One of the topics that I’ll be visiting frequently here at Big Guy on Stuff is that of the side hustle. As I learn things while on this journey, I will pass them along so that hopefully you may benefit from my findings. Today’s topic is on affiliate links.
The Affiliate Link
This is something I really didn’t think about until the very day I started this blog. I knew that I had seen ads like those from Google Adwords just like the one you’ll see here after this paragraph, but I never really paid attention to another type of link — the affiliate link.
Affiliate links are links that you get from companies that allow you to make money or get some kind of kickback when your readers follow them and then make purchases or sign up for a service. The cut that you get from the link varies depending on the program that you are using. Today, I want to share a couple of the affiliate programs that we use here at BGoS — The Amazon Affiliate Program and ShareASale.
The Amazon Affiliate Program
The The Amazon Affiliate Program seems to be about the most popular one out there. It’s easy to sign up, and amazon lays out the percentages that you will get for different items in their policy. Depending on what folks buy when they use your links, you can earn anywhere from 0% (for Amazon gift cards and Wine) to 10% for fashion, digital video games, and luxury beauty products. Once you have access, you can create links for just about anything on amazon. Once a user clicks your link, you can make money off of it up to 24 hours later. Even if the reader ends up buying something else off of Amazon besides what you linked to, you will still make money.
Featured Promotions and Bounties
In addition to being able to link just about any product or page on Amazon, they also offer special, featured promotions and bounties. A featured promotion is a link to a product that is currently being sold under a promotion like the links below for the Fire 7 Kids Edition and Open-box and used PCs.
Bounties are another type of affiliate link offered by Amazon. With bounties, you get a set amount of money for users that sign up for trials, registries, and other services on Amazon. For instance, if one of your users signs up for a baby registry for the first time and adds an item to their registry, you get five dollars. The bounties seem to currently range anywhere from fifty cents for things like audio books to twenty five bucks for a cell phone with a wireless services. Below are a couple examples.
Types of Links
Most of the time I am creating one of two types of links with Amazon. In-line links are the ones like this one, Amazon Key, for the Amazon Key that was used in the Big Guy on the Amazon Key post that we ran the day before the Amazon Key launched, or the one Big Guy, Damien, used for the game Destiny 2 in his Big Guy on Gaming: Destiny 2 (PC) post. The second type of link that we use is one where Amazon actually builds a clickable image, or banner, with a current price. You may have seen these in Big Guy Tabjabber’s post, Review: Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Cancelling Headphones (see below), and in the Welcome post that started it all where I linked to some Blow Pops (see below). I have also added a few more below to fill out the space.
Another affiliate program we use here is shareasale.com. ShareASale is actually a platform for companies that don’t have or don’t want to spin up their own affiliate program. Once you have a ShareASale account, you can search through their huge database of companies who use them. With ShareASale, you can create different kinds of links just like you can with Amazon. If you read either the Big Guy on Experiment X – Update 1 or the Big Guy on Experiment X – 22nd Day Update posts, then you probably saw the links for NameCheap.
How it works
With ShareASale, you have to apply to each of the merchant affiliate programs for which you are interested in using. In my experience, some of these, like NameCheap, are almost automatic. It seems that they verify certain information, and you are then good to go. I have a few others that I signed up for a week or two ago, however, and I am still waiting to hear on whether or not I was accepted. I actually had one of the affiliate programs turn me down as well due to “the Nexus Internet tax laws passed in my state.”
Put Your Blog to work
If you are providing your readers with useful content, then I don’t think there is anything wrong with utilizing these programs so that you get a kickback as you try to help others with items that you may already be enjoying. Your link hopefully helps the reader find a good or service that they need (or didn’t know they needed), it helps the merchant of that service gain a sale, and it helps you put some internet funds into your pocket (or back into your blog)!