You don’t have to search far to find hundreds if not thousands of examples of successful marketers who have made a full time living this way. There are many more who do this as a side hustle or part-time income while pursuing other careers, living a digital nomad lifestyle, or pursuing other skills and interests.
There are many important skills to learn to meet your goals. Understanding where to post affiliate links (and how to do it without spamming) is a crucial foundation skill.
This goes not only for where you place the links, but how. The good news is that there are many top notch affiliate programs out there. There are also many different places where you can post affiliate links.
Seeing the number of options out there will help you understand just how many opportunities there are. They may even help you get some creative profitable ideas of your own!
Building Your Own Affiliate Website
This is the way most affiliate marketers make a killing. This makes sense. Controlling your own blog means you can choose your niche, write as many articles as you want on the topic, target a wide number of related keywords, and put affiliate links down as you see fit.
This is the most popular option for several reasons.
One is control.
When you have your own domain name and your own inexpensive hosting (we recommend Bluehost here), you have the ability to create a website where you can drive traffic. You can test many different link options. Buttons, text links, linked pictures, and banners are just a few of the potential options you can test out to see what works in your niche.
Having an optimized affiliate site also gives you a property that can open the doors with more affiliate programs once you hit certain traffic numbers. More options are a good thing. Not only does that diversify income, but some programs simply pay better or convert better.
Having your own website also opens up things like display ads and sponsored posts, but those are outside the realm of immediate affiliate income. These are more ways of making money on a blog post in conjunction with your affiliate links.
Aside from control and the ability to drive traffic to one location you own, having a site makes it much easier to build an email list. Building trust with an audience takes time. If you provide great value and earn the trust to get a real email address, that’s a person who will be more likely to buy from you again and again.
Having an entire email list full of people, you’ve helped out can be an incredibly valuable thing. In fact, many of the wealthiest and most successful affiliate marketers you meet strongly believe in this strategy.
Make sure to produce plenty of quality blog posts for your site. The more great content you have, and the more often you post truly great blog posts on your site, the more you are likely to make as an affiliate marketer.
Want to get started building your own blog and affiliate site? Read our guide on how to start a blog here.
Where to Place Affiliate Links in Your Website
So you’ve picked a niche, bought a domain name, and are now creating great valuable content. Fantastic!
Now what’s the most effective way to post affiliate links on your website?
This can be a tough question This is going to vary a bit not only from one niche to another but also site to site. There are many options and one of the best things about having your own site is that you can test all of these methods out. Chances are that you may choose to use several of these strategies when placing your links in your content.
Good example of linked text in a review style article.
This is one of the most commonly used techniques as well as one of the most effective. Simple and basic. Highlight the text of the name of the product you are an affiliate for, add your affiliate link, and there you are. An active money making link on your site that doesn’t interrupt your content.
Both of these can be very effective ways to place affiliate links in your blog content. Using information from Google Analytics and other tools can allow you to record data, save the information, and try the other style of link to see which one works best on your site.
These techniques can also be used in the body of emails you send to your list. Never send an email with an affiliate link unsolicited. That’s spam. It’s also a good way to get banned from an email platform.
You can send affiliate links to your email list. Best not to blast them non-stop. That will backfire. But if you consistently offer great content, bring them value and support as well as excellent information, then putting in an affiliate link once in a while and asking for a sale will be perfectly fine. There’s a good chance it will also be quite effective.
I’m actually a big fan of using buttons, and will often use them in conjunction with linked pictures or in-text links to really powerful effect. This is especially true when doing review specific articles. A button that directly says “Buy Now,” or “Check Current Prices” can be a great way to catch the eye. It can also give readers that little nudge towards becoming buyers.
So how do you get those fancy buy buttons?
There are so many options. Just a shortlist includes:
- Running a theme that gives them as a feature
- Using a plug-in that allows you to add them
- Using a pre-made graphic from places like Canva
- Making your own
I’ve seen all of these options used successfully. In fact, I started with using some good free graphics from Canva. Then I tried some themes that had this as a feature.
Finally, I figured out you could just use Microsoft Powerpoint to make a nice one to use over and over. Design it the way you like. Then use screen capture software to trim it down to just the button. Then take the picture. Now you have a picture of a buy now button you can insert any time you need to post an affiliate link.
This also allowed me to save the design. I could test different colors to see if that made a difference (it does – at least in the outdoor niche), switch between white or black text letters, and even customize the message for an individual post. That’s a lot of control using a program already installed in my computer.
Granted, if you don’t have Powerpoint that would be an expense, but that’s not the main point. The point is there are plenty of options for getting any type of buy now button you want for your affiliate links. So don’t let that stop you!
An example of a linkable button that has worked well for me.
Linking to Pictures
This is a common strategy that has been one of the highest converting methods for affiliates in many niches. This is as simple as having a picture of what you are promoting and adding the affiliate link to it. This can be an unedited picture, or it can be one that you add graphics to. The second option is often best to make it clear that the link is for a sale.
This can easily be done in conjunction with text links and button links in many cases.
Important Note: Many affiliate programs require people to know where they’re going. Make sure you know the terms of your program (like Amazon) and add any text, graphic, or button you need to come into compliance with those terms.
Banner ads are something we’re all familiar with. When they first came out they were effective but that was a long time ago. While you can design your own banner, or use them with certain affiliate programs, these are generally weaker ways to monetize a site. There are better ways to get your links out.
The one situations where banner ads really work are when you are a marketer getting others to affiliate market for you. In that case the ability to give banner links helps spread your links to sites or places you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Some affiliates have found success with a “Recommendations Page.” This is a page that is at the top so visitors can toggle navigation to get to it. This page will be a featured list of top notch products, programs, or what you most want to promote to your visitors.
This is a page that will be filled with links. Most likely a picture that is linked, text links, and a button link as well. The idea here is to build enough trust that you can drive traffic to that page. Sites relying on this will usually have a pitch at the end of every post pushing traffic to that page.
This may also be a decent technique for sites where a ton of the traffic is question keyword based. In those cases, it’s often easy to drive larger amounts of traffic when giving valuable content, but harder to get a direct affiliate sale. A recommendations page where you can post your links with descriptions of each item can be a great way to turn that authority into actual affiliate revenue.
A landing page is like mini-sales funnel and good ones can be very effective. Visitors go to a page that is designed for a purpose. On some sites that’s getting an email address to build a list. On others it might be paying for a live in-person seminar.
Often times when a full out landing page is used it’s to promote a class, a program, or something higher cost that is going to deliver a really solid payment. The landing page is an excellent method for using a long sales letter copywriting technique, or when set up properly they can make a quick solid pitch for using the affiliate link.
These are very common in some niches and extremely uncommon in others.
Creating & Promoting E-book
One of the major strategies that works great if you have built a solid email list is creating an ebook and having your affiliate links in the ebook. This used to be a common tactic for marketers then it fell off as it became less effective over time.
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Except it mainly became less effective for people who sent thinly dressed content and called it an ebook. Don’t be that guy (or gal). Any ebook should still be great content that brings an enormous amount of value to your readers. If you do that and include affiliate links, you are far more likely to get clicks.
Every good affiliate marketer understands the importance of email marketing to a good list. Make sure you don’t paint you or your sites in a bad light because you didn’t offer enough value and started spamming.