So you’ve built a blog, you’ve gotten some traffic, and you are now wondering how to insert affiliate links into your blog posts and monetize them effectively. Get ready to turn your hobby into a business. I will show you exactly how you need to insert an affiliate link into your post in this article.
This article will explain why you should be monetizing your site with affiliate marketing. We’ll show you three ways to insert affiliate links into your blog posts, and we’ll help you to keep them all organized.
If you’re ready to take your blog to the next level with affiliate marketing, then let’s dive in.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of cost-per-action (CPA) advertising, where you link to a product from your blog. If a reader clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission on that sale.
Affiliate marketing is very popular for two reasons. First, it’s semi-passive income. Once you have affiliate links in your content, there’s very little upkeep to do.
Also, affiliate marketing is a low-risk form of monetization. If you are selling your own products, you need to worry about overhead, customer service, warehousing, returns, etc. It’s a ton of work.
If you monetize with display ads, you are trading away your user experience. There’s no work to do, but you won’t make as much money, and your readers will hate the ads (everyone does).
That’s why people love affiliate marketing. When done right, you can monetize your blog content with almost no effort, and you can improve your reader’s experience. They came to your site to solve a problem, and the products you recommend will solve it. And, since they trust you now, they’ll keep coming back for more.
It’s literally a win-win-win.
What are affiliate links?
Affiliate links are a special type of link to a retailer’s website. These links usually have a tracking ID inserted that is unique to you.
When a reader clicks on your link, the retailer’s website starts tracking a cookie in their web browser. If they buy something in the agreed-upon time frame, you get paid.
For example, if you have a link to a product on Amazon, and a reader clicks on it, you get credit for anything they buy in the next 24 hours.
How to get affiliate links?
You can get affiliate links by signing up and getting approved by different affiliate marketing programs.
Most programs have different rules and requirements, but they all follow a similar pattern. You apply, get approved, and they give you access to a dashboard with your unique referral links.
Why link management is important?
When you first start affiliate marketing, it might not be hard to keep track of everything. However, as you keep building your site, soon you’ll have to worry about hundreds or thousands of affiliate links.
What will you do if a product is discontinued? Or how will you know if links break? Things can quickly get out of hand.
That’s why we recommend you implement some type of link management system. Whether it’s a WordPress plugin or a spreadsheet, you will save time, money, and headaches.
Why conversion rate is important?
Would you rather have a lot of bad traffic or a little bit of great traffic?
If your pages get a lot of views, but you never make any money, then your blog is not a business. If you want affiliate marketing to work, you need to optimize your conversion rate.
Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit your website who go on to make a purchase. It’s much easier to optimize your conversion rate than to acquire more traffic, and it’s often more profitable.
There are many things you can do to optimize your conversion rate, like good product displays, using images, and warming up traffic. We’ll get into those a bit later.
How to insert affiliate links into your blog posts?
There are probably hundreds of ways to insert affiliate links into your blog posts. We’ve chosen our three favorites to show you.
Method 1: Use the Lasso WordPress plugin
Lasso is a WordPress plugin designed to make life easier for affiliate marketers. It helps you manage your links, increase conversions, and find new opportunities.
The way Lasso does this is two-fold.
First, Lasso gives you no-code displays to insert into your blog posts. These product displays have been proven to increase conversions, and they couldn’t be easier to use.
Lasso also gives you a single dashboard to manage all your affiliate links. If a link breaks or a product is discontinued, you can change the link once, and it will update every instance of that link across your entire website.
Lasso checks two boxes; it saves you time and money. Here’s how to use it.
Step 1. Sign up for the Lasso
You can click here to try Lasso free for 14 days.
Once you get to their signup page, enter your basic information and sign up for their trial. You will be brought to a page where you can download a .ZIP file of the Lasso plugin.
Step 2. Install and activate the plugin
Once you’ve downloaded the plugin file, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on “Plugins” in the left sidebar. Then click “Add New” at the top of the page and upload the Lasso .ZIP file.
When you’ve installed the plugin, click activate and follow the setup instructions. This is where you get to do the fun stuff like customizing display settings, as well as the essential things like linking Amazon Associates and Google Analytics to Lasso.
Step 3. Add affiliate links
Once you’ve configured Lasso the way you want it, it’s time to start adding links. From your Lasso dashboard, click “Add New Link” and paste the product link from the affiliate program. Then you’ll be brought to the link details page.
On that page, you can customize anything you want about the display. If your link is from a supported retailer, like Amazon or Walmart, the title, price, and product image will populate automatically. Otherwise, you can input that info by hand.
When you’re done customizing that product display, you can click “save changes,” and you’ll be ready to insert that affiliate link into blog posts.
Step 4. Insert your affiliate links or displays into your posts
Once you’ve created your product links in Lasso, there are two primary ways to insert the link into your blog posts.
From the link details page, you can click “copy shortcode.” Your product display will be inserted anywhere on your site that you paste that shortcode.
The other way is to use the Lasso block in the WordPress post editor. Click the Lasso button, select the display type you want (single-display, list, grid, button, etc.), and look up the product by name.
Also, if you just want to use a text link, simply highlight the text in the post editor, click the link button, search for the product name, and select the Lasso link from the list.
Again, when you insert links with Lasso, they are all tracked through your dashboard. So, if you need to update, change, or replace a link, you can do it in your dashboard. The link will update across your entire site.
Method 2: Use the Simple URLs plugin
Simple URLs is strictly a link-management plugin. It gives you an easy and free way to manage the affiliate links on your blog.
This plugin lives up to the name; it’s simple. You won’t get displays or notifications, but you can keep track of your links to different products.
Simple URLs was acquired by the same people who own Lasso, but they didn’t build it. It’s like a lite version of the Lasso plugin.
If you’re just looking for a way to insert affiliate links into your blog and keep them straight, here’s how you can do it with Simple URLs.
Step 1. Install and activate the plugin
From your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins” in the sidebar. Then click on “Add New” at the top of the page, and search the WordPress directory for Simple URLs. You’ll see an option with Simple URLs in the title that is published by Lasso. That’s the correct plugin.
Click “Install” and then click “Activate.” That’s all there is to it. Now you just need to start adding links.
Step 2. Input and name your affiliate links
To add your links to Simple URLs, click on the plugin option in the left sidebar. Then, click “Add New” at the top of the page.
You’ll be brought to a simple link page. Type in a title for your affiliate link that you’ll be able to remember (the product name works best), and paste your affiliate link in the URL information area. Then click publish.
Now that your affiliate link is in Simple URLs, you’re ready to insert it into some blog posts.
Step 3. Insert your affiliate links into blog posts
To insert affiliate links into your blog posts, go to the post editor. Simply highlight the text you want to link from, click the link button, and search for the title you created.
You will see a link with the type “surls.” Choose that option and hit enter and you’ll be all set.
When you insert links this way, you will have better control over your affiliate offers. If a link breaks or needs to be replaced, you can do it from the Simple URLs dashboard. It will update every place that link is found on your site.
Method 3: Insert your links manually
Inputting links manually are by far the most time-consuming and risky method. It can be easy to lose track of your links, and you can lose money over time if you aren’t careful.
However, manually inserting links is free and doesn’t require an additional plugin on your site. If you want your site to be as lightweight as possible, then this is your best option. Here is how to do it the right way:
Step 1. Keep track of your affiliate links
Before you ever put an affiliate link on your site, start a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Make columns for your products’ names, affiliate links, and locations on your site.
This is a step most people will regret skipping. If you don’t know where your affiliate links are, you won’t notice when something goes wrong. Make a spreadsheet and stay on top of it.
Step 2. Insert your affiliate links into your posts
To insert a bare affiliate link, all you have to do is highlight the text in the post editor, click the link icon, and paste your affiliate link. Press enter and your link will be in your blog post.
Remember, as soon as you paste that link, mark down the location in your link-tracking spreadsheet. You can thank us later.
Tips for inserting affiliate links into blog posts
Now that you know how to insert affiliate links into your blog posts, there are still a few best practices to keep in mind.
Note: These tips don’t necessarily apply to all three methods we’ve discussed.
Tip 1: Label your affiliate links as “sponsored”
In the past few years, Google has been cracking down on sites with standard “no-follow” links to their affiliate offers. In the interest of full transparency, they want everyone to use a “sponsored” tag with their affiliate links.
If you use Lasso, you don’t need to worry about this. Lasso does this for you.
There are a couple of ways to add a “sponsored” tag to a link. The easiest way is to click the edit icon on the link in the post editor and set the relationship to “sponsored.
The other way is to go to the HTML editor and add rel=“sponsored” to your <a> tags. Remember to do this for every affiliate link, even though it gets tedious. You don’t want your search engine reputation to suffer.
Tip 2: Be compliant with affiliate programs
Every affiliate program you’ll join will have some type of terms you have to agree to. It’s important that you comply with these rules. Otherwise, you might forfeit any commissions you earn.
For example, Amazon Associates only allows you to use their images with an API key. So, if you download images from Amazon and upload them on your site, you are in breach of your agreement. They can suspend or even ban your account.
It’s important to give a cursory readthrough of the terms you’ve agreed to before you start inserting affiliate links into blog posts. It can be the difference between making money and losing it.
Tip 3: Optimize your affiliate offers
It is always going to be easier to make more from your current traffic than to get new traffic. That’s why it’s important to optimize your conversion rate however you can.
Images are a huge sales driver. Also, using contrasting colors for your call-to-action buttons can increase your conversions by over 20%.
Another thing you can do to optimize your affiliate offers gives your audience multiple buying options. If you offer a product from Amazon and Walmart, your reader can decide where they want to spend their money. It’s good for conversions and user experience.
Tip 4: Check back on your affiliate links
Again, if you are using Lasso, this doesn’t apply to you. You’ll get notified if something happens to a link.
However, if you use Simple URLs or spreadsheets, you should periodically check that your links are up and working correctly.
Things happen. Links break, products are discontinued, retailers slash commission rates. You will have to fix links at some point.
We recommend you set aside a block of time every week to check that the offers in your spreadsheet are still good and the links on your site are still functioning. Even if you just spot-check your affiliate links, you can save yourself a fortune in lost commissions.
Final thoughts about how to insert affiliate links into blog posts
If you’ve made it this far, and read through our tips section, then it should be easy to see why the Lasso WordPress plugin is our favorite way to insert affiliate links into blog posts. It just eliminates so many headaches.
Yes, it requires a monthly or yearly subscription, and the other options are free, but think about what you are paying for. You’ll always know when a link breaks. All of your links are in one location. You get product boxes that convert, and you never have to worry about compliance issues. That is a lot of value.
However, if you are trying to keep that budget tight, Simple URLs is a great option. It’s similar to the manual options but more efficient than spreadsheets. It still provides you with a central location for all your affiliate links.
We would only recommend tracking your affiliate links in spreadsheets if you are trying to keep your WordPress site super lean.
No matter which option you choose to employ on your blog, affiliate marketing could change your life. So go out there, insert some affiliate links into your blog posts, and change your hobby into your business.