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Affiliate Revenue For Nonprofits

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Nonprofits can use affiliate marketing as an additional source of revenue. In fact, if you do it well, it can become your primary source of revenue.

Promoting affiliate products is one of the most effective ways to monetize a blog, any content, or any audience or following.

It’s not as passive as generating ad revenue by using something like Google AdSense but it only requires a little bit more work and can generate significantly more revenue.

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What Is An Affiliate Program?

The simple difference between generating revenue from an advertising program like Google AdSense and generating revenue from affiliate marketing is that you make money from AdSense ads when somebody clicks on an ad and you make money from affiliate marketing when somebody clicks on an ad and actually buys something. 

This is typically what happens. You write a review about a product or service, you recommend it to your readers, and provide a link that sends them to a place where they can buy it, they buy it, you get paid a commission. 

Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing

The most obvious advantage is that you don’t need to create or provide support for any products or services.

That also means that you don’t have to maintain any product in inventory and you don’t have to ship anything.

The cost to get started is very low. Most affiliate programs are free to join so you’re only cost will be whatever your spend on content development and generating traffic. Of course, that cost can be zero if you do it all yourself.

You can work any time from anywhere and there are usually no minimum sales requirements. But, if you do make a lot of sales, you will often be rewarded with bonuses.  

It can be a primary income Or a supplementary income.

The Disadvantages Of Affiliate Marketing

If you don’t already have a lot of traffic it can take a long time before you generate any significant revenue from affiliate marketing.

Bad affiliates can ruin your credibility. If you’re recommending something then you’re associating yourself or your brand with the brand of the product or service you’re recommending. If it turns out that the product you’re recommending sucks then you are often guilty by association.

Following on from the previous point, you have no control over the product or how the owners of the product treat their customers.

In fact, some companies have been known to not pay their affiliates. This can obviously be a massive problem if you used paid advertising to generate traffic. In this case, you will end up losing money from affiliate marketing.

So, if you’re taking a long-term view and building a real nonprofit you need to put a little effort into researching brands before you promote them. 

Competition can be very high. One criteria for selecting an affiliate program is to go with the programs that are popular and have a long track record. But the problem with these programs is that the affiliate commission might be very low and you will have a million competitors.

How To Find Affiliate Products To Promote

Most major businesses online offer an affiliate program of some kind. In Some cases, they manage their own affiliate program directly. Amazon is the best example. And some cases they use an affiliate network.

An example is cj.com. The Advantage of an affiliate network is that you can browse through hundreds of different affiliate programs all in one place and you only have to learn to use one affiliate platform. 

How To Choose The Best Affiliate Product?

The first rule of affiliate marketing is to only promote products that you genuinely believe in. Ideally, you’ve actually used the product yourself. This is obviously critical if you are reviewing the product and plan on including an affiliate link.

If you say something like: “I’ve been using this product for a month and these are the pros and cons” you have instant credibility in the eyes of the reader and they’re more likely to trust your conclusion and recommendation at the end of the review.

In the meantime, if you really have been using the product for a month, it will be a very easy review for you to write so this should always be plan A.  

If you’re just getting started with blogging, you should seriously consider creating in-depth reviews of products in your niche.

If you’ve already followed my previous advice and selected a niche that you’re passionate about and has a market opportunity and allows you to maximize impact then you will end up with the following advantages:

  • You’ll be creating content about something that you’re passionate about so the process will be enjoyable.
  • You’ll be creating content about a product that you’ve actually used so the content should be easy to create.
  • The reader will see your passion and your in-depth understanding of the product and that builds credibility in the eyes of the reader. This is critical because this also builds your own Brand. If readers have a high opinion of you or your brand they will be more likely to click on your website, social posts, or ads when any of these show up as they browse the web in the future.
  • Finally, as a result of all of the above, the reader is more likely to actually purchase the product from your affiliate link. Then you make money. This is the reward that you get at the very end after doing all of the right things.

In order to make sure that your readers are protected, try to make sure that the products and services that you’re promoting include high-quality support and a money-back guarantee. 

As always, test several different products and compare the results so that you can see what appeals to your audience. If you find a lot of interest in one or two products then you should create more detailed content around those products and do everything you can to make yourself an authority on those products. 

In the meantime, if you’re planning on making affiliate revenue a primary source of revenue then you should never ever rely on just one product.

Affiliate promotions are obviously not under your control and they come and go. Focus on an industry or product category as opposed to an individual product.

Finally, most countries have rules around disclosing your affiliate relationships so you will need to check the rules in your country.

In most cases, you need to include some text (that is not hidden from the customer) that discloses the fact that you will receive a commission (or some benefit of some kind) if the reader purchases product you’re promoting.

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