One of the simplest ways to make money blogging is to use affiliate links. I can hear you saying, “Elizabeth, I’m new to this whole blogging thing. What on Earth are affiliate links?” Glad you asked. The definition for an affiliate link on Webopedia is:
Affiliate Link – A special URL that contains the ID or username of the affiliate. This URL is used by the advertiser to track all traffic the affiliate sends to the advertiser’s site as a part of the affiliate program.
Now I realize that may just be a lot of mumbo jumbo to you, so let me break it down. Basically an affiliate link is a link that you put on your blog that links to a product or service. These links can be in the form of text links (a direct link from words in your post) or from a picture link. If a reader clicks on the link and does something with it, such as purchase a product, you make some money. In many ways using an affiliate link makes you a glorified door-to-door salesman, but you aren’t pushing the product down someone’s throat. You can throw the link into your post, and your readers can either take it or leave it.
A great way to get started with affiliate links is to write a review on a product and add an affiliate link for that product in your post. One of the best review/affiliate link posts that I have on my blog is a post I wrote about how I got rid of Nick’s cradle cap. Looking back at it I wouldn’t say it’s the best written post on my blog (it probably could use an update), but it’s great for an affiliate link. I told my readers about how to fix a common problem they may be dealing with, I told them exactly what I used, and I added an affiliate link into the text. If you read my post you may notice that I’m not throwing the product in anyone’s face. I simply mention it, and I put my link right on the name of the product. Many people have used that link and bought the special cradle cap shampoo.
One of the beautiful things about affiliate links is that they don’t just go away. An affiliate link is a form of passive income which you may remember from last week’s post meant that you don’t always have to be doing something to make money. I wrote that cradle cap post last August, and yet I’m still able to make money from it. Just a few days ago I saw that someone had used the link to buy the shampoo again. That post is on the first search page from Google if you search for “how to get rid of cradle cap.” That means that I get a lot of traffic for it. The more people that see it the more money I could make from that affiliate link. Yet now that I’m done writing the post I don’t have anything else that I have to do to make money from it.
In the coming weeks I’m going to be writing posts that direct you to places where you can sign up to get affiliate links. For now start thinking about what your blog niche is and what review posts you could write for that topic that could include an affiliate link.
Let’s brainstorm together! Come over to the forum (sign up for an account if you haven’t already) and go to the “Monetizing Your Blog” section. In there you’ll find a post where you can list your blog’s niche and we’ll help you brainstorm some affiliate links that you could use.