Thinking about monetizing your blog
and not sure how to start?
AFFILIATE SALES MAY BE YOUR STARTING
Affiliate Sales are my personal favorite way to start earning. You can start as slow (or fast) as you want. I would recommend starting out with no more than ten in the beginning, and I am going to share the sources that were incredibly valuable in my quest for knowledge about affiliate marketing.
*** Choosing an affiliate network ***
Find advertisers you would like to work with, or finding and utilizing companies you already use as an independent affiliate. Direct Sales/Network Marketing companies can be a very lucrative addition to your website because you make a LOT higher commission. You may enjoy my HIGH PAYING AFFILIATE PROGRAMS blog post.
***Creating a sufficient affiliate
If you are doing affiliate sales without a blog, you will just need to make sure that you follow FTC guidelines. For social media marketing just make sure you put something like #affiliate in your description.
*** Learn about “No follow” links ***
This tip will help your SEO rating and prevent your site from suffering a penalty. Recently I found an amazing WordPress Plugin called NoFollowAllExternalLinks. Totally free to use and will save you a ton of time because you will not have to manually type it in.
- Wordstream– this post explains basics of follow and no follow links.
*** Teach yourself about SEO ***
(search engine optimization)
Unless you want to over pay someone else to do it for you, try learning at least the basics of SEO. No one will be able to find your posts if it is not set up right!
Building links, submitting your URL to search engines, researching the best keywords for your posts, internal linking, and not getting penalized are the most important parts of SEO that I have learned about so far. Details on all 5 below:
1.) Building Links– Article Submission Sites are great because you are putting your writing out there, and if people like your post, you will have a backlink once they share the post on their site.
This will take time to build a nice strong army of backlinks, and in the process your SEO ranking will become better and better. Backlinks are a big bonus for guest posting on other sites. Not only does that give you another backlink, but you will also gain traffic from the site you wrote for.
Some people pay for links, but your site can be penalized for this too. Below are my favorite resources for keeping these sites readily available:
- 200 Article Submission Sites
- Top 50 Article Directories
2.) Submitting your URL to search engines– this process takes only a few minutes, is FREE, and will help improve your traffic once your site is approved and the submission is processed. Some are by computer, and some are by real people. Here are the ones I have submitted to:
Someone told me to only submit your site once a month (OR LESS) because you can be severely penalized or even removed from the database when you submit your URL more than that. Whether it is accurate or not, I choose to follow this rule just in case.
3.) Keyword Research– we all know finding appropriate and accurate keywords is an imperative skill, and there are a ton of free tools to research your keywords. This may sound like a lot of work for each post, but once you go through the process a few times, everything will become easier. You must remember that blogging is half communicating with the people that read our posts, and half of the communication is to the search engines and computers that connect us to the people that are searching for certain things. So, we must make our computer language super clear and accurate so our future readers can find what they are looking for.
Here are some keyword research sites:
- Google search– start typing the main subject of your post and when Google completes the sentence based on what phrase is most popular in searches, take note. Write down all the different combos and terms in the order they come up on Google.
- AdWords Keyword Planner
- Keyword Tool
- Bing Toolbox
A nice reference book for SEO is by James McDonald called SEO FITNESS WORKBOOK.
If you use Yoast through WordPress, this guide is a great (FREE) tutorial for anyone looking to improve the SEO on their site.
4.) Internal Linking- make sure your website has a SiteMap generator. This helps map out all of your pages and posts so SEO components can navigate through your site and find information it is looking for. If your site does not have one, here is a free tool you can use to add one:
5.) Be aware of things that could penalize your site-
- EXPLO-MEDIA: Read this post for some top reasons a blogger’s site may be penalized.
*** Cloaking Your Affiliate Links ***
The importance of the way your links look, and how to make them more simple and visually appealing to your readers. The two free link shortening services I use are (both FREE):
The Affiliate marketing course that
The course I took that helped make me feel confident and all fired up to go out there and get noticed. Of course you can try to figure it out on your own, but there are so many mistakes (expensive ones) you can avoid.
After you have read that you will feel like a PRO and ready to rock and roll !
If you are considering Affiliate Marketing for your blog, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” because Michelle gets into detailed information about things you need to know on the legal side of it all, methods you can use to skyrocket your sales, things that DID NOT work for her. How creating tutorials can be a huge traffic builder, and so much more.
If you are planning to monetize your blog, and aren’t sure where to go next, consider this one because you will have ALL of your questions answered by the end of the course. You can ask her private facebook group or email her directly for questions, and she will respond very quickly. Totally worth it.
All of these tips are brief to help get you started right away, but there are more in depth resources out there. Hope this helps you begin your affiliate sales groundwork.
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