Make the Most of Your Affiliate Program

Anyone who knows what it’s like to make money blogging will tell you one thing: affiliate networks are a necessity if you want to earn anything from your site. It’s also a good jump-off point for bloggers who are just starting out and aren’t yet being approached by advertisers.

First things first, however. What exactly does it mean to be an affiliate? When you sign up for an affiliate program, you agree to drive traffic and/or sales to your partner site in exchange for a commission. Affiliate programs like these abound; some of the most popular ones include Google Adsense, Amazon.com Associates, Clickbank, and Azoogle.

As it stands, affiliate marketing isn’t as easy as it appears to be.  You can’t take it for granted that your readers will click through your ad links, nor can you guarantee that they’ll buy something from your affiliate partner.  If you want to make money blogging, you’re going to have to formulate a strategy that will maximize what your affiliate program has to offer.  Below are some tips that might make affiliate marketing a little easier – and definitely more lucrative – for you.

1. Stick to the simpler things:

Over time, it’s become more and more obvious that glitzy banners and flashy ads on your site don’t do as well as advertising that comes in the simple form of links. In other words, people are most likely to respond to an ad if it’s subtle and non-invasive, which is exactly what an ad link is like. Not just that – the difficulty with banners is that they sometimes take forever to load, especially if they require a demanding program to run successfully. Go with the simpler format, and your ads are likely to get much more attention and click-throughs than your banner ads.

2. Make sure that your blog theme and affiliate program are compatible:

Your advertisements should also strive to be relevant to your blog’s specific niche.  Sure, you have all the freedom to put up ads for luxury cars on your digital technology website.  The problem?  You’re targeting the wrong market.  Techies and gadget geeks don’t always take a shine to luxury cars, so putting up an ad that won’t be a hit with your audience is practically useless.  Instead, go with an affiliate program that matches your readers’ tastes, needs, and preferences.  That way, you boost your chances of making a sale at one point or another.

3. Don’t stick to just one program:

Make the probability game work in your favour: sign up for multiple affiliate programs, and tweak them all so they work in harmony with each other. For example: you can use GoogleAdsense alongside other affiliate programs. Be sure to implement this in moderation, however. Most readers are turned off by excessive advertising, so don’t be too blatant about your intent to earn money. Instead, position your ads tastefully, in such a way that your readers don’t feel like their experience of your blog is akin to staring at a huge billboard.

4. Create reviews for products that your readers will be interested in:

Services like ReviewMe.com will pay you for every review you make and put up on your site.  Don’t review just about anything that will pay you well, however.  Choose products that are relevant to the overall thrust of your blog and are of great interest to your readers.  It’s also essential to try to be as objective as you can to be fair to those who read your work and trust it.

It’s not too hard to figure out how affiliate marketing works, or what it takes to be a good affiliate.  Refining your strategy with affiliate programs is just one of the better ways to make money blogging, and when it’s used prudently and wisely with your existing marketing strategy, your blog is bound to go places.

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