First of all, what is an affiliate program for bloggers? An affiliate program, or affiliate marketing, is when you sell someone else's products or services and get paid for doing it. You normally earn a commission or some type of payment off of each sale. Be sure to only become an affiliate of products you recommend or would use yourself. Don't have an affiliate link for every other word. Spread them out and make your content matter.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive compensation.
How to become an affiliate:
- Start a website or blog. For example, this blog can use affiliate programs to earn money.
- Think of a product or service you can recommend to your readers that can easily tie in to the niche of your blog. For example, I am affiliate for GoDaddy because I can easily recommend their hosting services. Each time someone clicks on that link and purchases a product I make a commission from the sale.
- Write a post that can easily tie in the product or service so you can recommend it to your readers. If you look at the affiliate programs I have listed below, I am an affiliate for ShareASale and I earn a set dollar amount each time someone signs up under my affiliate ID.
- The reader then clicks on the link and is taken to the website of the company. Affiliate programs provide you with a unique tracking url so they can easily keep track of your clicks and sales. Links can be in the form of text links or banner ads. You can even include these in your sidebar.
- The affiliate company then pays you based on your clicks, sales, etc. Often times payment is in 15, 30 or 60 days.
- Be sure you always use a disclosure at the top of your blog post to let your readers know you are making money from the affiliate links. This is required by law.
Not sure how to find affiliate programs? Besides our list below, here's some suggestions on finding the affiliate program for companies you want to recommend:
- Go to the website of the product or service you want to recommend to your followers. Here's a great example: head over to Shutterfly.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Affiliate program as shown in the image below. This could also be called affiliates, referral program, partners, etc. You might have to take a little time to find it on some websites but many do offer some type of program. You can also do a google search if you are having trouble finding their program. For instance, try searching "shutterfly affiliates" and if they offer a program it should come up in your search results. In affiliate marketing the company with the product, in this case shutterfly, is called the advertiser or vendor. You will be known as the publisher or affiliate.
- Another great idea is to check out other bloggers that are in your same niche. You can see what they are offering to get an idea for your own website. You can view their posts and sidebar to find what they are suggesting to their readers.
- Join an affiliate network. We've included various affiliate networks for you to join below. Within one network you can find a variety of companies to promote on your blog or website. If you're a coupon blogger Escalate Network is an excellent one to join. Or, by joining ShareASale you can become an affiliate for companies such as Craftsy.com, Wayfair, Tiny Prints, etc. I like affiliate networks because they make it easy to keep track of your sales with everything in one place. Often times they are very good at helping you understand the program and how you can make better sales because the more sales you make, the more money they make.
- Be sure you shop around. Some companies are in several different affiliate networks or programs. Sometimes the company may pay a higher payout in one affiliate network over another. Do your homework before signing up for any program.
- Once you have joined an affiliate network or program, you can search through the links or banner ads for the advertiser or vendor. The affiliate program will provide with a unique code to copy and paste on your blog.
Here's a list of popular affiliate programs for bloggers.
- Commission Junction
- Amazon Associates
- Flex Offers
- Impact Radius
- Savings Blogger Network
- Rakuten LinkShare
- Escalate Network
Be sure to check out these posts to better monetize your blog:
Do you work with any affiliate programs for bloggers not already listed? If so, let us know in the comments below!