How to Mitigate the Risks of Affiliate Linking - ReadWrite

Affiliate linking is one of the most reliable ways to generate revenue from a blog or a popular website, and it remains a popular monetization strategy because of that. However, affiliate linking is far from perfect, and if you’re not careful, you could end up losing money because of poor affiliate linking practices – even if you were incredibly profitable initially.
The good news is, you don’t have to give up affiliate linking entirely, nor do you have to dump money into an alternative strategy. Instead, you just have to plan carefully and mitigate the risks of affiliate linking.
What Are Affiliate Links?
Let’s cover the basics of affiliate links, in case you aren’t familiar. Essentially, in an affiliate linking strategy, you’re serving as a marketer or advertiser of a specific product. You’ll include a link to that product, usually accompanied by a short pitch, in the hopes that whoever clicks that link will eventually buy that product.
Through an affiliate program, you will have a distinctive signature link that tracks all the traffic your site has specifically generated.
Then, you’ll earn a fixed amount of income for each sale that you generate. For example, let’s say you’re forwarding traffic to a product page that’s selling a $50 product. You might earn a $2 commission for every sale you generate, so if 10,000 of your followers end up buying that product, you could make $20,000.
Why Affiliate Links Are Valuable
Affiliate links are highly prized because they’re simple and easy to set up. They’re completely accessible for a wide range of different content creators, regardless of how many followers you have or how much experience you have.
Major players like Amazon have very intuitive affiliate link programs that require no startup costs and no initial training, so even amateur bloggers can get involved.
On top of that, the affiliate links have the potential to scale incredibly well. As your blog grows, and as you start reaching more and more people, your revenue is going to multiply almost automatically, even if you don’t change your primary affiliate link strategy.
The Risks Associated With Affiliate Linking
So what are the problems with affiliate linking? If affiliate linking is so great, what is possibly wrong with it?
These are some of the biggest risks you’re going to need to address:
Mitigating the Risks of Affiliate Linking
So what steps can you take to mitigate the risks associated with affiliate linking?
Affiliate linking certainly isn’t a bad strategy. In fact, it’s one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to make money if your blog is already generating traffic.
However, if you want to get the most out of this strategy and establish a stream of income that is both consistent and reliable, you can’t take affiliate linking for granted.
Follow these strategies to mitigate the risks of affiliate linking and maximize your potential return.
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thank you
Timothy Carter is the Chief Revenue Officer of the Seattle digital marketing agency SEO.co, DEV.co & PPC.co. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO and digital marketing leading, building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams. When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach — preferably in Hawaii with a cup of Kona coffee. Follow him on Twitter @TimothyCarter

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