31+ Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Affiliate marketing can be a powerful way to make money blogging, but it won’t work unless you experiment with your affiliate links.

When I got approved to my first affiliate program, I used my affiliate links in a couple different ways and made a whopping zero dollars. I considered walking away right then and there – and sadly many bloggers do just that.

But I kept at it. Within a few months of trying new tactics using my affiliate links, I had earned 5 figures. Nearly a decade later, I’ve continued to use this experimental based approach while managing affiliate programs for companies like FreshBooks and Shopify – helping thousands of affiliates successfully monetize their content as a result.

If experimenting with affiliate marketing sounds daunting, don’t worry – I’m going to make things simple. In this post, you’ll discover 31 ways to experiment and profit with affiliate links. Plus, I’m including a handy affiliate promotion planner to help you take immediate action. Click here to grab that now so you can use it as you work through the post.

Since I share affiliate marketing strategies with awesome people like you, naturally my content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I’ll earn some coffee money ☕️ which I promise to drink while creating more helpful content like this.Affiliate Disclosure



Before we jump into the link tactics, let’s cover some basics.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

I like to define affiliate marketing as a partnership between a publisher (think bloggers and content creators) and merchant (think product companies, course creators). The merchant has products for sale and the publisher creates content for their audience.

When they partner up, the publisher promotes the merchant’s product to their audience using a unique tracking link. If someone clicks on the link and purchases that product, the merchant pays the publisher a commission.

Why Become An Affiliate?

  • No audience minimums. If your blog doesn’t have a lot of traffic yet, affiliate marketing is a great way to start monetizing your content. It only takes one visitor to earn you a commission but you need like a gazillion visitors to get a sponsor.
  • Great way to diversify your income. It’s risky to rely on one source of income, especially when you want to go from blog to biz. By adding affiliate marketing into your monetization mix, you’ll wisely be diversifying things until you have a product of your own for sale, or in case another income source dries up.
  • It’s free. There is literally no cost to becoming an affiliate, even when you start making money. It’s actually the merchants who do the spending, by paying your commissions, plus paying various fees their affiliate tracking platform charges them to host the program.

Why Bloggers Struggle With Affiliate Links

The idea of earning passive income through affiliate marketing sounds pretty sweet, right?

And it really is. But the truth is many bloggers struggle with how to use their affiliate links, which affects their earnings and motivation to continue experimenting with it as they monetize their content.

Time and time again, I come across comments on affiliate marketing related blog posts that look like this:

I have been putting links into my site with no rhyme or reason to them, help!?

I’ve put many affiliate banners on my site and I’ve made no money at all. Probably going to give up on the whole thing.

I have the WORST luck with affiliate marketing – I promote products on my blog all the time but no one is buying.

Have you ever felt the same way?

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Now being a total Nosy Nellie, I hop over to these commenter’s sites and investigate. After some digging, I can usually spot these 3 diversification problems:

Diversification Problem #1 – Not Linking Enough… Or At All!

Let’s go out on a limb and guess that most links on your blog aren’t affiliate links. Maybe you didn’t know about affiliate marketing when you wrote a post, or there was no program at the time. Maybe you forgot to add links (forgivable) or perhaps you lazily skipped them (less forgivable ha).

Regardless of the why, linking consistently is an important piece of the make money blogging puzzle because you never know what content is going to take off.

Diversification Problem #2 – Promoting Too Few Products or Companies

Careful curation is wonderful and responsible. You want to promote products and companies you can feel good about and build trust with your readers. However, not all products will resonate with all readers, no matter how much YOU may love them.

To diversify, try promoting 1 new product each quarter to gauge interest. Take notes. If there’s a bump in commissions, keep that product in your rotation to maximize your overall earnings.

Diversification Problem #3 – Sticking with 1 or 2 Affiliate Promotions Types

In addition to diversifying your product roster, you need to mix up how you use your links. That’s the whole experimental approach thing discussed earlier.

Joining a program and throwing up a banner isn’t enough, even with a high traffic site. Affiliate income streams take time to grow.

You wouldn’t sign up to Twitter, send out a tweet, and call it a day, now would you? Heck no! You’d take time to cultivate your following. The same applies with affiliate marketing.

Get ready to make experimental your middle name because today we’ll tackle this problem head on with 31 different link tactics you can try.



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The best part is, practically every affiliate link tactic listed is backed up with smart examples from real affiliates. These folks don’t mess around when it comes to creating stellar content so it’s no wonder their affiliate game is the cat’s pajamas.

While reading through each link tactic, notice how every example listed has at least one (usually many) of these positive traits:

  • Goes the extra mile
  • Infuses their personality
  • Takes a unique approach
  • Works with what they have
  • Has fun with their promos
  • Puts their audience first

Let’s get started…

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


INSTRUCTIONAL CONTENT


1. Show How To Use The Affiliate Product In Multiple Ways

Instead of showing readers one use for the digital or physical product you’re promoting, this link tactic requires you to get creative. Through brainstorming and research, try to come up with multiple uses so you can develop more rich and unique content.

Would you rather read yet another mascara tutorial or a blog post that details 5 Crazy Uses for Mascara You Won’t Believe?

Smart Affiliate

Audrey from Putting Me Together does a fabulous job showing her audience how to use a product in multiple ways. In this post, she uses her RewardStyle affiliate link to promote a flowy blouse. Instead of just wearing the blouse as part of one outfit, she gives her content more depth by showing readers how to wear the blouse in a few different ways.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


2. Record A Screencast To Demo the Affiliate Product

A screencast sounds complicated but it’s simply a digital recording of your computer screen. Once you master the software, they’re super fun and easy to create. If you don’t love writing or radiate toward promoting digital products and software, this is the perfect link tactic for you.

In your screencasts, you can walk people through key features of the product (like this Google Keep tutorial by Jenna Soard) or teach people how to do something nifty using the product (like Megan Minns’ tutorial for changing the Convertkit button color).

Be sure to inject some personality into your videos to differentiate yourself. Many companies offer training videos so it’s important to show how you use the product and why you think it’s amazing for your audience.

Smart Affiliate

At the moment, this is my go-to way of using affiliate links because I use a lot of tools for client work. Recording a quick screencast at the same time allows me to create content for my blog while getting paid to work – awesome, right?

Here’s a screencast I did about Ninja Outreach – a nifty blogger outreach tool I use for affiliate recruitment.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


3. Explain How To Accomplish Something With The Affiliate Product

This is another fun way to develop content (think webinars, blog posts and videos) where you show people how to accomplish something with the product. This works well in virtually every niche, for both B2C (i.e. 15 yummy smoothie recipes using a Vitamix, how to clean a Casper mattress) and B2B (i.e. eBook creation using Adobe Illustrator, how to drive loads of Pinterest traffic using Boardbooster).

Smart Affiliate

Michelle from Making Sense of Cents earns 5-6 figures every month from affiliate income (like woah!) and the majority comes from her promotion of web host Bluehost. Here’s a great example of her using this link tactic, where she shows you how to create a WordPress website in 15 minutes using Bluehost.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

On the physical product side, Tamara at Moogly developed a free one skein crochet cowl pattern and uses her Amazon affiliate link to point readers to the exact crochet hook she used to create the finished product. Smart, right?

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


4. Create Something Digital Starring the Affiliate Product

Some products you promote will be more complex than others. So instead of offering a single tutorial (a la link tactic #2), consider creating an eCourse, eBook, or some other digital offering that gives your audience a deeper training experience. You could make this training free and use affiliate earnings to pay for your time. This earns trust and favor with readers. Or if it’s crazy valuable, earn from it in two ways (score!) by charging for the course.

Smart Affiliate

John Meese offers an affordable ConvertKit Quickstart course to show new users how to get started with the email platform in one hour or less. Though the company offers videos and email support, John saw a need in the market to provide new users with a more thorough onboarding experience – and he delivers that with his course.

In addition to course sales and commissions generated by affiliate links on his sales page, John also earns by offering his students an exclusive 30-day free trial to the software, again using his affiliate link.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


5. Link To Affiliate Products Within Your Own Digital Products

This is similar to the previous link tactic, except you don’t have to dedicate your entire digital offering to the affiliate product. If you already have some info products, think about where it might make sense to incorporate affiliate links. For example, you could add a learning section or PDF to an existing course with recommended tools. Or if you’re getting ready to launch a new offering, include a bonus module with tech tutorials and sprinkle affiliate links throughout.

Smart Affiliate

I’m a ByRegina fan girl. So it makes me so happy to see her using this link tactic in her Free Blog School, which shows students how to launch a WordPress or Squarespace blog from scratch. Since many lessons are step-by-step video tutorials, it only makes sense that she would include affiliate links to the blog launch software and tools she recommends.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


6. Write A Step-by-Step Affiliate Product Tutorial

This one is similar to link tactic #2, but instead of recording your computer screen, you write out step-by-step instructions instead. This one is awesome for a few reasons:

  • It will appeal to readers who prefer written content to video content
  • It works well for physical products (i.e. 3 step process for cleaning burnt pots and pans)
  • All that text will contain keywords that will help you get search engine traffic

Smart Affiliate

Melyssa Griffin’s May 2016 income report showed she earned a whopping $22K as an affiliate – and she credits this link tactic for those huge earnings. Here’s a Mailchimp tutorial she created that’s the exact calibre you want to aim for when creating affiliate product tutorials of your very own.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


CURATED ROUND UPS


7. Round Up Affiliate Products that Help You Succeed

You’re considered an expert in your industry, and you’ve used many tools and resources to help you get there. So if you feel compelled (or your audience is begging for it), go ahead and round up your favourite business tools.

People are naturally drawn to success stories so anything you’ve used to achieve that success will be extremely enticing. Don’t be afraid to reveal your secret sauce, either. You’ll set yourself apart from more secretive competitors and gain even more authority in the eyes of your audience.

Smart Affiliate

Ryan Robinson crushes this link tactic in his epic post 79 Essential Tools I’ve Used to Start a Profitable Online Business. Every single tool included in Ryan’s round up is described in great detail based on his personal experience – with both natural and affiliate links sprinkled throughout the content.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Another fine example of someone leveraging this link tactic is Allison at Wonderlass. In her Best Resources to Grow Your Blog + Biz post, she gave her audience the goods by sharing over 50 helpful tools.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links



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8. Round Up Affiliate Products Based On A Theme

This method is just like the last, except you round up a list of resources centered around any theme you’d like. The most popular version of this would be gift guides centered around special occasions and holidays.

Just keep in mind it needs to be relevant to your audience. So if you’re a food blogger, you could recommend baking tools. If you’re a pet blogger, you could recommend dog gear.

To make your themed round ups stand out, think about:

  • Incorporating visuals, video, or a slideshare
  • Choosing a narrow focus (floral Mother’s Day gifts vs. Mother’s Day gifts)
  • Using Google Adwords Planner to target keywords for search traffic
  • Going deep by providing more tools and details than competitors

Smart Affiliate

When Chaitra from It’s Pink Pot got multiple reader emails asking her to recommend photography tools, she utilized this link tactic by writing The Complete Guide to Photography Equipment for Bloggers.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Joy Cho of Oh Joy demonstrates the gift guide version of this tactic in her 10 mother’s day gifts post, which contains several Amazon affiliate links. What’s more, she combines this tactic with #9, by creating beautiful visual collages to go with her picks.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


9. Create Visuals to Showcase The Affiliate Products

Get creative with your round ups by developing beautiful visuals to sell different physical products you’re promoting.

Keep in mind, this link tactic is absolutely vital if your blog normally creates such images – otherwise your affiliate posts will stick out like a sore thumb.

Here’s a couple of visual variations you could try:

  • If you’re using company photos, create a beautiful collage. You can go minimal by simply laying out the pieces in an attractive way, or dress your collage up with little embellishments. All depends on your blog aesthetic.
  • If you’re showcasing products in real life, get those angles. Fashion bloggers of all shapes and sizes have this style locked up. Those drool-worthy walking down the street looking hot photos will sell products faster than any written post could.

If you’re design savvy, creating these visuals will be a cakewalk. If not, free tools like PicMonkey and Canva are here to save the day! They make it simple to create pretty graphics that compliment your round ups so give either of them a whirl.

Smart Affiliate

Mattie James slays the whole walking down the street looking hot thing in this post. After getting through all those images, don’t you just want to click and buy (via her RewardStyle affiliate links) without thinking twice? I sure do.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Here’s Gabrielle from Design Mom doing the collage style visual. Instead of grabbing company photos and throwing them up, she invests time into creating several collages to keep the post on-brand with the rest of her content.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


Want to get *finally* get started with affiliate marketing? My free Aspiring Affiliate course is exactly what you need to go from aspiring to pro affiliate in a flash.

Free Aspiring Affiliate eCourse


10. Use Video to Show Off Affiliate Products

Did you know videos may make up 74% of all internet traffic in 2017? Get in on the game now by using video to showcase products in real life. People often do written round ups or visual collages, but not many take that one step further and foray into video.

Folks will love seeing you holding different items, explaining their benefits and sharing how you personally use each one. Plus you can leverage sites like Youtube to distribute your content further. Go you!

Smart Affiliate

Holistic Nutritionist Joy McCarthy does a great job showcasing multiple products in her video What’s in my Bathroom Cabinet. Though she doesn’t use affiliate links with the video, the content quality is exactly what you should aim for when trying this link tactic.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


REVIEW CONTENT


11. Write a Detailed Review of the Affiliate Product

67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. If you have deep experience with a product, write an honest, in-depth review to help consumers make important buying decisions.

If you’re doing this tactic with physical products (think beauty, fashion, gadgets, toys, etc.), consider adding an unboxing video to your review to demonstrate what it looks like before and after you open the packaging.

Pro tip: If you plan on using this link tactic often, stay consistent with a unique rating system or set of categories to build trust with readers.

Smart Affiliate

Pauline Cabrera creates product reviews using this link tactic for her blog TwelveSkip. In this example featuring software Go Animate, she avoids pushing the product and instead offers a balanced review that highlights what the software is, who it’s for and why people should (and shouldn’t!) use it.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Word to the wise: the format of your review post can be anything you like. Go against the norm by trying a list style post, similar to the one Caressa Lenae does in her 20 Reasons Why ConvertKit is the Best Email Marketing Platform post.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


12. Compare Affiliate Products In The Same Category

When diligent shoppers are in the market for a product – especially high end items like a DSLR camera, premium software or a fancy stroller, you can bet your bottom dollar they’re reading multiple reviews of different models before a decision gets made.

Capitalize on that by comparing multiple products within the same category, in either digital or physical product categories.

You can even add a visual comparison charts to help people decide at a glance which product is right for them. If you don’t have personal experience with every product, you have options:

  • If you have a large following, many companies will gladly lend or gift products to test.
  • If you’re just starting out, borrow products from friends or test them out in stores without buying.
  • If you don’t like either of the above, crowdsource information from real product users like Sarah Morgan does here.

Smart Affiliate

Here’s an eCommerce comparison example from Sam at Aeolidia. Instead of taking a broader approach, she angled the article to focus on platform fees, which helped her make a strong argument in favor of the platform her team preferred, and is an affiliate of.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


13. Share a Personal Story of How The Affiliate Product Helped You

The golden rule of affiliate marketing is to promote only products you have personal experience with. With that in mind, share a story about how a particular product helped you, changed your business, or changed your life.

Or share a story about how it saved you time and money in the long run. This will appeal to those who want to be where you are, and to those who are influenced by storytelling. Or ‘story-selling’ as some might call it.

Smart Affiliate

Here’s a stellar example of this link tactic from Pat Flynn, king of authentic affiliate marketing. When he made the switch from established email marketing systems to lesser known (at the time) Convertkit, he got extremely personal by writing an epic 6,000+ word blog post explaining why.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

I also like how Sarah Morgan implemented this tactic while promoting multiple products in a post called 7 Things I Did To Double My Blog Traffic and Hit 100K Monthly Pageviews. She keeps the content focused on her overall business transformation, but you still feel compelled to check out the affiliate tools she sprinkles in along the way.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


WEBSITE TWEAKS


14. Add an Affiliate Product Banner to Your Site

People are visual. So although affiliate banners are not as lucrative as other link methods, they still have their place for a few reasons:

  • They’re the fastest way to get started as an affiliate because they only take a few minutes to add to your site.
  • They also offer a form of social proof. Even with a proper disclosure in place, some visitors will mistakenly think a brand is paying you for that precious real estate, making your site seem high traffic and trustworthy.
  • Studies show people need exposure to a brand multiple times before they consider buying – banners help you increase that exposure.

To maximize this tactic, I recommend combining it with others. For example, link the banner to a review post or tutorial on your own site instead of the company’s website.

Smart Affiliate

Mandee uses this link tactic by placing various affiliate banners on her blog Designs By Miss Mandee.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Alexis Grant from The Write Life promotes FreshBooks with a sidebar banner:

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


15. Use Your Blog Footer to Promote Affiliate Products

Footers are a great place to maximize your site real estate. When it makes sense, add product mentions into your footer navigation links, or make them stand out by using a creative logo or graphic.

Typically these products are site related, such as the hosting or website theme you use, but you certainly don’t have to confine yourself to those types of products. You can also combine this tactic with others like round ups, such as highlighting your favorite products in a little linked list.

Smart Affiliate

Here’s a visual example from Tina Roth of Swiss Miss fame. In the footer of her popular Tattly website, there’s an affiliate linked graphic pointing people to Shopify – the eCommerce platform running her online shop.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links



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16. Use Merchant Tools to Promote Affiliate Products

Most companies want to help you sell their stuff. Some will provide special tools like data feeds and embeddable widgets, making it easy to integrate their products on your site in lieu of unique content. You’ve probably seen a widget like this before – such as a cooking shop on a food blog filled with Amazon affiliate products.

Many of these tools will provide an interactive experience (check hotel rates, browse clothing, search for information, etc.) that lead visitors to the merchant’s site to purchase.

Smart Affiliate

In the first link tactic, you met Audrey at Putting Me Together. Here she is again, this time using a RewardStyle affiliate widget in her sidebar to promote clothing she hand-picked based on her personal taste.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Here’s a B2B example from my affiliate marketing hero Rae, of SugarRae. At the bottom of every blog post, Rae includes an SEMRush search widget that’s connected to her affiliate link. When people search using her widget, they get redirected to the company’s site and if any decide to purchase, she gets the commission.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


17. Create a Resources Page on Your Site to Share Affiliate Products

People love to emulate success. One of the most popular ways to earn with affiliate links is to share your ‘little black book’ of fab tools and products. Think product round up post (a la link tactic #7), except a dedicated site page, linked in your navigation to draw regular eyeballs. Some people go all out here, adding logos and product descriptions.

Pro tip: Consider putting some of those tools behind an email subscription box to gain subscribers in exchange for sharing your secrets.

Smart Affiliate

Amber Hurdle does a great job of implementing this link tactic. On her resources page, she showcases over 30 tools in great detail – even incorporating her personal experience with many of them.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Another great example is Lindsay at Pinch Of Yum, who takes a visual approach to her resources page by including images and logos for each product and service she recommends.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Okay, one last example. On my resources page, I list all general business tools but ask people to subscribe for the list of 18 affiliate tools I use and love:



18. Add Affiliate Products to Pre-Existing Content

Put old content to work for you. Chances are you’ve published a lot of content before joining your first affiliate program so go ahead and add affiliate links to them. When editing the content, you could even go all out and revamp the post entirely, giving you bonus SEO points.

Here are two ways to choose which posts to tweak:

  • Start with your most popular posts – this can increase your income overnight
  • Search content for keywords related to the product – read the mini tutorial below for how to do that super fast

Mini Tutorial

You can use this quick trick to find old blog posts to add affiliate links to. Go to Google and enter site:yoursite.com KEYWORD

The keyword should be related to the company or types of products you’re going to incorporate into the post.

For example, if you write about business and you recently joined the Studiopress affiliate program, you might use keywords like:

  • WordPress themes
  • Website design
  • Studiopress
  • Plugins

Google will display every post from your site that mentions any of these keywords so you can quickly identify which ones are good choices to add your Studiopress link into.

Nifty, right?


19. Feature Affiliate Products In Between Blog Posts and Comments

Chances are, visitors that make it to the end of a blog post are highly engaged and thus extremely valuable. Capture their attention between the end of the post and the beginning of your comments section by inserting a graphic or widget showcasing your chosen affiliate product. I find this tactic particularly useful when I don’t have a content upgrade available.

Smart Affiliate

Rae from link tactic #17 is back (I told you she was my hero!) to demonstrate this one too. As you can see below, she uses a blue highlighted area in between her blog posts and comments section to promote ShareASale using her affiliate link.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


EMAIL TACTICS


20. Dedicate a Series of Emails to The Affiliate Product

Create a series of emails dedicated to promoting one product. This tactic can be used for physical / evergreen products, but more often is used when there’s a short buying window (1 week only! Once per year!). That’s because when scarcity is involved, your audience will be more patient with multiple emails.

This one is great for supplementing income between your own product and service promotions so take a look at your yearly calendar and earmark a slower week to test it out.

Smart Affiliate

Jon Morrow is one of the smartest bloggers out there. So it’s no wonder he sent a series of emails recommending Ryan Levesque’s free resources using his affiliate link. Once Ryan opened the doors to his Ask Method Masterclass, Jon earned a commission anytime someone he sent through the freebies made a purchase.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


21. Share Affiliate Products In Your Newsletter

Perhaps you’re not ready to devote an entire series of emails to one affiliate product. I get it.

Try a less aggressive approach by featuring your chosen product in a small part of your newsletter instead. The best placement would be your welcome email, as they yield the highest open rates, but regular broadcast emails and drips work well too.

Smart Affiliate

Here’s an example of a regular broadcast email with affiliate links, courtesy of Amy Lynn Andrews’ (ahh-mazing!) Useletter:

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

The way Caitlin Bacher approaches this link tactic in her welcome email is MY JAM. First, she explains how people can spot her affiliate links (that’s her disclosure) and then she goes on to promote her email platform Convertkit – knowing the majority of her infopreneur audience will need this awesome software if they haven’t started building their list yet.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


22. Use Your Email Signature to Mention Affiliate Products

Some of us (All of us? Ha) spend a lot of time processing emails. Try including an affiliate mention in your email signature. This is a quick and easy tactic to implement that will see a lot of action.

You could link to the product itself, or even better, link to an in-depth review on your site. Just make sure the product you offer makes sense for the majority of people you interact with.

Smart Affiliate

I combed through my multiple inboxes several times to get a stellar example for ya, but could not find one. Then, as if by fate, I got an email from Cori at Big Girl Branding and jumped for joy realizing her signature had a great FYI note with affiliate link in it. Thanks Cori!

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Want more smart affiliate examples? Join the Affiliate Ace Community for weekly affiliate inspiration, industry news, action tips and awesome programs:

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


JOINT VENTURE


23. Bundle an Affiliate Product With Your Product

For this particular tactic to work, you need to have a product for sale.

What you will do is bundle yours with another seller’s product, being sure they appeal to both audiences and are complementary to one another. You become an affiliate of their product and they become an affiliate of yours and all sales are split 50/50.

To maximize sales, go to town promoting your special offer on social media, via webinars and email. Make sure your bundle is discounted and better yet – available only for a limited time (scarcity for the win!).

A variation of this tactic is an online summit, where teachers contribute a lesson for the event and then get an even cut of sales when the lesson bundle is sold.

Smart Affiliate

This link tactic example features two smart Affiliates – Mariah from Femtrepreneur + Halley Gray from Evolve and Succeed. These lovely ladies partnered to deliver an awesome free webinar and at the end promoted a bundle of their online courses, where one was an affiliate of the other.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


24. Offer a Bonus to Entice People to Purchase the Affiliate Product

Ethical bribe anyone? Stand out from affiliate competitors by using your own products as gift incentives for people to purchase through your link. This tactic can be done to promote all sorts of products, but is more often used when stakes (aka affiliate commissions and prizes) are high.

No product? No problem! You could offer consulting time, a group coaching call or an exclusive Facebook group – like Rachel Luna did when promoting Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year.

Just make sure the company allows this tactic by looking through affiliate terms (search for words like incent, loyalty, rewards, cashback) or contacting your affiliate manager to confirm.

Smart Affiliate

Amy Porterfield used this link tactic to promote Marie Forleo’s B-School. Knowing the affiliate competition was steep, Amy offered 4 different bonuses as a neat package called B-School Extra Credit Accelerator, which set her apart from others in her niche promoting the same program.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

25. Host a Webinar to Demo The Affiliate Product

Like #21, this is a great tactic for infopreneurs who want to bring in consistent income in between their own product launches, or who would like to bring in some extra cha-ching while creating their product line.

How this works: Come up with a learning topic loosely related to the affiliate product or company. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger promoting high end retailer Nordstrom, you might do a “Fall Wardrobe Buying Guide” class. During the webinar, Nordstrom would naturally come up a few times (since you’d be featuring their pieces, right?!) and then at the end, encourage viewers to shop Nordstrom with an affiliate linked CTA button.

Some companies, like Leadpages and ConvertKit, will even co-host the webinar if your audience is large enough. If you’ve never seen this done in your niche, think glass half full by contacting a company to see if they’ll team up with you. There’s a first time for everything so be a trailblazer!

Smart Affiliate

Maya Elious used this link tactic when she partnered with Ryan at Teachable to help her audience launch an online course in 30 days. Though Maya still had to write the webinar emails and support her audience live, Ryan did the heavy lifting by creating and presenting the webinar. At the end, Maya earned affiliate commissions by inviting her audience to sign up to 1 year of Teachable through her affiliate link.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


26. Share an Affiliate Product Coupon Code

Using coupon codes in your affiliate promotions are win / win – your audience is rewarded and you still make great commissions. Most affiliates know when companies have public coupon codes available – you can find them in your affiliate dashboard or inbox (welcome email, recent newsletter from your affiliate manager). For example, here’s an affiliate coupon email I got from the HostGator team in August:

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

But did you know some companies go a step further and by request, give out unique coupon codes specifically for your peeps? Ask and you shall receive!

Smart Affiliate

Lauren at Elle & Co scored a unique coupon code and shared it in her 12 reasons I fell in love with Crowdcast post. Notice how she combines tactics by incorporating a review and personal story into the piece. After reading it, I was instantly sold and signed up through her link to roll out my free Affiliate Workshops.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


27. Interview Someone from the Affiliate Product Company

This affiliate tactic produces a rich piece of content that takes almost no time to put together. All you have to do is prepare a handful of questions and use them in an interview with someone at the product company.

Since the content you create will lead to brand awareness and sales, companies of all sizes have people (think publicists, marketers and support people) willing to answer questions by phone, email or even video. At a small company, you may even get access to the head honcho!

Remember, the worst thing they could say is “not right now”. As an affiliate manager, I’ve had to say it a few times because of bad timing but I would never close the door completely. If the response you get from the company is “no, never”, they might not be the type of company you want to promote!

Smart Affiliate

As part of her affiliate promotion of Chimp Essentials, Kathleen Shannon interviewed course creator Paul Jarvis on the Being Boss blog.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


EXTERNAL PLATFORMS


28. Share Affiliate Products On Your Social Media Platforms

When promoting affiliate products, you aren’t limited to only your website or blog. Several social media sites allow them – including Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. What makes social affiliate linking spectacular is:

  • It’s an easy way to get started as an affiliate
  • It’s one of the fastest promo tactics on this list
  • You can reach different people since no one is following you everywhere
  • It increases brand exposure that people need before taking action

Smart Affiliate

As you saw in tactic #23, Mariah from Femtrepreneur has serious affiliate game. So it’s not surprising that she made the list twice – this time promoting Leadpages on Twitter.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Here’s another Twitter example from Cristina at One Woman Shop. To increase the popularity of her tweet, she uses #legal and #smallbiz hashtags (along with her disclosure hashtag) to promote Small Business Bodyguard. Go Cristina!

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

29. Use Paid Ads to Promote the Affiliate Product



Warning: advanced marketers only.

This is a paid tactic so if you don’t have money to play with, there are literally 30 other tactics requiring zero financial investment you can try instead.

If you have some dough AND (ideally successful) experience using Google Adwords, Facebook ads, or similar services then consider testing advertisements for your affiliate products.

While most companies allow paid promo methods, be sure you follow their terms of service to the letter. If you don’t, you risk losing your upfront investment should they decide to deny commission based on their terms.

Smart Affiliate

Check out Rohit from Life Self Mastery promoting Melyssa Griffin’s Pinfinite Growth course via Facebook Ads:

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


OFFLINE COMPONENT


30. Mention the Affiliate Product on Your Podcast

Run a podcast? Go ahead and make mention of a favored product to drive affiliate commissions.

If you’re more laid-back in style, simply talk about the product conversationally.

Gung-ho type? Highlight the product ad-style and use a CTA to direct listeners to sign up / purchase. Just be sure to use a pretty vanity URL (tutorial links below!) to make it easy for listeners to take action.

Regardless of style, don’t forget to link the product in your show notes.

Pro tip: Some podcasters make the mistake of positioning their affiliate mentions as a sponsorship, using the ol’ “this episode is sponsored by…” line. Some companies won’t appreciate the false representation so don’t do it unless you have permission in writing.

Smart Affiliate

Stacy Tuschl uses this link tactic on her podcast, Business Rescue Roadmap. In this episode, her guest mentioned FreshBooks and since Stacy is an avid user of the software as well, she happily used her affiliate link in the episode’s show notes.

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links


31. Promote the Affiliate Product in Real Life Using a Vanity URL

Just like the previous tactic, you’ll want to create a pretty vanity URL for this one – either pointing to a single product or post/page with every product you promote. Opt for a memorable link because long, hard to remember ones will spoil everything.

Then when you interact with folks in real life who might benefit from a product you’re an affiliate for, you can market them in real life too. Think in-person workshops, conferences, promo events, or even sharing your special link with friends and family. Consider including affiliate links in a printed book too if you have one.

Creating Vanity URLs

If you’re using WordPress, check out my Pretty Link tutorial to create your vanity URLs:

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

If you’re using Squarespace, check out Megan Minns’ Branded Short Links tutorial:

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

Final Thoughts

Using affiliate links to make money from your blog is not a pipe dream, but you need to be consistent, diversify and experiment to grow your earnings each month. That $7 in your affiliate account may seem like a far cry from passive income success, but if you think strategically and continue to test new methods, you will achieve your affiliate marketing goals.


TAKE ACTION



Download the Affiliate Experiments Planner now to start planning your experiments.

Inside, you’ll find frequency recommendations based on your current affiliate level and a printable DIY activity to make planning your promotions super fun!

Affiliate Tactics Visualization

Below is a visualization of all the affiliate tactics we covered today! If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to pin it to Pinterest. Thank you 🙂

31 Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links

What did I miss?

Are you finding success with an affiliate tactic not listed above? I’m eager to learn from you so be sure to tell me more in the comments below!

31+ Ways To Experiment And Profit With Affiliate Links