// this post contains affiliate links which allow me to continue to be a Work At Home Mom //
So now, you've started your own blog and you've written a few solid posts. Yay! Congratulations! For most of you, that means that now you're probably looking to earn some money. And that's great! I love that I can do something I really enjoy from the comfort of my home and make some money to boot and I want to show you how you can do it, too. And it's so, so EASY! A few weeks ago, I showed you how to make money using ShareASale for your blog and with Commission Junction so this week, I'll be teaching you to make money blogging using Affiliate Windows!
Affiliate Windows is one of the best affiliate networks out there (it's the only affiliate program for etsy.com!). There are two types of people who use Affiliate Windows – advertisers and affiliates. Advertisers are the companies, brands, and people who are offering you the opportunity to share information about their products or services and paying you to promote them. An affiliate (what you would be as a blogger) is the person who makes a kickback every time you write about or share an advertiser's product or service and someone uses your link to buy it. It is beyond easy to get set up to become a Affiliate Windows affiliate partner. Here's how to do it:
Sign Up For Affiliate Windows
To start, just sign up for the affiliate program. Big Fat Tip: The requirement for page views or visitors to become a publisher with Affiliate Windows is minimal so don't worry about having huge traffic to join. Visit the site to sign up for an account. Be aware that Affiliate Windows requires a $5 deposit to join but you get that back once you’re approved and meet a minimum of $20 for your first payout). It is just an ID verification tool and allows the program to ensure that affiliates are serious about making money with Affiliate Windows.
Search And Sign Up For Advertisers
If you've signed up using this link then, once approved, you can begin applying to advertisers. Next, you'll be able to check out all the other advertisers and find ones that you'd like to promote on your blog. Some of these advertisers are: etsy.com, SwagBucks, Overnight Prints, BeachBody, CafePress, and Booking.com. The sky's the limit on how many advertisers you can promote and what types you sign up for. Big Fat Tip: At first, I'd stick with advertisers that fit your blog's niche - it will help you to focus on products and services that you can easily promote. You can always look for "outside the box" advertisers later when you are more comfortable with the process of promoting affiliate links. There are SO MANY in there so take a few minutes and look for the ones that you're interested in. Use the tool bar at the top of the page to find advertisers (which you can do by clicking on “Advertisers>Join a Program” while logged into your Affiliate Windows dashboard).
Find advertisers by typing keywords to help you find specific advertisers or products. For example, I frequently write about weddings and pregnancy so I'd start by putting those into the search engine and seeing what comes up. If you're still at a loss for what keywords to use, you can also try using the search engine tools on the left to narrow down your selection
Reading The Advertiser Details
When you find a company you're interested in, check out the general details of their advertiser program. The general details show up in the advertiser search and are a great way to get a quick idea on if a company would be a good match for you. The name of the company is on the left and to the far right there will be a link to join the program (it literally has a big green "+" sign). Next to that information, you can click on the little magnifying glass icon/computer screen icon to see that program's details. Big Fat Tip: You can also click on the three small squares icon to see that program's banners and links.
Promoting Your Affiliate Links
Once you've been accepted into a program, there are several ways to monetize your affiliate links. The easiest way is to toss up some banner ads and be on your way. You can do this by visiting your Affiliate Windows dashboard, clicking on "Links and Tools" and then clicking on "Banners".
Now you can every single banner available to you from this advertiser. Use the search box to narrow down banners by size and type. To get the HTML code for that banner, just click on the box of code next to the banner image you'd like to display on your blog. Copy and paste the entire code into your blog in the "TEXT" view. Big Fat Tip: Banner ads are nice but don't convert as well as in post text links. I try to add a few banner ads to my sidebar but I also like to include them at the bottom of individual posts.
The best way (i.e. the biggest opportunity to convert clicks into sales and MAKE MONEY) is to use text links. You can do this by visiting your Affiliate Windows dashboard, clicking on "Links and Tools" and then clicking on "Text Links".
Now you can every single text link available to you from this advertiser. To get the HTML code for that text link, just click on the box of code next to the text you'd like to display on your blog. Copy and paste the entire code into your blog in the "TEXT" view. If you'd like to change the text that appears in your post then just paste the whole code in the "TEXT" view, switch back to the "VISUAL" view, and change it to the word(s) you want. Big Fat Tip: Randomly linking your text in posts is great but you'll see more conversions if you create tutorials or round-ups that specifically showcase the products and services.
I prefer to do most of my Affiliate Windows links through deep linking which is a fancy schmancy way of saying that instead of linking to the home page, you'll be linking directly to the product page. After you join a program and get accepted, this is easy to do with the Link Builder. Go to "Links and Tools" and then clicking on the "Text Links". Next, you'll just copy and paste the URL to the product's page and then copy and paste the entire deep link code into your blog in the "TEXT" view. Big Fat Tip: Make this process even simpler by installing the "MyAW" browser extension (for Chrome) or "FireAW" browser extension (for Firefox) directly into your computer's toolbar. You can do this by visiting your Affiliate Windows dashboard, clicking on "Links and Tools" and then clicking on "MyAW" or "FireAW". Just follow the directions they give you - it's super easy to install and use!
Don’t forget to link images with your affiliate link. Remember, the default is to link to a bigger version of the image. But you can change that by clicking on the image and changing a link. Also, for SEO purposes, be sure to write your alt tags to be original and use your keywords (instead of leaving that part blank or accepting the default).
Using The Opportunity Marketplace
The Opportunity Marketplace is an awesome Affiliate Windows feature. It’s an easy way for you to pitch sponsored posts or social media campaigns to advertisers. Basically, you send a message and see if they’ll work with you. For example, you’re expecting a baby and want to see if a particular company would be open to supplying you with cloth diapers in exchange for a post about their product. If they say yes, then you can work out a deal and blog/post about the products (using your affiliate links, of course). You can do this by visiting your Affiliate Windows dashboard, clicking on "Links and Tools" and then clicking on "The Opportunity Marketplace".
Disclosing Affiliate Links
Always, always, ALWAYS add a disclosure at the TOP OF YOUR POST (before the first outgoing affiliate link) that tells your readers that you are using affiliate links. It's the law. Big Fat Tip: JUST FREAKING DO IT.
How will you be using your Affiliate Windows links to make money?