Succeeding at Affiliate Marketing for Christian Bloggers - a person working at a laptop

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Whether you are new as a Christian blogger or online business or you have been around awhile, you know that affiliate marketing is a great way to boost your income.

 

You can make money while you sleep, they say. I always love waking up to an alert that I’ve made commission on an affiliate sale. What a great way to start the day!

 

Depending on the month, my earnings from affiliate marketing range from 20-50% of my total blog earnings. It’s a significant part of my overall website income.

 

Being successful in affiliate marketing for Christian bloggers takes a bit of work, but the payoff is huge.

 

Let’s take a look at affiliate programs for Christian bloggers and some tips on succeeding in affiliate marketing.

 

Succeeding at Affiliate Marketing for Christian Bloggers - a person working at a laptop

 

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

 

Affiliate marketing is simply recommending other people’s products or service via your website, as well as through email and social media.  When someone purchases from your unique link, you receive a commission.

 

Commissions range from 2-50%, depending on the merchant. 

 

Another thing that’s great about affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t matter if the customer who goes through your links buys something completely different and unrelated to what you’ve recommended or referred them to, you will receive commission for it. Cool, right?

 

Let’s take a look at affiliate programs for Christian bloggers and some tips on succeeding in affiliate marketing. #blogging #marketing Click To Tweet

 

I see this all of the time on one of my sites. A customer will click a link to a recommended Bible study and purchase pens, toilet paper or even sunglasses and I receive a commission!

 


 

How Much Can You Earn From Affiliate Marketing as Christian Bloggers?

 

There really is no limit to how much you can earn with affiliate marketing. Your niche and content play a huge part in this, but, if implemented well as part of your overall earning strategy, you can earn a significant income from affiliate marketing on a Christian blog.

 

Let’s say you are promoting a product that costs $29 and the commission is 40%, you would receive 11.60.  Now let’s say, you send an email to your list and 10 people purchase from the link – you’ve just earned $116!

 

And how long did it take you to write that email? 20 minutes, maybe? That’s great ROI.

 

Affiliate marketing for Christian bloggers is just as lucrative as any other niche.

 

Affiliate marketing for Christian bloggers is just as lucrative as any other niche. #christianblog #faithblog #blogging Click To Tweet

 

Tips For Affiliate Marketing For Christian Bloggers

I’m a huge course and ebook junkie and most of what I’ve learned about being successful in affiliate marketing has come from these courses and ebooks. (I’ll share my recommended resources for affiliate marketing for Christian bloggers below)

 

Throughout my experience with affiliate marketing for Christian bloggers, I’ve learned quite a bit about what to do and what not to do as well as some tips I’d like to share with you.

 


 

 Does Niche Matter?

 

Yes and No. It matters, but not as much as you think. What matters is that you are meeting a need that your audience has.

 

For example, as a Christian blogger, I write about everything from Bible study to Bible journaling but even managing your home.

 

There are literally hundreds of affiliate programs for those topics.

 

What matters most is that you are writing high quality content that is sales focused – but not overly salesy.

 

You can write reviews or naturally weave relevant affiliate links into what you write.

 

Think about a post on Christian hospitality. You can include links to Christian home décor items, handmade soaps and towels and even snacks.

 

Or, let’s say you mainly write about Christian parenting. You wouldn’t want to post about the best pest control products.

 

What you don’t want to do is write random posts about products that don’t align at all with your niche.

 

So your niche is important but there will always be great products to promote, no matter what niche you’re in.

 

 

Know What You Are Promoting and Know Your Audience

 

Regardless of why you started your blog, your blog is a resource for readers.  They come to you to learn something. You are a resource for them.

 

The more you know your audience and what they are looking for, the better you can align your affiliate programs to them.

 

By doing this, you are building credibility with your audience. Credibility builds trust. If your audience does not have trust in you then it’s likely that they won’t click your links or care about your recommendations.

 


 

It’s also important to know the products and services you are promoting. It’s always best when you have actually used the product and can speak from experience but, even if you haven’t used a product, it’s ok to write about it, but be sure to disclose to your audience that your review is based on third hand experience. Again, you want to build credibility with your audience.

 

Get your FREE list of 200 affiliate marketing programs for Christian bloggers and businesses! #affiliates #blogging #faithblog Click To Tweet

 

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

 

You never want to rely in just one or two Christian affiliate programs (or general affiliate programs).

 

Affiliate programs do change from time to time, and, on occasion, you may experience a delayed payment from a merchant.

 

Additionally, some affiliate links don’t convert well or, you may have a bad experience with a product you have previously recommended.

 

By promoting products from different merchants, you are reducing your risk and increasing your likelihood of making affiliate income.

 

Finally, considering your website as a resource to your audience, by diversifying your affiliate merchants, you are able to provide a wider range of products to serve your audience’s needs.

 

Finally, considering your website as a resource to your audience, by diversifying your affiliate merchants, you are able to provide a wider range of products to serve your audience’s needs. #christianblog Click To Tweet

 

Don’t Forget Social Media

 

While your website is a great place to share affiliate links, don’t neglect social media. By sharing relevant posts with affiliate links on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Pinterest, you are expanding your reach as Christian bloggers.

 

The goal is to get people to click your links and see what you are recommending.

 

But, don’t just spam then split. What I mean by this is posting a direct link to an affiliate on Facebook that is a blatant “buy me” post.

Instead, share how the product has helped you or how you gave it as a gift and the recipient loved it. Make a connection with your audience. Build up trust.

 


 

The Importance of Keywords

 

Ah, keywords. Keywords are essentially the phrases that your reader uses when searching for something on the internet.

 

There are short-tail and long-tail keywords. For this post, we’ll assume that you know a bit about keywords. (If not, you’ll want to consider our course Basic SEO for more detailed education on keywords).

 

So what do keywords have to do with affiliate marketing?

 

If a reader is looking for a great Bible study on Sarah in the Bible, they may type in one of these:

 

  • Sarah in the Bible
  • Bible study on Sarah in the Bible
  • Bible studies about Sarah in the Bible

 

If you have a post on Sarah, you may want to include an affiliate link to two to a great Bible study on Sarah.  When people find your site via Google (Facebook and Pinterest search work the same way), they may find your post on Sarah and click the links to purchase one of your recommended studies.

 

So how do you find great keywords? Use Google or a free tool such as Ubersuggest.

 

In Basic SEO, we do a deep dive into keyword research as well as great keyword tools.

 


Add A Disclosure To Your Site

 

One of the quickest ways to get your affiliate account shut down (especially with Amazon) is by failing to post a disclosure prominently on your site.

 

Audiences need to know that the post may contain affiliate links.  It’s only right that they know you may be earning money if they click on your link.

 

I use a plugin called FMTC Affiliate Disclosure. It is an FTC compliant plugin that will post a line at the top of each of your posts stating that the post may contain affiliate links.

 

Do Page Views Matter?

 

Again, yes and no. When you look at simple math, the more people you have visiting your website, the more people who can potentially click your link and make a purchase. However, as Christian bloggers, if you know your audience and what they are looking for, you can earn a nice income with low page views.

 

For example, while you may only have 5K pageviews per month and an email list of 100, you are not going to get too many people clicking the link from your website, but if you send an email to your list about a product or service you recommend (who joined the list because they like what you have to offer them), they are your target audience and are more likely to click a link and make a purchase then a “cold” visitor who found you on the web.

 

How To Start Making Money With Affiliate Marketing (or Make Even More)

 

 

  1. Have a self-hosted blog. (Don’t have a blog? Check out my step-by-step guide here!)

 

  1. Apply to affiliate sites such as Shareasale, Commission JunctionAmazon Affiliates, or even Ultimate Bundles to start. They offer a wide variety of retailers and products to start promoting right away.

 

  1. Scan through the list of affiliate programs below, choose relevant programs for you and sign up.

 

Look for the commission rate or bounty amount, how long the cookie length is and payout threshold. (more on this below)

 

  1. Write high quality content which includes your affiliate links.

 

  1. Start earning money!

 

 


 

What To Look For When Deciding To Join An Affiliate Program:

 

When evaluating potential affiliate programs for Christian bloggers, there are a few things you’ll want to look at.

 

  1. How well does it serve your audience

If your blog is about Christian marriage, an affiliate program on car care may not be the best fit.  Remember, your site is all about serving your audience.  Consider whether or not this product or service will truly serve your reader.

 

  1. How much commission does it pay?

Affiliate programs pay (usually) in one of two ways:

 

  • Commission
  • Bounty

 

Commissions can range from 2-50%.  Commissions are a “cut” of the sale.  If someone purchases a book for $10 and the commission is 20%, you will earn $2.

 

Bounties are a flat fee for completing a task. For example, you may earn a bounty of $3 when someone signs up for a trial of Audible.  Or $1 when someone joins a couponing program.

 

  1. Cookie length

The cookie length is the amount of time that a cookie will remain on a user’s machine after they have clicked a publisher link to an advertiser’s site, unless it is overwritten by another publisher ‘s cookie. 

 

Let’s say the cookie length for a company is 30 days. If someone clicks your link today, but doesn’t buy the product for 27 days, you still get the commission (unless they click someone else’s affiliate link in between).

 

Some cookie lengths are as short as 24 hours (Amazon), others are up to a year (rare).

 

  1. Payment Threshold

This is the amount of money you have had to earn before the affiliate will make a payout.  Usually this number is $50 or $100.

 

 

Tips On Getting Approved By Affiliate Sites

 

Most affiliate sites are easy to join, but will require certain things.

 

You’ll want to, of course, have a blog or website with at least some content on it.

 

Affiliates want to to see if you would be a good fit for their program.  Your blog, what you write about and the quality of it are one of the ways they can assess this.

 

In the application, you may be asked how you will promote the product or service.  Include blog posts, email marketing and social media marketing in your answer.  If you have a lot of followers or high website traffic, you’ll want to share this information, as well.

 

Show them why you would be an asset to them.

 

 

Take A Course Or Buy An E-Book

 

In this post, we’ve just covered the basics, but there are a couple of fantastic resources that can help you really up your affiliate marketing for your Christian blog.

 

I highly recommend the e-book Cracking the Code on the Amazon Associates Program by Debbie Gartner.  She consistently earns over 7K each month from Amazon affiliate marketing!

 

I also recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing by Michelle Gardner.  She outlines best practices for succeeding with affiliate marketing through blog posts, emails and more. 

 

Some people think that affiliate marketing just doesn’t work anymore. That is hogwash.  It is alive and well and helping my family thrive.  For a look at current affiliate marketing trends from expert Neil Patel, check out this video.

 

 

 

If you are ready to step up your affiliate marketing game, you’ll want to grab our HUGE list of affiliate marketing programs for Christian bloggers. 

 

In it, you’ll find nearly 200 affiliate marketing programs for Christian bloggers broken down further by niche (finance, parenting, homeschooling, etc.).

 

Building businesses for the Kingdom,

Sue

Susan is the owner and founder of Woman of Noble Character, and co-owner and co-founder of Women of Worth Café and Hot Flashy Faith. She is an HR professional with many years experience in human resources. She has experience consulting on business strategy and marketing as well as owning and operating a business and ministry online. She is a wife and mom (and fur mom) living in beautiful Missouri as well as the author of several books.

26 Thoughts on “Succeeding at Affiliate Marketing for Christian Bloggers”

    • Have you confirmed your email? You should have received an email for you to confirm and that has the download button in it. Once you click it, it will download to your device as an excel document.

    • That is awesome Wendy! And we hope you’ll keep visiting because we are going to have loads of information specifically for Christian bloggers and businesses!!

    • Thank you so much Rhonda! The great thing about affiliate marketing is you can utilize it for any niche! It is a great way to grow your blogging income!

  • I’ve been trying to learn about this blogging thing fir a while now and you just cleared the mud out of the water so to speak in less than 20 minutes. Thanks for what you do.

    • Thank you so much Joyce! I am so glad you found it helpful! We hope you’ll keep visiting as we add more blogging tips and will have courses up soon as well!

    • There’s a lot of information out there but we want to make it easy for Christian bloggers to find it all in one spot without paying a fortune for it. So we will be offering courses (including masterminds) starting in January!

  • It’s great to find concise advice in one place. I struggle with affiliates because I want thing to feel comfortable and authentic, not like I’ve invited people to a sales party. I think it’s important to find a balance that is comfortable for you and your audience for sure.

    • Absolutely! And we are going to be offering courses soon and affiliate marketing for Christian bloggers will be one of them!

  • One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received (and subsequently given) is this: ALWAYS research a product before promoting it. If I promote a bad product to my list or on my blog, I risk hurting my reputation. Even worse, I risk harming my readers.

    Yet, sadly, that’s exactly what some men and women do. They’ll promote junk just to make a quick buck and don’t care who they hurt or what it means for their reputations.

    Let’s do our due diligence.

    • Yes! Credibility is most important!! It goes back to integrity! As mentioned in the post, if you don’t have experience with the product but have heard good things about it, disclose it. Integrity in blogging and business can’t be stressed enough.

    • Hi Amber! Once you confirm in the email you should receive your email with the link to the document. It could take a few minutes. If you don’t receive it and its not in your spam folder email me at [email protected] and I will send you the link.

  • Is affiliate marketing Godly. God commanded man to work and sweat for his living but i dont think affiliate marketing makes you sweat. All you do is get easy cash. please help me understand. I need to know before joining one

    • Hi Solomon…I am not aware of any place in the Bible where you are prohibited from making money unless you are dripping in sweat or a lot of Christians would be out of work. I believe what you are referring to is when God told Adam by the sweat of his brow would he eat bread. That is not a command that says you MUST sweat…it means a person must work hard for what they have and for caring for their families. It simply means man would have to work to obtain food and clothing and so on and would no longer be entitled to the privileges that came with living in Paradise until Jesus returns because of sin in the world. It was no longer perfection but man would have to work for his provision. It doesn’t mean everyone has to sweat at work or its not godly work. The Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 9:14 that those who preach the Gospel should earn their living from the Gospel. So those who work in ministry should be able to earn money from the ministry, even if that involves sharing resources that can not only help someone but help to promote other Christian’s work. For instance, one of the affiliates we share is a missionary who creates Bible study resources. By promoting her resources, she can help take care of her family and do missions and, in return, she blesses our ministry for sharing how helpful it was for us. We have to be careful about context in areas like this. That being said, we also state that people should share resources out of a genuine place and not just for making money. We share because it was helpful.

  • Any advice for Christian companies looking to enter into Affiliate marketing (besides joining ShareASale or CJ)?

    • If you mean you would like to offer products with affiliates, it depends on what you offer. But there are different affiliate plugins you can get for websites or you can use a digital delivery product (if you have digital products) like sendowl or even thinkific. But it really depends on what you are offering.

  • thank you so much for this very helpful article on Christian blogging. I’ve found especially the area that deals with contents/reviews on a particular product may not have to be used or experienced first-handed. bur that a disclosure should state that. I’ve always wanted to write contents in an ethical manner, so this was very helpful to me. thank you again.

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