Why You Need To Grow Your Affiliate Income

Many bloggers skip over affiliate marketing. They either think it’s too hard, that it’s a waste of time, that they will turn followers away, or that their followers just won’t be interested. In fact, I recently asked various bloggers how much they were earning from affiliate marketing. The most common answer was somewhere around $500…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: January 14, 2021

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Many bloggers skip over affiliate marketing. They either think it’s too hard, that it’s a waste of time, that they will turn followers away, or that their followers just won’t be interested.

When done the correct way, affiliate marketing can be a great form of income. Plus, you can do this without turning your readers away! I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and show you exactly how!In fact, I recently asked various bloggers how much they were earning from affiliate marketing. The most common answer was somewhere around $500 or less.

Some even said $0.

This included several bloggers who receive 1,000,000 page views or more every month.

These bloggers all have the same problem. They don’t realize how much money they are leaving on the table, and they have no clue how to approach affiliate marketing the correct way.

This is just crazy to me, because I’ve never really had a crazy amount of page views. Even when I had less than 100,000 page views a month I was still earning a decent amount of money through affiliate marketing.

Last month, I earned over $50,000 through affiliate marketing, and I expect that to stay stable or increase well into the future.

Plus, no follower has ever complained.

This is one thing that often scares bloggers and social media influencers away from affiliate marketing. They are afraid of what their readers will say, and they are afraid that they will come across as slimy sales people.

That’s just not true. I haven’t had a single person complain about the affiliate products that I promote on my blog. Some people have even told me to promote affiliate products even more because they don’t notice what I am promoting.

When done the correct way, affiliate marketing can be a great form of income. Plus, you can do this without turning your readers away! If it’s done the right way your readers will actually prefer to see what products you are interested in, and they will have no problem making purchases through your affiliate links.

Note: I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course.

Affiliate marketing is great for many reasons, as you will read below.

 

Affiliate marketing is somewhat passive income.

Affiliate income is great because you can create a post, review, etc., and that post may earn you money years down the line with minimal work needed to maintain it.

But, It’s not entirely passive. You will need to build a following, publish content consistently, built trust, and more. You can earn income from one affiliate link or one blog post for a long time, with little work needed to maintain it.

In fact, I’ve earned over $300,000 from a single blog post – How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost.

 

There’s less work than creating your own product.

Affiliate marketing isn’t easy, but there are things you don’t have to worry about when comparing affiliate marketing versus creating your own product.

You don’t have to ship anything, create the product, handle cancellations, manage customer service, and more. Yes, you will have to build your following and earn your readers’ trust, but it can be a great way to increase your income, especially if you already have loyal followers.

 

It’s affordable.

The affordability of affiliate marketing is another reason it’s a great way to grow your income. You don’t need to create any products or spend time building a product.

You don’t even need a website, as you can start promoting affiliate products on social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you do decide to have a website, that can also be relatively affordable, because starting a website doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $3.49 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting.

 

You can get paid for promoting products you believe in.

I’m sure there are many products that you love. So, why not get paid for telling others about them?

Plus, if you truly enjoy a product, it will be easy to promote. You’ll already know everything about the product and you’ll have no problem being enthusiastic about it. If the product has helped you, it will probably help others as well, and people will appreciate your honest review.

 

There are many options for products to promote.

There are so many different products, services, and companies to promote. There’s something for everyone!

Products you could promote to your following include:

  • Financial companies
  • Cell phone apps
  • Digital products, such as online courses, ebooks, and more
  • One of the millions of items on Amazon
  • Travel booking websites
  • Blog-related products, such as website design, website hosting, and more
  • Clothing
  • Home decor
  • Craft items
  • Outdoor gear such as bicycles, tents, backpacks, and more

Now, I’m not saying that affiliate marketing is a get rich quick scheme, because it’s not. You will have to build a loyal audience who trusts what you have to say, and this is not always easy. However, if you are able to build a following that is interested, then you may be able to earn a great living promoting products that you already enjoy and believe in.

 

You can work from anywhere.

One of the best benefits of affiliate marketing is that you can do it from anywhere. As long as you have a loyal following (even if it’s just a few people), a laptop, and an internet connection, you can grow your affiliate income well into the future.

Due to my blog and affiliate marketing I am able to travel full-time. It’s really a great thing!

Are you interested in affiliate marketing? If you have a blog and are brave, please share what you earn through affiliate marketing as well as your page views. Sharing will help everyone!

10 Easy Tips To Increase Your Affiliate Income

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Interesting post, really helpful for who has a blog and is looking for affiliate program and extra earning, so thanks for sharing

    1. Giulia,

      Are you exploring affiliate marketing and curious how it can work for you? If you’re already in affiliate marketing, what affiliate programs are you currently partnered with? Have you been to an internet marketing event and met online advertisers face to face in discovering new and high paying marketing opportunities?

  2. I’ve been trying to get my head around affiliate marketing. It seems pretty straight forward but impossible without the right traffic. At the moment I have only one affiliate, another on suspended my account as I didn’t have any click throughs in three months. The aim for this year is to set up and promote 3-5 affiliates on my website that will be suitable for my audience. At the moment it’s hard to imagine large numbers but it would be nice to bring in a few thousand a month eventually. First things first, increase traffic!

    1. I plan on going over everything and anything about affiliate marketing in my course. If you have any additional questions related to it, please let me know and then I can add it to the course πŸ™‚

      1. Jaimie McCallum

        I almost signed up for your course but it was too costly for me. Please let me know if you ever have a more reasonably priced course available. Those of us just getting started are doing it so we can have the higher income. I for one live on $1000 a month income and really can’t take the more than 10% of that to take a course, even knowing it will help me increase my income, there really is no room in the budget.

        Like other readers and followers of yours I don’t have many followers yet. Is there a number of followers that would make it more worth it to invest in your course? I’m just not that popular a person. The only followers I have are family. How can I increase those numbers?

        1. Hello,

          Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a great learning tool, even if you are a brand new blogger. By taking this course, you will start off blogging the correct way. You can learn from my affiliate marketing mistakes and learn the best ways to start making an income by being an affiliate. Through taking this course you are sure to grow a profitable blog quicker than the average blogger, as you’ll learn exactly what you need to know about affiliate marketing. So, even if you only have one blog post, you are ready to get started with this course!

          Other course that are similar to mine are priced much higher, starting at around $500 and going up from there.

    2. If you’re striving for excellence to amp up your affiliate marketing efforts on your blog or website, just know you’re going to have to get in the mindset of creating content daily in excess of 1k words or better per page. Some people write and post to their site only once weekly in hopes of getting traffic steadily to their ads and make sales when this is not the case. Search engines want to see content posting everyday or every other day as you’ll be rewarded in return for posting content to your site by getting targeted traffic free of charge from search engines in longevity. But you have to take the 1st action step faithfully and write that content.

      Michelle, thanks for bringing up this beautiful topic! πŸ™‚

      Cheers!

  3. Good info and reminder to step up our affiliate game! I’m still building readership, but figured it’s never too early to start a few affiliate links here and there. I like knowing that some bloggers can make a killing on this alone so thank you for the inspiration!

    The Green Swan

  4. I have the hardest time growing my affiliate income! I try and my traffic certainly is adequate enough, yet I still don’t make the type of money that I really want to be making (and see others making). Something I plan to work on next year after I grow my platform more.

    1. Are you creating rich content daily for your blog or website? AN unwritten rule of SEO is publishing content everyday to your blog 1k words or better in order to gain steady streams of search engine traffic. Doing so may increase the probability of affiliate income.

  5. Ree Klein

    Hi Michelle,

    I’m so inspired by what you have accomplished AND that you’re running your business from the road! I’ve been actively working on building online businesses since March of 2013 when I started my first blog EscapingDodge.com. I no longer post on that site but it’s still active, getting visits and generating some affiliate income.

    Since building out Escaping Dodge, I started private labeling and selling on Amazon. I could tell that there was an interest in that subject so rather than shift the focus of my blog, I started a new one late last year. I also have two small niche sites. I’m clearly not at your income level, but I’ll be brave and share this:

    Site Average Monthly Page Views in 2016
    EscapingDodge.com 3,869
    PrivateLabelPreneur.com 1,920
    MyBeerCozy.com 615
    Niche Site #1 996

    I don’t break down my affiliate income by site, but here is the sum across all four sites:

    2015 = $762.20
    Thru May 31, 2016 = $400.89

    I have to agree with you that affiliate income is very worth while to pursue. My niche site project has a big emphasis on generating affiliate income but also has physical products that I sell on the site and very recently have listed them on Amazon. We’ll see how this does. I do about $30,000 in annual revenue on my PL products; HOWEVER, you can’t count that as income because of the selling fees, inventory cost, etc., to run a PL business. Affiliate income is far more passive (but products are so fun!).

    Thank you for everything you do!
    Cheers ~
    Ree

    1. Thank you for sharing your details Ree πŸ™‚

  6. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    My blog is a little over three months old. I hope to be making some affiliate income before I hit the one year mark. How much will your course cost?

    1. The launch price for my course will be $147, and it will be increasing from there after around 2 weeks.

    2. You’ll succeed Aliyyah. Hang in there! πŸ™‚

  7. Ashley

    Sometimes affiliate marketing can be a paIn, especially monitoring for dead links, negotiating commission rates and finding and applying to the right programs.

    1. It’s all worthwhile, though πŸ™‚

  8. I’m fine with affiliate marketing as long as it’s in-keeping with what I honestly like. Unfortunately, so far I haven’t gotten around to much. I should probably get on the Personal Capital front. I doubt many of my readers are at the stage where it’d pay off. But who knows?

    Unfortunately, most of my readers aren’t there to spend money. So that means most of my affiliate efforts thus far have come to naught. But I’m not ruling out future programs!

    1. I promote Personal Capital but haven’t made much from it due to their commission requirements, but I have sent over tons of people who are loving the service. The service is great, so I have no problem promoting it πŸ™‚

      1. You’re doing fine Michelle. Keep doing what you’re doing because I’m inspired by your humility and determination.

        1. Yes, I know I’m doing fine πŸ™‚

    2. Yes, you have to like what you do because this stuff is alot of work. You have to like creating valuable content that’ll interest people. You have to think outside the box. And if you’re doing a weight loss journey, you can create a weight loss blog and start blogging about that and build up your audience. If you love what you do it’s not considered work.

  9. Some great reasons to grow affiliate income here. I’m still working on finding the right combination of affiliates that I both use/support. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I was one of the bloggers who was making $0 from affiliate income up until this past month. I receive 10,000+ visitors a month and was making none, started trying May 10, and have earned $225 so far. Hoping for $1000+ per month by the end of September, $5000+ a month by this time next year. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Bri

      Hi Crystal,

      That’s awesome that you only started last month and already made a bit of cash. May I ask who your affiliates are? I’m brand new with this blogging thing and really looking forward to Michelle’s course. Yes, she is definitely an inspiration to many!

      1. Hi! I’ve been blogging for 6 years, but I hadn’t messed with affiliate links much. In the last month, I hired Kathleen and Anne over at forprofitblogging.com to really get my site into Pinterest. I’ve been making sales on my Bluehost and Ting affiliate links. πŸ™‚

        When I first started, my main money was from staff writing for other bloggers. I was writing 8-12 posts a week for $15-$20 each by the end of my first year (asked and received my first staff writing job about 4 months after I started blogging).

  11. Apathy Ends

    I have a few affiliate links on my site but have not been promoting them enough – I figure I still have some time to step up my game while building a content base.

  12. People need to understand growing affiliate income is like watering a plant. It can’t grow without water. And in this case, the water is creating lots and lots of content for your site. Search engines reward sites that create lots and lots of quality and natural content for people to read and enjoy which is why dedicated affiliates thrive with little to no effort later down the road after establishing a respected site with quality content on it which draws and commands health monthly affiliate revenues.

    1. Loyal readers are important as well πŸ™‚

      1. Agree! πŸ™‚

  13. Hi,

    Thanks for this article and i inspired a lot but i have started blog and added some affiliates but there is no proper response. can you help me on this topic and your best suggestion.

  14. Affiliate marketing is great but you have to keep monitoring all of your programs. I owe a large part of my income over the past 15 years to affiliate marketing but I also had issues with losing track. I lost track of programs which changed or just disappeared and it resulted in lost traffic.

    Right now, Amazon is my main affiliate but I’m looking into branching out again (re-launching a few projects).

    Funny thing, I decided to promote a product I’ve been using happily for three years now and as I approached them today they let me know they will be suspending their program in July…

    1. Yes, keeping track of you affiliate products is very important. It can be overwhelming to keep track of all of them, and this is something I help with in my course πŸ™‚

  15. Mrs. CTC

    Affiliate marketing is definitely something I would want to give a try, but first will need to get my traffic up and make sure my blog really adds value. Building a proper blog is #1, the rest comes after (but absolutely seems worth the while).

    You always seem to do an awesome job at this, good work!

  16. Affiliate marketing income has been something that I’ve been semi-working on since last year. I’ve made a little on Amazon, but not enough to withdraw yet. I made $50 in April with another company. I was happy because I know that’s a start. I plan on working on more affiliate posts in the near future.

  17. Right now I am using affiliates links but definitely need more traffic. In work and all in good time! πŸ™‚ Excited for the course.

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ I can’t wait until I launch it.

  18. Francesca – From Pennies to Pounds

    I’ve seen lots of bloggers recommending not to start on monetising until you have a good following/page views. What do you think? πŸ™‚

    1. I think you can start whenever. The key is that you don’t want to be overwhelming or pushy. With affiliate marketing, you can make an income without being pushy by recommending products that you love.

    2. Tyler @ Oddball Wealth

      Francesca, I was told that a lot too when I first started blogging, and now believe it to be incorrect advice.

      By monetizing your blog from the start, your readers will be used to ads and affiliate links on your site. If you wait until “after you’ve built your folowing/ page views” you could shock your readers.

      Best of luck.

  19. FoodLove Girl

    Michelle, I’m so excited for your course but one thing I worry about is that after one full year of blogging I am still getting hardly any traffic. I am working my way through a class about how to increase your traffic and affiliate marketing sales through Pinterest so we’ll see if that works but yeah traffic remains o be a problem for me. Will you talk about that in our course?

    1. I talk about traffic a little bit in my course, but my course is mainly about affiliate marketing, so it’s not something I go super deep in. Whatever your traffic is though, the course can still help you to increase your affiliate income because it’s about making conversions out of the followers that you already have, no matter how low that may be.

  20. Amanda-LivingFullyandFree

    Great information Michelle!

    I am working on growing my partnerships with more affiliates. This is definitely a long term goal for me!

    Amanda

  21. Tyler @ Oddball Wealth

    You made an awesome point, affiliate marketing is cost effective and you don’t need to create your own product or service, nor do you have to deal with shipping or orders.

    It does take time though, but through persistence and experience, it can be a profitable business model.

  22. Affiliate income is the holy grail for most bloggers I know. I like it because the possibilities are endless.

  23. Thanks for the post and I’m looking forward to learn more from your course. My traffic definitely needs to increase but I earn pretty much nothing affiliate income. Does Amazon count? If so, then maybe a few dollars a month. Yea, I really need to work on that. I will include affiliate links when it fits but haven’t written a review post about a specific product. Do you think it’s important to have an entire post relating to that product or it works best to incorporate it in the post when talking about a topic?

    1. Yes, Amazon’s affiliate program definitely counts! πŸ™‚

      I think both ways are a great strategy. I talk about both in my course πŸ™‚

  24. I have about 4000 page views a month right now and have made about $95 in my first year of blogging through affiliate links. I haven’t really focused on it much, but the success I’ve had came from Republic Wireless and Bluehost. I’m not a natural marketer and just want to write relevant personal finance posts that entertain people. Would sure love to earn that kind of income and travel though!

    1. There are plenty of ways to do both πŸ™‚ It is possible!

  25. Stan

    What are the best affiliate marketing programs for a business blog? I run one at startuptipsdaily.com, and i want to start monetizing it in a really neat way.

    Thanks.

    1. I talk about the exact ways you can find affiliate programs in my course. I recommend you sign up for the waitlist πŸ™‚

      http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/waitlist

  26. Affiliate income is alot easier to generate than people think. If you spend some time at this you will see certain clickrates and buy rates and u will see that for example for each 50 visitors you will get 1 result. Just keep on going and you will get a much better income than with alternatives like Adsense. Affiliate marketing is worth it. Also you can write articles about certain products, not just list the banners with your other articles. Influencing your readers to make an even better income is so worth the while.

  27. Thanks for the post! In my head, I always think affiliate income would be really hard but I think once I got a system down, it might be easy to manage and even grow. Thanks for the ideas!

  28. Natalie

    I thin the problem of most bloggers 1)they are too concentrate to growth the audence first 2) they dont know how to “sell” the affiliate products right way

    As i understood the most common mistake is that bloggers WAITING 1,00000000 views or watever. The point is that you can earn even if you have 1000 views! Depends HOW do you offer products and which audence it is. Blogger can start to earn from day 1 if to do it right way and NO NEED to me focus on growing audence ONLY! If the blooger doesnt earn 1 year (ONE!!YEAR!!) it means something went wrong!

  29. I started my blog in April. I am slowly getting readers. I have used some affiliate links from Amazon. People have checked out the products I talked about in a relevant post, but have not purchased anything yet.

    1. I recommend signing up for my affiliate strategy waitlist πŸ™‚ http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/waitlist

  30. My affiliate income has been increasing steadily since I started using Pinterest to increase page views and becoming more organized about the whole affiliate process. Can’t wait for your course!

  31. Rachel

    I am just starting out and so far have only joined Amazon as an affiliate. No sales yet, but working hard on quality content and I am happy to be patient. Thanks for all the great info you share.

  32. I made my first affiliate sale from an article I wrote on, “How not to pick up women.” Who knows better than a loser what doesn’t work?

    After my long winded foolish article, I put up affiliate links for books on how to pick up women.

    Tired of being lonely???
    Here is what does work….

    Not only did people read the article that I wrote, they bought the product too.

    I have found that if you write content that people want to read, and offer them what they want, or need to buy, they will make a purchase.

    Keep adding unique content, to your website. Text links work far better than banners.
    Good Luck everyone.

  33. Thanks Michelle. I found this course very helpful. I’d love to be an affiliate for it, but I can’t seem to find where to do that. Please let me know. (Perhaps it’s somewhere in the course, but I’m brain dead tonight). Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey! Yes, the steps for that are located in the final section of the course.

  34. Tracy

    Hi,
    I was wondering what are your thoughts on protecting yourself against a lawsuit. I ask because unfortunately we live in a sue happy world. Im in the process of starting a blog and started thinking what if someone tries to sue me for whatever reason what should I do to protect myself? I love your blog and stay positive with the power of prayer that it works for me to.

    Thank you for your time.

    Tracy

  35. Now that are blog is gaining some traction it’s really time to start focusing on affiliate marketing. We plan on taking your course over the summer, can’t wait to learn!

  36. Abdullah prem

    I would like to promote your affiliate program where to join as affiliate?

    1. You need to be a student of the course and then the information is located in the course.

      1. Abdullah prem

        Thanks I would enroll then i will promote it

        1. Sounds great. You can purchase it here – makingsenseofaffiliatemarketing.com

  37. Kathryn

    Last year I made around $85 a month on affiliate sales with 30,000 monthly page views. Improving seems more a matter of knowing what to do, just finding the time to do it…

  38. Wayne Lindgren

    Michelle, I am just starting a serious Blog and it is about two weeks old- I have hired a ghostwriter in the interim while I spend time on the mechanics of getting the blog right – I had a Blogger site going for a few years and had some affiliate marketing on it but I was the cause of it not doing well, because of inattention-Not posting regularly, not using social media as I should have. Now I am pedal to the medal – How many subscribers did you have before you started making reasonable bank from it?

    1. I actually didn’t have any subscribers for many years. I only started my email list just a few years ago, after I was already a full-time blogger.

  39. melissa amador

    Hi,

    I downloaded the 10 easy tips to increase your affiliate income, and I loved all the great tips you provide.

    Im wondering what you mean in tip #8 by β€œadding a bonus of your own.” What is a bonus and what is an example of a bonus?

    Thanks!
    Melissa

  40. Sujoy Mukherji

    Great article post! A lot of people want to know if there is a lot of money to be made from affiliate marketing and if being an affiliate marketer is worth the effort.

    The main focus here is how much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?
    Truthfully speaking, I feel you can make a lot of money from affiliate marketing to foot your bills and still set up a business.

    Being an affiliate marketer is probably the most low-risk and legal way to earn money on the internet.

  41. hey Michelle,

    I’m glad were on the same page in regards to the “affiliate marketing and blogging side hustle.” Today’s information technology age of the “side hustle” providing opportunities for everyday people like you when I to use the awesome power of the Internet to grow our affiliate marketing income and achieve and sustain “side hustle millionaire” status. I’m glad to be among the elite in transition to the near future status of [side hustle millionaire]. I wish I knew the stuff 20 years ago because I’d probably be $20 million richer today.