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On this episode of the Business Storytelling Podcast we are discussing what affiliate marketing is, how companies can make use of it and how people can become affiliate marketers.
Of course, affiliate marketing has worked for many companies and there are even conferences out there that discuss only this topic.
But like anything else, affiliate marketing takes a lot of work and a huge relevant audience to turn your blog into a livable salary.
But first let’s talk about this: making your blog something that makes you money. There are of course a number of ways:
- Subscriptions – paywalls
- Lead gen for something you are selling – like content marketing services, speaking, travel help or influencer marketing.
- Affiliate marketing, which I usually consider relevant links within content that make you money.
Example of affiliate marketing on a blog
Affiliate marketing on a blog can happen through product content or mentions within context.
“This behavior by American Airlines is a good example of being customer-focused.“
So this sentence would be within context of the story and then I would link to something that people can buy in reference to a term for something mentioned in the article. This example is my book on customer service. In a true affiliate marketing model that link could go to Amazon or another site. I get paid a commission so to speak if somebody buys this or other products on Amazon.
The biggest difference from marketing in a direct sale marketing program is that people aren’t buying your products but another company’s.
When people order something directly on my site – including services – I get most of that revenue minus cost of course but if it’s affiliate marketing another site fulfills the order and I get usually a much smaller cut of the revenue.
Affiliate programs can be profitable, but it takes work and clicks that convert.
So for the purpose of this article let’s look at my affiliate marketing results with Amazon.
In 30 days, there were like 43,000 impressions on affiliate links on here.
8 items ordered
0.95 conversion rate
$127 in revenue
$7 my cut
So it’s possible to make money but you do have to sell a lot of stuff or at least pass a lot of leads. For example, if I’m doing the math correctly here, if you want to make US$60,000 through affiliate marketing in a year you have to sell approximately $1.2 million in products on Amazon.
I also found interesting what items actually shipped and there is only one of them was the actual product that was being mentioned on my site. In this case those were the weightlifting gloves but here’s look at everything that has shipped:
So Amazon gives you credit for 24 hours after you sent leads over. So anything they buy in those 24 hours you get credit for whether it’s the exact product that you mentioned or not.
How to grab affiliate links off Amazon
Once you’ve set up your affiliate account it’s really easy to do. Basically on any product page on Amazon you can click on the affiliate link tab and grab a text link, a text and image link or image only link.
Conclusion: Is affiliate marketing worth it or not?
If it makes sense for your brand to link to products that your readers might want to buy it absolutely makes sense to make those affiliate links. Why not try to bring in some revenue when it aligns with the mission and vision of a site.
But the one thing that’s important to remember is that affiliate marketing like most digital marketing strategies is not an overnight success. It takes work. As one piece of an overarching digital revenue strategy however I would certainly recommend it.
You also never know when it might takeoff and work better than expected or when a product that you wrote about all of sudden is in demand. Might as well get paid for passing the customer to the third-party site.