Every blogger knows that constantly updating their site with quality posts and keeping their audience involved takes a lot of time and effort. And while yes it’s true that a good chunk of bloggers have a site just for recreational use—meaning they have real fulltime jobs—that doesn’t mean they can’t earn some extra cash from all that hard work they put into their blog as well. Promoting businesses and products through advertisements and banners is one way to make revenue, but typically you need a very high ranked blog in order to sell space. Another more plausible (and more subtle) option is to look into affiliate marketing programs that give bloggers commission for linking customers to designated sites.
One of the best in the biz right now is the Amazon Associates program. Under this program, bloggers can earn cash if a reader purchases a product or service on Amazon through a link on the blogger’s site. You won’t ever become a millionaire using this program, but it’s free to use and is definitely worth trying. But there are a few things you should consider first if you do choose to use this program or a similar one.
Have a Strong Readership. The first thing you want to make sure that you actually have a strong audience. This doesn’t suggest that you need to be an extremely high ranked blog, but you do want to make sure that you have a sufficient amount of traffic flow—if people don’t visit your site it’ll be almost impossible to make a decent sale. You also want to make sure that your readers are loyal and that they have faith that you actually know what you’re talking about—if they doubt your legitimacy or authority they won’t take your recommendations seriously.
Make Links Correlate. You also want to make sure that all of the links or products you recommend actually have something to do with your blog—there is no need to insert links about domestic home robots when your blog is about fashion. If you have a tech blog then the home robot example would be more appropriate. You audience will catch early on that you are forcing products down their throat, which leads us to the following tip—
Weave-in links Inconspicuously. It’s imperative that you try to sound as natural as possible—if you sound too much like an advertisement your readers will just skip the link and begin to question what it is that you’re trying to do. A better way to go about this is to actually create posts that can have links in the articles. For example, a tech blogger could create a best-seller list featuring the best tech gadgets released that year and then provide links to those products. Best-seller lists are well-received especially during gift-giving holidays—you can even attempt a gift-giving guide and provide links too. Or, a blogger could actually have a loyal reader or guest post blogger write a review on a specific product and then provide a link to the item—that way readers will feel more confident that the post isn’t written by a biased person.
Be Cautious of Timing. Lastly, you want to make sure that you are closely monitoring the buying stage of your readers. For example, if you run a blog that caters to graphic design tips and tricks, it may be unwise to have links to beginner programs like Adobe Photoshop—why? Well since the readers are interested in tips and tricks it is safe to assume that they already own the photo editing software. Linking to newer versions of the software would be ideal, however.