April 18, 2009

About Affiliate Advertising

affiliate-networks Many bloggers are eager to find revenue streams to help monetize their blogs. Once your blog is established & receiving some traffic, you may want to begin researching affiliate programs that could allow your blog to put money in your pocket.

What is Affiliate Advertising?

Affiliate advertising is basically an online marketing channel. An advertiser pays a blogger to promote the advertiser’s products/services on the blogger’s site.

There’re 3 main types of affiliate ads: pay-per-click, pay-per-lead & pay-per-sale. Each of these affiliate ad types has 1 thing in common. They’re all performance based meaning you don’t earn money until your readers perform an action such as clicking on a link/clicking on a link then purchasing the product on the page to which the link brings them.

There are several large & well-known companies that offer affiliate programs which you can set up on your blog within minutes regardless of how well established your blog is.

Examples of Companies Offering Affiliate Advertising Programs to Bloggers:

  • Amazon: You can choose from a wide variety of ads such as text links, banner ads & more. If you’d like, you can also select the exact Amazon products you’d like to feature on your blog.
  • eBay: You can choose from eBay’s auctions & find the specific products you want to advertise on your site.
  • AllPosters: You can choose from 400,000 products to advertise on your blog.

What is an Affiliate Directory?

You could sign-up to monetize your blog through an affiliate directory where various online merchants post their affiliate ad opportunities. You can review the ad opportunities and apply to host a specific ad on your blog.

Most advertisers on these sites will have restrictions related to the blogs they will work with. Typically those restrictions are related to how long the blog has been active & the amount of traffic the blog receives. For those reasons, an affiliate directory is most helpful if your blog is well established.

Take some time to research each affiliate directory to find the right one for you and your blog. Different affiliate programs offer different payments & credibility. Take your time & investigate your options before you jump into anything.

Examples of Popular Affiliate Advertising Directories:

Factors to Consider When You Select an Affiliate Advertising Program to Monetize Your Blog

  1. Read all the details about the opportunity including the pay, the terms, etc.
  2. Select affiliate program ads that are consistent with your blog’s content. Ads that don’t match your content will undoubtedly be clicked on less frequently (meaning less revenue for you) & can decrease the credibility of your blog (meaning fewer readers will return to your blog because it's cluttered with irrelevant ads).
  3. Don’t go overboard with affiliate ads. Too many ads not only make your blog look suspiciously like spam to readers, but search engines will think so, too. Sites that are covered with affiliate ads & little additional original content will be marked as spam by Google & other search engines which will hurt your traffic & page rank overall.
  4. Don’t expect big profits (at least not at first). While many bloggers can generate a decent ancillary income from affiliate advertising, most bloggers can’t boast those kinds of results. Boosting your income through affiliate advertising takes time & practice. Don’t be afraid to test new ads, placement, programs & more until you find the best mix to meet your goals for your blog.

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