Yeah, as much as I think affiliate marketing is the bee’s knees when it comes to passive income, I don’t think it’s something you should rush into with the aim of becoming a millionaire by the end of the month.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t add affiliate links from the moment your site goes live.
Join some programmes and scatter links as soon as you wish, but I think that aiming to sell to people early on in your blogging career can at best be offputting to users, and at worse be demoralising and make you give up when you don’t get more than a handful of clicks in the first few months.
How to make your resources page
A resources page is a page on your website that contains all of your affiliate links to products (info or physical) that you recommend.
When you mention products in your articles, the link will send the user to your resource page, where they can then click through to the product.
What products to put on your resources page
All of ‘em.
Anything you use should be put on your resources page, whether it’s an affiliate link or not.
Courses and hosting if relevant — I would only recommend if it’s pertinent to your niche. I don’t include that stuff because people come to my blog for the house plants. I have links to things like hygrometers and worm castings. Wild.
Why a whole-ass resources page over just a link to the product?
I would advise you to set up a resources page asap, and send your users there, rather than straight to the product, and here’s why:
1 — It saves time
If you highlight the text you want to link and then press cnd/ctrl+k, you’ll bring up the link box.
If you type ‘resources’ it’ll bring up your resources page.
Add then link and you’re done.
However, if you then need to go and grab the link, you’re adding a good few minutes of work in unnecessarily. And that’s if you store your affiliate links somewhere useful, rather than having to go and get them from the website.
2 — A resource page is cleaner than having disclaimers everywhere
In order to comply with the law (which is preferable), you have to put a little disclaimer before any affiliate links.
This isn’t necessarily a time issue, because you can get plugins to auto-populate them, but it looks a bit clunky.
It can be off-putting to some users and immediately put them on their guard.
It varies from niche to niche, but some niches can look a bit …dodgy if there are affiliate links everywhere, especially YMYL ones. You’d think twice about using a recommended finance product if it seemed as though the author was only after the commission.
3 — A resources page is easier to update than an entire site
If you have affiliate links everywhere then updating them can be a nightmare, especially if you don’t want to bloat your website with extra plugins.
Having all your links on one page means you can get every link updated in an hour and KNOW that you don’t have any random broken links anywhere.
4 — Less of the hard sell
I already covered this in the second point, but it’s true.
The user is already primed enough to click on the link and has made that decision without thinking about whether or not you’re benefitting from the transaction.
5 — It increases page views
Probably not significantly, but every little helps, right? You know how some websites show articles in a slideshow?
Except sending people to a resources page is far less annoying for the user.
6 — You can get a lot of affiliate links on your site quickly
Affiliate marketing is something that builds over time as you create more content and grow your traffic.
If you scatter your affiliate links throughout the body of your articles, then you have to wait until you have the appropriate post before adding the link.
With a resources page, you can add all your affiliate links from day one.
7 — People may buy more than one product
If your user is someone new to the niche, they may be ready to buy all the stuff they need to get started. If your content is authoritative enough, they’ll be happy to buy everything you recommend because it’s all listed right there.
A few notes about affiliate products
- Don’t recommend crappy products for a commission.
You’re only hurting your future self. Every bad product you recommend costs you traffic.
- Only recommend products you’ve personally tried, or that are recommended by others in your niche.
For example, I don’t need a humidifier, but a lot of plant parents do, so I recommend the one that is recommended by most people in my niche.
- Be transparent if you don’t use the product.
I do state on my resources page which products I personally use, and which ones I recommend because other people do. You may not get the click now, but you’re more likely to get a returning user and a few clicks in the future.
You need to have integrity because it’ll come back and bite you in the arse if you’re just in it for the money.
- Put a link in your sidebar
Someone may come to your site because they’re after a recommendation for a certain product. If they can see straight away where they might find that information, that’s really useful for them. And we aim to be useful. That’s pretty much all we have.
This is not an affiliate marketing strategy
I have no idea if the resources page method will increase conversions or not. I don’t rely on affiliate marketing — my niche is hardly optimised for that.
You need barely any equipment and only a couple of things are over a tenner.
But I don’t want to miss any opportunity to make passive income, plus I want to know my way around affiliate programmes should I decide to start another blog with bigger affiliate potential.
It’s like the middle ground between an affiliate site and not having affiliate links at all.
This is a sticking-at-your-blog strategy
Affiliate marketing is widely touted as a great way to start making money blogging, and every blog about blogging out there says to implement it right away.
That’s fine, but realistically you’re not going to have the traffic to make any decent income at the beginning, so the resources page is a great way to keep things looking clean and organised.
It also means that you don’t have to interrupt the flow of your writing to add affiliate links or run the risk of forgetting to add them. It takes 10 seconds to add a link to an internal page.
Ok, that’s enough from me. Go and make your resources page.