Most bloggers who start blogs get it wrong from the get-go. I was one of them, and did everything wrong for several years before I realized that what most “gurus” said that you had to do to be successful was a bunch of marketing bunk, and really didn’t align with how I wanted to run a business.
I worked for a long time trying to do “the blogging thing” but never really made a profit until I started working hard to build a tribe first, then work on profits. I focused on helping people and then on making a profit, not the other way around. A lot of people who teach affiliate marketing make it sound so simple. Their not-so-helpful tutorials sound something like this: “Just share links, write some blog posts that include affiliate links, and you’ll make money!”
Yeah, right. 🙄
If everyone who shared any kind of affiliate in an unhelpful blog post designed to make the author money was rich because of affiliate marketing, then major retailers wouldn’t need tv or internet ads anymore because affiliate marketing would be more efficient than literally any other method of marketing.
It’s unrealistic and insane to expect that simply “sharing links” is going to make you money, and that people who have no relationship with you, and no trust in you, are just going to buy shit because you wrote some stuff about it on the internet. If you’re looking for a “do this for 5 minutes a day and you’ll be rich!” type of guide, this is not the place for you.
I want to show you how I make money with affiliate marketing, using Pinterest as my source of traffic. Most of my content is hosted on my blog because social media isn’t a dependable platform to build your business on.
What kinds of content I share
When I started making my blog posts and social media posts, the most popular kinds of content were:
- Tutorials & Training
- Hacks and helpful tips
For example, these are some of the free courses I offer to people. They either include affiliate links, or lead to an email series or paid product that includes relevant affiliate links.
One of my favorite things about ecourses, is they give me an opportunity to really help people and build trust, LONG before I ask for a “buy” by sharing an affiliate link.
I personally really love the format of ecourses, so that’a why you’ll see I have a lot of them, but I’m certainly not here to say that free courses are the “one way” you should be promoting affiliate links. I don’t believe in one-size fits all business plans. No two people are the same, so neither can our businesses be!
In fact, I hate putting all my eggs in one basket and use a lot of diverse ways to share my affiliate links. Inside of my business courses vault for my Abundance: Unlocked members I have a course called, Create Your Affiliate Marketing Business because affiliate marketing is such a nice stream of income for content creators who want to diversify and automate your income.
My super-not complicated marketing plan for my affiliate marketing business
Any business that depends on you working all the time isn’t going to be a sustainable business, so it’s important to focus on systems that make you money on autopilot from Day 1.
I personally use Pinterest to market my free resources. I work to appeal to a female audience, so that works for me. 🙂 Most of the women who come to me fall into something like this:
- want to make money from home
- (many times, but not all) have tried other things like MLM, blogging, and other side hustles, and failed to make money at them
- women who need financial stability in order to achieve their goals (staying home with kids, get out of debt, or retire with dignity, that sort of thing!)
I share my resources in relevant group Pinterest boards and Tailwind Tribes where these kind of lovely ladies are hanging out, which brings them in, allows me to help them through a free resource, then sometimes leads to affiliate commissions for me at some point.
The only other big piece to my marketing plan is our Facebook community, which is just a nice place to hang out and create relationships with these ladies. Sometimes I do post offers, but mostly I try to be there to answer questions, talk about real-life stuff like kids, being a wife and being a woman entrepreneur. Notice, almost all of my content I mentioned had NOTHING to do with selling, marketing, or promoting.
That’s the biggest thing I would recommend to you: focus first on relating to your audience and helping them out, then consider how you can make money while you do it if you want to become an affiliate marketer. Too many people focus on the “sharing links” part, and not enough on the relationship building that
If you want to become an affiliate marketer, I have lots of resources for you inside of my business courses membership vault that all of my money relationship clients have access to.
Have questions about affiliate marketing?
I don't have a blog or website, do I have to have one?
Creating a website or blog will make your journey into affiliate marketing a lot easier, for a few reasons.
- Most major affiliate companies prefer to work with people who make content, not just sharing stuff. Affiliates who send traffic that’s ready to buy are going to buy are much better for their bottom line than those who just share links willy-nilly on social media. Having an active website makes it easier for you to get into large affiliate program companies, and opens a lot of doors.
- Having a website gives your followers a central place to look for your content. If someone likes what you share, then it’s great to have a single place you can send them for more of what you create!
- You being in control of your income keeps it safe. If you’re only sharing on social media, they could ban them tomorrow and your income would be gone. Obviously not an ideal situation!
- Having a website also makes it much easier to collect email addresses, so you can always stay in touch with your fans whenever you want to. This means more relationship building, which will eventually lead to more sales!
That being said, no, you don’t have to have a website, if you’re dead set against it.
In my paid program, one of the first lessons students see is one where I show them 5 easy places to share affiliate links that aren’t a website. I do highly recommend having one, but you can also start affiliate marketing without a site, and wait till you have more money before investing in a website of your own.
Who is a good fit for affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is beautifully unique, because basically any market where there are products available for consumers, there are affiliate programs to go with it!
Affiliate marketers who do well are:
- willing to create their own content that makes products appeal to their audience
- will put intentional thought into the strategy they use to share affiliate links (not just sharing links in order to make a quick buck)
- understand and accept that they’re marketing to people, not cash machines who are all dying to buy anything you share
- put time and effort into creating a system for making money – any “get rich quick” business plan is crap
What kind of time does it take to run an affiliate marketing business?
Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite kinds of businesses, because it doesn’t take tons and tons of time to maintain.
I personally like to use systems that allow me to work in batches. For example two of my favorite ways to work in batches with affiliate marketing are to setup an email series to market an affiliate product, or to create some social media posts to share on my Facebook group or page and add them to my social media scheduler.
You can out as much, or as little, time into affiliate marketing as you want to. It can be something you do after you get home from a regular job, or you can spend 80 hours a week working on it if you like.
If you have less time, I would focus on systems like email marketing (we talk about that in the 4th module of my paid course) that can work for you and takes less time to keep going.
If you have more time and love being social, using social media can be very effective, but it naturally takes more time to interact regularly.
The bottom line here is: it’s all in what you want to do, and what you have time for! There’s no hard and fast rule for how much time you need to put into your business.
How can I get started with affiliate marketing for myself?
There are two ways you can get started with affiliate marketing.
You can always start joining affiliate programs on your own. A lot of affiliates do that and make money, although it can be a bit of a learning curve.
That’s the way I did it, learning on my own!
2. Take a course
If you’re looking for some no-nonsense directions on how to become an affiliate marketer, I would love to introduce you to my course, Create An Affiliate Marketing Business. In this course, I’m going to show you the tactics I use and recommend to:
- find your audience
- attract your audience to your content
- share affiliate links strategically
- how to share your links and get sales, not just clicks!