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3 Ick-Free Ways to Promote Affiliate Links on Social Media

  |   Blog Income Report, Blogging Tips, Business Tips, Classy Marketing, Social Media Marketing   |   21 Comments

How to share + promote affiliate links on social media without sounding sleazy, icky, or greedy. |


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:




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.



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.





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:



Screenshot 2022-05-26 21.33.51



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.





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!



Another fabulous-and-tactful way to promote this page is to make a Pin-worthy graphic for it and pin it to appropriate boards:



Screenshot 2022-05-26 21.47.22


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’s monthly blog income + traffic report (where you can see how my affiliate promotions worked for me this month):



OLYVIA.CO BLOG TRAFFIC REPORT Pageviews for May:  18,880  (+5,149) Users for May: 10,101  (+2,927)




Top 3 pages viewed this month:


How to get more followers and repins on Pinterest: the Ultimate (hype-free!) Guide that will tell you everything you need to know to build a popular Pinterest account 22+ of the best free stock photo websites for your blog and business. (Regularly updated!) The 3 best tips for growing your blog traffic + readership, no matter what niche you're in!

(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.


The results?


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:


Screenshot 2022-05-27 08.13.02


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


Screenshot 2022-05-26 14.07.03

(Click image to visit the Pin.)





As I’ve mentioned in past income reports, the figures below are what I made through “passive income” on this blog, not my other client work and services.


Last month’s earnings are as follows:


BlogHer Ads - $16.56 (last month: $13.03)

Sovrn Ads - $3.71 ($2.82)

Bluehost (from the sidebar + Resources page) - $100 ($0)

Lynda (from the Resources page) - $10 ($0)

Amazon Associates (from the Resources page + tweets) - $1.69 ($0.20)

Creative Market (from the Resources page + pins on Pinterest) - $6 ($3.40)

Tailwind (from the sidebar/footer + tweets) - $38.21 ($17.98)

Freshbooks (from the Resources page) - $5.00  ($5.00)


GROSS EARNINGS:  $181.17  ($42.43)




990 people have chosen to receive The Olyvia List™ (+ 253 from last month)




Methods to promote sign-ups this month:


- Included a content upgrade on the How to Get More Pinterest Followers + Repins post




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?



Erika Madden

(Chief Olyvia)



Main blog post photo © Kaspars Grinvalds (fotolia)



The free 21 day ecourse that creates pro online impressions for business owners!

  • Seriously, Erika, these tips are gold! Love this post! And congrats on your incredible traffic jumps this month! You’re killing it 🙂

  • I love ick-free and I love you for sincerely teaching us how to be sincere and keep our dignity! You are proof it works.

    • That means so much to me that you would say that, Jenny. Thank you (seriously).

  • Hey girl heeeeey! Thanks for sharing these tips- they really are great! While I’ve been blogging since 2006 (dang that’s a long time!) I didn’t make the choice that I was going to treat my blog like a business (so that hopefully it will become one) until 3 months ago. The whole affiliate thing has had me feeling a bit lost and confused, but I especially love the idea of having a resources page! 😀 (Totally doable even for shy-ies like me.)


    • Oh Allison, yes, I’d definitely recommend a Resources page! (Mine is visited almost 3x more than my About page — it is the top ranking static page on my site.) And it’s perfect for introverts. Subtle FTW. 😉

      Thank you for your comment, girl!

  • Aimee

    Thank you for another educational post. Erika! Congrats on your traffic #s too! 🙂

  • Tanya M

    This is a fabulous post. I have been trying to get a little monetization going but it’s been a struggle. I like your idea for a resources page to put them all in one place. And congrats on the traffic spike, my traffic tanked this month!

    • Oh what a bummer Tanya! Hopefully it will pick up again next month. That’s the thing about blogging — you can have outstanding months, and then some really blah months.

      A resources page is super useful, I encourage you to try it!

  • YESSSSS! I want there to be the little hand clappy emoji on my regular keyboard right now. :/

    Successful affiliate marketing is all about being sincerely helpful and genuine. My most profitable posts are ones where I’ve basically done the work for people and made it really easy for them to find stuff, whether it’s gift ideas for a specific type of person or the tools I use at craft shows that make my life so much easier at those events. I don’t promote a lot of affiliate stuff directly through social, but I do create useful blog content around affiliate products and then use social to drive traffic back to those posts.

    Also, congrats on the epic traffic growth, and income growth this past month!

    • Seriously, I want emojis on my keyboard, too! (I have thought of that so many times in the last few days. lol)

      Your comment is awesome, Mallory. You’re spot on with your strategy, too — creating blog posts around them and then promoting the blog posts is probably the single most effective way to leverage your affiliate earnings. I’m really glad you chimed in with that.

  • Tedi Sarah

    Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!!

  • I was actually just talking about how I’d like to find some less icky ways to promote my blog and paid content! Thanks for this post - a lot of great tips!

  • Awesome sauce!! I need to implement more of these and really get into the hang of doing affiliate marketing and such. Thanks Erika!

  • Get on with Sports

    great tips, thanks for sharing

  • Thanks so much for sharing your tips Erika! I do just that: only promote what I use and also link to my resources page. Awesome you are rocking your listbuilding! I am wondering how to do content upgrades with mailchimp and sans Leadpages. Any thoughts?

  • Adarsh

    please have a look and dont forget to subscribe 🙂 thank you! # FunnyVideo on Cricket


    Thanks for the information .. I have been looking for tips like this !!

  • Taco

    Great post indeed, that is definitely true. I always only promote affiliates I am 100% behind because people will sense it if your honest or not on how you promote the service and product

  • Great article! Sharing your content on social media shouldn’t only be about getting direct leads.

    It is a well-known fact that Google includes social signals as one of its SEO ranking factors.

    Therefore, using social media to share your links on a regular basis is a great way to boost your search engine rankings.

    However, it would be a huge pain to do this on your own and too expensive to do if you hired a few VAs.

    This is why I recommend using a service that will share your links on social media on auto-pilot.

    Real people, not bots, will share your links for you.

    Get started for free here:

    Hope this helps!