SiteGround Affiliate Program Review – No Longer My Recommended Host (Leaving After $391,235 In Commissions)

After making $391,235 with SiteGround’s affiliate program, it’s time to say goodbye.

The company has been changing too many things (price increases, reduced support, replacing cPanel with Site Tools, moving customer accounts to Google Cloud, and unfixable CPU limits).

This is all listed in my updated SiteGround review.

Yes, I was one of the first affiliates to promote SiteGround. Yes, they used to be very good. But things have changed in the hosting industry and better, faster options have become available. It’s time to adapt and promote who most people are recommending in Facebook Groups. That’s why I joined Cloudways affiliate program and started promoting them instead of SiteGround.

Keep in mind: my blog is about website speed, not being cheap. My audience wants fast, solid hosting. Promoting Cloudways affiliate program may not be right for you especially if you’re creating “how to start a blog” tutorials in which case most bloggers and YouTubers recommend cheap/easy hosting like Bluehost. You can promote who you want, my goal is to simply give you tips for choosing the best affiliate program for your audience and why it may not be SiteGround.

SiteGround Affiliate Program Review

 

1. Why I Stopped Promoting SiteGround

Over the years, the amount of SiteGround complaints have skyrocketed. Search “SiteGround” in Facebook Groups and here are just a few bad things they have done, as shown in my review.

  • Price Increases – increased prices twice in 2018 and 2020, plus high renewals.
  • Reduce Support – took away live chat and moved priority support to GoGeek.
  • CPU Limits – unexplainable and often unfixable CPU limits even on cloud hosting.
  • Corruption In Facebook Groups – SG community manager is admin of WP Speed Up.
  • Slower TTFB – slower over the years as shown in my test on SiteGround’s test server.
  • Forcing Customers Onto Big G – moved customers to Google Cloud without warning.
  • No More cPanel – ditched cPanel for Site Tools as soon as cPanel’s price increased.
  • Profits – they seem to only make changes with profits in mind, not their customers.

SiteGround Support Feedback

SiteGround Cloud Hosting 503

SiteGround Google Cloud Concerns

 

2. No Longer #1 Rated Host In Facebook Polls

SiteGround used to be #1 in most Facebook polls, but not recently.

Now it’s mainly Cloudways. If you still want to promote SiteGround, I have screenshots of polls where they are rated #1, but most of these polls are from years ago when SiteGround was good.

2020 Hosting Poll

VPS Cloud Hosting WooCommerce Poll

Hosting Recommendations Facebook

Elementor Hosting Poll

WordPress Hosting Suggestions

VPS Cloud Hosting Poll

 

DigitalOcean, Bluehost, and A2 are some of the top SiteGround alternatives.

I understand it may be hard to change all your content to start promoting a new affiliate, but I am continuing to do this every day. This SiteGround affiliate program review needed to be updated for many months, but I finally did thanks to someone calling me naive in the comments.

Don’t promote who other affiliates are promoting. Promote the hosts who are doing well. Join Facebook Groups like WordPress Hosting or WP Speed Matters and listen to people.

SiteGround Alternative
SiteGround Alternative Beginners

 

4. Consider Bluehost’s Affiliate Program Instead

If your audience is beginners, Bluehost’s affiliate program is a good option.

Most people creating “how to start a blog” tutorials refer people to Bluehost and they have similar commissions as SiteGround ($65/sale to start, but about $150/sale once you increase sales volume). I usually don’t recommend Bluehost since they’re not fast and my blog is about speed. But they’re cheap and do the job. And like I said, the hosting company you promote should completely depend on your audience’s needs (pricing, user-friendliness, speed, etc).

Bluehost Affiliate Program

 

5. Consider Cloudways Affiliate Program Instead

If your audience is more experienced and wants better, faster hosting than SiteGround, I’m personally focusing on the Cloudways affiliate program.

I was hesitant to switch because I was doing very well with SiteGround. But once I collected my social media evidence as I did with SiteGround, I was very happy with the results. I found recent Facebook polls, positive feedback in threads, they were #1 in my unofficial Pingdom speed test, and migration results (including my own after moving from SiteGround to Cloudways DO plan).

Cloudways-Affiliates-Commissions

Cloudways-Shoutout

WordPress Hosting Load Time Test

Cloudways Affiliate Program

Cloudways Response Times

Cloudways Google PageSpeed

WP Engine To Cloudways

DigitalOcean Pingdom Report

Untitled

Godaddy DigitalOcean Migration

Cloudways Pingdom Load Times

Cloudways Pingdom Report

 

6. $50 – $160 Tier Commissions

To get higher commissions, you need more sales. This is true with SiteGround’s affiliate program (and most others). Once you do, you can negotiate your commissions with the affiliate manager.

Most hosting affiliates cap out at $150/sale or $160/sale if you’re getting around 80+ sales/month. Your affiliate manager will be more willing to negotiate commissions if you’re referring people to GoGeek, cloud, dedicated. Though SiteGround’s cloud hosting isn’t good.

SiteGround Affiliate Commissions

 

7. What Is The Average Conversion Rate?

These were my conversion rates for specific types of SiteGround affiliate links.

Keep in mind these numbers dropped when SiteGround increased prices and started having problems, so I wouldn’t expect these kinds of numbers anymore. Whatever program you choose, look at how high conversions were to their free migrations page – almost 7.5% is solid.

SiteGround Conversion Report

Overall conversions used to higher back in the day (this is their old affiliate dashboard):

SiteGround Conversion Rates

 

8. Affiliate Dashboard / Creating Custom Links

SiteGround’s affiliate dashboard has everything you need to market their hosting and get statistics: affiliate link customizer, custom link tracking, conversion and reversal reports, etc.

Affiliate Link Customizer – create custom links to any page on SiteGround’s website so you can track each one separately and see it’s conversion rate. This will also shorten the link and use siteground.com/go/ instead of yourwebsite.com/go/ which is better. You can see my link to SiteGround’s features page: (https://www.siteground.com/shared-hosting-features.htm) has a high conversion rate which means I should probably be using this affiliate link more. You can also name each of your SiteGround links as long as it’s not already in use, so choose wisely!

SiteGround Custom Affiliate Link

Conversion Report – if you want to get higher conversion rates, use my screenshots and social proof (Facebook polls, migration results, feedback on social media).

Commission Report – learn what hosting plans people are signing up for using your affiliate links, pending commissions, and the status of whether your commissions have been paid.

Banners – I’m not a fan of banners but they do have them.

SiteGround Visual Aseets

Payment Information – you will need a PayPal account.

SiteGround Affiliate Payout Details

 

9. No Coupon Codes Or Sub-Affiliate Commissions

One thing I like about other hosting companies is they let affiliates create custom coupon codes and have a two-tier affiliate program.

Coupon Codes – coupon codes are huge for YouTubers because you can share a coupon code that saves your viewers money, and if they use it, you get credit for the sale without anyone having to even click your affiliate link. Cloudways and HostGator both do this, but SiteGround does not. If you’re doing YouTube videos, you should really consider an affiliate with coupons.

This is what Tyler Moore does on his how to make a website YouTube videos.

Sub-Affiliate Commissions – this is where you refer other affiliates and if they make a sale, you get a part of their commissions (think multi-level marketing). Cloudways and WP Engine do this, but SiteGround doesn’t. It’s good if you blog about affiliate marketing and refer other affiliates.

 

10. Show Off Your Fast Site + GTmetrix Report

Getting a nice GTmetrix report will 100% help you increase sales.

This is especially true if you write about speed optimization, but it’s beneficial either way. My readers definitely check my GTmetrix report and confirm I actually know what I’m talking about. My WordPress speed guide shows you how I got such nice GTmetrix scores + load times (and has a section where you can see how I promote hosting). Not bad for a 2.56MB page size.

2020-GTmetrix-Report

 

11. Screenshots For Promoting SiteGround

In case you still want to promote SiteGround, here are some of the screenshots I used to increase both my sales + conversions (they’re a little outdated now though).

Over the last several years I have accumulated quite the collection of screenshots I use to promote SiteGround. They are all 680px (w) so you may need to resize them, but you can click each image to see the poll. You can use the polls/screenshots on your own blog if you like. Since I don’t promote SiteGround’s hosting on my blog anymore, it really doesn’t matter to me.

2019 Hosting Poll

View Poll

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

 

 

12. My Income Reports For Making $391,235 With SiteGround

I was one of the first affiliates to promote SiteGround while most people promoted Bluehost.

I contribute a lot of my success to not following the crowd and I’m doing the same thing for Cloudways. As of 2020, most affiliates are still promoting SiteGround but I have a feeling their sales will continue to go down. Promoting a different hosting company is a tough decision but is one of the main ways I grew my reader’s trust. I try to only promote the best hosting company.

Total amount paid: $391,235.00

SiteGround-Sales

Payment history (it’s been going down since promoting Cloudways):

SiteGround Affiliate Payouts

Recent commissions

SiteGround 2020 Affiliate Commissions

Commissions before they’re price increase:

SiteGround Affiliate Commissions 1

My best month with SiteGround:

SiteGround-Affiliate-Sales

Here are some emails:

January-SiteGround-Affiliate-Sales

Got affiliate of the month back in July, 2017 :)

SiteGround-Affiliate-Of-The-Month

 

12. Sign Up For SiteGround’s Affiliate Program

Here’s where you can become a SiteGround affiliate:

siteground-affiliate-signup

 

Frequently Asked Questions

💰 How do you increase sales as a SiteGround affiliate?

The main way to increase sales is to show facts (Facebook polls, migration results, GTmetrix reports). There are too many biased opinions out there and people know this. Driving SEO traffic and increasing conversions are both important for your sales.

💰 How much are SiteGround's affiliate commissions?

SiteGround offers $50 - $100+ per sale, as well as custom commissions as you increase sales which can get up to $150+.

💰 What other good hosting affiliate programs are there?

Cloudways is a great one especially since they're growing significantly and are very popular in Facebook Groups. Many people are moving from SiteGround to Cloudways.

💰 What can do in the SiteGround affiliate dashboard?

SiteGround's affiliate dashboard lets you create custom links, track sales, track conversions, access visual marketing material, fill out payment methods, and tax forms.

💰 What is the conversion rate for SiteGround's affiliate program?

The average conversion rate was around 4% after promoting SiteGround for the last 3+ years. However, this is unknown since SiteGround's price increase and other changes.

 

What Do You Think About SiteGround’s Affiliate Program?

I am curious about what other affiliates think especially after SiteGround has made so many changes. Are you still promoting them? Will you promote someone else? Leave me a comment.

SiteGround Affiliate Program

See Also: SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review

Cheers,
Tom

10 WordPress Affiliate Marketing Programs: Make Significant Passive Income Selling WordPress Hosting, Themes, Plugins, etc

If you’re in the WordPress industry and want to make money through affiliate marketing, I have the perfect list for you.

I rely on these WordPress affiliate programs to make a living and make $10,000/month endorsing hosts, themes, WordPress developers on freelancer.com, and even SEO services.

So instead of managing tons of client projects (like I used to), I’ve basically found an affiliate program for everything and just make commissions. I have a LOT more free time and my affiliate income is honestly more consistent than any income I was making through consulting.

You can sign up for many of these through shareasale.com which is used to find, track, and payout commissions from tons of merchants. But that is just one place. Browse the list and I assure you will find a new affiliate program you will be excited to make more passive income from. And don’t forget to leave me a comment if you have questions – or new programs to add!

My Personal Favorites (The Ones I Made $150k From In 2018)

  • SiteGround (Hosting) – up to $100+/sale
  • Cloudways (Hosting) – flexible commissions (but very good)
  • WP Engine (Hosting) – $200/sale
  • Elegant Themes – 50% of sales
  • StudioPress Themes – 35% of sales
  • StackPath CDN – usually $10-$20/sale
  • Freelancer.com – around 13% of first project commissions
  • SEMrush – 40% recurring commissions ($40 – $160/month)

 

WordPress Hosting

SiteGround – life changer for me… I made $80k in 2017 and $120k in 2018 just through SiteGround. I highly contribute this to showing people 26 different Facebook polls where SiteGround was ranked #1 (screenshots below). It’s $50 – $150 per sale depending on the tier you reach each month, $150 per sale if you start making 31+ sales/month (you should contact their affiliate manager and be selling some higher priced plans other than their StartUp plan). $160/sale if you hit around 81+ sales/month. Read my SiteGround review to get marketing materials. 11 sales/month will make you $13k/year. 21 sales/month and some of you can quit your job making 31.5k/year. Excellent speed, support, security, and they’ll migrate you for free.

Even though other hosting affiliates like WP Engine offer flat $200 commissions, SiteGround is highly respected in the WordPress community (and #1 in most Facebook polls) so you will likely have higher conversions and lower cancellations – even if you have to climb a tier. They raised the regular price but their promotional price is affordable and you can get it for 3 years.

SiteGround-Affiliate-Sales

97 sales x 150/sale = $14,550 in 1 month (this was in March, 2018)

siteground-affiliate-tiers

Selling SiteGround is easy when they’re rated #1 in pretty much every Facebook poll…

2019 Hosting Poll

2017-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Elementor Hosting Recommendations

July 2019 Hosting Recommendation

WordPress-Host-Poll-Aug-2018

Shared-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosting-Poll

Go-To-Hosting-Company

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

Managed-Hosting-Poll

WooCommerce-Hosting-FB-Poll

2016-Web-Hosting-Poll

Best-WordPress-Hosting-Provider-Poll

Best-Web-Hosting-2019-Poll

WP Friendly Hosting Poll

2016-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Favorite Hosting For Elementor

2018 Hosting Recommendations

WordPress Hosting Poll Sept 2018.png

Managed-WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosts-Poll-1

Hosting-Poll-For-Speed

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-June-1

SiteGround-Recommendation

2014-Managed-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Best-Web-Hosting-Provider-Poll

Hosting-Poll-Feb-2019

Hosting-Recommendations-Poll

Bluehost vs SiteGround

WordPress Web Host Poll

Here are some emails…

January-SiteGround-Affiliate-Sales

My SiteGround conversion report…

SiteGround-Affiliate-Conversions

Got affiliate of the month in July, 2017 :)

SiteGround-Affiliate-Of-The-Month

I use SiteGround because…

  1. My GTmetrixPingdom reports speak for themselves
  2. My pages load instantly (click through them if you want)
  3. Fast speed technology (PHP 7.3, NGINX, SG Optimizer, Cloudflare)
  4. Recommended by Yoast, WordPress, Ivica from WordPress Speed Up
  5. Free Let’s Encrypt SSL, easy to use cPanel, and features for eCommerce
  6. WordPress support is unbeatable even without GoGeek’s priority support
  7. GrowBig comes with staging, more storage, and more server resources (scroll down to “we allocate the resources you need” and hover over the server tab)
  8. GoGeek comes with even more server resources, storage, priority support
  9. Free migrations, migrator plugin, and a 30-day money back guarantee
  10. Plenty of praise on Reddit, Facebook conversations, Twitter, TrustPilot
  11. Tons of praise on Facebook: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7#8, #9, #10#11
  12. Many people already migrated and posted results on Twitter: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6#7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, #30, #31, #32, #33, #34, #35, #36, #37

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a chunk of the commission at no expense to you. Each year I donate $3k to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, and 2017 was Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I really do appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.

WP Engine – $200 per sale plus $50 for every sub-affiliate sale (if you refer an affiliate and they make a sale, you get $50 off each sale). If that isn’t enough, it’s also a tier affiliate program with volume bonuses. Huge commissions with 180 cookie tracking but does have a 20% reversal rate. This makes the average commission around $175 which is extremely profitable.

wp-engine-affiliate-commission

wp-engine-affiliate-tiers

Cloudways – usually the second highest rated host in Facebook polls offering higher commissions than SiteGround (once you climb to higher tiers). Doesn’t have CPU limits, a common complaint with SiteGround. Reports from the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group have been that their hosting is super faster. Only reason I don’t promote them is because I’ve been doing so well with SiteGround, they’re not #1 in every Facebook poll like SiteGround, and Cloudways is a little expensive for the average user (although SiteGround’s promotional price expires after 1-3 years and then THEY get more expensive). There are pros and cons for each.

Bluehost – $65 per sale from one the most popular WordPress hosts, however Bluehost has many bad reviews and they’re not rated high in the Facebook Poll. Most people read several reviews before finalizing a host, so I would advise you to become an affiliate for SiteGround or WP Engine who have much better ratings (plus you get higher commissions).

Godaddy – 15% commissions and even though they used to suck, they have made significant improvements in the last few years. My site loaded in less than 1 second on their cheapest shared hosting plan and their support team is based in the US (Arizona). Still, I would go with SiteGround or WP Engine. Read my SiteGround vs. Godaddy review to see the difference.

InMotion – tier starts at $50/sale up to $120 per sale. Decent host not owned by EIG.

HostGator – $50 – $125 per sale (same tier program as SiteGround) but HostGator is TERRIBLE and the reviews show it so conversions are lower. You can generate custom coupon codes which is good if you’re creating videos and makes it easier for people to type the code rather than click a link (YouTube prohibits affiliate links), which can generate even more commissions. However I’ve talked to a few other HostGator affiliates who said they made nothing because people do their research and learn they are definitely not the best choice.

 

WordPress Themes

Elegant Themes – 50% commissions selling beautiful WordPress themes that convert extremely well. Includes extra commissions if people renew their subscription. Sell their lifetime theme pack and get $150. Trusted by 350,000+ WordPress users and includes their popular Divi theme. Elegant Themes has been around forever and has a solid reputation.

Elegant-Themes-Affiliate-Payments

MyThemeShop – 55% commissions on the fastest loading themes on the market. $48 commissions for a single theme, $244 for a membership. They also have plugins – I recently switched rich snippets plugins to their WP Review Pro and promote that now. They also have a a two-tier program where you get 10% if you refer other affiliates and they make a sale.

ThemeForest – horrible affiliate program. You only get 30% of each new person’s first purchase. If they’re already an Envato/ThemeForest customer, you get jack shit. This affiliate program is horrible and I only included it here as a warning to stay away. Unless you’re promoting a reliable theme like Avada, stay away especially since all ThemeForest themes are created by independent developers who may or may not be reliable. You don’t know the code quality, whether they will come out with updates, etc. That’s why I use StudioPress for all my WordPress sites (and so do top WordPress people like Yoast and Matt Cutts from Google).

themeforest-affiliate-program

Honorable Mentions

 

Genesis Themes

StudioPress – StudioPress builds WordPress themes in the Genesis Framework and is my main affiliate for themes with over $8,000 in commissions. Read my StudioPress review if you haven’t heard of them but they are so legit. I average $28 per sale with less than 5% cancellation and high conversions since StudioPress is endorsed by tons of top WordPress people like Yoast and Matt Cutts. They are truly SEO-friendly WordPress themes that have top-notch coding, lightweight so they load fast, come with tons of Genesis plugins, and awesome documentation. Sell their Pro Plus all-theme package and get a $175 commission.

ShareASale-Affiliate-Payments

Zigzagpress – 50% commissions (costs $49 for a single theme which means $24.50). Zigzagpress is NOT a good affiliate. I was making a consistent $300/month with them, but this dropped to virtually 0 sales for almost an entire year. I also got a few complaints that when they rebranded, they deleted all their customer’s purchased themes and made their customers rebuy them. I used to love Zigzagpress but it seems they are not taking care of their affiliates or customers. They haven’t even paid me the $163 for the referalls I made to them this year – I will be deleting all my affiliate links + good reviews for them. I would definitely avoid them.

Restored 316 Designs – 20% commissions and 60 day referral period on responsive feminine Genesis themes many of which are WooCommerce-ready. Also a recommended Genesis developer listed on the StudioPress website. Restored 316 Designs has some of the highest conversion rates out of all Genesis theme stores and is my 2nd most profitable theme store.

Hello You Designs – 30% commissions on designer quality Genesis themes many of which are WooCommerce ready. Relatively new theme store but their designs are awesome – if you haven’t checked them out, definitely do it. They haven’t been around enough to become “popular” but I’ve been promoting them on only a couple blog articles and make around $100/month. I’ve also gotten great feedback from my readers and they absolutely love them.

Pretty Darn Cute Design – 35% commissions plus 5% from sub-affiliates. Mobile responsive feminine Genesis themes from a StudioPress recommended Genesis developer.

 

WordPress Development

Freelancer – if you get people asking about WordPress development and speed optimization, you can refer them to my developer in Bangladesh and make around 13% commissions from the project for the first 100 days. This has saved me a TON of time while still earning money off these inquiries. I have been working with Pronaya for over 5 years who is $40/hour. He’s built over 20 WordPress sites and optimized multiple sites to load 400% faster for clients. You can hire him by signing up for a Freelancer account then searching for user bdkamol.

Pronaya-Kumar-S-Reviews

My commissions basically pay for all the development work I need…

Freelancer-Affiliate-Earnings

It doesn’t have to be limited to design or development, you can do this with any freelancer…

freelancer-affiliate

The only downfall is you can only use an affiliate link on the Freelancer homepage. So instead of linking to someone’s profile directly, you will need to tell people to sign up through the homepage (using your affiliate link) then search the freelancer’s username. But if you show their portfolio on your website like I do (these WordPress speed projects), people will do it.

 

WordPress Plugins

WP Rocket – 20% commission on the #1 rated cache plugin in this Facebook poll (and this poll too) which makes WordPress sites significantly faster. I use it on my website and it’s easy to configure with great support/documentation. Here’s my tutorial on the WP Rocket settings.

Swift-Performance-vs.-WP-Rocket-Feb-7

2018-WordPress-Cache-Plugin-Poll

Best-WordPress-Cache-Plugin-Poll

Best-Cache-Plugin-Poll

Soliloquy – 20% per sale from one of the best lightweight slider plugins which won’t slow down your site like Revolution Slider and other robust slider plugins. It’s minimal, but it looks nice and is super easy to use. If you run the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) Plugin and see your slider plugin is causing slow load times, check out Soliloquy – or tell your clients too :)

Thirsty Affiliates – affiliate link management plugin that cloaks, tracks, and manages affiliate links. Premium version let you get stats, autolink, even add Analytics event tracking. You make 30% which is relatively small compared to other WordPress affiliate marketing programs.

CodeCanyon – 30% of each new person’s first cash deposit (same commission as ThemeForest). Marketplace for tons of WordPress plugins: sliders, HTML5 audio players, events, membership… you name, it, CodeCanyon has it, but the program is not very profitable.

 

SEO

All In One SEO Pro – 40% commission, however most people use Yoast.

SEMrush – 40% recurring commission for SEMrush subscription sales. That means $40 – $160/month for each person who continues their subscription when they sign up with your affiliate (not bad). This is one of the top rated SEO tools on the market and provides you with a large amount of data about keywords, backlinks, authority, referring domains, and more.

SEOPressor – up to 50% monthly recurring commissions on a premium SEO plugin. I have gotten spam comments from SEOPressor backlinkers, but they’re endorsed by ShoutMeLoud.

WP Review Pro – MyThemeShop’s rich snippet plugin which I use on my own website, after I switched from the unsupported WP Rich Snippets plugin. Very happy with WP Review Pro (they also have a free version) and you get nice 55% commissions which is $36.85 per sale.

 

Email Marketing

AWeber – 30% recurring commissions. As long as they’re using their account, you’re making money. Does not include limitations like MailChimp does, and pays cash instead of credits.

Constant Contact – $5 for every customer who signs up for a free trial and $105 for each new customer who becomes a paying customer. A very generous email software affiliate program.

MailChimp – earn $30 in MailChimp services for each person you refer plus 3 new inbox inspectors. However that person MUST  be a friend or colleague and both of you must also have paid accounts. Otherwise free accounts must include the MailChimp badge in emails.

 

Stock Images

ShutterStock – 20% commissions for a large selection of photos. When asking clients which stock photos they want to use on their website, send them an affiliate link if they’re buying.

iStock & Getty Images – 20% commissions for new customers, 10% for returning. You will need to email them to sign up as an affiliate but you will also find a large selection here.

 

Education

Udemy – 20% commission on any course. Instructors can create a custom link that gives them 97% commissions on their course. Udemy lowered their commissions, making it less appealing.

WP 101 – 20% commissions from one of the most reputable source of WordPress tutorials.

 

Other Affiliates

Refer WordPress – 20% commissions for wordpress.com, JetPack, and WooCommerce.

StackPath – if you blog about website speed or do it for clients, you can refer them to StackPath who bought out MaxCDN. I was making $1,000/month with MaxCDN – we’ll see how StackPath goes. It’s much harder to get accepted into their affiliate program than MaxCDN – they want to know you’re capable of producing higher sales, and that CDNs are a key part of your business/blog. I contribute my sales to writing tutorials on cache plugins which nearly all integrate StackPath – those tutorials alone get me over 500 visitors/day.

Impact-Radius-Affiliate-Sales

StackPath-Data-Centers

Kraken (Image Optimization) – losslessly compresses images to improve page load times (free plugins are nowhere near as good). For each referral you generate, Kraken will permanently increase your monthly quota by 100 MB. You will see a referral option once you’re signed up.

OptiMonster (Forms) – you know those annoying pop-ups as you’re exiting a website? I don’t like them either, but supposedly they work. Earn 20% for each sale you generate.

Amazon – if you send traffic to Amazon and someone ends up purchasing an entirely different product, you STILL get a commission from that sale. If you create Youtube tutorials you can refer people to the Blue Yeti microphone, or that dumb t-shirt you always wear during your videos. Think about physical products instead of digital goods. Earn up to 10% commissions the single largest eCommerce retailer in the world. Honestly, you’d be an idiot not to sign up.

TubeBuddy – popular software/Chrome Extension for optimizing and managing YouTube videos including audio/video effects. 30-50% recurring commissions. See plans/features here.

Know of any other good WordPress affiliate marketing programs? Let me know in the comments section (no self-promotions please). Or if you’re new to affiliate marketing and have a particular question, I am more than happy to answer it for you – just drop me a line!

p.s. WP Beginner is an affiliate for basically every WordPress affiliate program out there. Chances are if they list a company on their deals page, they also have an affiliate program.

WordPress-Affiliate-Marketing-Programs

 

What’s Next? Making Money Of Course

See my affiliate marketing guide which walks you through everything in this table of contents.

Affiliate Marketing TOC

 

Frequently Asked Questions

💰 Which affiliate program did I make $150k/year from?

SiteGround and Cloudways make up at least 90% of my affiliate income. I wrote a tutorial on affiliate marketing which shows you how I did it.

💰 Which hosting affiliate programs are most popular?

SiteGround, Bluehost, HostGator, and a couple other shared hosts are the most popular. Join WordPress Facebook Groups and check polls and people's conversations to see not only the most popular hosting companies, but where the trends are going.

💰 Where do most people make their money from?

The high majority of successful WordPress bloggers make their affiliate income through hosting. It's a high-paying, lucrative (but competitive) industry.

💰 Can I make a living promoting themes/plugins?

Do the math. If you only make $30/sale, how does that compare to hosting commissions at $150/sale? You will need to make 5x more sales which can be challenging, but it can be done with enough traffic.

💰 What is the best affiliate link management plugin?

I use the Thirsty Affiliates plugin. It's great!

Cheers and good luck,
Tom

20 Reasons Your WordPress Site Isn’t Ranking High In Google

It’s the #1 question I get…

Why isn’t my WordPress site ranker higher in Google?

The most common reasons WordPress sites don’t rank high in Google are: keywords are too competitive, lack of in-depth content, bad on-page SEO, click-through rates, or little to no links.

Whether you’re nowhere on the map, have a Google penalty, or wondering why competitors outrank you, this tutorial will help you identify what’s going on. These are the 20 most common reasons based on my last 5 years doing SEO consulting and writing these tutorials.

Go through the list and be sure to leave a comment if you found the problem or you need help. I’m glad to help anyone who takes the time to read my tutorials. Here are the main reasons why YOUR WordPress site isn’t ranking high in Google and exactly what you can do to fix it.

 

1. Lack Of Comprehensive Content

Beefing up articles to 3,000+ words is the #1 reason my blog grew to 3,000 visitors/day. Google your keyword, analyze top results, and include every important topic you can find. Use Answer The Public to find “questions keywords” and answer as many as you can. Backlinko suggests 3,000 words in many of his articles, especially if it’s cornerstone content. I beefed up my Yoast tutorial from 500 to 4,000 words and it went from 10 to 100 visitors/day in 1 week.

I don’t write 3 mediocre tutorials a week. I write 1 killer tutorial every 2 weeks.

Aim for 3,000+ words, especially if it’s a competitive keyword:

WordPress Word Count

You can get penalized for content with low word count (shallow pages), content that isn’t useful with bad bounce rates, affiliate content offering no value, and duplicate content. But even if you don’t have a penalty for thin content, that doesn’t mean some of your content doesn’t have low word count and is preventing you from ranking high.

Step 1: Identify Low Performing Content
In Google Analytics, head to Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages. Look for pages with low average time on page + high bounce rates. Low average time on page likely means people aren’t finding the content useful. High bounce rates are a bit more complex and can be from poor design, load times, navigation, pop-ups/advertising, and bad (or no) internal linking.

Landing Pages – Google Analytics

Step 2: Add A Table Of Contents
table of contents helps people navigate long posts, but also encourages you to write long content (and gives you a better chance of being awarded jump-to links using named anchors).

Table of contents HTML looks like this…
<ul>
<li><a href="/your-permalink/#item-one">Item One</a></li>
<li><a href="/your-permalink/#item-two">Item Two</a></li>
<li><a href="/your-permalink/#item-three">Item Three</a></li>
</ul>

Each subheading’s HTML looks like this…
<h3 id="item-one">Item One</h3>
<h3 id="item-two">Item Two</h3>
<h3 id="item-three">Item Three</h3>

Step 3: Beef Up Content
Now that you’ve added a TOC with a good amount of topics, write your paragraphs. Your job is really not to just make it longer, but to make your content more valuable. That usually means adding more helpful graphics, videos, or infographics. Not just spewing out text to fill the page.

Step 4: Answer Question Keywords
Answer The Public lets you search any keyword and generates a visual map (and list) of the most popular questions people are searching about that keyword. It pulls keywords from Google Autocomplete, and the greener the circles are, the more searches those keyword have.

Yoast Keywords – AnswerThePublic

 

2. Keywords Are Too Competitive

Websites with low domain authority should not compete for broad, competitive keywords. As you build domain authority (by creating great content that gets links) you can start targeting keywords with more searches. But if you struggle to get on page 1, consider going longer-tail.

Long-Tail Keywords

Step 1: Check your domain authority in Moz Link Explorer (or another tool).

Domain-Authority

Step 2: Use this chart from Orbit Media. I mostly target 3-word phrases, but I spend a LOT of time on content. More competitive keywords = more time you should invest in your content. The chart is more of a rule of thumb and doesn’t have to be taken literally, but it’s a reminder that websites with high domain authority can (in general) target more competitive keywords.

Keyword Research Shortcut

Step 3: Download MozBar and Keywords Everywhere. These let you Google any keyword and see a keyword’s competition: monthly searches, each search results’s DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority), etc. Of course, the most important step is clicking on top results and checking how “good” the content is, and make sure you can write better content than theirs.

Keyword-Competition

A keyword is more competitive if:

  • It’s broad
  • It has a high DA + PA in MozBar
  • The keyword is obviously profitable
  • Strong content ranks in the top results
  • Authority websites rank in the top results
  • The keyword has a high number of monthly searches

Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for

  • Instead of SEO Consultant, target WordPress SEO Consultant
  • Instead of Chicago Web Designer, target Chicago WordPress Designer
  • Instead of Get Out Of Debt, target Get Out Of Debt Without Bankruptcy
  • Instead of SiteGround Reviews, target SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review

 

3. Too Much Focus On 1 Single Keyword

Many businesses get obsessed with ranking for 1 keyword, when this is actually a horrible strategy. I rank for thousands of keywords, and even though I rank #1 for keywords like “WordPress SEO Consultant,” I get way more inquiries through my blog than my service pages.

If you’re a photographer in Chicago, here are some ideas:

Google-Autocomplete-Fill-In-The-Blank-1

 

4. Too Much Focus On Yoast Green Lights

Obsessing over Yoast’s green lights can lead to keyword stuffing and make pages look spammy. Stop thinking SEO is so much about “keyword usage” and start thinking about keeping people engaged with your site through videos, tutorials, and things that people actually would actually want to learn/share/link to. The only time I think about keywords is when I do keyword research, write a keyword-rich (but nice sounding) headline, and craft an enticing meta description so people click my link. I rely on my kick-ass content to do the rest.

What’s Yoast’s SEO Analysis should say:

WARNING: injecting keywords in your content/snippets makes them look spammy. Have you thought about writing an SEO title + meta description to increase CTR? Every result in Google will be using the keyword – why would anyone click your link? Yes, you should use your keyword in the page title, URL, SEO title, and meta description (the most important places)… but don’t inject keywords just to get green lights. Forget about keyword density and keywords in subheadings… add a table of contents to organize longer posts, use videos, infographics, rich snippets, social sharing images, and beef up thin content to make it better (more detailed) than the top search results.

 

5. You’re Using Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is designed for AdWords, not SEO! The competition is for AdWords, and I have personally found the keywords don’t reflect what people are actually searching. Google Autocomplete, or any keyword tool that pulls from Google Autocomplete, is more accurate.

Google-Keyword-Planner

 

6. Slow Load Times

My WordPress speed guide shows you how I got <1s load times with 100% scores in GTmetrix, but I listed the most important factors below. You probably know Google rewards fast sites.

This video should help (timestamps are in the video description):

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

2019 Hosting Poll

2017-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Elementor Hosting Recommendations

July 2019 Hosting Recommendation

WordPress-Host-Poll-Aug-2018

Shared-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosting-Poll

Go-To-Hosting-Company

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

Managed-Hosting-Poll

WooCommerce-Hosting-FB-Poll

2016-Web-Hosting-Poll

Best-WordPress-Hosting-Provider-Poll

Best-Web-Hosting-2019-Poll

WP Friendly Hosting Poll

2016-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Favorite Hosting For Elementor

2018 Hosting Recommendations

WordPress Hosting Poll Sept 2018.png

Managed-WordPress-Hosting-Poll-2017

2019-Hosts-Poll-1

Hosting-Poll-For-Speed

WordPress-Hosting-Poll-June-1

SiteGround-Recommendation

2014-Managed-WordPress-Hosting-FB-Poll

Best-Web-Hosting-Provider-Poll

Hosting-Poll-Feb-2019

Hosting-Recommendations-Poll

Bluehost vs SiteGround

WordPress Web Host Poll

My GTmetrix report

2019-GTmetrix-Report

My Pingdom report

2019-Pingdom-Report

 

7. Low Click-Through Rates

Everyone knows click-through rates are important (and are used as a ranking factor), but how do you get people clicking on your link? Below are 4 easy ways to increase click-through rates.

Click-Through-Rates

Step 1: Use Yoast’s Bulk Editor To Rewrite SEO Titles + Meta Descriptions
Yoast’s bulk editor lets you edit your SEO titles + meta description in bulk so you don’t have to go through each individual page/post. Rewriting these to sound nicer (and of course, include your keyword) is an easy way to increase CTR. Just remember the bulk editor doesn’t detect keywords or character length, so be sure you’re keeping these in mind (length is around 55 characters for SEO titles, 155 characters for meta descriptions). Everyone is going to include the keyword in their snippet – why would anyone click on your link? Your tutorial is current, you have a video tutorial, infographic? Tell them why! Try using numbers and clever adjectives.

Yoast-Bulk-Editor

Step 2: Add Rich Snippets
I use the WP Review Pro plugin by MyThemeShop (see a demo or a page I use it on). I was using WP Rich Snippets but the developer abandoned his plugin, and All In One Schema looks way too plain with virtually no customization options. I’ve been happy with WP Review Pro.

Structured Data Review Stars

Step 3: Add Post Modified Date To Search Results
Make time-sensitive content look fresh. First, enable “date in snippet preview” in Yoast’s settings. Next, add “post modified date” to the top of blog posts (this is in a different location for everybody, but for me it’s in the Genesis Simple Edits plugin). Now, whenever you update a post, the date will refresh in search results. You can use the Republish Old Posts plugin to refresh all posts to current day, but it’s a little cheap since you actually didn’t update the posts.

Publish Date

Entry-Meta

Step 4: Get In Google’s Featured Snippets

  • Create an HTML table of contents (if targeting lists)
  • Make each item in the TOC concise and actionable to solving the problem
  • Target a keyword where people want a concise answer
  • Use Moz Keyword Explorer to identify question keywords
  • Use Answer The Public to find even more question keywords
  • Choose whether the answer should be a paragraph, list, or table
  • Design a nice graphic (or take a photo) describing the keyword
  • Use optimal character length (see photo below taken from Moz)
  • Create fact-based content with quality references (links, graphics, etc)
  • Target keywords that already have an featured snippet but do a poor job
  • If you’re aiming for the answer box, target your keyword using an exact match
  • Make sure you’re on the 1st page for the keyword, if not, improve the content

Featured Snippets

Optimial-Featured-Snippets-Length

 

8. Not Optimizing For Social Sharing

Customize how your content looks when shared on Facebook/Twitter…

facebook-share

In Yoast go to SEO → Social, then enable meta data under the Facebook/Twitter tab. While you’re here, don’t forget to verify your site with Pinterest and add your Google+ page to Yoast.

Yoast-Social-Meta-Data

Now edit a page/post, scroll down to the Yoast section, click the share link (shown below) and you will be able to upload images to Facebook (1200 x 630px) and Twitter (1024 x 512px). Yes, this means you need to create 2 graphics for each piece of content if you want it to look nice.

yoast-social-media-optimization

 

There is no perfect number, but I usually have 50+ links in my 3,000 word tutorials.

Internal links – a natural way to build links to your own website, keep people on your site longer, and reduce bounce rates by getting people clicking on other stuff you’ve written.

External Links – these are like citing sources to Google. Linking to credible, useful content that your readers would find helpful (not just Wikipedia) develops trust with Google.

 

10. Lack Of Cornerstone Content

Here’s a tip… instead of blogging just to blog how about writing “the ultimate guide” on a key topic your audience wants to learn about? Yoast and WP Rocket are 2 of mine… people aren’t going to link to my WordPress SEO Consulting page, but by attracting links through my tutorials… the “link juice” will benefit my entire site by increasing my domain authority. So if you run your site through Link Explorer and don’t have many links, write some ultimate guides.

WordPress-SEO-Series

 

11. Not Using SSL

I added SSL in 2018 and surprisingly, my rankings went up (and so did my affiliate sales). Google is further penalizing websites that don’t use SSL (and that insecure padlock doesn’t look good either), so don’t be scared – just do it. Here’s a guide on adding SSL to WordPress.

Really-Simple-SSL

 

12. Bad Bounce Rate + Time On Site

Bounce rates (the % of people who leave your site without clicking anywhere) and average time on site are metrics used by Google to determine the value of each page and it’s rankings (you can find these out in Google Analytics). So if your web design, mobile design, lack of internal links, call to actions… and other parts of your website don’t encourage people to click around… this will hurt your rankings. Making your website “sticky” is what SEO is all about.

Bounce Rate

 

Every time you change a permalink (even if you setup a 301 redirect) you will lose MOST your rankings temporarily, and only some of your rankings long-term. It’s been said about 1-10% of link juice is lost when you setup a 301 redirect. Bottom line… I would avoid changing these all together unless your permalinks use the ugly ?p=123 format. This includes during a redesign.

 

14. Terrible “About Me” Page

I never knew how important this was until I wrote an awesome about page.

I instantly had people emailing me… relating to my story and sharing their own story. It was really cool, opening myself up and watching that grow into relationships/opportunities. From an SEO perspective, it’s one of my most viewed pages and keeps people on my site longer.

About Me Page

 

15. Citations Errors (Local SEO)

If you’re targeting local keywords (especially where Google Maps appear), you need citations. They’re about 10% of local SEO. My 3-step process of Google My Business > Moz Local > Whitespark gets awesome results and is the same process I used to get multiple clients #1 rankings in Google Maps. Everything is free besides Whitespark’s citation building service ($4-5/citation). The more competitive your keywords are, the more citations you should order.

Moz Local Citation Score

How To Create Citations

How To Check For Duplicate Citations

  • Run your site through Moz Local and fix items in the duplicates tab
  • Search “Your Business Name Google+” and look for duplicate GMB pages

 

16. Google Search Console Errors

Most people don’t use Google Search Console as much as they should. I use it 10x more than Google Analytics for finding crawl errors, mobile errors, AMP errors, sitemap errors, security issues, manual actions, HTML improvements, and many others. I recommend you do the same.

Mobile Usability Errors Google Search Console

I also use the Performance Report religiously to measure my keywords, CTRs, rankings, and most popular pages. For me, this is much better at measuring SEO than Google Analytics.

Google Search Console Queries

View My Google Search Console Tutorial

 

17. Duplicate Content + Search/Replace Pages

Use Siteliner to check for duplicate content…

Siteliner Duplicate Content

Search and replace pages are probably the most common form of duplicate content (where you duplicate the same page over and over but only swap out a few words on each page). You see this a lot in local SEO when businesses create geo-targeted landing pages for multiple locations… but this doesn’t work. Each page should ideally have unique content about each location like photos, reviews, team members, etc. Rand Fishkin made a nice video about this:

 

18. Discouraging Search Engines From Indexing Site

Make sure “Discourage search engines from indexing this site” is NOT selected in your dashboard under Settings > Reading. This makes your site completely disappear in Google.

Discourage Search Engine From Indexing This Site

 

19. Affiliate Website Mistakes

Affiliate sites are prone to Google penalties. This can either be a penalty in your manual actions report in Google Search Console, or it can be an algorithmic penalty (in which case you have to compare the time your traffic dropped and look at Google’s algorithm changes).

Trust me, you don’t want an affiliate penalty…

Affiliate Link Google Penalty

Tips For Affiliate Sites:

  • Don’t stuff posts with affiliate links
  • Add value! I spend a ton of time making sure my tutorials are helpful
  • Don’t always list affiliate products first (Google knows what you’re doing)
  • Consider writing review pages for affiliate products, and linking to those instead
  • Always nofollow affiliate links

 

20. You Have A Google Penalty

Go to your manual actions report in Search Console to check for penalties. There are many types (thin content, keyword stuffing, spam content), but unnatural links is the most common.

Unnatural Links To Your Site – early on, I hired a link builder and got a Google penalty for unnatural links which took 1 full year to recover. My rankings plummeted, and so did my client inquiries and income. It was dark times for me. Think twice before hiring a link builder on Fiver, Upwork, or any of those freelancer sites… unless you really, really know what you’re doing.

How To Clean Up Bad Links

  • Check to see if you have one in the manual actions tab
  • Go to the links to your site section of Search Console
  • Write down all spammy, irrelevant, and suspicious links
  • Reach out to these websites and ask them to take it down
  • Be persistent… Google wants to see you have made an effort
  • For any links you can’t get taken down, use the disavow tool
  • Submit a reconsideration request with all proper information
  • Fire your link builder and never hire a sketchy link builder again

Unnatural Links To Your Site - Google Search Console

 

Still Not Sure If These Are The Reason?

Kiss Metrics has an awesome article on 50 Reasons Your Website Deserves to Be Penalized By Google, but I think I covered the main reasons here. If you have any questions at all, leave a comment below and I’ll be glad to answer your question. Otherwise, good luck with your SEO!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ How do I rank my WordPress website higher in Google?

The easiest way to rank a WordPress website on Google is to find specific, long-tail keywords which aren't too competitive, then write in-depth content about each topic. Engagement, click-through rates, and on-page SEO all help improve Google rankings.

✅ Are my keywords are too competitive?

New websites or those with low authority (backlinks) should always target long-tail, specific keywords. It's hugely important to Google each keyword and analyze the search results to make sure you're not competing with strong content and authority websites.

✅ How can I check for SEO errors on my site?

Google Search Console tells you if you have mobile, security, and indexing errors. It also tell you structured content errors on FAQs and reviews. However, you should really get an SEO audit if you want to learn exactly what's going on with your SEO.

✅ Will getting green lights in Yoast help rankings?

Not exactly. Yoast only does a good job at detecting keyword usage and there's much more to on-page SEO than this. Try adding FAQ rich snippets, adding an HTML table of contents to long posts, and creating in-depth content with videos. Optimize click-through rates!

✅ Is my Yoast plugin configured correctly?

Check my Yoast configuration tutorial to make sure your Yoast is setup correctly, especially the Search Appearance tab. Don't forget to setup Google Search Console.

See Also: How I Optimized My Site To Load In <1s With 100% GTmetrix Reports

Or: my WordPress SEO Guide is even more helpful than this and includes 101 actionable tips.

Cheers,
Tom

How To Monetize YouTube Videos Without AdSense (Add Annotations And Descriptions With Affiliate Links Instead)

For those of us who don’t want to spam our Youtube viewers with advertisements, there are better alternatives out there.

The easiest way is to recommend products (mentioned in your video) using affiliate links. When someone purchases a product through your affiliate link, you get a commission from the sale. You’re basically promoting someone else’s product for a commission. I make $1,000/month doing this and it’s my second largest source of income next to SEO consulting.

Through these affiliate links you can start monetizing Youtube videos without AdSense or Partnerships. It’s more personalized, less intrusive, and you probably won’t get any “thumbs down” votes since you are hopefully recommending product(s) that help solve a problem.

Here is a video I made with affiliate links:

Youtube Affiliate Marketing

When people click my MaxCDN affiliate link (either in the Youtube annotation or video description), I get a commission from the sale. Below you will find instructions to do this…

 

Add Affiliate Links To YouTube Videos

Step 1 – Add Associated Website To Your Youtube Channel
Sign into YouTube and go to “Creator Studio.” Now go to Channel –> Status And Features –> External Annotations. Add your website and go through the verification process. You may need to add your website to Google Search Console. Now go to the “Advanced” tab under Channel and add your website as an Associated Website. Full instructions are found here.

Youtube Associated Website

 

Step 2 – Get Your Affiliate Links
You will first need to learn which products/merchants are best to refer your audience too. Most websites have an “Affiliates” tab at the top or bottom of their website where you can sign up. You can also Google “_____ affiliate program” to see it it shows up here. There are many affiliate hubs which have thousands of products/merchants. Try out Amazon, ShareASale, or CJ. Once signed up and approved, you can start creating your affiliate links:

Affiliate Link

 

Step 3 – Cloak Your Affiliate Links
Cloaking affiliate links means you’re pointing people to a URL on your website, but it redirects somewhere else. For example, this cloaked affiliate link points to /go/maxcdn but it redirects to the MaxCDN website. You must do this because YouTube video annotations only allow you to use URLs for YOUR associated website – cloaking them is what allows you to redirect them to the affiliate link!

If you’re running WordPress, I use a plugin called Thirsty Affiliates to cloak, manage, and track my affiliate links (you have to pay Thirsty Affiliates for their add-ons if you want extra features). The free version is still good… just install the plugin and find the “Affiliate Links” tab on the left of your dashboard. Add the link name and destination URL, save it, then copy the cloaked version of the URL so you can add it to your YouTube video annotations.

Cloaked Affiliate Link

 

Step 4 – Add Affiliate Links To YouTube Videos
Edit the YouTube video you want to add affiliate link(s) to. Click the Annotations tab and “Add Annotation.” Fill out the required info including the time you want that annotation to appear (obviously it should be when you recommend the affiliate product). Near the bottom, add your cloaked affiliate link. Apply changes, then watch the video and test your link.

You can also add affiliate links to your YouTube video description. These don’t need to be cloaked, but I like to use a URL shortern like Bitly to make the link look prettier/shorter.

Add Affiliate Links To YouTube Videos

 

You’re Done, Now Go Create More YouTube Videos

Planning videos can help you use affiliate links and annotations more effectively, but go ahead and add them (where appropriate) to your existing videos. Tutorial videos are great for affiliate marketing because people are looking for a solution – which can often be solved with a product. Take a look at some examples to get ideas for your next YouTube video…

Q: How do you connect a Macbook to multiple monitors?
A: Buy an HDMI adapter (link to an Amazon product)

Q: How do you make your website load faster?
A: Buy faster hosting (most hosting companies having an affiliate program)

Q: What is the best tv for a conference room?
A: I don’t know, but I bet you can find it on Amazon!

Review videos are also common. Now that you know how to monetize YouTube videos without AdSense or other spammy methods, go ahead and start doing some video affiliate marketing. It can be more lucrative and people won’t hate you for spamming them with ads! Just be sure you are following Youtube’s video guidelines

If you have a question about YouTube video monetization or affiliate marketing, drop me a line. I’m glad to help. And if you found this tutorial helpful, please consider giving it a share.

Cheers,
Tom Signature

How To Monetize Your WordPress Blog in 6 Steps

How To Monetize Your WordPress BlogOne thing a lot of WordPress users struggle with, is how to monetize their blog.

Getting traffic in itself can be difficult, so how can you both increase blog traffic and turn that traffic into something more tangible? This article covers both of these issues (mainly SEO and conversion) so you can turn more visitors into cash in your pocket.

The strategy for monetizing a WordPress blog is different for each blog, so I broke down the most common and effective methods into these six sections…

 

 

6 Steps To Monetizing Your WordPress Blog

  1. Target Keywords Related To Your Products/Services
  2. Target Keywords Related To Affiliate Products
  3. Further Your Knowledge on SEO
  4. Run Google AdSense
  5. Include Posts As Part Of A Larger Series
  6. Stay In Touch With Your Readers

 

 

1. Target Keywords Related To Your Products/Services

Post Focus Keywords

The best way I can explain this is to show you how I attract customers interested in my WordPress speed optimization services.

I wanted to get more people interested in hiring me to make their WordPress site faster. I already had a page that targets “WordPress Speed Services” so that keyword is taken care of. But what else do people Google when they have a slow WordPress site (hint hint)?

After messing around with Google Autocomplete I found a lot of people were searching keywords related to “why is WordPress so slow.” I knew this would be a good focus keyword to target in Yoast (the SEO plugin I use) because it’s long-tail (keywords with many individual words are less competitive and more specific/profitable). Plus it shows up in Google Autocomplete twice and also shows results for “Slow WordPress ___________.”

So I wrote this tutorial: Why is WordPress So Slow (15 Ways To Make It Faster)

People read it, follow my recommendations, and some of them realize they don’t have the technical capacity to do everything and contact me about a project…

Inquiry

 

 

2. Target Keywords Related To Affiliate Products

Affiliate Marketing Income

If there’s products you recommend to customers, chances are you could be making extra cash by using affiliate marketing to recommend products on your WordPress blog.

Once you’ve signed up for affiliate accounts and have access to affiliate links, look for keyword opportunities to promote those products. In my tutorial on “Why is WordPress So Slow (15 Ways To Make It Faster)” I recommend specific WordPress hosting companies, themes, and other tools that makes a website faster.

A blog post that gets me clients and makes me money through affiliate marketing? I’ll take it.

 

 

3. Further Your Knowledge On SEO

SEO is some of the best traffic you can get because it’s so targeted and somewhat automated by Google. I wrote an entire series on WordPress SEO that I would recommend reading, especially these SEO articles…

 

 

4. Run Google AdSense

Even though running Google AdSense is a popular way for people to monetize their WordPress blog, I don’t like it. It just makes your blog look spammy and I would rather recommend products I actually use and recommend instead of running ads. Plus my recommendations will have a much higher click-through rates than any Google Ad.

I’m not going to show you how to do something I don’t support, so if you do want to run AdSense than check out this tutorial by WPBeginner.

 

 

5. Include Posts As Part Of A Larger Series

WordPress SEO Series

One thing I wish someone told this to me when I first started blogging, was that eventually when you have enough content you can create a series of blog posts. For me it’s my WordPress SEO Series. It’s a guide of about 20 blog posts and makes it much easier to promote because it’s nicely packaged series and just sounds better.

I was inspired to do this by Amy Lynn Andrews who I definitely recommend you check out. You can even turn your series into an eBook which Amy also talks about.

 

 

6. Stay In Touch With Your Readers

Email Marketing – if you don’t have a newsletter you can sign up for Mailchimp for free but I recommend upgrading for $10/month plan so you can send automated emails when people sign up, plus it adds other options. If you have Genesis I use the Genesis News Extended Plugin to add newsletter widgets, otherwise you can use WP Better Emails.

Social Media – use social media buttons or widgets to allow people to Like your Facebook Page, follow your twitter account, or connect with your on LinkedIn, Pinerest, or whatever social networks your audience is using. This should be pretty simple.

 

 

I hope this article helped! If you have any questions about how to monetize your WordPress blog, leave me a comment below. And if you enjoyed this article, please share it. I would really appreciate that.

Cheers,

Tom Signature