February 21, 2024

Affiliates – Would You Like to Buy a Vowel?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Making Money While Blogging

It was not long after starting to make a little on blogging that I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to make an income on Google AdSense. If you look at my first few months of AdSense it was pathetic (especially considering you don’t get any money until you break $100, and I didn’t do that in my first six months).

It was long until I discovered that I could get a share of some of the cost of an item that people would either buy anyway, or buy because I suggested it. I mean, I was able to share with family and friends that they should get an HSBC savings account and they could save many times over their personal checking accounts. And hey, if HSBC will pay me for something that my family and friends will do anyway and it doesn’t cost them anything more, why not?


Affiliates is simply being willing to try to sell other people’s products by placing ads, setting up e-mail and other campaigns, or recommending things for people to buy.

How it Works

There are many people out there that are trying to sell something, and they’re willing to give you a piece of the sale if you can bring them customers. Unlike Pay Per Click (PPC) or Pay Per Impression (PPI) ads, affiliates usually pay for an action– a purchase. Here are some of the places that I’m an affiliate for and how it works.

I’m an affiliate for the following agencies, which represent many companies:

Each of these have different interfaces for placing ads on your site. With some you build a link to a specific product. Others have special ads that you can subscribe to or choose. And some you have to host yourself.

You place one of these links on your site. You can either use them as banners, talk about them in your posts, create e-mail campaigns– it’s only limited by the terms for which you are an affiliate and your imagination.

Is It Working for You?

This winter was the first time that Amazon and CBD really took off. And yet, by took off I mean that I made a few bucks, and have yet to receive a check from either of them. I figured that around Christmas time was the best time for these types of programs, and I was right. But I believe that family used these things more than anyone else, and so I was up a creek.

I mean, who thinks of coming to this site to start their shopping?

In any event, I think that in order for this to work you either have to be a topic blog– selling in that given market– or you have to do a better job of actually selling. The jury’s out for me on this avenue.

However, there are some great deals I see– if you’re going to be buying something anyway, and so I don’t mind passing these along.

Like What?

I just joined a new Affiliate program last night via Performics called Corporate Casual. The obligatory ad banner:

Outer Banks Custom Embroidered Banner

But what I found interesting about it is the promos that they have going. In order to promote themselves, they are actually giving away a Free Hat TL or a Free T-Shirt TL to let you sample their product. I don’t know about you, but free stuff always appeals to me, as does branded shirts. Maybe I should get a few MInTheGap shirts to give out as prizes– $14 doesn’t seem that expensive to me, but I haven’t been out pricing either.

The Pitfalls

Other than the amount you get back, these ads are more static. People can click on these ads and you don’t get paid for it. If you’re giving impressions, but no click-thrus the company you are affiliating for may decide to drop you.

These ads are more manual– you have to take the time to get the link and put it on your site. I have yet to come up with a more automated system… Though I would if I had the time.

This is definitely an interesting way to pursue– better pay if you can get people to buy something or sign up with something– if you’re interested in more control. Your results may differ from mine, but I would suspect that you’d need a product blog, and/or lots of posts for lots of entry points to do well with affiliate ads.

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2 thoughts on “Affiliates – Would You Like to Buy a Vowel?

  1. So do you get a lot of hits on your Google ad sense ads? I’ve often wondered how that works.I’m an affiliate with allposters and CBD, but have yet to have anyone actually buy anything from them from my site. Allposters gets traffic from my site, but no buyers, which is fine, I just signed up with them so I could use their beautiful pics on my posts. I haven’t done a very good job advertising for either place, or I might have more success. I do have a question for you, when I first signed up with CBD, there was a lot of rigmarole involved in getting the right codes for the product links back to their site. Have you noticed if this has been improved at all? I gave up way back when, on directly linking to them with a product in a post. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts on these things!

    Mary’s last blog post..Blogging and Other Updates

  2. Google AdSense is nice in that I get paid for every click– but every click is worth different amounts. Though I won’t give out the exact number, I’m roughly a dollar a day for this month.

    I have no experience with All Posters. CBD is a little more work than the usual affiliate, but their payout is a little better. With CBD, finding the id for the item is work, then you have to download the graphic yourself and “create a link”– but that’s not really all that flexible since they really only want one link per product. I haven’t done much with them other than a few books and the search box I had up at Christmas time on this site. I got my sales mostly through the search box. But, like you, haven’t done that much promotion.

    So, as for your question about it improving– I haven’t noticed much improvement, but I’m not there a lot. I’ve been doing more through Amazon– though Amazon’s commission is less than CBD’s, and I’d much rather send the business to CBD.

    I’m still thinking about the MInTheGap logo shirts, though. I figure that I could have a whole separate blog on products, but that’s another story.

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