Blogging

Can You Make Money From Home Through Affiliate Marketing?

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The ideal life for a lot of people is being able to stay at home while still earning a decent living. Not only that, but you want to work for yourself and set your own schedule in life. It’s possible to seek out different opportunities to achieve this state of living, one of which is affiliate marketing. 

What is affiliate marketing?

In short, it’s a type of digital marketing that relies on people promoting things for companies. As an affiliate, a company provides you with your own unique link to share with other people. When someone clicks on your link and purchases something from the company, you receive a percentage of the sale. Effectively, you receive a commission for promoting a business.

When you read this, you begin to wonder, can you actually make money through affiliate marketing? Well, the overall answer is yes, because you certainly can. However, there are definitely things you need to know before you go down this route. A lot of affiliate marketers don’t make money, but it is definitely possible. 

Find an affiliate marketing platform

Going out into the big wide world of affiliate marketing on your own is never going to end well. Instead, you need a platform to help you get set up. Essentially, these platforms help you find affiliate marketing opportunities and give you tools to help promote the various companies. They may also offer education to further your knowledge on the topic. Be careful, as this Wealthy Affiliate review shows, some platforms can be outdated and a bit of a waste of money. Do lots of research before coming to a decision on the platform you wish to choose. 

Don’t spend too much money

As an affiliate marketer, you can spend money to promote your link and get it seen by many people. Things like paying to have ads directing people to your blogs or using social media ads are popular ideas. Nevertheless, you should aim to spend as little money as you possibly can. Otherwise, you might struggle to make a profit when you compared your affiliate earnings to what you spent. This is a mistake many affiliates make all the time!

Work with companies you trust and believe in

Lastly, only become affiliates for companies that you trust and believe in. The best way to make money through affiliate marketing is via a blog or social media account. Thus, you need to ensure that the companies you work with aligning with your particular brand. If you have a blog about sports, it makes sense to promote companies that sell sports clothing, equipment, etc. It’s easier to work your link into your content, and your target audience will be interested in the companies as well. Research the companies beforehand to ensure they are legit and trustworthy too. 

You most certainly can make money as an affiliate marketer, but it’s not as easy as people make out. There’s this myth that affiliate marketing is easy and you can instantly earn a fortune. In reality, it takes a fair bit of skill and perseverance to ensure you actually earn a steady income.

Blogging

How to Increase Your Income as a Blogger #SEOYourBlog

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

When I started blogging nine years ago, I started off very much from scratch. I didn’t know anyone who blogged and had no idea that there was a whole blogging community out there. I started my blog on a free WordPress URL and just started writing. I didn’t discover for quite some time that it was possible to monetise a blog, and never knew quite how many ways there were to do it.

One way to optimise your exposure is by including PPC links into your posts through an agency like Click Consult – advertisers use space on your blog and in return you’re paid a fee every time someone clicks on the advert. It’s a great example of what we call “passive income”, essentially something that ticks over in the background, earning you money, and doesn’t need you to do anything beyond adding a little bit of code to your blog.

One of the most important skills to learn as a blogger is SEO, or search engine optimisation, to those who don’t already know. SEO, according to Moz, is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”. Using good SEO practices within your posts allows them to be found by Google and means that your blog will show higher up in search results when someone searches for a keyword you use. There are lots of plugins which can help with SEO, making your life a whole lot easier!

There are many other ways to make money through blogging, such as sponsored posts, brand partnerships and even branching out as a freelance copywriter, but it’s worth bearing in mind that you may need to register as self employed and start filling in a tax return if your earning exceed a certain amount.

If you’re new to blogging and are interesting in other ways to make money from your writing, leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you and help you to get started.

Blogging

How to Organise Your Blog Posts

Blog organisationI’m not going to lie, organisation is not my strongest quality. I’m always the mum who finds the crumpled up letters at the bottom of Sausage’s bag, the day before they’re due to go in in some sort of elaborate fancy dress and I’m terrible at remembering to RSVP to anything we’re ever invited to. I’ve started using my reminders on my phone more and more to keep me organised in my daily life, and am planning to invest in some quality notebooks, but my blog is something that suffers massively because of my lack of organisational skills.

With BB off to school this September, I’ve realised that I need to get some life back into my blog, which means planning more original content and getting back on track with my writing, so I decided to ask some fellow bloggers how they get their act together and stay on top of blogging. Here’s some of their advice:

Nickie at Typecast said “I personally use a bullet journal system incorporated into my Filofax. I also have a BOAT (Book Of All Things) which is generally a brain dump and I’m a bit old school where I have to write things down. I also use Google Calendar a lot (linked to my phone) for reminders on the go and we have a Family Google Calendar too for ‘family reminders’. This may seem like overkill to some people, however, what works for me may not work for you but you can take ideas from various sources and incorporate them into your own planning system.”

Amy Lynne Andrews said “Create a way to capture your blog post ideas. Great resources to capture ideas are Evernote, a note-taking app on your phone or a paper notebook. I always seem to get good ideas when I’m driving. If you do too, try calling yourself and leaving a voicemail, having Siri or your Google Assistant email or text you or using a voice recorder app. Regardless of how you do it, keep all your ideas in one designated place.”

Alisha Nicole said “Starting off with a solid routine will help you get into the flow of creating content consistently. Your schedule should be based on two major factors:

  1. How often you are able to provide high quality content. (remember it should always be quality over quantity)
  2. When your audience is online to consume your info.

Personally, I know I am only able to create one blog post, one video and send out one newsletter per week. And according to my stats, my highest traffic days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so those are the days I post to my blog. Also from a recent reader survey that I conducted, I know that the majority of my audience would rather watch live webinars in the evenings and on Saturdays due to their work/life schedules. If you’re unsure when to post your content, checking out your Google Analytic stats will tell you exactly when your audience is using your site most often.”

Hobbies

Finding a New Hobby

I can’t quite believe it, but Burrito Baby starts school this September, which means I’m going to have a LOT more free time on my hands. I’m hoping to up my workload and also have more time for going to the gym, but I’ve also been thinking about how to have a little “me” time, so I’ve been trying to find a hobby that I can start from September. Some of them will be solely for me, but there are also things in there that Husband and I can do together, which will be great for us as a couple. Here are a few of my ideas:

Golf

Ever since I played Tiger Woods Pro Golf on the original Wii about ten years ago, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at proper golf, and Husband and I keep promising we’ll go to a driving range but never seem to get around to it. We’re lucky enough to have a golf club literally at the end of the road, so we’re making a pact to get around to giving it a go once we’re able to find the time. I’ll also need to find some decent  golf footwear for sale.

Dressmaking

When Sausage was little, I went through a stage of making clothes for her, little dresses in quirky fabrics so that she wasn’t wearing the same off-the-peg stuff as everyone else. I haven’t made anything for ages, but I’d love to start making stuff again, maybe even for myself this time! Husband bought me a beautiful sewing machine two Christmasses ago, which I’ve barely used, so it will be a good opportunity to get some use out of it.

Reading

This one is going to sound silly, but I used to read a LOT, but as I’ve got older I’ve found it increasingly more difficult to read when there are distractions around me. Once the girls are both at school, I’ll have no excuses not to read and I have a list of books as long as my arm that I intend to plough through!

Blogging

I started blogging back in 2010, and back then it was a passion project, something I did to air my thoughts. However, since I started writing commercially, I seem to find myself far less inspired to write personal posts. I’m really hoping that when I have more time to dedicate to my blog, the ideas will start to flow again and the balance of personal:commercial content will even itself out again.

Cycling

At the beginning of the year, Husband (who is a life-long mountain biking enthusiast) bought himself a new bike, and it’s ignited a bit of cycling-fever in the whole family. We’re lucky enough to all have decent bikes and Husband has been letting me tag along with him (when I say “tag along”, I mean he goes on his usual route but has to go about 60% slower while I’m huffing and puffing along to keep up with him!). We’re hoping to get a bike rack when we get our new car, so we’ll be finding some new routes and riding together more.

Do you have any hobbies?

All About ME!

Who Am I?

Who am I? Good question! It’s such a long time since I took part in a good old fashioned bloggers Q&A so when the lovely Emma at Emma & 3 asked if anyone wanted to be tagged, I stuck my virtual hand in the air pretty sharpish! I find myself bogged down with work and commercial posts sometimes, so having the opportunity to actually write something personal seemed too good to pass up. So, here are my answers:

Jayne and Maureen

When was the last time you cried?

Sunday evening. I got a really nice, thoughtful text from my Dad and at the end of what is usually quite a tough day for me, I sobbed. Although, to be fair, it never usually takes much to make me cry, my emotions bubble pretty close to the surface and since we lost Chuck in December, I’ve shed more than my fair share of tears.

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

That’s a really hard one to answer. On the surface, I can seem really flaky and unreliable when it comes to making and keeping arrangements, but this is due in no small part to social anxiety and awkwardness that makes me shy away from socialising much. I think I’d probably find me pretty funny (because I am one of those wankers who laughs at their own jokes) but it would probably be one of those “I haven’t seen you for six months, lets talk for 3 hours solidly and then not see each other again for six months”-type friendships.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Yes. Yes I do.

What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Hmm, that’s another toughie – as someone who is pretty over-sensitive, I think I probably pick up on my perception of the person’s body language before I notice anything material, and that can really colour my impression of a person. I tend to gravitate towards people who I perceive as being emotionally open, I don’t really gel with people who are naturally closed or stand-offish.

Scary movie or happy endings?

I’m woefully uneducated with scary films, although Husband has been doing his best to get me to watch more of them, but I think I’ll always love a happy ending.

Favourite smells?

Creosote, tomato plant leaves, Imperial leather soap, roast dinners, new carpet, puppy breath, newborn baby skin, BB and Sausage’s hair when it’s just been washed, Chanel Egoist, and most importantly, the smell of Chuck’s feet. I miss that smell so much.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

Maldives – our island was precisely 5261 miles away from home!

Do you have any special talents?

I’m okay at baking and cooking, I guess, and I have a fairly impressive capacity to eat junk food, but I don’t think I have anything that could be described as a talent. I’m pretty devoid of exceptional qualities. Oh wait, I do have a huge talent for putting myself down – there you go!

Where were you born?

Orsett, in Essex. The hospital wasn’t supposed to be open for births on the day I was born, but apparently it was too late to get me to the sister unit a few miles away, so I had to be born there.

What are your hobbies?

What hobbies does any working Mum have?! Does doing the school run and indulging in the occasional Netflix binge count?! I enjoy sewing and reading but never seem to find the time for either lately.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an astronaut and had it all planned out – I was going to get a Royal Air Force scholarship to go to University and then become a pilot, which I hoped would give me the opportunity to advance from there, but I was told during a school careers day by an Air Force rep that I’d never be a pilot because I didn’t have perfect eyesight, so I had to give up on that dream. Then, I wanted to be a drama teacher, but that didn’t pan out either! Being a freelance writer and social media bod suits be down to the ground, to be honest, as I can work the hours I want and not have to deal with the public!

How many countries have you been to?

France, Belgium, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Maldives – 6.

What was your favourite/worst subject in school?

I adored Drama, English and Biology. Least favourite subjects were R.E. and French.

What is your favourite drink?

Non-alcoholic, anything cherry flavoured – I love a Cherry Pepsi Max! Alcoholic, I like lots of things, but my favourite of all time is probably sake, Stones ginger wine or Taboo (do you remember that?!).

What would you (or have you) named your children?

Sausage and Burrito Baby 😉 – I don’t have my kids names on my blog, but they both have what people call “old lady” names, with a flower middle name.

How many boyfriends have you had?

Proper actual boyfriends/girlfriends, 4, not including the ones at school where someone asks you out on the bus and you spend the next two weeks avoiding them.

Favourite memory from childhood?

Probably the weeks that my cousin and I would go and stay with my Nan and Grandad in Lowestoft for a week. We had so much fun and got to do so many lovely things with them, and the memories are even more precious now that they’re no longer with us.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Professional scruff. I usually look like I’ve been covered in superglue and thrown onto a table at a jumble sale.

Tell us one of your bad habits!

Swearing too much.

I tag:

Emma at The Syders, March at Mrs Teepot and Jen at Smiles and Trials