One of the most lucrative streams of income stems from one simple thing: Influence.
Your ability to influence a large audience is more than just a broad awareness strategy…it’s a driver of action. People make decisions (such as buying decisions) because of your direct influence.
And here’s where you benefit: companies are willing to pay lots of moola to tap into your influence over your audience.
But if companies aren’t coming to you, how do you start the process? How do you leverage your current audience (on social media, your website, on YouTube, etc.) to potentially add tens of thousands of dollars to your annual income…without creating products yourself?
It’s easy, really. It’s as simple as recommending products to your audience on your blog (or video blog).
What is a Product Recommendation?
A product recommendation is when you suggest a product to your engaged audience using a special link. Once your reader or viewer clicks that link, you get paid when they buy that item.
Finding products in your niche to recommend is easy. Companies like Influencer.co or even individual brands offer thousands of products that are ready to recommend to your audience.
But here’s something you may not know: Thousands of bloggers are already using product recommendations to make passive income each month from their blogs.
Don’t Have A Blog Yet? That’s OK.
In this post, I’m gonna show you some great ways to earn money from blogging with product recommendations whether you already have a blog or not. And here’s the kicker: As an influencer, you already have what most new bloggers don’t have when starting out—an engaged audience.
That’s 80% of the work when starting a new blog. So you’re already ahead of the game!
Before we start, I should warn you about something:
Avoid Display Ads As A Revenue Stream! (At first anyway)…
Display ads on your website may sound like a great idea at first. But they have a high potential to turn people off because they’re not specific to your niche.
Yet many influencers, brands, and agencies turn to display ads before ever considering product recommendations. And I’m here to tell you an important truth:
If you already have a highly-engaged audience, the smartest thing you could do is go straight to what will make you more money quickly.
Once you’ve built a stable passive income stream using a blog with product recommendations, adding display ads may boost your passive income without hurting your brand reputation.
Ok, ready to get started? Let’s dive in.
The 3 Basics of Blogging (Before You Monetize)
To get started, here’s what you need to know about starting a blog before you monetize:
- Find a platform
There are tons of free and paid platforms out there, but the best long-term strategy is to go with a platform that allows you to customize your features and designs. The most widely used platform (even for non-techie types) is WordPress.org.
- Create content
As an influencer, you may already have content that you can repurpose for your new blog. The fastest way to get started is to go through your content archives and start pulling out your best stuff. Then, once you’ve got a nice chunk of content, organize it for a written or video blog post. That way, once you’re ready to launch, you have at least 5-10 posts to fill up your blog.
- Engage your audience
As an influencer, this part will be easy for you. Most new bloggers need to pay for website traffic or wait months (or years) for their content to gain traction. But since you already have an engaged audience at your fingertips, this part is simply letting everyone know where to find your blog.
Now, most people can find a decent platform for their blog pretty quick. But how do you make content for your audience that will resonate and get them to engage further?
3 Pillars of Useful Content
Amy Lynn Andrews came up with a great list of guidelines for creating useful content for your blog. I’ve adapted some of them here to help you strategize where to start when you create new content:
- Find a problem and solve it
Your audience probably has the same struggles as you do, so find common problems that fit your niche and offer a monetized product link to solve that problem.
- Educate your audience
You might have other interests other than your main niche. Educating your audience on other things you’re interested in does double duty: it increases your authority and opens up new product recommendations. Consider finding monetized product links that align with your other interests and see if that brings in some passive income for you.
- Help your audience achieve a goal
As an advocate of your niche, you know what your audience strives to achieve. Whether it’s more productivity, a better golf swing, or finding the best new tech device, your audience often looks to you for advice on achieving their personal goals. In this scenario, product recommendations are actually desired by your audience, so you want to make sure you’re monetizing your organic recommendations every time you publish on your blog.
Content that’s considered useful will draw in more engagement and encourage more clicks.
Above All Else, Keep This One Thing in Mind…
Always, always, always keep this one thing in mind when starting to recommend products on your blog:
Preserve the trust your audience has in you.
As an influencer, you know firsthand how long it takes to build a highly-engaged audience. It doesn’t happen overnight. So the last thing you want to do is start bombarding your audience with products just because you CAN. You know (more than most people) that sending too many marketing messages to your audience can sour their sentiment towards your brand.
That’s why product recommendations work way better: they occur very naturally in your normal audience engagement.
If you always focus on being helpful and only recommend products that you’ve either used yourself or know would be relevant to your audience—you’re golden.
Who knows—you might be sitting on a pile of dormant passive income right at this very moment.
If you want to start looking for products in your niche, click here to sign up.