Why I Use Affiliate Links in My Business (And Why You Should Too)
When I started working for myself, I had a lot of thoughts about what would happen if I didn’t book clients or if there was a slow month. That day I happened to hear about affiliate links on a podcast I had been listening to, and it sparked the idea to take a peek at the companies I already used and loved to see if they had a program.
The best thing was, most of them did! I loved the idea of sharing the things I was already sharing in an organic way but allowing people (and myself) the opportunity to help support me in something they may have already done. The easiest thing about affiliate links is that the process only takes about 2-5 minutes.
What is an affiliate program and link?
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy, where a company will give people a cut of the products they recommend and ultimately sell. This can range anywhere from a flat rate (ex: $5 for every person that signs up) to a percentage of what the entire sale is back to your account or a free subscription based on how many people are using your link. Your affiliate link is a unique URL that tracks the amount of sales you’re sharing with followers, friends or family. If someone uses this link and purchases something, you get a kickback.
Why I love it
Well, it’s something we all already do, right? If a friend asks what kind of shampoo you use, you generally will send a link or say something along the lines of, “Oh, I got it on Amazon!”. Or, you’re reading a post or checking out the Instagram feed of a friend and want to start using the same project management tool they do—it’s easy to share these things while also creating passive income for yourself.
My friends and I share our own affiliate links all the time, which is always a good time (bad influences, I tell ya). Actually making a sale is a lot easier than it seems.
Amazon is my favorite affiliate program because it’s set up to benefit both the experience of the user and the person who’s link they are accessing. If I wrote a post about notebooks that I loved, and you clicked the link, anything you purchase during that one time on Amazon will be applied to my affiliate account. If you purchase notebooks, some toothpaste and a computer, I will see the percentage of that full sale (which a lady always likes!)
How I use and organize my links
It can be intimidating to realize that you use a link for every company that you’re hoping to both promote and benefit from. That’s why I use a Trello board that has all of my links, usernames, passwords and any other information I’ll need. When I’m writing a post, I’ll reference the board after the fact and see if there’s a link I can organically share. If not, it’s always a-ok with me!
Understanding that making money (no matter how big or small) takes time—most of the affiliate programs I have applied for takes less than 5 minutes to apply. It’s the organization afterwards that has been the most beneficial and least time consuming for me! If you’re sifting through emails or forget you applied for something, then it doesn’t benefit you at all.
My #1 Tip:
Besides looking at how much you’ll be using a program before applying for it; always check for payment scheduling of a program. While this is passive income for me, I don’t want to see something come into my account in 2 years—most programs pay out monthly or bi-monthly. Beyond that, always always always be open and honest about using affiliate links. It’s a simple disclaimer at the end of a post that shares the information. Avoid being salesy just to earn a buck and try to keep it organic when using links!