Thanks to the Steem technology, we bloggers can now earn money from upvotes! However, alternate methods of earning money on Steem are nearly always overlooked and are undoubtedly underutilized!
Before the existence of Steem, bloggers didn't earn anything from upvotes. In order to make a living from their blog, they had to monetize their blogs in other ways. The easiest and most straightforward way to do this was through affiliate marketing.
If you have a cooking blog and you're using your favorite blender to prepare a dish, you can put a clickable affiliate link in your blog post when you mention your blender. If someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you get a percentage of the sale.
Steemit.com has amazing SEO, yet almost nobody is taking advantage of it.
When you post an article on Steem, you not only get traffic from Steemit, but you also get traffic from Google and other search engines.
Although the traffic from Google is minimal on most posts, you can increase that number dramatically just by writing on topics that people are going to be searching for:
"The best action cams"
"The best portable drone"
"Best 4k tv for the money"
"Things I need for my new home"
If writing blog posts for the purpose of affiliate marketing, there are some things to be cognizant of:
Keep your followers in mind
Do I want this to be a part of my blog on Steem?
Is it something my followers will want to see?
Will it make me lose followers?
Should I be writing these posts under a new Steem name/blog?
These are questions you should be asking yourself. Be sure to keep Steem and your followers in the forefront of your mind.
Introduce affiliate product
You need to be able to incorporate some type of affiliate product or service in the blog post and it needs to be highly-correlated with the topic. Don't write a blog post on "How to keep your dog from pulling" and then put an affiliate link to a refrigerator.
Don't spam links all over your post
Nobody wants to read a post where they feel like its only purpose is to sell you something. Your post should be informative, well-written, and affiliate links should be used sparingly.
Your writing should be to the point where your reader feels like they're getting tons of great information to help them make their decision and the link is just a simple shortcut to find the product.
High traffic / low competition trade-off
When choosing a topic to write about, you'll probably find that the most popular search terms are also going to have the most competition. That means you'll probably have a difficult time ranking high for the most popular searches. However, if you end up with a high-ranking post for a highly-searched phrase, it could be quite lucrative for you!
On the other hand, you can choose a phrase that isn't searched very often. It will be much easier to rank high, but your earning potential will be significantly lower.
An example of a post utilizing affiliate marketing
We (@tangerinetravels) posted The Cost of Living In Mazatlán Mexico 2.5 weeks ago and intentionally put particular search keywords and phrases in it.
Thanks to Steemit’s incredible SEO, it's already near the top of Google for a couple of search terms. There’s a good chance this post will earn us credit from Uber or Airbnb in the future since those are the two affiliate links in this post. If Google ends up sending it to the top of their search results for a lot of search terms, our Uber and Airbnb earnings will likely be significant and may eventually dwarf anything we earned in the form of Steem.
Keep in mind that you’re probably not going to see search engine traffic immediately on most posts. However, if you have a well-written post that uses some good search terms, thanks to Steemit.com’s killer SEO, you’ll likely see some search traffic coming in after a few weeks or months.
The traffic from Google isn’t going to earn you a penny unless you’re doing some affiliate marketing.
Utilize Amazon’s affiliate program!
If you want to do some affiliate marketing, but you don't know where to start. Look no further than Amazon. Unlike many affiliate programs, it's easy to get approved with Amazon.
Regardless of what you think of Amazon as a company, I think it’s going to be worth your while to sign up as an affiliate and start earning commissions. With Amazon, you can earn commissions by linking to just about any product on earth. The buyer doesn't even have to purchase the item you linked to; as long as they clicked to Amazon through your link, you'll get a commission for any purchase they make.
Use affiliate links sparingly and only when appropriate. Don’t put the links in just any post, and keep your Steemit followers in mind because they followed you for a reason. You probably don’t want to start posting on topics completely unrelated to your blog just to try to earn a commission from Amazon. However, even if your post earns nothing in the form of Steem, if it contains affiliate links, it may earn you something for years into the future.
Here’s an example of a post where we utilized this service, by linking to items that we actually use on a daily basis.
If this post ends up getting search engine traffic, we might see earnings not just in the form of Steem, but also from Amazon's Affiliate Program.
My girlfriend and I still have a lot to learn when it comes to SEO and affiliate marketing, but both of us have written Steemit posts that are getting Google traffic every single day. For example, go do a Google search for “Offerup hacks” and you’ll see Maddie’s post at or near the top of the search results. This post is currently getting at least a couple of new views each and every day from search engines.
Earning Steem and SBD is going to be the quickest way to monetize your blog, but don't make it the only way. It's wise to have other sources of income and to not be completely reliant on just one.
Furthermore, I know how dejecting it can be to spend hours working on a post only to have it earn nothing or just a couple cents worth of Steem. If you utilize affiliate marketing in a post, even if it earns you nothing from the Steem network, you'll have the satisfaction knowing you have yet another post in the ether that could turn into an income stream any time in the future.