10 Ways to Promote Affiliate Programs Quickly and Effectively
Now that you’ve signed up to some affiliate programs that you think will be a good fit for your blog, it’s time to start promoting them.
But how do you promote merchants without spending forever doing it?
And how do you actually get people to buy what you’re promoting?
1. Promote only what you love and use.
Don’t try to sell things to your readers just to try to make money. No one likes to be “used” and you will only turn your readers off if you are constantly pushing products at them.
Just talk naturally about your real life. If you had some type of problem and were able to solve it with a particular product, let your readers know about it. They will appreciate the genuine recommendation and will have no reservations about using your affiliate link if they decide to buy that product.
2. Skip the sidebar ads.
When is the last time you clicked a sidebar ad? Exactly. You are not going to have tons of people buying stuff through your sidebar ads. Putting them up only clutters up your blog. (Use that space for ad network ads where you will get paid according to views rather than according to clicks.)
3. Post reviews of things you like and that you think your readers would want to know about.
Be authentic and let your blog and social media communities truly be a community.
For example, I’ve posted a number of times on social media within the past few months the frustrations I’m having with trying to find a natural hair-care routine that doesn’t leave my hair feeling greasy. My readers are joining in the conversation and getting involved with my life.
Soon I’ll be putting up a blog post announcing that I finally figured out a routine that works. I’ll be telling which products worked for me and including my affiliate links. I won’t be saying “Buy this!” I’ll be serving my readers, and in return they will follow my recommendations because they know I truly care about helping them.
4. Include affiliate links in your evergreen posts.
An evergreen post is a post that will always be relevant and you can re-share it over and over throughout the years.
For example, I’ve written a post about How I Get My Babies to Sleep Through the Night, and it gets re-shared over social media all the time. Within that post I mentioned a book that was helpful and made sure to use my affiliate link.
Notice what I did? I mentioned the book in a post that was meant to be helpful to my readers. I didn’t make the post all about the book. What do you think is going to get more exposure and social shares? A post that says “Buy this!” or a post that solves a problem for people?
5. Share affiliate links over social media.
There is nothing wrong with sharing affiliate links over social media. Just like with your blog posts, be authentic. Don’t share for the purpose of getting people to buy. Share for the purpose of serving your readers.
On Facebook, I have found that a “teaser” type post is effective because it gets people to click out of curiosity. The more clicks, the more people Facebook shows the post to. You are not trying to “trick” your readers to be shady, you are just trying to play Facebook’s crazy game, okay?
So for example I might post on my Facebook page, “I’m so excited to have found a natural shampoo that doesn’t make my hair all greasy! I’ve been searching for something like this for months!” Then I will leave my affiliate link with no Facebook preview so that readers will click to see what the product is. Always include proper disclosure for legal reasons. Putting (affiliate) in parentheses at the end of your post is sufficient.
6. Post sales.
People always want to save money, so mentioning sales on products you know your readers like is always effective.
7. Promote free stuff.
Remember that you get commission off ANY purchase made from Amazon within 24 hours of someone clicking your link. So you can direct them to free eBooks, which they are all too happy to grab. Then if they end up ordering something else within 24 hours you get the commission on that.
Other freebies to promote are companies that offer free trials of their product (be very upfront with your readers and make sure they know that they will need to cancel their trial or they will be charged).
If it fits your niche you can also promote things like survey companies where your readers can sign up to take surveys and earn money. It’s a win-win. They earn money when they do the surveys. You earn money when they sign up.
8. Use affiliate links anywhere on the web…
…as long as you are being authentic and as long as doesn’t violate any of the rules of the community you are in.
For example, I’m in some homeschool groups on Facebook. If I am genuinely involved in the community, being helpful and engaging in discussions, the admins have no problem if I use an affiliate link as an answer to a question every now and then. So if someone asks people’s opinion of the best math curriculum I could give them my honest answer and use my affiliate link for that curriculum.
9. Focus your efforts on the highest paying offers.
Instead of constantly promoting a $3 item where you earn a 6% commission (18 cents), why not focus more on promoting a free Craftsy class where you earn $5 per sign up?
10. Post offers that are a tiny bit outside your niche.
The more bloggers in your niche that are promoting something, the harder it is for you to sell to your readers. Chances are your readers have seen the same product, sale, etc. on other blogs that are similar to yours and for each blog that posts the same offer, the chances of it being purchased through your blog goes down a little bit.
For example, I love to promote the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle when it comes around, but there are TONS of other homemaking blogs that are posting the same offer, making it harder to sell as many because the offer is spread so thinly between all the blogs. But if I were to pick up on a healthy living summit that all the big healthy living blogs are posting about, I could promote that to my readers and a great deal of them would not have heard of it because they don’t follow a lot of healthy living blogs. The offer is not irrelevant to my blog, but it’s not being plastered everywhere by other homemaking blogs, making me one of the only people who is promoting that offer to that particular audience. It’s a whole lot easier to sell because there’s not a lot of competition from other bloggers in my niche.
By following these principles, you can promote affiliate programs with hardly any additional effort. Focus on great content and serving your readers and work your affiliate links in naturally. You will be surprised how quickly your earnings can add up!
(Note: if you are a new blogger you can follow these same principles. Sure, the more traffic you have, the greater your sales will be. However, if you are authentic and are aiming to serve your readers, you will find that they will trust your recommendations and buy through your links.)
Update: I knew I would forget something. Here’s another one to add to the list. Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the MOST time-efficient ways to promote affiliate offers, especially if it’s an ongoing offer. For example, when I refer people to Vitacost, they get a $10 coupon, and I get a $10 credit when they order. What I did was to write a post highlighting my favorite products to buy there and mentioning the $10 coupon they would get when they sign up through my link. Then I created a nice graphic for Pinterest and started pinning that post to as many boards as I could. I get continual traffic to that post and referrals while I sleep. Every time I place an order at Vitacost it reminds me to go back and pin my graphic again, bringing me a fresh new wave of traffic to that post and more referrals.
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