Multiple Strategies I Use For Affiliate Marketing – Where To Put Affiliate Links

internet-marketing-triple-threatI’m a big believer of creating your own products to sell online. Whether it’s something like an eBook, a membership website, or software of some kind, building your own products can yield the highest profits, as well give you a fantastic foundation to live a passive income lifestyle.

However, I know that not everyone is cut out to create their own products.  Some people simply don’t have the time, while others don’t think they have information to make a worthwhile product. Sadly, some people know they have the information, but are just lazy.

Whatever the reason may be for not wanting to create your own product, I’m sure most of you know that you have the option of simply skipping that step and selling other people’s products as an affiliate instead, earning a commission for each sale that you drive. Heck – sometimes you don’t even have to create a sales page or worry about closing the deal, you just have to drive traffic to a certain page, and it takes care of the rest.

On top of that, there’s no need to worry about customer service, which is the one thing that can take some time away from an entirely passive income lifestyle if you’re earning money with your own products. I speak from experience.

Although I do sell products of my own online, I’m also an affiliate for various products in multiple niches as well. I’m actually seeing quite a lot of success too, as you can read in my latest income report.

I use multiple strategies to build up my affiliate income. Here is a majority of them, which I’m happy to share with you in case you were looking at some new and creative ways to boost your affiliate income.

A Resource Page

My resource page has been a top affiliate earning page on this blog ever since I published it, earning at least $1k a month.

It just lists a number of resources that I recommend, along with a brief description of each. It helps people who are looking for solutions, and it helps me because some of those resources are affiliate links. It’s an entirely amicable way of earning an income and building authority and trust with your readers. A win-win for all.

An “Extension” – Page

An extension page is similar to a resource page, however you do a little bit more to make it feel like what their looking at is related to your brand.

For example, on my GreenExamAcademy.com website where I sell study guides that I created for the LEED exam, I have a page for practice exams. On this page (which is still on the greenexamacademy.com domain), I describe a number of various practice exams that people can purchase. It is only then when people click on the affiliate link (which is a call to action) that they are taken to a product page on a third-party website.

To make this process flow even better, I should probably include some imagery on my own site that may also be seen on the third-party website, so there is even more cohesiveness in the buying process between both sites.

Sidebar Banner Ads

As you can see (if you’re not reading this in an RSS reader), there are four 125×125 pixel banner ads in the sidebar on the right hand side of the blog, which are all affiliate links to certain products that I recommend. I’ve been debating for a while whether to keep these up or take them down, but they still produce a rather substantial amount of click-throughs each month, so for now they are staying up.

What’s cool is that you don’t need people’s permission or any contracts to put these kinds of ads on your website, as opposed to selling private advertising space on your site. All you need is an affiliate link, and in many cases companies who are serious about their affiliate program will provide you with graphics to use, just as these 4 companies did here.

If you do end up experimenting with this method, make sure you test, test, and test! If the banner ads you put up aren’t getting any clicks, or you’re getting clicks but absolutely no sales as a result, dump them and try another. Unless you’re driving traffic and making a commission, it’s just wasted space on your site.

Within Blog Posts

On occasion, I’ll embed an affiliate link into a blog post. This is usually done when I’m already talking about a certain niche or product I’m involved in, and there just happens to be a specific product that I use and recommend that has an affiliate program tied into it. I never write blog posts just to make money by placing an affiliate link in it. I think people are too smart for that and can read right through those types of posts.

Money should never be the intention behind any content that you write in your blog posts. However, money can be the result of producing awesome content, with the intention of helping others.

Sometimes, the affiliate links will be “noticeable”. For example:

My iPhone app business is doing really well, thanks to the How to Make iPhone Apps with No Programming Experience eBook.

OR, I may make them a little more subtle, such as:

We don’t worry about building the apps ourselves, because it’s much easier to outsource the ideas to people who could build the apps faster and probably much better too.

Either way works well, it just depends on the prose and mood of your paragraph and/or post.

Within Products

I also embed affiliate links in the products that I create and sell. This is the nice part about creating an electronic product, because you can’t really embed an affiliate link into a physical book. Actually, you can – but I’ll get to that in a second.

Now of course, this can only be done when you create a product, so you’ll have to do that first, but if you have one out already or are working on one as we speak, don’t forget about the opportunity to put in an affiliate link where you believe one should go.

Within Physical Products or While Talking Live

I don’t practice this yet, but with my upcoming podcast, I may do something similar.

Let’s say you’re an affiliate for a company that sells fly fishing reels. On a website, it would be really easy to insert an affiliate link that looks like:

http://www.flyshingreelwebsite.com/affiliteid?=23109823

But, imagine showing that in a physical book, or saying that on a show. That would look or sounds really weird and there’s no way people are going to remember that unless they take the time to write it down or remember where it was in the book or audio you mentioned the link.

Our job is to make people’s live as easy as possible when it comes to getting them to take action.

So, here’s what you can do: you can buy a nice looking domain that forwards to that affiliate link.

Purchase bestflyfishingrods.com and tell it to forward to that crazy link above. That’s much easier to both say and remember.

A Few Last Pointers

  1. Always track your affiliate links. Know how many clicks are going through, and how many sales are coming as a result. If you don’t, you’re just trying to get lucky. Make your own luck and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
  2. Understand my 8 Principles for Effective Affiliate Marketing on a Blog.
  3. As far as PPC (pay-per-click) affiliate marketing is concerned, I’ve tried it, but it’s not my cup of tea. I know it can be hugely profitable if done correctly, but I also know that if done carelessly, you can lose a lot of money really fast.
  4. Lastly, as more time goes by, and the more of the above strategies you implement, the more potential affiliate income streams you create for yourself, because you never know when someone random will stumble upon your blog.

Thanks for your support! Cheers everyone!

  • http://www.freestylemind.com/ Oscar – freestyle mind

    Very interesting. One question if you don’t mind regarding your resources page: does the bulk of its income come from amazon links or miscellaneous services like bluehost etc.

    • Pat

      Amazon only accounts for maybe 5% of the income on the resource page. Bluehost is a big chunk, while eBooks and other online programs make up the majority of it.

  • http://www.consoleblogger.com Jason Young

    Nice Job Pat! These are some really good tips for adding affiliate links in my blog. I never thought of the different benefits of a resource page before reading this post. Really interesting stuff!

    • Pat

      Thanks Jason!

  • http://www.naturalhairspeaks.com Alicia

    Pat,
    You are spot on about creating your own product. Creating your own product is a good strategy. Having your own brand sets you apart. By having your own product you are not just relying on commissions from affiliates. It is a good idea to have multiple income opportunities just in case one opportunity fails or not do so well you still have other back ups. This is called not having all your eggs in one basket. Pat, I see that you have found ways of diversifying. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify… that is the key. You have multiple ways of diversifying. This is great information in your post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Pat

      Yep – diversification is key, no matter what you do in my opinion. Even if you are only doing affiliate marketing, you should diversify the various campaigns you’re running, because at any moment a product owner can take their product off the market. Thanks Alicia!

  • http://www.infobarrelsuccess.com Howie

    Your resource page is so simple, Pat, but so ingenious in concept. It’s really a great way to “give back” to readers with the products that you’ve used that have made your life easier. I think people really appreciate that….

    The funny thing is, over on Warrior Forum, someone had recently asked what the best ways to monetize a blog were. I sent him over to SPI as a case study…..go figure, he had 1,000+ posts, appeared to be quite successful at marketing, and the “resources page” was something he had yet to implement. I checked his blog a few days later and saw that he had taken the advice and created a whole new page.

    Good article (yet again), Pat.

    • Pat

      Haha – awesome Howie! Glad to know my experience is helping others too!

  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    Great post Pat!

    I haven’t monetized my blog for so long, I am presently building my mailing list. I will go into affiliate marketing very soon and this post will surely be of help.

    • Pat

      Thanks Onibalusi, and good luck!

  • http://www.virginbloggernotes.com Jean Sarauer

    I think your resource page is great and I intend to follow your lead on that. It’s a great way for readers to be able to easily find products that are helpful to them. Nice service for the readers and good marketing method for the blogger.

    • Pat

      Yep! Like i said, it’s a win-win situation! Thanks Jean!

  • http://ascenttofreedom.wordpress.com/ DJ Wetzel

    Hi Pat,

    I also have a bad taste in my mouth with PPC ads. I actually decided to experiment with Facebook PPC ads using Clickbank products. Amazingly, I actually did well. I spend a total of $17.60 on clicks and sold 3 products for total commissions of $67.20. But the sad thing was, I knew not a darn thing about a single one of these products. For all I know, they could be a scam. I simply found a product that was popular, created an ad and paid for clicks. The products have not been refunded, so I assume the purchasers are happy, but I felt like I was scamming people the entire time.

    I think the organic nature of allowing people to click on links that are not directly promoted as advertising fits my nature much better. However, there definitely is money to be made through PPC.

    • Pat

      Wow, that’s pretty good DJ! Much better than I ever did, and you spent less then $20. But like you said, if you’re not into it, then there’s really no point in continuing. There is money there for those who are ok with that sort of thing though…

  • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

    I like the idea of a resource page. It’s kind of like a rolodex right? What plugin do you use to get those nice /go/affiliate links?

    • Pat

      Hey James – yea, it’s exactly like a rolodex.

      The plugin is called GoCodes.

      Cheers!

      • http://entrepreneurblogr.com James Tayo

        Thanks. I’ll check it out

  • http://www.webbizfinance.com Tyler WebCPA

    I never would have thought a resources page could be so successful for affiliate marketing. Yours is very subtle and not heavy on the sales at all. An interesting assignment would be to go down the list and see if we could tell which are affiliates and which are not based just upon the information you give about each one.

    • Pat

      If I did it right, it would be nearly impossible because I should be tracking every link that goes in and out of my blog, even the ones that are not affiliate links, however I believe you can easily see that some of them are affiliate links. If not on my end, at least when you click over.

  • http://www.infobarrelsuccess.com Howie

    One other thing, Pat….people may not particularly look at affiliate links in this manner, because, I guess most associate them to making a quick buck…..

    but….

    Affiliate links can really be used to foster and maintain relationships. Imagine if there was something you really needed, that could make your life easier, even at a cost, if I showed you where to find that product, chances are likely that you won’t just be happy you found the product….but, you’ll also think highly of the person who referred you to it….

    In fact, I’ve seen cases where affiliations work out so well that they really build trust and credibility, especially when the end product purchased is something that is valuable and worthwhile. Of course, you’d earn an affiliate commission, but, you’d also earn the respect and trust of the purchase who followed you advice/link to purchase…..this really has great long term implications that can be extremely valuable…

    Your readers (anyone’s readers) receive what they need, and what will make their lives easier….and, you gain respect and credibility when the end product actually works the way you said it would. On the flip side, though….if you are just pushing products, without ever really using them, it could be hit or miss….I’m not sure I’d want to take risking my credibility by pushing a product/service I’ve never actually used myself. If the end customer DOESN’T like it or it doesn’t prove to be valuable, you may have lost a reader for life.

    I know TONS of people promote products without actually using them themselves, and some may do well regardless….I guess it’s just the principle behind relationship building that make some people successes online, and other people, well, not-so-successful

    • Pat

      Yep I totally agree Howie, and I’m sure that many of my commissions were earned in a way that also built trust with whoever purchased those items. And I usually always post products that I’ve used, so I wouldn’t have to worry about (or at least I can worry less about) the customer not liking the end product.

  • http://genywealth.com/ RJ Weiss

    A lot of ideas buzzing through my head right now. I’m just starting to learn about affiliate marketing. Was surprised how much some of the blogs in my niche were making in affiliate sales.

    • Pat

      Yeah man, it’s a great way to add or expand your brand without ever having to create an entirely new product from scratch.

  • http://www.moneycrush.com Jackie

    I think a lot of your success is probably due to the delivery as well. The fact that you really believe in the products and find them beneficial really shines through.

    • Pat

      Thanks Jackie, I think you’re right, and it does help that I’ve used the products and truly believe they will help others as well.

  • http://www.wpsplittester.com Richard @ WpSplitTester

    Whilst having your own product(s) does have the *potential* to earn you more money overall, I think a lot of people underestimate just how much time and effort is required to actually market a product.

    Often building a content site and monetizing it with affiliate links can be a far easier way to earn money online. And once you’ve got your readership going, not only is it easier to work out what your product should be about (just ask your readers!) but in addition you have traffic already so you can direct some of that towards your product.

    • Pat

      It is tough to make money with your own product. It takes a lot of time and dedication to create, and then market it. However, I don’t want anyone to think they can’t do it if they want to, because the rewards far outweigh the risks, and for many types of products, all you’re investing is time, with little to no money at all.

      The “affiliate marketing first” approach is interesting, and I would imagine it’s a great way to test a market too.

  • Music Business Resources

    Yer I have a resources page, it’s not up right now though as I’m moving all my sites over to a different host lol. I have a question about Blue Host though Pat, do they pay recurring commission or is a lump sum? I’m an affiliate with Just Host but they pay you a one off $60 for everyone you refer to them…

    • Pat

      Bluehost is a lump sum. Right now, it’s $65 a pop. If you can get into a recurring commission program for anything it’s definitely the best way to go.

  • Ms. Freeman@Baby Steps of an Internet Entrepreneur

    Resource pages are a great way to get your affiliate links in front of your readers in a clean and uncluttered manner.

    • Pat

      Indeed! Thanks Ms. Freeman!

  • http://www.freemanlegacyllc.com/businesscycle.html Ms. Freeman@Baby Steps of an Internet Entrepreneur

    On another subject, I am not sure why so many folks find affiliate links so offensive and are put off by them. Do you?

    • Pat

      Some people do, just because they think you’re just using them to make money. But, if you make it clear that it’s helpful, many people will be glad that it’s an affiliate link because they want to help you out at the same time.

      I think it’s all about how you approach and deliver the affiliate link to your audience.

  • http://ideaanarchy.com/ Mike

    Love the site man, for a guy who seems fairly new to the online, passive income game, you are incredibly knowledgeable. Really enjoy your work, thanks! You mentioned what is working for you right now, I’m curious if you have any thoughts on the future of affiliate marketing? Any theories on where you think it is going?

  • http://www.innovativepassiveincome.com/resources/ JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome

    I actually got around to building my Resources Page recently, using SPI as a model. I’ve got different links though because the thrust of my blog is making passive income through writing content. Today’s post was very timely since I’ve been searching for good affiliate links for a niche site (I’ve got the content already) all day. 1000′s of companies with affiliate programs and little that fits.

  • http://www.jewelry-secrets.com Richard Scott

    Excellent tips. You brought up a few I’ve never heard about or thought about. Like buying a domain name and forwarding it to an affiliate. Awesome! I also like the idea about building an extension page. Using images that are associated with the affiliate site is a great idea. I’ve already set up the resource page, thanks to you! :)

  • http://mkakan.com mk akan

    great tactics..i love the resource page and the domain forwarding idea..well done Pat,you deserve more than a pat in the back..thanks

  • http://www.AbelTravis.com Abel Travis

    Pat,
    I think the information in this and other posts are great. I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for some time now and some of these ideas will benefit me greatly. Thanks.

  • http://warriormindcoach.com/blog Gregg Swanson

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for the great tips and suggestions…they’re brilliant. I’m going right now to put up a resource page. If I can ask…do you use a plug-in that automatically creates affiliate links in keywords on your post, i.e. Ninja Affiliate or similar?
    Thansk again for all you do!

  • http://www.thewisebuck.com Mike

    Hi Pat!

    I hope you are having a great week. I am glad you mentioned the Resources Page. It seems to be a great way to at least offset expenses and provide others a valuable resources. Great ideas here. Take Care, Mike

  • http://www.shreeonlinejobs.com Sachin Bisaani

    Wow, When i was reading post, all pictures of affiliate marketing comming to my mind step by step.Pat please if you can blog how to promote this affiliate product without website or blog that will be more helpful.

  • http://legitmakemoneyonline.blogspot.com/ Alexander

    The resource page is a great idea that I should definitely try on my own website. Thanks for the great advice!

  • http://universitydude.com Beamer @ UniversityDude.com

    Hey Pat, when you say to test the advertising banners, how long do you recommend testing them for conversions? A month? A few weeks?

  • http://www.passionatepassiveincome.blogspot.com Sensei Ono

    Thanks Pat, great content – I’m going to develop my own resource page :)

  • http://www.nomadcouch.com Juha Liikala

    Great info here Pat (as always)! Liked the physical product affiliate idea :)

    So you’ve had more success with the resources page than the 125×125 sidebar ads? I think that makes a lot of sense. Resources page is much more user friendly and brings value to the users (just by telling what the products are all about). Banner ads are just, ..well, ads. Don’t really get a good warm feeling clicking on those!

    When did you first start noticing affiliate sales through those “channels” (compared to the amount of traffic you were getting)? Was there any “breaking point” visible?

  • Mark Conger

    I don’t believe in psychic ability, but you’re reading my mind as to what I want to read about lately! I’m about to take the plunge into passive income and your site is truly the guide I need. Keep the awesome posts comin’!

  • http://thekeytoawesome.blogspot.com Key to Awesome

    The Key to Awesome’s bibliography of awesome is up!

    Thanks Pat for your ideas on the resource page, it helped me formulate the concept :)

  • http://FreeMoneySystem.net [email protected]

    Great post Pat! Thanks for sharing the strategies you use to build your affiliate income. Do you earn a higher percentage of income from any of the affiliate programs as the amount of sales increase?

  • http://Millionaireat24.com Aaron Darko

    Hey Pat, I’m new to your site, great post on this topic. I personally do affiliate posts, promote affiliate products at the end of every post and in the sidebar and in my resources page and about me page.

    Its all about monetising value. Wouldnt you agree?

  • http://www.webuildyourblog.com Andrew@BloggingGuide

    I am also a believer of creating your own products to sell online. Like I always say, create a product once and sell forever!

  • Juan Sanchez

    Hello Pat,

    Great job with the website, I saw an old youtube video were you were updating your site and wow it came out good.

    You have great material, I will try to get back and read more articles.

    Wishing much success,

    Juan

  • http://www.retireyoung.com.au Serena Star Leonard

    Thanks Pat,

    This is exactly the content I am looking for at the moment. We are starting to feel good with the foundation we have built for our site http://www.grassrootsinternetstrategy.com.au and the next steps are to monetise it in a variety of ways and not just from our info product sales.

    I am relatively new to your blog, but I have found everything so far to be really useful and quite inspiring so thanks!

    Serena : )

  • http://www.dinovedo.com Dino Vedo

    I finally decided to drop a comment, and let me tell you this is another very strong and powerful post. I’ve been reading through some of your previous posts and have been visiting your blog every now and then. I signed up for your newsletter and shared your site with my contacts, so please keep up the informative posts and return the favor. :)

    Good luck on your blog, and feel free to comment and subscribe to my blog as well when you get a chance: Make Money Online with Dino Vedo.

    Thanks so much, and lets stay connected and maybe share some ideas, do some guest posts, and get us both some more traffic and backlinks!

    All the best,
    Dino Vedo

  • Eric

    People who have websites for affiliate marketing, do they need to register as a business, get the EIN, pay taxes on commission, etc, etc?

    Thanks!

  • http://cashforgas.info calvin moore

    Hi Pat,i really appreciate your helpful resources.I am going to using Build My Rank very soon to get high quality back links to my website.Internet marketing is so hard these days i certainly need all the help i can get. This website http://cashforgas.info is the only site i am marketing right now,but i hope to add more to my arsenal very soon.

  • http://affiliatewebsitedirectory.com Billy

    Those are some great pointers! A few other places I have found to place affiliate links are on sites such as Craigslist and also in web directories such as http://affiliatewebsitedirectory.com. I have noticed some pretty surprising results from placing links in such places.

  • http://www.shabanit.com Mohammad Atiqur Rahman

    Beside resource page I admire the Technic of give away the eBooks “The Smart Way”. Really a smart move. Thanks a lot for your writing.

  • http://www.astroyogalife.com suhas52

    Hi Pat

    Really Great article. I own a website and wish to promote it. I feel the contents of your article will help me a lot. My website is for astrology and I wish to give people a feel of use of astrology in their life.

  • http://www.watchbiggboss.in Kaxil

    Pat, can we put affiliate links in Google Adwords?

  • Chao Sovanna

    Dear Brother Pat, I really thanks for your kindness and share all goof news for us,

    I really like your website and what you do.

    Now, I just develop mu new website, ( http://www.morodak.com ) Please help to comment and advice for my website, and please help to support,

    My work is help poor children and poor people in Cambodia,

  • Chao Sovanna

    Dear Brother Pat, I really thanks for your kindness and share all goog news for us,

    I really like your website and what you do.

    Now, I just develop mu new website, ( http://www.morodak.com ) Please help to comment and advice for my website, and please help to support,

    My work is help poor children and poor people in Cambodia,

  • www.kuhnishkaf.ru

    good

  • http://www.comtechies.com/ BIBIN WILSON

    great tips pat!!! i started reading your blog 2 months back..i was able to earn $300 in 5 days,,,its a good start i guess!! :)

  • http://www.spunkyseniorsclub.com Mary Beauareaux

    Thanks for all the useful information. I’ll be putting some of them into play! Please take a quick look at the way I have been advertising for members and businesses to participate. Any comments from anyone reading this?
    VISIT US and Spread the Word
    http://www.facebook.com/SpunkySeniors
    http://www.twitter.com/Spunky_Seniors
    http://www.linkedin.com/company/spunky-seniors-club
    http://www.spunkyseniorsclub.com

  • http://www.nicebloggingtips.com/ Rohit Singh

    Great strategies for how to do affiliate marketing and where to put affiliate links Literally I am planning to start with affiliate marketing and was knowing that this websites is the one from where I can learn the basics to affiliate marketing and I am really getting the basics for doing affiliate marketing thanks pat

  • Dewayne

    Free money!!! No credit or debit cards needed no signup or no monthly fees!!!! Get paid EVERY FRIDAY!! You can get paid $2-$10 PER PERSON YOU GET TO ENTER THEIR EMAIL!!! REALLY!!! click the link http://bit.ly/1lAdXMG scroll to the bottom click “affiliates” and enter a valid email.. THAT’S IT!! SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE!!!

  • Sam Johnson

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  • perro

    want to make money trading? i have 30% bonus forex coupons for new accounts. Also, there is cashback so you get payed some commission for trading.

  • Canon Footprints

    Great advice Pat! As you know, I’m trying to get my travel photography blog off the ground and gain more following. Would it be wise to have affiliate links if I don’t have the numbers of subscribers, or should I get those numbers up before doing things like this?

  • peter angel

    that’s very helpful. will save me lots of time working at my blog – http://www.totalcreativeblog.com/

  • Beam

    Check out this blog – http://www.plasmamoon.com

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    • Paul Latta

      Lisa,
      What a great landing page. Looks like you’ve incorporated all the tips in Pat’s ebook. Good job.

  • GEMiNi0014

    heres one of the sites i use it works http://adf.ly/srAWO

  • http://www.thekitchenpaper.com Mary | The Kitchen Paper

    I realize this post is old, but just found it (from your twitter feed!)! Thanks for the great post, Pat.

    One place I’ve found many people overlook placing affiliate links is in their footer! Most themes naturally say “Theme from _____” — which you can either completely remove, or insert an affiliate link to your theme (most of which pay decently). This is definitely my most-clicked affiliate link, by far, and saves me from having to answer emails from people asking where I got my theme!

    Thanks again, Pat!

    Mary

  • Eli

    Your blogs are very well and help full. I just wandering regarding this post, if you know any web for managing the characters with using affiliate links with their amount of clicks, end of sales and timely & quantity of clicks and etc. Please let me know. Maybe it’s good idea for you to create one like that to help people to track their affiliate links with clicks’ info for each link.

  • diana