Going into my blog, I didn’t know what I was doing. I had a plan full of holes. Traffic? Yeah, it’ll just magically appear. Not. Engagement? Yeah, it’ll just happen. I wish.
I read up on everything that I could find about “making money with affiliate marketing” and “how to make money with a blog”. I found a lot of information, but nothing that I can say truly made it all okay. A lot of it was wishy-washy. Pick a good product? Yeah, I figured. How about telling me how to sell a product?
I know that it can be disheartening to see those income reports that say “how I made $1,000 my first month blogging” when you’ve been at it for months. It sucks, but please don’t be discouraged! On the other hand, if you’re only here because you’re interested in the money-making potential of blogging, check out How to Start a Blog in 10 Minutes or Less. Blogging can be rough, but it’s usually smooth sailing once you get over the initial hurdle.
1. Make it personal
You’re not going to make a dime if you don’t make it personal. Recommending products that you haven’t used before won’t do you any favors. People see through that. It’s like trying to hide behind a clear glass window. Yeah, you. We see you there.
The last thing that you want people to think about you is that you’re fake. It’s the #1 thing that will kill your sales.
Write an article or create images or a product that YOU would buy. If you wouldn’t buy it, don’t advertise it. It’s much easier to convince readers to buy a product that you love than to find reasons why they should buy something you don’t believe in. Plus, if you’ve actually never used a product before, there’s going to be a whole lotta fluff.
Empty words almost never make a sale, so don’t count on it. It’s not hard to build trust with your customers, but it’s VERY easy to lose it.
But seriously, only write about products that you’ve used. People go CRAZY over that kind of stuff. Personal anecdotes and weird little stories about your experiences with the product are way more fun to read that “WELL, WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT FAUCET”.
2. Write about products that you have used
Promoting products that you have never used is going to hurt your sales. Why? If you tell someone to buy a product and it sucks, they’re not going to buy from you anymore.
If you look like you’re only trying to make a sale, then people won’t trust you. No trust = no sales.
3. Stick to your word
If you make a mistake, be transparent with your readers. Keep in mind that if you do this too often, you’re going to end up losing customers in the long run.
Furthermore, don’t lie about what your product offers. Don’t even exaggerate the truth to make your product look appealing. A good product will sell itself.
4. Don’t forget to mention the bad side
What can’t it do? What could it do better?
I know, it sounds crazy. But talking about the bad things about a product can actually increase sales.
Think of it for a moment: when you only focus on the goods things about a product, it makes you come across as too sales-y. That perfect offer? It seems too good to be true and people will be reluctant to buy from you.
Imagine a person that always talks about how great their life is. They say that they live on a yacht, go on expensive cruises every weekend, and own a home in Antarctica. Sure, they may be telling the truth, but there stories seem a little too fabricated when everything is rainbows and sunshine. Therefore, you might be hesitant to believe them.
Nothing is perfect. No one’s life is 100% without faults and no product can 100% of your problems.
Studies have shown that talking about the bad side of a product will increase sales because it doesn’t make you seem like you’re only in it for the money. Of course, don’t overdo it.
If you had problems with the product, just make sure to state them and how you overcame them. Giving your audience an idea of what to expect will make them more confident in their decision to purchase from you.
If they decide not to buy a product from you because of something negative that you wrote, that’s okay. I’d rather have my customer’s trust than lose it in an instant.
5. Give people what they want
If your audience comes over for tips on how to make money, don’t sell them a refrigerator. It’s that simple. If someone is looking to make money, they’d much rather have a book with all of your tips on how to make money.
Every time you try to push your customers to buy random things that don’t add value to their life, it dilutes the meaning that people get from your site.
6. Think of your website like a web
You could have the best product or the best ad in the world, but if no one sees it, what’s the point? It’s worth nothing to you. The key to making money is to get your product out there. Take the posts that make you the most money and put links to that page where you can. Here are some actionable steps that you can take:
- Find your top three performing posts. Link to another relevant blog post that you’ve monetized.
- Find your top five performing posts. Link them all together.
- Get the Inline Related Posts plugin. It will link to related posts and make your life a whole lot easier.
The longer that someone is on your blog, the more likely that they will, at least, be inclined to click on your affiliate links. It might be tempting to forego inbound links, but trust me, it’s a mistake! You might as well throw your money out the window.
7. Know what you’re talking about
This seems self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised.
When you’re selling a product, you need to establish yourself as an authority. If you’re selling xyz, you want people to come to you whenever they have an xyz problem. Therefore, you need to know the ins-and-outs of your product and you NEED to make your knowledge known. I can’t stress this enough.
Would you want to get surgery from the first year premed student? Of course not. You’d want the doctor who’s been practicing for over 10 years.
People want to buy from someone with experience. They are looking for YOU to help them. They have a problem and you’re SUPPOSED to fix it for them OR ELSE they won’t come back. Make their issues DISAPPEAR and they won’t stop coming back. Knowledge is addicting.
But on the other hand, it’s easy to tell when someone is faking their love of a product or when they just plain don’t know what they’re talking about. It comes across in their writing. Don’t be that person. You’ll lose all credibility AND you’ll lose the sale.
Here are some things to research if you’re looking to promote a product:
- Purpose: What is it for? What does it solve?
- Audience: Who is it for? Are people willing to buy it? Would YOU buy it?
- Resolution: Does it solve people’s issues?
- Quality: How well does it solve people’s issues? Does it go above and beyond? Is it aesthetically pleasing?
- Features: Why should someone buy this over another product?
- Credibility: Have you used to product extensively? Have you used it for at least a week?
8. Promote a strong product
Weak products will never make you millions. Therefore, you should never spend your time or resources trying to sell something sub-par. In fact, you should only focus on advertising amazing products, since they have a higher turn-out rate and will sell themselves.
9. Pick a design that inspires confidence
You can have the best product in the world, but if your website doesn’t inspire confidence, then you’re not going to make many sales. You wouldn’t buy from a shady or outdated website, so why would you expect it from your customers?
If you want to run a professional business, you have to look the part.
The design of a website is much more than just a pretty layout. It’s about so much more than that. It’s about functionality and creating trust. It’s about showing people that you at least have some idea about what you’re talking about.
10. Choose your affiliates wisely
As a blogger, it can be tempting to branch out into every cool affiliate program that you can find. However, this is a mistake. Instead, try to focus on your most profitable products and services. Also, be sure to read other people’s experiences or reviews with the product. You should have a thorough idea of the products strengths and weaknesses.
Of course, there’s a delicate balance peace between selling too much or too little. If you have affiliate links in every sentence, you’re probably going to turn people away. Sure, you might get the money from the initial click-through, but odds are they won’t want to come back.
On the other hand, if you sell too little, you’ll never see the fruits of your labor. The perfect balance depends on your audience and niche, so test out what works for you.
An added benefit of working with less affiliates is that it’s much easier to manage your income. You won’t have to log into a billion different websites!
- make a resource page
- write for a clear audience
- focus on one of a kind
- make categories
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