If you’ve decided to start up an affiliate marketing blog, your first steps will be to find your blogging niche and set up your site. After that, it’s time to choose your affiliate programs. The wrong programs can result in low conversions and reduced sales, so your decision here is crucial.
Choosing effective affiliate programs can enable you to monetize your blog and generate income. With the right affiliates, you’ll have the opportunity to build partnerships, join like-minded communities, and run a successful business.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how to find the perfect affiliates, and integrate their programs with your content. We’ll also recommend some tools that will help you focus on the affiliates most appropriate and profitable for your blog. Let’s dive in!
What Is Affiliate Marketing (And How Can It Benefit You)?
Affiliate marketing is a type of program based on revenue sharing. You promote products through an affiliate network, and earn a commission based on sales generated from your site. This may be done by creating full-length reviews of those products, simply adding links to them in your content, and a variety of other methods.
As with any business, getting started with affiliate marketing requires time and effort. However, the benefits are many, including:
- Low start up costs. Getting your affiliate marketing blog off the ground will require some investment (here’s the real cost of starting a WordPress blog if you’re interested), but shouldn’t cost you too much.
- No product support required. As an affiliate marketer, you merely need to promote other people’s products. This means you don’t have to worry about the costs of creating and selling your own items.
- A flexible schedule. An affiliate website is something you can manage and grow at your own pace, on your own schedule.
If these benefits sound tempting, an affiliate blog might be right for you. Of course, the key to running a successful affiliate business is choosing the right programs.
How to Identify the Perfect Affiliates for Your WordPress Blog (3 Key Tips)
While the benefits of being an affiliate marketer are plentiful, it’s important that you do your research to find the best programs to join. Let’s dive right in and explain how to identify those programs.
1. Understand Your Blog’s Niche
Whether you plan to monetize your current blog or start a new one, you need to understand your site’s ‘niche’. This is another term for its focus – the topic your blog is about and that readers come to you to learn more about. For example, Justin Chung Studio fits snugly into the lifestyle photography niche:
While you can start a blog and write about anything that strikes your fancy, it’s much harder to develop a dedicated audience this way. Instead, it’s usually best to pick a specific niche and stick to it. Understanding your blog’s niche enables you to create more focused content, and attract people interested in what you have to say.
Being clear about your blog’s niche also empowers you to choose the best affiliate programs. You can conduct research and get to know your audience, to find out what interests them, what questions they have, and what problems they’re trying to solve. This will help you choose the best affiliate products to pursue, since you can promote those that will meet your readers’ unique needs.
2. Start With a List of Products You Currently Use
If you use a specific product, you already understand its pros and cons. Your familiarity with that product will enable you to write about it knowledgeably and truthfully. That’s why it’s important to start with products you have some experience with.
You can come up with a list of potential products by simply looking around your home (or your website) and assessing what has been valuable to you. Or you can take a look at your past online purchases to jog your memory. Then, ask yourself why you bought each item, and how it has been useful to you. Your audience will be made up of customers just like you, so you can use your personal experiences to figure out what products other people might be interested in.
When you have a list of possibilities, your next step will be to decide which products are ideal affiliate candidates. Try these tips to identify which products will work best:
- Can you create ‘evergreen’ content around the product? It’s best to rely on products there is a common and consistent need for.
- Would you recommend this product to people who trust you? If there’s a product on your list you would not recommend to someone you care about, you shouldn’t offer it to your audience.
- Does the product vendor value its affiliates? If your affiliate vendor doesn’t value its marketers, you can’t trust it to value your audience.
If a product meets all the above criteria, you have found it personally valuable, and it fits your blog’s niche, it’s a perfect candidate.
3. Research Your Potential Affiliates Using Popular Marketplaces
An affiliate marketplace or network is a middleman between you as a marketer, and your vendor as a program provider. You can use a marketplace to decide what programs are available, and determine if they are likely to be profitable.
Here are solid options to get you started:
- ShareASale: This marketplace has more than 2,500 commission-based programs to choose from. Sorting through ShareASale’s offerings is a great starting place.
- CJ Affiliate: CJ Affiliate offers more than 3,000 brands. Using this site to find the right affiliates requires a few extra steps, but is well worth your time.
- ClickBank: ClickBank, much like ShareASale, is a standard in affiliate marketing. Getting started is easy, thanks to its consumer-focused approach.
- Amazon: Not surprisingly Amazon is always a sure bet for any affiliate store. Not only are there millions of products to recommend, but you’ll make a commission on a customer’s entire purchase (not just the item you linked to).
Each marketplace offers valuable information for affiliate research. We recommend you give them all a try, to decide which works best for you.
How to Seamlessly Add Affiliate Links to Your Content
Now that you’ve chosen your affiliate programs and products, it’s time to add their links to your content. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Don’t stuff multiple affiliate links into your post. Too many links will alienate readers looking for valuable content.
- Strike a balance between user experience and money making. Minimize advertising within your content to keep it focused, and monetize strategically.
- Follow FTC Guidelines for product endorsements. Staying compliant keeps your business trustworthy (and luckily there are some awesome tools, like the free Affiliate Disclosure for WooCommerce plugin, that you can use to easily disclose affiliate relationships on your site).
There are also many tools that can help you integrate affiliate links with your content. Here are a few worth checking out:
- E-Junkie enables you to sell affiliate products directly from your site or blog. You can also manage your commissions through its affiliate platform.
- Easy Affiliate Links is a WordPress plugin you can use to manage every affiliate link on your website. You can track clicks, add short-links, and create link categories from the same location.
Seamlessly adding affiliate links takes practice. We recommend taking a minimalist approach at first, until you have some experience under your belt.
When you set out to generate income through your blog, you’ll want to do so as authentically as possible. If you aren’t upfront about your experience with a product, you risk your authority as a marketer. That’s why it’s so crucial to choose appropriate affiliates.
Do you have any questions about how to choose the perfect affiliates for your WordPress blog? Let us know in the comments section below!