What we cover:
Register for the Make Money Blogging course
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Episode 020 Show Notes
- Check out my FREE Facebook group – The Unconventional RD Community
- My 3 online courses – The Unconventional RD Business Bootcamp
- FREE Start a Website Tutorial
Please note that I am an affiliate for some of the following products. If you click my affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Links from the episode
- RD Entrepreneur Symposium (affiliate link)
- PinSmart (affiliate link)
- Convert Kit (affiliate link)
- Food Blogger Pro (affiliate link)
- Tasty Food Photography (affiliate link)
- KeySearch (affiliate link)
- SiteGround (affiliate link)
- BigScoots (affiliate link)
- Thrive Market
Read the transcript
Welcome to The Unconventional RD podcast, where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income stream. We’ll talk all things online business to help you start, grow, and scale your own digital empire.
Are you familiar with passive income?
Hello. Hello. Happy Monday, my fellow TURDs. Yes, TURDs. That’s the acronym for The Unconventional RD – T. U. R. D. I’m rolling with it. I was mortified when I realized initially that that was the acronym for my brand. But here we are. So, um, yes. Happy Monday TURDs.
So today I want to start out this episode by asking you a question. Are you familiar with the term passive income? (And hint, if you’re an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur, this could be a game changer for you.)
So I define passive income as income that doesn’t require directly trading your time for money. In other words, scalable income. So offering or products that can make you limitless amounts of money for the same amount of work.
- Affiliate income,
- Ad revenue
- Sponsored content
- Digital goods
- Online courses
- Membership sites
And in all of these scenarios, you put in the same amount of work, whether you have one visitor or customer or a thousand. It’s easy to see how these income streams can quickly scale to something amazing. It’s an asset that can grow and support you while you’re out there living the life you always envisioned for yourself. A life of freedom, flexibility, location and schedule independence, and wealth.
The sooner you start taking action, the sooner you’ll get there
Of course, none of these things happen overnight, but the sooner you understand how they work and you start taking action, the sooner you can get there. It took me five years to build a steady income online that was a hundred percent passive, meaning no trading my time for money, no one on one client work, no freelancing or any of that. All money or income streams where you know, again, I put in the work and the amount of return I get is sort of limitless.
In case you’re looking for specifics, over the last 12 months specifically, I’ve earned $160,308 in passive income, primarily through a combination of my online courses, a membership site, and affiliate income.
And of course I’m thrilled that I finally figured out this whole online business thing. I mean mastering these monetization strategies has allowed me to work from home, have complete autonomy over my schedule, which is honestly priceless, impact more people cause I’m not limited to the number of hours I have to work with someone one-on-one, and actually enjoy the work I’m doing day to day. I found work that both serves people and makes me feel good and I’m making good money. So like it’s the ultimate trifecta.
And honestly, it didn’t need to take four or five years to get there. If I had more guidance and clarity about where I was going with my online business and actual strategies and tips on how to get there, I think I could have accomplished it in two years. But you know, live and learn. Right?
The Make Money Blogging Course will help you get there faster
But now since I feel like I’m a dietitian who gets it, like I’ve been there, been through all the trials and tribulations of what works and what does not work in the online business space, I want to pass on my favorite tips and strategies to you so you can get there faster than I did. Because the more dietitians and wellness professionals that are out there spreading their messages successfully on the internet and making a great living doing it, the better.
It’s open for enrollment now!
So I have put together a course called Make Money Blogging that is open for enrollment right now. I ran this course last year, May 2019, and that was my first time putting it on, and I did a live round where, you know, every week the content came out, I had office hours where people could hop on a zoom call together and ask me questions.
Join us for the 2020 live round
And it’s been a year and it’s time again to run the course and do another live round.
The content has been updated for 2020 – everything in there is current and actionable for right now and I’m doing it again where I’m dripping it out week by week over six weeks, one monetization stream discussed per week and office hours every Monday at 9:00 AM Pacific for those six weeks.
Save $200 before the price goes up on May 25th.
It’s all kicking off on Wednesday, May 20th and you can enroll now.
You can actually enroll all the way through the 25th, right before we do our first office hours call, at the current price. I’m keeping it at last year’s price. I haven’t increased the price even though I’ve gotten better at doing this and I’ve improved the content for 2020.
You can still get it for the same price as last year, which also comes along with 23 continuing education units, which is amazing. Um, yeah, so check it out. You can go to the unconventional RD BB for business bootcamp.com and just click on the make money blogging course and you can get all the details about the live round that’s kicking off on Wednesday.
Again, you have until the 25th to lock in the current low pricing. It’s going to go up by $200 on the 25th so check it out. I hope to see you guys there.
Stop floundering & get the clarity you need
My goal with the course is to help you go from, you know, a floundering online business person with no real strategy, to learning how to run an online business that will actually support you financially.
So everything is super interactive and actionable. The content is watch at your own pace videos. So I’ve already recorded them. They’re ready to go. They come out every Wednesday at 11:00 AM Pacific, but you can watch them on your own time.
They’ll stay up for a whole year until I update the content again in May, 2021. And then you have those live office hours and a private Facebook group where you can ask me questions at any time, which is a super active but still intimate space. I think there’s like 280 something people in there right now. So small, but enough people where like everyone’s jumping in and giving advice and helping each other and cheering each other on.
So yeah, this is the course. We’re going over six different topics. We talk about ad revenue, affiliate income, sponsored content, digital goods, online courses, and membership sites. And I have personal experience in all of these. So excited to help you guys learn how to get out there and get better at making income online.
If you don’t yet have a website, check out my free start a website tutorial
However, I do want to make mention, if this sounds exciting to you, but you don’t yet have a website, you’re probably not ready to take this course. Of course you can sign up for it now because it’s on sale, since the price is going up on the 25th. You can totally sign up now and like go through it and just learn the stuff, but you won’t really be able to implement any of this stuff if you don’t have a website.
So if that’s you, I definitely recommend checking out my free start a website tutorial. You can also find that right in the main navigation area of the unconventional rd.com um, you can sign up for that. It’s totally free and that will at least get you up and running with a functioning website.
If you don’t yet have an online audience, check out my SEO course
And then if you don’t yet really have an audience online and you’re looking for a way to build one, and then I recommend starting with my SEO made simple course before you do the make money blogging course, because that will teach you how to create content that actually gets found on the internet and drives traffic.
So that means people will type stuff into Google and your blog posts will be what shows up in the Google search results and then people will click to your website and that’s how you can make money from ads and affiliate links and things like that.
But without the traffic, it’s just, you’re not going to get a lot of income just because purely from a numbers standpoint, you don’t have enough people coming to your content and engaging with it. So that’s what I recommend. But either way, just head to the unconventional RD or the unconventionardbb.com if you want to go directly to the courses page.
What to expect from this episode
Today actually for this podcast episode, my goal is to kind of give you a behind the scenes look at how I use affiliate marketing in my business.
So I’m going to go over the three affiliate income streams that are working the best for me right now and also share which things that I’ve tried that haven’t really worked. And I thought this would be really timely since the first lesson that’s coming out on Wednesday, May 20th is going to be a lesson on affiliate marketing.
So this is kind of a preview of the type of stuff that we’ll be talking about in my Make Money Blogging course in the first week. So if you listen to this episode and the stuff that we’re talking about sounds exciting and like something you’d be interested in learning how to do, then again, I invite you to check out the course. So let’s dive in.
I’ve been tracking my online income since 2016
So I have been tracking my blogging income since mid 2016 nothing fancy. I just have a spreadsheet, an Excel spreadsheet, super old school. But what I do is every month I go through and see what money I made and through what avenues and I track everything.
So here I have it in front of me right now. If I scroll up to my very first month that I started tracking my blog income, it was August of 2016 I believe. This is like right after I rebranded my website. So I used to have a different blog name and after I finished my graduate school program, I didn’t really feel like I identified with that blog name I used.
It was called Eat Healthy Feel Good, but, you know, after I learned more about intuitive eating and health at every size and all that stuff, I was like, eh, I don’t really identify with this blog name anymore. Like I don’t want to be like out there telling people to quote unquote eat healthy. I just didn’t feel like the vibe I wanted to put out.
But I was very business naive. I didn’t understand how online business worked or really understand how blogging worked even though I had been blogging at that point for like almost five years. Just off and on as a hobby, like during grad school and stuff and my first year as an RD.
But anyway, I ended up just like shutting down my old website completely and starting fresh under ericajulson.com. My intention was to start a food blog and I was just like, eh, I’ll just start over. It wasn’t that hard the first time, not realizing that I didn’t need to do that and I could have just rebranded and redirected all of my old URLs to a new domain.
Um, but I didn’t know about that. And so I did everything wrong. I closed down my first website, never looked back. I just basically deleted everything off the internet. I lost all of my backlinks and I actually had some really good ones simply because I was in the food blogging world like early on when there was way less competition. So I had backlinks from like Huffington Post and stuff like that, that were actually really powerful. And I just didn’t, I didn’t realize any of this stuff. I didn’t know anything about SEO. So I deleted it and I started over.
My first month, I made 38 cents
So August, 2016 was around that time. And my first month, the only way that I was monetizing that new website was through Google Ads. And of course since I had just started over, I had like basically zero traffic. I probably had, I don’t even know, maybe five recipes up by the end of that first month. And so I made 38 cents from my blog that month. That’s August of 2016 and that was from ads.
Last month, I made $6,516
Flash forward to, let’s see me scroll down on my spreadsheet here. Um, I’ll just give you an example. Cause last month was just a regular month where I wasn’t really actively promoting anything. Um, I made $6,516 in completely passive income from my websites.
And that was from a combination of, I still had Google ads on one site, but it only brings in like, I don’t know, 12 bucks a month and I have a membership site, I have my courses and I have a whole bunch of affiliate links and things that I promote through my websites that earns the rest of the money.
So that’s like what, that was actually my lowest earning month of the year so far. But that’s kind of what it looked like for April, 2020.
This January I made $46,000
In January, 2020 when I was in the middle of a course launch I had my best month ever, which was a $46,000 month, which is absolutely insane. But I just want to throw that out there so you guys know like what numbers are actually possible when you’re doing online business at a high level.
But of course I also want you to remember that that’s four years, almost, in between that month when I made 38 cents and that month where I made $46,000 so there you go.
Let’s talk about affiliate income
But today’s episode, I really wanted to hone in on affiliate income. And I’ve talked about this before in actually episode one of this podcast. I talked about three ways to make money online and affiliate marketing was one of them. And basically affiliate marketing is when you promote someone else’s product to your audience and you earn a commission on any sales made through your special links.
See episode 001 for more details on becoming an affiliate
So if you want more details on like how to become an affiliate and like how it all works. Check out episode one. I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but long story short, you sign up to become an affiliate for products that you like either directly through the company or through networks. And then you get a special link to promote that product that has like a tracking code on it. So if someone in your audience clicks that link, the company will be able to know that you were the one that sent that customer to them.
And if they end up making a purchase within whatever window of time they give you credit, then you will earn a commission on that sale.
So for example, Amazon has an affiliate program, but they only give you a 24 hour cookie tracking period. So you only get credit or commission on purchases made within 24 hours of someone clicking one of your Amazon affiliate links.
In contrast, a keyword research tool that I use called SEMrush, which is like my all time favorite tool. Um, they give you 10 years credit. So that’s rare. That doesn’t happen super often. But anyone who’s ever clicked on my SEMrush affiliate links, if, if I was the first affiliate they’d ever clicked on for SEMrush, then I will get credit if they ever sign up for SEMrush. So if it’s like five years from now, I’ll still get credit. If the cookie, the tracking cookie is still there, um, on their computer. So that’s pretty cool.
Uh, but in contrast, that means that if someone’s watching my content and even though my content has really helped them, if they click on my SEMrush affiliate link, but they’ve already clicked on someone else’s maybe months or years prior, that person’s going to get the credit. Um, but in some ways that’s fair because it’s the first, the very first person who ever introduced any given person to the brand is the one who’s going to get the credit.
How I run my affiliate programs
Personally, I run a lot of affiliate programs for my online stuff, like my courses and my membership site and I give people a 90 day credit window. So, um, basically that means if someone clicks on a person’s affiliate link, they have up to 90 days to make a purchase and have that person get credit for it. I give 50% commission. So anyone who buys one of my courses through someone’s affiliate link, that affiliate gets 50% of the sale. Um, and I feel like that’s a really good length of time and a fair length of time because I relaunched my courses every four months. Um, so that gives people a fresh opportunity to promote every time I come out with a new course.
So if someone promoted my January course, their tracking cookie for their affiliate links aren’t still going to be working in May. Um, when I promote the next one, they have a fresh opportunity. Everyone’s kind of reset to promote the courses. Um, so that’s how it works for me and my, uh, my affiliate programs.
But that’s what affiliate income is. So for people who run online businesses, it’s a great opportunity to promote even when you don’t have a product yet of your own.
My most successful affiliate income streams
And I wanted today to talk about kind of my most successful ventures in the realm of affiliate income.
- So number one, joint ventures. That’s something I want to talk about. That has worked really, really well for me and I don’t think a lot of dietitians do it. So I kind of wanted to highlight what that is and how it can be beneficial for both you and the person you’re partnering with.
- The second way is just by recommending tools that I use, either on social media or on my website. I’ll talk about that. That’s definitely my second most successful way.
- And then the third way is by using Amazon associate links. Amazon associates is the name of the Amazon affiliate program. I use Amazon associate links on some of my blog posts. So that’s the third most successful way.
So I’m going to go through all three of those in more depth and share with you, you know how much money I’ve made from each of those, why I think they were successful. Some mistakes that I’ve made that maybe weren’t the right move and all that jazz.
#1: Joint Venture Affiliate Promotions
So number one, joint ventures or JV ventures, um, you might hear that term JV launches and things like that. That’s a joint venture launch and that means that you are working with another person to help promote their product to your audience. Um, and then maybe they’ll return the favor and help promote your product to their audience if and when you have something to launch.
The RD Entrepreneur Symposium
So my first experience with promoting someone else’s product was, um, all the way back in I believe 2017. Yeah, let me go back looking at my, my income spreadsheet again. Um, yeah, it was April, 2017 that was when, I don’t know if you guys are familiar with uh, Heather Neal. She’s a dietitian and she runs dietitianhq.com.
But she runs every year or actually twice every year, she puts on a virtual event called The RD Entrepreneur Symposium. And what she does is she has maybe like 20 or so successful dietitians record kind of like hour-long helpful tutorials or talks on different topics. And then she compiles them all onto this online event. And there’s like X number of speakers that present each day and people sign up. It’s a paid event. So you sign up and you have access to these 20 or so talks and you get like 20 or so continuing education units for that event.
I’m so, I’m so grateful that Heather actually invited me to speak at the very first one all the way back in April, 2017. And at the time, I was running a virtual private practice. I think me and Heather had connected because we, we had met in like some online Facebook groups. Um, so she invited me to see if I’d maybe be interested in giving a talk. She had seen that, you know, I’d had some more recent success with getting clients, um, after I had kind of transitioned to packages and honed my niche.
So she invited me to speak about taking action to find your niche. Cause she also knew that I had struggled to find that niche. So, um, that’s what I put together, a talk about finding your niche and not just theoretically finding your niche but taking action to find your niche. And it was like, I don’t know about an hour.
And so I put that together in advance and as I’m sitting there I’m like, okay, I’m going to give this talk at this event. But then what? Like where, like what, cause I wasn’t getting paid to do this, it was more like a um, get in front of a new audience type of situation. And then I had the opportunity to promote the event, the paid event as an affiliate and make affiliate commissions.
But I thought that I might be missing an opportunity if I didn’t have anywhere to send these people to like find me after they watched my talk. So that was actually the impetus for creating the unconventional RD website. Cause I was like, Oh, I’m talking about like my, my experiences with entrepreneurship. Like I kind of like this. I want to make a website where I kind of document what I’m doing and what’s working and not working.
So that’s how the unconventional RD blog was born and all of my income reports that I had been publishing. And then I also created the unconventional RD Facebook community off the back of that as well. And then at the end of my talk, I was like, Hey, if you want to continue to connect with me and have a space to talk about entrepreneurship or whatever, like come check out my Facebook community and my blog. And that was a huge, huge jumping off point for the unconventional RD community and brand.
Um, so thank you Heather, because if I hadn’t given that talk, I don’t know if I ever would have started this entire company.So yeah, pretty crazy. Um, so anyway, that was my plan. I just thought it was a funny backstory how that’s how I basically started this entire business.
My very first attempt at affiliate marketing
Um, but I, I didn’t know how to promote anything as an affiliate, so I had my affiliate link for that very first RD entrepreneur symposium. I didn’t have an email list of dietitians that I thought would be interested or anything like that. Um and I was also like really, really nervous about feeling spammy or something like that. So I was basically scared to announce that I was speaking at an event and try to spread the word through my affiliate link.
I had no idea what I was doing. So I did like the bare minimum. I had to do something. So, um, I pushed myself. I remember at the time I was still tutoring, so I sent out an email, um, to I think my food blogging list because I knew that some of my RD friends followed me on my food blog and were like on my email list there.
So I thought, Hey, maybe there’s like 10 or 20 people who would see this email and like be into it. Even though like 90% of my list who was there for recipes like wouldn’t care at all. But that was my only channel that I had at the time to communicate with people. So I sent out one email literally on the last day, the last day to sign up, um, with no context. Let me see.
I think I pulled this up. Um, I pulled up my, my old email to see like how horrible it was. Let’s see if I can find it. Mmm. All right. I think I found it. Let me go back and look at the date it was.
I sent it on the very last day. So I never even introduced the fact that I was speaking at the symposium. I waited until the very last day that people could sign up. And then it was like a hail Mary. Like Hey, I’ll just send out this email and maybe some people will buy.
So I had, let’s see, I had, Oh shoot, this is my actual, I forgot this is the second time I did it cause this is my real, this is the unconventional RD group. So clearly I didn’t learn my lesson the second time I spoke at the event. I also waited till the last day and only sent out one email.
So anyway, I don’t even have the initial one because I only sent it to my old email list, which I don’t even have anymore. Um, but I guarantee you it was something like, I think maybe I had 300 people on that email list to my food blog at the time.
And again, like I said, maybe 20 people would have been interested in that, in learning about RD entrepreneurship. But I sent out that one email and then I posted about it in another Facebook group that I was in where I was allowed to share.
My lightbulb moment
And I remember I went into one of my tutoring appointments and I was like, well, you know, no one’s gonna buy, but you know, whatever. Might as well try. And I was getting paid like a hundred, a hundred dollars an hour, $125 an hour maybe to do, um, a tutoring appointment. And I came out and I had made $834 and 75 cents from that email and, and the Facebook group posts.
And I was just like, what? Like what just happened? Like I just made like seven times as much as I’m making per hour from sending an email, like while I was doing something else.
Um, and that was really the light bulb moment for me, for how powerful affiliate income really can be because it is very passive. You leverage the relationship that you have with your audience and the trust that you’ve built with them to make recommendations that people are interested in, some percentage of those people will purchase and then you reap the benefits.
So that was insane. I mean, looking back like now if I made $834 from a joint venture promotion, um, I treat them very differently now. Like now if I’m going to do a joint venture, I treat it almost as if it’s my own product and I fully promote it and I send out like a whole series of emails and I’ll explain how that went in a second.
Like now looking back, $834 isn’t that much. But at the time, that was more than I’d ever made in a month through an online business venture. So that was extremely exciting. So I remember what that felt like and I bet a lot of you guys listening, you also might be like, whoa, if I can make $834 from sending one email, that that would be like a huge chunk out of my credit card bill. Or, you know, that would be money I could put away for my kid’s college tuition or whatever.
It really does make a difference. So that was the hook. That’s what got me into it. And then I continued to speak at the RD entrepreneur symposium four more times. I think I spoke at it for a total of five times. She did it twice a year.
Promotional Attempt #2
Um, so the next one would have been in the fall of 2017. Um, and by that time, like I said, I had the Facebook group and I had an email list of like a hundred people. Let me see how many people were in my Facebook group. Let’s see, I track everything. So in the same document that has all of the information about my monetization streams, I also have all the historical records actually going back to, um, July, 2015 from every business that I’ve started, how many followers I had on each platform. Um, what my social media, uh, like my page views, my social media followings, my email list, all of that. Um, so it’s really helpful looking back to see like what worked and what didn’t.
So let’s see, September, 2017, how many people did I have in the unconventional RD group? There’s a lot of information on this spreadsheet. I had 1088 people in the Facebook group. So, and remember I started the Facebook group. Um, when I gave the first talk in I think it was April, um, of 2017. So in just a few months I was able to grow it to like a thousand people, which felt good at the time.
Um, so I had a thousand people in the Facebook group. I wasn’t actively asking any of those people to join my email list, but somehow I still had an email list of a hundred people and I, like I said earlier, only sent one email. Again, I was too scared to sell to my audience.
So here, this is the email that I actually have. I sent out an email. There was 120 people who got it, it had a 47% open rate, which is actually pretty good. And a 10% click rate. So 12 people ended up clicking my link and I’m sure I posted about it in the Facebook group with a thousand people as well.
But basically I said, Hey, FYI, today’s the last day to enroll through my affiliate link and Oh one of the ways that I helped encourage people to sign up through my link was that I offered bonuses for anyone who signed up for the event through my link.
And that was a strategy that I learned from participating in Marie Forleo’s B-school launches. She has a whole bunch of people who promote her products and they offer bonuses like, Hey, if you sign up through my link, I’ll give you a free access to my course to, or I’ll give you access to like a private support group or coaching group or a retreat that I’m putting on, like whatever.
Her product is like 2,500 bucks. So all of her affiliates, each sale, they were getting like $1,250. So they were able to easily offer really high value bonuses too and feel well compensated based on the money that they were getting from those affiliate sales.
Um, but yeah, you want to make sure that that’s allowed in the, um, in the affiliate agreement that you signed, cause it’s not always allowed to offer incentives for someone to click and buy through your link. But, um, yeah, so I offered at that time, six months free to my nutrition membership site. Um, and then at the time I had also been putting together some nutrition related mini e-courses that were also available and that’s what I was offering.
Um, and then I explained how the symposium worked, the dates, blah, blah, blah, the topics that were going to be covered and the fact that you can get continuing education units and through that email, again, one email and one post in my Facebook group, uh, this time I made $1,866, which also felt amazing.
And so altogether in 2017 that means I had made, let’s see, about $2,600 in affiliate income just from promoting that event that I spoke at twice.
So what, it took me an hour each time to record those talks, maybe a day to put the talks together. I think, in my opinion, that was definitely worth the $2,600. And I mean again, I sent out like one email each time so it was barely putting in any promotional work.
How things changed in 2018
Um, 2017 I mean, sorry, 2018 I got a little smarter. I started to feel a little more confident. I felt like, okay, like this is my thing. This is like the only thing I really ever promote to my list. Cause at this time I didn’t have a product of my own. All I was really doing was like hanging out in the Facebook group and like talking with people, sometimes posting my income reports and then I didn’t have like a course or a product or anything that I was offering.
Um, so every time that I spoke at this event, I was excited about it and it was like the best way for my audience to learn from me because I wasn’t even giving them any other opportunity to learn from me.
So, um, the third time was spring 2018 and I remember this time I was like really stressed because I was behind on paying my taxes and I was short on how much I needed to pay for at the deadline that April. So mid April or whenever the deadline was, I needed to come up somehow with $7,000 to pay my taxes and I was really stressing about it.
Um, so I, we, my boyfriend at the time, now husband, um, we were camping with my parents in Joshua Tree that week and it was the same week that the promotions were starting for this, for the entrepreneur symposium. And this time I really like went out of my way to create really good marketing materials.
So I sent out this time a series of three emails. I offered really good bonuses. Like, people could hop on a group call with me to ask me questions about stuff, more discounts, bonuses, things like that. Um, and this time I shared personal stories in the email that tied in, you know, to what I was talking about at the symposium and what people would learn from me and my talk.
Um, and so I sent those out. And again, I wasn’t even home. I literally like wrote one of them in the morning while I was drinking coffee, like next to a Joshua tree with my parents, um, and sent it out. And we were, we didn’t even really have wifi. We were like generating the wifi through our, like a hotspot on our phone.
And so I closed the computer, we went on a hike, I came back and like, all in, through that promotion I made $7,345 in what, like a week that I promoted it? And that was almost to the T exactly what I needed to pay my taxes, which was absolutely wild.
Um, and then I was hooked. And then I was like, all right, I got, this is like a real business now. You know, I should probably start taking this more seriously and on and on.
I won’t bore you with the rest. That was my best promotion ever that I did, um, for that event. Um, the next year in the spring, I also, I think I did like $6,000 something. And then at that point, this is now what, uh, two full years after the first time I spoke at the symposium. By then I had decided, Hey, the unconventional RD is something I love. I have this huge community.
Let’s see, in the spring 2019, how many people did I have? I had 5 287 people in the Facebook group in April of 2019.
So I was like, okay, what am I doing? Like I’m spending all this time in this group and I’m helping people kind of one off when they ask questions, but like, am I really helping people? Can I help people in a better way? Um, cause at this point I’d had gained enough experience and done enough stuff in the online business space that I actually had value and expertise to provide.
So that’s when I started coming out with my courses and that ended up taking up so much of my time that I kind of bowed out of participating in the RD entrepreneurs symposium after that simply because I didn’t have time anymore.
Um, but ironically I still made a few hundred, like a few hundred dollars in sales last year, um, without even actively promoting it. I think, um, I mentioned it once, like in an email, like my weekly update email. I didn’t really like hard sell it cause it was kind of overlapping with one of my own promotions.
And then the other time I didn’t mention it at all, but someone had clicked on an affiliate link in one of my old income reports and ended up buying it within the cookie tracking window and I made a commission.
Why were my joint venture promotions successful?
So why did this work? So as you can see over those three years, I made $20,606, over the six events, which is crazy. Um, and why did it work? Like what are my reflections on how/why it was successful?
#1: It’s all I was actively promoting
So number one, I think it was most successful in the time period where it was the only thing I was promoting to my audience. Because I was gaining a following, I was becoming a leader in my space, but I wasn’t selling anything. So when people had the opportunity to purchase something from me and like support me and learn from me, they did and that felt good. So it was simultaneously rewarding for me and validating and I think a little bit of a confidence booster, but also simultaneously helping Heather’s business, which was great as well.
#2: The offer aligned exactly w. my audience
Um, I think it helped that what Heather was putting together was like an exact match for the things that my unconventional RD audience was interested in. We both talked about online entrepreneurship for dietitians basically. Um, although not everything was online for that event. So just entrepreneurship, I would say, for dietitians.
#3: It was easier to sell someone else’s product
Um, and I, it was a good baby step into selling. I don’t know about you guys, but like I find it easier a lot of times to promote someone else’s stuff. Like it’s somehow hard to talk really vibrantly and excitedly about your own stuff. I don’t know, there’s like a weird block there when you’re like self promoting, but somehow when it’s like something you’re just participating in that someone else’s hosting, it’s so easy. It just like flows out of you and you’re just like, Oh this is the best thing ever. Like come sign up and check it out.
Um, so I think that helped because I was able to write good copy about this other person’s thing that maybe I wasn’t able to write about my own things if I was trying to promote something that I had made. Um, I have gotten better with that since then, but I do remember that feeling, like a block, at the time.
#4: I offered incentives
I think the fact that I offered some bonuses to encourage signups probably helped, uh, people take that extra step. Cause every time I did it I offered a different bonus. But sometimes I was offering additional things that also came with continuing education units. So people were getting like double the CEUs, you know, for the price of signing up for this one event.
#5: I used email marketing
Um, and then I leveraged my email list. So as my email list was growing, I got better at sending marketing emails and usually about 70% of my sales came through email, not social media. So I think those are the reasons why it worked.
How to know if a JV promotion would be right for you
#1: If you have an audience
And if you are listening to this and you’re thinking about, Oh, what are some ways that I could start doing a joint venture promotion? Um, I think it could be a good fit for you if you have an audience, even if you don’t have an audience through your website. Like I didn’t really have much traffic coming to my unconventional RD website, but I had built this community on Facebook and also a corresponding email list. And so those two channels were enough to successfully promote and make, as you can see, like $20,000 over a couple years, just a handful of times through those channels.
#2: If you don’t yet have a product of your own
Um, it’s a great way to serve your audience by promoting someone else’s product that you believe in before you have your own.
#3: If you can offer incentives
Again, if you offer some bonuses that can help people, more people sign up, which is a win for you and also a win for the person whose product you’re promoting because they are making extra sales that they might not have made if you weren’t helping promote for them.
So that’s why affiliate joint partnerships can really be a win win for both parties and things that you can offer as bonuses would be like maybe some extra content. Like if you have a course, you could throw it in as a bonus or maybe bonus accountability groups where you can say, Hey, I’m going to have a popup Facebook group for the, the time that this person’s event is happening. And like, we’ll have accountability calls with me and blah, blah, blah to like help people take action that’s sometimes successful.
#4: If you’re promoting something complimentary to your own niche
Um, but yeah, joint ventures work the best when you’re promoting someone’s product that’s like complimentary to your own. So for example, I haven’t done this, but let’s pretend that my friend Chrissy Caroll, who I had on the podcast last week, let’s pretend she was going to do a live launch of her PinSmart Pinterest course.
Potentially we could team up together and I could heavily promote her pin smart course with an affiliate link that I get. Let’s pretend 50% commission. I could say, Hey, I really believe in your Pinterest course. I don’t have a Pinterest course. I know my audience wants to learn Pinterest and they ask me about it all the time.
So, Hey, if you’re doing a live event on XYZ dates, no questions asked, I’m going to promote that to my audience with my affiliate link because A) I want to help her business and B) I want to help my audience because that’s genuinely something that would benefit them that they actually ask for that I don’t offer.
So it’s a way to give them what they’re asking for through a product of a well-respected peer that I trust.
Um, and then vice versa if and when I was ready to promote, say my SEO course, she doesn’t have an SEO course, so maybe that’s a perfect fit for her audience and maybe they know Pinterest but they don’t know SEO yet.
So then she would then do the flip reverse of that and promote my product when it was launching to her audience. So we’re kind of like trading off promotions and each giving ourselves affiliate commissions on the sales that we make of each other’s products.
When a Joint Venture may not be right
But joint ventures are not always right. So when are they not right?
#1: When the product is too close to your own
Um, sometimes people may approach you to promote something they’ve created, but maybe it’s too close to a product that you already have. Like if another person approached me to promote their SEO course or their email marketing course, that’s not really going to work because I already meet that need for my audience with my own product so it doesn’t make sense to then send them off to someone else.
Like shouldn’t I be confident in my own products enough to want to, to offer my own stuff to my own audience? It works the best when it’s something complimentary that doesn’t overlap with what you already teach.
#2: When the timing doesn’t work out
And then the other thing, sometimes you really are interested in something else someone is doing, but their launch just happens to overlap with something you’re already doing and the timing just doesn’t work out.
You have to think about like, when am I going to be promoting my own stuff to my audience? And then you have to be okay with saying no if someone, even if you love and respect them, if they’re promoting at the exact same time, that’s not gonna work. That’s gonna be confusing to your audience if you’re trying to sell them like two different things at the same time.
#3: If you’re not confident in the product
And again, if you don’t believe in someone’s product or service and you’ve never experienced it firsthand, that would also be a situation where you probably wouldn’t want to promote it as a joint venture if you’re not a thousand percent confident in the thing that you’re recommending. Otherwise it would really hurt your credibility if you vouched for something and it kind of sucked.
#4: If you’re using them to procrastinate
Um, and then just be cognizant if you do a lot of partnerships and you’re promoting a lot of people’s stuff, just make sure that you’re not using that as a way to kind of hide in your own business. I think I did that for a little too long.
I got comfortable promoting other people’s things and I didn’t promote my own stuff at all or didn’t even take the time to create something of my own. So pay attention to that as well.
All right, now that was the first income stream joint ventures as an affiliate.
#2: Promoting Products as an Affiliate
The second most popular and successful way that I’ve earned affiliate income is by recommending tools that I use to my audience.
Earning recurring commissions
And some of these tools are things where someone signs up and pays monthly. Like for example, ConvertKit, the email marketing platform. I have an affiliate link to promote ConvertKit to my audience and anyone who uses ConvertKit pays monthly for the service.
And if someone signs up through my affiliate link, I earn a recurring commission on that. So I don’t know. Let’s pretend I make, I don’t know, 30% of the sale and let’s pretend it’s $30 a month for the person to use ConvertKit. That would mean for every person who signed up through my affiliate link, I would earn about 10 bucks a month. So if I get 10 people to sign up through my affiliate link, for as long as they remain a paying member of ConvertKit, I’m getting $10 each. So that’d be a hundred bucks a month in passive recurring income just from initially recommending a tool to someone that would help them.
So that’s a really powerful way to grow your passive income.
It kind of like depends on what niche you’re in. Obviously like anything where you’re recommending tools or things where people are signing up for subscriptions, that’s just ripe with opportunity. But it may depend on your niche on whether or not that fits well. But that is a thing. So I just wanted you to be aware that it’s possible to make passive recurring income if you are recommending different services where people pay repeatedly.
Earning one-time commissions
Um, other things, just give one off, uh, affiliate commissions. So for example, I have my free how to start a website tutorial that I put out. And in there, I mean you need a hosting provider to have a website. It’s just required. So obviously in the tutorial I go over which ones are my favorites, which ones I recommend. And every time I talk about the companies I recommend I include an affiliate link.
And for hosting companies, even though the person is usually paying annually or monthly for the service, they usually only give like an initial payout. Um, so SiteGround pays out 50 bucks every time someone signs up. And then as you refer more and more people every month, um, it can go all the way up to like, I think a hundred dollars per commission if you refer 11 or more people in one month, which is a lot to refer. I haven’t hit that yet, but it’s a goal.
Um, so that’s how that works. But then you never get paid again. So, even if they renew their hosting or they’re on it for 10 years, you only ever get that commission once. Um, so those are some examples.
Where to promote products with affiliate links
And where do I promote my, my products that I recommend?
#1: Social Media
Definitely in my Facebook group. So as you guys know, I run the unconventional RD community on Facebook. People ask questions all the time, like, what hosts should I use, what theme should I use on my website? What’s the best plugin for security? Um, I don’t know a bajillion things. What email marketing platform do you guys use?
And every single one of those, I have a response and I am an affiliate for all the things I recommend. So I can pop in and be like, Hey, I recommend this because this and give my explanation and say, Hey, here’s my affiliate link to check it out. And then you, you should clarify what that means. So like if you purchase I’ll earn a commission but no pressure, um, and then you can make sales that way.
#2: A Resources Page
Um, I also have a resources page on my website, on the unconventional rd.com. You can check it out there, there’s a resources tab up in the main navigation. And that’s just my space where basically everything that I recommend, like I just said, I have a bajillion things that people ask me about and that I give recommendations for.
So I basically just like list those out. They’re kind of categorized by like website related stuff, design related stuff, photography related stuff, et cetera, whatever it is I’m talking about. And then I put all my recommendations. Not every single thing on that list I am an affiliate for. Some of it I just recommend and they don’t even have affiliate programs or they’re free products to begin with. Um, but there are a decent amount of affiliate links link, uh, sprinkled in there.
I will say that that, that strategy does not work unless you actively drive people to that page. Almost no one will go to your website and then click the resources page and then go through and buy something. It usually works the best if you’re actively sending people to that page.
So maybe you have a welcome sequence set up for your email list. And like this, I actually do this. So this is where the examples coming from. Um, when people join my email list, they get a series of welcome emails and one of them is like,
Hey, like if you’re ever wondering what tools I use to run my online business, like check out my resources page. There’s all these different recommendations. Everything from graphic design to website hosting to, you know, setting up your theme on your website. I don’t know, whatever I say. Um, and then I direct them to that page and that does work.
But if you don’t point people to go there, they probably won’t go there very often. So, um, that’s one of my, like that is a way that I make affiliate commissions, but it’s not like the main way.
I definitely, the Facebook group is more active because I’m providing a recommendation to someone who’s asking, which is more powerful.
#3: Inside course content
I also put my affiliate links in all of my courses. Of course, I disclose that they’re affiliate links and no one has to click on any of them. But anytime I’m talking about a tool that people could sign up for, I’ll put my affiliate link there, usually underneath the video, wherever I’m talking about it.
Um, I also recently created, um, like a resources page within the course for everything I ever mentioned. That was a suggestion from a student, so they didn’t have to go hunt through all the videos to find the recommendation.
So that’s been helpful too. Um, again, I have a student’s only Facebook group for my core students and if someone asks a question there, I can use an affiliate link.
#4: During webinars
Um, if I’m giving a webinar and talking about a tool, I can mention an affiliate link there. I can send out the affiliate link via email with the replay, which is super powerful.
#5: In my income reports
Or even just in my income reports, like I am super behind on these. But for a long time I was posting my income reports and sharing how I earned money online.
And usually I’d be explaining like, Oh this week I sent out like this email campaign and this is how it did. And then I would share like, Oh yeah, I use convert kit for my email marketing and then that would be an affiliate link, like that type of thing. Um, so those work as well. And the reason this works is it grows really in direct proportion with my audience and then also getting better at honing my strategy.
How my income changed over the years
So as time went on, I got better at this type of income stream. Let me pull up my numbers. I have it on my spreadsheet. I was looking back to see how much I have earned over the years, specifically from recommending products.
So all the way back in 2017, which was the full first full year that I tracked, I made $87.99 over the whole year promoting products. And that was mostly through my food blog on ericajulson.com.
I think I made a couple sales for like a photography ebook and then memberships for food blogger pro, which was a membership program that I was in to help me grow my food blog.
So basically $7 a month, that’s where I started.
Um, in 2018 that increased to $726.71 cents for the year. So an average of $60 a month.
Flash forward to 2019 it jumped significantly. I basically quadrupled my affiliate income in large part to the fact that I launched a new blog, functional nutrition answers.com that was able to get a lot of traffic in a short period of time. And then I monetize that with affiliate links, Amazon affiliate links. And so that brought in in 2019, um, Oh actually, sorry, I had, this is totally separate from Amazon affiliate income. I haven’t talked about that yet.
Um, in 2019 I think the boost was mostly because I started talking more about tools. I started promoting a keyword research tool, key search as a good beginner option, and I’ve had a lot of great success promoting that.
Um, and I earned $2,863.40 cents that year, um, from affiliate income. So that was an average of $240 a month.
And then now in 2020, um, just from the first four months of the year, I’ve already earned almost that amount – $2,470, so an average of about $600 a month now from affiliate income.
Um, and the boost there was largely due to that, uh, free start, a website tutorial that I put together, um, which is monetized indirectly by recommending, like I said, hosting providers to people. So that’s been able to boost my affiliate income a lot through recommending SiteGround hosting or big scoots hosting. So I hope that gives you some inspiration and some actionable numbers there.
Double down on what works
Um, so really when I started doubling down on the things that worked, that is what made the difference. So like I said, this is not from just throwing random links one off, um, in my blog posts. It’s not like, Oh, I just briefly mentioned something and I just happened to link to an affiliate link.
#1: Teach how to use a tool
Now I create my posts specifically targeted to attract people who are ready to buy.
So, for example, the free start a website tutorial is made for people who are ready to start a website. I mean they’re signing up because they want to get going and they want to learn the steps.
So if you show up and you teach someone how to do something, it doesn’t have to be a free course, it could just be a blog post, you can just show someone how to do something with a tool or a product.
Basically create a tutorial and include your affiliate links in there. And a decent percentage of people who go through that piece of content will click on your link and buy.
Um, so for example, I have that free how to start a website tutorial that’s structured like a course that includes my affiliate links, but I also have some content that I send out via email, um, in one of my sales funnels where I talk about how to do keyword research and I show screenshots of how to use a certain tool and then I linked to that tool.
Um, so that earns me income as well. But just to give you some numbers, there’s 474 people who have signed up in the last month for that free start a website tutorial. I just started it, um, you know, in April and it’s May right now, uh, 17 people in total have purchased hosting through my affiliate links, which is a 3.5% conversion overall from the total people who signed up, which is great. Um, anything above like 3%, um, conversion rate online is great.
And of the people who actually clicked on the affiliate links, it’s a 45% conversion, which is amazing. So it’s been about a month since I put out that tutorial and I’ve already earned just over $1,200 in affiliate income. So it’s definitely been worth my time.
Um, I’m hoping that in addition to the affiliate income that I get from that tutorial, A) of course I help people set up websites, but
B) I’m also giving people an opportunity to work with me basically in a free capacity, but it’s set up much like my paid courses so people can see, Oh, I like her teaching style. Oh, I connect with this. Oh, this really helped me. And that helps them increase their confidence that my paid courses would be great as well.
And then C) it’s priming them to buy those courses because they’re not going to buy a course that teaches them how to blog or monetize their blog or grow their email list if they don’t have a website.
So it’s just a win, win, win, win all the way around.
#2: Review or compare tools
Um, my next strategy is that I’m going to start implementing are creating blog posts that actually strategically review and compare tools.
So rather than just again, throwing random affiliate links in your blog content, create the blog content with an affiliate link in mind. So for example, you can do keyword research to figure out what people are looking up related to different, uh, tools or products that you use or recommend.
But one easy example for me is MailChimp versus convert kit. Those are two email service providers that I teach about. I’ve done extensive comparing and contrasting of their benefits because I put together a whole course last year that goes through how to use each of them.
Um, so I’m like perfectly positioned to write a MailChimp versus convert kit comparison blog post where I talk about the pros and cons and then ultimately recommend one over the other and include my affiliate link.
So that’s on the docket. You can do the keyword research that is a pretty well searched, uh, search phrase. So people type that into Google and it’s not that hard to rank for. So, you know, stuff like that.
And you could do that. Like this is not just something that relates to the tech world. Like, um, there, there’s another dietitian who after she gave birth, okay, I haven’t looked this up, but I’m telling this story off the top of my head, but whatever that thing is called, like abdominus rectii or whatever, where like your, the muscles of your abdomen wall kind of separate when you’re pregnant. Um, she had that and then she went through some sort of like program or exercise routine.
I don’t really remember what it was exactly that helped her recover from that. And so she wrote a blog post on it and linked with an affiliate link to whatever that was that she used that helped her. And she makes a lot of money and ranks super well for that search term. Turns out a lot of people are looking for that online and she makes a really good side income just sharing her own experiences and her own results and linking to the thing that helped her.
So you know, this is applicable to like any industry. Um, but that’s the type of content that works, not just randomly sprinkling affiliate links or randomly posting on social media.
#3: Using Amazon Associates Links in Blog Posts
And then the third and final way I wanted to talk about was specifically using Amazon associate links in my blog post because this is something that was not working very well for me in the past.
Um, I used them in my food blog, like I said, just randomly sprinkling the links. Like I’d be like hey I used chicken broth and then I’d like link to my favorite chicken broth or something. But nobody clicks on those links and a lot fewer people buy after clicking, especially for food products. So that was not very successful in the past.
In 2018 I only made $33.93 over the whole year from the Amazon affiliate links, which was an average of $2.80 a month.
And to be quite honest, and I hear this a lot from the students in my course, that’s 95% of the people in the Amazon associates program. They sign up, they’re excited, they make a handful of sales here and there, but they’re earning like under $5 a month in affiliate income because they’re not using a strategy.
They’re just randomly sprinkling these links around and hoping people click on them. And again, that’s not the best way to go.
So as I launched a new blog in 2019, my functional nutrition answers blog, which was like really in depth nutrition articles. A lot of times I would be writing about supplements and I would link to those on Amazon, but only from the Amazon pages of like the companies that sell their own product through Amazon, not third party sellers. Cause there’s, there can be a lot of issues with like tampering of products or not legitimate products sold on Amazon. So you only want to link to the ones that are sold by the actual supplement makers.
Um, but yeah, so I started creating educational blog posts. Like for example, I wrote a post with another dietitian on, um, the best magnesium supplements for migraines. And of course the person who’s looking for that is ready to buy a magnesium supplement.
They’re like, Oh, I heard that magnesium can help with my migraines but I don’t want to buy the wrong one. So we wrote a really long comprehensive blog post talking about all the different forms of magnesium and then which form, based on the research, is most effective and what dose and then we recommended products.
And so that is the most immensely powerful way to get people to click on and then buy through your affiliate links.
So we have I think, six different blog posts on that blog, um, where we kind of mentioned products that we’ve just described and talked about how to use. And from just six blog posts, um, in, well in 2019 I had, I just had maybe a couple blog posts and not a lot of traffic cause the blog was new. In 2019, I earned $1,200, so I’d have almost a hundred dollars a month.
And now in 2020, I was all the way up to an average of $280 a month. Um, however, unfortunately, um,uh, Amazon dropped their affiliate commissions in April of 2020. So towards the end of April, 2020, they sent out an announcement that they’re dropping their, their commission rates.
So the category that I usually promote, um, which was kitchen or health and personal care, those dropped from 4.5% commission to 1%. So I’m going to be going from making you know, $300 a month to probably less than a hundred, hopefully a hundred. I’m on track for a hundred right now, but still, that sucks.
So that’s something to consider. There’s other ways to get around that, which I’ll talk about, um, in the make money blogging course. Other ways you could consider, um, putting in affiliate links. However, I’m not going to complain about a hundred dollars a month. Like that’s amazing as well. Like any money is great for a blog post I wrote a year ago that’s just like sitting there, that’s bringing me $1,200 a year for not really doing much. Like I have put in the work in the past and it’s still working for me.
And again, that’s with just six blog posts with affiliate links. So what if I wrote six more and then I can double my income? You know what I mean?
Um, and it actually converts pretty well. So 17% of people who click on my Amazon associate links through those blog posts end up buying something. And I’m making this amount of money at about 20,000 sessions per month. So about 20,000 people per month are coming to my website. Not all of them are going to those six blog posts, so even fewer going to those exact posts. Um, but that’s the level of traffic I’m at right now and I’m making about, well I was making about $300 a month, now it’s probably going down to a hundred. So that’s a framework for you guys on what to expect.
Um, but again, the way to optimize is to write a great explanatory blog post about what, about something that someone would be searching for when they’re about to buy.
Um, and then in another context like that’s outside of nutrition, like articles. You could also use this for recipes. If you’re using a product that someone would probably have to buy online, like that’s not easily accessible in the store.
Like, for example, I, I saw a few blog posts of recipes using Palmini noodles, which are like noodles made from hearts of Palm that people with gluten intolerance really enjoy. Like that might not be available at everyone’s grocery store, but you could make a recipe specifically created using these hearts of palm noodles and then link to it or link to it on thrive market or whatever with your affiliate link and make money that way.
Or if you’re using a specific tool like a pasta maker or something that you need for a recipe and then you link to it, that’s a better way to incorporate affiliate links into recipe posts.
Positives for using Amazon Associate links
So the pros, Amazon associates links are very easy to use and you earn commission, not on just the one thing that you link to, but anything that person buys within 24 hours of clicking.
And people buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, especially right now. So you’re still earning decent money. For example, someone bought a $300 turntable through my affiliate link this month and that alone got me $12 in affiliate commissions. So you never know what people are going to buy. It’s worth a shot.
Cons of using Amazon Associate Links
Again, sadly they’ve dropped their commissions lately. So the income earning potential is significantly lower now. Um, so you might have to produce a higher volume of posts with affiliate links to make it worth it.
Um, and they have a lot of rules that you should be aware of. So you can only promote affiliate links from Amazon in publicly available spaces. So blog posts, public social media profiles, et cetera. You cannot share them in private spaces like emails, private Facebook groups, within courses, within eBooks, et cetera.
And if you break the rules, they can come in and shut down your account and not give you your money that you’re still owed.
Um, additionally, you have to make three sales, um, through your affiliate link in the first 90 days of signing up. Otherwise they’re going to close your account. Um, you can always re-sign-up later, but just something to be aware of. This is something we talk about in my make money blogging course and it’s really fun and exciting. Most people make the sales that they need. And we all post in the group and celebrate when everybody gets approved.
Um, but yeah, so that’s basically, those are the three ways. Joint venture promotion, recommending tools, and then creating educational blog posts that are designed to educate someone who’s about to buy something.
Um, things that haven’t worked too well. Again, my resources page on my website that I never promoted, that didn’t work great. Um, similarly throwing up an Amazon shop on my website and never promoting it, that didn’t really work very well. Randomly linking to things in posts that don’t fall in line with purchase intent, and then randomly posting an affiliate link like on social media and hoping someone would click it. Like none of those things work.
There is strategy and um, intention behind when you use your affiliate links and when you share it.
Your action steps today
So, um, your action steps today, I want you to think about how affiliate marketing might fit into your business model.
Do you blog? What types of posts could you could, could you create that could both help people and possibly include affiliate links, like tutorials, comparisons, reviews, et cetera.
For example, we just bought a new couch and I was looking online at couch couch reviews before we committed. Um, and one of the couches we were looking at was from crate and barrel and there’s legit a lifestyle blogger who had an entire post with a super in-depth review of this couch and then included her crate and barrel affiliate link to buy it.
And like as a person interested in potentially buying this couch in quarantine right now and I can’t go sit on it. That was so, so helpful. Like that helped increase my confidence that that would be the couch that I want to buy. And I clicked on her link, like we didn’t end up buying that one, but if I had bought that one through the post, she would have gotten a commission. So it’s really endless. Like you can get so creative on the stuff that you review or post about on your site.
Um, could you create a resources page with your favorite tools that you could start regularly sending to your audience when they join your community?
Are you on social media? Are there opportunities to share your affiliate links when people ask you for recommendations on social? This works really well in Facebook groups. So think about that. If you run a Facebook group.
Do you podcast or create YouTube videos? What kind of content could you create there that would fit well with affiliate links? Like instructional videos, like makeup tutorials on YouTube, do so well with affiliate links.
Podcasters most often will hook up with affiliate companies and ask for a code. So maybe they get a special discount and then they’ll say it aloud on their podcasts, like use code, blah, blah, blah at this website to save 10% and then that code is basically like their affiliate link code. Um, and so the product company will know that that’s who sent them and give them their affiliate commission at the end.
So there’s so many ways that you can do this. Of course, there are also a lot of rules and regulations and best practices to be aware of, especially with Amazon. So if, if you’re worried about that stuff, definitely joined the make money blogging course and I’ll walk you through all of it.
Um, so yeah, that, that is how I personally have earned money through affiliate marketing over the last few years.
Join the Make Money Blogging course to learn even more about affiliate marketing
I walk you through how to get started and how to be successful in the make money blogging course.
So week one kicks off Wednesday, May 20th at 11:00 AM Pacific. Again, the videos are kind of go through at your own pace, prerecorded stuff. Um, the first topic is affiliate income. So that’s what we’re diving into on Wednesday.
And you can get the course at last year’s pricing, um, through Monday the 25th, then it’s going up by $200. So it’s a great opportunity to earn 23 continuing education units and learn how to start and grow some passive income streams.
You’ll learn not only about affiliate income, but also how to make money from putting ads on your website, how to work with brands to have them pay you to write a content that uses their products. I’ll teach you how to create digital goods, like eBooks that you can sell to your audience. We’ll talk about online courses, which I have a lot of experience in. And then also membership sites, which again, I have a lot of experience and those are my top two earning income streams, even more than the affiliate income.
Um, so this is again a live round of the course, which only happens one time per year.
I only do live rounds of each of my courses once a year, um, when I update the material annually.
So every Monday there’ll be live office hours calls that you can ask me questions, they will be recorded to watch later if you can’t make it live and you can submit questions in advance.
But that’s a real great way to get accountability and feedback as you work through this stuff. So once you’re in the course you’re in, so you can continue to go through the material again and again, every time I update it and do the live rounds every year, you’re automatically included in all those future versions of the course at no extra cost.
So if that sounds good, head on over to the unconventional rdbb.com click the make money blogging course and sign on up. I’m really excited to see you there.
And side note before we sign off, if you don’t really have an audience yet again, I would highly recommend taking the SEO made simple course because that will help you get more people to your site so these monetization strategies will actually work. It’s very hard to use them at a high level if you don’t have anyone reading your content or listening to you or taking your recommendations. So don’t put the cart before the horse please.
And if you don’t have a website yet, that’s totally fine. I got you covered. Just go to the unconventional rd.com and then click the free start, a website tutorial at the top of the website.
Oh, okay. How long did I freaking talk? Oh, just over an hour and not bad. All right, well I hope to see a lot of you guys on Wednesday when I kick off the live round of the course.
Um, but other than that, I will see you next Monday for the next episode of this podcast.
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Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.