Guide to Affiliate Marketing on a Website or Blog: The Basics

Looking to make money with an affiliate marketing program? Have you ever visited a website and see nothing but a banner farm? How about those annoying pop ups that try to get you to buy something?  Of course there's those sites that are one long advertising page with a sign up at the end of it. These are examples of how not to go about getting people to click on your affiliate links. So what exactly is an affiliate and how cna you make money with an affiliate marketing program?

An affiliate is a program you sign up for as a website or blog owner which can bring you money in exchange for advertising a product or service. So for example, you have a website that sells music  products. You can sign up for an affiliate account with a program such as and make money by promoting their products. Most affiliates will pay you a commission percentage on the sales you make.  You'll get access to links, products adverisements,  banners, and other promotional methods to sell the goods on your website or blog. Some blogs such as Google's blogger already include Amazon as an option.  Once you are set up you can sit back and wait for the riches to roll in. Well, your in for a shock because it doesn't work that way for most people.

Affiliate Marketing Program: How to Use Affiliates

When people browse the Internet they are not looking to click on annoying banners, spinning gizmos or other annoyances, they are looking for information.  Banners and popups don't provide information they give the website user the incentive to click away and never return to the site again. If your blog or website is just one advertising farm, you'll be hard pressed to make sales on it no matter how many tricks you try.

The key to your success will come when you provide your user with great content on your website or blog and give them the incentive to buy something. For example, you can review a product and include your affiliate links in your review.  People are  more likely to click on that advertisment because it's not annoying. It doesn't say "buy me" right away, it's just a natural part of the website. You are refering the user to a place to buy the product after you gave them something "useful." That's the key right there to making sales with affilaites, providing your user with content before you try to sell them something.

Affiliate Marketing Program: Match Advertising and Content

You visit a website about book reviews and you find advertisements for credit cards, dating, and forex trading. Who in their right mind will click on those? You'l find tons of sites just like this example where webmasters stuff the site with as many affiliate programs as possible in a desperate attempt to get sales. The site might get the odd sale here and there but chances are the website will fail miserably. If you're going to use affiliate programs make sure that the program matches your content, which will help your sales. Use text links where possible and only a few images or the odd banner.  A site full of advertising will only confuse your reader and send them off to another website.

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Provide Content, Get Sales

Give your site visitors something useful.  Provide videos, samples, free images, audio clips, or useful articles of information. Keep your visitors coming back to your site because you offer great content not flashing "buy me" lights.  If you want affiliate sales, you need content so give your visitors what they came looking for in the first place, information. You'll see increased sales and more site visitors over time as your site or blog grows with good content. This process may take a few years but in the end it will be worth it.