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5 Ways to Prepare Your Blog for Affiliate Selling

This a guest contribution from full time affiliate marketer, Nrupen Masram.

Using your blog to earn a passive income through affiliate sales is something many bloggers aspire to. Isn’t it? But you won’t make money if you don’t get visitors to your site and you won’t get that consistent traffic until you have a blog worth visiting.

There are lots of ways to generate affiliate sales through your blog but having affiliate products to sell is just a small part of the picture. This article will focus on five elements you should consider, before and after you sign up to any affiliate programs.

1. Become A Niche Expert

If you simply focus on making affiliate sales, you’re likely to scare people away. When you do a search on Google for anything related to a particular niche, what are you looking for? Usually, you’re looking for expert. So, it follows on that if you’re an expert in a particular niche, you’re going to attract traffic. So how do you establish yourself as an expert?

There’s more than one piece to this puzzle. You obviously need lots of knowledge about your niche. You need your own blog where you can share your knowledge and engage in discussion. Write plenty of content to educate people. Once people are comfortable with you as an expert and you’ve developed a community, you can start slipping in affiliate products in your blog posts.

Nobody wants to be sold to all the time. They want to believe they’re making the buying decisions on their own so when you include affiliate links and products in your blog posts, you should aim to provide genuine solutions to common problems.

2. Create a Recommended Products and Tools Page 

Word-of-mouth advertising is by far the best, strongest and most effective form available…and it’s free! Everybody’s favorite price. This is what you are trying to harness in affiliate sales and you can consolidate all your best product recommendations on one page. As you’re building your reputation as an expert, your followers will trust your opinions and a single page of recommendations allow you to recommend products outside of a blog post.

Every time you recommend a product or tool, you’re putting your own reputation on the line and that’s one of the most valuable assets you have in business. Never recommend a product or service that isn’t good quality and never lie, say a product is good if it’s not. You only have to do it once to lose all the trust you have built up with many of your followers.

You can also create your own tools and products and add them to this category if you have the necessary skills or are willing to outsource this aspect of your business in order to make even more money.

3. Write Product Reviews

Product reviews are a great way to include affiliate links in a useful and educational blog post. Where possible, never write a review about a product you haven’t used yourself. If you’re going to make money this way, it’s best to truly know how well a product performs so you have be honest with your community.

However, it’s not always possible to use every single product and so some reviews will be based on research and opinion. You must always write an honest, but positive, review of the product and have an affiliate link within the review that goes to the product.

It’s critically important here that you don’t hide the fact you’re an affiliate. A lack of transparency may cost you the trust of some of your readers. There’s nothing wrong with making commissions based on reviews you have written if you’re honest about everything.

4. Build Your Own Mailing Lists

A growing mailing list is key to long-term success in affiliate selling and your blog for that matter. However, just because somebody subscribes to your blog, it doesn’t give you permission to hit them with countless sales emails every single day. You’re smarter than that!

Using an autoresponder (such as Aweber or GetResponse) will help keep in regular contact with your subscribers but you should vary the type of information contained within the emails. Regular newsletters give you the opportunity to share free articles, reports, ebooks and even free products sometimes.

Your affiliate sales emails should be interspersed with these other emails so the people on your lists don’t feel like they’re always being sold to. This comes back to building relationships and rapport. Also allow your subscribers to provide feedback to make sure you know if you’re taking the wrong approach.

Banner Ads 

Banner ads can be effective but you need to consider the size and placement within your blog. Most affiliate products tools have a selection of banners you can use so test different ones to see which banners can give you the best results for your money. Avoid large banners and ones that have clashing colours  Remember that they’re merely one aspect of your blog design. They shouldn’t overtake everything else you worked so hard to design.

Making money with affiliate sales can be very lucrative but it’s not as easy as waving a magic wand. It involves a lot of short, medium and long-term planning to ensure your business grows consistently and your income also grows. Never be afraid to change things to see if they can improve aspects of your business. You can always change them back if they don’t work.

You’re the master of your own destiny (and your blog). Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

My name is Nrupen Masram. I started affiliate marketing after completing college and since year 2010 I am full time affiliate marketer. I sell both physical as well as digital products but mostly my income comes by promoting physical products. I am not millionaire marketer but I do earn full time online. I write about affiliate marketing on my blog http://NrupenMasram.com.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Hi Nrupen,

    I really liked and would also recommend your first point to be successful in affiliate marketing. I guess most of the niche bloggers are able to easily make money that multi niche blogs.
    So it is very important to stick to a single niche in order to generate more affiliate sales.. Great post.. cheers

    • Nrupen says: 07/03/2013 at 4:41 am

      Hi Ansh,
      “You need just one blog to create more income.” is just a matter of personal opinion. Your opinions are always based on your own experience. There are guys who have 6 to 7 blogs and they are earning 7 figures and there also guys who have just one blog but they are also earning 7 figures.

      Note that when you are reading something somewhere about any kind of marketing related stuff you aren’t really reading a universal truth about marketing, you are just reading marketer’s personal opinion on marketing and his opinion is always based on his experience as a marketer. Same also applies to blogging.

      Remember, its your business, its your blog and hence your own experience counts.

  2. Thanks for the information, Nrupen. This article was very helpful to me as a blogger.

  3. in order to follow affiliate program to be successful, it well to made ​​a good niche site devoted to affiliate products that we offer. so, be discussed more in depth in addition a niche site can also help improve position in Google SERP

  4. Nrupen good to know your success for affiliate marketing. Niche is very important and one needs to stick to it for a long run to make profits. Also creating a recommended tools and resources page is good idea. I support it and one must recommend only those products which are useful and have been self tested and tried

  5. Really interesting post!
    Become the niche expert is the best one for preparation I believe. This way, costumer will clearly notify about what we are talking or selling about in the first time. No one like to get forced to buy, but most people like to buy things they need.

  6. How exactly does affiliate marketing work with, say, Amazon? Is it true you receive a commission on anything somebody purchases on Amazon within thirty days of visiting your site? I apologize in advance for my inexperience on this topic.

    • Nrupen says: 07/04/2013 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Tim,
      There are several ways people are making money with Amazon but I’ll tell you three of them which I know. The very first way is Product Review Sites, this is same method which I use to make money from Amazon, you have to review a popular, in demand but less competitive product and place your affiliate links in product review page.

      This method is also known as Physical Product Niche Marketing.

      Next is building Amazon stores, in this method marketers buy Amazon Store plug-ins and use them to build an online store just like Amazon. The content of product description is directly pulled from Amazon and then edited a little to make unique. I don’t use this method, my preferred method is writing reviews.

      Third is video marketing, create a video review of product or get it created from one who actually owns product. At the end of video ask them to visit link below to purchase product. Most affiliates use slide show kind of review which also works.

      Most of us actually do video marketing in wrong way there are several right ways, one of which is combining your video marketing effort with your review website. The reason is most of us never put any Affiliate Disclaimer at the end of video which is wrong as per FTC and also as per Amazon Affiliate Rules and Regulations.

      On website you have an Affiliate Disclaimer like this you’ll not end up breaking any rules and regulations.

      There are marketers who use Craigslist and other advertising media. I have no idea about those method, there is no scarcity of methods there is scarcity of patience that is required to make these method work.

      I hope that helps.

  7. Another useful post for me. I am very new to affiliate marketing. Surely I’ll follow your tips to get success in affiliate selling. Thanks for sharing such a great post.

  8. Thanks for the information, Nrupen. This article was very helpful to me as a blogger.

  9. i doesn’t have mailing list, so i think i should start to have mailing list now

  10. Hi .. i have question .. which one better. Have massive auto generate content blog to sell product or several original content?

    if if take content from amazon, will it get copy right issue



    • Nrupen says: 07/03/2013 at 11:17 pm

      Auto Blog were good source of income before 2010 many marketers actually created lot of auto blogs and made good fortune. When search engines made update, 90% of them totally disappeared for search engines and stopped receiving any traffic.

      People who build Amazon stores usually copy content from Amazon and I never heard anyone getting sued by Amazon for that. As a conclusion we can say Amazon doesn’t bother about copied content but search engines do bother.

      If your content is copied from Amazon then surely Amazon and other websites with original content will get more preference in ranking than yours. There are examples which prove above statement wrong but no one knows how that happened.

      Most probably wrong ranking happens due to glitch in search engines algorithm. And Google itself admits every time their search engine algorithms aren’t perfect and can be GAMED.

  11. The idea is good and I firmly agree to the five levels, but the best part Is the first part. Be an expert in your niche. If you are good in your field definitely people will make as the go to person.

  12. This is the post that I was looking for and How to do Selling Online and thanks for providing information by writing this blog post which provided me a lot of valubale information

  13. Nice post. I find it helpful because i was trying to decide how to monetize my blog: adsense or affiliate links.

  14. Great tips! In 15 years of affiliate marketing, I’ve learned to base everything on expertise and ethics. Expertise demonstrates reliability and ethics invite trust. The two combined are powerful income generators and neither should be faked.

  15. Great advice here. In my experience it’s very hard to concentrate on both – blogging AND affiliate marketing, but this certainly can be done when you already have a solid base, content, audience and proper processes in place.

  16. really good tips..awesome article :)

  17. I was told by a pretty big deal blogger that the banner ads are going away. Do you feel that is true? That people don’t really click on them and you are better to do sponsored posts to promote a company because if it is a post, people will read it more likely.

    • Nrupen says: 07/06/2013 at 5:42 am

      Hi Rosemary,
      Don’t you think that statement sounds very much like,
      “PPC is dead for affiliates” when Google announced they will not allow affiliates to promote products via Google Adwords
      “Article Marketing is dead” when search engines devalued article directories in year 2010.
      “SEO is dead” when panda or penguin update took place.
      “CPV is dead” when keyword based ads became expensive and unproductive.

      We all know reality, none of them is dead, marketers still use same marketing methods and are making very good fortune. With time circumstances change, due to which rules of game get altered but this never means you should quit game.

      You have to come up with new strategy when rules change. Business like “Buy and Sell Ads” are serving billion $ ads to both publishers and advertisers every year with help of banners. You can see banners on News Sites, Press Release Sites, they are also available on sites like YouTube and FaceBook.

      Popular Blogs have them which also includes ProBlogger. Based on what you see make your decision, I’ll not challenge your intelligence. By the way thanks, you just gave me an idea to write new content. I hope that helps. Have a nice day.

  18. Hello !
    excellent post. I really liked the point “Create a Recommended Products and Tools Page “. I also hate such recommendations which are fake or where there is no high quality.

  19. Product reviews and the recommended page are definitely good ways to get traffic to click through your affiliate links. If you make an excellent write up/review on a product then you will surely get some click through on those affiliate links you are leaving. It certainly never hurts to try new ways to make money!

  20. Thanks for this article and the one that I just finished reading “10 Best Affiliate Programs”. I am in the process of finding an appropriate affiliate for my site. I’ve created a magazine style blog to showcase encouraging stories about overcoming adversities – disabilities, depression and etc.

    I’ve already installed AdSense on my self hosted WordPress blog. Right now, I am carefully looking into what’s the best way to use affiliate network. I am planning to include book reviews and etc that fits my site. Nice to hear that I’m on the right track.

    I’ve a question: What’s the appropriate # of affiliates? I’m trying to earn a secondary income. I’d also like to learn about other income generating strategies that’s suitable for my blog.

  21. I just saw your blog, first thing first you said your blog is magazine style, no its not. Have a look on home page of ProBlogger you’ll understand what I mean. Following are some suggestions to improve your blog,

    – First remove that big header image, its bad for your website.
    – If you want to keep header image, install another theme which allows name of your website appear on it.
    – Header image height should not be more than 100px
    – Your blog doesn’t seem to target any specific topic
    – First select a proper niche, more targeted the better
    Example : ProBlogger targets Blogging For Income, My blog targets Affiliate Marketing Education
    – Create valuable content related to that particular niche
    – Remove all stripe ads, instead use skyscrapers in sidebar
    – Use plug-ins that will allow your visitors to share your content (Example BlogPlay Socialble)
    – Law Of Attraction, Self Improvement, Personality Development, Self Motivation and Self Hypnosis have good products to promote for inspiration niche.

    There are lot of things to suggest so I would advise get your hands on ProBlogger’s Guide on “31 Days To Build A Better Blog”, you seriously need it.


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