You’ve been blogging for a little over a year, have produced a library of wonderful content and are finally ready to monetize. But, you have a few concerns. Will adding affiliate links ruin the integrity of my content? (Or – I don’t want my site to be full of flashing, blinking, obnoxious ads!!)
Don’t panic. My goal in today’s post is to put those fears to rest with an example of subtle (not sneaky) ways to include Affiliate links in your blog posts.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Below, I’ve written a sample blog post with no less than ten Affiliate links* using a variety of different strategies that allow the content to maintain integrity and entertain readers while also providing the value of suggestions. Here’s what I did…
1. Image Map: When featuring a number of products, grab images from a Merchants’ Datafeed and create one big image (you can do this with paint!). Once you have the image, create an image map so you can use an Affiliate link on each separate product.
2. Timeline JS: There are a lot of open source tools you can also use with Affiliate links. For this example, I used Timeline JS. Within this Timeline, I added Affiliate links relevant to my different agenda suggestions.
3. A Simple Banner: There is nothing wrong with a simple, relevant banner in the middle of your post. Don’t forget to acknowledge the banner is there, otherwise it looks like you just plopped it down in the middle of your content with little thought to your readers.
The greatest ideas are the simplest.
3. Text Links: The simplest way to add an Affiliate link is by text link. The reader is not bombarded with an ad, but understands that if they want to learn more, it’s just a click away. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of text links in a list, but use however you see fit.
4. Your Own Image: Your readers love to be a part of your life. Instead of using another banner or Merchant image, why not use an image of your own and make it a click-able Affiliate link?
5. Coupons & Deals: Who doesn’t love a good coupon or deal! It’s a great resource for your readers and typically high converting. As long as your don’t fill your post with an overwhelming number of deals (less than 4), your reader will be excited.
*For this example, the links in this post are not Affiliate links. But each of the linked retailers featured in this post can also be found on the ShareASale Affiliate Network.
—– Example Blog Below —–
Traveling to Chicago in the Winter? 5 Things to Know.
Chicago in the winter time is simply unpredictable. The weather can go from a balmy 38 to a bitter -9 in just under 24 hours. Regardless of the weather, the winter can be a great time to visit Chicago. Museum lines are significantly shorter, sought-after restaurant reservations are easier to find and hotel costs are generally less expensive.
Planning your trip should be relatively easy, but there are a few things you should be aware of as you are planning. As a native Chicagoan, I’ve put together a list of five “Things to Know When Traveling to Chicago in the Winter”.
1. Pack Appropriately
This should be somewhat obvious, but nevertheless, worth repeating. You will need a pair of warm boots, a proper winter jacket, a warm hat, a pair of gloves and a scarf. Skip the pumps unless you can wear them with tights and opt for a nice pair of leather boots. You’ll thank me later when you are waiting for a cab at 11pm in snowbanks getting frost bite.
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2. Plan an Indoor Agenda
While I love the architectural tour, walking down the lake path and perusing the shops on Michigan Ave – these are not winter time activities. Plan out an indoor agenda before you arrive in Chicago. Choose from breweries, sporting events, musicals, restaurant tours, bus tours, etc…
3. Know the Local Craft Beer
There are over 25 breweries in the city of Chicago. Head to bars with a great selection of beers on tap. In terms of breweries, you can head to Piece Pizza & Brewery, Haymarket, Revolution or Rock Bottom. Or, head to The Publican, Delilah’s, Owen & Engine, Jerry’s or Bangers and Lace for a great on-tap selection (plus many-many more!).
4. Make Reservations & Buy Tickets in Advance
While it is a little less busy during the winter, it’s still important to make reservations and buy tickets in advance. It could be cheaper to buy last minute, but do you really want to worry about it when you arrive? Meh. I would recommend the following sites to look for tickets and reservations:
5. Public Transportation and Cabs = Your Friend!
If you are staying in the city for a weekend, there is really no reason to drive. Why worry about $50+ for parking if you don’t have to? We have a network of trains and buses that connect you to every part of the city. And, if you opt out of public transportation, there is an abundance of cabs available.
Not only does it make a nice coffee table book, but it’s great to give as a gift for anyone else who went on the trip with you!
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