My blogs don’t have high PageRank. They don’t get a tremendous amount of traffic. Yet my blogs earn me thousands of dollars every month. How? Affiliate ads. Why?
I know what my readers need.
My blog content is geared toward filling my readers’ needs. So it makes sense to only display ads which also fill a need. For example, my blog geared toward beginning freelance writers exists to give writers tips on how to make money freelancing. As a freelance writer, I know new freelance writers are looking for freelance writing jobs and ways to make money writing, maybe even an occasional book on the topic. So rather than relying on Adsense ads alone, I also incorporated job ads through Indeed’s publisher program, a few books on learning to freelance from Amazon’s affiliate program, plus a few ebooks on writing for magazines and winning writing contests (through an independent affiliate program).
I know what my readers don’t need.
I feel part of my success with affiliate programs is knowing what people don’t want. Sticking with the theme of freelance writers, I know that most freelance writers aren’t looking for a get rich quick scheme. Freelance writers aren’t looking for ebooks on how to make thousands of dollars per day doing data entry. And most aren’t looking for membership or bidding sites that charge them fees to use their services.
I know what my readers can afford to pay.
Many affiliate programs offer truly great, super useful products. But if they’re out of my readers’ budgets, there’s no use in listing their ads on my site. That’s why on my freelance writing blog I post job ads that are free, and why when I post ads for books I go through Amazon (cheaper prices, even used items). If I post an ad for something that’s a little more pricey, I make sure it’s for something REALLY good that’s worth splurging for.
I don’t recommend any affiliate product I wouldn’t use myself.
I’ve learned that the key to affiliate marketing is only partnering with affiliate programs who offer high quality USEFUL products. I can’t stand visiting blogs whose sole purpose is to recommend any junk product just to make a few bucks, and I can’t imagine that others like seeing that kind of thing either. So, my affiliate marketing method is to only post links for products or services I myself have used and found to be helpful. The book and ebook recommendations on my site are all for books I myself have read and felt were worth the money. I promote Indeed’s jobs because I use their search engine regularly to find my own writing jobs. Maybe I’d earn more money promoting any related program, but a) I feel that would be unethical and b) I feel more confident promoting products I can personally recommend.
A blogger’s income doesn’t have to be defined by pay-per-click ads. Although Adsense rakes in a good chunk of change for many bloggers, that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve found that incorporating affiliate ads is a relatively easy way to earn extra money recommending products I’d be recommending anyway. It sure beats joining a “get paid to write a review on your blog” site, at least in my experience.
If you’ve used affiliate ads on your blog, I’d love to hear about your successes (or failures), tips you might have which I’ve no doubt missed, etc.