Have You Ever Succeeded With Affiliate Marketing

I was having a discussion yesterday with a group of folks about affiliate marketing with blogs. I was surprised to hear the group was split pretty evenly between these categories:

  • Done pretty well
  • Haven’t ever made a penny
  • Never tried

My own experience over the years have varied depending on how much effort I put in, as you would expect, but has been overall positive. It wasn’t always something I enjoyed particularly, and in some cases I felt the gurus and forum contributors were pushing advice that was bordering on black hat.

I do believe though depending on your niche and choice of merchant/offer, aff is potentially far more lucrative than other monetization methods. Only yesterday I was invited to push a seminar where you get hundreds of dollars per sign up (I turned it down). How much do you make with one ad spot for a whole month? Adsense?

As I say, it is certainly not for everyone, and blogging with a side of aff suits me better than pure aff, but it could well be worth a try.

Have you tried affiliate marketing? What are your experiences? Please share in the comments.

15 thoughts on “Have You Ever Succeeded With Affiliate Marketing

  1. Last year I saw that many affiliate marketers were hiring bloggers to promote their MFA (made for affiliate) sites. I thought, well that’s kind of silly. If the bloggers (Like Ryan above) can push traffic around, why can’t bloggers push it directly from their blogs to the affiliate destination and convert?

    Seemed real simple, but from the comments above you can probably guess that it is not!

    Good blog writing styles often times make sites so sticky that readers do not want to click away. If you have done your blogging job right, your readers are not going to click away until they get to the weakest link on your site , bad analogy, the worst article or the part where the content runs the thinest and then they are going to leave. Well when that happens, you’ve already lost your reader and have little power to channel them into an affiliate link or button.

    For it to work at all, blogger have to start channeling the reader from the first word in an article. But if that happens then your site decreases in stickiness and they do not hang around as long and might not come back as quick (unless they really like what they buy or sign up for).

    This kind of all means that bloggers have to build up a full website and not a blog to make affiliate programs work. Like a business blogger, your blog has to build up your website and that website has to be in the business of delivering the products that are the affiliate products.

    Multiple Niches

    One affiliate program is not necessarily going to be around for ever (your lucky sometimes if its up more than 3 months!) so it becomes difficult to build out a website and then support that with a blog, build it up for traffic and make money off of it before the affiliate runs out of money and drops the program or switches out of shareasale and goes to the greener grass on the other side.

    This kind of means that you have to build a website that focuses say on 3 niches first and then keep looking for additional niches to expand/grow into. You then use your collections of articles about a topic to push people to the affiliate conversion gathering up all of those scenarios as to how to use the product or service and all the nuances around it. That typically means that you have to be a customer yourself. Not everyone is plugged in to Silicon valley parties such that they can get some advertising money over or under the table to run an affiliate button and push a few million people at it every day like some sites I know. For your older than a newbie blogger, that means that you need to use the product, get hands on and blog, record, video everything you are doing on a regular basis, hoping to catch the imagination of your readers so that they can envision themselves in your shoes and then go buy the product through you.

    Still trying to learn from the Podcasters

    The podcasting community is much better at this than the blogging community. They do a much better job at sourcing special one time deals to offer to their listeners, such that they can give their listeners a package deal and freebie to get them to convert. Plus, people are more accustomed to listening to that kind of deal on the radio. When they read it, they think spam. When they listen to it, they think, “radio disc jockey doing their job, when will the song go back on the air, wait a second that is cheap, damn it where’s a pen so I can write that down . . .”

    The other thing is the nature of the stuff. I’ve seen some bloggers make a good chunk of change pushing dating sites and pay day loans and stuff like that with affiliate links. Its not my cup of tea on the one hand because of the userous interest rates and on the other because I’m married and have never picked up a Russian bride on a website called RichMarriedMenLookingToCheatOnTheMotherOfTheirChildren.com

    And then there is secondlife where the rules are completely different . . . .

    After all that is said, I think this is actually one of the hottest areas for bloggers right now next to competing with the poor sappy hollywood writers that do not own their own content, isn’t that a hoot!

  2. I tried some clickbank stuff one XMAS season .. and did semi-okay .. meaning, I made a little but not enough for the threshold to receive payment. At that time – I had to hit $100 to get a payment. I was short. By the next XMAS season, I started again – to build up and hope to get a payout, but I was shocked that all my earnings were assumed as non-usage fees by Clickbank. I was quite pissed off and never used them again.

    With Amazon – I had been trying for 3 years trying to earn a commission and payout and vowed that I would remove all the code after I received a $100 payout. Well, I eventually did exceed that amount and received a cheque. I went into my account to disable, and it turned out that I had earned another $20 commission from about $500 in sales from 3 people. So, I decided to keep the code on and still have code on all my sites (and still have not reached that second $100 level yet).

    A friend of mine is heavy into Clickbank and linking clickbank on most of the blog entries or just links to static non-blog pages that have clickbank code .. and earns about $700 a month I believe. And, although I’m sure a lot of ground work was done before and in the past .. now it’s almost like gravy I believe, and keeps coming in with little effort.

    In the meantime, I’ve been accumulating many affiliations with ShareASale and even created blogs and sites related to them (HARTmarket.com) but I haven’t been promoting them at all and have only earned about $40 so far in about 8 months. Maybe by summer ..

  3. Around 1/3 to 1/2 half my income or is from affiliates. Shareasale, Amazon, and some independents.

  4. I’ve had mixed results. Some sites don’t produce anything, on other sites we do get some orders… but even on the sites that get orders, the orders are not consistent enough to rely on affiliate income at this point. We’ve had much better luck on Google AdSense, especially on the more popular sites. I know that we can do better with the affiliate advertising model, and it is something that we plan on revisiting.

  5. I made some money doing it! I am pretty okay with $700 – $1200 i made every month, against 2-3 hours of dedicated time I spent on networks/amazon from home after my hectic 12 hours office day.

    I have been regular to CJ, Linkshare, & Dealplumber but no experience with blogs so far (Time constrain). I would much appreciate if someone can teach me how to make ton of it. I am always there to support you and I can spend 1 – 2 more extra hours daily if you show me money.

  6. I’ve done better with referral programs, and that’s really not saying much. I had grand plans for an aff site but felt it would be as much work, if not more, than a non-aff site. I’ve made less than $60 with both aff and referral told, though I’ve yet to become a monetization expert.

  7. It does happen that way a lot. Some niches do not have buyers, or do buy but find ways round your aff code (never understood that, it’s not like the commission makes the product more expensive)

  8. @Patrick – Good advice

    @Ryan – We need to change that then. You know how to drive traffic, that is half the battle

  9. I’ll admit failure. And when it comes to affiliate, I’ve been an utter and complete failure.

  10. I’ve made a lot in the past and still make a fair bit from blog affiliate marketing. The key is to create a blog that ranks well on Google and then start showing affiliate links in your older posts. Use your daily readers to help the blog grow and use people who find you from Google to make you money.

    Don’t get aggressive or you end up losing $7k a month like I did.

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