How to Make Money Blogging (Using Affiliate Marketing Techniques)
Make money blogging is possible with affiliate marketing strategies. Did you know that there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet? Simply put, blogs make up almost 30% of all websites online today, making them one of the most popular publication formats out there. But, even though blogging evolved from the practice of writing public online diaries, this activity is now among the top ways that affiliates and content publishers in general use to generate an income.
With the above in mind, starting a successful blog is not simple. Besides extensive competition, there are hundreds of elements that affect the performance of the articles published on a blogging platform. The lemonads team works very closely with a lot of skilled affiliates that specialize in blogs. So, we have insider knowledge about the steps that bloggers need to take to generate an income through their content.
Below, we’ll go over the steps you need to take to set up a blog, discuss the definition of affiliate marketing, and explain how to make money blogging.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Before going any further, let’s take a moment to define affiliate marketing and explain its relationship to blogging.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance advertising where businesses partner with independent marketers. These independent marketers are known as affiliates and they use a collection of different methods to generate traffic and conversions. The companies advertising their services are known as advertisers, and they only have to pay for the conversions affiliates generate. This is the reason why affiliate marketing is known as a type of performance advertising.
While affiliates can drive web traffic in a collection of different ways, a large portion of these marketing specialists leverages blogs in their campaigns. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that 86% of all online content publishers prefer blogging, mainly because it’s simple, affordable, and relatively easy to monetize.
How People Makes Money Blogging?
Blogging about topics you’re interested in may sound like a dream come true, but many content publishers actually do this for a living. It’s important to understand that there are dozens of different ways to make money from a blog. For example, you can create different blogs, grow their reader base, and sell them off one by one to the best bidders.
However, most people that get into blogging are looking for a way to generate a consistent income rather than simply flipping platforms for a profit. For this reason, many bloggers turn to affiliate marketing to transform the traffic they generate into a steady stream of revenue.
All that said, affiliate programs can have completely different structures, requirements, and payout schemes. This means that you need to find the best programs for your specific scenario and find partners that help improve your chances of success.
Finding Affiliate Programs and Building Your Campaigns
The key to monetizing a blog is to find the best affiliate programs for your specific case. That said, there are countless companies out there that have created a program for affiliates and not all of these will set you up for success.
It’s possible to test out advertiser-managed affiliate programs, but you’ll have to go through the campaign creation process manually each time. Instead, affiliate networks for bloggers like lemonads allow you to find the best affiliate programs in one single place. You can browse through our gallery of cherry-picked offers and only work with the ones that have the highest chance of success.
Once you have identified the best offers, it’s time to create your campaigns.
Your affiliate campaigns can take any shape you like, as long as it helps you drive more traffic. But, as a content publisher, the best approach is usually to develop content to drive organic traffic and monetize these visitors.
The campaign structure and advert content will vary depending on your industry. But, you can always look at leading competitors and figure out what they are doing to narrow down your options and hit the ground running. Moreover, you should also take the time to conduct extensive target audience research as this will unveil the most profitable keywords and content types.
Are Blogs a Good Source of Income?
Blogging was a very casual activity back in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. Today, local businesses, self-employed professionals, and global brands all rely on blogs to help them connect with their audiences. Additionally, search engine optimization (SEO) and other forms of promotion have allowed bloggers to exponentially increase the number of users who read their content without requiring a significant investment.
The result? Blogs are not one of the most profitable methods to monetize web traffic. But, keep in mind that simply setting up a blog won’t be enough to dazzle your audience, at least not anymore. Modern publishers focus on delivering valuable content in the form of written text as well as images, videos, discount codes, and many other formats.
Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why blogs are a great source of income.
Share Valuable Content with the Audience Without Blockers
Businesses can promote their services and products directly, but this doesn’t mean that potential customers will be receptive to this content. In reality, consumers don’t always trust content published directly by advertisers, so these users are more engaged when the same message is delivered by a seemingly unrelated third party.
This is where blogs come in. After all, bloggers specialize in writing valuable content that’s designed to attract readers and help them with whatever challenge they are facing. This allows bloggers to share valuable content with the audience without setting off any alarms and coming across as overly aggressive.
Influence Consumer Behavior
Furthermore, bloggers have the ability to influence consumer behavior through the content they publish. In other words, these content publishers can help shape consumer trends by sharing certain types of materials. But, the level of influence depends heavily on the industry, type of product, and level of trust that the consumer has in the blog.
For example, fashion bloggers and content publishers usually have the ability to change or influence how their audiences dress. Not only this, but bloggers in this industry can also shape how readers feel about themselves. This makes bloggers and similar publishers in the fashion industry way more valuable than in other fields.
Generate Leads and Sales
Depending on the type of content you produce, your blog can also help you generate high-quality leads and even close sales. In these scenarios, bloggers need to find an affiliate program that pays them for producing leads and sales in a specific industry. As a general rule, leads are easier to convert, but they have a lower payout than sales.
If you are looking for an affiliate program, you should pay close attention to the starting materials that advertisers provide as these can help improve your conversion or closing rate. Always look for advertisers that provide quality landing pages as well as banners, logos, and other elements that simplify the campaign development process.
Advantages of Making Money Blogging
Bloggers that make a living through their content enjoy a huge collection of benefits, starting with the fact that they only need a basic set of skills to set up their platform. You need to have basic writing skills and develop a proofreading protocol to help ensure that your content is up to scratch.
If you’re thinking about publishing infographics and similar content, knowing how to edit images and perform other fundamental tasks can save you a huge amount of time and money. Additionally, if it’s the first time you’re developing written and visual content, remember that there’s a learning curve you need to take into account. But, once you have the writing and other skills under the belt, managing your blog and creating new content will be a simple, streamlined process.
Some of the additional benefits of making money blogging include:
Work in an Industry You’re Passionate About
Creating new blogs requires a significant amount of research, but this can become tedious if you’re not interested in the topic you're writing about. Luckily, you can always choose to work in an industry that you’re passionate about, which helps you stay engaged during the research and content creation phases.
Almost 60% of the world’s population uses the internet regularly to track down new products and services. It’s safe for advertisers to assume that they will be able to reach at least half of their audience through the internet, if not more. Therefore, bloggers can pick and choose what fields they want to specialize in and the types of content they want to create.
Manage Your Own Schedule
One of the biggest burdens of the nine-to-five lifestyle is the set schedule. Office workers and similar professionals have to be at their desks for prolonged periods on most, if not all weekdays. Bloggers, on the other hand, get to choose their own schedule and decide which tasks they want to take on first.
Keep in mind that emergencies do occur and many of these scenarios will require immediate attention. But, on most days, bloggers are in full control of their schedule and they decide when to write new content, research the next topics, and complete other necessary tasks.
Exponentially Growth Potential
Almost 5 billion individuals use the internet to find new products and services regularly. If you have the right strategy in place, your blogging platform can become an extremely profitable business that provides more than enough income for you and your family. The best part is that blogs can be easily scaled through marketing techniques like search engine optimization or SEO.
Remember, you have to promote your blog to help drive more traffic. But, even though paid ads are a great alternative, you can also opt for fully organic approaches. SEO is a great example because it can help you achieve higher rankings and boost the number of visitors that go through your site, but you don’t have to pay for each impression or lead you to get from this type of traffic.
Constantly Learn New Things
As we mentioned before, you will need to constantly conduct research, find fresh ideas, and develop new content to have a successful blog. The good news is that you also get to pick up a huge amount of new information about a variety of topics. Plus, if you are fortunate enough to specialize in a topic you’re passionate about, you’ll find a lot of joy during the process as well.
Acquire Functional Skills
Besides simply learning new information blogging also allows you to develop functional skills, depending on the industry you create content for. This benefit actually comes two-fold because you can put into practice a lot of the information you collect. For example, if you have a financial advice blog, you can start implementing some of the money-saving tips you share with your audience.
Not only this but remember that blogging requires a certain level of technical knowledge. Bloggers usually gain first-hand experience working with WordPress, developing new content, conducting extensive research, reading consumer trends, and many other skills that can be applied elsewhere later on.
Gain Business Confidence
Becoming an entrepreneur is difficult, especially if you’re used to working in a more stable environment. With that in mind, establishing a successful goal can give you the confidence you need to set up your own business and pursue bigger business goals. The exact structure and monetization scheme you choose can also influence your confidence levels, so make sure to treat your blog creation process as seriously as possible.
In addition to boosting your morale and overall confidence level, developing a blog will also give you an idea of what variables you need to monitor for future projects. For example, by setting up a blog you can learn the importance of saving your sites on superior-quality servers.
Make New Friends and Connections
If you create quality content that’s captivating, entertaining, and valuable, there’s a strong chance that you’ll make new friends and connections after starting your blog.
It’s common for third parties to seek collaborations with bloggers that produce awesome content. This allows you to meet like-minded individuals that can either transform into fond acquaintances, long-term connections, and even friends that share similar goals. Just keep in mind that the quality of the blogs you publish will work as a reflection of your personality, so make sure that they live up to the image you want to portray.
Establish Yourself as a Leader in Your Field
If you are writing for a competitive industry, having a popular blog that attracts a lot of attention can help you establish yourself as a leader in your industry. This normally occurs when the affiliate or blogger has extensive expertise in the topic being covered. But, this is normally due to prior experience in the field, which is the reason many publishers choose to focus on a topic they are familiar with.
To become a thought leader in your vertical, your content needs to showcase your knowledge and deliver practical information to your readers. Moreover, you should also attempt to rank your website content on search engines as users rely on these platforms heavily to track down new, trustworthy websites. If you manage to gain a reputation as a leader in your space, converting users and attracting more traffic will be much easier later on.
With all that said, there are several steps you need to take to establish a successful blog, especially if you don’t have a platform set up already.
How to Start Blogging in 10 Simple Steps
Now that we’ve covered the advantages of making money by blogging, let’s take a look at 10 simple steps you can take to start your own blog. It’s important to note that every blogger is different, so you may need to take additional steps or remove certain actions depending on your specific scenario.
The points below should work more as a general guide to make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps at the right time. By making sure that all points are addressed, you’ll be increasing your chances of setting up a successful publication.
If you want to make money blogging, you’ll have to:
1. Choose an Industry
If you haven’t done it already, you should start by choosing the industry or set of industries you want to specialize in. You can choose any specialty that you like, but blogs that have similar topics tend to perform better than random publications. Additionally, you want to make sure the industry you choose is legal in your area as well as the regions you intend to target.
Choosing an industry that engages you will help you stay focused during the campaign creation process. That said, if you select a topic you’re not familiar with then you’ll spend more time developing your blogs. Therefore, it’s advisable to choose an industry that you like, but also have basic knowledge about.
2. Select a Brand and Domain Name
The brand and domain name selection process are extremely personal. Some bloggers choose to create a whole new brand and publish materials through this identity. This is beneficial because it allows them to potentially sell their platform later on while also protecting the blogger’s identity.
If you prefer to be the face of your brand, you can also use your name, nickname, or handle as the brand itself. Bloggers that choose this option have an easier time when transitioning from blogging to video and other channels that require a human touch.
3. Find a Hosting Service Provider
After you choose a brand name and purchase your domain, you need to figure out where to store it. Some bloggers start by having a simple WordPress or Blogger site that’s hosted by the platform. However, these pages rarely make a good impression, so you’ll find it extremely hard to cultivate a solid number of followers without proper hosting.
Instead, you should evaluate the different providers, think about the amount of traffic you can realistically generate, and choose the best hosting that your budget allows. Pay attention to companies that provide email hosting and other features that may come in handy later on. Partnering with these providers can save you a significant amount of time and hassle later, so it’s worth identifying them from the get-go.
4. Pick a Platform
Once the hosting provider is in the bag, it’s time to decide on what platform you want to run your blog. There are many different alternatives, including HTML code, Wix, and of course, WordPress. As you may know already, WordPress now powers more than half of all active websites and it’s the most popular blogging platform out there today.
WordPress has countless themes, plugins, and features that allow you to set up anything from a simple blog to a full-fledged website. Moreover, the platform is SEO-friendly by design and extremely flexible, so you can start off with a basic design and spruce up your blog as it grows in popularity.
5. Work on the Blog Design and Development
Now that you’ve chosen a platform and have all the other basic elements ready, you need to start working on the blog design and development. Generic designs tend to underperform when compared to branded content, so make sure that you have a plan to establish a positive image.
In case you don’t have these materials ready, take some time to create a logo, color scheme, and decide what other branding elements you will implement. If you are using a drag and drop creator or have the ability to create basic sites, you may not have to work with a designer to bring your vision to life.
Bloggers that don’t have technical experience can always hire a developer or practice with drag-and-drop site builders until they get the right results.
6. Figure Out the Plugins You’ll Use
If a blogger wants to have any special features that are outside of the platform’s basic capacities, this individual will likely have to use a plugin. WordPress has hundreds of different plugins that help with a collection of different processes that range from technical SEO enhancements to the improvement of visual elements.
Many plugins fulfill the same purpose and having duplicates can slow down your site. So, you need to determine which features you want to have on your site, figure out which plugins allow you to add these to your site, and install these to make sure your blog works properly.
7. Install a Tracking Tool
A tracking tool is a platform designed to record, organize, and present behavioral information about the users that visit your blog. In other words, these tools collect performance metrics that allow you to see how your blogs are performing and whether or not your readers are engaged. Bloggers can make adjustments to their content and find new topics of interest based on the information collected by their tracking tools.
While Google and other companies have created tracking tools that are available to all bloggers free of charge, these platforms often lack the functionality required by affiliate marketers. Instead, you should review the top paid tracking tools and choose one that ensures accurate results as well as a true idea of the performance of your blog.
8. Design Forms and Other Features to Capture Contact Information
Successful bloggers can sell placements to the best bidders, join ad networks, or monetize affiliate programs using the digital real estate they have available to generate an income. Additionally, you should also encourage visitors to leave their contact information and use this information to develop additional side campaigns. Email sequences are the most obvious choice, but you can also opt for SMS marketing campaigns or similar alternatives.
9. Create a Posting Schedule and Start Writing Your Content
Finally, it’s time to start creating your initial materials and build a content development schedule. As a general rule of thumb, you should create enough content for the first two months before you launch your blog. Having this content ready gives you a buffer in case you run into unforeseen challenges, which gives you time to address these issues without skipping a beat.
10. Optimize Your Content and Build an Audience
Launching your blog is a rewarding step, but it’s not the last one in the blog creation and monetization process. Once your blog has generated enough traffic, you have to analyze the data collected by your tracking tools and make adjustments to your content accordingly.
As you make improvements, track the performance of your blog and make sure that you’re collecting user contact information to build a solid audience.
What Types of Content Can You Publish?
Blogs come in all sizes and they can cover every topic imaginable. Additionally, you can also choose to publish one or more types of content in your blog depending on what your audience likes.
Blogging is a perfectly adapted channel for digital nomads.
Below, we’ll go over the different types of content you can publish when making money blogging.
As the name suggests, listicles are written or visual pieces of content that consist of a list. Simply put, listicles were born from the need for constant gratification. These pieces of content allow readers to analyze and absorb large chunks of information easily. Listicles can cover any topic from travel to personal development and have as little as three items on each list. These content formats are a great home for affiliate links.
Reviews and Product Recommendations
Modern consumers turn to the internet whenever they need a new product or service and bloggers have been capitalizing on this phenomenon for decades. Bloggers can publish product reviews and recommendation articles that help them connect with users that are looking for information about specific goods. Needless to say, this also sets up a perfect transition between informational content and an affiliate landing page.
How-to guides are informational pieces designed to walk readers through specific activities or actions, like building DIY furniture. This type of content can be used to describe any set of actions that consumers may want to fulfill, regardless of how simple or random they may seem.
Sports news platforms are a great way to connect with users that are interested in the different leagues around the world. Bloggers can specialize in one country and sport, or they can choose to cover a wide range of disciplines. That said, bloggers need to pay close attention to the regulations in their areas to ensure they’re not breaking any laws by covering athletes and team sports news.
Infographics and Memes
Infographics have become one of the best ways to publish technical and impactful content while also maintaining users engaged. Memes have a similar impact, but these are normally used for entertainment or to highlight points in unique circumstances.
Walkthrough Guides and Many More
Walkthrough guides are a favorite among gamers, but this type of content can be adapted to a large number of industries. A walkthrough guide basically contains all the steps that a person has to take to achieve a specific goal, like assembling an item or beating an obstacle in a video game.
Whatever kind of blog you choose to create, don't forget to use a proper affiliate disclosure.
Ready to Start Publishing Content? Monetize Your Blog Through lemonads
Generating a profit from your blog may seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have experience with affiliate programs. But, if you follow the steps listed above, you should be able to create a platform that can be monetized through affiliate marketing.
To find the best affiliate programs, contact lemonads and our team will be glad to help.
Accelerate your Conversions, Increase your Revenue