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Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: How I made my first $100 with affiliate marketing
One of the best ways for bloggers to make money is through affiliated marketing, so today I’m going to talk about affiliated marketing for beginners and how I made my very first $100 on my blog all with under 3,000 pageviews per month.
If you’ve ever seen one of Michelles from Making Sense of Cent’s income reports then you know that affiliate marketing can be one of the most lucrative blog monetisation methods available.
It offers an amazing way for bloggers, new or old, to make passive income in the thousands every month.
Even if your blog has low pageviews!!!
But before we get too far ahead or ourselves let me just recap exactly what affiliated marketing is:
Recently I wrote a post about the six main ways bloggers make money from their blogs and this is what I wrote as an introduction to affiliate marketing for beginners.
Also if you want to learn even more about making money from your blog, and not just through affiliate marketing, my friend Pete has written an awesome post on monetizing your blog that you should definitely check out!
So what is affiliated marketing?
Basically if there is a product that you use and love (please don’t promote anything you do not love) you can sign up to be an ‘affiliate’. Once you have been approved as an affiliate you are given a unique link to that products sales page.
You can display this link in your blog posts, on social media, in emails (not Amazon links though) or in your own courses and eBooks. Then if someone clicks on your link and purchases a product you will get a percentage of the sale, without it costing the purchaser anymore.
So for example I absolutely love Suzi from Start a Mom Blog’s Income Journey eBook. Now if you click on the link on the Income Journey eBook you will be taken to the sales page for that product so you can learn more about it. If you then decided to buy a product from Suzi, I will get a percentage of the sale, I believe it’s around 30% to 40%!!!
Luckily there is an affiliate program for practically every product out there you can think of so no matter what niche you’re in there is something you can be an affiliate for. Amazon even has it’s own program and I can’t think fo any niche that cannot promote something that Amazon sells…
If you are still unsure or just want more expert level information on affiliate marketing I would advise you to check out Michelle’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing because she is the undisputed queen of affiliated marketing! Many of the bloggers making thousands of dollars each month from their blogs are in that position thanks to taking Michelle’s course.
Just one more thing before we get down to the nitty gritty of how I made my first $100 from affiliate marketing. Don’t skip ahead, this bit is important, trust me!
How bloggers report their income from affiliate marketing:
Bloggers can report their income in two different ways. They can report it as they earn it or they can report it as the money hits their account.
Most bloggers use the first option (I use both).
So what is the difference?
Well with a lot of affiliate marketing there is a review period before the money is actually paid out and it’s not uncommon for the money to never be paid.
An example is the best way to explain this.
SiteGround, my hosting company who I am an affiliate for, have a 30 day review period before they will pay out the commission I have earned. Because I can earn £30 per sale made through my affiliate link they like to check that someone is actually going to build a website and continue to pay for hosting otherwise they will lose money because their hosting is so cheap to begin with.
So the first affiliate sales I ever made with SiteGround have either not been paid yet (and potentially never will if whoever signed up doesn’t actually create their website) or took months to come through.
But why I am telling you this?
Well because that first $100 in affiliate commission I technically made did not get paid to me in that same month or hasn’t been paid yet at all…
Now I have been paid over $100 in affiliate commission but it’s just not necessarily the first $100 I ever made.
Luckily the techniques used to get all of those sales are exactly the same and what I’m going to teach you today!
I do think it’s important that you understand the different ways bloggers report their income though because it’s easy to think you are lagging behind when actually they are just reporting in a different way!
Anyway on to what you came for.
How I made my first $100 in affiliate sales:
First we need to look at where those sales came, as in which affiliate programs.
In my second income report I made another two sales with SiteGround which is $80 (£60) and I made one sale with an eBook from House of Brazen; How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale In 24 Hours Using Pinterest which was $10 (£7.34).
So within two months of launching my blog I had earned $170. Well over $100.
Just remember I didn’t actually receive any of the SiteGround money until a month or so later, so the only money that actually hit my account was the $10 from How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale In 24 Hours Using Pinterest.
However making those five affiliate sales took exactly the same techniques whether or not the money hit my account that month or months after!
Where did those sales come from?
Thanks to the wonderful powers of affiliate link creating with SiteGround I am able to create different links for different areas of my blog so I have a really good idea of exactly where those sales came from.
While the eBook I really only promoted in one place so I also know where that sale came from!
SiteGround Sale One – From my ‘How to start a blog’ tutorial
I have majorly detailed knowledge where this sale came from because the person told me!
Someone posted in a Facebook group that they were confused about hosting for their site and I popped a link to my tutorial on How To Set Up A Professional Blog for Profit.
Then about a week later another lady must have found the original Facebook post, hopped onto my link and decided to set up her site. The lady actually commented saying how great she found my tutorial and that she had used it and the affiliate link to get her blog started!
SiteGround Sale Two – From casually link dropping within some of my other blog posts
It’s really important to embed your affiliate links in all different posts across your site. For example even though I am not actively promoting SiteGround in this post I have used my affiliate link when I talk about SiteGround in case someone wants to check them out.
This is a really good thing to do because affiliate links have cookies that can last 30 days plus. What that means is that someone could click on my affiliate SiteGround link today and then decide to actually set up their blog two weeks later but I would still get the sale!
SiteGround Sale Three – From promotion within my email welcome series
I have an awesome (if I do say so myself) email welcome series and one of those email explains how I set up my blog and the different tools and resources available.
Because I talk about SiteGround within that email, someone clicked on my affiliate link and purchased their hosting!
SiteGround Sale Four – From my ‘How to start a blog’ tutorial
Unfortunately I don’t have such a detailed knowledge of exactly where this sale came from except I know the link was clicked on from my tutorial.
I can make a very educated guess that I shared the post in a Facebook group to help someone out who then clicked on the link. I know this because I remember sharing it something crazy like five times in one day because people kept asking about domains and hosting.
eBook Sale – From direct Pinterest marketing
Did you know you can share affiliate links directly to Pinterest? Yes you can! And that is how I made this sale!
Making money from affiliated marketing on Pinterest, or even Facebook if you preferred, is really easy and you could even do it without a website for free! If you unsure how to do this I would advice purchasing the How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale In 24 Hours Using Pinterest eBook which is how I got started. However the knowledge inside it is quite basic so if you are already a Pinterest or affiliate marketing pro then this book probably isn’t for you.
Affiliate marketing for beginners, action tips to getting your first $100 in affiliate sales (the exact way I did it):
Write some amazing content like a super in depth tutorials about a product you’re an affiliate for. Without good content no one is going to be clicking any links because they won’t trust your opinion on what is good to buy and what isn’t!
Don’t just write content around affiliate links. Make sure you have plenty of other actionable content on your site that really helps solve reader’s problems.
Then casually and where appropriate insert links to things you are an affiliate for. Just like how I have used my affiliate link when discussing SiteGround in this post. No promotion, I just left it there in case people want to check SiteGround out.
Join Facebook groups appropriate to your niche and actually help people!
Dropping your blog post link on those share threads just isn’t worth it in my opinion. You end up with a bunch of inauthentic engagement and not much else.
Instead see what people need help and then actually help them. If you’ve got a blog post that will help them out, even better, share it with them. Just make sure all your blog posts are optimized with affiliate links so when people start reading your awesome content they will click on your links as well!
This is how I made two of my affiliate sale so you know it works!
Email list, email list, email list and make sure you give them value!!!
Your email list is like gold dust. You need to treat them like the exclusive members they truly are.
Give them actual value that they can takeaway and use. Only use affiliate links where appropriate because you really don’t want your email list to feel like you are just using them to sell to. Ermm no they are way more valuable to your business than that.
I know that doesn’t necessarily sound like a tip to make money with affiliate links but trust me, treating your email list like gold and then only sharing an affiliate link where appropriate will result in sales. Trust me, it’s how I did it.
Pin affiliate links directly into Pinterest and set up a good strategy to promote them.
I learnt how to do this from the eBook How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale In 24 Hours Using Pinterest and as such I can’t give you the exact strategy explained because that wouldn’t be fair.
If you are good with Pinterest then I would recommend you read a few posts on how to use affiliate links on Pinterest and you will probably be able to figure the rest out for yourself. If you are a Pinterest beginner then the eBook is a great investment and super affordable!
So there you have it, the exact way I made my first $100 from my blog, affiliate marketing for beginners with real results to learn from!
How did you find the post? Have you made your first $100 in affiliate sales yet? If so tell us in the comments below how you did it. If not let us know which action tips you plan to implement or if you have any questions!