Where to add your affiliate links without annoying your readers

Where to place affiliate links

If you look around my website you will see a few banners to a few different products I promote.  These stand out and scream ADVERTISEMENT!!!!  This might annoy potential readers to your new blog. 

Instead of starting off with a bunch of advertisements, I would focus more on content creation and getting your traffic up to maybe a few hundred visitors a day before you start adding advertisements to your website.  This does not mean you should not try to monetize your website from the very beginning, there are just more productive and creative ways of making money off of your website.

Throughout my videos and blog posts, I mention products and services that I use to get things done easier and faster.  If I think they are a valuable tool, I will see if there is an affiliate system available from the website where I purchased the software and service and sign up for an affiliate link.  I then will link to that product from inside of my blog posts.  You want to have a disclaimer and privacy policy on all of your pages explaining that some of the links are affiliate links and that you get a commission on the sales.  I sometimes even put it directly after the link, just to let people know they are not charged anything more and that buy purchasing through my affiliate link, they are supporting the production of the show.  People will sometimes go out of their way to use my affiliate link.

The best thing is you don’t have to offer customer service or collect the money yourself.  It is a great idea to answer questions and help people out as much as possible regarding the products or services as it will help other people make the decision if they want to buy it or not as well.

I have many affiliate links throughout my websites and I have signed up to nearly 1000 affiliate offers and website in over my 20 years of making money online.  The reason I know the number so well is that I have a password management program that keeps track of all my usernames and passwords (never use the same username and password for affiliate accounts… These days I never use the same username and password for anything.)

On How To Earn Money .TV you will find my affiliate links in some of my posts, on my show notes and in the sidebars and footer of this website.  But the most income I generate is from the Resource Page.

How To Earn Money .TV Resource Page

Take a few minutes to check out my Resource Page.  Almost all of those links on that page are for affiliate products.  Not all of them collect commissions anymore because affiliate programs come and go, but they still provide valuable information and resources so I keep them up.  Don’t try to make money on everything that you use or talk about, you will make money by providing high value information.  I would suggest keeping this updated as much as possible with all the resources you have mentioned and removing the ones you feel are no longer valuable.

Related Affiliate Sub-Sites

You can put these on the same domain as your primary website, or you can create additional website that are targeted to that specific product or services.  I have created an additional website for keyword research with more information on Market Samurai that provides additional information on the product as well as training videos to make it easier to learn how to use Market Samurai for Keyword Research, finding a good domain name and more.

Forwarding Domains through Affiliate Links

I also use custom domain names like http://www.mybluehosting.com to refer people to Blue Host using my affiliate link.  This also helps customers to identify this link is specifically for Hosting and Blue Host.  I use Blue Host for many of my websites and love their services.  These types of links will never get indexed in the search engines because of duplicate content, etc… But it does make it easy for potential customers to identify what the link is for.  This also makes it easy for a listener of a podcast or video to remember the link as well as making it look cleaner when the URL is posted in a video.

Sidebar Banner Ads

You can see over on the side of this page is that I have 125×125 pixel banner ads which are all affiliate links to certain products that I regularly recommend. I do need to test them out in the future though as I feel they really are not that productive.  The most productive links have been through my blog posts and through my videos. The reason  I keep those side banners up is that I recommend those products and services all the time and I want people to know that I support them.

Test, test and do more testing.  If you are not generating sales and you have a fair amount of traffic, you should try moving your advertising around or completely remove them.  Stick to the most productive methods and keep improving on those.  Unless you are driving traffic and making sales, you are just wasting space on your website.

Within Blog Posts

If I am talking about how a specific product or service has helped me, I will put the affiliate link in the blog post and/or show notes.  I have to believe in the product, use the product and value the product for it to show up inside of my blog posts.  There are numerous blogger websites that add an affiliate link to a different product or service with each post.  Unless you have really incredible amounts of traffic and a great reputation, I don’t think this method will work.  Some bloggers believe you should be working to make a sale with every effort you make on your website.  I believe in the Pat Flynn philosophy of doing a soft sell, or ‘no sell’ approach to making money online.  He is probably one of the most successful bloggers on the internet, so he must be doing something right!!!  One of Pats older blog posts on Smart Passive Income actually inspired me to create this post.

In the blog post he provided an example of how some of his affiliate links are more obvious than others.

My iPhone app business is doing really well, thanks to the How to Make iPhone Apps with No Programming Experience eBook.

OR, I may make them a little more subtle, such as:

We don’t worry about building the apps ourselves, because it’s much easier to outsource the ideas to people who could build the apps faster and probably much better too.

You can use either of the techniques, just find what works best for you.  If I am doing a tutorial about a specific product or service, I will put multiple affiliate links using different formats and banners.

Inside of Products

If you signed up for my newsletter and received my ‘Quick Start Guide’, you will see links to different products and services I use when setting up a new website.  These will include links to Hosting, Market Samurai and a couple more affiliate items.  You can embed your affiliate codes in free give aways and any electronic product you create.

I also publish a book for real estate appraisers.  In these books I send potential customers to products and services through my affiliate link by purchasing a good domain name and doing a forward to the affiliate link through Cpanel.  If you have any questions on how to do this, just leave a comment below.

The Key to Making Money with Affiliate Programs

Always track your links.  You want to know how many are going to your affiliate link.  This way you can guage if the link is worth having at all or that you should put more of them on your website.

Test, test and test!  You have to try different positions and techniques and see what works best for your website and your viewers.

Try different methods of placing your affiliate links using direct links, forwarding links, etc…

The more you try the better you will do in the long run.  But you really need to have some traffic coming to your website for proper testing and tracking purposes.  You can also use Google Analytics to track incoming and outgoing links.  Most affiliate programs will also provide you with a ‘success’ code when a purchase is made.  You can use this to set up a goal so you know exactly where you sales are taking place on your website as well as where the traffic came from.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Thank you!

Bryan Knowlton

How To Earn Money .TV

http://www.howtoearnmoney.tv



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Price May 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm

good advice. I began my own blog a few months ago and have done well. Not as well as I’d like, so articles like this one help me further. It does seem however that the most money is being made on selling and affiliate linking for products designed to help us all make money online. Interesting huh?

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Bryan Knowlton May 12, 2013 at 3:19 am

Yeah, some of the 49ers that were mining for gold back in the day struck it rich. They were far and few between. The ones that got wealthy sold the equipment to the miners. Now if I could just come up with some good tools!!! 🙂

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