Affiliate Links Made Me Over $200,000 in 2023… Here’s How
How much would you consider one blog to be worth, even just one article? Well, one blog post made me over $25 per reader and I’ll be covering exactly how I managed to do it.
Well in this article I’ll be covering what an affiliate link is as well as affiliate networks, and exactly how I’ve managed to maximize the amount of money you can make with your blog with the highest paying affiliate programs and affiliate sales.
Be sure also to check out our video related to this article from Blog Growth Engine seen below.
With that being said, let’s get started.
The Value of One Blog Visitor
What is the value of one blog visitor? Well, it depends on many factors.
Let’s say somebody googles something, visits, and lands on your blog.
The revenue per visitor, the amount of money you make from that one reader comes down to a couple of different things.
For one, it really matters on the niche that your keyword is in.
So if you’re in finance it might be different if you were in pets or food or something like that.
And then how well your article on your own website is for monetization. So do you have ads on your article, affiliate links, call outs, pop-ups, all those things.
But, there’s really those main factors that determine how much money you make for every visitor that lands on your blog.
What is an Affiliate Link, How do I Get Them?
Affiliate links are links that have a specific id that track back from your website to a company’s associated online stores for a specific product or service.
These links are generated by companies from their best affiliate marketing programs or networks they are a part of for people to sign up and take part in advertising thier products for the comission.
These links have a specific url to dictate it’s original location so companies understand where the sale originated from and can pay accordingly.
What are Affiliate Programs and How do I Sign Up?
Affiliate Programs are programs you can sign up for to receive affiliate links to which are generated by the associated affiliate program or affiliate marketing network.
These affiliate links from the program generate revenue in the form of commisions and are generally around 5-10% for each sale.
Some programs which usually sell courses online can reach up to 50% in comissional revenue!
Using an affiliate site like this can help, but to gain traffic to these referral links you’ll need the proper keywords to do so. Let’s take a look at some examples.
It’s an easy enough process and all it takes is going to the affiliate website for the company’s products you want to advertise.
For starters, the best affiliate programs are either run independently by the company themselves on their own affiliate site or by an affiliate network.
All you need to do when it comes to applying to these networks and affiliate programs, is fill out the informational form they offer after you click “sign up”.
This includes your name, email, a username, password, country of origin, and so on.
With that being said, ensure that you are truthful with your responses as it makes it much easier for both you and the company to partner up.
Let’s Take a Look at Two Examples
All right, let’s look at a couple of examples to see the difference in potential revenue you can make per visitors.
For the first keyword that somebody Googles could be gender reveal party ideas. This has a lot of search volume and isn’t very competitive.
If you have a site that’s about party ideas there’s a lot of search volume, but it’s not very direct when it comes to transactional intent and buying a product.
Informational intent is most likely what readers are searching for and ad revenue is your best bet in terms of revenue with an RPM(revenue per thousand impressions) of $5 for a low competition keyword.
Let’s look at another example; gold IRA companies is pretty competitive and centers around gold individual retirement accounts for those who wants to retire and put money into gold it’s the place to go.
This means most readers have transactional intent and want to purchase something creating affiliate income leading to commissions of 5-10% on the plan purchased by the new customer.
Based on data from our site it lead to $29,481 per 1000 visitors in sales generated.
Based on information from our Augusta Precious Metals affiliate dashboard we earned $207,578 from a total of 2,347 visitors meaning this month it lead to an RPM of around $88,444 per 1000 visitors.
Overall, this lead to a massive 5,896x difference in revenue per visitor…. Anywhere from $0.005 to $29.48 making it so blogs of different range vastly in revenue even with high numbers of overall readers.
This isn’t typical of the whole blog, however, and if we average it out we get around $1.50 per reader from older recurring commissions with about 80-100,000 visitors a month.
Lower from it’s overall peak at 500,000 a month, but still very strong and it’s making typically $150,000 in terms of affiliate revenue with sponsorships on the side.
We want to know these numbers for our blog since it is a business and knowing how much revenue we gain per visitor is important to understand our overall revenue better.
Essentially, you don’t need massive levels of traffic from people visiting your website to make a great overall revenue total if you do it right.
Low Traffic + High Revenue Niches
Now what niches are low traffic, but high revenue?
First, think of financial products with large dollar values so think loans retirement accounts and insurance so that gold ira example I showed you was a bit niche, but retirement accounts can be anywhere from 100,000 to $1,000,000 and you get a commission on that.
With that, Augusta Precious Metals was giving us a 10% and we had a couple that were like a $500,000 retirement account so thats all of the sudden a $50,000 commission.
It’s almost like you’re a real estate agent at that point without doing any work, so it’s nice.
But thinks of loans as well like people taking out a business loan and you can get a commission on that.
Also luxury goods, things that are between 5-10 thousand dollars. And then there’s courses as well with around a 50% commission rate.
Let’s say it’s at a cost of $5,000, you would get a commission of $2,500 total.
Let’s take a look at some real life examples from actual courses out there. The first one is in the gold ira space.
This is a financial site called Gold IRA Guide and they have all kinds of content on gold iras, crypto iras, all kinds of information on retirement plans.
Lots of informational and transactional content on gold iras, so it’s a niche site related to that.
How to roll it over, how to do all these things investment companies and it looks really good. It’s covering a ton of topical authority in that space.
Another example here is Lux Digital and they have an article on the worlds best luxury watch brands, so they rank number 2 for best luxury watches.
They have a lot of good information on the brands again they have ads here so you can have ads and affiliate links in your post.
But, when you go down here you get to Rolex and you see that if you look at the bottom left corner there’s an affiliate link looks that digital/love/rolex and we know how expensive those can be you know looking at some of them like $449k per watch.
In most cases people would want to go to the store and check them out. Some are at $5-10k.
So making revenue from something as high as 10% on luxury watches is very profitable and a great opportunity.
Lastly, we have a course here, “The Amazing Selling Machine” which is popular in ecommerce. The course costs around $5k, and as we can see, you can sign up for the website’s affiliate program.
Last year they accumulated over one million dollars alone from commissions. One of their affiliate partners generated $589,776 in total sales with commissions totaling $235,910.
When we think about high end finance, luxury goods that are physical products, and high-end online courses too, those are things you can rank for on google with less visitors.
Reaching 10K a Month
To reach 10,000 visitors a month with these profitable niches, you’d want to research long tail keywords that are new and emerging, so it’s kind of tough to rank for everything under the sun like best credit cards.
Things that have been around for a very long time and are super competitive, but you can find new things.
Maybe it’s around crypto IRAs, motorcycle, boat, or RV insurance.
Things that you can find with these keyword research tools like Ahrefs. I have other videos on keyword research and exactly how to look for these things that you can see here, but you want to research these long tail keywords—things that are not as competitive, and you want to create 5 transactional posts in your niche.
Stuff like 5 best product reviews based on these products, and then you want to blanket the topical authority with informational content.
The blogs that make a lot more money like these finance and luxury need more topical authority to cover and blanket that niche before you’re going to start ranking for it.
You’ll want to look at the competition and see how many articles they have in the niche and try to get more topical authority and get a keyword plan put together and optimize them for affiliate revenue.
I have other videos on articles and how to templatize them in an easy efficient way and how to use ai tools to create them immediately in one click.
Overall, for each individual company in your post you will have around 4 to 5 affiliate links to back them up.
Let’s say you have Rolex under one of your posts, you can link to them in the header with a couple of mentions in the text and then put a button as an example. Try to optimize it that way with 4 to 5 affiliate links per company block.
I recommend using something like Cadence for adding these little callouts and boxes to create something eye-popping and easy for someone to spot and click on.
Make sure as well to add “exit intent pop-ups” on these highly transactional and valuable keywords. Ones that lead back to your affiliate and referral links below.
One such example would be as a customer is about to exit the website and close the tab, using a tool like Convert Box you can create a prompt detailing offers to regain attention better.
Try saying “Hey, before you leave check out this awesome deal for Augusta Precious Metals Start Today”.
Afterwards, they’ll click a button and can easier capture some of these visitors to get higher levels of affiliate link clicks since at the end of the day it’s all about getting visitors through your site as quickly as possible and then having them make a purchase.
Here’s an example as seen from Lux Digital below.
You also have to think about when do paid ads come into play. Some companies play into these with bigger ones like top 10 type sites, consumer sites, consumer reviews, consumers advocate.
Forbs even does this, but they actually pay for ads when it’s very valuable, so a large number of people bid on these gold IRA keywords, which we did a while back and actually made a decent return on investment.
Although it became a very expensive to maintain at about $30-50 a click, so while some can be quite expensive like the gold IRAs, this is the one time I’d recommend that it could very well make sense to run ads.
Yet, it’s an entirely different online business model than blogging since you’ll need to master Google ads, optimize conversion landing pages with top 10 boxes, and so on.
You can see lots of people betting on these keywords because they are very valuable and can generate leads for companies and make higher commissions.
High Traffic + Low Revenue Niches
So we covered all the expensive stuff, now let’s talk about niches that are high traffic and low revenue. This is what I call mindlessly reading with no intent to buy anything.
So, the truth is to make the most money blogging you need people that actually want to purchase something through an affiliate link or even sign up your email list and take an action rather than mindlessly reading and viewing ads since in most cases they are a last resort in terms of creating monetization for a blog.
For example, a food and or recipe blogs if you google chicken soup recipe, you’re most likely to not actually go to that website and make a purchase since your not going to buy a pot of chicken soup which makes absolutely no sense
However, you will scroll through all their ads and their life story and how they were nine years old when they first learned about chicken with their grandpa and when they were teenagers making their first chicken soup and so on and so forth.
This leads to you viewing more of their ads generating more revenue for them as you continue to scroll through their page.
However, a large portion of the internet is just informational content you only desire to read like travel and lifestyle, informational content, inexpensive hobbies like how to knit maybe or how to tie your shoes.
Things that aren’t counted as transactional content. People who at the end of the day just want to read an article, not buy a course or anything like that.
Some examples again include gender reveal party ideas, living room ideas, you’re just browsing for stuff which is just top of the funnel where you don’t know what you truly want yet.
That’s the whole point of these informational ad based posts which are really high volume which is nice, but you’ll need a lot of traffic to make money with them.
If I search living room ideas I don’t know what couch I want, I don’t know if I want a modular sectional, a dresser, a TV stand. Maybe how to screenshot on a Mac which has very high search volume, yet they only want some quick bite sized info and will then leave.
Monetizing Low Revenue Niches
So posts like these demand a lot of traffic for overall low revenue.
Even with that it can still be worth pursuing posts such as these since you can research low competition keywords with a lot of search volume, so look for things that hover around 10,000+ searches a month, even around 5k.
However, some can be up to 50,000 searches a month with difficulty scores under 10 to 20 if you look under tools like ahrefs.
You want to get your website to 10,000 visits a month then look at joining an ad network like zoic, ad thrive, or mediavine. Some of these networks have certain requirements for traffic and stuff, but you can easily find that with a quick enough google search to see what is needed.
If I were you, I would not join AdSense right away since your website will have such low traffic as you’re just starting.
Again, we teach in Blog Growth Engine our course and community that you should aim to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.
Thus, trying to monetize your site doesn’t make sense when you only average around 5 visitors.
Focus on the content strategy, keyword research, and link building first and getting these new articles you created to rank. Then you can focus on monetization afterwards.
You can figure out your niche’s RPM(Revenue Per Thousand Visitors) then. Let’s say you have a relatively standard RPM of $10 across the board.
I had mine around $25 with mediavine ads due to writing more so in the software space and can be more high end than some of the other low competition ones.
But, if it’s $10, then you will need a million visitors a month to make that 10K so a lot of visitors.
With that you realize you could be making around $200,000 with 2,000 visitors ranking for something rather than just making 10K with over a million visitors a month.
It can be very different from person to person and is why many people talk about traffic a lot, but as long as your making money it’s a real business.
There is a way to convert these informational posts into transactional ones, so let’s look at an example.
Here’s one article we had on our site related to gold IRAs called What Are Precious Metals and How to Invest in 2023, so the target keyword is precious metals.
Just a simple informational piece of content, but the internal links included into these posts then lead to our transactional posts so that when these informational posts are all written up.
They can then lead to the more high value posts on the website and lead your visitors into buying from there.
You can also add exit intent pop-ups, call outs, boxes and things like that to really boost your overall revenue from these informational articles or sidebars, things that really get peoples attention.
Here’s the important takeaway: you can and should do both types of posts inside your Niche for the most valuable possible keywords that create the most affiliate revenue.
They may have a lower volume when compared to other posts, but they can make you a lot of revenue.
You should also target those high volume informational pieces of content so you can strike a perfect balance between both making you ad revenue and affiliate revenue at the same time creating more overall revenue per visitor.
You won’t obviously be making over $88 a visitor for all articles which is crazy and an outlier example on my end.
But, you can make a good balance when you have an affiliate marketing program with links and you have ads.
So, go after both informational and transactional blog posts to make both ad revenue and affiliate revenue.
Building a YouTube + Blogging Strategy
Once you’ve gotten your content strategy running you can also use YouTube to increase visits to your blog.
That’s something I did about three years ago back in 2020. I had my course Blog Growth Engine completely finished and we started building out our YouTube strategy.
Like vlogging, you can make much money with just a small YouTube channel. You can make a lot with a small blog or YouTube channel with the key to it being monetization. So, which is more valuable, a YouTube viewer or a blog visitor?
Two years ago I said that it would be a blog visitor since they are googling something with high search intent and visiting an article. That’s way more valuable than a YouTube visitor, but now I’m not so sure. It really depends since they seem to be pretty equal.
If you’re on YouTube talking about some random Niche and you are only making ad revenue, then it isn’t worth it.
But, if you’re selling high ticket informational content or have an education business on YouTube, then a YouTube viewer could be actually more important than a blog visitor.
If we take a look at the data gathered by my channel for May, we can see we had over 590k views, 9.9K new subscribers, with 8.7K in revenue.
Not bad when only looking at the ad revenue generated in that time, which is comparable to what you would receive from a blog, maybe only a little smaller.
It ultimately though drives a lot of extra traffic to our bloggrowthengine.com site which is really good considering we got around 30,000 sessions in the past 30 days with most of them being a YouTube referral being at 13,000.
This helps us greatly in generating more sales and for our educational product Blog Growth Engine for building our community and our coaches and hiring coaches.
When we take a look back and do the math on this we have the blog that make over a dollar per visitor if your in high ticket affiliate categories along with a YouTube channel, you can if we’re being conservative make over 50 cents a visitor which is very high for a smaller channel.
This leads to overall much more sales and higher revenue with two sources of revenue.
The key here is that you can make a lot of money with even a small audience and marketing efforts.
It’s not about going viral, it’s not about having a million visitors to your blog, or affiliate campaigns, you don’t need that stuff.
Just the right use of search engine optimization and affiliate marketing strategies based on the right keywords, the right types of blog posts, and video content. Then you monetize it in the correct way and it all goes back to intent.
All you have to know is how to monetize content most effectively which is what we’re basically the best in the world at.
If you are interested in learning more about building a blogging business in the 2020’s, check out our YouTube channel and our course Blog Growth Engine for more.
Further Reading on AdamEnfroy.com
Make sure to check out our article on the best link building strategies of 2023 as well.
Our reviews are made by a team of experts before being written and come from real-world experience. Read our editorial process here.