How to Use Affiliate Links Strategically

how to best use your affiliate links to maximize your blog earnings

If you’ve started monetizing your blog, chances are you’re using some sort of affiliate links or have thought about using them. If not, it’s a great way to organically add links that make sense for your content and let you earn commission from clicks or sales. There are a bunch of different networks available to you, and you can literally find an affiliate link for any item you want! It’s pretty incredible.

If you’re at a loss for where to start, a few networks we’ve used and had good experiences with are: RewardStyle (invite only), ShopStyle Collective, Commission Junction and Amazon Affiliates. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just a few that we’ve had positive experiences with! Even if you’re new to the blogging scene, you can use affiliate networks to start making money—even with a small readership.

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When I first started using affiliate links, I would only link to the few items I was wearing. It’s a good start, but I’ve since learned how to use my affiliate links more strategically to boost commissions and make my blog more profitable. Here are my top tips for making affiliate links really work for you:

1. Use More Links

The more links you use, the more opportunities you’re putting out there for someone to click, embed a cookie and give you potential commission. You don’t want to go overboard and link everything, but I always recommend using as many links as you can naturally work into your post.

2. Link to Retailers

Instead of linking to specific items, link to a specific retailer that converts well for you. Plenty of the time people will click on a link, but won’t actually buy that item, linking to a retailer let’s you make a commission on any sales made from that click through—pretty sweet, right?!

3. Link to Product Category Pages

This one is similar to above, but you can get a little bit more specific. Let’s say you mention sneakers in your post. You might link to the women’s sneaker page on Nordstrom, instead of one specific pair of sneakers. Again, you’re embedding a cookie that lasts 30 days, so even if they don’t buy that day, there’s a chance they’ll come back within the next 30 days and buy something and you might still be eligible to get that commission.

4. Mention Other Products in Copy

Many times I’ll talk about an item and also mention another item that I love to peak interest in other products. I included an example below of how to use this tip and the previous two in one sentence—4 powerful affiliate links in quick blurb!

“I just picked up a pair of black pumps (category page), but also have my on these leopard flats (exact product) & these velvet mini heels (exact product)-all available at Nordstrom (retailer link)!”

5. Add Similar Product Carousels

This is something I’ve started doing more and more recently and find that it’s super helpful! When I feature an outfit post, I’m usually wearing 3-6 pieces max, but I’ve been adding a shop the post carousel widget (learn how to add one by clicking the box above!) to include similar pieces to what I’m wearing to give readers more options and price points. I find that doing things like: More Shirts Under $75” grabs readers attention and promotes click throughs!
There you have it, five tips to help you better use your affiliate links to boost your commissions this year. Just make sure that you don’t overwhelm your readers—you don’t want to come across as unauthentic or spammy!

What tips do you have for using affiliate links in a smarter way to make more money?

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I'm Blair Staky—I help women turn their blogs into thriving businesses by sharing my secrets to growing a 6-figure blog. I'm so glad you're here!

Leave a Comment

  1. 1.19.17

    Loved this post! As a full-time blogger, affiliate links is something that I actually struggle with the most.

    xx Taylor

    • 1.26.17

      I totally understand, especially if you have an audience that doesn’t buy a lot! But implementing these tips should definitely help! I know I’ve seen lot of growth in my affiliate sales since doing this on every post I can!

    • 1.26.17
      Jess said:

      Great! Let us know how these tips work for you if you end up implementing those, Taylor!

  2. 1.19.17

    If you use Shop Style Collective, how do you link to a specific retailer or product category page instead of a specific product? I’ve always wondered how to do that!

    • 1.26.17

      at the top of the left hand side in the backend, there’s a button that says ‘Create’, click that, then select the ‘Text Link’ option and drop in a link to a retailer and it will create a trackable link for you!

      • 2.3.17

        Glad for this clarification because I have had that question for months! I want to link to retailers but it wasn’t clear to me how to do that in Shopstyle!

    • 1.26.17
      Jess said:

      I think you can use their little bookmark button (their version of RewardStyle’s “link ninja”) to just generate a link to the homepage. (Sorry! I haven’t used it in the long time, I don’t remember what it’s called!)

  3. 1.19.17
    GirlGetGlamorous said:

    Great quick read! I thought Rewardstyle already gave a commission for any purchase from a click through, though? Not just only if someone buys that specific product you linked?

    • 1.26.17

      That’s correct! I think I meant to say don’t ONLY link to specific products!

    • 1.26.17
      Jess said:

      Yes, that’s correct! Did you see something that said otherwise? Let us know if any part was confusing, and we can switch up the wording!

  4. 1.19.17
    Jackie said:

    This is such a great post! I seriously SUCK at earning anything with affiliate links. Like, it’s embarrassing. Hopefully these tips help! I can’t for the life of me figure out how to convert people to buy anything…especially since every blogger uses similar links.

    Something About That

    • 1.26.17

      The good news is that when you use more links you plant those cookies and someone may buy something a few days from now with your link, even if it’s not that same product and you’ll be able to get a little commish from it!

      • 1.27.17
        Jackie said:

        That’s always the hope! Thanks Blair!

    • 1.26.17
      Jess said:

      Hi Jackie! I definitely used to struggle with affiliate income in the past as well. (I think everyone does in the early stages!) but when I started implementing all of these tips, it helped MAJORLY!! Like, total game-changer! The biggest thing for me was using a lot more links, and linking to different versions of each item at different price points. It also takes time to get to know your audience and what they’re looking for! Doing a survey could help with this 🙂

      • 1.27.17
        Jackie said:

        I will definitely be implementing these tips into my strategy moving forward. If I see any success, you better believe you’ll hear about it! 🙂

  5. 1.19.17
    Katy said:

    I just implemented affiliate links this week after reading some of your posts! My issue is that as a healthy lifestyle blogger, I don’t see many opportunities to link. Sometimes I’ll post certain clothes that I’m loving, but it isn’t a main focus of my blog. I think Amazon might be more useful for me, although I also joined ShopStyle. Any suggestions?

    • 1.26.17
      Jess said:

      Amazon could definitely be more useful for you! They have an affiliate program you can apply to as well!

  6. 1.30.17
    Maggie O said:

    Cool I need to start doing more of this, but what carousel widget do you guys use or recommend? I’ve been having trouble finding one that works and looks good!

  7. 2.2.17
    Julia said:

    Thanks for sharing! Being able to diversify the sources is definitely the key! I also tend to add links to different parts of a post – when I describe the product, when I insert an image, and at the end of the post (for folks who prefer reading the entire post first before clicking anything).

    Julia || Closet de Jules || Recent Post – How to Style a Blanket Scarf