Perhaps the biggest dilemma facing blog owners after establishing their blog is how to monetize it or generate a blog income. There are several ways in which a blogger can go about making money from their blog, but in this article we will focus on monetizing through affiliate marketing. e-darts For this article, I will assume most have at least a rudimentary understanding of affiliate marketing and how it works.
Monetizing a blog through affiliate marketing essentially entails adding merchant links equipped with the blog owner’s unique affiliate id to their blog. These affiliate links can be in the form of banners, text ads or they can be embedded within the body of the blog post themselves.
The amount of revenue generated by a blog featuring affiliate marketing links can vary significantly depending on the amount of traffic the blog receives, conversion rates and affiliate payout amounts. Compensation may come from sales, leads, or even clicks generated from the blog owner’s affiliate links.
There are several things a blogger must consider in order to maximize blog income potential from affiliate marketing opportunities:
1) affiliate product relevancy;
2) demand for the affiliate product;
3) quality of the affiliate product
4) reputation of the merchant;
5) affiliate payout amounts; and
6) affiliate guidelines.
1. Affiliate Product Relevancy
The number of affiliate marketing opportunities is virtually unlimited and growing with each passing minute, so carefully deciding on an opportunity is critical. Selecting an affiliate marketing product that appeals to the target audience is a must. Blog visitors are likely there to get very specific information, and will not bother with links that do not meet those specific needs.
Even if a blog owner does a great job of getting targeted visitors to his or her site, conversions will suffer and the site will generate no money if the affiliate links are not relevant. Links that have nothing to do with the blog niche may also turn off visitors who may think the blog owner is simply trying to sell them something instead of providing a potential need for readers.
2. Demand For Affiliate Product
A blogger can create a well-focused blog with a legion of targeted visitors and add affiliate links that are perfect for the blog audience, but if there is no demand for the product then it will all be for not. Readers may come to the blog time and time again, leave comments and share it with friends but they may never convert to sales because they have no need or want for the affiliate products offered in the particular online niche.
3. Quality Of Affiliate Product
The ultimate success of a blog is often determined by the trust a blog owner is able to establish among his readers. Bloggers love to see visitors become readers who then become subscribers. When a blog visitor becomes a subscriber, he has given his stamp of approval or trust to that blog owner. As a result, subscribers are the best potential affiliate customers. Unfortunately, it only takes one bad experience with an affiliate product to destroy that trust and turn a loyal subscriber into a bitter detractor.
Blog owners are essentially recommending the affiliate products they promote on their site (whether they expressly endorse them or not). If a subscriber purchases a product that is of poor quality through an affiliate link on a blog, the blog owner will likely share some of the blame with the merchant. If possible, blog owners should test drive the products they are marketing through their blog or at least take the time to research customer satisfaction with that product.
4. Reputation Of The Merchant
Reputation of the merchant almost goes hand and hand with product quality. There are merchants who provide a quality product, but are lousy at customer service. The only difference between merchants, in some cases, is the customer service they provide. Late delivery, billing issues and lack of customer support are often common complaints of those who purchase products through affiliate links.
As a blogger who values the trust of his readers, it is imperative for the blog owner to make every effort to protect his readers from potential mistreatment by merchants. Most blog readers who become customers will not allow a blog owner to just distance himself from a merchant whose product he is promoting. As I said in point #3, having affiliate links on a blog is often seen as a recommendation by the blog owner, who will likely be held accountable for that recommendation if things go wrong.
5. Affiliate Payouts
As an affiliate marketer, you want to create residual income. In order to do that, the compensation from your affiliate links must be sufficient enough to do so. If you take the time to set up a blog, get traffic to it, and monetize it with relevant affiliate links, the last thing you want to have happen is to get paid peanuts for your efforts. Affiliate compensation plans can vary greatly, so close attention should be paid to the exact payout terms of any affiliate program.
6. Affiliate Guidelines
Finally, blog owners should read their affiliate guidelines thoroughly. Many merchants do not allow for certain types of advertising of their links. They may also have restrictions on what type of sites their links may appear on or what type of other affiliate links can appear on a site displaying their links. Failing to adhere to merchant guidelines may result in a blogger being banned as an affiliate or even having any earned compensation denied.