I’ve been asked a few times why I don’t push affiliate links in my YouTube videos or on my blog. After all, I could make a bit more money than just using Adsense alone. In reality, I am very selective when it comes to my content.
I guess a better term might be, “anal.” But that’s because I am overly proud of the content I produce, whether someone likes it or not.
What are Affiliate Links?
Affiliate links are those banners and text links that lead to another site to drive sales. There’s no doubt you’ve seen some of these in action, especially if there is an Amazon ad on a blog you recently read.
When someone clicks on those links and then buys something from the third-party, the owner of the blog makes a commission.
For some, it’s an incredible way to make a lot of passive income from doing nothing more than managing a website. In fact, many people have replaced full-time incomes through affiliate marketing.
It’s perhaps one of the easiest things you can do to generate a bit of cash online. Well, that is as long as you have an active audience and tons of traffic.
Why I am Overly Selective About Affiliate Links
In many ways, I am extremely picky when it comes to attaching anything to my blogs. Part of this deals with my reputation while the majority is because I want to offer the best platform to my visitors.
I’m not the kind of person who is going to peddle anything simply because someone wants to throw money at me.
I Don’t Just Push Anything
I won’t sell just anything from my blogs. I’m the type who has to use and trust a brand before I even consider the possibility of adding affiliate links to the sites.
I recently had someone want to pay me to add a blog post they wrote with a link back to their brand. But, I don’t believe in their services, so I turned the offer down. I’ve also removed a HireWriters banner from WriterSanctuary.com because I didn’t have faith in their services.
The bottom line is that I won’t just advertise anything even if brands want to give me thousands of dollars per month doing so.
It’s Difficult to Find Brands that are Relevant
Sure, you see all of these blog posts and YouTube videos about how you can live comfortably from affiliate marketing. But most don’t go into the nuts and bolts of what it takes to get to that point.
First of all, you need to find affiliate links that are relevant to your blog. And it’s a bit more difficult than you might think. Especially if you’re choosy about what you add.
And because I don’t have thousands of visitors per day, some of the affiliates are just not that interested. So, no, it’s not as easy as some “experts” want you to believe.
My Sites are Not Thrifty-Nickles
A “Thrifty-Nickle” was a newspaper of sorts that was free at most grocery stores. It was full of want ads, classifieds, and coupons. And this layout is not what I want on my blogs.
I’ve seen far too many websites that have ads plastered all over to the point where reading the content was too difficult.
Back in the day, many affiliate banners were animated with flashing graphics. So if you came across a site saturated with these, you ran the risk of suffering an epileptic seizure.
It Takes a Lot of Traffic to Be Successful
Perhaps the biggest point behind why I don’t use a lot of affiliate links is because most require heavy amounts of traffic to be successful.
The actual click-through-rate of any ad on a website is exceptionally small. We’re talking less than half a percent in most cases. Which means you need a lot of people visiting the site to drive decent sales.
And sadly, I don’t have the most popular websites on the Internet. Though, that’s partially my fault. I haven’t really put in the effort to maintain them until this year.
Still, you’d need literally thousands of visits per day to perhaps make enough to replace a minimum-wage job.
Money Isn’t What Drives Me
This point kind of feeds into the one above. I’ve never been one to build websites for the sole purpose of making money. I prefer to help people and am driven by social interaction.
Would I love to blog full-time and make enough money to support myself? Absolutely. But right now, it’s just not a necessity. This is part of why I haven’t really done as much with my blogs as I could have.
Don’t get me wrong, I still keep an eye out for affiliate links that are worth my effort. However, I’m not driven by finding one right now so I can bring in the bacon.
Finding the Perfect Affiliate Links
Although making money from affiliates is easy, finding the best platforms is often a challenge. This is because not every brand is going to be ideal for your target audience.
I mean, I highly doubt that I would make a ton of money selling vitamin supplements on WriterSanctuary.com.
There’s a bit of a process when looking for the perfect connections to make.
- Does the affiliate fit the niche?
One of the most important factors is making sure the brand fits with the niche of your blog. This is because your audience is more focused and receptive to specific goods and services.
- Is it something your audience wants?
Not only do affiliate links work better within a niche, but your audience determines success as well. Perhaps people visiting your site don’t like the brand you’re advertising even though it’s in the same niche as your blog.
- Is the payout worth the ad space?
Every section of your website has value. And if you put an affiliate in a locale without having a worthwhile payout, you can swap it for one that does.
- Is the brand something you like, use, or appreciate?
Now, this one is more for someone like me. I will not advertise brands that I don’t like or appreciate in some way. That’s reserved for Adsense, which is usually based on visitor searching and not my content.
- Is the affiliate program flexible with ad types?
Specific banner sizes, images, and links are needed for varying websites. I’ll see if they have anything that is aesthetically pleasing, types of links, and if the images will fit in certain areas of the blog.
Does this help me rake in the money? Nope. But that’s because I haven’t really put much effort into adding affiliate links to the blogs. However, I’ve helped quite a few clients with their marketing using the same premise above.
Even though some have selected questionable affiliates, it’s still the clients’ websites. They pay me to advise and write…not to share moral high-ground.
Will I Ever Use Affiliates on MichaelBrockbank.com?
I refuse to add Adsense to MichaelBrockbank.com. Not only does it not have the traffic to really make a difference, I don’t see a reason in advertising brands from Google.
However, I am open to the idea of finding brands that are more aligned with what this blog is all about. Which is going to be exceptionally difficult since the site is all about me. 🙂
If I ever get a book published, I might add a sales link. I am also debating on adding Amazon to my mom’s and sister’s books. But, that’s mostly for marketing my family and supporting them more than anything.
Perhaps if I ever break the 100-visitor-per-day mark, I might consider adding affiliate links. Until I get steady readers, though, I really just don’t see the reason to invest time and energy into something that has very little chance of generating revenue at this point.
So, I’ll simply say, “Someday, maybe.”
How Often Do You Use Affiliate Links?
I have no doubt affiliate links work to generate income. I’ve seen it, and made a bit of money myself back when I owned a tablet website when they were popular. Nowadays, I’m either too busy or just don’t care enough to monetize my own sites.
Which is a shame, really. I probably could be making all kinds of money right now.
I might take a few moments in the near future to see if I can find something worthwhile. But I doubt I’ll find affiliate links I truly support.