hundred dollar bills

Every month, I make a few hundred dollars in affiliate sales as a blogger, and those who focus on this form of monetization make even more. When I first started selling products as an affiliate, I was lucky to make a few bucks a month with Amazon. Lots of bloggers have given brilliant advice about working as an affiliate, but today I wanted to talk about some tips that worked for me to increase affiliate sales. You can make a few changes to increase passive sales, like me, or you can really run with these tips to make a full-time income with affiliate sales.

1. Capitalize on search terms bring people to your blog.

Stats come in handy if you’re looking to make a little more money as an affiliate. Check out the search terms that are bringing the most people to your site, and think about what those people are looking to purchase. For example, if people are coming to your food blog using the term “cupcake advice,” try linking to your favorite cupcake tins or decorating products on your sidebar through a well-placed banner.

2. Write reviews.

Lots of bloggers work with brands to review products, but you can really capitalize on these posts by including good affiliate links to purchase at the end of your review. In addition, you can include links to related products, which is an especially good option if you didn’t like the product – link to other items a reader can consider instead.

3. Sweeten the pot on a new product.

This is an especially good tip for informational products, which are often launched with tons of affiliates in the same community. Why should a reader buy from you and not one of the countless other bloggers out there promoting the same new product? Sweeten the pot! For example, maybe if the sale is through your site you’ll send a free copy of one of your ebooks.

4. Don’t be afraid to email your list.

If you try to sell to your list every two days, you’re probably going to see a large unsubscribe rate. However, if you never send out a sales email, you’re not making the most of a great opportunity to connect with people who want to buy what you’re selling. You can use emails to sell affiliate products just like you can use them to sell regular products. I send out a sales-related email about every other month, typically for a product that’s discounted for some reason.

5. Take advantage of buying seasons.

There are certain times of year when everyone is buying, regardless of niche – right before Christmas and Valentine’s Day, for example. In addition, specific products sell well during specific times of the year (for example, right now, weight loss products are hot since everyone’s trying to keep their resolutions). When you talk about products on your blog, using affiliate links of course, time your posts well.

6. Choose affiliate programs wisely.

Sometimes making more money as an affiliate is as easy as signing up for different programs. Some products are available from multiple companies and, thus, are available through multiple affiliate programs. Amazon has just about everything, but the percentage you’ll earn per sale is lower. Other affiliate programs may be more limited, but offer a larger percentage. Compare rates before you insert links, and consider going back through older posts that still receive a lot of traffic to replace links to better affiliate programs.

7. Compare products.

Readers love to learn about products relevant to them, but reviews aren’t your only option. You can also compare products, especially if there are two or three brands all selling similar items. Comparing them is great for search engine traffic, since lots of people look up “vs.” advice before they buy something.

8. Switch the locations of your banners and links.

It really is that simple sometimes. Affiliate links are great to place within posts and emails, but you can also make sales with banners and links on your site. Sometimes, just moving a button above the fold or to the end of a post or somewhere else makes a ton of difference. For example, I saw my sales increase when I added a product carousal to the end of posts on one of the blogs I run. Previously, I had the carousal on the sidebar and it barely got any attention at all. So do some split testing to find out what works.

Now it’s your turn: If you’re an affiliate, what changes have you made that have given you a boost in sales? Leave a comment with your best tip!

Photo credit:  SXC