Affiliate Link Whenever Possible, Use Affiliate Links

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Affiliate Link: Whenever Possible, Use Affiliate Links

I can’t tell you how many affiliate programs I’ve joined over the years. I wouldn’t even want to hazard a guess. But I will tell you this: Almost every product or service you recommend has an affiliate program. And if you’re not using an affiliate link when you mention them in your blog posts you’re missing out on a significant source of income.

How many times have you just casually mentioned to your readers that you used such-and-such product or service or you visited this-and-that website and found …? We all do it. We’re blogging to offer our readers solutions, right? Sometimes we even link to those sources and say, “Here! Here’s a link. Go try it yourself. It’s the perfect solution to your problem!

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When it comes to affiliate links we typically think of the big-name networks like Clickbank or Commission Junction or Amazon. But most websites that offer a product or service also have an affiliate program. They may be using Clickbank or Commission Junction but the information to join these programs is generally right there on the website. The very website you’re sending your readers to.

Now, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind here. The reason these affiliate links work is because you’re not writing promotional content. In other words, you’re not writing a blog post specifically to sell this product or service. Your were going to write this post anyway because it provides valuable information for your readers.

I have the best results when I write that post I had planned to write and then I think, “Hey! I wonder if they have an affiliate link…” And then I go check their site and, if they do, I register as an affiliate and put my link in the appropriate places in my already-written article. This is a natural link, and because it’s surrounded by informative content, rather than a lot of promotional sales hype, it has much more meaning for your readers.

Almost every manufacturer or service provider with a website will have an affiliate program. I usually find the links down near the bottom of their homepage or in the footer. And no product is too big or too small. I’ve found affiliate links on WordPress plug ins that I use myself on my own blogs. I’ve found them on niche websites and family-owned businesses.

So the next time you’re writing a blog post where you recommend a product or service to your readers, go ahead and write it up, exactly as planned. Then go visit their website to see if they have an affiliate link. You’ll be surprised how the add up come payday.


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  1. Vernon Niven

    Sure, but…

    We should always tell our readers whenever we are being compensated for that affiliate-tracking-code-laden link we took the time to embed into our site.

    If not, then we are not being completely honest about why we provided that specific URL in the first place (the whole story, that is).

    This is the difference between being a respectable source of independent opinion… or the type of writer that gives bloggers a bad name.

    Sure hope you post this.


    Vernon Niven

    1. Steven

      I do not necessary agree with that. I have TOS and PP to explain to my blog readers that whenever I link to a third party website, they should assume that I am being compensated to do so, so I do not feel the need to write for every single link if it’s an aff link or not.

      What with people thinking that an affiliate link necessary means you sold your soul to the devil? It doesn’t give bloggers a bad name at all! Blogging is a tough job and I will never blame bloggers for trying to make a few bucks from their hard work.

    2. Vernon Niven

      No one is “blaming” anyone for being compensated. It’s a free market.

      Just discussing opinions about different ways to let every reader know your potential biases.

      Personally, I believe bloggers should disclose their link compensation policy on every blog post for the same reason that many of us put “full disclosure” in our comments on other blogs when discussing best practices, products and companies in our own industry. It reveals potential bias and helps the reader understand the source. It’s just (more) honest to disclose this way.

      But everyone has the right to run their business the way they want to, under the law. And legally, your TOS and PP will cover you.

      But what is legal and what is honest are two completely different questions! Ask any lawyer…

      Honesty is based in how we deal with people and their behaviors the real world, not in the world of law. And in the real world, VERY few blog readers know that blogs have PPs and TOSs – much less take the time to read them. What percent of your UVs have read yours in the past year?

      This certainly isn’t an issue that anyone should go to war (or court) over. Just my 2 cents.

  2. Churchill Madyavanhu

    I personally do not use affiliate links in my posts (or should I say yet?). I have a separate page on my blog where I am developing a collection of tools I use and recommend. At the very top of the list, I inform my readers about the fact that most of them are affiliate links. Though, I agree with Vernon Niven that readers need to know, I also believe that informing readers about affiliate links in one place, e.g. in TOS, is a good approach as long as the information is in a place that is clearly visible to readers. According to me, informing them about affiliate links each and everytime you mention one is overkill and will make reading the post a pain to the reader. What do you think?

    1. Steven

      I usually do not indicate after all my links that they are affiliate links. However in my recent post about WordPress SEO, I decided to do it and see how people react to it… Click Through Rate and Sales…

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