After more than ten years as a blogger, I have recently joined the Apogee Agency team and begun working closely with affiliate marketing. I dabbled in affiliate marketing before but joining the other side of this incredible industry has taught me things I wish I had known years ago.
This post is just scratching the surface with things I think every blogger should know about affiliate marketing.
This post may contain affiliate links which means we receive a small commission at
no cost to you when you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from
qualifying purchases. As an employee of Apogee, any affiliate links from our clients are at 0% commission and two-tiered referrals are at $0.
Also, check out my First Five Things To Do When You Join An Affiliate Program.
Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing
1 – You can put links in old content.
In fact, this is a great way to get started right away! One big misconception with affiliate marketing is that you have to create new content that is targeted to the program. Putting links in old content that is already performing well in Google or Pinterest is actually a great way to immediately monetize your content and get started in the program.
You can manually add links to old content, or use a tool such as Pretty Links Pro to scan your entire site to add affiliate links to keywords you set using their Replacement Tool.
Another benefit to Pretty Links Pro is that should the program link change, you can change it in your PLP dashboard and it immediately changes it throughout the entire site.
2 – You Can Also Create New Content
In addition to adding affiliate links to monetize old content, you can create new evergreen content to promote your affiliate program as well.
New content works great for social promotion but also for SEO. Even if you have old content that is related, you can connect the old content to the new content for even greater search benefits.
When you create new content, consider sending the link to your Affiliate Manager. He or she may pass along your content to show the brand, which can potentially turn into You being bumped to a higher VIP commission or even working together on a collaboration.
3 – You can put more than one program into the same post.
Unlike sponsored content where you can only speak of the specific brand you are working with, you can mention more than one product in a non-sponsored post with affiliate links.
In fact, many affiliate programs compliment each other. For instance, Snake River Farms is a great program that offers premium meat perfect for people living the keto lifestyle, and Brodo Bone Broth is another great product for Ketonians.
If you were writing a post about Keto, it would be a great resource for your readers to include both programs, as well as gives you two different opportunities to earn.
Another tip is to create entire “round up” posts or gift guides that show off several products from different programs. In the above example, a round-up could be “Must Have Keto Staples” or a gift guide for “Gifts For Keto Lovers.”
4 – Your invitation wasn’t random.
Before getting into the affiliate management side of affiliate marketing I would receive an email invitation to join a program… and just think it was a random mass email. Now I know that each blogger is individually chosen to receive an invitation.
Affiliate Managers have incredible tools to help them decide who would be the best fit for each program. When you receive an email inviting you to join an Affiliate Program, know that the manager already thinks you are a great fit.
Always remember there is a human on the other side of that email – and consider replying back to learn more about the program or even why the manager may have thought you would be a great fit.
The Affiliate Manager is there to help and can offer guidance and suggestions to help you maximize each program.
5 – You can email ShareASale links.
Unlike Amazon links, your ShareASale links can be used in email blasts to your mailing list. In some cases, conversion rates on emails have been shown to convert even higher than content posts. Just make sure to always disclose in your emails.
And remember, most Affiliate Programs have at least a 30-day cookie… meaning if someone clicks on your link but does not order until the following weekend, you still make your commission. With Amazon that “cookie” only stays 24 hours.
If you are looking for a great email provider for your newsletter, this one is my favorite.
6 – You should not ask for free stuff.
In the blogosphere advertising sometimes includes receiving free products for an honest review. Often that free product is considered the “payment” for the placement of the product review.
With affiliate marketing, you should always order the products yourself to have the complete customer experience. In many cases you can use your own affiliate link to order – so you receive a commission back from your own purchase.
Make sure to check with your affiliate manager before ordering through your own links. ** All Apogee Insiders can order through their own links. It’s one of the benefits of being an Insider!
7 – You can ask for a higher commission… but it is best to have relevant content first.
Affiliate managers have the ability to boost commission rates on a handful of affiliate partners each month. If you are already creating content that is already converting, or you have content that you feel would just be a great fit for a particular program, reach out to your affiliate manager and ask for a higher commission rate.
A select number of VIP Commissions are available each month in each program and your Affiliate Manager can assist in getting you to that higher rate.
The Affiliate Manager is just as committed to your success as you are, and is happy to help you make the most out of every piece of content you have.
8 – The Affiliate Program Emails are a gold mine.
As I have discussed before – as bloggers we get a million emails, and there are only so many hours in a day. However, your Affiliate Program emails are a wealth of information about each program to help you learn more about the products and the program in order to help your conversion rates.
Brands and the Affiliate Managers work hard each month to study the industry, current sales trends, and market changes to create great incentives for sales and promotions. Your Affiliate Program emails will have real-time data to help you maximize these trends.
Recently Apogee Agency has started an Apogee Insiders newsletter which is free and open to all Apogee Affiliates. Each week you will receive insider tips, news, and strategies to help you grow your affiliate income. You can sign up for the Apogee Insiders newsletter here.
9 – Sponsored posts pay you once… but Affiliate Sales can last forever.
One of the biggest regrets I have as a blogger is not focusing on Affiliate Marketing sooner. Instead, I focused on growing my numbers and applying for sponsored posts.
Occasionally I would send out a pitch letter and then
not so patiently wait for a response. Sound familiar?
Then when I was chosen for a sponsored post, I would work for hours, agonizing over impressing the brand, meeting deadlines, getting social interaction… all to get paid. Once.
Sometimes I would get a second campaign with the same brand and the process would start all over again… this time even more stress because I would have to come up with a completely new angle to talk about the exact same product.
Affiliate Marketing, on the other hand, lets you create new content or repurpose old content that you can earn from every time someone clicks through your link and makes a purchase. Every time. Forever.
10 – You do not have to have huge numbers to make a huge income.
Speaking of sponsored content, one of the downsides to blogging is the competition for sponsored content – which in many ways simply boils down to numbers. This may ruffle a few feathers, but bear with me, I promise this is a benefit.
When you apply for a sponsored campaign through a network, the campaign manager has to choose who they believe will do the best for the brand – and that includes (among other things) having the potential to get the brand in front of a large audience.
Many Sponsored Post applications get hundreds – if not thousands – of applicants. A Campaign Manager has to sort through those applications to choose sometimes only 15 or 20 bloggers for the campaign.
Since organic engagement is a difficult metric to track without linking to exact sales, the Campaign Manager may choose based on higher social numbers – even if a blogger with a lower social following has a better engagement rate.
With Affiliate Marketing you can have sales and grow your income referring your favorite products to your audience – no matter how big or how small. In fact, I see many “micro-influencers” making a significant income from Affiliate Marketing who may struggle to be chosen for a sponsored campaign.
You have worked hard to grow your audience – whatever size they may be – and you should be rewarded for sharing the things you love with them so they can love them too.
Hopefully, this list gave you a few “ah-ha” moments to help get you excited about the potential with Affiliate Marketing as a Blogger.
Whether you are just getting started with Affiliate Marketing or looking to step up your game, join us for the Apogee Insiders Challenge that kicks off November 15th! Join our Facebook Group to learn all of the details!