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What are the Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers? Complete Guide

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The romantic image of the impassioned writer, slaving away in a Victorian garret, suffering for his or her art, as he or she tries to pour their heart and soul into a masterpiece has long since waned. Today that same writer would probably be looking for ways to make money online, and affiliate programs for bloggers are a great way to do just that.

With the convenience of the laptop and free wifi, writers can practice their craft anywhere in the world. No need for either the Victorian garret, going slowly mad in the weak flames of the candlelight, or the freezing office job, stuck at a desk for eight hours.

In fact, writers actually can start to see quick returns on their prose through a variety of smart marketing tips that can monetize their blogs.

While it certainly is nice for blogs to be appreciated for their words, opinions, and graphics, most blogs will not make money, but rather will usurp a hefty portion of time. Therefore, if you have the writing skills and the desire to make quick and easy money (be honest, who doesn’t), then this article is definitely for you.

Affiliate Programs for Bloggers Can Make Real Money

It may appear to be too good to be true.

Isn’t this some sort of scam or strange magic?

But you can make money writing and blogging.

So now the burning question is how can you do this? How can this dream manifest itself and when can you buy that Victorian house on the corner?

The first step is to decide that your blog is for the purpose of making money, that this is, in fact, your ultimate goal. Create a blog that will be seen and read by many active consumers and perhaps even compulsive spenders.

Connecting to people with the internet is both easy and difficult, and will require that you find ways to stand out. You can try to do this with simple SEO, but you will probably have to use social media, to find your niche. Time also plays a role, and you will need to dedicate a year or two to cultivating a following online.

A large audience of visitors to the site are potential buyers to what the blog can sell, so it is best to choose a popular and profitable topic. You may be the biggest aficionado of mid-century horror movies, but that is definitely going to be a niche blog, so think bigger than your own hobbies and interests.

Remember that as a blogger, there will be a great deal of competition in the virtual world, and you will want to “stand out”. Multi-media can also be a good way to go, and making YouTube videos is both cheap and easy.

If you are going down the right path in terms of trends, you should be able to find people that are interested in your products.

Getting Attention for Your Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

If there are millions of people already doing this online, how does one “stand out” from the rest?

Quality is important. Although you don’t have to be an expert on a topic, you should be outstanding at generating content, posting frameworks, and information value. It may take some time to hone the writing skills, but it will be worth it in the end.

Don’t be discouraged. Again, quality content cannot be underestimated as this will attract readers, and buyers, to your page and hopefully, they will then click on the links and buy, so you can reap the rewards.

But another way to reach people and to make money is to research the best affiliate programs for bloggers. People love to shop online, and this is a big opportunity for anyone who can make compelling content. You don’t need much in terms of investment capital, but you will need time and energy to build up your online presence.

Get to Know Affiliate Marketing

So what exactly is affiliate marketing?

In the proverbial nutshell, affiliate marketing is using your blog to sell a product or a brand, then being compensated by the company or creator of said product or brand. Compensation usually is a percentage of the revenue the company has earned through your website.

Therefore, it is a nice arrangement in which everyone involved wins.

Keep in mind that your blog must be geared towards the promotion of a particular item or company, through ads and/or links that direct the blog traffic to the seller’s website.

Also, if you are new to blogging, it may take some time to be approved by the various programs, since you must apply. As frustrating as it might initially seem, don’t give up.

The following is a list of some of the best affiliate programs for bloggers.

AWIN

AWIN Global Affiliate Marketing Network has 30,000 brands on its networks and has an impressive array of global merchants, including Groupon, Marks and Spencer, Etsy, Trip Advisor, Air New Zealand, and Disney Movie Club.

Every day, roughly 260 affiliates join the award-winning AWIN, which earned over $650 million last year.

Awin

The platform is user-friendly and intuitive and helps to manage your affiliate campaigns. Creating links is easy, including the plug-in “convert-a-link”. Once this is installed, you will not have to manually add links to your site.

There are additional tools, like the analytical dashboard, real-time tracking, and widgets, to assist with marketing, but should you even need any technical support, AWIN has a team waiting to solve any problems. The sign-up process is only four steps but it is nonetheless quite detailed.

Awin Dashboard
Awin has one of the best designed member dashboards

In terms of payment, AWIN pays quickly and consistently which means you will not be waiting for weeks for the money.

We have worked with Awin for over a year now and found them to be very professional, trustworthy and the member area is one of the best we have seen.

Visit AWIN

Shareasale

What is unique about Shareasale, which has been in business for twenty years, is that it is quite open to new bloggers, so for many neophytes, this program is excellent.

Easy approvable means that you will be able to start using it quickly and of course, that means you will be making money quickly. Because they accept new bloggers, they actively seek to develop business through an extensive marketing network.

Shareasale

While AWIN has major global names, Shareasale has some larger partners but also offers more niche-focused companies that require individual applications which is not as tedious as it may seem.

Shareasale’s partners include Groodealz, Jane, Healthy Wage, Tailwind, Picmonkey, and Cents of Style, while some of their programs are Blurb, Studio Press, CreativeLive and Grammarly. There are over 2500 affiliate marketing programs from which to choose and to earn commissions.

There is a five-step sign-up process and once this has been completed, you will receive a referral link to be incorporated into your website. Payment is monthly through bank transfer. There are various options for making money since it offers pay-per-sale, pay-per-click and/or pay-for-lead.

Shareasale
Shareasale dashboard – Huge amount of partners

Although relatively self-explanatory, it is important to define these terms. Pay-for-sale is when you earn a certain percentage of the sales made through the blog. Pay-per-click means that you earn money when readers click on the affiliate links in the blog.

Lastly, pay-per-lead can be more complicated since readers must provide contact information on the seller’s page, to which the link in your blog has redirected them.

Your audience does not need to make a purchase for you to earn a commission. An alternative option is pay-for-call in which you receive earnings based on calls to the seller from advertising on your blog or website.

Shareasale is a company that we have worked with for 10+ years and have never had a problem with them, payments are on time and they have a huge variety of advertisers so you should be able to find a match for your site.

Visit Shareasale

FlexOffers

As the name implies, this company offers flexibility in the form of earning extra income from home.

Associated with 12000 affiliate programs, FlexOffers is constantly expanding and gaining a fine reputation as a reputable company with an impressive list of merchant partners, including Lyft, Sephora, Macey’s, Lord and Taylor, InterContinental Hotel Group, Chewy and Shoe Carnival.

Flexoffers

The FlexOffers website platform is easy to navigate and well designed, and it offers multiple marketing options, such as cost per lead, cost per sale, cost per action, and cost per click products.

There is also flexible and optimal data delivery options, access to their web services, API’s and FTP, well-organized dashboard, advanced payment solutions, high-quality customer service from professional affiliate managers, regularly updated blog, training tips library, analytics, deep linking, and reliable payment.

Flexoffers Dashboard
Lots of advertisers to promote at Flexoffers

FlexOffers has two payment schemes, one on a monthly basis and the other on a weekly basis for those generating over $5000 in monthly revenue. Additional income can be made through the FlexRev-$hare program which pays for referring as many publishers as you can.

Visit Flexoffers

Ultimate Bundles

Ultimate Bundles is exactly that: bundles of all sorts of books and courses that highly discounted, sometimes even up to 95%.

Ultimate Bundles

Because the company wants honest promotions, they won’t force you to sell their products, but rather give you the choice to do so. In this manner, the content is of high value and quality.

In order to achieve this, Ultimate Bundles provides you with an advanced copy of the product so that you can familiarize yourself with it.

Ultimate Bundles Dashboard
Not the best Dashboard but gets the task done!

Ultimate Bundles works well with people have built a mailing list because the offers change you can send out an email with the latest offers. This is a win for your members because they get to purchase a bundle which is heavily discounted and you also get to collect any commissions from the item sold.

Visit Ultimate Bundles

Amazon Associates

Easily one of the most popular affiliate programs, Amazon Associates appeals to both new and established bloggers.

Offering the most affiliate links, Amazon offers up to ten percent commissions on all qualifying purchases, simply by advertising products for Amazon.com. When a customer clicks the links and buys a product (or products), you earn the referral fee.

One of the best parts about the Amazon program is that the visitor does not have to purchase the exact item you send them to, they will credit you for purchases of any item that they make that day.

This way you will find out that you earn credit for all kinds of strange items, remember that most people use Amazon, a lot! and so you just have to focus on sending as many people to site as possible and let them do their job.

Amazon Associates

Since Amazon is already quite well-known and trusted, it’s easily recognizable name is a definite bonus, as is the fact that there are millions of products to promote.

As for the platform, there are tools to help with selling specific items or categories, and a reporting system that collates and analyses the data for you. It will inform you of what products are selling and what links are being clicked.

There is also good customer service, which alleviates any potential tensions with unhappy customers. Direct payment deposits allow you to get paid quickly and easily into your own bank account.

There are a few quirks with the program, including a relatively low commission rate, 24 hour only cookies, lack of international referral fees, and no sending of affiliate links in emails.

However, overall thee are minor issues that don’t diminish the sheer scope of available products and market partners in the program.

Amazon Associates dashboard
Amazon Associates dashboard – Create links to any amazon product

There is a six-step sign-up process to register your account, which will be approved for 180 days. During that time, you must make at least one sale or the account will be closed. There are ways to promote your affiliate links, from writing reviews of best-selling books, music, and products to creating a daily deal blog for special offers.

Although these four are the most popular programs, with years of experience, thousands of market partners and products, and easy to use platforms, there are a few other programs worth noting.

Impact Radius

If you would like to be an affiliate for Target, Impact Radius is the way to go. However, Target is not the only merchant, as there is a wide range of top brands from which to choose.

Impact

With a straightforward platform that is easy to use and navigate, you should be earning money in no time.

Please note that there are sub-affiliate programs. Both Skimlinks and Shopstyle Collective add links into your posts, meaning that you do not have to manually enter them.

Impact Dashboard
Top brands can be found at Impact

If you include links on a consistent basis, they will automatically evolve into affiliate links. Shopstyle also pays per click, which as you have seen, is a great way to earn income.

Affiliate Marketing Tips

Now that we have discussed programs, and proffered a few blogging tips, how does it all come together to make a well-visited blog and/or website?

How can a new blogger, even one who has applied to multiple affiliate programs actually make the money? Of course, content is king, but that alone might not bring the readers to your page. Therefore, the next topic is traffic.

Not the type of traffic in which you might sit during your commute to that overly air-conditioned office mentioned earlier. This is the kind of traffic you definitely want. It is the people who not only will come to your page, they will stay, and they will click.

While there are multiple traffic tactics, there are a few that are decidedly more successful.

Be Active on Social Media

Social media is an obvious choice since the data indicates that the two major traffic sources are Google and Facebook. However, Google and Facebook will not freely direct traffic to your blog. If you have extra cash, you can pay them for the traffic, but that seems to defeat the point of earning extra income through blogging.

Also, some of the above-discussed affiliate marketing programs do ask for detailed information about your blog and/or website, including traffic strategies and figures. Obviously, the programs want to see that you are serious in your intention and practice and if it will be a profitable working relationship. Traffic for you means more traffic for them too.

Therefore, your best bets will be going viral on Facebook and search engine optimization, both of which can take years to perfect. Wait, what? Years? But you don’t have years to make the extra income. However, there are some shortcuts.

Know Your Topics, and Who is Interested

Choose topics that are widely discussed on social media and/or heavily searched on Google. The blogging sphere is much more dominated by Google search than Facebook, so try to keep up with the trends in both arenas. Keywords about affiliate programs, platforms, plugin and writing will help to propel your blog into the list and divert traffic to your page.

Another way of increasing your audience is pop-ups. Yes, everyone knows how annoying these can be. You might be right in the middle of a great article, and boom, there it is, obscuring your view, asking for personal information. However, in the blogging sphere, if you can grow the email list and expand the number of subscribers, then you grow your income.

From another perspective, if someone visits your site without subscribing, the chances are low that they will return again, and there goes any money-making opportunity. But should you use pop-ups, and they can be done in an ethical fashion, you will increase the percentage of getting subscribers who will enjoy your blog and click the links, which is the ultimate goal.

Get Personal With Your Audience

Other advice for increasing traffic returns us to the tone and subject of your blog. It really does pay for you to write about something that you know and love, as long as it is it profitable and connected to hot topics on Google search.

By building a rapport with your audience, they will trust you and your product reviews and suggestions. Even in the dubious world of the internet, people want to trust bloggers and writers.

Connected to this notion is adding a personal touch to the blog. Extending beyond expertise and interests, reviewing products, brands, and companies that you personally appreciate, admire and use does make a difference.

If you hate cooking, there is no point in trying to convince your readers that a particular kitchen device is better than another or that the latest sourdough bread starter kit is the bomb. It will ring false and then people will lose their confidence in you.

Being personal and personable does not mean revealing sensitive information. It just means to be affable and anecdotal. Share your excitement about things that actually mean something to you or that you know well.

All of these suggestions can easily be applied to the affiliate marketing programs. When you are approved for the program, be honest and thorough in your profile, and choose the companies and brands that you want to promote.

Look for Opportunities in Your Niche

It may be tempting to want to promote a big name, but if you are unfamiliar with the product or have no experience with it, then it won’t be much help to either you or the company. Focus on the topics around which you can create a blog.

Still unsure if you want to apply for these programs? If you want a change of work scenery and a new way to make money, affiliate marketing is certainly appealing. However, if you want more reasons to join the affiliate network, we can provide a few.

It really is easy, but best of all, you can make your own schedule, and do it on your own time. You are your own boss, so if you aren’t feeling well or experiencing some writer’s block, you can take the day off and decompress without having to provide an explanation to anyone.

Flexibility is key, as you can choose your topics, goals, and your own path. If you have always wanted to have your own business, this would be the new digital model for the modern world. No start-up costs, just the usual cost of living. Plus, you don’t have to worry about stock or inventory.

Don’t forget: Quality Matters!

Outstanding work is not only recognized, but it is also well compensated. If you generate wealth for the company or brand, you can earn perks and rewards. Commission based work might seem a bit scary at first, but it will increase as time progresses.

There is always a learning curve, but once you hit your stride, expand your network and refine the blog content, the earning will improve substantially. Don’t think that affiliate programs for bloggers are going to make you rich overnight, but with a few years, it is reasonable to think that your blog could be a good source if income.

As noted previously, you can literally work anywhere. Although the comfort of home sounds heavenly, you can blog, market and network while traveling, on vacation, house sitting, at a cafe or by the swimming pool. All you really need is a computer and wifi.

Affiliate programs for bloggers are one of the best ways to make money online, and the start-up costs are minimal. If you are looking for a new way to make money, think about some of the options listed in the article. Be patient, and look for ways to stand out!

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Nicholas Say grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a father that would read him the Wall St. Journal along side of other bed-time fare. He has traveled extensively, and been lucky enough to study a changing global economy in person. Nicholas spent many years in the Southern Cone of South America, sometimes in the middle of the countryside where livestock starts its journey to all points of the globe. Today he is thoroughly bemused with the stance that Central Banks have taken in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. There is no telling what will come out of the global financial system next, but he is glad that he lives somewhere that gold can be bought and sold readily! nick@moneycheck.com


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