. Skimlinks will automatically turn any existing links into affiliate links where they have an advertiser on board.
Skimlinks is the best affiliate program to join if you want to just spend some time setting it up and then get back to blogging. Is is fuss-free and takes no time out of your blogging schedule to set up affiliate links.
Registering is simple and if you have more than one website then you can add them onto your account too, therefore increasing your earning potential.
Finding other affiliate programs to join
I am now using the pro version of this plugin but the free version takes an affiliate link and makes them pretty. Using Pretty Link means that I can change affiliate links into links starting with my blog – for example, www.emmadrew.info/affiliatewindow. The pro version comes with some added bonuses, but the free lite version is fantastic too. Click here to get Pretty Link.
Disclosing affiliate links
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