This post contains affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
You Can Earn a Living From Affiliate Marketing
I know what you’re thinking. “Affiliate marketing? Really? Psh! There’s no way!”
There is a way! There are actually a few ways you can use affiliate marketing to make money.
You could start a blog, or just use your Instagram or Pinterest account. You could also create a Facebook page and start promoting!
But, how, you ask? I’m here to answer that question for you. You want to make money from home, and I’m here to help you.
This isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows, though. I’d rather warn you now. This is hard work…in the beginning. Once you gain some momentum, you may be able to sit back a little and relax. But no one, and I mean no one, ever made legit money by sitting around waiting for it to fall out of the sky. You’re going to have to work…a lot.
Where Does An Affiliate Marketer Begin?
For me, the path was blogging! In order to get your blog set up, I highly recommend Start a Mom Blog’s Free First Month Blog Plan Course and, frankly, all of Suzi’s courses! I have signed up for several of her courses and she is awesome at breaking things down into actionable steps that anyone can take to start their blog.
One very important piece of advice I can give you is this: Get yourself a self-hosted blog. Use WordPress, and get yourself your own domain name. You’re going to see this plastered on any and all blogs that you read about starting your own blog. We’re all saying it because the truth is that when you are self-hosted, and have your own domain name, you will be taken much more seriously than if you didn’t, and you have a great deal more flexibility in what you can do with your blog.
So, yes, this will cost you some money out-of-pocket, but I cannot stress enough how important this is. Trust me on this one. My recommendation for hosting would be Hostgator.
This is really up to you. My blog is a lifestyle blog. I write about being a mid-lifer, and mine and my husband’s dream of being more self-sufficient and owning our own farm. (We’re almost there!) I also write about midlife and the struggles we face in this stage of life. And I write about homeschooling, as I’ve been a homeschooling mom for many years now!
You really can choose any topic. The trick is to draw people in with your fantastic, witty personality! My favorite method for writing my posts is to speak them first. Yes! You read that correctly. I sit in my room and, well, talk to myself. Ha! I know. My kids think I’m crazy, too, but it’s so helpful because it allows me to write the way I speak and this is so much more relatable than writing the way I write. Seriously, it just wouldn’t work out very well for me.
Since this post is about earning money as an affiliate, I can tell you that whatever your blog topic is, you’re going to be able to find affiliate programs that fit your topic(s). Yes! It’s true! There are affiliate programs out there for just about everything!
Are You All Set Up?
Ok, my friends. You’ve taken Suzi’s Blog by Number Course, which I highly recommend, and you’ve started your blog. Did you do everything she taught you? Because, I can’t stress enough how knowledgeable she is. I followed her course and it helped me tremendously!
You’ve got 15-20 posts published, right? You want a good foundation of blog posts first. See my post about starting a blog here.
Did you get set up with an email service yet? You’re going to need one! I have found that MailerLite is fantastic and the least expensive with great features! You can use email templates to make your newsletter and automation’s look very professional. They’ve got great tutorials, and their features are easy to learn. MailerLite is free up to your first 1,000 email subscribers, and their paid plan’s are very reasonable, and affordable!
Finding Affiliate Programs
Are you ready for the fun part? Finding affiliate programs!
- Shareasale has lots and lots of merchants to choose from that you can filter through and promote through your blog, or YouTube channel!
- Commission Junction is similar to Shareasale in that you can search for merchants who fit your niche.
- Send Owl allows you to promote digital products online. You can also create, and sell your own digital products here!
- You can promote anything and everything on Amazon using Amazon Associates.
- LinkShare has over 10 million active partnerships with merchants that you can use to advertise and make money online.
- I love Shop Style Collective because it’s a pay-per-click affiliate network. It’s a bit different than the others, but super fun! You can create collections of looks that you love, and then post them on your blog, or even use Pinterest to post them. Every time someone clicks on your link, either in your blog or when they click on your Pinterest image, you earn a commission. It’s one of my favorite methods for affiliate marketing on Pinterest!
- Clickbank is another excellent source of products to promote. They specialize in digital products, such as ebooks.
What to Do After You Join
I am a member of all seven of these affiliate networks. How do I make money in affiliate marketing? Well, when you join, and find merchants to promote, you are then given links that track back to your account. Each time a person purchases a product, or, as is the case with Shop Style Collective, clicks on your link, you earn a commission.
Now, I make it sound easy, but there’s more to it than just that. You have to get people to click on your links. You need to form a relationship with your audience, and create trust. If you’re recommending products that you don’t genuinely love, your readers are going to know it.
Let’s say you joined Amazon Associates, and there are products that you want to promote through them. First of all, make sure you use their affiliate disclosure on your blog. You can find the Amazon Associates disclosure statement here. Scroll down to #5, and make sure you add this to your disclosure page on your blog. This is very important any time you are using affiliate links.
After your disclosures are all set up, you want to find the products that you’re going to promote. An example of this would be a list post. I have a post that lists 15 Homestead Kitchen Items You Can’t Live Without, and I promote quality products on that post.
Affiliate Marketing Fun!
Now that you have your blog set up, your first 15-20 posts, and have joined some affiliate networks, you need to promote, promote, promote! I use Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. Instagram, for me, is more fun, and I post more about our farm animals and the fun things we do, but I also add in some of my blog links here and there. I use Pinterest and Facebook heavily for blog traffic.
Traffic is going to be important. You need to be engaged with your followers, and readers. Talk to your followers and readers, and get them to talk to you about the problems they need solved. This is one of the reasons I use Instagram. I ask questions, and have conversations with my followers, and with the people I follow. It’s all about the relationships!
From this point on, having quality content, and promoting your blog is your main job. In addition to that, learn about SEO, and keywords.