Here’s How Affiliate Marketing Works for Bloggers

Here's How Affiliate Marketing Works For Bloggers

Did you hear that affiliate marketing is a great way to make money from your content?

Good news: you heard right!

Unfortunately, you aren’t exactly clear on how affiliate marketing works or how to get started.

More good news: that’s what today’s post is all about!

How affiliate marketing works

The easiest way to explain how affiliate marketing works would be to answer a few primer questions so you know what it is, why you should try it and when to get started.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

I like to define affiliate marketing as a partnership between a publisher (i.e. blogger) and a merchant (i.e. retailer). The merchant sells products online and the publisher creates content online.

When they partner up, the publisher joins the merchant’s affiliate program (either hosted on a pro affiliate network or self-hosted tracking platform) and upon approval, logs into a dashboard to get things like promotional materials, performance reports, and most importantly, their unique affiliate tracking links.

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The Crucial Exercise You Must Do When Launching An Affiliate Program

How To Perform a Competitive Analysis to Choose Your Affiliate Program Commission Structure

When I speak to potential new clients, a question I usually ask is what commission are you thinking about offering to your affiliates?.

These are the most common answers:

well, (COMPETITOR NAME) is offering this, so I’m planning to match that amount

My competitors don’t have affiliate programs – I’d like to offer (LOW COMMISSION AMOUNT)

My competitors offer really generous commission rates but I can’t afford to match their insane budgets. I have no idea what to offer.

On one hand, it’s great that these folks have a pulse on what their competitors are doing…

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How to Easily Edit Product Photos With PicMonkey

PicMonkey Tutorial - How To Easily Edit Product Photos

Back in the day, I created a handmade jewelry company and within a few short months, had my products in 12 retail stores across Canada. Later, I started sharing my experiences with fellow product sellers who were looking to do the exact same thing.

While the process I used is several years old, I’m positive it would still work to this day.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Step 1: Find retail stores – either by looking at a similar company’s list of retailers or via software (Ninja Outreach would work well for that – here’s a tutorial)
  • Step 2: Pitch them your wholesale line – back then I emailed out a Wholesale line sheet (free one below!) but a page on your website works too
  • Step 3: Receive and fulfill your Wholesale orders 🙂

Seems simple but…

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Organize and Beautify Affiliate Links with Pretty Link

Pretty Link Tutorial - How To Organize and Beautify Your Affiliate Links

If you had to guess what the most common mistake I see new affiliates make, what would you say? I bet a couple popped in your head right away, such as “being too pushy” or “not disclosing”. Those happen all the time for sure.

But in my day-to-day as an affiliate manager, the biggest, craziest and most ridiculous mistake I see bloggers making – that seriously affects their earning potential – is forgetting to use their affiliate links.

Now, you may be thinking, “Umm, Justine, why would someone NOT use their affiliate link?”. Before you fight me, hear me out.

As a blogger, you have a million things to do, right? Each week, your to do list might look something like this…

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