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The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Aug 28, 2019

Today I am talking about new strategies for making money with affiliates with Chelsea Clarke.

Chelsea, founder of the website, HerPaperRoute, helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through affiliate sales. 

We talk about knowing your audience, talking to your audience, and selling them products that are useful for making their lives better. 

If you want to know more about affiliate sales and how to make the most of them, this is the episode for you!

Profitable Niches 

You may have heard that “the riches are in the niches.” If that’s true, what niche should you choose?

Chelsea says that any niche can be made profitable with affiliates. The one defining factor is you.

3 things must be true for you to make money from affiliate marketing

  • Passion -- You have to be genuinely interested in the topic you’ll be writing about
  • Education/Experience -- What are you really good at or you have an educational background in?
  • Product -- This product should make sense for your audience and your topic

Do not get into a niche just because you’ve heard it makes a lot of money. You need to pick your field based on what you love, what you know about it, and what you can offer to your audience. 

How To Find Good Products

There are literally millions of affiliate possibilities out there. How do you choose the ones that will fit best with your niche?

First, you want to choose a high-commission product. Something that gives you $2 per sale is a waste of time when you think about how much time you’re spending building relationships with your audience to offer them products. 

Promote something that is going to pay you more like $40 per sale. 

Chelsea doesn’t promote Amazon products as much because their commissions are typically so low for her. However, there are people that make thousands of dollars a month from Amazon affiliates. 

Amazon affiliates are a bit different than others in that they pay a commission to you for anything your audience purchases within 24 hours of clicking through your link. 

If there’s a brand you want to work with, you can go straight to them and pitch yourself. Many companies want to work directly with bloggers.

Reaching Out To Brands 

There are two ways to reach out to brands successfully to build an affiliate relationship.

You can go to their website, find a contact, and send an email about how you love their product and want to review it. You can ask about setting a deal up. 

Another way you can do it is to join the affiliate program first. Once you have the affiliate program manager’s contact information, you can reach out to them. 

Chelsea doesn’t work for a commission of 10% or less unless it’s a very expensive product. 

If she can’t negotiate for a higher commission, she knows it’s not the right product for her at that time. 

There have been a few times when Chelsea will take a lower commission because she knows the product is interesting and will be helpful to her audience. 

How To Build An Audience You Can Sell To 

Chelsea works mainly through email. She does everything herself personally, answering all the questions that come into her inbox. 

In the very first email Chelsea’s audience receives, she asks them to respond with where she can follow them on social media. 

When you connect with someone on their social media channels, you get to know them and they get to know you, because chances are they're going to follow you back. Now you have a whole new group of people rooting for you and giving you new business. 

This is successful because it opens up a one-on-one conversation, where the audience gets to know the face behind the company. 

The very first people who hear about Chelsea’s sales are the people on her email list. 

Using Social Media to Market

Pinterest is Chelsea’s favorite social media marketing tool.

Taking the time to target the right keywords and getting your pins to show up higher in search will result in your traffic growing on its own. 

For newer bloggers who aren’t ranking much on Google yet, Pinterest can be the key to blog growth and getting your message out there to more people.

Pinterest is a different type of SEO. You want to focus on appropriate keywords, pin to the right boards, and pin as much as possible. 

You want your content to get out there. 

Pinterest is a digital wall of billboard advertisements. The higher you can get, the better for your traffic. 

Where To Focus, Where To Outsource 

Chelsea wants to create her own content and create her own weekly emails. Those are the 2 areas she doesn’t outsource.

But having someone for upkeep on social media is very helpful. 

Your biggest expense is your time. If you feel like you need more time, outsource things that allow you to have more time to create content and focus on what's important to you. 

Most Valuable Blogging Tool 

Chelsea has four tools that she cannot live without:

Chelsea’s Advice for Bloggers

  • Stay focused on your goals. Don't expect those around you to support you at first. If someone else isn’t an entrepreneur, they won’t understand what you’re doing. 
  • You have to work at your goals even if you aren’t seeing the fruits of your labor right away.
  • Focus on helping others in a way only you can.

If you want to know more about Chelsea and the free resources she offers, go to HerPaperRoute

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  • Intro 
  • 8:26 Profitable Niches 
  • 13:33 How To Find Good Products 
  • 16:20 Reaching Out To Brands
  • 18:17 How To Build An Audience You Can Sell To 
  • 21:55 Using Social Media to Market 
  • 27:57 Where To Focus, Where To Outsource 
  • 29:24 Most Valuable Tool 
  • 31:18 Chelsea’s Advice 


Read the podcast transcript for "New Strategies For Making Money with Affiliates"



  1. When choosing a niche to monetize, choose a niche that you are passionate about and will never get tired of writing about.
  2. Choose higher-paying affiliates by contacting brands and asking for an affiliate relationship.
  3. Pinterest is the place to focus if you’re a newer blogger and not ranking on Google yet. Pinterest will help you grow your traffic, and traffic = affiliate sales.
  4. Stay focused on your goals, even when others don’t understand what you're doing and even if you aren’t seeing the fruit of your labors right away.

Other Episodes to Explore on Affiliate Marketing

If you aren’t familiar with affiliate marketing, Episode #79 of this podcast featured my conversation with Angela Davis of Frugal Living NW. That episode takes you deep inside affiliate marketing and how to get good at it.