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?
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:
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”
Is It Ethical?
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.
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.
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,