What is Affiliate Marketing and How to Make Money From It

If you have a blog or any social media presence that has attracted followers, you have the chance to increase your income by getting into affiliate marketing. As an affiliate marketer, you can direct your viewers to products and services that you are already promoting and earn a percentage of the sale.

Stay Focused on Your Readers and Viewers

Like your blog posts and videos, any money you make off your affiliate marketing sales become a source of passive income. You write one blog post, create one link, and make money until the link is broken or you take the blog post down.

This means that you may need to set up a review process to make sure that your links to recommended products are still good. If you had a pre-COVID blog about travel or fashion, you have probably been writing about travel precautions and athleisure wear. Now that everyone is getting back out in the world, it is time to go back and check some links, and you may need to make some new connections or do some editing.

Stick with Companies You Know and Trust

If you have a terrific supplier and a new manufacturer wants you to do a review of their product, start with something small or something unique to this new business. A new manufacturer can crop up quickly and fade even faster.

If you have a reader who follows your cooking blog and has a bad experience with a high-end casserole dish, they may get their money back from the supplier, but you are the one who may lose credibility. If they do not get their money back, you may end up stuck in the role of customer service provider for a product you did not create.

Let Things Grow Organically

Stick with your industry and field expertise. Be sure to add your recommendations and promotions slowly and stay within your scope, unless it is your intention to cross the line between being an information source to being a promoter.

In addition to getting a payout on products that you recommend, you may get free products to test. Always let your viewers and readers know that you have received the item for no payment, and let the supplier know that you

  • will give the product away
  • will not promote anything in exchange for free products
  • will notify them if you cannot give a positive review
  • probably will not create a post or make a video on something that you cannot recommend

The world of affiliate marketing is extremely competitive. To maintain your expert status, keep no free promotional items. Ultimately, it will add to your credibility as an authority to not promote anything you would not be willing to pay for.

Be Ready to Step Back From a Company That Is No Longer Working Out

Unless you have a strong history with one supplier, you may have better luck seeking out agency partnerships that allow you to manage the contact from a higher level.

For example, if you have had great results getting a particular service or product from one particular supplier and the company makes changes that you do not like, you may need to seek out a new supplier or source. Making this change could be extremely time-consuming and may leave your readership confused. If you can make connections with an agency that tracks influencers, they may be able to help you make a quicker choice and get back to your content.

Guard Your Niche

If you really know a market or an industry, take care not to move away from your niche and end up flailing around as a product tester. Building a blog or a YouTube channel takes a lot of time and a strong need to share. It also takes some courage.

You may see other bloggers and social media influencers building a strong base as affiliate marketers. However, if you do not have a terrific passion for home decorating but you love everything to do with fabric and write a quilting blog, move sideways into home decor fabrics instead of trying to build expertise in furniture design. Your niche is the base of your blog and the best way to grow it.

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