Monetising your blog with affiliate relationships

There is a lot of work that goes into creating and curating content for others to read and whilst attracting clients to your business is one of the benefits of blogging, another way you can boost your income is through partnerships and affiliate relationships with products you use and trust or your audience might have an interest in.

Across our network, including Family Capers and Business Business Business we work with a number of partners and affiliate networks.

So, in this post I thought I would share the networks that work for us when finding affiliate relationships.

What is an affiliate relationship?

Affiliate marketing, at its core, is about partnerships.

In essence, websites or influencers promoting the works, products or services of other and in return they get a commission for the value they drive for those merchants (typically sales or leads).

It is your audience, authenticity and patience that will see your affiliate relationships work. It takes time but once working well they can really pay off.

How do you get paid?

There are a few different types of affiliate programs that are often used by brands and all are performance-based structures, including the three most popular: Pay-per-sale, Pay-per-click and Pay-per-lead. Pay-per-sale arrangements see the influencer paid a percentage of all purchases that occur as a result of their influence.

The KPI for Pay-per-click models is traffic via the affiliate link, and for Pay-per-lead arrangements, the influencer receives revenue when consumers enter their contact details and become a new lead as a result of the affiliate partnership. Most of what we do is pay per lead or sale.

Payment depends on the program and brand you are working with most of the programs we work with including brands will pay out via PayPal or bank deposit for the month just ended.

Finding Partners:

There are a number of great companies you can work to find affiliate relationships with and I have covered our top pick below, but finding partners is all about research and working with your audience.

Start with the products and services you already use (you know you love them) so the posts will be natural and from the heart too.

Search the marketplaces below or just simply use Google and type in “XXX affilliate” you will be surprised how many people it leads you too1

The Companies we work with to connect us with opportunities:

Impact Radius: Allows you to Connect directly with a global platform of advertisers through the Impact marketplace and gain direct access to your data through APIs or our full suite of performance reporting. We started with Impact via APD when we first started Family Capers and now are part of their international site network.

PartnerStack: Formally GrowSumo is great for those of us in the B2B space and love to promote tools to our audience. Get rewarded for driving value to your customers with partnerships with premier software companies.

ShareAsale: ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate networks. The Shareasale platform has about 4,000 merchants listed, of which over one thousand of them are exclusive to them.

ShareASale publishes a large amount of data on each of the offers they are running. So you can see how the merchant performs too as far as payouts, uptime and reversales go.

Many of the tools we use in business are ShareASale merchants which made it an great and natural place to start for us when monetising BBB.

CJ Affiliate: CJ Affiliate is considered to be the biggest affiliate platforms online; Nearly every major retailer have their affiliate programs on CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), which makes them as close to a one stop shop as you can get in the affiliate marketing business. Most retailers have multiple ad sizes available for affiliates, which gives you better control of the offers you show on your blog.

Commision Factory: Commission Factory is everything you would expect from an affiliate network. They were were we first started when we launched Family Capers and work with some great well known brands. Create an affiliate account to gain access to over 500 retailers and start earning commissions for sales you generate.

Tribe: TRIBE is a self-serve marketplace connecting brands with micro-influencers, helping brands find everyday people to celebrate them through beautiful content. Mainly for Insta and Facebook we have done a few great campaigns, awesome if your audience is visually attracted to content!

Ways you can work with your partners:

  1. Banner Ads - Most referral programs will have banner ads that you can place on your site using an ad manager program. My go-to is Adrotate Pro
  2. Social Media Posts sharing news or articles from your partners
  3. Reviews - If it is a product or service you love, why not review it or show it in action
  4. Features overview and product comparisons - You can also highlight a service by giving readers an insight into what it offers compared to other products available on the market.
  5. Create special offers with your partners for your community. The Business Business Business perks area is just one way we do this.
  6. User video, interviews, webinars and how to’s work really well when working with partners and can be used across a number of channels too!

What to look for in an Affiliate Partnership:

  1. Strong communication with your partner. You want to be able to ask questions and get answers easily, look for an FAQ or Support area.

  2. Products and services you believe that will benefit your audience. You don’t always have to use the product, but you should do your research and make sure it fits and benefits your audience.

  3. Are the products relatable to your market? Even if you are promoting top brands, you won’t have as much success unless your website and audience will relate to the product or service.

Top Affiliate Tips:

  • Review your relationships often, your business, audience and therefore partnership arrangements will change. So make sure that you and your audience are still happy with the brands you are working with.
  • It’s not about selling, but offering a service to your clients that highlights the benefits or offers an insight into something that may help them.
  • Understand the commission rates and all of the benefits you will receive. Research the payment structure and ensure you know the complete picture of how the end-to-end process will look.
  • Remember your discolourse on your blog, video and and direct social post you do.
  • Your affiliate partnerships should seem natural and blend in with your other content, rather than obvious advertisements that you actually receive an incentive from. If you would legitimately mention the brand even if you were not receiving an incentive, then you know it is a genuine partnership and your affiliate link will be natural.
  • Know your numbers! When you apply to start work with partners they are going to want to know your social reach and web traffic so know your numbers and update the regularly.

Final Thoughts

Affiliate marketing is not a set-it-and-forget-it system it takes time to build trust with brands, but if you ease it into your blog and marketing it can be very worth it.

Remember choose your relationships wisely, deliver the content in a way your audience will relate to and market and promote those relationships where you can without turning into a spammy sales person!

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