Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link. Full disclosure policy here.
How I Make Money from Affiliate Marketing
Today I wanted to share about how I make money from affiliate marketing.
As a blogger, affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to make money.
I have written quite a few blog posts about affiliate marketing if you are not familiar with it and want to learn more about what it is first:
- The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with Affiliate Marketing
- Is Affiliate Marketing Legit?
- How to Get Approved for Affiliate Programs
Basically, affiliate marketing is an arrangement where a company pays an affiliate commission on all sales generated through their unique affiliate link.
This is great for bloggers, because you can use affiliate links in your blog posts and you will earn a commission every time someone clicks your link and makes a purchase through it. It’s also passive income, because you just have to write a blog post once, and you can earn from it for months or years into the future.
There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there that you can join. I put together a big list of 250+ affiliate programs for bloggers.
Now let’s get into how I actually make money from affiliate marketing!
It’s a bit different from the way that some bloggers might make money, because I have multiple blogs and very different strategies for them.
Affiliate Marketing on Blogging Her Way
The website you’re on right now, Blogging Her Way, is my main focus.
This is the first blog I ever started and the one I have kept going with for the longest amount of time. It’s also currently my main source of income.
Since Blogging Her Way is all about teaching others how to start a blog and make money blogging, the affiliate programs I am part of are all related to this niche. Some of the products I promote as an affiliate include:
- Bluehost (the web hosting company that I use and recommend for others
- Online courses and ebooks for bloggers
- Blogging bundles like the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit
- WordPress themes for bloggers
- My email marketing platform ConvertKit
As you can see, all of these affiliate programs are related to blogging.
They are also smaller, independent affiliate programs for digital (as opposed to physical) products. Digital products often have higher commission rates.
For example, if someone signs up for web hosting through Bluehost using my affiliate link, I earn an $85 commission. Many online courses or blogging bundles offer anywhere from a 30% to 70% commission rate.
This can really add up, but it’s important to note that the “blogging about blogging” niche is VERY competitive and hard to get traffic. It’s also a niche where you really need to be able to build trust and authority with your audience.
If I had not started so many other successful blogs in different niches, then I would not feel comfortable telling others how to blog.
That being said, I earn money from affiliate marketing on BHW in two main ways…
1. On the Blog
On my blog, I use affiliate links in blog posts.
For example, I mention my top-earning affiliate Bluehost in blog posts such as:
- How to Start a Blog for Beginners (step-by-step guide)
- Bluehost Review: Web Hosting for Bloggers (dedicated review)
- How Much Does It Cost to Start a Blog? (informational post)
As you can see, the topics/types of these blog posts are all different, but mentioning Bluehost makes sense and fits in a natural way.
I use affiliate links in almost every blog post, but again, I always make sure it’s a natural fit and adds value to the reader. It’s really obvious when you are just throwing in affiliate links to try and make a buck.
The great thing about blog posts is that I write them once and can earn money from the affiliate links in them for years to come. In fact, I still earn money every month from blog posts I wrote in 2017 and 2018!
2. Email Marketing
The other way I earn money from affiliate marketing on BHW is email marketing.
I have an email list for my blog that at the time of writing this, contains over 7,100 subscribers who are interested in the topic of making money blogging.
The way I grow my email list is by offering a free opt-in incentive for anyone who signs up. Here are the opt-in incentives that I currently offer:
I link to these all over my blog and in my blog posts, so I can convert casual readers who end up on my blog into email subscribers.
Once someone signs up to receive their freebie, they are added to my email list where I send out weekly newsletters about blogging. They are also added to an automated sequence right away where they receive a series of 5-7 pre-written emails over the course of a couple weeks after subscribing.
I do all of this with my email marketing platform ConvertKit.
These emails, along with my weekly newsletters, are another opportunity to use affiliate links. I can continue to recommend my favorite blogging products and resources to my subscribers, including sharing special sales and offers with them.
Affiliate Marketing on My Other Blogs
Now that I’ve talked about how I make money from affiliate marketing on Blogging Her Way, let’s take a look at how I do it on my OTHER blogs.
In addition to Blogging Her Way, I have started and sold a number of other successful blogs in niches like travel, lifestyle, and college.
You can read more about those blogs in these posts…
- How I Made $35,000+ from Blog Flipping
- Blog Case Study: How I Made $8,400+ in 9 Months with a New Blog
- How I Made Over $7,000 from a Hobby Blog in One Year
At the time of writing this, I have earned well over $100,000 from my other blogs!
I typically have one or two other blogs I am working on in addition to Blogging Her Way at any given time. And my affiliate marketing strategy for my blogs in other niches is different than what I do for Blogging Her Way!
First of all, I mainly focus on the Amazon affiliate program.
While it has lower commission rates (1% to 10% depending on the product category) you earn a commission on everything someone adds to their cart, not just the item they clicked on. It also converts really well, because Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world! And it works for just about every niche.
This is why Amazon is my “go to” affiliate program for my other blogs.
I typically write blog posts that feature a lot of Amazon affiliate links. Going with the example of a travel blog, here are some posts I might write:
- Gift guides (e.g. 21 Christmas Gifts for Women Who Love to Travel)
- Packing lists (e.g. 10 Packing Essentials for Iceland You Can’t Forget)
- Travel tips (e.g. 15 Tips for Surviving Long Haul Flights)
- Product lists (e.g. 12 Stylish and Durable Travel Backpacks for Women)
I also use Skimlinksfor things that aren’t on Amazon.
Skimlinks is a unique affiliate program because you don’t have to manually insert affiliate links into your blog posts. They automatically convert any links into affiliate links for you, which is a HUGE time saver and the main reason I use them.
For my travel blog, I used Skimlinks for Booking.com hotel links. I ended up earning quite a bit from hotel affiliate links since hotels are on the pricier end.
On my other blogs, I do NOT use email marketing because it would just be too much work for me to commit to sending newsletters for multiple blogs. Instead, I just focus on affiliate marketing directly on the blog.
How I Make $5,000 a Month from Affiliate Marketing
This post showed you how I make money from affiliate marketing!
It’s going to be slightly different for every blogger, and you will want to find the affiliate programs and strategies that work best for you.
I highly recommend the online course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing if you want to learn more and increase your affiliate income.
The course was created by Michelle, a seven-figure blogger who runs the popular personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents. I took her course when I first started blogging and it helped me double my affiliate income in one month!
You can learn more about Michelle and the course here:
- How to Make $50,000 a Month Blogging (Interview with Michelle)
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review + Discount Code
If you cannot afford the full online course right now, Michelle also created a great FREE ebook about affiliate marketing which you can download here.
More Blogging Tips
Looking for more tips about how to start a blog and make money blogging?
Be sure to check out the following posts!