Simple Affiliate Marketing Guidelines for the Beginner

Making the right decisions how to monetize your blog is essential!

If you are maintaining a blog or would like to start off on the so-called “blogosphere”, one of your main concerns is knowing how to monetize your blog or making money from all your blogging efforts. There are several ways that you can do this. Thus far, the most popular way to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing Guidelines

Affiliate marketing is basically the equivalent of being a freelance sales agent of a particular product – you earn commissions on sales referred by you. In a real-life direct selling scenario, selling can be easy if you’ve been doing face-to-face sales for a long time. But for people who are still navigating the wide world of making money over the Internet, a blue print for success is necessary.

Finding Your Niche:

Finding your niche is all about determining which market you want to make money blogging from. The most successful bloggers determined their niche by finding the most profitable markets for their expertise, skills set, and passion. Why is this so important? Mostly, because people read blogs for information and expert opinion. Without adequate credentials to back you up, chances are, it will be an uphill climb for you to establish your credibility.

Do not limit yourself to blogging on how to make money blogging. Look at yourself and look at the virtual world around you. If you aren’t too sure there is a captive market for your expertise and skills set, then do a keyword research.

Determining What Your readers Want:

Put yourself in the mind of your readers. If you are a plumber, for example, what would your readers want to know about plumbing? Is it the best brands of pipes? How about Do-It-Yourself manuals? Determining what your readers want, definitely works both ways. One, it guides you on what you should write about. Two, it guides you on what products to market.

Writing With Sincerity:

If you think you already know what your readers want, the next thing you should do is write your blogs. Do not start off right away with a blog that sounds a lot like a sales pitch. (Doing so is the best way to scare away any potential readers.) Establish trust first with your audience. Write posts that are interesting to your audience or are useful to them.

Just when and where should you insert a sales pitch into your blog? When you are writing a recommendation or a product review, you need to write an honest review. It won’t help if you just write glowing reviews of a particular product. Your readers are looking forward to making an informed decision. Even when they know of a product’s flaws, people will still buy it if it fits their needs.

Remember this ancient old sales principle: people buy from the people they trust. If the actual quality of the product you’re recommending doesn’t match up to your rave about reviews, you betray your readers’ trust.

Choosing your products:

In choosing which products to market to monetize your blog, choose products with a great looking sales pages and even better reputations. This should be part of your research before going out to make money blogging.

Placing your affiliate links:

There are many places that you can place your affiliate links, but the most effective places that you can place them are at proven blog page hot spots. These include the side bar at the left hand side, in the middle of the blogs post, or at the end of a post just slightly above the comments. Placing your affiliate links on these parts is a lot more effective than placing banners of the same affiliate link on your pages.

Generating Traffic To Your Blog:

Just like with any other marketing arm, you cannot expect to generate any sales if nobody knows about it. Do everything possible to intelligently promote your site if you really intend to make money from blogging and affiliate marketing. You don’t have to tell the whole Internet world about it, you only need to tell your target readers. There are many ways that you can promote your blog.

Your can optimize your blog for your keywords, you can post a link on your profile at a social networking site like Twitter, you can sign up with a related forums website and use your blog’s link as your signature. If you’re the shy type, do a viral and have your friends send your link to the people on their network, who will then send it to the people on their network, etc.

However, telling people about your website is only the first part. To build steady traffic to your blog site, you need to develop a relationship with your readers. Make them come back again to your site and lead them to pages where you have your affiliate links.

Track Your Results:

Most affiliate marketing programs allow you to track statistics on your blogs. Utilize this tool to determine which products are selling as well as to find out which link placement approaches are the most effective, what words work, etc. Tracking helps you plan a more intelligent strategy to monetize your blog.

The most important statistic you can track is the kind of blog post your readers most respond to. What you can do is publish a series of blogs posts promoting a product. You can organize your series this way:

Post 1 – Announce the product
Post 2 – Review the product
Post 3 – Write a post offering a bonus when your readers sign up for the product.
Post 4 – Feature an interview of the person who developed the product.

You might find that there are different volumes of response to each of your post, e.g., more people might buy the product after offering a bonus or after reading the interview of the product’s founder. In any case, you should be consistently tracking the conversion results of each post.

In all, monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing is not at all like rocket science, but you do have to put some thought and intelligent effort into it.