I am currently in the very early stages of writing a book. Trust me, I know the effort that goes into these things. But the reality is that most books don’t make much money themselves. But they are a great place to include affiliate offers. This post will show you how.
I got a great question from Jonathan Hyde recently:
What’s the best way to promote affiliates with a book?
This is an often overlooked area of monetization within books. And yet, it’s inevitable that you are going to mention your favorite tools and resources throughout the book.
Here are six ways to monetize a book with affiliate offers:
1. Recommended Tools
“Here’s what I use and why.”
Dedicate a page (or more) at the back of the book to covering the tools that you use. Don’t just make a list of products and link to them, though. Put some extra effort by list not only what you use, but why you use it.
Here’s an example from my own toolbox page:
Make sure you make a compelling case for why the reader should check out the tool you recommend.
2. Extended Study
“I touched on [subject]. If you want to go deeper, check out [course].”
Often when writing a book, you’ll touch on a subject. You’ll offer a 30,000 foot flyover or go only two layers deep (check out my wonderful use of cliches, thank you!).
But the reader might want to go deeper. They might want to take their learning to a whole-nutha-level.
This is where affiliate links come in to play.
For example, I often talk about how to start an online business, but that is not the focus of my site (or my book). I’ll probably write 2-4 pages at the most on the subject, but if people want more in-depth knowledge and help starting your online business, I always point them to Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch.
I make a great commission off of that program and I know the people I refer are in good hands.
3. How I Learned It
“I became at expert at [subject] thanks to [course]. Check it out here.”
Not only do I want to give credit where credit is due (thank you Jeff!) but I also want to show people where they can learn the same fundamentals I’ve learned. By linking to Jeff’s course, I share a valuable resource and make some nice commissions.
Here’s what I wrote on my toolbox page:
Sharing how you learned something is a very effective way of driving traffic to affiliate offers because you are living proof that their offer actually works.
4. Casual Mention
This is the most low-key way to promote affiliate offers. And naturally, it is the least profitable, but still worth it because it’s so easy.
When you mention a person or product, simply provide a link to them. In an ebook, you can hyperlink and in a book, you could include a footnote or the link in parentheses.
An example of this might be:
“As one of our clients, Michael Hyatt (mattmcwilliams.com/byelaunch for more on his launch), likes to say…”
Don’t expect a ton of activity on these links, but the ease to implement makes them worth it.
5. Bibliography/Suggested Reading
“I recommend numerous other helpful books on this topic. For a full list visit mattmcwilliams.com/books.”
If you are going to recommend other books, you might as well earn an affiliate commission on them.
In an ebook, the bibliography or suggested reading section can easily contain affiliate links to books. But in a print book, you have to get creative.
Rather than actually list the other books in your bibliography or suggested reading section, provide a link. This allows you to easily create affiliate links to them.
It also allows you to create an attractive page like my suggested books page, with images and descriptions of each book.
6. Recommended Products from Others
“Jerry recommends using [product] to improve your focus. Find out more about it here: link.”
If you interview people for your book, ask them for their recommendations of products and link to them.
This is a great way to avoid author bias and get a neutral recommendation. It also allows you to make money from products that you might not be an expert on.
Books can be a great way to promote affiliate offers if done right. Use these six ways in your next book and you just might find that you’re getting some nice commissions for not much extra effort.
Question: What ways have you seen affiliate offers worked into books? You can leave a comment by clicking here.