How do all of these people make money from blogging without totally selling their soul? (Don’t be THIS LADY). A great place to start making money from your blog is with affiliate marketing.  Amazon Associates, Amazon’s affiliate program, is the easiest affiliate program to get started with. I am so glad you’re here because I am sharing how to get affiliate links from Amazon and why you should do affiliate marketing on your blog. This post contains affiliate links (naturally!).

Affiliate Marketing Start Guide RMW - Confused about affiliate marketing? This post shares how to get started, why Amazon Associates is the best place to start, and how you can make money in about 24 hours with affiliate marketing.

How does affiliate marketing work?

If you are sharing any kind of tutorial with a supply list, you are leaving money on the table. And if you are linking to sites that sell the products you’re promoting and you’re not an affiliate, you’re really LOSING money!!

Here are some common misconceptions about affiliate marketing:

  • Affiliate marketing costs my followers more money. THAT’S WRONG – Affiliate marketing is a way for the SELLER of the item to pay you for referring a buyer to them. It doesn’t cost the buyer more money. The price for the buyer is the same whether they click your affiliate link or not. In fact, sometimes affiliate offers include a DISCOUNT the buyer might not otherwise receive.
  • Affiliate marketing is sleazy or sneaky or spammy because it makes money without my followers knowing. THAT’S WRONG – According to the FTC guidelines, you should disclose when you use affiliate links. If you disclose, your followers will always know they are clicking an affiliate link. I disclosed in this post, at the very top!
  • Affiliate marketing is really hard to do, with coding involved. THAT’S WRONG – Advanced affiliate marketers use coding and specialized techniques but everyday affiliate marketers like you and me just need a unique product link with our identifier in it. The affiliate program will generate these links for you. All you do is copy and paste!
Affiliate Marketing Start Guide RMW - Confused about affiliate marketing? This post shares how to get started, why Amazon Associates is the best place to start, and how you can make money in about 24 hours with affiliate marketing.

I was discussing ways to make money blogging with a prominent blogger who was not using affiliate links because of all the misconceptions above. She was leaving money on the table. When you post a supply list without links, your reader has to go an extra step to google the product and hope that they get the right thing. If they are shopping in a craft store, they have to then hope they find something similar that will work. When you post a supply list with affiliate links, you are making it very easy for your followers to find the EXACT, correct item they need to make their project successful. You are helping them to have a better experience!

In addition, if your followers love what you are doing, they want to support you. Affiliate marketing gives them a way to support you while buying things they would have bought anyways. Some of my clients have fans who make the client’s blog their first stop before buying ANYTHING on Amazon – if they click any Amazon affiliate link on their favorite blogger’s website, the blogger gets credit for EVERYTHING the reader buys, not just the item the blogger recommended. It makes readers feel good to know they are supporting you!

REFERENCE: FTC.com Disclosures

How to make money with affiliate marketing

You can start making money with affiliate marketing in the next 24 hours. I am going to break it down very simply with the steps on how to get started but there is a lot more to know for long-term success.

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Affiliate Marketing Start Guide RMW - Confused about affiliate marketing? This post shares how to get started, why Amazon Associates is the best place to start, and how you can make money in about 24 hours with affiliate marketing.

Now, let’s get started with affiliate marketing:

1. Sign up for a program

The first step is to sign up for an affiliate marketing program. Like I said above, I recommend Amazon because it is fast and easy to sign up and get approved. There are two basic types of affiliate programs – those run directly by the company itself (Amazon runs their own in-house program) and those run by an agency (Sizzix runs their program through an agency called Share-A-Sale). To find the affiliate program for any retailer you want work with, simply google the retailer name and “affiliate program”.  Here are a few affiliate programs I use and recommend:

2. Find links

In the affiliate program, find links for the products you are listing in your blog post or YouTube video (yes, you can put affiliate links on Youtube!). Check the guidelines of each affiliate marketing program to find out where links for that program are allowed to be placed. For example, some affiliate programs may not allow affiliate links in email or to be posted on social media – they only want their links on blogs or websites.

The “back end” of the affiliate program website usually has multiple assets you can use to sell their products, from banner ads to sales copy and ads to product links. I typically only use product links because it’s simple. You can dig deeper in any of the programs to really make them work for you.

3. Add the links to your post

The best place I have found for adding affiliate links in a blog post is the supply list. DIY and craft bloggers always have supply lists – we want our followers to be able to recreate the project with success. By linking the supply list to the EXACT products you used, you can ensure that your followers will find the right product and have success. You can get fancy and build widgets and embed buttons and things on your site but to get started, I recommend just finding the product link and hyperlinking that product in your supply list. Since you’re making money from your affiliate relationship, be sure to mark the links as “nofollow” (click here to see how to do that).

Watch this to see how to find and add affiliate links in Amazon Associates:

Hit publish on your blog post and you’re ready to earn! Here’s a recap:

  1. Sign up for an affiliate program for a retailer that sells what you’re promoting.
  2. Find affiliate links for the products you’re using in your blog post.
  3. Add the links as hyperlinks to your blog posts.
  4. Add a disclosure at the top of your blog post about your affiliate links.
  5. Make sure affiliate links are marked as “nofollow” in the code.
  6. Publish and promote your post.

Are you using affiliate marketing? I’d love to know how you’re using it or where you plan to start doing affiliate marketing. Leave me a comment or continue this conversation in the Smart Creative Social Facebook Group.

rmw 2016

Author: Jennifer Priest

Jennifer Priest is a creativity evangelist at Just JP, sharing her love of crafts and DIY at jenniferppriest.com with a practical approach. A craft industry professional for 12 years, Jennifer's work has been featured in books, major publications and online at sites like Apartment Therapy. For her day job, Jennifer runs the influencer marketing consulting firm, Rainmaker Media Works, with a prestigious client list including Clearsnap and ilovetocreate. Jennifer also runs several niche blogs at layout-a-week.blogspot.com, paleopriests.com, and hydrangeahippo.com.

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