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

4) Promote

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.