You wake up at 10:00am, you roll over and check your bank balance. You’ve made a few hundred dollars while you were sleeping.
Passive income. The ultimate dream, right?
And why shouldn’t you be one of the success stories? Like Michelle of Making Sense Of Cents, who steadily earns well over $50,000 a month with affiliate marketing, or any of the other successful bloggers making a killing with affiliate marketing?
The only thing that’s stopping you, is you.
But, let’s back up a bit.
What exactly is affiliate marketing?
Basically, it’s when you promote a product or service and you earn a commission. You can go through affiliate marketing networks, affiliate programs directly through large companies, or, you can join a fellow blogger or entrepreneur’s affiliate program. This can be the highest paying commission out of the three – sometimes earning 40-50% on a sale.
Seems like a dream come true, right?
There are various laws you must abide by when you’re participating in affiliate marketing, though.
I’m afraid a ‘’Disclaimer’’ page on your blog is not enough, anymore. You must place a statement at the beginning of every post that has affiliate links, and it must clearly state what it means. (Because not everybody is aware what an affiliate link is).
An example: “This post contains affiliate links. That means at no cost to you I will receive compensation if you purchase something through one of these links. For more info, please see my disclaimer page.” (And you would link to your disclaimer page).
Ready to take your blog to the next level, and become a rockstar at affiliate marketing? Let’s dive in!
1) Create a Blog with Quality Content and Establish Your Target Audience
Obviously, to begin kicking butt at affiliate marketing, you will need to start a blog.
But, something equally as critical is niching down, and finding your target audience.
No target audience, no affiliate income.
Establish who your target audience is, and more importantly: What are their pain points? After all, nobody is going to purchase something through one of your affiliate links if it doesn’t benefit them in some way.
Also, focus on crafting stellar content. No matter what niche you’re in, your posts should always benefit your readers in some way, and help them solve a problem they’re facing.
2) Find The Right Affiliate Programs To Join
As a new blogger, or a blogger new to affiliate marketing – you may go a little crazy and apply to every affiliate network and program you can find.
But, don’t do that.
Be authentic. Only sign up for affiliate programs that you use yourself or fully trust and believe in. If you sign up for every program under the sun, you’ll come off salesy and insincere. And you won’t actually make much money that way, either!
It’s all about finding a few affiliate programs and focusing on them.
A few affiliate networks to join no matter what niche you’re in:
- ShareASale. (Once you’re approved you can apply to hundreds of popular companies within ShareASale.)
- Amazon Affiliates. (Amazon is an excellent affiliate program for any type of blogger; they sell everything.)
- SkimLinks. (A wonderful program full of well-known companies for any niche.)
Another great way to find affiliate programs is to search Google for your favorite companies you already use, and see if they have affiliate program (I bet they do!).
3) Build Trust, Traffic, and Authority
When’s the last time you purchased something from (or through) someone that you didn’t know? Probably not often, if ever.
You need to build a relationship with your readers and gain their trust.
A few ways to build trust with your readers:
- Start an email list and nurture it.
- Engage in the comment section of your blog.
- Be consistent on your blog
You’ll also want to build authority in your niche. Get your name out. Engage on popular blogs. Join Facebook groups and participate. Interact with fellow bloggers on social media.
And then, of course, you’ll need actual readers in order to make any affiliate income.
There are so many ways to grow your traffic on your blog.
But here are a few ways to get you started:
- Use Pinterest (group boards are a great start)
- Participate in online forums like Quora
- Join and participate in Facebook groups for bloggers
- Guest post on popular blogs
- Promote your blog posts on social media, daily
Now that you have a website full of quality content, a specific target audience, you’ve joined affiliate networks/programs, built trust with your readers, and grown your authority and blog traffic – it’s time to promote the products and/or services you’re an affiliate for!
Here are a few of my favorite ways to promote affiliate products/services:
- Use social media and Pinterest. (Here’s a great post to show you how to use affiliate links on Pinterest)
- Create a “Resource” page on your blog to promote your favorite tools and products. Sprinkle some affiliate products on this page (along with some free tools, as well)
- Post “How To” posts, list posts, and tutorials.
- Write reviews for products/services that you’re an affiliate for.
- Sprinkle some links (where they naturally fit) in your blog posts.
At the end of the day, anyone can experience the kind of success Michelle and other bloggers are enjoying. They aren’t unique in this sense. But, it takes hard work and time.
Never trade your integrity for a paycheck. Your readers will see right through it if you’re just slapping up links everywhere possible to try and make as much money as you can. Focus on a few affiliate programs, and your blog and income will flourish.
You’ve got this.
Alee King is a professional freelance writer for hire, who specializes in blog post writing, ghostwriting, copywriting, and web content. Alee is also a blogger at The Beautified Life – where she helps moms start & grow profitable blogs and learn how to turn their passions into profit. When she’s not writing or blogging, she’s at home with her beautifully rambunctious preschooler or enjoying the outdoors.
I started using the BoardBooster BOSS Course from Blue Fairy Studios Learning Lab at the beginning of September with the goal to increase my presence, increase the number of eyes on my pins, and increase my traffic. Not only did BoardBooster work in supplying me with consistent results, but the course walked me through how to use BoardBooster in a way that was so simple, I don’t think I could have gotten by without it.
Before I dive into the review of the course, I want to show you my results.
At the beginning of September, hardly posting to Pinterest at all, I was averaging:
- 188 impressions per day
- 6 average daily saves
- 1 average daily clicks
Pretty pathetic, huh? That came from pretty much never posting and the occasion reblog when I found something interesting waiting in line at the grocery store. I believe these meager results are just the tail-end of previous strategies.
I don’t have a ton of Scheduler boards. But in the time since starting with BoardBooster, I have been brainstorming ways to segment my content and create more boards to which I can pin.
Since I started using the BoardBooster BOSS Course, I’m averaging:
- 2,498 impressions per day
- 6 average daily saves
- 1 average daily clicks
As you can see, I experienced a spike in Impressions at the beginning of September when I started the course. Around September 18th, I started using Looping, which resulted in a HUGE spike – almost 9k. Since then, my average impressions stayed around 2,000, whereas in August before the course, they hung around 200. While I hoped for around 10k steady, going from 200 to 2,000 consistently is nothing to laugh at.
But hold on. My average saves and clicks haven’t increased! Isn’t that the point, to get more clicks and more visitors? But I am not worried about that in the slightest. Neither should you. And here’s why.
The First Step Is Being Seen
If you want more traffic, you need to be seen. Anyone who works in marketing will tell you that. The course helped me get over that hurdle and skyrocketed my results. When I spoke with the instructor of the course, Marissa Wood, she explained to me that the way the course is step up, building impressions is the first step increasing traffic. And it will increase. According to Marissa, typical daily impressions for long term users climb into the 10s of thousands. And given my consistent growth, I have no doubt this is where I’m headed.
All in all, the BoardBooster BOSS course took over the hardest steps in marketing for me: putting myself out there, developing a workable system, and saving me time. And it explained BoardBooster, a fairly mathematical program, in a way that a creative-type math-hater like me can love.
Putting Myself Out There
One of the things I hate about social media (and internet marketing in general) is having to promote myself. I’m a withdrawn, fairly shy person to begin with and I don’t like being in the limelight very much. But if I want traffic back to my site, I have to create and publish content on a consistent basis that shines a light on me, my skills, and my knowledge.
The course helped me to prioritize my content and other re-pinned content from around Pinterest. It allows you to get your messages across, while still managing to organize your pins and boards in a way that puts you in a good light.
Developing a Workable System
The course taught me how to set up secret boards, into which I can put pins that will be posted at regular intervals. I love, love, love this process. I have boards for varying topics and can drop a mixture of my content and shared content into those boards whenever I like. I added them in while I worked through the course and I can add more in while I wait for my water to boil for tea each morning.
I love the way that Marissa walks you through the Scheduler, Looping, and Campaigns so you gain an understanding of how the different tools in BoardBooster work differently, all to your advantage.
Opening a Settings screen that looks like this usually gives me anxiety. But Marissa walks you through each option and explains why you should set it to her recommendations. Now I feel much more confident if I want to go in to tweak something.
Saving Me Time
Probably the thing I love most about BoardBooster is how much time it saves me. And the course taught me to use it in such a way that I save even more time by getting everything set up at the beginning and I don’t have to be constantly confused about how to do new things. The course is my reference whenever I mess up or get confused.
Given that I can my drop my pins into my boards and let them post on a loop, I almost never have to touch my account. One of the things I hate most about social media is how much time I spend each month scheduling posts. It was one of the reasons I had almost given up on Pinterest altogether. I spent about 3 hours total in setting up my account and my boards. After that, my impressions rose all on their own.
The Course Itself
The BoardBooster BOSS course is split into 12 sections, and I was able to do a few each day until I was done so it wasn’t overwhelming:
- Part 1: Registration & Scheduler
- Part 2: Looping
- Part 3: Scheduled Campaigns
- Part 4: Random Campaigns
- Part 5: Pin Sourcing
- Part 6: Additional Paid Features
- Part 7: Reports
- Bonus Material
- Board Booster Updates
- Discussion / Q&A Forum
A peek at the course from the inside!
Each one typically has a video with Marissa’s walkthrough and voiceover and a transcript if you’re more of a reader. Parts 1 through 5 also come with amazing PDF checklists that allow you to review the section and make sure you’ve understood and completed each piece.
My favorite sections are probably Parts 1-3. They are where I got the most value. They taught me how to set up my account in a way that makes sense, set up my secret boards, and establish the settings for each board. I love how Marissa talks you through why certain things should be set up the way they are, instead of just telling you.
Marissa walks you through additional paid features like Pin Sourcing. This is amazing because you can walk through an example set up with her and decide for yourself whether you would like to upgrade for this features. This is invaluable because few features allow you to “try” it before you start paying for it.
BoardBooster can be fairly technical as far as the mathematics. When you start adding in various numbers of pins, shares, boards, etc. it’s hard to keep track of actually how much you are posting each day. And it’s hard to keep track of when you will need to go back in to add fresh content. But in the Bonus Material section, there is a gem of a PDF with a formula that allows you to keep track of your monthly pin volume.
You also get a walk through of the reporting tools. I was able to look through these tools after about a month of using BoardBooster to decide how I wanted to tweak my setup to work better for me. For example, Marissa recommends having pins post between 7am and 11:59pm, every day of the week. However, the Reporting tools showed me that the grand majority of repins I received came in between 6:30am and 7:30pm. I got no repins on the weekends. I was able to tweak my settings to optimize the times that work best for my account personally.
My reporting screen, showing me the best times to post across all boards. If I want to, I can even see what the best time is to post in individual boards.
The other bonus material include a video explaining the Chain Search method for Group Boards, a Pinterest tracker spreadsheet demo and download. You don’t just get a walkthrough of BoardBooster with this course. You get a comprehensive strategy which allows you to use it well, not just use it.
I truly love this course and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to get my hands on it. It wasn’t a get-20k-visitors-now scheme, it didn’t make me huge empty promises. I’m not disappointed with my low visits so far. The ease of use and worry it’s taken off my mind is worth it. I always knew I had content that would do well on Pinterest, but I didn’t know how to automate and manage all the content I had. Now I have the tools I need to build the traffic I want. And not only do I have the tools, I have the course as a reference to help me navigate it well.
Want to try out the BoardBooster BOSS Course for yourself? You can even get a free trial before you buy! Click here to learn more!