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A year ago, if you’d asked me about earning money from your blog, I’d have just pointed you to my post on ‘Sponsored Posts for Bloggers‘ and would have been done with it.

To be honest, the idea of earning any other way never struck me until a few months ago. All of that changed midway through 2018 when I discovered another source of revenue.

In October 2018, I made $311 using one affiliate network (listed below) and an e-mail list of just under 300 subscribers. The bulk of the money came from just 7 items that I sold to my list.

Want to know more? Continue reading below.

Today, I’m going to share with you some basic affiliate marketing tips for beginners that you can start using right away. Call it affiliate marketing for dummies, if that helps.

This post contains Affiliate links. What that means is if you click on any of the links and make a purchase, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. If you do, I thank you for your purchase. Read my complete disclosure policy here.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Put very simply, it is a way for bloggers to recommend products/courses/services to their audience and earn a commission when their readers buy said products.

Image shows a pink Kate Spade handbag. Text includes: Affiliate Marketing Tips for Beginners and Bloggers.

But the bigger questions are, how do you get started on this mode of income generation? Where do you look and what do you promote? How do you promote these things?

Those are the things we will cover in today’s post.

The first 3 points will talk about how to find your niche and join the right programmes. The next 3 points will talk about promoting your affiliate links.

6 Things to know about Affiliate Marketing for Beginners Click to Tweet

Identify your niche

This is the most important step. Affiliate marketing is successful when you are clear on what you are promoting and why you’re promoting it.

For that, you need to be clear on what niche you’re blogging in.

Once you know your niche, study the market, look at what the audience is searching for. You can understand this by hanging out where your audience is and listening to what they’re asking about.

Food bloggers? You can promote items that you use in your kitchen or ingredients you use in your recipes.

Fitness bloggers can promote items related to exercise, supplements and more.


Promote only that which you use

This is a classic mistake many first-time affiliates make and I’ve made it myself.

I added affiliate links in my sidebar and as banners in my posts without ever having bought or seen the item myself! And your audience isn’t foolish. They will know if you haven’t used it.

So, what should you do?

For instance, if you are in my space- Blogging/Pinterest/Productivity/Parenting- there are tons of things you can promote.

Pick the items that have changed your life, generated income for you and be genuine about it.

One product that I recommend over and over again is Tailwind for Bloggers, both for Pinterest and Instagram.

I’ve used it to completely schedule my content on Pinterest so it’s on auto-pilot.

And more recently, I’ve grown my Instagram following thanks to Tailwind’s Instagram hashtag finder.

Best part? Tailwind has a FREE trial for both platforms.

Ever since I started using Tailwind in September 2017, I have seen consistent blog growth plus I have generated affiliate income through Tailwind.

I also got an entire year of Tailwind for free, thanks to affiliate marketing. I know, right? 🙂

Please note that these are my individual results, but do check out Tailwind’s own Typical Results of Tailwind to get an assessment.


Join the right Affiliate Networks

There are so many networks out there that it can be quite confusing for first-time affiliates. What you must keep in mind are two important things:

  • Is the network right for you and your audience? Meaning, do they have products that you are likely to both buy and promote?
  • How good is the commission pay out? Meaning, is it worth your time to join the network at all?

Fortunately for you, I’ve listed two affiliates that I recommend based on my experience with them in the past year.

Both these programmes are fairly easy to get into.

If, for any reason your application is rejected, do mail the affiliate partner and ask how you can be approved and what you’d need to do, to make it happen.

Programme 1: ShareASale. This one is pretty popular and pretty diverse in terms of niche, so you’d definitely find something in your area of interest. 

*Tailwind’s affiliate programme is listed with ShareASale.


Programme 2: Ultimate Bundles. This one is one that I ALWAYS recommend for new bloggers.

They are the best in terms of guidance, help as well as diverse in terms of products and bundles that you can promote.

In October 2018, I promoted my first-ever bundle, the Genius Bloggers’ Toolkit, and was beyond thrilled to sell 7 bundles. That earned me $300 right off the bat!

Ultimate Bundle also featured me in this post on their blog:

10 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Goal Setting

In addition to these two, other programmes that you can join include:

  • Your Hosting Provider. I personally recommend both ChemiCloud
  • Other products you use. For instance I love DesignEvo for logo making and Stencil for social media graphics.

Promoting your Affiliate Links on your Blog

By far, the best way to promote your affiliate links on your blog is to write a post about the product that you’re promoting. Talk about highlights such as:

  • Why you bought the product/service
  • How it has helped you
  • How it can help your audience

By doing this you get two benefits: Build trust with your readers and generate income for yourself. 

The reason this works better than just adding banner links in your post is that the authenticity comes through.

Yes, it takes longer to write a post than just adding a banner, but believe me, when people read your post, they are more likely to click on the banner containing the affiliate link.

The other hidden benefit of this method is that you’re creating quality pillar content on your blog that is great for SEO.

When Google indexes your site, a review with your affiliate link will tend to rank better and that means more eyes on your content and more eyes on those links.

IMPORTANT: Always have clear and open disclosure that your post contains affiliate links. Not only is this mandated by law, it’s also made obvious to your readers.


Promoting your Affiliate Links on your Social Media Channels

All of us bloggers have social media handles. Depending on where your audience is the most active, add your affiliate links on these channels to get more eyes on them.

You can add your affiliate links to your Instagram posts, tweets and Facebook posts.

Study the channel and see where your buyers hang out. That’s very important to ensure affiliate marketing success.

For instance, I notice that my best engagement happens on Instagram, despite having less than 3000 followers.

So it’s not the numbers that matter, it’s the quality of the followers you have.

Usually, when you add a link to your blog post that contains an affiliate link, you don’t need to mention that it is an affiliate in the social media share, as long as the disclosure exists on the blog itself.

IMPORTANT: Mention the word ‘affiliate’ in your social media shares if you’re sharing the direct affiliate link that does not lead to a blog post.


Promoting your Affiliate Links through your e-mail list

When I launched my newsletter in November, 2017, I honestly didn’t think it would end up generating income for me!

Want to start your own mailing list? Read these 8 things before you do!

And yet, that’s precisely what happened in October 2018! Ultimate Bundles ran a sale for their Genius Bloggers ToolKit and I sold 7 bundles purely through my e-mail list!

How, you ask? That’s because I’d spent 10 months cultivating the interest of my readers through my monthly newsletter and my private Facebook group.

As a result, when I recommended this bundle, each of the 7 people bought it immediately!

When you add affiliate links to your Newsletter, remember to also link it back to the posts on your blog that talk about the product in greater detail.

That way, potential buyers have more than JUST an affiliate link to decide before they make the purchase.

And of course, don’t forget to add the disclosure in your e-mails as well. 🙂

Join my E-Mail list today. I promise you ONLY get what you sign up for.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT use Amazon affiliate links in your newsletter, since that is against Amazon’s Terms of Service. 


I’ve added a downloadable checklist for you, if you’re just getting started with Affiliate Marketing. Go ahead and click the button below to get it now. It’s totally FREE!


*BONUS TIP: Invest in a good course

I have to admit that a lot of my affiliate income has been generated in the last 2 months alone and why, you ask? Because I actually invested in an affiliate marketing course.

This course, Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers by Carly Campbell, {Affiliate Link} is seriously the BEST thing I’ve read in the last year.

So, IF you have the funds at the moment , I would strongly recommend that you go ahead and buy Carly’s course.

I will try and do a more detailed review of her course in a separate post, because this one is already way too long, but trust me, it’s money well spent.

You’ll be making the money back in no time, once you start applying the principles she talks about in great detail. Guaranteed.

So, questions? Doubts? Concerns? Drop a comment below and I’d be glad to answer them. 🙂

New to Affiliate Marketing, Bloggers? Wondering how to generate income from products that you recommend?  In this post, I talk about 3  key things to remember when you join an affiliate program and 3 things to know about promoting that content. Read it now. #Shailajav #AffiliateMarketing #Bloggers