Have you ever wondered how bloggers make money from blogging?
If you have just started out and you want to learn how to make money on your blog from affiliate marketing it can seem daunting, but it is really simple once you get the hang of it.
It occurred to me the other day that my day job gives me loads of insight and information that I could use to help bloggers who want to make some money through advertising on their blogs. Going into 2018 I am hoping to create some informative posts as well as normal ones. Affiliate marketing is something a lot of people shy away from dipping into because they do not feel they will get it right, but it’s super easy once you know how.
Pick the right affiliate or affiliate network
If you want to start running some affiliate marketing on your blog, you can either contact companies you have worked with directly or use a network. There are different benefits to each method and it really depends on how niche your blog is.
Setting up a direct affiliate programme may be a little bit more tricky than a network one as you need to ensure that the company is tracking your conversions. If you are going to approach a company to start running some affiliate marketing for them agree to the terms and conditions before you start running the promotion. Make sure they are able to provide you with a link that tracks the conversion back to you and test it before you start.
Using an affiliate network is probably the best way to get started if you are a beginner. I use one of the largest networks, Rakuten. I use them because they have big names on board like Beauty Bay, Smashbox and Charlotte Tilbury. Everything is pre-packaged so all you need to do is copy the links to your blog and then you are set. Obviously, Rakuten takes a cut, but if you are just starting out with affiliate it is worth the cost for how easy it is to use. There are also other big networks like CJ Affiliate, Share a Sale and CPALead. Whether or not they work for you or not will depend on your geo.
Learn the types of commission
One of the first things you will want to find out if you are going to venture into affiliate marketing is how much you will get paid and when. There are a few terms that circulate around when it comes to affiliate marketing that sound super confusing, but trust me they are easy to understand once you have them explained.
Last click commission
Last click commission means that whatever affiliate is the last to place a cookie on the user’s machine gets the commission. This means even if the user has clicked on a link through to the website from another affiliate in the past, you will get the commission for being the last person to direct them to the website and encourage the conversion to a sale.
CPA stands for ‘cost per acquisition’. The company you are hosting affiliate links for will set the acquisition before you start running the affiliate programme. It can be a number of different things but one of the most common ones is a completed sale. Once the users convert to a sale you will get the pre-agreed rate of commission which is usually a percentage.
There are also websites like CPA Lead where you can earn commission on things like account creation web form sign-ups. These are usually things like online casino’s so you may need to think about whether this will fit in with your blog or not.
CPC stands for ‘cost per click’. It is more unusual in affiliate programmes but there are some that will pay you per click. If the campaign is for brand awareness rather than to drive direct sales then you may find that the advertiser is willing to pay you per click or per lead rather than per acquisition.
If all else fails, and you are working with a small company who may not be able to provide links that track back to you, or you just find the affiliate pricing structure confusing, you can always set a fixed price. You will agree a time frame with the advertiser and then both come to a mutual agreement on how much you get paid. This can seem like an attractive offer for bloggers as you do not need to do much if they have already paid you, but remember, this company may grow and want to pay you a high rate at CPA or CPC in the future.
Think about how you are going to drive traffic
Getting signed up to a network or an affiliate programme is the easy part. Now comes the hard work. How are you going to drive traffic to your blog? If you already have loads of organic traffic, great. If not, you will need to take measures to ensure you make the most out of your live affiliate programmes. You can easily use the model content arbitrage websites use. Basically, those slideshows about Kim Kardashian you see at the bottom of the Daily Mail are huge money makers. They get paid every time you refresh the So all you need to do is set up a Facebook or similar social media campaign promoting the blog with your affiliate programme on it, and work how much you can bid from your conversion rate.
Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? It’s not. If I get it, anyone can.
Let’s say for example you have a lovely brand that are going to pay you £10 every time someone signs up for their newsletter. GREAT SUCCESS. This is quite lucrative, so you want to put some paid advertising on Facebook in the mix to get things started.
Facebook gives you the opportunity to bid whatever you want, so let’s start with £0.05.
If you are bidding £0.05 and you get paid £10.00 per lead, you need a conversion rate of 1/200 to break even.
£10.00 divided by £0.05 equals 200. 1/200 is your conversion rate.
Once you have been running the campaign for a while you can track the conversions. If more than 1 in 200 people are converting, then you can afford to bid higher and get in front of a larger audience.
If fewer people than 1 in 200 are converting then you need to bid lower.
See, it wasn’t as hard as it sounded, was it?
Support other bloggers
If you support other bloggers by reading and engaging with their posts, then they are more likely to support you and use your affiliate links. Even if it doesn’t bring you any conversions, it’s just nice to be nice.