So I have experimented with affiliate programs and links for many years now. Some are sort of successful and others are a total waste of time and effort.
I run 2.5 affiliate links on my site right now, one of them is Amazon, and one is +Trey Ratcliff 's program he is offering (now totally revised – very nice new design and backend). The .5 comprises the rest of the links I have on the site – one is a link to my Store on 500px to sell my own images, Backblaze for online backups, Fitbit (because so many have asked me about it) and Craft&Vision's line of ebooks.
I gave up on injecting links into every orifice of my site years ago and now just have a single sponsor page where people can go to support me and what I do and the site if they feel they want too. Let's call it the no pressure sales tactic.
Take it from me with a site that only gets limited traffic, you can make some money, when I say some I mean not much and I think there is a stigma out there that anyone posting affiliate links is living on a secluded island drinking umbrella drinks and laughing all the way to the bank. For the most part that is not true and even sites with massive traffic might not get any affiliate sales.
I also gave up on Google ads and per click or impression style ads years ago because the check for a buck was more expensive to deposit than it was to burn it.
I have tried all these programs over the years and the only ones that actually make any money for me have been Amazon and Trey's Affiliate program.
So you ask why do you even bother to run any affiliate links. #1 – I have used all the products that I am an affiliate for and #2 – it can pay for some little things here and there I could not get otherwise.
I think many feel guilty when they run affiliate links – I personally do not think people should feel this way but people should be open and honest that their marketing is precisely that – marketing and not personal experience.
Lying about your marketing will kill your following. Be honest and market openly. More people will use your links.. PS: did I mention that none of the programs I run cost the user that is clicking on the link a penny?
All these programs can be a pain to setup, Trey;s is definitely the easiest now that they are running it all internally. It is now as easy as sign up and then insert some code and possibly make some money.
If you are like me and cannot take the time to be on the top of the pyramid by making your own content and selling it with an affiliate program, then take some time to look into some of the programs out there and give them a try.
I am not saying be a AH and pollute your stream or email lists or site with affiliate links everywhere, but there is no reason if your business model supports it not to get paid for taking the time to talk about products you use and in turn have those companies and you benefit from the effort.
My site – As an example – It is nothing special:
Here is a way to join Trey's Affiliate program:
http://store.stuckincustoms.com/rf/bdp (yep that's an affiliate link – if you join I get credit and we both benefit)
The other programs are much more in depth to sign up for:
Some you will need to be a business to join and use….
Do not be afraid of affiliate programs if you trust and use the products. be very afraid of shady programs as they will probably never pay you or just take your traffic and never even say thank you.
I use and promote items, services and companies I use, like and respect. It is a simple marketing plan.. sadly I will never be rich, but it allows me to make a few extra bucks, does not affect my readers and site visitors and also helps to support the products I like to use and those companies to have income to make other new and innovative products.
interesting! I've never really even considered anything like this because I don't' think I have a large enough following.
Actually all it takes is one person to buy something via the link… I do not have a huge following… But I hope some trust what I say and if they then remember to buy with a link I benefit…. Just to reiterate…. Benefit might be 20% of a sale etc… Which is not to shabby
If I ever develop a usable site, I'll do this. It's a great way to share in the wealth of things you honestly support.
+Todd Green I agree… as an example one of the first online "courses" I took was Trey's HDR course.. a massive amount of info across many days – I have spent money on classes and maybe got half the usefulness out of them.. then I took those concepts and created my own way of processing HDR style images..
Why not pass that along and earn something along the way..