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Affiliate Marketing For Authors

To earn extra money with my author website I use affiliate marketing. So what is affiliate marketing? And can any self-publishing, indie author sell affiliate products to supplement their book sales income? Let’s dive right in. 

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing method in which businesses or individuals, known as affiliates, (that will be you) promote products or services provided by another company and earn a commission for every sale or customer they bring. This type of marketing allows affiliates to earn income (affiliate commissions) without the need to create or own the products themselves. The process starts with an affiliate joining an affiliate program and receiving a unique affiliate link or code. You then promote this link through various channels such as websites (my preferred platform), blogs, social media, or email marketing. When a user clicks on the affiliate’s link and makes a purchase or completes a desired action, the affiliate earns a commission. This commission structure incentivises affiliates to drive quality traffic and conversions to the merchant’s website. Affiliate marketing is an effective and popular method for authors to expand their reach and drive more sales, as well as for individuals to generate passive income streams. 

How can authors use affiliate marketing to supplement their income?

So the way I use affiliate commissions to supplement my income is by blogging. This is an example of a blog which I have written to drive traffic to my website with the hope that the reader may find the information presented useful and then navigate beyond the post to purchase a product or service. I always go out of my way to make sure I am giving the best information, I don’t hold back. Warts and all.

Note: When someone clicks on your link and goes to an external website and buys a product or service, they are not charged extra for it. They pay the given price, the same price as if they were to have found the product via Google for example. The only difference with affiliate marketing is that when they buy through one of the affiliate links the affiliate (i.e you, me) gets a small commission. We are essentially part of that product marketing team and are therefore compensated for our work.

How much can you earn?

Affiliate income per commission depends on the product or service you are representing. Products with a one-off retail value will give you a single one-time payment as a commission, this is usually a set percentage or dollar amount. Product commissions can range from $0.01 to $hundreds. Services that are billed via a recurring monthly payment work in multiple ways, but the most common is that you would receive a percentage each month. So, if you sign someone up who then goes on to pay $100 per month you could be earning $20 per month until they cancel that service. I hope this makes sense. 

NOTE: it roughly takes the same amount of effort for you to promote a $5 items as it does a $500 item. So make the most of your time, there is no point chasing $0.10 commissions.

What do indie authors need to start affiliate marketing?

It would be best if you had a platform and an audience. The platform could be a website, a YouTube channel, a book, a social media account etc. Just need a platform to allow the links to be hosted and an audience to click the links. You will also need to be a business of some description. I assume that if you have published some books you will already be familiar with filling in all the required tax forms for selling in other countries, that you have a bank account that can take international payments etc. 

Author Website

Read my article on how to set up your author’s website. Once you have a website, create a blog and start writing quality posts that are authoritative and based on your years of experience (Neuron Writer and Frase can help you with this). For example, this post is based on my years of experience as an author who uses affiliate commissions to supplement his book sales. In this article, I am not holding back and giving you the reader all the best information on affiliate marketing for authors.

Below you will see a list of the various affiliates I work with, if you were to click one, and proceed to purchases then I would earn a commission. This strategy is a WIN WIN, the expert gives away their knowledge and is potentially paid by the products and services they are promoting. I look at this as my way to help authors, many authors learn from my self-publishing journey via my FREE Indie Author Publishing Resources and the money I make from commission allows me to keep posting valuable content for free (i.e, it pays for my web hosting, time, marketing software, etc.)

Examples of how you can link to the affiliates. 

Example 1: The links in the brackets above are text links to external websites that will pay me a commission if you click through and purchase.

Example 2: An Amazon link directly to a product.

Example 3: My preferred method, is a graphic that links to the product or service.

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Author YouTube Channel

Build an author YouTube channel and make videos but all aspects of your journey and share the tools and services that have helped you along the way. Most YouTubers use Amazon affiliate links in their bio to give you clickable links to the products they describe in their video.

Example 1: If I were to take my “Best laptops for writers, authors and bloggers” article and make it into a video for my YouTube channel, I would be able to list all the laptops that I recommend in affiliate links in the description of the video. 

NOTE: Just remember to use the https:// in your YouTube description links, without it they will not be clickable.

A Published Book

Yip, your books are a great vessel for affiliate marketing. I would say non-fiction more than fiction however, there is nothing stopping a romance author from signing up for the affiliate programme of some online lingerie store and advertising it on the back pages. Or a James Bond style action adventure novelist making a list of gadgets that the protagonist used via Amazon affiliate links. etc. Or a fantasy author signing up to a sword and armour maker (oh that has me thinking).

I personally used affiliate links in my SEO: A Layman’s Guide Book, affiliate links embedded where for SEO software that I recommend (SE Ranking), content and blogging software (Frase and Neuron Writer) and (Siteground), a web hosting service. All services that I talk about in the book, and it is good to be able to recommend the software I use and make a little bit of commission if someone takes my recommendations.

Social Media Accounts

From links in your bio to links in comments and more. The best social channels for links are YouTube, Facebook, Twitter/X and Pinterest. Why? Because people actually click on them, Instagram is no good.

Author Newsletter

If you have built a solid list, then this is another great place to place your affiliate links. Join my Newsletter.

Top Tips For Authors Starting Out In Affiliate Marketing?

1: Be truthful, be ethical, be transparent, and let your audience know that you are recommending products and services that will make you money. 

2: Play by the rules of the affiliate programs you sign up to. Some will ask for privacy policy, tax forms, audience size, minimum sales and more. 

3: A link shortener, the most famous one is Bitly, I use Rebrandly which allows me to track the links, and see how many clicks and from which country. Most affiliate programs will have a dashboard that shows you how many folks clicked and how many commissions etc. Sometimes those numbers are not accurate. I had a dashboard telling me I had only sent 50 when my link shorter was saying 1000, I was sure they were not fulfilling my commissions so I replaced them with a competitor.

4: It is going to take time. You are an author and by dipping your toes into affiliate marketing you will be up against the big boys, there are entire web industries built around affiliate marketing. But you can write and blogging about your experiences and sharing the tools you use could be your way to a few extra dollars.

5: Learn SEO. Evidently, my book SEO: A Layman’s Guide is the best place to start, it covers everything you will need to get your website performing, to make you competitive. 

Examples of Affiliate products that authors can sell.

There are many affiliate marketing programs available for you to sign up to. These are the ones that I have signed up to. I have wrote a brief description of how the affiliate can help authors, a link to an in-depth review if I have wrote one and an image. Click on the image to go to the website via my affiliate link. 

Publisher Rocket

Publisher Rocket helps authors navigate AMAZON. It allows you to see what categories, niches are earning, sales volumes of authors, find keywords for you book and adverts. My go to tool when publishing on Amazon. If you want to sell more on Amazon, this is the tool.

publisher-rocket


Linguix

Linguix will help you unlock the potential of your writing. It is an all in one grammar and AI writing tool. If you write, it is there in the background to help.

linguix affiliate


ProWritingAid

A solid grammar tool with additional features and reports specifically designed for authors.

prowritingaid affiliate


Amazon Associate

Sell anything with a link to the Amazon product page. Click on the link below to go to check out a Mac Book Pro.

 

amazon associates

MailerLite

Author newsletter software that allows you to build your list. Every author needs a newsletter!

mailer lite affiliate

Artsmart

An AI art generator, perfect for creating art for your social media, books, blogs, image boards, idea generation and more. I use it to create scenes to inspire my writing. 

artsmart affiliate

Neuron Writer

This is SEO software for writing online. This article was written in NeuronWriter. If you are thinking about affiliate marketing as an author you need software like NW to help you cut through the competition.  NW has a built in AI writing assistant.

neuronwriter affiliate

Reword

Reword is similar to NueronWriter but has less SEO focus and more of a readability focus. Again, interesting software that will give you the edge. 

reword affiliate

Frase

Frase is similar to NueronWriter, it is focused on helping you write the best optimised SEO article. I used to use Frase but moved to NeuronWriter. Apples / Oranges.  Again, interesting software that will give you the edge. 

frase affiliate

Rytr

Rytr is an AI writing tool. This is handy for generating ideas for everything. Newsletters, social media, CVs, cover letters etc. Like ChatGPT but specific for writing.

rytr affiliate

SerpStat

Serpstat is an SEO software that helps you understand your website. Allows you to scan it, find problems, find solutions, and more. I use it daily.

Serptat affiliate

SEranking

SEranking is my go to SEO software. It is an SEO software that helps you understand your website. Allows you to scan it, find problems, find solutions, reports, Keywords, traffic, understand competitors and more. I use it daily. If you have an author website, you need a comprehensive SEO tool. Fact.

seranking affiliate

Content Studio

Social Media scheduling, universal inbox, and more. If you as an author run multiple social media accounts Content Studio will help you manage your empire.

content studio affiliate

Generate Press

This is the wordpress template I use to build the website. It is super lightweight, fast, versatile and awesome. All the best author websites are built on Generate Press.

generatepress affiliate

Siteground

This is the service I use to host my website. I have been through many before settling with siteground. Great customers service and performance. A must for any and every author website. 

siteground affiliate

Conclusion

Hopefully, this has inspired you, as an indie author to add another string to your bow and become an affiliate marketer. However, please be aware, that just like the misguided people who think that they can write an ebook in a day and then earn $1000s in passive income, do not be complacent about affiliate marketing and the effort that is required. Books take a long time to write, edit, format, publish, market etc. Affiliate marketing also takes a lot of effort and a lot of time, effort and time that will take you away from writing your next book, time you could use to promote your book. However, if you are like me and you like to spice things up between books, or you just want to add more income streams to your author business then signing up to multiple affiliate programs for authors may help you achieve that.

If you enjoyed the article, the best thing apart from buying lots of affiliate products through my links is to share the article. 

Stay awesome

Robb

Marketing and SEO books that may be of interest.

SEO-book
smartphone-smart-marketing-cover
80-plus-ideas-to-market-your-business
Publisher-Rocket-Kindle
Free-Amazon-Advert-Course
seranking-seo-software