3 Ick-Free Ways to Promote Affiliate Links on Social Media
As part of my blog traffic + income report this month I’m sharing some tips on a topic I hear people voice frequent worries about:
“I want to try to make some extra money as an affiliate for companies and/or people I support, but I’m scared to actually share the links on social media. I don’t want to sound like I’m greedy (or a sellout)!”
This is a valid concern in affiliate marketing.
(We’ve all seen the scammy-looking accounts on Twitter or Facebook where their feed is overrun with “SAVE $19.42 – LilyDoo Makeup Compact, Gold Stripes $36.27” advertisements, and it’s not pretty.)
But happily, it doesn’t have to be this way — and you CAN promote affiliate links on social media without looking like a ShamWow salesman.
Below are the 3 principles I live by when sharing my referral links so that I’m not obnoxious to others:
1. SHARE WHAT IS GENUINE
A lot of people approach affiliate marketing with the view that they should promote as if they were an agency advertiser rather than a person.
This is a mistake, as people don’t trust or like things that sound like advertisements.
However, they DO like honest thoughts from other humans.
If you signed up as an affiliate for the right reason (that is, because you genuinely support the company/product/service and think others would benefit from it, too), the classiest way to share your affiliate links is to simply express your sincere, undying adoration.
— Erika Madden (@OlyviaMedia) May 25, 2015
I tweeted the above because it was 100% true: I LOVED The Freelancer’s Bible and think it is one of the best resources out there for anyone just getting their feet wet in freelancing or as a solo, service-based small business owner.
It is something I would say even if I didn’t have an affiliate partnership with Amazon. (And I have.)
Affiliate link promotions sound sales-y when you don’t attach a genuine personal reason or human aspect to them. But if you reframe them so that you’re sharing what is real from your own experience, you’ll look classy + trustworthy.
2. PASS ON INFO
Another way to think about promoting affiliate links on social media is from the standpoint of a disseminator of information (aka: you’re being helpful by spreading additional resources/deals/details).
For instance, in the tweet below I came across this incredible deal on Creative Market that had me super excited — and I knew there were others in my audience who would love to know about it, too:
And in this description for a Pinterest blog post pin, I included my Tailwind referral link at the end as an additional, optional tool for people looking to increase their Pinterest followers:
This is a dignified way to market companies with which you have an affiliate relationship. You’re not being pushy or sleazy — you’re sharing cool, helpful things and offering extra value.
3. REFER TO YOUR RESOURCES PAGE
If sharing a straight affiliate link sounds too bold for you (and in some cases it will be), there’s an uber polite way to do it:
Create a Resources page with the tools you recommend — both affiliates and non-affiliates — and then direct people to it whenever they are looking for “your favorite ___________.”
You can share this page on any social network, but I’ve found it’s particularly useful for sharing within Facebook groups when someone asks for resource recommendations.
Person: Help: I need some kind of software for recording my screen so I can make tutorial videos! I’m on a Mac. What do you guys recommend?
You: I am a huge fan of Screenflow. It was super simple for me to learn and has impressive professional editing features. Plus now I can use it to record my iPhone or iPad screen – woot! http://yourdomain.com/resources
Another fabulous-and-tactful way to promote this page is to make a Pin-worthy graphic for it and pin it to appropriate boards:
The above 3 tips work best when used sparingly, so my advice to you is to treat your affiliate promotions as part of your total personal content sharing allotment.
(The general rule on social media is that 80% or 90% of your shares should be others’ content, and 10% or 20% can be your own. Your affiliate sharing counts as your own content, so be sure you share at least 8 or 9 pieces of great outside content before you share another affiliate link.)
Do you have any questions about these tips? Let me know in the comments below!
Now on to Olyvia.co’s monthly blog income + traffic report (where you can see how my affiliate promotions worked for me this month):
OLYVIA.CO BLOG TRAFFIC REPORT
Olyvia.co Pageviews for May: 18,880 (+5,149)
Olyvia.co Users for May: 10,101 (+2,927)
Top 3 pages viewed this month:
(Click image to visit the post.)
As you might remember, I made an audacious, wildly gargantuan goal when I published the Pinterest Ultimate Guide to More Followers post:
I wanted to reach 8,000 unique viewers in just 1 month.
I didn’t hit my mark, BUT I did receive MANY more visitors on that post in a 1 month time frame than I had ever received for other posts.
And that’s pretty exciting. 🙂
Also, it was SO fun to see all of you come together and help me share the post day after day and week after week, up until the end.
That made me feel amazing.
Here are the final numbers:
In comparison, the 2nd top visited post to my site, 22+ Beautiful Free Stock Photos, received 1,987 unique pageviews.
Top Pin driving visitors to Olyvia.co:
(Click image to visit the Pin.)
OLYVIA.CO BLOG INCOME REPORT
Last month’s earnings are as follows:
BlogHer Ads – $16.56 (last month: $13.03)
Sovrn Ads – $3.71 ($2.82)
Tailwind (from the sidebar/footer + tweets) – $38.21 ($17.98)
GROSS EARNINGS: $181.17 ($42.43)
EMAIL LIST STATS
990 people have chosen to receive The Olyvia List™ (+ 253 from last month)
Methods to promote sign-ups this month:
+ SOCIAL MEDIA STATS
Twitter: 2,725 (+ 222 from last month)
Pinterest: 1,680 (+ 459) *record increase
Facebook: 547 (+56)
Instagram: 263 (+ 28)
Methods I used this month to connect with new people:
– Profile sharing in relevant Facebook Groups
– Frequent Pinterest pinning using Tailwind
– Tweeting other bloggers’ content
What have you found to be most effective in promoting your affiliate links? Do you use social media at all, or do you keep your affiliate links on your blog/in your emails?
Main blog post photo © Kaspars Grinvalds (fotolia)