A few days ago I told you that this site is generating some income for me through affiliate links. Eventually we’ll get into an in-depth discussion about affiliate links as part of the Blogging for Expats series, but I wanted to give you some of this information now, because it ties in with the previous article.
Here’s a quick summary of how I choose products and services to offer with affiliate links. Your process will be similar, but tailored to your subject matter.
Choose Products and Services Your Readers Want
It seems silly to say, but you’d be amazed at how many bloggers write about widgets to an audience who’s interested in widgets, and yet they try to sell something like shoes. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Future Expats Forum is about expatriation, with specific emphasis on developing a portable career and plannning and preparing for your overseas move. Every single affiliate link I offer has to help in those areas.
There are a few other basic criteria. They must:
- Help you to plan or execute your international move
- The companies offering them must be reputable and trustworthy
- The product quality must be top-notch. Either I have used it myself, or I’ve sampled enough of the company’s products or services to be confident it’s a good deal for you
When I use a product or service I want to offer you, I review it here as well.
Occasionally, I’ll use something and find that I can’t recommend it after all. I’ll let you know about that, too, as I did I when I asked, Can You Build a Solid House from This Blueprint?. I figure you’re trusting me to give you the whole picture, not just one side of it. . .
What sorts of products and services do I offer through affiliate links?
- Reports on Specific Countries
- Expat Magazines and Newsletters
- Resources for things like finding Health Care Overseas, or how to obtain visas
- Training Programs for Portable Careers
- Books and DVDs
- Useful items for your Expat Life — Unlocked Cell Phones and Ebook Readers, for example
You can find them all in the Resources section of the site.
If you’re considering creating a business based on a blog, think carefully about your topic and the type of reader you want to attract. Then give away useful information — tons of it — to help your readers. Find some high quality products you can honestly recommend and set up affiliate relationships. Then write about them, with links.
If you’ve done your job right, your readers will appreciate the recommendations and will reward you by clicking on your links to buy the product. It’s a win-win-win. You earn the referral commission which becomes part of a passive income stream for you, your readers get a trustworthy recommendation that helps them make a purchasing choice, and the company you’re affiliated with makes another sale.
If you’re considering blogging as a portable career, check out the Blogging for Expats tutorial series. It’s a very basic how-to that will teach you how to set up your blog and get it up and running.