The following is a guest post from FMF at Free Money Finance.
Here’s the story of how I went from earning no affiliate sales to generating thousands of dollars in sales every month.
When I started Free Money Finance, I decided that I would only recommend products and services that I was familiar with and/or use myself. I established this policy because I didn’t want people to think I was saying I liked something just so they would buy it and I could make a few extra bucks. As the blog grew in popularity, this philosophy served me well as readers learned they could trust me and that I would never intentionally lead them astray – especially just in an effort to make money for myself.
However, as you might imagine, this philosophy severely limited my blog’s earning potential. For the longest time, I ran Adsense and nothing else. Then I wised-up a bit and realized that there was a way that I and my readers could both benefit from affiliate sales on my site. So I took the following steps that ultimately helped my income to skyrocket.
Step 1 – Make a list
As the writer of a money blog, I brainstormed and listed the various money-related products that I use and like. The list included Vanguard for investments, Quicken for financial tracking, various books that had made a difference in my personal money management, and a couple credit cards I was using to maximize my cash back rewards.
Step 2 – Supplement the list
I supplemented this list with products that my readers said they liked and recommended. Examples of these included budgeting solutions from Mvelopes and You Need a Budget.
Step 3 – Find matching affiliate programs
With the list in hand, I went on the hunt to find affiliate programs offered by these businesses. Ultimately, I was able to track down an affiliate program for each of my options except for Vanguard (I did find one for E*Trade and I use them, but I really can’t recommend them fully like I can Vanguard.)
I took a duel approach in offering the programs to my readers – I put ads on my site and I also talked about the products, how I used them, what others said about them, etc. in posts. I even took comments from readers who had their own successes with the products and posted them as endorsements of the products. Here are a few examples:
- How You Can Earn Over 2.6% Cash Back by Using a Combination of the American Express Blue Cash and Chase Freedom Cash Visa Credit Card
- Mvelopes Seems to be a Winner (At Least for Most People)
- Personal Finance Books that Can Change Your Life
The results? No contest – the post-related mentions performed much better. In many cases, the ads didn’t have any conversions at all while the in-post links generated hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in sales per month.
What was the difference? I could honestly recommend the products, so my passion came through in the posts. Furthermore, I had tangible examples to share with readers – how to best use each item to get the most from them. In short, my enthusiasm, knowledge and personal recommendations helped to sell the products. Sales soared and hundreds, if not thousands, of readers got products that can help them to improve their personal finances. It was a win for us all!
So, what items/programs/services do you use and like? Make a list, search out affiliate programs for them, and get to writing. Your fortune could be waiting.