How to Survive When Your Blog Is Not Getting Affiliate Sales

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survive when there are no affiliate sales

Have you ever heard a blogger complaining about his or her blog that isn’t getting affiliate sales?

I have.

I’m empathic to them, which is why I’m going to help them out.

Fun Fact: This blog post does have my story in it. You’ll see!

At the end of the blog post, you would have a handful of options to monetize your blog.

That’s the plan.

Are you in?


Do you even have a blog?

Ah, just kidding, I’m sure you do have a blog.

Even if you don’t have one, you can set up within a few hours, though.

Read this: How to Start a Blog with $75 or Less

Now, we’ll get to the main stuff.

In order to make your blog earning off the ground, you must understand that you need to shackle yourself with the right strategy. If you keep jumping off from one strategy to another, the things only get harder.

I’d love to say that I’m a huge fan of diversification; I’ll tell you how to diversity.

Don’t worry!

Just don’t mix up the diversification with jumping around from one monetization method to another. All I want is to clarify this.

Whatever you’ve been doing with your blog monetization; you need to calm down for a second.

Note: Please be advised. Not every strategy works for everyone. Find the best one that suits you. I’m a blogger who learns something new every day. I’ve done blunders and left tons of money on the table but I learned lessons and gained experience — these things are priceless for me. So, I implore you to do your research work before following my advice because I won’t be responsible for any loss whatsoever.   

Let’s jump straight to the solutions:

Here are the strategies you should try out:

#1: Change the Affiliate Marketing Scenario

You’ve tried your best. Nothing seems to be working. Perhaps, you’re not getting affiliate sales, that’s why you’re reading this blog post in the first place.

What does ‘changing the affiliate marketing scenario’ mean?

It means… do something different… now!

Change the product. Change the content strategy. Change the arsenal.


Let me explain it to you: If you’ve been promoting a product for a year and it’s not getting any affiliate sales despite the fact that you’ve written a review on your blog and the product is great, which is why you’re promoting it. Well, go try out something different.

If you can’t or the alternative isn’t available, then try something entirely different. Because sometimes we don’t want to stop promoting a product even if it’s not bringing any affiliate sales.

It’s fine. You can tweak the content strategy and accelerate the promotion a little, maybe.

I don’t want to emphasize a lot on this point.

Just try out new affiliates. It will shift your content strategy. Maybe, you get to rank a couple of articles based on your new content strategy that you just built after adopting a new product to promote. I’m not talking about the entire shift of content strategy, of course, it does bring a slight change when you change the affiliate product. After all, value to the readers is way important than the focus on the affiliate sales.

It’s understandable. Right?

The rest of the part is the cream.

#2 – Try Freelancing

The affiliate marketing doesn’t show results quickly. So you can start looking for some alternative methods to make money off of your blog. Freelancing is a great option to start with. Just find your passion or talent; think about how you can sell it, and the game begins.

Freelancing is a business lifestyle. It doesn’t mean that you have to do a specific job as a freelancer.

You’re free to choose the job you’re interested in.

That’s the beauty.

If you’re passionate about graphic designing; go become a freelance graphic designer.

It just requires self-awareness.

It means:

  • What you got
  • What you’re passionate about
  • What your strength is
  • What you’re good at
  • What you like to do when you’re not working

Anything that makes you happy and it’s marketable for a specific audience that has the purchasing power, you can go ahead and offer it to them as a freelancer.

For instance, Ryan Biddulph is passionate about creating and selling ebooks via his blog. He also does freelance writing gigs. This is what I’m talking about. He is the perfect example in this context. You got to try new ways.

Freelancing could be a viable option.


#3 – Find a Blog Post Sponsor

It doesn’t happen that quickly. It does require perseverance.

Above of all, your blog must have an authority in a specific area.

There are many indicators to identify the authority:

  • Blog’s reputation
  • Personal brand
  • Alexa rank
  • Domain authority
  • Comments
  • Social shareability
  • Subscribers and followers
  • Blog posts ranking

I won’t recommend this to a blog up until it’s a one-year-old blog with everything mentioned above working in its favor. If your blog is older than a year and the problem is conversion and the rest of the things are booming, then yes, you can test this strategy out.

Go check Jeff Bullas blog. You may find a few sponsored blog posts. However, the percentage of sponsored post might be low as compared to the regular posts, which is great.

#4 – Put Direct Ads

If affiliate marketing isn’t working for you then you need to hardwire your affiliate marketing strategy that has to do with your content strategy without any doubt — so this means you need to align your content strategy with your affiliate products to make the affiliate marketing work for you.

Until then keep working. Keep trying. Keep going.

I’m not entirely against the direct ads, although, a lot of bloggers have started believing that direct ads era has already ended. The SEOs have their own reasons that banner ads slow down the page loading speed, well, you can fix the problem to some extent.

I would say:

  • Avoid heavy images in your ads
  • Don’t use javascript-based ads
  • Don’t fill up the entire sidebar with advertisements

Check out the tools like Compressor, WP-Smush, or Kraken Image Optimizer to reduce the image size from page optimization standpoint.

Direct ads is a diversified topic to explain in a single blog post. You can try out BuySellAds and AdClerks.

You can also set up your direct ads without any interference of a third-party network. Use the ad manager like Ads Pro Plugin to make that happen.

Moreover, you can put display ads in your email newsletter. Check out LiveIntent and Netseer.

#5 – Offer Paid Guest Posts

As a blogger, you must know the strength of your blog. Once you know it, you can do a whole lot better. The strength refers to the authority that your blog has in a specific form. However, it’s not necessary that everyone else would respect that authority — it may be nothing to a brand, and the other one might be ready to test it out. The strength could be:

  • Your Twitter engagement
  • Your number of Facebook fans
  • Your email list subscribers
  • Your monthly page views
  • Your highly-ranked blog posts
  • Your increasing organic blog traffic

And the list goes on.

Similarly, guest posting is another option that you can cash in on as a blogger. Now the strategy I’m going to share might not work 99 times, but if it works 1 time; things will start to change for you.

Offer paid guest posts.

Don’t start pitching to every brand you follow on Facebook and Twitter about the paid guest post on your blog. First off, write a guest post policy page on your blog, in case, you have already one, update it, and clearly mention the change in plan, meaning, clarify that from now on, you’ll be charging for the guest posts.

Secondly, choose the top 5 high-traffic blog posts from your Google Analytics. Note down their categories. Make a list of brands, products, plugins, and even blogs which might be interested in your offer.

Then, start emailing them your offer.

Normally the chances of such cold email offers are low but don’t back off.

Thirdly, it shouldn’t end here.

If you’re choosing guest posting as your alternative monetization strategy for the time being, then put in some work. Use your social media influence, email to your blogger friends, post in your favorite blogging groups on Facebook, and reach out to your email newsletter subscribers — tell everyone about your paid guest post offer.

#6 – Do Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is often known for YouTube stars and Instagram celebs who have millions of followers on social networks. Surprisingly, I’m going to tell you that how you can do influencer marketing being a blogger.

Listen up.

Influencer marketing is basically when a brand sees potential in your audience size, engagement, and growth. The popularity of influencer marketing explains why the traditional media advertising is on the decline.

There could be a few reasons why brands are interested in Influencer Marketing:

a) – Influencer marketers may have an interactive audience on social.

b) – The impact of an Instagram upload on a relevant celeb account could be vital than the banner ad.

c) – The communication is going digital, thanks to social media.

d) – The attention is moving toward the social media influencers.

The question is that how an average blogger can take advantage of influencer marketing.

The answer is that you need to be sure of what your personal brand is all about.

If you’re a female and deeply into the fashion, your Instagram feed must display that. In fact, you must have a clear distinctive point to make. For instance, if you’re obsessed with the handbags, your every picture must have a handbag with you.

It doesn’t require a specific demographic detail to put you on the conveyor belt of influencer marketing, instead, you must be passionate about something and doing it prominently better than everyone.

Take, DougthePug, for example. This dog has 2.6 million fans on Instagram.

The number of followers isn’t the criteria to be an Influencer. Instead, the impact you could create will likely to decide that what kind of influencer you could be. The brands are keen to understand and identify that which Internets celebs and Influencers are potentially beneficial to work with.

Carly A. Heitlinger is a fashion blogger. Her fashion and lifestyle blog The College Prepster has landed her lots of opportunities of working with different brands.

Jadirah Sarmad is a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion blogger. She runs a blog called Jasmine Catches Butterflies. She is also a perfect example of influencer marketing. She does work with the beauty and fashion brands.

In fact, I’ve personally worked with lots of brands. I still get emails from companies who develop different online engagement and marketing tools. They offer free products to try out and ask to write about the experience.

You don’t have to be a 1-million subscribers YouTube channel or an Instagrammer with 50,000 followers to be called an Influencer. All you need is to know what you’re doing, what your interests are, and who you’re reaching out to. The brands will come to you, eventually — whether you have 5,000 followers or 50,000.

In case, you’re wondering where to get in touch with the brands; go check out the following sites:

#7 – Sell Newsletter Broadcast

You have been building your email list for a long time. You’ve shared great content, resources, and ideas with them. You’ve helped them get through in difficult situations. In short, you’ve developed a strong community of loyal readers. It’s high time to cash in on your email list.

You don’t have to be a sell-out. Of course, there is always a difference between promoting anything that comes to you versus something you personally admire.

Go find out something that could really help the email subscribers.

Collaborate with the brands or other experts. Ask them if they have any webinar or e-book launch coming up. The idea is to create an offer for them and let your email subscribers know about their product’s launch or discount offer.

You could get paid one-off for this if the other person is interested in reaching out to your subscribers base. It’s kind of a shout-out to someone you admire.

I’ve seen a lot of top bloggers collaborating with each other through the email newsletters.

I personally think there is no problem with that. If you’re concerned about what subscribers would think, then think about this — first off, you’re not giving their email addresses away, and secondly, it’s not obligatory to purchase whatever is being offered. At the end of the day, it’s just a choice.

Wrapping up

Before I conclude this topic, let me share what happened in 2013.

I was doing okay with the affiliate marketing; it wasn’t great, though.

I thought that it should be more… of course, everyone would like that.

So, I stepped up and started taking freelance writing seriously. Trust me, I never looked back. In fact, the affiliate marketing got totally wiped out of my monetization plan. But now, I’m trying to get back to it.

You’ll find out more about how I’m going to use the affiliate marketing in the future.

So, if affiliate marketing isn’t working for you; don’t just curse the affiliate product you’re promoting; especially don’t give up on your blogging dream.

I promise you that you can survive if you really want to.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

So, don’t let a bunch of bad days ruin your dream.

PPC and Affiliate marketing aren’t just the way out.

The options are limitless here.

All it needs is the courage and the will.

If you have the courage to make it happen, then comment down below and let me know what you’re going to do in the coming days.

I’ll see you in the comments below.

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