In the past, many bloggers relied on ad networks to make money with their websites. But it’s not the best time to make a living with an ad-supported model. Google, Facebook, and Amazon continue to dominate the online advertising market, leaving little revenue for smaller publishers.
Ads also create a poor experience for your readers. According to a Morning Consult poll, 75 percent of respondents identified internet ads as intrusive.
The good news? There are other ways to monetize your blog. Brands value bloggers who occupy a distinct niche and attract a passionate audience. If you fit into this category, you could be an excellent fit for partnership marketing, a strategic alliance where businesses join forces to reach a larger audience.
You can use one particular type of partnership to monetize your blog almost instantly: affiliate marketing.
How to start using affiliate marketing for bloggers
As one of the oldest forms of partnership marketing, affiliate marketing programs remain steadfast even as technology and industries evolve. U.S. businesses plan to spend $8.2 billion on affiliate marketing in 2022—an $800 million increase from last year.
Brands believe in this timeless tactic, which means bloggers of all kinds stand to benefit.
With affiliate marketing, brands form mutually-beneficial relationships with affiliate publishers—including bloggers. Brands provide affiliate links to embed into your content and push your readers to their site. Each customized link gives the brand insight into how much traffic (and how many purchases) your blog drives.
Just add affiliate links to your blog posts and start earning commissions. It’s that simple.
4 reasons to say “yes” to affiliate marketing
Now that you know how you could benefit from affiliate marketing, discover just how easy it is to get started. So, why say yes?
- Minimal startup effort
- A proven money-making tactic
- Fits into your content plan
- Promote products that matter to your audience
1. Minimal startup effort
You already have the tools you need to start experimenting with affiliate marketing. The only overhead costs are URL and web hosting services for your website, which you already have as a blogger.
Successful affiliate marketing hinges on building high-quality relationships with brands. When you start, you may spend most of your time finding the right brand partners—whether you reach out to them directly or discover them through an affiliate network.
Starting these relationships doesn’t come at a financial cost, but it can be time-consuming. Remember to treat your brand relationships like any relationship you value in life: nurture them. The more you develop your partnerships, the more lucrative they’ll be.
2. A proven money-making tactic
Brands invest in affiliate marketing because it gives them direct access to a trusted audience.
Product review sites already leverage this relationship with brands because readers trust an unbiased opinion. One report found that 89 percent of consumers check reviews online before making purchases. To capitalize on this, product review sites often embed affiliate links within their reviews.
For example, in 2016, The New York Times paid $30 million for The Wirecutter. This website independently reviews products and services and earns a commission when readers buy using their links. By 2021, The New York Times reported that its “other” revenue category—which includes Wirecutter affiliate revenue—tallied at $42.8 million for just one quarter.
Adam Enfroy of adamenfroy.com offers another great example. Enfroy started his entrepreneurship blog as a side project in 2019, creating content about how to make money online, SEO, and more. Big names like Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and Forbes took notice. In just under two years, his blog made over $1 million without spending any money on advertising. Currently, he makes over $400,000 per month from his blog. His revenue primarily comes from affiliate marketing, selling his own premium courses, and SEO consulting.
Converting your website traffic into sales means you can earn income without leaving the comfort of your home. That’s the beauty of affiliate marketing.
3. Fits into your content plan
Brands invest in affiliate marketing because of you—the independent blogger. Your website has a loyal following of readers who trust your expertise. Widely read review sites reach a broad audience, but brands understand the power of smaller audiences that share a deep passion for niche topics.
Successful affiliate marketing results in additional revenue from conversions and commissions. As a blogger, you don’t need to change your content or post frequency to make money.
However, when you start incorporating affiliate links into your posts, create a well-conceived strategy to maintain your blog’s authenticity. Remember: affiliate marketing needs to provide value to your readers to avoid sounding like traditional advertising.
For example, if you’re a tech blogger testing a new smartphone, create a review of the phone or highlight your favorite features in a roundup. These content types suit your existing niche and provide the perfect opportunity to organically incorporate affiliate links into your posts.
To help you post new content consistently, create an editorial calendar that tracks upcoming blog posts you’re creating in partnership with brands.
4. Promote products that matter to your audience
Perhaps best of all, affiliate marketing allows you to find and promote products that align with your audience. Your audience comes to you for advice, support, and education around specific topics. Adding affiliate links to products that solve your audience’s problems only enhances their experience with your content.
Do you write about running? Recommend the shoes, clothing, and accessories you use every time you hit the streets. Run a gardening blog? Add affiliate links to a list of your must-have garden tools for the spring. Adore blogging about your pet? Review the treats you give your furry best friend.
The better you know your audience and your niche, the more prepared you’ll be to find partner brands and products that naturally fit into your content and boost your revenue.
Grow revenue with impact.com’s affiliate marketplace now
Join the impact.com marketplace—part of the impact.com for Publishers suite—to find products that work with your content and get them in front of your audience. Build your affiliate program, discover new brands, and start earning more revenue.
Create a seamless blend between the content and the products you promote. A suite of automation tools helps you continue building deeper relationships with both brands and your audience.
Want to know more about affiliate publishing? Check out these resources:
- Ultimate guide to affiliate marketing [ebook]
- How does affiliate marketing work? [blog]
- Onboarding with impact.com [Infographic]