If you’re a regular reader, you know affiliate marketing is my bread and butter. It’s what pays my bills and it’s something I really enjoy learning about and implementing. I love hearing how other people are using affiliate marketing to make big money from blogging.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner stops by today to share some important decisions that can greatly increase your affiliate income.
1. Choosing a niche is very important for long-term success as a blogger Tell us how you’ve decided on the basis of your blog’s content.
In August 2011, I started my personal finance blog with the hope of educating people How to save money After reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. Personal finance has always interested me—I have three finance-related college degrees, and I was forced to learn about finance when my father (who raised me) died when I was just 18 years old.
In Making Saints Sense, I talk a lot about different ways Earn extra moneyMoney saving tips, living your dream, RVing (my husband and I RV full time), and more.
I just love talking about money, so it made sense for me to blog about personal finance.
Helping others take control of their money is a huge thing and something I really enjoy.
2. Equally important is choosing the right product to promote. What tips do you have for someone ready to monetize their content? How did you choose the first products to promote to your readers?
Yes, choosing the right product to promote is very important. To determine which products to promote, I recommend thinking about:
- What your readers want
- What do your readers want to know more about?
- What products have benefited you
By finding the answers to these three questions, you will be able to find a product that you can successfully promote to your readers, as well as solve a problem that your readers may have.
3. Balancing selling and providing value is sometimes difficult, especially for newbies. How can you prevent your readers from turning off but still make a profit?
Some of the best products to promote are affordable or even free, so you don’t just have to promote high dollar products to have an effective affiliate marketing strategy on your blog.
You should always aim to provide value to your readers first and foremost. This is something I teach a lot in my course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. After you build trust with your readers, you won’t be able to promote the product to your readers without “selling” too much.
4. When it comes to making money, can you break down the posts, resource pages and your email list that contribute to your earnings?
These three things definitely contribute to my monthly blogging earnings.
- Blog posts help in many ways, but they mainly help bring in readers so I can teach them something, convert them into email subscribers, and more.
- A resource page allows me to easily list all the products I use and/or recommend in one place, so readers can easily check them out. It’s a very easy page to create and requires very minimal work, so it’s definitely something I recommend for an effective affiliate marketing strategy.
- My email list includes highly engaged readers and people who like what I hear. For that reason, they are the biggest part of my affiliate marketing strategy because they are interested in new content and eager to hear what products I am promoting.
5. Building a relationship with your readers can greatly impact your conversion rate. How do you create a personal connection with new, or returning, visitors?
Yes, building a relationship and building trust with your readers is crucial and can greatly affect a conversion rate.
You don’t need a ton of followers to make money with affiliate marketing, but you do need a loyal audience that believes what you have to say. If they don’t trust you, they won’t buy through you.
You can’t just slap affiliate links on your blog and expect to make affiliate income. You have to have some kind of strategy, which I teach in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
I am often told by my readers that I am very relatable and they think they are my best friends. This is something I always love to hear and it always makes my day.
Bloggers can create a personal connection with their readers by:
- Interacting with readers on social media and your blog like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog post comments, etc.
- Content pieces be personable. I’m often told that my writing style makes it sound like I’m talking to someone. This makes it easier for readers to understand what I am talking about.
- Reply to email. I answer all emails myself. It’s a lot of work, but well worth it!
Tell us about a mistake you made as a blogger that you feel affected your earning potential. Maybe it was just a one time thing or maybe it was something you wish you had learned earlier. How can other bloggers avoid it?
The biggest mistake I made as a blogger was managing a bad work-life balance. As a blogger, you can almost always work. Everything is done online, which means you can work all day and all night if you want. As a result I miss meals, forget to sleep etc. This is because I love blogging and I love watching my business grow, but work life balance is always good.
Instead, I need to focus on managing a better work-life balance as well as outsourcing more tasks. Right now, I currently do almost everything related to my blog. This can hold me back because I should be focusing my time on more important tasks.
Get more tips from Michelle at Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.