The 8 Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

The 8 Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

Looking to monetize your blog? Affiliate marketing can be one of the easiest ways to make money online, but it’s also one of the most competitive. Here are eight affiliate programs you should consider joining if you’re serious about building your online business as an authority in your niche and getting paid to do what you love – write!


1) What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is a place where bloggers, marketers, or business owners can sign up to promote or sell products on behalf of a company. When someone clicks through and buys a product, they’ll earn a commission. The beauty of an affiliate program is that you don’t have to carry inventory (as you would with a brick-and-mortar shop), write your own marketing copy, or worry about shipping products to customers. But if you want to make money through affiliate programs (and many bloggers do!), it takes hard work and dedication to get your first sale!


2) How they work

When a visitor to your site clicks on one of these links and completes an action such as buying a product or signing up for a service, you get paid. The affiliate program is designed so that vendors, not affiliates, shoulder all liability and legal issues. This takes some of your worries away if you are worried about being sued if someone makes a purchase with their credit card and it's declined—for example. You won't be held responsible in any way since all liability rests with them. You'll usually be paid in two ways: when someone makes a purchase and then again when they make another purchase within some time frame (30 days, 60 days) of their first purchase.


3) Amazon Associates Program

When you sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program, you get a unique referral link. Every time someone clicks your link and purchases a product from Amazon, you earn a percentage of that sale—with no limits on how much money you can make. For example, if someone visits Amazon using your link and buys $75 worth of stuff, there’s no limit to how much money you can make off that one person. Amazon will pay out monthly based on what they consider an active affiliate page—meaning it has been clicked at least once in 30 days. So while passive income is great in some ways (like not having to track every last dollar), it’s important to remember that active income is required to grow a business.


4) ShareASale

One of ShareASale’s greatest strengths is its payout structure. They have one of, if not, THE highest CPA (cost per action) and CPL (cost per lead) rates in our review. For example, when you refer a new customer to ZipRecruiter through ShareASale, you earn $225! Their payouts are always on time and super simple to track.


5) Commission Junction

If you want to monetize your site through affiliate marketing, Commission Junction (CJ) is a good place to start. CJ was one of the first affiliate networks out there and is now used by thousands of affiliates, many of whom have multiple sites and create content across multiple topics. The network has more than 20,000 active advertisers from all kinds of industries. Although you can apply to any category under which your site falls, your best bets are in health care, insurance, and personal finance -- these three niches are among CJ's most popular ad categories.


6) Skimlinks

If you’re a blogger, Skimlinks are something you should try out. As mentioned above, it works as an affiliate program with thousands of merchants. These merchants offer products and services for which Skimlinks will automatically create links within your content to send readers to their site. The best part? You can select keywords that are related to your content so that Skimlinks links only appear when appropriate and useful to your audience. If you’re thinking of trying affiliate marketing, I highly recommend giving Skimlinks a shot!


7) BrandBacker

BrandBacker is one of my favorite affiliate programs because you can earn a commission just by linking to products you love. For example, if you’re a food blogger writing about your best recipes, you can share them with BrandBacker and get paid every time someone buys an item from that recipe link. You also get paid for referrals on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. The amount of money that you earn from these networks varies from product to product; check out their website to see which products are currently available on which networks.


8) Rakuten LinkShare

Rakuten LinkShare is an affiliate network through which you can earn commissions by referring users to online merchants. The network serves a wide range of industries and lets you customize your links, called widgets, to fit your needs. When users click your widgets and make a purchase on a merchant's site, you'll get paid a commission, typically ranging from 6 percent to 60 percent. The larger share you take, however, the less likely users are to follow through on their purchase. It's important that your links reflect well on both parties—that they're not spammy or too aggressive in their sales tactics. Rakuten LinkShare also offers useful resources like comparison shopping engines and customer reviews that can help boost conversion rates at no extra cost.

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