How to Monetise a New Food Blog with Affiliates

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Sometimes, it’s overwhelming being a new blogger – those “top” bloggers are earning hundreds of pounds a day, while you’re still hoping someone might send you something to review on your site, just so you can get a foot in the door.

But here’s the thing: you CAN start monetising your blog right away if you want to – and you don’t need a huge audience.

Affiliate links are links that you place on your blog to products that your readers can buy. But each link also contains a unique tracking code so that, if your readers buys an item, you get a small commission from the retailer. Affiliate links are a pretty easy way to make what’s known as “passive income”.  

In our experience, the easiest way to get started with affiliate marketing is signing up to the Amazon affiliate programme. You can sign up in just a few minutes, and the site welcomes bloggers, big and small. 

One of the big perks of using Amazon is that if a reader buys something from Amazon within 24 hours of clicking on your affiliate link, you will make a commission – EVEN if what they buy is an entirely different product to the item you linked to.

Today we are sharing some tips on making the most of Amazon affiliate links as a blogger. But first, a bit of advice: please do ensure you are fair and transparent when using affiliate links.

Amazon frowns upon people using questionable methods to “trick” readers into clicking an affiliate link (eg by offering people a competition entry if they “click on this link”). Your readers must always be clear that they are clicking on a link to Amazon, and there shouldn’t be any incentive for them to do so.

That said, here’s what you CAN do:

Use Affiliate Links Regularly

If you want to make revenue from affiliate links, use them as often as you can. Amazon lets you get an affiliate text link for just about anything. Making a recipe involving buttermilk? Click to that product on Amazon grocery. Using a specific baking dish in your photos? Link to that, too. Tell your readers, “I really love this brand of flour,” and link to it. 

If used well, affiliate links are helpful rather than spammy – your readers don’t have to go and search for that recipe book, or baking tray – they can use the link you’ve provided. It saves a lot of time. Amazon Pays You Commission On Anything The Reader Purchases

Create Round-Up Posts 

People love round-up posts that are collections of lots of different things – and these posts can be very affiliate link heavy. Perhaps you might create a post of your 20 Favourite Italian Cook Books, or your 10 Must Have New Kitchen Gadgets, or Birthday Presents for Junior Cooks? The ideas can easily be tailored so they’re the perfect fit with your blog, and your audience. 

Don’t Just Use Blog Posts 

Providing you’re using full and clear disclosures, there’s no reason why you can’t share affiliate links below a YouTube video. (“Here are links to buy all the ingredients you need to bake these cakes”). Some bloggers have had excellent results making “meme-style” images and sharing them on Facebook with affiliate links directing people to a time-saving kitchen gadget, or innovative household product. Use your imagination! 

Native Ads

As an Amazon Affiliate, you can download more than just text links – you can also grab native ads to put on popular posts across your site, especially if those posts don’t carry affiliate links already. Got a great post about Christmas traditions? Why not add a native ad for some fabulous festive table decorations? Keep an eye on your top 10 posts and add in Amazon links or native ads to ensure you’re not missing a trick. 

Mention High Ticket Items 

If you’re reviewing something new or reasonably high-value, you have a good chance of that post performing well in Google Search. If you write a great post about an expensive product that you would recommend, then this can be one of your top earners, making you more per sale than 20 packets of salt, or tea bags. 

Refresh Content 

A lot of retail sales are seasonal – which means a great seasonal post this year could be equally useful to your readers next year.  Make a point of refreshing seasonal posts and adding in new affiliate links to new products, special offers and more. Events like Easter, Halloween and Christmas are predictable and you can have fresh content ready a month or more in advance, to take advantage of those purchases. 

Keep it Truthful 

Although it can be tempting to throw affiliate links everywhere, you want to keep things honest and decent. We strongly recommend only linking to products you’ve tried and would honestly recommend.

If your reader buys something that turns out to be not so good, how would you feel? And keep things balanced. Don’t make every post very link-heavy, or things will start to feel spammy (to Google and Moz, as well as your readers). 

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Image credit [Luke Chesser- Unsplash]

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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