Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Any Affiliate Sales

So, you’ve discovered the joys of affiliate marketing, getting to promote awesome products in return for comissions on practically no additional work after the sale.

Sounds like a dream right?

Or should I have said the “pains” of affiliate marketing?

You know, the fact that you have affiliate links and banners all over, but can hardly scrape together any sort of earnings, if any at all.

You needn’t worry about that any longer, because I’m going to show you the 3 biggest reasons why you aren’t making any money promoting affiliate products.

1 – You Aren’t Coming Across As Genuine

When you pick out products to promote, do you actually use any of them?

Are they products that you genuinely enjoy and have gotten a lot of utility out of?

Or are you just promoting products that you heard about from the big bloggers in your niche, signing up for everything under the sun and plastering them all over your blog in order to get a sale?

If you are doing the latter, than it is no wonder why your affiliate sales are so low.

When people consider purchasing a product from you, you need to understand that your image effects their willingness to purchase through an affiliate link.

If a person considers buying something, they will be persuaded by the genuine affiliate marketer who shows how a product has helped them, and also explains how a products (or service) could help the potential customer.

A faux “product review” which has 20 affiliate links out the product is not going to accomplish this.

A huge, comprehensive post that goes over desired benefits and outcomes, and that then recommends this product as a solution, will be successful.

Imagine this…

You are looking for an email marketing service for your new blog.

What type of post do you think will convert better?

The post that explains the benefits of email marketing, such as how it helps drive traffic to a blog, how it’s the foundation of any successful blog, and how it is used to build your brand and keep in contact with readers, and that then links out to an email marketing service such as AWeber…

…Or the post that’s called “AWeber Review”, gives practically no information about how AWeber has specifically benefitted you, and that links to them (via affiliate of course) a bunch of times, giving the reader no real reason to believe anything that you’re saying.

Fact is, being genuine matters in affiliate sales, and you need to be able to convince people through your image (not through brute force linking, especially not for blogs) to make a purchase, and show them that it will resolve their problem.

This leads me to my next point…

2 – You Should Be “Showing” Instead Of “Telling”

The next biggest mistake I see in bloggers with dismal affiliate sales is that they like to “tell” about products rather than “show” the products.

This ties into the above point about being geniune: people in quite a few niches know about affiliate sales, and just having a glowing review about a product with a ton affiliate links is not enough to convince smart people about buying through your link.

You need to show them why it would be a worthwhile purchase.

The best way to do that is easy: use a video of you using the product.

Not able to do this? (Maybe the product is an e-Book)

Make a video explaining how greatly the product impacted your work/life, or outlook.

People love video, seeing a product in action or seeing a real person promoting a product adds a level of legitimacy that even the greatest of words would be hard fought to touch.

Pat Flynn does this to great effect: he had to be one of the highest affiliate earners for both BlueHost & MarketSamurai, and you know why?

He had comprehensive videos of him actually using both products effectively.

If he had just told you about them, do you think he’d be making anywhere near the $15,000+ dollars he earned on only these two products in his last income report?

I don’t think so.

Video lets the potential buyer see what they are getting into, whether it is by you showing them how to properly use the product (and how to effectively gain its benefits) or whether its a video of you giving your sincere endorsement of an information product that greatly helped you.

Point is, showing is better than telling, and there is no better way to show than by using video.

Try it and I guarantee that if you do it correctly, you won’t be disappointed in your results.

3 – You’re Affiliate Products Aren’t Focused

The last thing that many inexperienced affiliate marketers do is to promote products with no focus.

Again, all of these points tie into each other: focus will allow you to promote the best products more successfully, and focusing on only a few good products will add to your legitimacy and build trust as people see you only promote and use the good stuff.

Don’t treat people as potential sales, treat them as people.

They will reward your legitimacy with more sales, that much is certain.

But focus also has another benefit all it’s own: people’s familiarity with the products that you promote.

It has been proven time and time again, that when people are confronted with too many options, they are likely to opt for NONE.

Focus helps people get familiar with the products you use, and serves to not overwhelm them when it comes time for them to buy.

Taking our email maketing example, what if you had included affiliate links to all of the major email marketing companies?

Would that have increased your affiliate sales, giving people all those options?

No.

It would have wrecked your sales.

Instead, the better option would have been to have focus on only the product you use and recommend.

That way, people won’t be overwhelmed by the choices presented when it comes time for them to buy, and they can see that you are a genuine user of the product, making them trust your recommendation.

This is aided even more if you are showing you using the product in action as described above.

The choice will be clear: AWeber rocks, and this blogger who’s opinion I trust has recommended it to me, so I will buy through his/her link.

Much better than the “spray and pray” option of plastering tons of banners and links all over your site, hoping for a sale, don’t you think?

Being genuine + showing benefits + product focus = readers giving you their trust.

And trust turns into more sales.

Over To You

How has trust impacted your purchase of a product through an affiliate link?

What bloggers do you think use trust, showing, and focus the right way to make affiliate sales?

Are you a WordPress blogger like John Chow? Then you definitely need to check out Sparring Mind, the content marketing blog for WordPress users like you. Check out our latest interview with Brian Gardner (of StudioPress) or browse our guide on the most essential blogging tools.

The 3 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Making Any Affiliate Sales


6 thoughts on “Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Any Affiliate Sales”

  1. enstine says:

    hey John, I have been away for quite some time and just came back to notice a complete move to a new template. Looks like this one can fetch more money with the new top banner slots. Though the Latest Post home page preview completely rolls out the posts intro text, I think I like this one. Congrats!

  2. YaisaHagood says:

    Hey John,

    About time someone discussed these topics, I come across so many blogs where people don’t even explain how they use the products or equally important they are advertising competing products like Aweber and Icontact. As you often state a blog should first be to connect with people and not to just make money. The money will come if you connect with people!

    yaisahagood

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  6. faizanutd says:

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