The Art of Blog Monetisation: Making Money From Blogging, Affiliate Links & More

The Art of Blog Monetisation: Making Money From Blogging, Affiliate Links & More

You may not have noticed if you check out my blog posts on WordPress Reader but…*drumroll*, I was approved for my very first Affiliate Partnership with an Australian bookshop some of you may be familiar with; Angus & Robertson.

So you’ll see a small little banner at the bottom of every post and there’s also one somewhere in my blog sidebar. Although all the physical stores of Angus & Robertson bookshops closed down in 2011 (rip my old friend), I thought I would help support them especially since I use them to buy books online when I do, and I hardly ever see any affiliates for this Australian bookshop; I mostly see Book Depository affiliates everywhere. A&R is an Australian-only bookshop so if you’re an international, unfortunately, you cannot buy books from them. When I finally got the approval, I was ecstatic to shout it out but then I realised that not many people may know what affiliate links really are and how they work.

So, I thought that today I could share some of my knowledge and open up a discussion on the nitty-gritty of making money from blogging.

How does it work, is it okay? Is it ethical? Does it have a bad rep, and if so, why? Is it only for blogging? what do you mean passive income? — but first, what exactly IS affiliate marketing? Did I sign up to something that takes my soul in exchange for money? Probably.

Unfortunately, not. Read on to find out.

all of us, in our pokemon dreams.

Affiliate Marketing 101

The easiest way for affiliate marketing to be explained is to first break down what it stands for:

Affiliate:

verb /əˈfɪlɪeɪt/

1. officially attach or connect (a subsidiary group or a person) to an organization.
“they are national associations affiliated to larger organizations”
synonyms: associate with, be in league with, etc.
Marketing:
noun | /ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋ/
the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
“the Western arts of marketing and distribution”
So, it’s basically marketing by people, like bloggers such as myself, in association with a group, business or company.
The way it generally works in the book community and various other communities on blogs, YouTube, Instagram and more, is that the bloggers/content creators and influencers promote the links to buy or look at a business’s product or service.
In return, if a person who clicked on their link actually buys something, the blogger gets a small commission from that sale. It means that while you’re buying something for yourself, you’re also promoting someone’s platform at the same time.
This is a win/win/win situation for the company, the blogger and the buyer. The company gets the majority of the sale price since the commission to the blogger is tiny, their products will reach the right target market they’re trying to advertise to through the influencer, the influencer is compensated for their promotion/making the link available for others to use and their platform is supported by readers/watchers without putting them out of pocket.
This is honestly why I’ve always preferred affiliate marketing for my own platform. My partnership with Angus & Robertson is the first affiliate partnership for me and I’m excited to be supporting a company that has supported Australian authors, publishers and readers for many years (even though they’ve now been acquired by Booktopia). I don’t think I’ll be adding my affiliate link in all my book reviews but probably only the ones I highly recommend and really love/want to support the author as much as I can.
Affiliate marketing is also a form of passive income. This means that unlike having a job, you receive income with little effort through business partnerships, investments or rental income.
If you look at your favourite booktubers or check out a few popular blogs, you’re guaranteed to find an affiliate link somewhere. Book Depository is one of the most popular affiliate companies. Do keep in mind that you’re not likely to get rich quick from this partnership easily because it depends on how much someone buys from your link and the commission rate with is at about 5-7% for bookshops.
Many businesses and companies have applications to become an affiliate. Booktopia also does it, so does Amazon and even bigger companies whose sole purpose is to be in charge of distributing links and finding affiliates for brands and businesses. So one company can give you access to hundreds of brands to support and become an affiliate for.

Is It Ethical?

Like marketing in general, affiliate marketing can be unethical. It is unethical if you’re an affiliate promoting something that doesn’t work, that isn’t a great product or just by being more biased towards a particular product or store if you find you might gain financial value out of it. It’s literally human nature and it’s hard to be an ethical marketer in today’s online community. This is why, particularly for Instagram and YouTube, those sponsored posts seem to have a bad reputation.
Nobody likes to be sold a product and not know that it perhaps wasn’t genuinely enjoyed or promoted with honest reasons. However, if done right, it’s possible to have a supported platform while maintaining honesty and integrity and that’s something I think we should all be striving for when it comes to any kind of monetization strategy. Personally, blogging is my hobby. It isn’t what I started to make money and this affiliate partnership will likely not have much return but it’ll be nice to add an extra dollar to my poor book buying fund so I get more content on here! 😀

 

Other Forms of Blog Monetization:

There are so many other ways that you can choose to monetize your blog or platform. Making money through blogging is how many people live these days, with full-time blogger, YouTuber and even twitch streamers I think? Here are some of the most popular form of monetization that you can use on your blog if you want to make some extra cash.

Ko-fi

This is a pretty popular monetization platform that relies on your supporters to donate a small amount of money to support your channel. Directly donating a few dollars like in a tip jar, it’s seen as buying someone a coffee to support them.

This is also a free service so creators and supporters don’t pay extra and the only way the company makes money is through the transaction processing fees. Pretty simple, quick and easy.

 

Patreon

This is one I’m sure everybody has seen if they follow content creators online. Patreon is similar to Kofi in that supporters are directly donating to help the creator, however, it is under a subscription and reward system. This means that you pledge a certain amount of money to pay each month and in return get certain rewards, exclusive content, etc, based on which tier you choose to buy.

E.g. I pledged $5 a month to support XYZ and in return, I get a shoutout thank you on their blog, I get to see one extra blog posts normal readers don’t have access to and get to read all the blog posts a day before they are posted.

 

The Old-Fashioned Way: Ads via Google AdSense

I personally hate the idea of flooding my website with ads because I personally hate them myself. It is, however, another way to monetize your platform and generally how the world works nowadays when it comes to digital marketing. I know it well since I’m a digital marketer during the day through my job!

Google AdSense is the service by Google that places ads on your blog that are relevant to the blog and to your reader. It places ads only where you decide to insert some bit of code in your blog/WordPress theme and you get a return based on how many people click on the ads as well as many other factors. As simple as that. I guess you could say it’s similar to affiliate marketing in many ways, except that you can’t control what your blog is advertising and it’s not an exclusive partnership with a brand.

There are many other ways that you can monetize your blog and these are some of the most popular and simple ways to do so. At the end of the day, I don’t think that blog monetisation is essentially wrong. We all know that bloggers spend a lot of time creating and publishing their content online and in most of these monetisation techniques, readers have to choose to support the blog by donating, buying from a link or pledging some of their funds. It isn’t like, the blog is taking the money out of your account and BOOM you’ve been blackmailed.

We all know that often bloggers like myself who get ARCs from publishers, always wish they could get more appreciation and even some form of compensation. Forever and Everly did an awesome post where she even has statistics and graphs from a survey taken by bloggers, about the topic of appreciation and compensation when it comes to ARCs and you should definitely check it out! (the link is right here)

 

So — let’s discuss! Do you monetize your blog? Would you like to? Why/why not?

Let me know in the comments, and as always I’d love any feedback cause it warms my heart to bits.

 

Until next time,

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2 comments found

  1. CONGRATS on the affiliation! That’s remarkable! I really needed this post because I’ve been wondering about monetization … I don’t know how I feel. I think it’s great for people who’ve done their research and work hard on their blogs like you do … especially since for some this is a main source of income. But I feel ignorant in this area so I think I would like to get more information before I commit to that, especially since I spend A LOT of time here and it takes away from other things. It’s becoming a mini part time job at this point!

    I might DM you (email you) about more information! Wonderful post!

    1. Ah I know! It definitely becomes a mini part time job and although I doubt I’ll get much income from this affiliate, it’s still nice to have it there. Looking forward to chatting more about it with you! I’d highly encourage you to consider some form of small monetization when you put so much effort into your blog. Thank you so much <3

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