10 Tips to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Thank you for supporting the work we put into this site!

When you start thinking about it, it isn’t that difficult to make money with affiliate marketing.  But you need to know the following tips if you want to make some serious money with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing can be a fantastic way of making money online or from home, but it can be a hard slog if you aren’t on the right strategy.  That is why we want to help.  Did you know that 99% of Affiliate Marketers fail?  That is why we want to help you become part of the 1% that succeed.

If you are still unsure on what exactly affiliate marketing is and how it works, then check out this guide and it will fill in all the blanks…

Let’s get started and talk through our top ten tips to make money with affiliate marketing.

Stay Legal

The first tip is around keeping yourself legal.  This is an important step for anyone wanting to include affiliate links on theirKeep Your Blog Legal blog or website.  IF your business is based in the US, you will have to disclose that you are using affiliate links.  It used to be enough to just have an affiliate disclosure on your site, (see ours here) but it is best practice to include a disclosure at the start of each post.  I have used a plugin called Ad Inserter, which automatically includes the first paragraph you saw to tell people there may be affiliate links within the post.

If you are based elsewhere, you will need to check the respective laws for your home country.  But as affiliate sales are based off of trust, I would recommend you are open and honest about them and include an affiliate disclosure and an opening paragraph regardless of where you live.

Make Your Affiliate Links Pretty via Pretty Links

I don’t mean make them flowery, or anything like that but when you start looking at affiliate links, they are quite messy and can be off-putting to people who are wary of clicking on links.

We use a fantastic little plugin called Short Links by Pretty Links.  It is a free plugin and it gives you the ability to cloak or make your affiliate links pretty.

There is a Pretty Links Pro, but to be honest we have found the free version does everything we need it to do.

What Pretty Links does is take an affiliate link that could look like this – bestaffiliatemarketingtools.org/426wuqa

And make it look like this –

Bestaffiliatemarketingtools.org/SiteRubix

(BTW – SiteRubix is our top recommended WordPress hosting, it is brought to you by the guys behind Wealthy Affiliate and is a top hosting provider.  There are also many other benefits such as training too – Click HERE to Learn More).

But back to the affiliate links, which one looks nicer?  I write a post about SiteRubix and the benefits and you decide you want to learn more and maybe give it a try, are you more likely to click a link that just includes a jumble of letters and numbers or the one that tells you exactly where you are going??

People are more likely to trust you and click on your affiliate links if you use the Pretty Link plugin to create cloaked affiliate links.  That way people will trust that when they click on the link that says SiteRubix that you are showing them how to get to SiteRubix.

Let’s be honest, normal affiliate links do look spammy and can be off-putting for your readers.

Only Recommend Stuff You Would Actually Use

Have you ever read a product review that is massively over the top and so positive, you start to raise your eyebrow becauseOnly recommend stuff you would actually use yourself they seem not to be trustful?

Yeah, we have come across plenty of those when we have been reviewing products that in our opinion are scams or not going to work. There are loads in the make money online world, and these people are profiting of conning people into buying these products.  It is not a long-term route to income because people will only be burned once.

We have seen affiliate marketers writing a 100% positive review about products in the Make Money Online Niche and yet, these products haven’t even launched yet.  They are just hoping you don’t read too much into that and just buy it, so they earn commission…

Nowadays, it is the difference between profit and being moral.

Some will just choose profit over offering people the truth.

Once people start to realise that you are faking your reviews, then you will only find that you are on the way to oblivion.Morally Right & Wrong?

Just because the affiliate commission rate is higher on one product over another, doesn’t mean you should promote that one at any cost.

If you promote and review a cheaper product but is one that will work and offers a fantastic value for money to your readers, you will earn a lot more from that product then choosing a highly expensive one that doesn’t work is in fact a scam.

You could sell 100 of the first one and none of the second – but anyone who is seeing that you are promoting a poor product or even a scam, then your reputation will be tarnished and that is a hard thing to come back from.

Put your readers first and offer helpful content and you will be on a winning strategy.

Include Your Affiliate Links Naturally

There is an art to how you include your affiliate links within your content. If you are going to recommend products, then it needs to be done in a natural and helpful way.

If you just drop links anywhere and everywhere, it will look more like you are selling to them, rather than helping them.

It needs to be done within the context of your post.  Think about the way I included the pretty links plugin within the paragraph above.  Did they feel like I was offering you advice about how to include cloaked affiliate links or did it feel like I was selling Pretty links to you?

I am hoping that it feels like I was offering advice, and that is how you should go about including all of your affiliate links.

Add Affiliate Links to Your Most Popular Posts

This tip might not actually be including affiliate links into those posts that are the most popular, but rather linking to the posts within other articles.  The search engines love to see that you are connecting different posts within your website and if you have a post that is more popular than others but isn’t promoting a product then it might be time to see how you could incorporate one of those links into that post.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or anything, it just needs to be relevant to the current post and helps lead your reader to another article that includes the affiliate link of a product you are promoting.

For example, you might be writing a post about how to make smoothies and you include a sentence like “Do you want to learn how to make great smoothies? Check out our top 10 juicers I recommend in this post!”

As long as it is relevant it will help with the flow and look natural.

Include a Resource Page

This is one we are in the process of putting together, but a resource page listing all of the products that you recommend is a great resource for your readers.

If you are a health blogger, it could be a page that includes some top-rated health products that you think are great.

Make sure you add it to your navigational menu, we will be adding ours shortly…

Know Who You Are Targeting – Target Audience

If you don’t know what your target audience wants help with, then you are onto a losing streak already.  If you are getting DO you know your target audiencesome traffic, but don’t seem to be getting anywhere with your affiliate offers then you are probably promoting the wrong products or services for that target audience.

If you have a food blog and your audience are interested in different foods, how to prepare them, etc and all you keep going on about is the best website hosting.  They aren’t interested in setting up their own food blog, they want to learn from you.

They want to know how you prepare your meal ideas, which food preparation equipment makes it easy and where did you get it from?

Make sure you research your target audience and know what their needs or questions are, so that you can provide the right help and support to boost your affiliate sales.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix it Up

Some will just include their affiliate links in text format, but people are visual by nature.  There are plenty of different ways to promote your affiliate links.  These include within the pictures in your posts.  Maybe creating some banners, etc.  You can create some fantastic banners to use with a fantastic free tool called Canva.com.

We use it to create our featured images and our banners.  People are just as inclined to click on a relevant image that includes an affiliate link as a text link.

But images are great, especially if you have an image of the product itself.  That way you can drive them to your affiliate links through the image.

Start Capturing Emails

Anyone who tells you email marketing is dead is lying.  It is still one of the most effective ways of promoting affiliate links,Email Marketing Campaigns Work because they trusted you enough to sign up to your email list.

So, naturally it allows you to promote certain (relevant) products or services to your subscribers.

Again, the advice above applies.  Make sure it is relevant and is a natural and helpful sell.  Not a hard sell, as it needs to be something, they will find useful to follow your affiliate links.

Think about any newsletters you have signed up for in the past, when they hit your inbox what is it that makes you want to open them?

It needs to pique my interest and then it needs to be something that would add value to me for me to decide to go and buy it.  It is the same in the way you apply this tip to your email campaigns.

Include a Freebie

This kind of links in with the email marketing tip.  To get people to sign up for your newsletter and for you to benefit from people following your affiliate links, you could include a free gift.

Who doesn't love free stuff

As your subscriber list increases, the more people will see your highly relevant freebie that includes a promotion to an affiliate link.

Summary of Our 10 Tips

Here is a summary of our top 10 tips that will help you make money with affiliate marketing”

  1. Stay on the right side of the law, make sure you have an affiliate disclosure
  2. Cloak you affiliate links, so they don’t look as spammy
  3. Don’t recommend anything that you would not use yourself
  4. Bring your affiliate links in naturally to your blog
  5. Add or link your affiliate links to your most popular posts
  6. Have you got a resource page with your top recommended products?
  7. Make sure you know your target audience’s needs and their questions
  8. Mix it up and experiment with different layouts
  9. Add them to your email marketing campaigns
  10. Add them to your freebie or lead magnet

Depending on where you are in your affiliate marketing journey, you might find one or all of the following resources helpful to continue your research:

Hopefully you have found our 10 tips to help you make money with affiliate marketing… If you have any further questions, or simply offer your own tips to add to the list, would love to hear from you either way.  Just write them in the comments and we will get back to you, just as soon as we can. 😉

18 thoughts on “10 Tips to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing”

  1. I think that being truthful will really catch so many people than coming up with many lies. This is what many people do. They only go for the profit and they will lie to people without conscience. I like how you have given all these details on how to make money online affiliate marketing. I would very much put all this into consideration for my own business. Thank you.

    • Hey John,

      thanks for chipping in on our blog.  Trust is the major factor when it comes to people making purchasing decisions, if you are dishonest, then you are only going to ruin any trust or potential trust with the reader.

      You might make a few sales, but it will not mean a full time income.

      Helping and Honesty go hand in hand and it is the only way to be successful with affiliate marketing.

      All the best

      John

  2. I do understand the use of affiliate links but the truth is that it is best to do this for certain affiliate offers especially if you are promoting physical products. For example, Amazon does not like the cloaking of their links in any way. It can have you banned or your account closed by just doing this. So if you are promoting amazon products it is best to make use of the affiliate link amazon provides without having to use pretty links on it.

    • You have a great point there Jay, the advantage of Amazon’s affiliate links are they are typically shortened anyway.  I suppose I was thinking more about other types of affiliate offer.  But will add a few points around that in the blog.

      thanks

      John

  3. Affiliate marketing from my research have been a very good means of making money online and I must admit its impressive. What most affiliate marketer do not know is the fact that there are some thing which could make people go through your link and one of these things is freebie, who doesn’t love something free?. Most importantly starting legit and not making your site filled with ads and long procedure before a customer can finally access the product will do a lot. Best regards.

    • Hey Benson,

      thanks for checking out our blog.  Affiliate Marketing is a fantastic way of making money online, but many people fail because they follow poor advice, don’t know what they are doing or give up too soon.

      Done right, it can definitely lead to a full-time income online.

      All the best

      John

  4. Great article about 10 tips to make money with affiliate marketing. I have been maintaining websites since times of frontpage and raw c++ programming but started affiliate marketing a few months ago, I should do it much earlier. However, I have been very careful with the law aspect cause in my place, there are even more strict rules on affiliate marketing and for all kinds of marketing. Some types of industries like sports betting and loans are even illegal to promote itself, and there is almost nothing you can promote without being super careful. I have been focusing on steady and sustainable growth in my online businesses and so far it has been a good choice I guess. I bookmarked your site for further use, there are lots of useful stuff not only to make money but also to avoid bad or scammy platforms and programs. Thanks for sharing this. 

    • Hey Jesse,

      thanks for checking out our blog.  Sounds like you have got a good handle on the legal aspects.  You don’t want to get a visit from the FTC, etc. I also suggest thorough research with anything you do, and when you are deciding on what you are going to promote, you need to consider what implications you need to take into account.

      For example, if you are thinking of doing anything within the healthcare industry, you need to be clear that you are only advising and are not a medical practitioner, etc. 

      Lots of think about really

      thanks

      John

  5. this is golden and for a beginner affiliate marketer like me, i actually found all these to be worthy and would actually help to improve my returns on affiliate marketing. getting started is never easy but knowing exactly what to do such as the listed tips here would help to ensure that one reaps the rewards of affiliate marketing. wow! this is immense and i will surely inculcate them to my blogging.

    • Hey Roger,

      thanks for checking out our tips.  We are glad you found it useful. We wish you the best with your blog!

      John

  6. I do admit the fact that Affiliate marketing is a very good way of making money online, but this can’t be so without having the knowledge of what steps and thing that are to be put into consideration in order to make success in Affiliate marketing, and I must say that you’ve done enough justice and help to these steps by providing these 10 tips to make money with Affiliate marketing. I think, honesty is a very important key to hold in Affiliate marketing, I can relate this to the tip which say don’t recommend what you can’t use. Thanks for this information, it’s really educative and helpful.

    • Hey Andrea,

      thanks for checking out our blog.  We agree, honesty is a huge trust builder online, without it I don’t think may bloggers would be that successful.

      You need to be believable and that is where honesty and helping come in…

      All the best

      John

  7. Thank you for sharing the tips on how to make money with affiliate marketing. I really do want to become that 1%! This is my 1st year in and I have to say it is tough. Full time work, life, marriage, and training on affiliate marketing have taken a toll on me. I am glad I came across your post, I am all fired up again 🙂

    I am still in the process of building email list and boy it is tough. I think I have to make an ebook or something and give it out for free to get them to sign up. 

    Thanks again! I will attack all the 10 tips that you shared religiously. 

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      thanks for checking out our blog.  Keep going, I know it can be tough but you will succeed with that mentality… Nothing will be achieved without some hard work.

      Building a list can be hard, if your traffic is lower.  But a free ebook or something could be the right ingredient to increase your list.

      All the best with it

      John

  8. I haven’t been at WA for some time and it looks like there are a lot of changes that have happened to affiliate marketing especially in relation to the affiliate disclosure being displayed on every page or post. I have book marked this article so I can relate to it later on some of the things just in case I forget and also I have been wondering how I can make my own banners for affiliate marketing. This was really helpful thank you.

    • Hey Donny,

      the online world is constantly evolving, it can be a hard job to keep up.  But Canva is a fantastic tool for creating banners and stuff, it is a great tool especially as it is free.

      thanks

      John

  9. I have just kicked off my affiliate marketing business and I need to know the basics. From your post here, I have learnt all I need to know to be successful online. I think I understand what you mean by being legal. Also, I will make sure that the focus will be on helping my audience rather than making a profit first. I was once told that one should first sell value before selling my product. This means I need to give help before presenting my product and once they feel helped, they will definitely buy what i have. Thanks for this

    • Hey John,

      as long as you are upfront and honest with your audience you will definitely keep yourself legal.  Just make sure you have a good affiliate disclaimer on your website and be upfront about the fact you earn commissions from affiliate products.  Most people nowadays will understand it, and not really be bothered as long as your advice is sound.

      All the best

      John

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