Affiliate Marketing For Books: Why Only 1% Of Book Bloggers Make Money

by | Sep 5, 2022

affiliate marketing for book bloggers

It’s true. Not many SEOs or marketers discuss book blogging when sifting through all the possible options for a profitable website.


Affiliate marketing for books is not a quick road to easy riches. If your goal is to make as much money as possible in a short time, finance, crypto, and fitness are far superior niches.

Is it still possible to make money reviewing books on your website? The short answer is yes. All kinds of interests and niches have been transformed into profitable ventures online.

Hundreds of these successful niche businesses are far stranger and boost audiences far smaller than that of avid book readers.

I know what you’re thinking. If these downright strange and sometimes morally questionable businesses can cash in with a smaller audience, why is making my blog profitable a monumental task?

If you are struggling to transform your passion for books into a reliable source of income– you don’t want to miss this article.

In this post I will show you how to make your passion pay. I will cover:

  1. What is affiliate marketing for book bloggers
  2. How much an effective book blogger can make
  3. How you can make money from book blogging
  4. What affiliate marketing for book bloggers looks like in practice
  5. The best affiliate programs for book bloggers to join
  6. How you can maximize your revenue as a book blogger affiliate

    You don’t have a marketing degree, and it’s not your thing–you would rather be reading a good thriller.

    Don’t worry. If you follow just a few of these tips and tricks, you too can make money writing about what you love—books!

    Here we go!

    What is affiliate marketing for book blogging?

    Ever get the vibe that internet marketing is akin to putting on a cheap suit and making your way down to a retirement home to talk grandma out of her social security check?

    I understand.

    If you enter “Affiliate Marketing” into YouTube, you get false promises adorned with a parade of cringy thumbnails.

    Yup. No wonder internet marketing can seem a bit disreputable. 

    The problem is that affiliate marketing works.

    Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your website’s traffic and generate recurring income.

    In simple terms, affiliate marketing for books is linking to a product for sale on another website and earning a commission from the sale.

    That’s it.

    No rental Lamborghini or wad of counterfeit hundred-dollar bills required.

    By creating affiliate links that are unique to you and adding them to blog posts or book reviews, you can make money when someone clicks and buys the book.

    The trick is to incorporate multiple sources of revenue into your website. Google updates its search algorithm, and social media sites do the same, rendering the traffic to your site far from a known entity.

    Monetizing your book blog should take several forms. Let me explain…

    Building an email list, running display advertising, and utilizing affiliate links in your content are valid methods for diversifying your blog income.

    If you want to start creating digital products and sell your books on your website–now you’re talking!

    Next, you are about to find how much money you can make with affiliate marketing if you are not convinced already.

    Can You Make Money Book Blogging?

    The short answer is yes. The nuanced answer is—it depends.

    Revenue generated by blook blogs varies drastically.

    Some blogs pull in over 200k a month in traffic value.


    Traffic value is a metric by the SEO tool Ahrefs. It calculates the cost of traffic if the site’s traffic was purchased via pay-per-click (PPC) Ads.

    Estimated traffic value DOES NOT accurately describe the actual income of the blog or website.

    Other variables such as conversion rate optimization, the price of products, and affiliate commission factor into the equation.

    There’s a catch.

    The literary hub is not typical. Literary Hub comfortably occupies the upper reaches of what a book blog can accomplish in terms of revenue.

    Here’s what I mean. If you just purchased a brand-new domain, don’t have much content published, and have not started link building and outreach—you won’t make 200k a month.

    Always important to manage those expectations.

    The good news is that you can work towards your income goals!

    The potential exists for book blogs to make you life-changing income.

    Don’t expect the means to quit your job overnight. You CAN do it.

    Stay with me it’s just about to get good! Next, we dive into:

    1. What affiliate marketing looks like on your website
    2. Time-tested tactics to increase clicks and revenue

    Affiliate Marketing for Book Bloggers: What It Looks Like In Practice

    The conventional advice for implementing affiliate marketing on blog looks like this:

    • Sign up for an affiliate program (most likely Amazon Associates).
    • Write book reviews.
    • Add affiliate links to your reviews and hope people click the link.
    • Wait and wonder when the money will start rolling in.

    It is a good idea to use product affiliate links within your reviews. And it’s smart to sign up for an affiliate program that offers a wide variety of titles.

    There’s just one problem. Amazon’s commission rates are astoundingly low. Like 4.5% low.

    Sell a $20 Dollar book? You just made $0.9. You have to drive a monumental amount of book sales to make any decent money.

    Amazon associates commission model image

    Learn more about Amazon’s commission structure here.

    And now you’re thinking this is impossible. Don’t worry, hang in there– I will reveal how you can make a higher commission. First, we need to talk about how you can be proactive.

    Maximizing Revenue: Make More Money with Your Book Blog’s Existing Traffic

    1. Conversion rate Optimization
    2. Higher commissions with higher-paying affiliate programs
    3. Email Marketing

    Other resources covering affiliate marketing for book bloggers fail to mention these proactive methods you can use to get more affiliate revenue.

    But not this one!

    Making the most of your existing traffic requires more than slapping a few affiliate links onto your book reviews and calling it a day.

    But what does making the most of your website traffic mean?  

    Read on to find out.

    Conversion Rate Optimization: A/B Testing For Book Bloggers

    We all want more traffic.

    However, trying to increase traffic and sales with your website while it’s hemorrhaging visitors is like trying to carry water in a bucket riddled with holes.

    Any rational person would plug the holes before filling the bucket with water.

    At its core, conversion rate optimization is fixing the cracks in your website to stop the torrent of visitors from escaping without converting.

    Let me explain further with the tiniest bit of math.

    Here are a few hypothetical website stats to get us going.

    Before A/B Testing

    Site traffic = 20,000 visitors/month

    5% click through rate (CTR) on affiliate links

    5% conversion rate on links clicked

    1,000 clicks a month = 50 sales @ $30/ sale

    Monthly revenue = $1,500/month

    Not bad. I am trying to keep it simple with these numbers– I don’t like doing math either.

    But what if we could bump the click-through rate on our affiliate links up to 7%? We will assume that all other variables, site traffic, and 5% conversion rate stay the same.

    After A/B Testing

    1,400 clicks/month = 70 sales

    At $30/sale

    Monthly revenue = $2,100

     You just added $600 Dollars in revenue without any major expense or substantial time commitment.

    A/B testing explanation diagram

    Google Optimize

    Launched in 2017, Google Optimize allows bloggers and affiliates to test various website elements in an easy-to-use package.

    Google created Optimize to decrease the number of tools webmasters need to analyze their sites.

    The best aspect of Optimize is its seamless integration with Google Analytics. This tool makes it easy to measure results and sync them with your existing website metrics. 

    It is free to get started with the platform. However, if you use custom analytic solutions or have advanced testing scripts, you will want their paid plan.

    Here is a chart of free vs paid features.

    Google optimize feature chart paid vs free


    Nelio is a WordPress plugin that allows you to test various elements on your website.

    A few benefits of using Nelio include:

    • Simple A/B Testing
    • Test many website elements – pages, posts, headlines, widgets and more
    • Full automation
    • Limited technical understanding necessary
    • All managed in WordPress

    While I don’t use this tool myself, it is an outstanding option for testing the performance of your website. If you want to learn more, I encourage you to watch the video below.

    Here is an outstanding video about A/B testing and Nelio.

    Best Book Affiliate Programs For Book Blogging

    I don’t need to tell you that people still read books. However, finding book affiliate programs that are worth your time can be challenging.

    Not to worry. With the right affiliate program you can make a profit in no time. Here are a few.

    Textbook Solutions

    Besides the 1-day cookie duration, Textbook Solutions has some perks that you should not ignore.

    Commission – 30%

    EPC (Earnings per click) $101

    Cookie Duration 1 day

    Thrift Books

    With over 7 million used books in stock, you can be assured they have a title your audience will love. Reading used books is great. You save money and its better for the environment.

    Commission – 5%

    EPC — $21

    Cookie duration – 7 days

    Calendar Club

    They sell more than calendars. Find kids’ books along with lifestyle and motivation books for adults on Calendar Club’s website. Their commission rates aren’t bad either, and their cookie duration is one of the longest in the industry.

    Commission – 5%

    EPC — $26

    Cookie Duration – 45 Days

    Premier Collectibles

    Great commission rates, long cookie duration, and a stockpile of autographed and first editions make this affiliate program one to consider.

    Commission – 15%

     EPC — $34

     Cookie Duration – 60 days

    Book Depository

    As one of the most widely used bookstores for the global market, they will have what your audience is looking to read.

    Commission – 5%

    Diversify the formats you offer your audience. Adding a digital option is always a good way to make sure everyone can find what they need.

    Commission — 8%

    Cookie Duration – 45 days

    Have an active audience? Offer them audiobooks! Audiobooks now have over 80,000 titles to keep your readers coming back for more!

    Commission – 10%

    Cookie duration – 15 days

    Barns & Nobel

    Everyone knows about Barns & Noble. Might be a good option for new audiences that need some reassurance before buying.

    Commission – 2%

    Cookie duration – 1 day


    That’s all I got for now. If you found this information helpful, subscribe to my email list! I send out new article updates, deals on marketing software, and more!  Thanks for reading. Go to it!

    Written By dhardt20

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