Affiliate Linking: The Basics
Affiliate linking is when you link to a product in a blog post (or tweet, or whatever) and if someone clicks through that link, and buys the product (or anything else within a set period), then you earn a percentage of commission. Affiliate linking is one of the easier ways to generate earnings from your blog – it doesn’t involve you having to get people to buy your ads, or however else you make money from your blog, can be done with many retailers, and is one of those things that will still bring money in from Google searches to old pages.
There are many different schemes that you can use to generate links to different retailers, and we’ll look at some of those in further detail in future posts, because we feel like they deserve a bit more explanation than this post! Most affiliate sites will require you to be approved by the schemes managers, but one affiliate scheme that anyone can take part in is the Amazon one. You just need to head over to the Amazon Affiliate page and sign in with your Amazon account, agree to the t&c’s and then whenever you’re signed into Amazon, you’ll see a bar like this across the top of the page:
To get the affiliated link to a specific page or search, click the Twitter share button. (This is the easiest way to get the link you need, although you can use the “Link To This Page” button to get more ways to link, including photos of the product)
The main affiliate sites in the UK are Affiliate Window, Linkshare and TradeDoubler, but some websites have their own affiliate schemes like DollyDagger which you may be asked to join. Affiliate Window, Linkshare and TradeDoubler are available to anyone that requests an account with them. You then request to join a retailer’s affiliate scheme and they will accept or reject you based on your website.
One site that has grown in popularity in the UK in the last year or so is RewardStyle.The main reason for this is because RewardStyle is the only way that you can provide affiliate links to ASOS and Topshop, which are, of course, two of the biggest sites that most bloggers link to. RewardStyle is by invitation only, and you can request to join their scheme. Once you have been approved, however, there is no need to sign up to the different retailers – you are able to link to any site that has signed up with RewardStyle.It’s also very easy to link to products with a rS link – but we’ll explain that in a more in-depth post that we’ve got planned about them soon.
Legally, there is no requirement in the UK to mark whether a link is an affiliated one, however it is seen as best practice to notify your readers if it is. Some people do this by putting a symbol next to the link in the blog post (We mark affiliate links with a diamond shape like this ♦) or a disclaimer in their footer, or if they tweet the link, then they might use a hashtag like #aff so people could choose to mute it.
How do you feel about affiliated links? Do you think they need to be disclosed? Got any other questions? Good, bad – whatever, we want to hear it!