If you’ve made the decision to start using affiliate links on your blog to earn a little income, you may need help deciding which one is best for you, your blog, and your readers. Here are the basics you should know about affiliate programs that pay you by the click on your affiliate links. Compare this to commission-earning affiliate programs.
Pay-per-click affiliate programs:
Using pay-per-click affiliate programs are really easy, and often the first type of affiliate program I see many fashion bloggers using (it was the first affiliate program type I had success with as a new blogger). Pay-per-click affiliate programs pay bloggers by the number of clicks their links get, while they keep the commissions made on sales. These types of programs are banking on the fact they’ll make more money on commissions from sales than they will paying bloggers by the click. Payments are often close to $0.05 per click, but can vary by program and over time.
Programs of note: Shopsense, Beso/Shopzilla
- These programs usually don’t have many sign-up requirements, so it’s super easy to set up and get started.
- You get paid right away. No need to wait for payments to clear.
- Getting readers to click a link is way easier (and more likely to happen) than getting a reader to make a purchase.
- The amount of retailers participating in the program is usually pretty big and diverse, so you can find affiliate link to many of your favorite retailers and products in their system.
- These programs are usually less focused on tracking your blog’s performance, so you may not know which products your readers are enjoying and in turn-purchasing. It makes it more difficult to fine tune your content to the interests of your readers.
- Earnings per-click can be low, so you’ll have to get lots and lots of clicks to earn a decent income.
- Some programs (like ShopSense) does not have transparent payment methods, so you may not even know how much you’re being paid per-click.
- The affiliate program can adjust your per-click earnings lower if your blog doesn’t make many sales.
- Since you don’t have to actually get your readers to buy anything, many bloggers take advantage of this by placing their links all over the place and making it hard not to click in a ploy for more revenue.
When it may be better for your blog:
- If you have a small readership. You probably won’t get many sales, but you may get a good number of link clicks.
- If your readership doesn’t like to make purchases.
- If the products you share on your blog are aspirational, and your readers are generally not able to purchase them.
- If your readership is difficult to fit (ie, special size blogs) or overly picky and ends up returning items often.
Sometimes the best way to monetize your blog is with a combination of pay-per-click and commission-earning affiliate programs, so play around with different combinations of each. Finding the right fit for your blog and your readers can take time and patience.