Perhaps you’re a freelancer who’s been in the game for many years. You might even remember when you realized that the Internet was here to stay, so you started a presence on a platform like the late, great, AOL Hometown, gradually moving up to your own official .com/.net/.org website.
Or, maybe you’re a freelancer who’s never known a world without the Internet, and are very protective/proud of the website you’ve built. Whatever your freelancing background is, you know how professionally valuable your website can be, and now you want to make it monetarily valuable. Perhaps the most popular (and potentially the most lucrative) way to monetize a website is through affiliate marketing.
Before you leap, learn.
Affiliate marketing has had an interesting evolution. When the Internet was just getting started, it practically became synonymous with spam, plaguing search results with those “get rich quick” home business webpages. Because there weren’t the regulations that are in place now, many people with crappy content profited (a lot) from it.
The thing is, a lot of people still get dollar signs in their eyes from Pinterest posts promising to share the secrets of how they make thousands of dollars each month – perhaps you can relate to this. These same people eagerly sign up for courses or products, and become affiliates for them without understanding how much work goes into getting to that place of profit. There’s no immediacy with affiliate marketing.
Start small, branch out big.
With all of the affiliate marketing possibilities out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones to start with first. Google AdSense can be a good place to start, since there aren’t specific traffic threshold requirements. They do, however, have minimum content amount requirements.
Tip: if you have a WordPress blog, check out my blog post, “How to Quickly Get Your WordPress Blog Approved for Google AdSense” for more information about the process.
Traffic is the true key.
Search engine algorithms and disclosure policies have cleaned up the affiliate marketing image – everyone has to declare themselves, and it’s made those who are serious about affiliate marketing create more meaningful content. That being said, when it comes to generating earnings, traffic is the most important piece of the puzzle.
When you reach the point where you’re getting thousands of pageviews per month (25,000 and above), you have more advertisement affiliate networks to choose from, such as Mediavine. Once you reach that plateau, you’ve probably built evergreen content that your affiliate links will start to work for you.
Yes, traffic takes time to build – you get it through regularly (and responsibly) posting on social media, updating your website (or blog), offering unique/helpful content (if you’re an expert in your freelancing niche), and networking. It’s when you earn a trusted reputation that your traffic will increase, and with that, ideally, your affiliate marketing earnings.
Please note that all Fabulous Freelancer posts might contain affiliate links.