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Monetization Monday: DOs and DON'Ts Affiliate Programs


If you’re monetizing your blog, chances are that you’ve considered or attempted affiliate programs. An affiliate program allows you to link to specific products or services, and get paid if a reader clicks through and buys from that site. But (like all monetization strategies) there are DOs and DON’Ts to follow:

DOs of Implementing Affiliate Programs:

  • Keep it Relevant. Some affiliate programs pay better than others, but it doesn’t mean you should use them. Keep your recommendations relevant to your topic, or you’ll risk upsetting your readers.
  • Link Within Your Post. Instead of putting together a list of affiliate or product links in your sidebar, link right in the body of your applicable blog post. Readers are much more apt to click through as they are reading.

  • Experiment. Test one or two programs at a time to see what products and services are selling for your audience!
  • Analyze. Keep track of your sales, analyze the click-through rate, and evaluate each ad individually!
  • Write Product Reviews. When you are promoting a product or service, try writing it up as a review. This lets your reader know why they should purchase the product themselves.

DON’Ts of Implementing Affiliate Programs:

  • Go Overboard. Do not put together a list of 100 products for your users to click to buy! It’s okay to put together a gift guide, but keep it to the top 10 products.
  • Expect to Make Money Overnight. Some posts and products will make money further down the road, when that page gets indexed and gains popularity. If a product is relevant and chosen wisely, it will eventually make money!
  • Promote Everything. Always disclose your affiliations. Your readers will appreciate your honesty, and will feel better about contributing to your earnings. Just because something will make you money, if it is a bad product you probably shouldn’t promote it.

Affiliate links can be a great alternative to advertising for a blog that has a smaller amount of traffic. Because the affiliate only pays out when they get paid, it often doesn’t matter what your monthly pageviews or uniques are!

What are your affiliate program DOs and DON’Ts?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

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