Affiliate marketing is undoubtedly one of the best ways to monetize a blog. There is a tremendous opportunity to make passive income as an affiliate, whether you’re a brand new blogger or a veteran blogger, In this post, you’ll learn how to get started with affiliate marketing by joining the best affiliate programs for bloggers.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is promoting the products or services of other companies to earn money for every sale you refer. An affiliate is someone who promotes other companies’ products or services. As an affiliate, you receive a unique affiliate link that you share to promote your affiliate products. Anytime someone makes a purchase through your link, you earn a percentage of the sale, known as a commission. That means you can recommend products to your audience and earn money even while you sleep.
What is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is an automated digital program that allows companies to connect with individuals or businesses that promote their products. Companies create affiliate programs to drive sales. It allows them to expand their reach without spending more money on advertising. Instead, they have other people promoting their products and share a percentage of the revenue with those who make a sale. It’s a win-win for both parties – the merchant generates more revenue and the affiliate earns income.
There are two places to find affiliate programs: through a company’s website or through an affiliate network. Some companies run their own individual affiliate programs. Others enlist their affiliate programs into an affiliate network that manages thousands of affiliate programs.
Let’s say you love shopping at Target and run a fashion blog. You can sign up for Target’s affiliate program and get a unique link you’ll use to promote your favorite swimsuits, dresses, sweaters, and so on. If someone purchases a bunch of dresses through your link, you earn a percentage of the sale. Affiliate commissions typically range between 3%-40%.
How do affiliate programs work?
When you sign up for an individual affiliate program, you get access to an affiliate account. This gives you access to your own unique dashboard. You’ll be asked to provide a payment method, usually Paypal or deposit. Within your account, there’s usually a dashboard that displays information like your sales summary, your affiliate link, and your commission rate. All your sales will be tracked in your account so you can check it regularly. Affiliate programs tend to alert you when you make a sale.
Affiliate networks function a bit differently. When you sign up, you will be taken to a marketplace of different affiliate programs. From there, you can apply to join individual programs. Once you’re accepted to programs, you’ll see a summary page that shows all the programs of which you’re an affiliate. You can see your total sales numbers either on your home dashboard or by going to your account information. Now, let’s jump into the best affiliate programs for bloggers.
ShareASale an affiliate network with over 3,900 affiliate programs. It is home to companies in every industry from travel to beauty. Whether you’re new to affiliate marketing or advanced, you’ll find tons of products to promote on this network. ShareASale is one of my favorite networks because of how user friendly it is and the sheer number of products you can promote. Affiliate programs housed on this network include:
- Allianz Global Insurance
- Sally Beauty
Commission Junction, also known as CJ Affiliate, is another one of the largest affiliate networks on the market. It houses over 2,000 affiliate programs and pays out $1.8 billion in annual commissions. This is one of the first affiliate networks I joined when I started affiliate marketing two years ago. I would say that ShareASale is a better platform for a new affiliate marketer. The user interface is easier to navigate. , and t Some of the affiliate programs available on CJ Affiliate include:
- Barnes & Noble
- Office Depot
- J Crew
JVZoo is an affiliate network with over 800,000 affiliates. The great thing about JVZoo is that you don’t have to wait for the network to pay you a commission at the end of the month. Every time you make a sale, the affiliate commission will instantly be deposited into your JVZooPay account. From there, you can easily withdraw the amount and transfer it to your bank account. You also keep 100% of the commissions you earn.
Shopstyle Collective is an affiliate network that caters to the fashion market. Commissions on this network start at x%. Shopstyle Collective is different from other affiliate networks in that you don’t need to apply to individual affiliate programs. Once you join, you have access to all merchants within the platform. Shopstyle Collective also has a creative widget generator to display products on your site. Brands you can promote through Shopstyle Collective include:
- Barneys New York
- Forever 21
TravelPayouts is the only affiliate program exclusively dedicated to travel brands. If you run a travel blog or frequently feature travel products on your blog, then this network would be a great one to join. It is one of the most user-friendly networks I’ve used. TravelPayouts is relatively small, with 60 travel affiliate programs. Still, the network has 240,000 affiliates and has paid out $23,000,000 in commissions since 2011. Commissions start at 8%. Some of the affiliate programs you can join through Travel Payouts include:
- Rail Europe
- Get Your Guide
Flex Offers is an affiliate network that houses 12,000 affiliate programs. What sets this network apart is the robust reporting for publishers, another word for affiliates. You can sort through campaigns, product types, categories to get a deep understanding of your sales performance. Flex Offers also hosts many pay per click programs. That means that you earn a commission for simply referring traffic to merchants. The visitors don’t need to buy anything.
If you’re looking for a top-notch web hosting program to use and promote, then Siteground fits the bill. Siteground has a lucrative affiliate program, with the following payment structure:
- 1-5 sales per month – $50 per sale
- 6-10 sales – $75 per sale
- 11-20 sales per month – $100 per sale
- 21+ sales per month – Custom payment
Siteground pays out affiliate commissions on a monthly basis. There is no minimum sale amount to qualify for a payout.
Tailwind is a scheduling tool for Pinterest. It helps bloggers save time on pinning by automatically posting my pins to designated boards at a given time. Tailwind also has an affiliate program that pays out a recurring 15% commissions to affiliates. You can join the Tailwind affiliate program through ShareASale. If you’d like to test out Tailwind, sign up for a 30-day free trial.
Convertkit is an email service provider you can use to manage your email subscribers. I’ve been using Convertkit for two years after switching from Aweber and couldn’t be happier. Convertkit is specifically designed for bloggers, making it user-friendly and well-integrated with WordPress. I switched from AWeber and couldn’t be happier.
I’m also a big fan of Convertkit’s affiliate program, which pays a 30% recurring commission for each new referral. Because Comnvertkit is a subscription service, affiliates get paid a monthly commission for every referral as long as the user remains subscribed to the service.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is arguably the best affiliate marketing course on the market. It is taught by personal finance blogger, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who consistently makes $50,000/month in affiliate sales. In Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, Michelle explains the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, from the legal aspects to the best strategies to drive conversions.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing also has a great affiliate program. The course costs $197, and affiliates earn 40% for each sale. That’s $78 per sale.