Are you struggling to figure out whether you should try affiliate marketing or blogging? Have you searched the web for answers on this topic, but you still just sit there confused about what you should do next? Or maybe you’ve done your due diligence, but you’re looking for a second opinion?
Whatever the reason is, you’re here to find some clarity. With the fast changes we’re seeing in social media platforms and technology, affiliate marketing and blogging have become popular ways to make money online.
More and more influencers, entrepreneurs, and business owners are turning to these money-making methods, because the barrier of entry is pretty low for affiliate marketing and blogging. You don’t really need much money to get a blog going, and you could soon start making money from your couch.
But like any business model, these models only work as well as the person who runs them. If you’re just doing it for money, then it’s hard to say whether you’ll actually make it. But if you’re doing it to add more value to people’s lives and solve problems in the marketplace, money will eventually come.
Read on if you want to learn more about how you can take advantage of the growing demand in affiliate marketing and blogging.
What is the Difference Between Affiliate Marketing and Blogging?
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways for you to make money online. In a nutshell, as an affiliate marketer, you’re the middleman earning a commission by promoting other people’s products and services. You work with a vendor, choose a product you believe in, promote it, and earn a share of the profits for each sale.
For example, let’s say you’re promoting a $100 health supplement through your email list, social media, or your blog. Every time you refer someone to the vendor and they make a purchase, you get 5%, 10%, or 20% commission.
Another way of making money online is through blogging. And you’re probably very familiar with it. Every time you do a google search on how to do something. Google serves up a long list of links that lead to websites or blogs.
When you click on a link, a blog might pop up. It’s often a short-form or long-form article full of content for whatever you were searching for. Blogs are often powered by softwares like WordPress where you can build your own website or make your own blog.
Many people opt for blogging because it is relatively simple and easy to start. But the main purpose of blogging is to build a relationship with an audience and generate traffic to it. It gives you a way to bring more people into your life so you can share your passion, expertise, and insights.
Of course, when you start to generate traffic and build a relationship with your audience, you can monetize your blog by selling products and services. But if you don’t want to do that you can choose to do what other publishers are doing by selling advertising space with Google Adsense. You can think of it as selling real estate on your blog for a third-party to place their ad.
Does Affiliate Marketing and Blogging Still Work in 2020?
The short answer is yes. They both still work. But of course, there is a caveat. While they’re not as easy as they used to be, they are both very effective ways to make money online. You just have to change your strategy and how you use them.
Back then for affiliate marketing, you could use paid advertising through Google Adwords or Facebook Ads and drive incoming traffic to a landing page with your affiliate link. Some people made a ton of money using this method. Now, we’re not saying you can’t make money this way. There is just a better way to go about affiliate marketing that most people don’t think about.
And it is through SEO or search engine optimization.
If you don’t already, SEO is based on getting organic or free traffic by ranking on search engines like Google or Bing. If you can optimize your site to rank organically for specific keywords and dominate within a niche, you can generate a decent revenue stream. And the great part is that you don’t have to pay for advertising.
Like everything else in business, a lot of it is simple, but the execution is not always easy. If you’re entering the realm of online marketing just to make more money, you’re going to have a hard time making the money. You might make it through the short-term game but you may never reap the benefits of the long-term game because you gave up too soon.
But if you’re doing it around something you’re passionate about. Chances are you won’t be miserable doing something you hate and you’ll be much better off. When you’re focused on doing something you love, you’ll be more likely to put in the time and effort needed to succeed.
How Effective is Affiliate Marketing as a Blogger?
There is money to be made in almost any kind of niche if there is a big enough need or demand in the marketplace. You can potentially earn an income in smaller, more obscure niches as well but the chances of long term success will be quite low.
It does have its challenges. But when done properly, you can make a good side income with affiliate marketing programs through blogging. In fact, affiliate network sales revenue driven by content publishers increased by 240%. With the low barrier of entry, it’s pretty easy for anyone to get started using affiliate marketing as a blogger
The First Rule of Any Online Marketing Strategy
The combination of affiliate marketing with blogging can be quite powerful. But you also have to understand how online marketing works. The truth is, affiliate marketing is usually more effective if you, the blogger, have already built a large audience that depends on you as the go-to person for trustworthy information.
One big problem a lot of people run into for a niche-focused affiliate marketing model is that it is quite competitive. So you might be wondering, “Well, how do I get traffic onto my site if there’s so much noise in the marketplace?”
If you’re asking this question, then it’ll be very difficult for you to do well. The reason is because it’s not about making noise in the marketplace. And it’s not about throwing your name out there hoping people will notice.
The first rule of online marketing is about knowing who your audience is. There are so many marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who have the wrong perspective. They focus on getting themselves out there in the market. But that’s not the answer.
What you want to do instead is get your customers into your door. A lot of people talk about focusing on getting attention, getting more followers, and getting more fans, but the truth is fame does not equal fortune. You can’t go to the bank and deposit a bunch of likes.
Here’s the formula you need to remember: the right type of fame plus the right type of people equals fortune. So when it comes to affiliate marketing, the first thing you want to do is define who you’re selling to.
Who is your ideal customer? Are they men or women? What is their age group? What is their profession? Where do they spend the most time online? What are their pain points? What bothers them?
Once you narrow down exactly who you’re talking to, craft your message and offer so that you’re speaking only to that specific group of people. So the amount of money you can make from affiliate marketing, is in direct proportion to how well you understand your potential customer.
A Strategy Most People Won’t Tell You About Affiliate Marketing and Blogging
Blogging and affiliate marketing can be profitable for a lot of people, but many don’t think about using it as part of their overall strategy. In other words, instead of thinking about it as a primary revenue stream, you can use it as a secondary revenue stream.
But what exactly does that mean? Oftentimes, a lot of online marketers find one thing that’s working for them, like affiliate marketing and blogging, and they just stop there. But the problem is you can’t always rely on one platform. It could work one day and stop working the next day. When that happens, you can easily lose your income stream.
One of the reasons Dan Lok’s companies can grow so fast is because he takes a very different approach to his marketing strategy. When he has a model that is already working, he’s already thinking about finding other ways he can add to that revenue stream.
So how does this apply to you? While affiliate marketing and blogging are both great ways to make money, they’re not always the best primary revenue source. Let’s take a look at some problems bloggers and affiliate marketers run into and what you can do differently.
Problem #1: Blogging Takes Time to Build and Monetize
Imagine you’ve done your due diligence and spent hours to create a beautiful blog. You’ve found a target niche audience, you know exactly who you’re talking to, and you’re publishing new content regularly. But for some reason, you’re not gaining a lot of traction and you’re not generating enough traffic.
This is a problem many content creators face. It takes a lot of work and time to produce a lot of good quality content. That’s one of the main problems with organic traffic. But that’s not all. Another factor that can make it even slower to gain traffic is if you don’t stick to a publishing schedule, or publish high-quality content on a consistent basis for a long period of time.
Search engine optimization can also become a problem if bloggers don’t stick to good SEO practices. And search engines like Google could make some significant changes to their algorithms that could also affect how you rank on the search engine results. So there are a few problems that come up with blogging but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to mitigate it.
Solution: Use Blogging as a Brand Builder and Traffic Generator
Let’s say you have an e-commerce business. Imagine you’re selling your own products, building an email list, and you’re generating sales. This is your primary revenue stream. But what if you added a blog to your e-commerce store?
It’s true that building organic traffic can take a really long time. But if you blog with the right strategy in place, your blog could drive extra traffic to your e-commerce store and promote your brand. With more traffic, you can generate more leads, and make more sales.
In some cases, some people might come across your blog but they’re not interested in buying your product. You could add Google Adsense to your blog and generate another revenue stream when people click on those ads. Now, you have your e-commerce store as your primary revenue source and your blog as your secondary revenue source.
Problem #2: The Up-and-Down Cycle of Affiliate Marketing
For affiliate marketing to work well, you have to drive a lot of traffic to another person’s products. So if you’re constantly working to generate traffic in the right niche, you’ll make commissions from each sale. But if traffic slows down or you’re not actively promoting the product, you’ll lose money.
And that’s the big problem affiliate marketers run into. They experience constant fluctuations in their revenue stream. If you rely on affiliate marketing as your primary revenue source but you’re not treating it like a real business, it won’t last very long.
Solution: Compliment Your Strategy with Affiliate Marketing
Now let’s imagine a different scenario. Let’s say you have an e-commerce store and you’re selling a survival kit fully packaged with all the essentials like a Swiss army knife, flashlight, first aid kit, space blanket, and a fire-starting kit.
Over the years, you’ve built a pretty good customer base with 30 to 40 thousand customers. This is good because it’s your primary source of revenue. But you can leverage your customer base and add a secondary source of revenue through affiliate marketing.
So maybe you can do an affiliate launch to your email list. And you can promote other products that are complementary to the emergency survival kit they just bought. The key takeaway here is that the product you’re promoting should be complementary to what you’re selling, not in competition with it.
When you can do this, your customers will appreciate it. This is why it’s important to always do your research on the right products and the right niche market. Similar to our earlier example, you have your e-commerce store already generating sales and bringing customers. And it’s your primary source of revenue. Your affiliate marketing, on the other hand, is your secondary source of revenue.
If you combine blogging and affiliate marketing, the overall picture would look something like this. Your e-commerce is driving sales. You have your blog up to act as both a secondary revenue stream as well as a traffic generation strategy.
From time to time, whenever you feel like it’s appropriate, you can also add on another revenue stream through affiliate marketing. This way you can offer other people’s products and services to your email list and generate revenue there, too.
Discover How You Can Gain a Massive Competitive Advantage
In any online marketing business, there isn’t a perfect system where you can sit back and relax while you watch the money flow in. It always takes a lot of time and effort to build and sustain.
Both affiliate marketing and blogging are great ways to make money from home. However, it may not be the best idea to use these methods as your primary source of revenue. If you’re fully dedicated to treating it as a real business, then it might could well for you. But you’d have to be dedicated. There are affiliate marketers out there that actually do really well, earning lots of money online.
The same trajectory applies to blogging. If you commit to and you’re serious about using it as your primary source of revenue then, by all means, go do it. But in general, for most people, it would probably work better as a secondary source of revenue.
Whether you choose to opt for blogging, affiliate marketing, or both, if you want to do well, you also have to be a good marketer. You have to know how to sell and promote your products and services so that people will buy it. Once you understand who your target customer is, you’ll want to understand exactly what motivates them to buy.
With this knowledge, you’ll be way ahead of your competitors. If you want to learn how you can gain a competitive advantage in your niche and learn more about how you can sell your products and services better, click here to get the Perfect Closing Script.