Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways to monetize a Christian blog. Unfortunately, most fall short in seeing conversions because they don't have an effective strategy in place and just randomly add links in different blog posts. In order to see consistent conversions (sales) on your affiliate links, you must have a solid strategy in place which includes marketing directly to your target audience. Here are some tips for affiliate marketing for Christian bloggers.
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This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
**If you haven't yet started your Christian blog or are just getting started, be sure to read 10 Steps to Starting a Successful Christian Blog Ministry.
Affiliate Marketing for Christian Bloggers
Just in case you are new to the term, affiliate marketing is where you promote products for different companies and earn a commission when a sale is generated. This is one of the most common ways Christian bloggers earn money. Affiliate links can be shared in blog posts, resource pages, and on your social channels.
Before I jump into the “how” of using affiliate links, it is important to understand the 2 most important factors that will affect your success with affiliate marketing as a Christian blogger.
- Having a clearly defined target audience. The products and/or services that you recommend should have some clear relation to the needs of your audience.
- Understanding SEO and keyword research. Whether you are mentioning a product in a blog post or writing a post specifically about a particular product, it is important that you choose the best keyword to ensure organic traffic to the post.
How to Use Affiliate Links on Your Blog
There are a variety of ways to recommend products/services on your blog. Many Christian bloggers are concerned with sounding “sales-ey” and often shy away from using affiliate links. Hopefully, the following tips will help you find a happy balance that you are comfortable with. Just remember that SEO is the key for all of these.
**If you are looking for some great programs to join, be sure to check out our List of Affiliate Programs for Christian Bloggers.
Review Posts – These are the most obvious ways to recommend products/services. Many Christian bloggers do book review posts which make it easy to insert an affiliate link for the book being reviewed. Other reviews could include products or services that serve your audience. A great example of this would beNeed help with how to use affiliate links on your Christian blog? Here are 8 ways to write content that converts! #ChristianBloggingTips Click To Tweet
Product Roundup Posts – These are basically “list-posts” in which you provide a listing of a particular type of product. When writing these, ensure you write them like a full blog post with headings and paragraphs. Pick products that make sense for your audience. Make sure you do keyword research to choose the best keyword phrase to rank for so you can get the organic traffic to the post. You can see examples of a product roundup post below:
- The Best Large Print Bibles for the Visually Impaired Christian
- The 6 Best Devotional Books for Young Women
“How to” (Tutorial) Posts – These are great because most people will go to Google to find instructions and supplies for doing different things. Christian mom bloggers, for example, can publish a variety of DIY posts for kids activities. Simply link to the products needed to do the project (Amazon is great for this!). Bible journaling tips are another great idea for Christian bloggers because there are so many different supplies needed for the different styles.
Solution Posts – These are posts that are SEO'd around a problem and the solution. An example of this would be something like “5 Ways to Make Bible Study Fun” where one of the ways includes Bible Study Coloring Journals. These posts are structured around the problem, not the affiliate product and can often have more than one product mentioned in the post.
Resource Pages – Resource pages are a great addition to your blog. These should be resources that your target audience would benefit from and should include a combination of affiliate links and regular links. You can create more than one resource page to address the different needs of your audience. You can see some of our Resource Pages below:
Gift Guides – These are great to offer your readers for the different holidays throughout the year. You can create them as a blog post that published to your feed and/or on page templates. Be sure to go back to older gift guide posts and update them for the current year (change the products and links). To keep them visible during a particular holiday season, link to them in your navigation menu and also create a clickable image for your sidebar. Once the season has passed, you can remove the navigation link and the image (or leave it year-round).
Product Widget – Amazon and a few other affiliate programs enable you to create widgets that display several products. You can see at the end of this post, the Amazon widget showing 4 books related to affiliate marketing. I add these to every post on Kingdom Bloggers and choose products that relate to the content of the individual post.
Shop Page – Creating a Shop page enables you to display a variety of products in a way that looks more like a store checkout and doesn't require you to write blog content with the products. Laura at Cheered On Mom has a really pretty Shop Page where she recommends a variety of products to her audience. Be sure to mention (and link to) your shop page in your regular blog posts!Trying to figure out how to use affiliate links on your Christian blog? This post can help! #ChristianBloggingTips #affiliatemarketing Click To Tweet
Legal Requirements for Affiliate Marketing (Blog)
Affiliate marketing does come with legal requirements. At a minimum, you must disclose the use of affiliate links to your readers. The easiest way to do this is to create an Affiliate Disclosure on a page template and link to it in every single post. You can see ours directly under the pinnable image at the top of this post. Your disclaimer must be visible BEFORE the use of any affiliate links.
If you are an Amazon affiliate, you must also include specific verbiage in your disclosure and place that text to where it is visible on every page where links might be used. The easiest way to accomplish this is to add their disclaimer as a text widget to your sidebar (see ours at the bottom of the sidebar on the right).
Ways to Boost Conversions on Your Affiliate Links
Writing a post is just the first step! After you've published a post, be sure to:
- Create multiple pinnable images and share them (spaced out) on Pinterest.
- Mention (and link to) your resource pages, shop page, and gift guides in your individual blog posts.
- Add links to your resource pages, shop page, and gift guides in your navigation menu and on your sidebar.
- When using Amazon links, use the image by itself (not with the yellow box around it).
Be sure to also read:
- 4 Simple Ways to Monetize a Christian Blog
- Creating and Selling Digital Products as a Christian Blogger
- Defining Your Christian Blog Audience – Why So Many Christian Blogs Don’t Flourish
- Shop Graphics for Christian Blogs