One of the first things you should do as an author is create your own website. Your author website will help you to grow your fanbase, maintain a line of communication with your readership, and help you to market your new releases.
But did you know that you can generate income with it as well?
Monetizing your website is as simple as keeping a blog. However, not every blog post you write will make money. In order to start profiting from your online articles, there are two concepts you need to understand.
Affiliate marketing and different targeted money-making posts.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is commission-based selling of a third-party merchant’s goods or services. How it works is simple. First, you sign up for a particular marketplace’s or seller’s affiliate program. They’ll give you a tracking code for links that you can put inside your blog writing. If any customers access their site through your link and buy, you’ll receive a set percentage.
While this sounds great, you need to be careful who you affiliate with. You should only choose companies, goods, or services that you actually believe in and can promote. Remember, you’re still writing a blog and not trying to be super-salesy all the time. Your readers will see right through it, and you may actually lose potential sales because of it. Honesty is the most important strategy when it comes to affiliate marketing.
The 4 Types of Money-Making Blog Posts
Once you signed up for different affiliate programs, you can start putting them to good use. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll make many sales (if any) with an affiliate link buried in an opinion or narrative piece. Instead, you should focus on articles that not only provide high value to your readers but with a greater potential to convert sales.
“Best of” Articles
The most common type of money-making article you’ll find is the “Best Of” post. These articles can be also disguised as “top ten”, “greatest”, or even “cheapest of”. In “best of” posts, you should build a list of services or goods applicable to your area of expertise that help to answer a reader’s question or provide a solution.
And with each good or product listed, a golden opportunity for affiliate links is created. But don’t just treat these articles as a way to spam links. You need to provide legitimately helpful information in order to help convince your audience.
While “best of” articles tend to provide the most opportunities for affiliate linking, they don’t convert as much as some of the articles on this list. And that’s because these posts are often frequented by online window shoppers. They’re not necessarily in the immediate market for whatever they’re browsing but may be sometime in the near future.
Here are some top-notch “Best of” examples:
- Best Bug Out Bag 2020 (OutdoorMagnet.com): What stands out about this article is the very detailed explanations it gives for each of the products. It really outlines why each is a good choice.
- Best Binoculars for Hunting (OpticsMag.com): In this post, the author provides a buyer’s guide after presenting the products in order to help the reader learn more about their decision-making process.
- Top 4 Best Erasable Pens (NerdyBookGirl.com): This article really shines with its use of easy-to-read product boxes and graphics. It makes it easy for the reader to compare benefits and purchase.
- Best CAC Readers for Mac (HomeCACUse.com): I really like this article because it separates out the “best of” products into two distinct categories allowing the reader to navigate to which situation pertains to them.
- Best 22lr Rifle (GunAndShooter.com): One thing that stands out about this article is the handy “quick-jump” menu posted right at the post of the page. This makes the article super easy to navigate to the portion that applies most to the reader.
Product reviews are a detailed look into a single product, good, or service. These often provide the most information when pertaining to a specific item. Your reader should walk away from this article well-educated with everything they need to decide whether the item is right for them or not.
However, product reviews can easily backfire for affiliate marketers. And that’s because writers will try their best to convince the reader that whatever is being written about is the best thing ever. Often, this isn’t really the case, and it comes across as the article being too salesy and not informative enough.
That doesn’t mean that negative reviews can’t be profitable though. You can always offer up poignant alternatives to the product or service being reviewed. This way you can keep your credibility and reputation intact, provide an honest review to your reader, and potentially pick up an affiliate sale.
Examples of great product reviews include:
- S&W M&P Shield 9 Review (GunUniversity.com): This is an extremely well-written review that provides plenty of detail into the product’s construction and operation. There’s even a final score at the end to dictate how the product fared in different areas.
- AvidCard USB Smart Card Reader Review (HomeCACUse.com): While not the longest product review, this article is short and sweet. It provides all the necessary information a reader would need to make a determination. This article is all killer, no filler.
- Gordon Ramsay MasterClass Review (ParticularPantry.com): In this article, the author goes above and beyond by providing summaries of each individual session of the MasterClasses offered.
Product Comparison Articles
These types of articles are very similar to product reviews except instead of one product or service, they’re comparing two. Each product/service will have a detailed explanation or write-up, although not usually as detailed as a dedicated product review.
Instead, the article will make direct comparisons between the products and determine where they stack up against each other. Due to this head-to-head nature, posts like these are commonly referred to as “Vs articles”.
Vs articles generally have one of the highest conversion rates out of any money-making blog posts. And that’s because individuals reading these articles are often much further along in the buying process. They may have whittled their potential purchase down to just two selections. Convince them one way or another, and you may pick up a nice affiliate sale.
Check out these exceptional Vs. articles:
- Sun Basket vs Hello Fresh (FoodDeliveryGuru.com): This article does an excellent job at comparing the two services breaking down costs, general overview, and integrated plans. They even offer coupons for each service compared!
- Organic vs Inorganic Fertilizer (HealthyHandyman.com): In this post, the Vs. article takes a different approach. Instead of comparing two individual products, it compares two different categories.
- Seresto vs Frontline (DoggieDesigner.com): This post utilizes well-designed graphics to best help the reader learn the differences between the two products and their pros and cons.
List of Resources
When compared to the other articles, the list of resources post is normally the easiest to write. There are a couple avenues you can take when writing these. First, write about tools, products, and services that you actually use to create your content. Simply list these out with a brief explanation and a link (preferably an affiliate link) out to the good/service.
Another approach you can take is by writing an informative article providing different solution providers for your reader. These commonly take the form of “How-to” articles or “tips and tricks” posts. You’re essentially doing the research for them and consolidating it into one easy-to-digest format. Combine this list with affiliate links, and you’re sure to see an uptick in sales.
Here’s a few prime examples of list of resource articles:
- How to Monetize a Website (SideHustleNation.com): This article takes a very large topic and helps break it down into easy to follow strategies that a reader can simply understand.
- 5 Helpful Tips for Buying the Best First Rifle (MusketHunting.com): In this writing, the author breaks down 5 different focus areas to help the reader solve an issue.
- Eevi Jones Resource Page (EeviJones.com): Eevi’s got one of the most accessible resources page I’ve seen in a long time. Through the use of accordion links, her page is easily navigated to exactly what the reader is looking for.
What You Can Expect from Writing These Articles
Once you’ve got affiliate marketing down and start writing content geared to generating income, you’ll start to see your blog working for you. However, this normally isn’t an overnight process.
You’ll need to build up traffic to each of these posts to ensure your maximum chance of success. But once you do, you’ll find that the sky is the limit when monetizing your blog.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. There are tons of super successful blogs and niche sites generating income every day using these exact techniques.
Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash