If you are considering monetizing your blog, you have probably heard of affiliate marketing. It’s one of the best ways to grow your blog income, even if you don’t have a lot of traffic.
If you are looking to become an affiliate for various products, you have two options – contact the retailers direct to see if they have an affiliate program you can join, or join an affiliate network and gain access to hundreds of companies and affiliate links in one go.
This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. I only recommend brands I use and trust.
Things to consider when choosing an affiliate network
- Types of affiliates they work with and how well they fit with your niche
- Payout schedule – some networks pay monthly, others leave it to the discretion of the individual company
- What creatives do they offer? (text links, different size banners)
- How long are the cookies? This is the length of time your personal affiliate link will be registered with the product/retailer. Some cookies last a year while others last only a day or so. The longer, the better, in case the buyer takes a little time to think before making their purchase.
- Do they offer deep linking? It’s a lot easier to be successful at affiliate marketing if you can link directly to the product you are talking about and not just the company’s homepage.
- Support – some networks assign you with an account manager who checks in regularly and can assist with any questions you have, with others, you are primarily on your own once you are approved.
8 Affiliate Networks to grow your income
- Awesome for new bloggers and easy to be approved for.
- Access companies such as DollarTree.com, Wayfair, Zullily , TinyPrints and now, Etsy!
- They feature a lot of smaller, family owned companies that are not on any other network.
- Part of the AWIN group but acting independently for now.
- You have to apply to each individual company, some approve affiliates automatically while others will review your site and give you an answer within a couple of days.
- Minimum payout is $50
- They pay out monthly and once you have made your first sale, you will gain access to their pay-per-click campaigns which can be a great opportunity to make more money.
TIP: Do follow up if you don’t hear back from a program. Each time I have done that, I have been approved within minute
- Dedicated affiliate manager who is available through skype, phone or email. They will work with you to find campaigns that fit your niche and to get the highest paying programs available.
- MaxBounty pays weekly which is awesome for new bloggers who need some income quickly.
- There are over 1,500 campaigns to advertise across all kind of niches such as like surveys, freebies, financial, insurance, dating, diet, etc. They mainly deal with larger companies.
- To get approved for MaxBounty you need to complete the web sign up and have a quick telephone call with an account manager. You are then automatically qualified for most programs.
- There is a minimum threshold of $100 for payment via Paypal (no transaction fees).
- CJ affiliates (formerly know as Commission Junction) is one of the largest affiliate networks.
- Works in much the same way as the other programs whereby you receive a commission for a lead/sign up or sale to a website.
- They work with companies such as VRBO, Zappos.com, and Walgreens.
- They pay monthly, like the other networks via direct deposit.
- CJ affiliates is a good option if you would like to feature specific ads on your blog, instead of Adsense.
- Affiliate Window or AWIN, is a UK based affiliate network.
- Until recently, AWIN was the only network that had Etsy (Shareasale also has Etsy as of May 2017 for USA only, Canada and UK still need to go through AWIN)
- Features a ton of travel products such as Caesars Entertainment, Travelzoo, booking.com and lots of hotel chains.
- To join AWIN you may need to pay $5 by credit card as a good faith payment – it will be refunded when you make your first sale.
- Promote every product under the sun through Amazon plus their own products such as Amazon Prime.
- Amazon is pretty easy to join but there is an approval process once you start using their links.
- You will earn commission on anything bought within 24 hours of clicking your link. Imagine featuring a special kind of baby bottle and then the person ends up buying their crib the same day!
- Payment once you reach a threshold of $100.
- Rakuten (also known as Linkshare) has a lot of large retailers such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, AT&T and Petsmart.
- They also feature premium brands like Isabella Oliver maternity wear and Uncommon Goods.
- Anyone can open an account with Rakuten but you do need to apply for each individual brand.
- Minimum for payment is $50 and you can choose a variety of payment methods including Paypal.
- Looking to be an affiliate for Target? Impact Radius is where you want to be!
- They have some great campaigns such as Uber and Target.
- You do have to sign up for each program individually and I have not found their website as easy to navigate as those of shareasale.com and MaxBounty.
- Flexoffers has a lot of European companies such as Souris Mini and Yves Rocher as well as established US brands like Bloomingdales, Destination Maternity, and Ticketmaster.
- This is definitely one of the more international affiliate networks, offering lots of companies around the globe.
Bonus program that ALL bloggers need to join!
- Awesome bundles of e-books and courses at deeply discounted prices
- Bundles include – blogging, organizing, parenting and working from home
- Each bundle is available for a limited amount of time to create a buzz. There are 3 evergreen bundles.
- 40% commission paid per bundle sold
- Payment is via PayPal with no threshold
A Final Word on Affiliate Marketing
If you are excited about using affiliate links to create a passive income, you should be! It’s an awesome way to monetize your blog! It isn’t as simple as slapping a few links on your website and calling it a day, unfortunately.
To be really successful at affiliate marketing you need to have a foolproof strategy in place and a little bit of insider knowledge.
If you are interested in becoming a whiz at making money from affiliates, I highly recommend the “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” course by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents. Michelle routinely makes over $50,000 a month from affiliate marketing alone so she knows a thing or two about making it work.
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