The 5 Best Types of Blog Posts to Make Affiliate Sales - Make a Living Writing

The 5 Best Types of Blog Posts to Make Affiliate Sales

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Blog post ideas to make affiliate sales.

The 5 Best Types of Blog Posts to Make Affiliate Sales.

When I first started, I spent tons of time creating content I believed self-publishers needed to read in order to increase their book sales. I wanted to provide useful content, build an audience, and make affiliate sales.

I got some traffic, but the truth was, that wasn’t converting into income.

Starting my website wasn’t just about helping the industry, it was also to earn a little extra money, eventually making passive income so as to support my writing habit.

But it wasn’t until I started creating the following five post types that I saw real return on my writing efforts. This isn’t to say I stopped providing excellent content – quite the contrary. Instead, I provided a different type of value that also returned value to myself as well.

If you want to make affiliate sales, these five post types can be added to any type of niche, not just one on book marketing. So, check them out and start thinking about how you can create the sort of content that provides for your readers, but also offers natural ways to increase your bottom line.

1. List of tools or services

Every industry has some sort of tools or services that can help their readers.

You’ll help them understand what is out there, and give guidance on where their money is best spent.

Janice Hardy recently did a straightforward list of best tools for indie authors. While Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation compiled a list of top black Friday deals for his readers.

Both provide value, and yet offer an opportunity to make affiliate sales in the end.

2. Product review

If there is a product or service you use that you think would benefit your readers, then write about your experience. You’ve built trust, so might as well guide them for or against any products you deem necessary.

Your post could include an in-depth review of one paid product or course, like Jeff Goins did when he discovered Scrivener and dropped Word.

Or, you can create a negative review of a product like Ana Hoffman did with her Empower Network review. Granted a negative review probably won’t help you make affiliate sales directly, but it sure does build trust. That way, the next time you review a product, your readers will truly be ready for your verdict.

3. Product comparison

In addition to reviewing individual products, people also love comparison reviews. Personally, these are my favorite, because those who are interested in reading a comparison review are usually ready to buy, but aren’t sure which one.

By creating the article that helps to sway them towards one, you have the best chance of getting that final affiliate commission.

My most successful article was a comparison post on Aweber, Mailchimp, and GetResponse. Laying out the different email services, it’s easy for my readers to see how they compare.

Bonus Tip: Creating charts for comparison posts is a big plus. You can either design one as a picture or use a special wordpress plugin.

4. Favorite books

If you can’t think of any product or service, you can always create a list of books as a post too. No matter what genre or niche you write in, there is an applicable set of books you can talk about.

It could be a giant themed list like Stephen King’s 96 Books for Aspiring Writers, or it could be a list of technical books like Military Flight Tests did with their AFOQT Study Guides. Whether you write about technical or creative, there will always be applicable books out there for you to talk about.

Bonus Tip: An Amazon Affiliate link to a book doesn’t sound like it makes much money. However, you get a percentage of anything that person buys on Amazon within 24 hours of clicking your link.

5. Resources page

A resources page is a critical page to have on your website, and it’s proven to be extremely profitable. If you want to make affiliate sales, just ask Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income (SPI) how he does it.

Pat openly shares that his Resources page is his number one source of affiliate income (and have you seen this guy’s income reports?).

Here on Make a Living Writing, Carol Tice calls her resource page “Products I Love” in the navigation bar and lists the top products, services and books to help authors earn an income. I too have benefited well by having my own list of resources for authors, which has accounted for over 60% of my affiliate sales.

Just be sure to list products and services you truly have used and recommend. (Note: Obviously, a resources page is different than a blog post. But you can blog about the products and services you use featured on your resources page, and update this page from time to time as another way to make affiliate sales.)

Blogging to make affiliate sales: Your turn

No matter what niche your blog is in, these types of articles can help you make affiliate sales.

These types of blog posts do not require you to lower your standards or become a salesman. Instead they offer a new type of assistance to your readers and give you the opportunity to turn a bit of extra profit.

So, take a look at your niche, and ask yourself, what tools, services or books could your readers benefit from and which of the above blog posts would fit the bill.

Are you blogging to make affiliate sales, or just getting started? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Dave Chesson writes at the advanced book marketing website Kindlepreneur, and created the e-book keyword research tool KDP Rocket (yes, Carol uses, recommends, and proudly affiliate sells it). When he’s not writing, he’s drinking tea with his princesses or chasing the boogey-man out of closets.

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38 comments on “The 5 Best Types of Blog Posts to Make Affiliate Sales

  1. Zach on

    I think the most important thing is to believe in what you are selling. Of course, it should fit your blogging niche but even if it doesn’t but it is a good product, one you would use, then it is a good fit. I always try to be honest with my audience.

  2. Tiago F. on

    Blogs are one of the most incredible ways to work as an affiliate today, as you have numerous tools within it. They are cheap and even free. If the affiliate does a good job, it can have great results in the long run.

  3. Erin on

    Thank you for sharing what has worked for you! As a “newbie” I’m always trying to learn more and this post and site did a great job providing sound advice.

  4. Clara Mathews on

    Thanks for these tips on making more income from affiliate sales. I am currently working a resource page for one of my websites. I will link upcoming product reviews to the resource page. Hopefully, I’ll start seeing the results ($$$) from this strategy.

  5. Kimberly Smith on

    Well, this was a very pleasant surprise! It’s nice to see the great Dave Chesson on any blog, let alone this one. I’m also loving the Den! So far, so good with everything.

    • Carol Tice on

      I’ve learned a lot from Dave, love KDP Rocket, which brings a discpline to honing topics that I really didn’t have before. I got to take a long Skype call with him once and it was awesome to learn from him. 😉

  6. Tom on

    I have been trying my luck at affiliate sales and having some success. Have been playing around with content for a while now and realized just how important it is not to forget the marketing aspect of affiliate marketing. I haven’t considered looking into books but have begun to create my own 😉
    Great post.

    • Carol Tice on

      Tom, most serious affiliate sales — where you earn $10K or something in one campaign — happen on marketing emails. The post ideas in here are good ways to make what’s usually a much smaller amount, but without having to hard-sell your audience. Both approaches have their place.

  7. Neal Eckert on

    Thanks for the info on affiliate marketing, Dave, and for sharing your experience. I especially liked your advice of incorporating affiliate sales right into blog articles.

    I haven’t built up the audience for this type of marketing yet, but I like the approach.

    Occasionally, I still stumble across a site with decent traffic but with absurd ads on it like “how to make your skin look 40 years younger using this one weird trick.”

    In my mind, ads like that make your audience lose respect for you. I don’t care how much money I could make from that stuff (which I’m guessing isn’t very much these days). It’s never going on my site.

    That said, I like the clean feel of affiliate sales. You don’t need to feel like a sleazy sales person. You’re simply helping people and making money in the process–Not a bad dea1 🙂 Thanks again, Dave!

    • Carol Tice on

      The key for me, Neal, has been limiting what I affiliate sell to:

      1) Products & services directly relevant to my readers and my blog topic (NOT random ‘skin secrets’ crap)
      2) Producst & services I PERSONALLY have used and can recommend

      At this point, I get many, MANY offers every week, and sticking to these rules has helped me to affiliate sell with integrity, feel good about everything I DO sell, and keep my reputation as someone whose site isn’t slathered with ads. I highly recommend being selective about what you affiliate sell!

      Also, there are a lot of real tiny offers, like getting 25% commission on some $7 ebook — trust me, that’s not going to be worth your time. Good affiliates look for 50% commissions on proven, big-ticket items, $300-$1000 and up — where it’s worth it to take the reputation risk and take time selling it to your audience.

      I’m one of those people who slapped up an Amazon book cart when I started my blog, like everyone else. I can save you the trouble! Unless you have a TON of traffic, it’s unlikely that’s going to add up to much cash for you — but it does annoy readers.

      • Neal Eckert on

        That’s great, Carol. That just seems like the purest form. Affiliate sell what meets your blog purpose/you can personally attest are great products.

        I’ll definitely store this info in my hat for later.

        By the way, thanks for your article in the 2016 Writer’s Market guide (Earn a Full-Time Income From Blogging). I’ve read it six or seven times and still refer back to it.

        As a newer blogger, it can sometimes be tough to see the big picture without your eyes glazing over. What you wrote helps to put everything into perspective without the eyes glazing over part. 🙂

  8. Natalie on

    Fantastic list, thank you! I’m curious about the Amazon Affiliate arrangement. When a person clicks through your site to amazon, but chooses NOT to buy. They close the link and then leave for an hour. When they come back….they go directly to the Amazon site WITHOUT going through your site. Do you still get credit? Amazon somehow knows the person went to your site first?

    Or…do they need to always go back through your site to get to amazon for you to get credit?


    • Dave Chesson on

      Thanks. When they first click on your link, Amazon puts a cookie on their computer. If they go back to Amazon in the next 24 hours after clicking your link, the cookie will track that and give you credit for any purchase made within 24 hours.

  9. Brad Griffin on

    I look good the highest converting items. Usually I can find those that will have the highest conversions by watching the site that RE-target …ME!
    In a few simple steps:
    I’ll visit the site, add something to my cart, purposefully NOT checkout, & then watch for those ads again in my Facebook feed or within the Google Display network.

    Companies who use RE-targeting & whose ads pixel the customers browser(s) almost always have higher conversions.

    Look for those 😉

  10. Evan Jensen on

    Hi Dave,

    There’s an affiliate program for everything these days. Do you have any recommendations on how to evaluate an affiliate program to determine if it’s worth the effort to write about a product or service? Or is any commission worth a little extra money in the bank?

    • Dave Chesson on

      It really depends on their program. Some have a reoccurring affiliate payout like web hosting. Every time someone pays their bill for that service, you get paid. So, the percentage can be different and still awesome.

      Amazon has the lowest percentage payout – but Amazon also offers affiliate for just about all products on their store….which means just about anything can be monetized as an affiliate link.

      Whether or not you decide to write about a service depends on you. I’ve written happy reviews over software, courses and services that don’t offer affiliate before just because I wanted my readers to know about it.

      I hope that helps.

      • Carol Tice on

        I always think the secret sauce with Amazon is you’ve got to be positioned to sell something through their program that’s like $500-$1000. The big-ticket items. Folks who blog about photography and can sell expensive cameras and lenses…that sort of thing.

        But yes, me loves me the recurring affiliate programs — and my program where writers affiliate sell Freelance Writers Den and earn every month is definitely the best affiliate offer I’ve got going for others to participate in the success of my online sites. 😉

        Fortunately, a lot of people run their OWN affiliate programs that are better than the one Amazon offers, so always ask, folks. I actually did that with Dave on this post, and sure enough, he had a better program. 😉

      • Cy on

        The best thing about the Amazon affiliates program is that if someone clicks on your link to buy something and they end up going on a shopping spree, you earn a commission for everything they put in their shopping cart. You don’t just earn a commission on that one item. Do enough volume and this can really add up.

        • Dave Chesson on

          More upon that…you get a percentage of anything they buy within 24 hours of having clicked your link. So, they could click your link, and then leave without buying anything..but if they come back after 23 hours, and do their shopping spree, then BOOM 😉

  11. Burton Bliven on

    Hi Carol,

    Burton Bliven here. I love your site! Great article on “The 5 Best Types of Blog Posts to Make Affiliate Sales.” I will surely be using this informative article in my affiliate marketing efforts.

    I also want to let you know that I found you on LinkedIn and clicked on “connect.” Please add me to your circle, as I am not only a huge fan, but belong to The Writer’s Den as well, and plan on pitching an idea for an article soon.

    Best Regards, Burton

  12. Jessie on

    I`m just getting started to affiliate marketing. It is a highly competitive field, and you do need to provide a great content, on contrary of what some people think. At end of the day, your website just increases traffic if it provides value to people.

    • Dave Chesson on

      Yeah, but you’ll be SUPER surprised to find out how much your readers REALLY want to know what tools you use. I just started doing Youtube videos on a consistent basis teaching people book marketing, and do you know what question I get asked all the time? What equipment I use…haha. Which, through Amazon Associate can all be affiliate links.

      As we build our skill in an area, people will naturally want to know how you do it and what do you use. It’s the best thing when you couple needed information with an affiliate link to keep us monetarily going. 😉

      • Carol Tice on

        Dave, my experience is that writers would SO rather look at different tools they might use than do ANY of their writing or marketing work. 😉

        One of my big conclusions from my content audit of the past year is that I needed to do more posts about tools I use here on this blog and in my business. It can feel self-referential and sorta time-wastey, but it appears people cannot get enough of tools and resource-focused posts.

        • Dave Chesson on

          I fully understand that. One of the most powerful messages I’ve told my followers (and is the beginning part to my list of resources) is that I’ve actually spent over 20k in the past 4 years trying new tools, and services…and here are the ones that made the cut. So, it’s sort of a “learn from my mistakes and save yourself some money.”


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