There are many ways a blog can bring revenue into a company. For many, the goal is ultimately to get people to purchase their products or sign up for their services, but you can also make money by recommending other non-competing products through affiliate programs. For example, if you are an expert in a field, you can do reviews of books in your area and then provide people with a link to make the purchase.
Make it a genuine endorsement. If you don’t actually like a product, don’t recommend it – even if you think people might buy it. Why? If they do make the purchase, it can actually hurt your brand and your blog in the long run because it can make them lose trust and respect for you. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be 100% on board with every product you post. In fact, it can be in your best interest to point out the positives and the negatives, so people have a better idea of what they are getting when they make a purchase. After all, that’s the point of coming to your blog for a recommendation rather than going out on their own and making a purchase without advice.
Consider your audience. This may seem obvious, but some blogs lose sight of it. If you are running a photography blog, sharing reviews and links to cameras is great, but posting links to great dog products, even if they are really wonderful, isn’t. Stay on topic.
Look for professionalism. Take the time to visit the site or page that you will be directing your blog reader to if you decide to recommend a product. Does it look like something you’d be proud to have connected to your site and brand? Don’t recommend products that don’t take the time to invest in a quality presentation. It can reflect poorly on you.
Links should be contextual. You’ll have the most success that way, and your blog won’t seem like simply a place to host advertisements. If you ever mention a product or service in a blog, visit their site and find out if they offer an affiliate program. Or do a search on Amazon.com to see if the item is available there. You can link to almost anything with their Associate program.
Don’t go overboard. Unless the main goal of your blog is to make money through affiliate marketing, use it sparingly. If your blog starts to seem like just a venue for pushing products, people may start to unsubscribe. Focus on providing quality content first, and then look for ways that you can seamlessly incorporate affiliate marketing.
Take time to assess the results. Like with any new campaign you try on your blog, it’s a good idea to look back and gauge its effectiveness. Are certain items more popular with your readers than others? Is one way of promoting a product more effective than another? This can help you improve and get better results in the future.