How to Use Affiliate Links: Top Ten {Tuesday}

top ten list

The last few days the only thing I can think about is my new ebook. I have been totally gobsmacked at the positive response that has taken place since I announced it just last week! As of Monday night, we had 706 fans on the Truth in the Tinsel Facebook page! (In comparison, ohAmanda’s page only has 640. And I’ve had it for like 3 years. Ahem.)

ebook advent

As I’ve been editing, updating and writing the book, the facebook page, the website and more, I’ve been coming across a lot of questions about how to be an affiliate of Truth in the Tinsel. And I decided to address it Top Ten style today. This will be applicable to any affiliate program you’re involved in (or may one day be involved in). So, if you’re already a pro at this, just scroll down to the end.

If you’re new to affiliate programs (they are NOT just for bloggers!), keep reading…

TOP TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW AND DO TO BE A SUCCESSFUL AFFILIATE

1. Sign Up

Affiliate programs are everywhere. I’m an affiliate with Amazon, Groupon, Dayspring, Disney Food Blog, E-Mealz and more. Basically, any company or product I talk about, I try to find their affiliate program. Why? Because if I am going to link to them, I might as well make money off of them, too.

When you use an affiliate link, the affiliate website tracks all the clicks AND purchases made through and because of that link. And they give you a percentage of that sale. It doesn’t cost your readers any more money, it’s just the company’s way of saying “thanks for the free advertisement!”

Of course, affiliate programs are designed for folks with websites, but you can use affiliate links in your email, on Facebook, on twitter and even Pinterest! (I made 2 sales off of something I pinned with an affiliate link!)

For example, any time I mention Mary’s Plan a Fabulous Party {without losing your mind} ebook, I’ll use the affiliate link. Not her website link. It sends you to the same place, it’s just tracking the clicks from my site. (Go ahead, hover over that ebook link above. See the e-junkie link in there? Now click it. It will go straight to Mary’s page. You’ll never even notice the difference.)

2. Find Your Link

There are several affiliate companies that host big big companies (see a fabulous list of affiliate companies on Savvy Blogging) but today I’m going to mainly talk about e-junkie because that’s who I’m using for Tinsel in the Truth. So, let’s pretend you wanna be a Truth in the Tinsel affiliate.

First, follow the link from the Truth in the Tinsel affiliate page that says, JOIN OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAM. (Most websites are pretty obvious about this. If not search “affiliate” on their website and it should come up.)

3. Find Your Link Part 2

You’ll have to register. Nothing big. Typical enter-your-info stuff.

Then you’ll click GET AFFILIATE CODE. Now, you’ll see a list of merchants. Here’s my list. Told you I join them all.

affiliate marketing

4. Find Your Link Part 3

After clicking on Truth in the Tinsel, you’ll have to click GET AFFILIATE CODE again. This will bring up some HTML that looks something like:

<a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=118014&c=ib&aff=118014″ target=”ejejcsingle”>Click here to visit Truth in the TInsel.</a>

If you copy and paste that into a blog post or somewhere that accepts HTML, it will look like this:

Click here to visit Truth in the Tinsel.

I doubt you’re ever going to use that phrase. Instead…

5. Doctor The HTML

You can doctor the HTML by changing the wording, like what I did in red:

<a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=118014&c=ib&aff=118014″ target=”ejejcsingle”>Buy Truth in the Tinsel now!</a>

Anything you write between those two >< will show up. See below…

Buy truth in the Tinsel now!

But you don’t always want to use HTML. In fact, I rarely copy HTML in a blog post. And you can’t even use HTML on Twitter of Facebook. So…

6. Snag the Affiliate Link

Look at your HTML from the affiliate link a little closer. See the part I turned red?

<a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=118014&c=ib&aff=118014” target=”ejejcsingle”>Click here to visit Truth in the Tinsel.</a>

That’s the important part, your affiliate link. You can snag that link and use it in place of a normal link!

So, if you’re in Facebook you can enter it in your status update…

Or on twitter…

Or in a blog post…

7. What about images?

Most of the time affiliates give images or buttons to advertise with. These can make your blog posts and sidebars pop and catch people’s attention.

If you are putting an imagine into a blog post, you’ll link to it the same as you would a piece of text. This is different in every blogging platform. Here’s how I do it in WordPress:

a. Download the image or button from the Truth in the Tinsel website. I save it on my desktop with a normal title so I can find quickly.

b. Upload the image into my media library.

c. Add affiliate code.

d. Insert into post.

8. Adding an Button and Affiliate Link to a Sidebar

Putting a button on the sidebar can be a little trickier because you can’t upload straight into a widget. (Remember, I’m wordpress and using widgets. So, if you’re Blogger or something else. I can’t help you.)

In order to get an image into a sidebar, you’ll need some HTML. Here’s how I usually do it (there are other and possibly better ways):

a. Upload button to Photobucket.com. Photobucket automatically generates HTML, image source codes and more for you.

b. Copy the HTML from Photobucket.

c. Paste the HTML into a widget in your sidebar. It will look something like this (just not colorful):

<a href=”http://s302.photobucket.com/albums/nn115/purplesahm/?action=view&amp;current=cover_b-1.jpg” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn115/purplesahm/cover_b-1.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

d. Replace the green text with your red affiliate code from #6 to look like this (remember, I added color for clarity!):

<a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?cl=118014&c=ib&aff=118014” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn115/purplesahm/cover_b-1.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

Now, just as a little HTML lesson for you, if you look above, you’ll see two “sentences” encased by <>. The first “sentence” is where your button is going to when clicked. The second “sentence” is the image code for the button. Put them together and you have a button that will link to you wherever your affiliate code is pointed.

Pat yourself on the back, you just put an ad in your sidebar!

9. Disclose

I don’t know how it works on facebook and twitter. But in a blog post, you have to disclose that you are using an affiliate link. “Have to” like it’s the law.

I personally think it’s a very stupid and ridiculous law. But they didn’t ask my opinion.

Read a better and less bitter explanation of affiliate disclosure by Michael Hyatt. Or this one at Savvy Blogging.

Also. I used affiliate links in this post. And I am not a lawyer. Or a social-media consultant. Or an expert on affiliate marketing. Use my advice at your own risk. (Think that covers it?)

10. Any questions?

Besides, “Why do you write such long posts, Amanda?”

:: :: ::

Link up your Top Ten list and join in the Top Ten {Tuesday} fun! All you have to do is WRITE a top ten list, PASTE it  below, LINK back to me in your post & then start LOVIN’ on the rest of the participants with facebook likes, stumbles, pins, comments and tweets (#toptentues)! For better and more succinct guidelines see my Top Ten {Tuesday} page!

 

Comments

  1. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing!!
    -Samantha

  2. Thank you for this! I’ve been wading through the murky affiliate grounds and this is perfect!!

  3. That is the best affiliate how-to I’ve seen! That will help lots of people!

  4. You are so smart! Not just that you know all this, but that you can make it easy to understand – great info!

  5. I’m so excited for your ebook!

    And I thought I knew how to do this whole affiliate thing….but I didn’t know you could tweet/facebook affiliate links like you show above. Thanks! I feel smarter already :)

  6. This is fantastic! (especially for newbies like me. :o) ) But my favorite part? “BEST advent book EVER!” This made me smile!

  7. Those are really great tips as always Amanda. Thanks. You were born to teach :)

  8. You explained this very well, it such simple terms that even I could follow. :) Thanks!

  9. Joining in today — my first time ever! ;)

  10. I actually love it when the post says “Affiliate used”. I think it’s just common courtesy for the reader.

    • You’re right. I know it’s a good thing. I just feel like I’m a pretty authentic blogger anyway and sometimes I feel like putting the disclosure on every post is like saying, “Hey, just because I used affiliate links doesn’t mean I’m lying just so you’ll click and I’ll make money.” Know what I mean?

      I need to not have a bad attitude about it! ;)

  11. This was great. Thanks so much for the information.

  12. This is a GREAT tutorial for affiliate linking!
    COngrats on your ebook … I LOVE the cover art!

  13. Great list! And ha ha on the long post comment. I wish I had the time to write posts that thorough :)

  14. Great post! I love your tutorial-type posts. They are always very helpful. :)

  15. Thanks for this! So helpful. I finally read it all and realized I need to change some stuff on a recent post. :)

    So glad to have found ur blog. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Appreciate the post…The problem I have is on hover, particularly to the direct purchase page. Sometimes the bottom left corner link looks bad when you have to put a secure link to e-junkie’s pay page.

    I’m unclear if you can “prettylink” those e-junkie buy now link string of characters that goes directly to purchase page? They are long and funny looking. However e-junkie is a good alternative to helping you sell your downloads.

  17. Thanks for sharing your opinions and thoughts this is great article!

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  27. I usually do not leave a ton of remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up here How To Use Affiliate Marketing: Top Ten Tuesday | ohamanda.com. And I actually do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it just me or does it look as if like a few of the comments appear like they are written by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I’d like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you list of every one of your social pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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  33. do you know if you can use affiliate stuff on wordpress.com or is it only on wordpress.org?

  34. This is just what I was looking for! Thank you for explaining so clearly! (Enjoyed hanging out with you at the #prayingforboys twitter party this week.)

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