You’re a blogger and the time has come when you’re ready to earn money with your blog. So, how do you actually go about making money with your blog? Let’s talk affiliate programs!
What Is An Affiliate Program?
An affiliate program is a program where you, the affiliate, get paid for promoting a merchant’s products or services. You can promote in a number of different ways including text links on your blog, web banners, sidebar content, and more (permitted promotion methods vary according to the affiliate program).
There are many affiliate programs available that will pay you by lead and by sale. Here’s a roundup of the top 10 best affiliate programs that are newbie friendly:
#1 – SiteGround
SiteGround is a web hosting company. I learned about SiteGround several years ago when I used them to host a small site I owned at the time. I have used other hosting companies since then but SiteGround is the best, by far.
They offer a super simple affiliate sign up process and have a generous $65 per referral affiliate program! You can monitor your clicks, signups, and earnings from their easy to navigate affiliate dashboard. Totally newbie approved.
#2 – Shareasale
Shareasale is an affiliate network that offers pay-per-click, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-sale programs. This means you get paid by clicks, leads, and sales. You sign up to be a publisher and you’ll have access to their entire network. You can search and apply to as many merchant affiliate programs as you like, including Shareasale’s own affiliate program which offers a per lead ($1.00 per lead) and per sale ($100 per sale) option. What you’ll love about being a part of their network is that you can manage all your Shareasale affiliate partnerships within their site.
#3 – Shopify
Shopify is THE platform for building a website. Granted, I’ve operated 2 or 3 stores on their platform in the past so I’m a bit biased but really, their store platform is pretty amazing. They have everything you need to set up a successful online store. Equally as amazing is their affiliate program.
I applied for Shopify’s affiliate program, offering a generous opportunity to earn up to $2,400 per sale, when my blog was less than a month old and was APPROVED! It’s so easy to use their referral tools to generate leads and sales. Highly recommended.
#4 – Viglink
It doesn’t get any easier than Viglink. After you signup, they place hyperlinks within your content so you can monetize your blog on autopilot. There is a Viglink WordPress login as well. It’s super easy and you will love it!
#5 – Chitika
Chitika works similarly to Viglink. Signup is a breeze. You add the WordPress plugin for Chitika and that’s it! Sit back and monitor your stats from your Chitika.com dashboard. That’s it!
#6 – CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction)
This company is an affiliate network, similar to Shareasale. Their dashboard is super user-friendly. You can search for advertisers and apply to be part of their affiliate program direct from the site. They have tons and tons of advertisers, perfect for every niche!
#7 – ConvertKit
THE destination for email marketing campaigns. I’ve worked with several email marketing companies and ConvertKit has been the best, by far. What you’ll love about their affiliate program?
- Easy sign up process
- Generous 30% commission from everyone you refer
- Simple dashboard
- Easy access to links and referral tools
Newbie friendly and recommended.
#8 – SendInBlue
SendInBlue is an awesome destination for creating newsletters!
- Free plan for up to 9000/emails a month for YOU to try out!
- Generous 30% commissions
- Newbie friendly
#9 – Flippa
Flippa is an entrepreneur marketplace for buying and selling websites. This includes websites, blogs, and domains. I’ve known about Flippa forever and have used them personally so, when I began my blogging adventure, I knew right away I wanted to promote them. Here is a little about their affiliate program:
- Available through Shareasale affiliate network (you must sign up for Shareasale and apply for Flippa’s program through their network)
- User-friendly dashboard
- Generous 30% commissions
- Fast approval process
#10 – Jane
Jane (formerly Very Jane) is a daily deal marketplace that sells products (particularly clothing, baby goods, home goods, and other miscellaneous products) at 40%-90% off! I have been a longtime buyer and seller of Jane. They have won tons of awards and have top notch communication. About their affiliate program:
- Available through Shareasale affiliate network
- User-friendly dashboard
- 10% commissions
- Tons of eye-catching promotional tools including web banners in various sizes, text links, and more
How to Use Affiliate Programs
I use affiliate program links and banners all throughout my blog:
BANNERS: I use banners primarily in the sidebar. Chitika will place some banners within my blog posts as well. When you start implementing banners, you can put them in the top bar, bottom, and in your sidebar.
TEXT LINKS: I use text links everywhere. They are very easy to insert into your content wherever you like. You can even track them using bit.ly if you want to track the click-through in various posts or locations.
NEWSLETTER: The PERFECT place to add your affiliate inventory links. What’s great about newsletter promotion is that you have a subscriber list full of engaged readers, ready to listen to your advice and act! Don’t go too crazy here, as you don’t want to look too spammy. You can add links within the content of your newsletter or in sidebar.
PRO TIP: Experiment with various placements until you find a good fit for your blog. Don’t be afraid to test and make sure to take note of your successes and failures.
TIPS FOR LOOKING FOR AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Here are some friendly tips for looking for the best affiliate program for YOU!
#1 – Find an affiliate program that is a good fit for you and your blog:
Sometimes, it isn’t all about the ease of joining a program or high commissions. Some of the best programs are the ones you have to work for! You might have to apply multiple times to get approved. Keep at it, if it’s a program you’re really after.
Likewise, a program that promotes a product or service that you are passionate about and would be a great fit for your readers should always outweigh a lesser product/service with higher commission. Remember to stay true to your blog and your readers.
#2 – Disclosure policy:
Always a good idea to have one of these. I list a disclosure at the top of each and every post I publish, sharing that affiliate links may be contained in the article. I also post a full disclosure policy in my site. Here are some articles I love that are about adding disclosure policies:
- 6 Ways to Add Automatic Affiliate Disclosures in WordPress
- Add Affiliate Disclosures Automatically
- Affiliate Disclosure Requirements and Examples
- Best Practices: Blogger Disclosure Tips and Examples
#3 – Stay organized
It can be daunting to keep track of every single affiliate program you have joined. Stay organized by recording affiliate program names, links, and other useful information in a spreadsheet, word processing document, or even a notebook! Trust me, this will be a lifesaver as you are writing posts and referring to affiliates.
That wraps it all up friends! Follow these tips to find the best affiliate programs for your blog and by the way….
What are you favorite affiliate programs?
Jenn Leach is the owner and contributor for Drink Coffee & Prosper. She enjoys writing about work from home life, starting a business, flipping websites, social media, and more. She shares her successes and failures in hopes of helping other bloggers and writers achieve success. Scoop the latest copy of her ebook here!
Do you need some blogging guidance?
Here are some things you can do to get going now:
- Read my post on starting a blog so you have a good idea of what's going to be necessary if you want to go about this the right way and set yourself up for money-making success. Know that blogging is a six figure income for many people, and for others it easily replaces a full-time job or brings in much needed extra money.
- Invest in a blogging course. Trust me that this is all SO much easier if you have someone to walk you through the process step by step. I recommend downloading The Secret Blueprint Blueprint For Blogging Success by Ruth Soukup and The Blog Plan – 12 Month Plan For Blogging Success by Suzi Whitford (both completely free!) for more help.