**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

Affiliate marketing is a well-established method used by brands looking to promote products through a network of publishers and pay out on individual meaningful results, such as $100 per approved credit card or $40 for a lead.  For many publishers (including bloggers), it’s a chance to build revenue by placing affiliate links on their site for products that they truly believe in. Affiliate marketing can also be the gift that keeps on giving as you can continue to earn commissions on an article or placement long after it was written.

Once frowned upon by readers, affiliate marketing has become a more accepted form of advertising. Many brands have established affiliate programs for their products, which are available directly through a brand or on an affiliate network such as Fintel Connect.

Once you’re set up with a couple of affiliate partnerships, you need to figure out how to make money from affiliate marketing. Combining simple tactics and tried and tested practices with your own understanding of your audience, you can quickly build some passive income.

Understand your audience and build traffic

The number one secret to a successful affiliate marketing campaign  starts with understanding your audience. These are the people who are going to be contributing to your revenue growth and you want to know what they’re like.

Invest time in finding out their likes and dislikes, why they come to your site and the behaviour they exhibit once there. You can do this with simple analytics, but also from engaging with them on social media or in comments.

Doing this will help you learn what products will work well and what type of content your audience engage with most. These are crucial learnings to make affiliate endeavours worth your while and will allow you to find products that perform well.

Once you know your target audience, you can start building traffic to your site. This can be done by publishing regular, high-quality content, engaging on social media and through a variety of paid methods. This will raise your profile and reputation in your chosen niche. It can also help to bring a more invested audience that are likely to convert on your affiliate links.

Choose relevant products

Try not to give into the temptation of  joining lots of programs and filling your site with affiliate links, as it most likely won’t increase your ROI and may negatively impact your brand ongoing. A smarter and more effective method is to choose products that resonate and have relevancy to your audience. You’re more likely to have a high volume of conversions (and therefore earn more revenue) on a product that suits your audiences needs and that they are genuinely interested in.

When evaluating products, it’s a good idea to consider the following angles.

  1. Your audience. Who is the product aimed at (is it the same as yours?) and is it relevant to the content on your site?
  2. The product. Does this product have longevity in the marketplace, and can you promote it in more than 1 way? Do the CPA and expected conversions make it worthwhile?
  3. Personal Preference. Can you test it first and would you genuinely use it?

For example, as a personal finance and travel expert, I’m only interested in products that would benefit my readers. That’s why I’ll recommend things such as cash back credit cards, but you’ll never see loans advertised on my site.

Do the brands reputation and ethics match your own? Keep track of everything

Alongside helping you to understand your audience, tracking and reporting is paramount in helping you understand how well a product is performing. By removing under-performing products and boosting those that receive high engagement, you are directly responding to what your audience want. By doing these things, you are also not wasting valuable time or space on your site that can be put to better use and yield higher ROI.

If you’re interested in how to get actionable insights from your data, check out this article here.

Try new things

There are many ways in which you can add an affiliate link onto your website. Reviews, trending articles, newsletters, social media posts, banners and comparison tables are among the best performing delivery methods, but each site works differently. By trying out different placements, positioning or wording and keeping an eye on your data, you will quickly learn what performs well and what doesn’t on your site. It may be the case that certain products perform well with one method and others don’t, so try to test as many products as possible.

Another tip is to keep on top of the latest marketing and industry trends so that you can leverage them as early as possible. With new products or channels, being an early adopter can give you a competitive edge and boost your performance.

Understand that things take time

Assuming that you’ll instantly make thousands of dollars a month from affiliate marketing is a mistake. There are a few success stories out there of bloggers that are pulling in six-digits a month from affiliate marketing, but that’s because they’ve worked hard and have an engaged audience. In some cases, they also sell you the dream by offering courses that will show you how to make money from affiliate marketing.

Instead of paying for a course that may or may not help you boost your affiliate income, focus on things that work for you and your audience. Even if you do find success, you need to understand that there will be some months where your income drops. Make adjustments when this happens, but don’t obsess over things.

Final thoughts

Growing revenue through affiliate marketing takes time but, like a snowball down a hill, it will build momentum the longer you are doing it. Investing time early on to really learn about your audience, staying on top of your tracking and trying out new things can help you make the most of your time.

How to Make Money From Affiliate Marketing

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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