Affiliate marketing is a fundamental part of how the internet works today. It’s one of the easiest ways for content creators of all stripes to make money from our work. But it’s hard to do affiliate marketing well.
I’m guilty of one of the biggest sins myself: I do put up affiliate links on this site and others as a matter of course. You can read about the details in my site policies if you’re concerned. But I do so a bit haphazardly and I don’t make any special efforts to promote affiliate products or services. That’s not necessarily going to change, but I’ve been wanting to learn more about my options and get more information about whether it’s worth my while to be more proactive about affiliate marketing.
How to Turn Traffic & Trust Into Sales is the gold standard for information about affiliate marketing these days, at least if you want to make sure that you’re not doing anything skeezy that could lead your audience to think poorly of you. Personally, I’m like most creatives: I’ve got a fair amount of ego invested in my writing and if people suddenly started hating my work because I tried to sell to them too much, I’d have some serious emotional problems. I’ve heard about Traffic & Trust numerous times since Nick Reese brought it out in 2011, though, from people who I trust to have a clear understanding of how to make money without offending your audience.
It took me a while to get past the price point, though: it’s $97 for a 74-page ebook. Despite the cost, though, I’ve come to the conclusion that these are the right 74 pages. Traffic & Trust is a step-by-step guide that can get almost anyone a return on that investment. I say almost anyone because you do need to be able to write or otherwise produce interesting and valuable content before you get started. While you can follow Reese’s instructions to get going from scratch, I’d recommend that you should already have some experience with blogging before you buy the ebook.
Beyond that, though, I’m impressed. Reese included a workbook that can guide through the process of setting yourself up to market affiliate products correctly. Adding more to this book would just slow the process down.
I’ve been casually involved in affiliate marketing for years now — I opened my Amazon Associates account around 2007 or so. But I didn’t realize what I didn’t know about affiliate marketing: I’d never invested that much time in learning about the details. That’s the real value of Traffic & Trust: it takes you from a beginner’s level of knowledge well into intermediate quickly. It would take weeks for someone who didn’t know what they’re looking for to collect this information and boil it down to the important parts. Since I’m not prepared to invest that kind of time, I’m very pleased with what I’ve learned, even in the context of the price tag.
You probably won’t be seeing much more affiliate marketing here than before, in case you’re worried. But it will be better organized on the back end and stress me out a lot less.