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If you’re looking for ways to make money from your blog, you should consider affiliate marketing. In a nutshell, affiliate marketing allows online publishers to earn commissions by referring customers to a merchant.
The way affiliate marketing works is that you get access to links or ads that you can add to your blog (or website, social networks, mobile apps, etc). By integrating these affiliate links alongside your content, you’re able to show your readers items that appeal to their interests. Each time one of your visitors clicks through one of your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you receive a commission.
If you’ve decided that you’d like to try affiliate marketing as a way to leverage your expertise to monetize your blog, you’re going to want to start by researching program options. There are many out there and you may choose to work with just one program, or with several. How do you determine which program will work best for you? Here are a few factors to consider.
1. Fit with your content
Making sure your blog content closely aligns with the items you’re promoting to your visitors is one of the most important components to consider when selecting an affiliate partner. For example, if your blog focuses on interior design, it would make the most sense to partner with a merchant that sells home renovation and decor products.
2. Product inventory
Another consideration that corresponds to the products you’ll be promoting is the depth of inventory. Does the merchant have a wide range of desirable items, and are they available at competitive prices? Will your visitors be enticed to buy? You’ll want to be able to provide your readers not only with the right product for their needs, but also at the right price for their wallet.
3. Reputation & trust
If a visitor clicks through your affiliate link and is met with an offer from an unknown retailer, what are the chances that they will feel comfortable enough to make a purchase? It will be easier for your visitors to make a purchase decision if they are already familiar with the site where you are sending them. Take a look at established programs like eBay Partner Network to get started.
4. Tools & creatives
Affiliate merchants and networks offer a variety of ways for you to promote their products. This could include premade creatives like web banners, or tools for you to create customizable widgets or generate text links, as well as access to product feeds or an API. Make sure you know what your prospective partner has to offer, and that the solution fits well with your goals and technical abilities.
5. Payment structure
Of course, commission rates are a very important factor to consider. Make sure you fully understand the compensation structure, such as if there are variable rates or tiers for your promotional efforts. For example, eBay’s affiliate program provides a bonus to affiliates who refer purchases from new or reactivated buyers. Also be sure to take a look at how often you’ll be paid, and how payments are delivered.
There are many more factors that go into choosing an affiliate program, but these five areas should provide you with a good start. By researching up front, you’ll be better prepared for long-term affiliate success.
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