If you are an enthusiastic blogger, how do you gain feedback on how valued your writing is to your readership? Perhaps you pay close attention to the monthly analytical stats which provide a snapshot of the fluctuations of site traffic. This will certainly help you to gauge which articles you posted gained particular attention. Assuming you generate enough interest to keep you incentivized as a blogger, have you ever considered how you could transform steady web traffic into a regular income? Surely this is any website manager's dream?

The fact is, it is entirely possible to monetize your blog once you become familiar with how affiliate marketing operates. Here are the four basic steps for setting up a profitable business.

Sign up to a worthwhile program

The way affiliate marketing works is for a retailer to offer access to their products or services via an affiliate program; effectively a series of hyperlinks which you can then host on your own web platform. Whenever a customer makes a purchase or signs up to a service, you receive a commission. It is therefore important to choose an affiliate program which stands a reasonable chance of attracting attention.

In tandem with this consideration, you also need to focus on the subject matter you feel most confident blogging about. Ideally, you should select items which will tie in with whatever topic is central to your site. For instance, if you blog about health and exercise issues, it would make sense to promote nutritional diet products or gym equipment. If you blog about relationships, think of promoting dating offers.

Focus on your strengths as a blogger

There may be a temptation to place affiliate hyperlinks in prominent places in some suitably eye-catching font, surrounded by ‘by this now' headings. This is not how affiliate marketing works and would deter far more potential customers than attract sales. No one is going to be randomly visiting your blog expecting to buy anything. The reason site visitors are alighting on your homepage is because they are keen to engage in your blog content.

Think of the links as an afterthought, ensuring they flow logically with the bulk of your articles. If you write engaging web content which encourages customers to keep returning to your blog, you stand the best chance of enticing them to investigate the links.

Pay close attention to your site design

Blogs are often a functional form of a website, with little in the way of unnecessary frills. There may be images, but the primary focus is the text itself. Because blogging is often done by individuals who are not out to generate income, there is often a scant need for any dynamic HTML or coding. A blog does what it says on the tin.

But when you are setting up your website as a platform for hosting affiliate links, you need to think more creatively. Anyone searching the Internet specifically to purchase products expects to come across strong images of the items, with concise descriptions. So when designing your blog as a method of promoting items, it’s important to maintain a professional tone.

Analyze and improve

You must continually strive to improve customer experience, so always be self-critical when it comes to considering ways of developing your blog. Referring back to those monthly stats, think of downloading specialized software which will give an in-depth analysis of how your marketing campaign is operating. You can decide who is reading your blog and when, which countries are they coming from, and which articles are gaining the most attention. Manage your blog accordingly.