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I firmly believe that most, if not all, bloggers should prioritize affiliate marketing and attempt to make it one of their leading sources of blogging income. One of the main reasons I believe this is because the amount of money you make is almost entirely based on the work you do. You don’t have to wait around for advertisers or sponsors to want to work with you. Instead, whether your fanbase is large or small, you can sell to the readers who already know you and trust your opinion.
You may have noticed that I used the word “sell” in the paragraph above.
One thing that frequently seems to be glossed over when people are writing about affiliate marketing is that it is essentially sales. In plain terms: Affiliate marketing is all about getting your readers to buy something so that you can earn a commission.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Write about what you love and hopefully earn a little bit of money for doing so.” quote=”Write about what you love and hopefully earn a little bit of money for doing so.”]
But, and this is a big BUT — the word “sales” shouldn’t evoke an image of a manipulative used car salesman and make you want to go running for the hills. With a little bit of finesse you can easily write affiliate posts that fit with your content and won’t make you feel sleazy. Plain and simple, affiliate marketing allows you to write about what you love and hopefully earn a little bit of money for doing so.
Finding an item you want to promote on your blog is actually the easy part. It’s deciding what type of post to write that can be difficult. Assuming you want to start making money from your affiliate marketing efforts (and who doesn’t?!), there are a few different ways you can approach your post so that your use of affiliate links feels natural and not forced.
Writing Blog Posts with Affiliate Links
Write a Review
There’s a reason why brands love to collaborate with bloggers on review posts and that’s because review posts are great for selling items! If you’ve built up a loyal fanbase of readers who trust your opinion, then there’s a good chance (or at least A chance) that they may want to buy something that you review and love.
I am in no way suggesting that you should only write positive reviews. I actually think you should write honest reviews. I have a hard time not being brutally honest, whether I’m writing about something I love or dislike. I’ve written glowing, neutral, and downright scathing reviews of products and I like to think that because of my honesty, my readers tend to trust my opinions when there’s something I love.
The great thing about reviews is that you can review pretty much anything. You can write:
- Beauty product reviews
- Book reviews
- Store reviews
- Restaurant reviews
- Hotel reviews
- Credit card reviews
- Children’s clothing reviews
- Subscription box reviews
You can literally review anything, and many affiliate programs will even work with you to facilitate a review by providing free product! I think that review posts are one of the easiest ways to write blog posts with affiliate links.
Write a Tutorial
How often do you head to Google and start a search that begins with something along the lines of “how do I…” or “how to…”? People always want to know how to do something, and putting tutorials on your site for the things that you know how to do is a great way to write a blog post with affiliate links.
Here are a few fabulous tutorial-based blog posts with affiliate links:
• Oh Joy! shares how to make Floral Honeycomb Decor for a Baby Shower. She includes a list of necessities to complete the project, and many of those items could be affiliate links.
• Art is Beauty shares how to build your own farmhouse table for under $100, and links to many of the needed items on Amazon. You want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to take on a project, and using Amazon links in tutorial posts is great because everyone shops at Amazon and items can be delivered within an hour in some locations!
• One Good Thing by Jillee writes about just how easy it is to make your own powdered coffee creamer, using a few items that you can conveniently buy from Amazon.
• 100 Days of Real Food writes about How to Can Tomatoes, using Amazon affiliate links throughout the post.
• Adventurous Kate wrote an insightful post about spending three days in Savannah. At the end of her post she has some “essential info” that includes a few affiliate links that fit with the theme of her post.
• I wrote about How to Start a WordPress Blog on SiteGround and if anyone chooses to launch a blog with this host then I will earn a commission.
Regardless of what type of blog you run, I promise that it is possible to write a tutorial of one type or another!
Write About a Big Sale
I know that the vast majority of you aren’t deal bloggers, but sometimes it might be worthwhile to include a sale if you think it’s something that may resonate with your readers. People love a good deal, and as an affiliate you will often be the first to know when the big sales are about to hit.
Some examples of good sale posts:
• You can tell that Alyssa from Feathers and Stripes is actually excited about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because she shares photos of herself wearing the items she just purchased, along with affiliate links back to each item on Nordstrom’s website.
• Photo Lesa is a Craftsy instructor who also wrote about one of Craftsy’s amazing sales on her blog. One of the things I really like about this particular post is that she took the time to write about some of her favorite classes taught by other instructors. The more options you provide to your readers and the more items that you show them, the higher the odds are that they will make a purchase.
• Many (most?) parents love treating their children to new clothing – how many times have you heard “It was so cute I just had to buy it!” or “It was so cheap that I couldn’t not get it!” – and Cool Mom Picks cashes in on both of these shopping impulses in an old post about a Tea Collection sale where they share some of their favorite finds for boys and girls, as well as the seriously low prices that are a direct result of the sale.
One of the reasons that sale posts convert well is because they create a sense of urgency. People tend to buy things when the price is right and if they think the opportunity won’t be around for long. Capitalizing on this could send some extra money your way.
Do a Roundup
Depending on what you write about, a round-up post – aka a collection of related items – might be an easy way for you to include affiliate links in a blog post.
Roundups are useful to your readers and they also don’t need a lot of text. (AKA they’re perfect for those days when you are suffering from writer’s block and can’t manage to string two words together!)
Examples of roundups from around the blogosphere include:
• Pretty pillows is a short but sweet roundup from The Joyful Home.
• Afrobella wrote about 10 summer stylers for natural hair.
• My most successful post ever is this round up of over 100 stocking stuffers for men under $10.
• Making it Lovely did a roundup of products that would look great in a woodland-themed bedroom.
• Yanira Garza has a great list of 7 must-have nursing essentials.
A well-done roundup can lead to quite a few affiliate sales. The secret is to tap into what your readers want to buy. One way to figure this out is by keeping track of what items are selling in other posts. If you start to see a trend emerge, do a roundup of similar items.
Share Your Expertise
Let me get personal for a moment: I spent a lot of time thinking about starting this site and being a little wishy washy about it. I know a lot about affiliate marketing because I’ve been in the trenches for 7 years but my biggest hold-up in launching this site is that I just wasn’t sure if I could classify myself as an expert.
Expert, I thought, was such a big word and so many doubts plagued me. I couldn’t get thoughts like these out of my head:
- I don’t have a degree in affiliate marketing.
- There are people who know more than I do.
- Aren’t the highest echelons of bloggers – the ones reportedly making millions of dollars per year – the true experts?
I kept dragging my feet on launching until I attended a webinar about what it means to be an expert. What I learned is that anyone can be an expert in a given field. You don’t necessarily have to be the best or have all the knowledge. You should, however, have an open mind, be willing to learn more and, most importantly, be willing to share your expertise with others. What’s the sense in being an “expert” if you can’t help someone else?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Find affiliate products that fit your expertise and then share your knowledge with the world” quote=”Find affiliate products that fit your expertise and then share your knowledge with the world”]
Everyone is an expert in something, so now’s the time to figure out what that may be.Maybe you’re a fashion expert or a recipe whiz. Or maybe you’re a DIY expert, travel expert or a crafting expert. Maybe you know pretty much everything there is to know about how to entertain three-year-olds. Maybe you’re an extreme couponer or you know the tricks for getting the best deals at TJ Maxx. Whatever it is, find affiliate products that fit your expertise and then share your knowledge with the world. Write how-to guides. Write manuals. Write must-have lists. Answer people’s questions with new blog posts. Be an expert in your blogging niche. Own it. And then figure out how you can get paid for your expertise by including affiliate links in your post.
While there’s no denying that affiliate marketing is about the art of the sale, there are plenty of ways to write blog posts with affiliate links while remaining true to the vibe and tone of your site.
Do Tell: Are there other types of blog posts with affiliate links that you like to write?
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