Don’t “Set It and Forget It” – How to be a SUCCESSFUL Affiliate

How to become a successful affiliate and make money with your blog.

In August I paid my affiliates $139.70. And the bulk of that money actually went to about 2-3 affiliates who all make quite a few sales each month.

When I mentioned this on Twitter, someone replied that they were getting a bunch of clicks but no purchases! Darn!

So I thought I’d speak with one of my top affiliates to figure out what she’s doing to turn her clicks into sales.

I’d like to introduce Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Tell us where you place your ads—in posts? In a sidebar?

Hi Ashley, I have an ad in my sidebar but I also place an ad on my weekly meme The Sunday Post. On my Tips and Tricks Archive page I placed an Ad, I also added the Novelist to my Virtual Assistant page, and placed a text link ad on my Challenge page explaining that I use this plugin for it.

Do you post linked images that look like ads or just plain text links?

I have used both. For example when I add a new product from your collection, I have placed a line ad on my Sunday Post. For example: Ashley @ Nose Graze has a new Flame Rating allowing you to rate heat levels and I absolutely love it. I will use a text link.

Which approach would you say you take: put up an ad and forget about it, or regularly and actively mention the products in blog posts?

I do a little of both. I put up ads and forget about them, but I also tell people that I am an affiliate. For example, a blogger asks me about something on my blog that involves UBB. I tell them why UBB is wonderful, then let them know I am an affiliate and would appreciated if they used a link on my blog if they decide to buy.

Have you ever done a post 100% about Nose Graze products, like a review? Did that generate many clicks/sales?

Not 100%, and the ones I did that mentioned plugins, services etc were done pre-affiliate.

Do you regularly mention new products in your posts (like new UBB add-ons)?

Yes, If I buy it and love it, then I mention on the Sunday Post. If you have a sale I mention it.

Do you think your audience has anything to do with your success as an affiliate?

I think my traffic effects my success. I also think my relationship to my followers has an impact. Also, never assume folks know about affiliate links. Tell them!

Would you say you have a large audience? Do you think how many page views a blogger gets will affect their number of affiliate sales?

Yes, my blog has a lot of engagement and reach. I have successfully sold ads in my sidebar and have repeat business from satisfied authors/publishers.

Have you ever posted your affiliate links on social media?

When you have a sale, yes I did it for the Bundle. I placed it on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you so much for all your insight, Kimberly!

Let’s break down Kimberly’s success.

I think a large part of Kimberly’s success as an affiliate is how much she’s embedded the affiliate links into her blog. She doesn’t just have one single sidebar ad. Whenever she has a page that’s relevant to the product, she says, “This product helped me accomplish this.” Or, “If you’re looking for something like this, here’s what I’d recommend.”

Her challenge page is a perfect example for this at work. She lists out all the reading challenges she participates in and then says:

I keep track of my challenges using the UBB Reading Challenge Plugin
Kimberly, 2015 Reading Challenges

She also keeps track of all my new plugin releases and mentions each one as part of her relevant Sunday Post publication. Here’s an example of that post at work. Scroll down to the “Around the Blogosphere” section at work to see where she mentions UBB.

The point is, she’s actively adding links where they’re relevant.

The more effort you put in, the more successful you’ll be.

If you just put up one ad and forget about it, you might get some clicks and sales, but not many.

If you put a lot of effort into being relevant and providing value, you’ll get a lot more sales. That’s something I’ve seen become true when I’ve done my own affiliate marketing.

Valuable, relevant content is key!

I’ve made well over $1,000 in sales from my own affiliate links. But each time I post an affiliate link (which isn’t that often) I put a lot of effort into giving my readers something VALUABLE. I’m not just saying, “Go click here and buy something.” I give them something real, concrete, and useful.

For example, my first real affiliate link was in my tutorial on migrating from Blogger to WordPress. It took me HOURS to put this post together. I put a lot of effort into it and people get something incredibly valuable in the end: a clear, step-by-step tutorial.

That post has one affiliate link for a hosting site and that one link has made me over $1,000.

I bet I would have made a lot less money if I just put up an irrelevant banner ad.

But that link is successful because:

  1. It is relevant to the people reading that particular post.
  2. The post itself is incredibly valuable and solves a problem (“how do I move to WordPress”).

Another affiliate link I put up was in my tutorial on how to design your own logo. That link has brought in like $350 in affiliate income (some of that has yet to be paid out).

Why was it successful?

Because I didn’t just say, “Go buy this! It’s such a great deal.” I told people to go buy it and then gave them a tutorial on how they could use it to create an important piece of their site. That tutorial took me a long time to put together, but the effort is what made the post valuable. It’s what made people want to purchase the product.

Are you an affiliate for any products/services?

Have you had much success with affiliate marketing?

Become a Nose Graze affiliate

Start making money!

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I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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  1. I think I did pretty well in August! 🙂

    There are some things I just post and forget about – or everyone once in awhile, I will schedule tweets promoting whatever it is I either bought or like. I have an affiliate with Creative Market and I love all their graphics and freebies, so if there is something I like, then I tweet it!

  2. Hahaha I LOVE how effortlessly fun all your posts are. This one is no exception. I’ve been following the 8 day How to make money blogging e-mail awesomeness and have truly been inspired in so many ways. This post actually helped me remember that I am in fact an affiliate for a lot of companies but have simply forgotten to put up links due to no time in this busy busy life.

    Thanks for all the info, it helped a ton!

    Madiha @ Symphony of Words recently posted: Release Day Celebration Blast: Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown
    1. Thank you Madiha!! 🙂 🙂 I’m so glad you’re enjoying the email series.

      I definitely have some affiliate links that I’ve put up and just forgotten about. And funnily enough, those are the ones I’ve made almost no money from. 😀

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