This post may contain affiliate links
Starting a blog can be one of the best ways to start your own business. The upfront costs are super low and your potential is nearly unlimited! This month we’ve been talking about how to make money blogging and in today’s post, we are covering the best affiliate programs and networks!
To see the rest of the make money blogging series check out these posts too.
One of my favorite ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing. You can earn in multiple ways depending on the program you apply for. You can earn commission from sales per click or per lead. This is one of the easiest ways to earn passive income as your posts can keep generating sales months or even years later.
P.S. Want to learn how to get higher affiliate conversions? Grab my 10-point Affiliate Success Checklist!
All affiliate programs/networks are not created equal, so here are a few of my favorites to get you started!
Amazon.com Associates is one of the biggest affiliate programs out there and with the widest variety of products. They sell absolutely anything from food to furniture. Since it is such a recognized site, your audience may feel more comfortable purchasing something from this website than the other less known companies.
Amazon is free to join and easy to navigate. They also frequently have promotions where you can earn a higher percentage of sales. Another great thing about applying to the network is that even if your audience doesn’t purchase the original product you had posted on your blog or website, whatever items they linked through from you and purchased, you will also get a certain commission.
Also, check out their “bounties.” Bounties are extra opportunities to earn. With these promotions, you earn a set rate when your readers, for example, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime or set up a baby registry.
Unfortunately, Amazon Associates only allows applicants in select states. To see if your state is able to participate click here.
Ultimate Bundles offers amazing bundles of products for an insanely low price. I recently purchased a bundle through them that had over $3,000 of courses, ebooks, and resources for only $97. The value of these bundles are insane and have a really high conversion rate.
Plus, you get a whopping 40% commission on every bundle you sell. It is really a win-win. You reader gets access to tons of great products for a fabulous price and you earn a generous commission!
Here are the different categories they have bundles for,
- Business (e.g. blogging, productivity, entrepreneurs)
- Family (e.g. organizing, homemaking, marriage, parenting)
- Health (e.g. herbs & essential oils, healthy living, gut health, fitness)
- Lifestyle (e.g. indie fiction, travel, photography, crafts)
At the bottom of the application, you are able to select which categories of bundles you are interested in being an affiliate for.
I applied to be an Ultimate Bundles affiliate when my blog was only a couple months old and I was accepted. Make sure you apply before the bundle you want to promote goes live. If not they may not accept you until after the promotional period has ended.
I personally applied months before the bundle I wanted to promote was available just so I wouldn’t miss it. This way they will also notify you when the bundle you want to promote become available.
One of the problems in trying to apply to the bigger known affiliate networks is that sometimes they don’t cater to new bloggers. So if you are a new blogger, and you don’t get accepted your first time, don’t let that get you down!
The great thing about ShareASale is that although it is a popular site, many of the businesses in it are smaller so they don’t all absolutely require you to already have a ton of traffic. They are more open to start a business relationship with you.
ShareASale openly helps and wants to develop the bloggers and their businesses. They send newsletters and even have events that help you connect with their clients. Although they are not as mainstream as Amazon, they are still very reliable and they are a network you can count on as you grow to monetize your blog.
In my experience, I applied to ShareASale in the second month of my blog and I was accepted.
4. CJ Affiliate
CJ Affiliate is the opposite of ShareASale. According to their site, they do require your blog to have higher levels of traffic or your application may not be approved.
They can demand this for good reason because of you can earn a higher commission through their network than from other networks or even than if you signed up through the merchant directly. CJ Affiliate may not be the first choice to apply to when you are just starting out, but it is a good network to use as a goal from the beginning.
Skimlinks is a sub-affiliate network. The application process is the same as you would find with an affiliate network. But with Skimlinks once you are accepted, you gain access to all of their brands.
A huge advantage if you are still a budding blogger is that Skimlinks automatically adds the corresponding affiliate links to your blog or website. Meaning you don’t have to worry about including affiliate links in every post. Skimlinks will automatically turn your regular links into affiliate links, all you need is a code and it will do all the work for you.
Shopstyle Collective is another sub-affiliate network. Once you apply and are accepted, you have access to all their clients. Unlike Skimlinks, where they pay you by commission, Shopstyle Collective pays you per click. Meaning you earn every time someone clicks on the link on your blog. If these clicks result in many purchases, your rate per click may become higher.
When I found out there was an Etsy affiliate program I was so excited! I love supporting other small business owners and now I can do that AND earn a commission from it!
Etsy is a community where people sell a wide range of handmade or digital products. It could be accessories, clothing, printables, and even household décor. Etsy has a beautiful interface and has great search functionality. Etsy's affiliate program is a part of the network Affiliate Window.
One thing to note about the Affiliate Window program is you do have to pay a $5 deposit to join the program, but the $5 is refunded back to you with your first payout. This is how they screen for dedicated affiliates.
Bonus tip: Promote your Etsy affiliate links is on Pinterest!
Can you say Target?! If you want to be an affiliate for Target then you need to join the Impact Radius affiliate network. This network is easy to navigate and can offer you tracking programs so that you can study which products are working best for you. As a blogger, it is a simple and straightforward network to join into.
There are a ton of affiliate programs and networks out there, but I would start with this list. Especially, Amazon Associates, Ultimate Bundles & ShareASale. They are easy to apply and a lot of affiliate income potential.
Ready to increase your affiliate conversions? Grab my 10-point Affiliate Success Checklist!