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How to Monetize Your Influence Through Affiliate Marketing

How to monetize your influence through affiliate marketing - tips on how to grow your blog income by using affiliate links

May was Styled Stock Society affiliate month which means over the course of the month we shared tips, strategies and resources with our affiliates to help boost their affiliate income. Each week we focused on a different aspect of affiliate marketing strategy to help our affiliates up-level their affiliate marketing strategy – whether they were new to affiliate marketing or had been at it for awhile! As I was creating the content for our affiliates I realized that it could benefit my blog readers as well so I've combined some of the tips I shared throughout the month into a massive blog post to share how you can monetize your influence through affiliate marketing!

How to Monetize Your Influence Through Affiliate Marketing

1. Choose affiliate programs that are a good fit for YOUR audience

It really doesn't make sense to promote things to your audience that aren't relevant to them. It's confusing, it's not effective, and honestly it's just a waste of everyone's time. For example, people who are interested in joining the Styled Stock Society are most likely women with online businesses / blogs so it wouldn't make sense to promote the Styled Stock Society to women who have no interest in building a brand online.

On the flip side, I get pitches for affiliate programs all the time for things I don't use (and have no interest in using) which is always confusing to me because whyyyy would I promote something I don't use?! If you have your own affiliate program, you're going to have higher conversions from affiliates who genuinely love using your products / service and want to share it with their audiences!

2. Make sure the affiliate program is “worth it” for you

There are a ton of different types of affiliate programs. Some pay you a percentage of sales. Some offer a flat rate. Some are pay per click (even if the click doesn't result in a sale). Some have recurring payments. Some offer credit instead of a payout. The point is – not all affiliate programs are alike, so you have to figure out what makes sense for you. For example, when I was first getting started with affiliate marketing, I used a pay-per-click affiliate program to monetize my blog and would earn cents any time people clicked on my affiliate links – this was DUMB because at the time I didn't have a huge audience – so the number of clicks on my links was nothing to get excited about… and definitely not “worth it” for me. On the flip side, I've also been a part of affiliate programs that paid 50% commissions based on sales (for products worth hundreds of $$$) which makes wayyyy more sense to me!

PS – our Styled Stock Society affiliate commissions are 30% per referral which works out to anywhere from $20-$90 per sale! We think that's a pretty solid deal for our affiliates!

3. Optimize your website for affiliate links

If you're using your website / blog to promote your affiliate links, there are several ways you can optimize your website to increase your affiliate income. If your blog has a sidebar, this is an easy place to add promo images with affiliate links so that anyone who is reading your blog can easily see the tools you use and recommend. If you don't have a sidebar (or a blog), you can still add promo graphics to other parts of your website (resource pages / thank you pages / contact pages / linktr.ee / wherever it makes sense to promote your favorite resources to your audience).

Speaking of resource pages, make sure to include your affiliate links on your resources page and if you don't already have one, now is the perfect time to add one to your website (here's an example of mine!) – a resource page is just a page on your website where you can share links to the tools + resources that you use for your business or blog. People are always curious what tools + resources other people use, so this is an easy way to have them all in one place (and share all the the awesome things that you are an affiliate for)!

Update or insert affiliate links in existing content – if you've been blogging / vlogging / etc. for awhile, you might have created content that's relevant to the products / services that you are an affiliate for, so instead of creating totally new content, you can just update old posts with your affiliate links! I'd recommend starting with your most popular posts and seeing if they are relevant to any of the affiliate programs you are part of. For example, if you are a Styled Stock Society affiliate, your posts don't actually have to be about stock photos, but they should be relevant in some way – for example: if you have a blog post on creating social media graphics, you could insert a sentence about how using styled stock photos helps you do that… or if you have a blog post about productivity you could insert a sentence about how using resources like the Styled Stock Society save you time so you can focus on other things. The beauty of this is that since you're just updating posts, it won't take you a lot of time!

If you really want people to click on your affiliate links you need to give them a reason to TRUST you.Click To Tweet

4. Build trust through your content

When you're sharing the things you're an affiliate for with your audience, it's easy to add a sidebar graphic or link on a resource page but if you really want people to click on your affiliate links you need to give them a reason to TRUST you.

Assuming you're promoting products / services that you actually use and recommend (which you should be!) – it shouldn't be too hard to think about why you think it's a good investment – how has it helped you? what has your experience been like using it? why is it better than other alternatives?

Here are a few ways you can build trust with your audience through your content: (for the purposes of these examples, I'm using blog posts but you could create videos / an email series / other types of content too)

a – Share a personal review – Rather than telling people to buy the thing you are an affiliate for, tell them why YOU invested in it! Writing a thorough review of a product / service can be extremely helpful for people who are considering making a purchase (especially when it comes to buying online). The more specific you can be with your personal experience, the better – for example, when it comes to buying clothing online, I always appreciate when people share their height / weight / body type (or even a photo!) when they review a product because that is more helpful than just saying “it fit perfectly!” – because something that fit perfectly on someone who is 5'10” is not going to fit my 5ft frame ? It can also be helpful to share specific results you've gotten from using a product / service so people can better understand how it can REALLY help them! For example, in this blog post I shared how using Bluchic's landing page templates helped me increase my revenue by $2,000/month on autopilot – I'm more than happy to recommend them because I've seen REAL results from using them!

b – Compare popular options – “roundup” style posts (ex: 5 best spas in NYC! 8 irresistible taco recipes you must-try! 10 feminine WordPress themes for bloggers!) are popular for a reason. People like seeing a bunch of different options in one place. But you can take things a step further and really help them narrow down options by comparing a few popular products / services to help them make a decision. So instead of sharing 10 options, you would do a more detailed comparison of 2-3 options and share why you think they are best. I recommend writing a blog post because that way you can easily share your review (and re-share it over + over again). For example, I wrote this blog post comparing a few different social media schedulers and since this post gets regularly shared on Pinterest, I've earned enough affiliate income from it that I haven't had to pay for the scheduler I use since I wrote the review!

c- Create a tutorial – Last but not least, another way to build trust with your audience through your content is by teaching them how to use something. So instead of just reviewing a product, you could show them exactly how you use it with screenshots or a video. Creating a tutorial not only builds trust with your audience but also establishes authority because you are demonstrating how to actually use something. This type of post is obviously geared more towards tools or products that you might be an affiliate for, and you might think that “how to use X” is easy / self-explanatory but I guarantee there are people in your audience who don't think it's easy! For example, when it comes to stock photos – I personally think it's easy to whip up social media graphics using stock photos and my brand templates but there are a ton of people who have no idea where to start when it comes to creating them! If you use stock photos for YOUR business, you could teach people how to create social media graphics / blog post graphics / etc. too!

No matter what type of post(s) you decide to write, here are some questions you can answer to help build trust with your audience:​​

… How did you find the product / service? What first attracted you to the idea of it?

… What are some things that you considered when investing in the product / service? Price / value? Ease of use? Style?

… Why did you ultimately make the decision to buy the product / service?

… What has your experience using the product / service been like? How has it helped you? How has it made your life easier / better?

… Who would you recommend the product / service for?

5. Create a promotional plan

You can have really amazing blog posts or a website that's fully optimized for your affiliate links, but if no one ever sees them then it doesn't matter! Make sure you have a plan to get people to read the epic content that you're creating especially if you're using social media to drive blog post traffic – personally, I'm a big believer in scheduling at least some of your social media content and automating what you can to make things even easier. I shared more of my strategy in this blog post but in short, don't forget that if you just share something once on social media, the majority of your audience is NOT going to see it! That's why I love repurposing / recycling content (especially on social media).

I have several blog posts and related graphics for tools and resources that I'm an affiliate for and I make sure that they are consistently being tweeted / pinned / shared to get more eyes on my content!

If you want to share the Styled Stock Society love on social media, we even provide promo graphics and sample captions on our affiliate dashboard to make sharing easy!

6. Add a bonus

This next tip involves a little math, so bare with me if numbers aren't your fave thing….

Let's say you're a Styled Stock Society affiliate – standard commission rates are 30% of new memberships, which means you can earn $20.70 for referring a quarterly membership, $59.70 for referring an annual membership, and $89.70 for referring a lifetime membership.

You could literally refer 1 new member and make $89.70 – that sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

So if you want to give YOUR audience an extra incentive to click on YOUR affiliate, this tip is a simple one – add a bonus.

Your audience is invested in YOU and there's a good chance they want something you offer. So why not create a win-win situation and offer one of your own products as a bonus for anyone who signs up using your affiliate link!

For example, if you sell a digital download or template worth $25… you would offer it for free to anyone who joins the Styled Stock Society via your affiliate link (you can see your referral activity on your affiliate dashboard and/or can ask them to fwd a copy of their receipt to you for confirmation).

Since you've already created your product, the “cost” of giving it away for free is minimal, and they get an added bonus while you make more affiliate income!

I think adding a bonus offer makes the most sense when you have a digital product / program / course (something that you've already created) as opposed to offering a physical product or a service as a bonus (which requires more $ or more of your time). If you don't already offer a digital product, Sarah Morgan has a great list of 10 digital products you can make in just one weekend.

If you don't have a digital product and/or you don't want to take time to create one, here are few more bonus ideas:

… If you have an online shop, you could offer a gift card or discount code to people who purchase via your affiliate link

… If you provide a service like coaching / consulting, you could offer a free 10-15 minute call to people who purchase via your affiliate link (obviously you should only do this if it's worth your time!)

… If you provide a service like blog audits / social media audits / basically any type of review service, you could offer a mini version of a more comprehensive service for free (for example, instead of a full website audit, you could offer to review a specific website page an offer 3 tips for improvement)

If you've got the wheels turning and think that you have a bonus idea that makes sense to offer, don't forget to make sure your offer is aligned with the product / service that you're promoting. If you don't have a product / service that is relevant to the people who would be interested in the thing you are promoting than it doesn't make sense to offer something as a bonus.

You also want to think about whether or not your bonus offer is “worth it” for both you and your audience. This is a bit subjective because it involves thinking about how much time / effort is required on your part as well as having a sense of what your audience thinks is valuable – but if your bonus offer is worth $5 that's not much of an incentive and if it's worth $500 then you're probably missing out on potential income because that's worth more than your potential commission!

Increase Your Affiliate Income

If you're just getting started with affiliate marketing, I would recommend taking note of all of the tools / products / services / resources you are already using, determining if your audience could also benefit from them, and then seeing if there are existing affiliate programs for them.

And if you're a Styled Society member or you've purchased stock photos from our SHOP or you've used our free stock photos for your business or blog, don't forget you can join the Styled Stock Society affiliate program and earn 30% commission for any new members you refer! CLICK HERE TO JOIN and you'll get access to more of our affiliate resources to help you grow your income through affiliate marketing!

Do you have any other affiliate marketing tips?!

3 Ways Your Email List Can Outperform Your Blog

3 ways your email list can outperform your blog - why you need an email list for your online business.

You started a blog but you’re not getting the results you were promised.

Your audience is not engaged.

You never know when they take action on your blog posts or if they ever do.

You know you have little control over whether or not they ever come back to read your stuff.

What if I told you there is a better way to build your connection with your audience?

With email, you have a better measurement of how many people are engaged, opened your emails, and took action on the things you wished they did. There are ways your email address can outperform your blog.

There are three reasons why having an email list is just as important as having a blog, if not more important.

Open and click through rates are more meaningful than pageviews.

This is how your  traffic acquisition goes: you either set up and prepare your website for free or paid traffic. SEO, Pinterest, Facebook ads, promoted pins, guest posting, etc. You get a few thousands visitors per day, some love your content and sign up for your emails. Others flee and never come back. For those who never come back, you don’t know if they just forgot to sign up your emails and freebie or your content got in the eyeballs of the wrong audience.

On the other hand, when you decide to send an email to your subscribers, you’re sending it to a warm audience. These people have read at least one of your blog posts and knows who you are. They have opted in and have given you permission to land in their inbox.

At the end of the day, the vanity metrics are meaningless if those aren’t the people who’s going to go out there and speak highly of your brand, services, and products. There are people who are just interested in the topic you speak about. Then there’s those people who are asking for more from you because of your perspective on the topic.

Not from someone else who talks about the same topic, but from you specifically.

Subscribers are more loyal because they have given you permission to email them.

Think about the last time you subscribed to a YouTube channel. The last time you subscribed to a fashion or beauty magazine. The last time you invited someone to your home for tea. Nope, I’m not kidding about the the tea one. And here’s why.

There’s a difference when someone invites you to send them content and when they visit your blog for content. When people visits your blog for content, they’re looking for information on a problem. Let’s say you have a blog posts that says, “5 Ways to Clean Out Your Closet in less than 30 minutes.”

People click on it. Some read it, love your ideas and then implement it. The others click away from your website and feel that your ideas won’t work for them. But for the people who love your ideas opt in, they are in for a ride with you.

For these people who opt-in, it’s proven that they like your ideas, believe you, and it’s the first step to deepening that trust with them via email.

So what does this have to do with inviting someone to your home for tea?

Well, when you invite someone to your home for tea, it means they’re your friends and generally someone whom you trust. The reality is, no one invites strangers to their homes. And if someone trusts you with their emails, then you are on their good side. They invite you to continue to send more content to their inbox.

And people value their inbox because it’s connected to everything they own online. They won’t risk inviting spam inside if they don’t at least connect with you on some level.

Email sequences helps you generate sales on autopilot.

You can’t possibly make sure your blog stays top of mind and that every person will come back to read more.

But you can follow up with people via email to remind them to check out your new blog posts, products, and services.

In email, there’s something called email autoresponders where you can pre-write a series of emails using your email service provider and have it automatically send out to your list when they subscribe. These autoresponders can be email courses or sales sequences. Write it once and have the same information send out to your new subscribers.

As long as you know what’s your paid offering and ideal client, all you need is one compelling lead magnet to kick off your list building efforts.Click To Tweet

Here are two routes you can take…

Create a blog and hope that people will remember to come back and read it.

Or create an irresistible freebie (oh hey, it’s still free content!) and have people who are truly interested in having their problem solved flock to your sign-up page.

The truth is that whatever content you write on your blog, you can easily repurpose that through email. If you struggle with writing long-form blog content that’s over 1000 words, guess what?

You can write your message through email. With email, you don’t have to worry too much about the length of your content. You can get away with emails that are shorter — as that’s the industry norm.

With email you can see who are reading your emails and who are taking action. This can be clicking on the email that leads them to a worksheet.

Let’s say you decide to create your irresistible freebie to kick off your list building, here’s what you can do.

Do you need a blog to starting collecting subscribers?

Nope!
All you need is a landing page.

If your freebie is compelling enough to solve a real world problem (not one that you think people will need), you’ll have people rolling into your email list on autopilot.

In fact, landing pages convert at a much higher rate for me than any form of content upgrade or opt-in form on a blog.

I have some blog posts that gets a good number of page views, comments, shares, and engagement. People know it’s helpful as they have said so. But when you expect more subscribers, it doesn’t happen.

Why not?

They love the topic. There is interest. The blog post was helpful.

But they probably don’t have an immediate need to solve the problem so they don’t sign up for your freebie.

But for those people who do sign up for the freebie, they do want their problem solved. These are the people who have an immediate need to use your services, consulting packages, or products. These are the people you want to focus on.

Which comes back to my point. You don’t need to have a blog to collect subscribers. When I started, I felt obligated to give away free information before collecting subscribers, but as I dive into using paid advertising, I realized that if people have a need to solve their pains with the freebie I’m offering, they’ll opt-in regardless if there’s the blog post.

This suddenly made me realize that a blog is a nice-to-have, not a must-have sometimes. When you offer a free blog post, it attracts people who are interested in the topic, but doesn’t always necessarily need a problem solved. And your paid services and products should always target people who need it — hopefully asap. Does this means you should dump your blog?

Well no.

I love writing a blog and building trust through free content, but it doesn’t work as effectively and quickly as you’ll like it sometimes. When I realized that I can spend two hours creating one PDF (be it a workbook, swipe file, or toolkit) and it converts better than a blog post that I spent 5-6 hours on, it really makes me wonder how I should allocate my time.

Final Words

You may feel like if you start an email list, you need to offer many lead magnets at once to build your list. But that’s far from the truth. As long as you know what’s your paid offering and ideal client, all you need is one compelling lead magnet to kick off your list building efforts.

ABOUT JUDY:

Judy helps you with your website and email to get more conversions by writing clear and purposeful copy. She’s obsessed with About pages, sales pages, email sequences, and irresistible freebies as nerdy as that sounds.

Website link: heyjudess.com

The 10 Graphics You Need For Every Blog Post To Increase Your Traffic

10 social media graphics you need for every blog post to increase your traffic - plus Canva social media templates to make your life so much easier! These social media graphics are perfect for bloggers or female entrepreneurs who want to grow their blog traffic.

We all know we live in a world where visuals reign king, but do you know exactly how important your business’s visuals are? According to Kathie of Bluchic, there are ten graphics you need to increase your traffic.

Social media graphics are often added in as an afterthought, but business owners should not be thinking that way. Your visuals can be the first touch a potential customer sees of your brand and if it doesn’t resonate with them they will quickly move on.

You can create a killer impression with the graphics you use on your social platforms, but you have to make sure you’re including all of the graphics for each of your blog posts to get maximum exposure.

In this post, we share the 10 graphics you need to be using for every blog to increase traffic, generate more leads, and make more sales for your business. Sound like a good idea to you? Great, let’s get started!

The 10 Graphics You Need For Every Blog Post To Increase Your Traffic

Pinterest

Let’s start with the most visual platform of them all: Pinterest.

There are two primary graphics you’ll need for Pinterest…

Graphic to promote your blog post, like this one:

Canva social media templates for female entrepreneurs and bloggers

Graphic to promote your blog post that features a content upgrade, like this one:

social media branding

You can also include “hidden” Pinterest graphics within your post that only show up for people if they click the “pin it” button while reading your post.

You can hide a graphic by inputting the following code in the HTML of your blog post:

<div style=”display: none;”><img src=”YOUR LINK HERE” /></div>

What makes a great Pinterest graphic?

  • Ideal sizing: 800 x 1200 is the recommended size for Pinterest pins. Vertical pins attract more clicks and traffic than horizontal pins.
  • Easy to read text: People are scrolling through Pinterest at lightening speed, so you want to stand out and use easy to read text so your ideal audience will stop and click through your pins.
  • Congruent with your brand: Utilize your brand colors and logo within your Pinterest graphic. This will help people scrolling to recognize your brand immediately.

P.S. Give us a follow on Pinterest!

Instagram

Now let’s focus on Instagram.

Instagram has been getting a lot of flack lately (we’ve even scaled back on how often we post because it became all too much) but it’s still an important visual platform that can be a game changer for a lot of businesses.

There are several options for Instagram graphics:

Instagram square:

branding social media graphics on Instagram

Instagram post with content upgrade:

Instagram canva templates for bloggers

Instagram story:

Instagram story with content upgrade:

What makes a great Instagram graphic?

  • Ideal sizing: 1080 x 1080 is what you’ll want to use for photos used in your feed. Stories you will want to use 750 x 1334.
  • Call to action: Give your followers a reason to take action and click through to read your blog post.
  • Congruent with your brand: Another place you should be using your branding colors, logo, etc. If you’re consistent across all social networks, people will start to take notice!

P.S. Give us a follow on Instagram!

Related post: How We Use Instagram As A Business (And How You Can Too!)

Your visuals can be the first touch a potential customer sees of your brand and if it doesn’t resonate with them they will quickly move on.Click To Tweet

Facebook

While some business owners have given up on Facebook, the fact of the matter is Facebook is by far the most popular social platform out there. People spend a lot of time on Facebook, so if you want to reach a wide demographic, Facebook is the place to be.

But again, your visuals have to be on point to get noticed. Being one of the biggest platforms means you’re also competing with a lot of other people in the news feed.

Here are the graphics you’ll need for Facebook:

Facebook regular post:

social media templates from Bluchic

Facebook content upgrade post:

Branding social media graphics

What makes a great Facebook graphic?

  • Ideal sizing: There are multiple sizes you can use for your Facebook page. We recommend 1200 x 900 or 1200 x 628.
  • Highlight what makes you different: You’re competing with a lot of other brands and people on the Facebook news feed. How can you use your graphics to stand out?
  • A picture is worth 1,000 words: Often you can share a lot about your blog post without having to say a lot in the caption. Tell more of your story in the graphic than in the caption.

P.S. Give us a follow on Facebook!

Twitter

You only have 140 characters to share your blog post on Twitter, so graphics are a great way to tell more of the story without dipping into the character limit. You know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? It’s totally true, especially with Twitter!

Did you know that tweets with an image averages a 35% boost in retweets?

Here’s what you’ll need for Twitter graphics:

Graphic to promote blog post:

Branding Twitter graphics

Graphic to promote blog post with content upgrade:

What makes a great Twitter graphic?

  • Ideal sizing: 800 x 320 or 506 x 253
  • Congruent with your brand: Again, incorporate your branding into your images.
  • Eye catching images: Make your blog title stand out by using bold text.

P.S. Give us a follow on Twitter!

Struggle with creating graphics? We got you covered!

Canva social media templates from Bluchic

If you struggle with creating graphics for your brand but aren’t able to afford to outsource your graphic design, we’ve got just the product for you, our new Canva Social Media Templates!

This package includes professionally designed Canva Social Media Templates for 15 of the most popular types of graphics you need:

  • Facebook Cover
  • Twitter Header
  • Instagram Webinar
  • Instagram Quote
  • Instagram Post
  • Instagram Post w/ Content Upgrade
  • Pinterest Post
  • Pinterest Post w/ Content Upgrade
  • Instagram Stories Post
  • Instagram Stories Post w/ Content Upgrade
  • Instagram Stories Webinar
  • Instagram Stories Quote
  • Facebook & Twitter Post
  • Facebook & Twitter Post w/ Content Upgrade
  • Content Upgrade Button

Each template includes 3 variations to give your social media a distinct, but consistent look.

We’re offering a discounted launch price of $39 for all of these templates until May 31. After that date, it will increase to $49.

Head on over to our shop to read more about our templates and to purchase!

I’m Kathie of Bluchic, and together with my husband I create stunning, feminine WordPress themes for female entrepreneurs and bloggers since 2012 when we noticed a gap in the market for WordPress themes that looked as good as they functioned.

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