What are affiliate links? That’s a great question and one that took me a while to look into for my personal blog. Just the term “affiliate link” sounded time consuming and like a big commitment. Unfortunately for me, living in Illinois I don’t get to experience the joys of affiliate links, so I never really had to take the time to figure out how they function. That doesn’t mean that you should miss out!
Affiliate links are links you place into your blog posts from the company who’s affiliate program you are a part of and every time someone clicks that link and buys something you get a little percentage of the sales. For example, if you were talking about a new recipe that you made on your blog, you could link the casserole dish to a casserole dish on Amazon.com and if you were part of their affiliate program you would get paid for the traffic you send them. It’s a win-win I think! Unfortunately, along with Illinois, residents of Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Connecticut are not allow to participate in that particular program. However, there are lots of companies that have affiliate programs and some of them allow residents of these states to participate as well. If you do a quick search online for “affiliate programs” or “companies with affiliate programs” you will find a long list.
Now, how are affiliate programs helpful? Well they are just another way to monetize your blog and who doesn’t like a little extra pocket change? You do have to apply to most affiliate programs and if you have a small readership on your blog there is a good chance the company will not accept your application. If it does get accepted, be sure to be very upfront with your readers about your affiliate links. You never want to create content just to fit those links in there. They should be a natural transition otherwise your readers might feel tricked and cheated, like you’re just trying to make money off of them.
Interested? Want more information about affiliate links? Here are some great articles I found from around the web: