Every product on this page was carefully chosen. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure.
There are various ways to make money with your blog including sponsored posts, ads and digital products. However, one of the most lucrative ways is with affiliate marketing. Since you’re here, I’m guessing you already have an idea of what affiliate marketing is, so I’ll do a quick overview of what it is.
Affiliate marketing is everywhere online. You know those links you see when you’re reading an article about the best yoga mats or best tools to grow your blog? Those links are usually affiliate links. That means that if you click on the link and buy the product/service, the owner of the blog will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. That’s affiliate marketing in a nutshell.
How To Approach Affiliate Marketing
There are many programs you can join and almost all brands/companies have affiliate programs. However, you don’t want to join too many in the beginning. It’s better to focus on a few at a time. The products you promote should also be things that you trust and have tried. Don’t recommend something simply because of a high payout. It’s better to build customer trust rather than make a few extra bucks.
With that said, not all affiliate programs were made equally. You will find some with a commission rate of $100 and others only a few cents. It depends on the program and the product you are promoting.
Now, I have put together a comprehensive list of affiliate programs to join depending on the niche(s) you are in. Some programs might reject you depending on your audience size, but don’t let that get you down. It has happened to me a few times and I’m still going strong! Plus, you can always reapply at a later date.
Remember to disclose your affiliate links in each post. You can do this by placing a disclaimer at the top of the blog post (which is what I do) or within the article next to the actual link. All that matters is that you’re transparent and your visitors understand that there are affiliate links in the post.
Best Affiliate Networks
What Are Affiliate Networks?
Affiliate networks are the platforms that form a connection between the merchants that sell the products and the publishers (the affiliates) who promote them. The affiliate networks contain a number of merchants which makes it easier to join multiple affiliate programs all in one place.
ShareASale accepts almost everyone, so you should have no problem getting into it. They offer many successful affiliate programs, so you should be able to find something no matter your niche. You can then promote ShareASale and earn $150 for every successful signup. However, the account must either be 6 months old or have generated $100 in network fees for you to receive the $150.
CJ Affiliate is an established affiliate network that has been around since 1998. It offers thousands of products to promote and make money from. Designed for affiliate success, you will be able to find numerous programs in many different niches.
Some advertisers that work with CJ Affiliate include Overstock, J. Crew, Barnes and Noble, GoPro, Priceline, Lowes, Wayfair and many more.
FlexOffers is an award-winning affiliate network that boasts over 12,000 affiliate programs and millions of products including Payless, GameStop, Bloomingdales, Barnes and Noble, Swagbucks, Travelocity, Sperry, ASOS, Benefit, Cratejoy and Macy’s. There are over 500 premium advertisers that offer higher commissions on FlexOffers rather than going directly through their individual affiliate program.
You will also have the chance to promote FlexOffers through their referral program where you can make up to 50% of the FlexOffers profit.
Rakuten was voted as the #1 Affiliate Marketing Network for eight years straight. They have over 1,000 advertisers to choose from, including but not limited to, Sephora, The Body Shop, Pacsun, New Balance, and DialogTech. Furthermore, you should be able to find success with Rakuten Linkshare no matter your niche (for the most part).
If your audience wants a fast and user-friendly web host, you should recommend SiteGround.
The commission rate starts at $50 per sale for 1-5 sales per month, but if you generate 6-10 successful clicks in one month, the commission rate will increase to $75/sale. This can increase to $100/sale if there are 11-20 sales/month. After that, you can make a custom payment plan with SiteGround. You will receive credit for any successful purchase 60 days after the initial click.
Currently, there is no minimum payout needed. Furthermore, if you only make one sale one week, you can still cash it out that same week.
BlueHost is a popular and affordable web host that starts at only $3.95/month. You can recommend this as a more cost-friendly option as web hosting can become very expensive.
For any successful referral 45 days after the initial click, you will receive $65. However, you do need to reach the minimum payout limit, which is $100, before cashing out.
HostGator is a powerful website hosting service that starts at $2.75/month. Their affiliate program is similar to SiteGround where the number of sales per month determines the commission rate. However, instead of negotiating a new cost once you reach 21 sales/month like SiteGround, you earn a fixed amount of $125. You will earn a commission on any qualifying purchase before the 60 day mark.
By joining the WP Engine affiliate program, you can anywhere from $200+ per sale. That makes WP Engine one of the highest-paying affiliate programs which can become incredibly lucrative if you generate numerous sales. Their cookie lasts 180 days which gives you a higher chance of making a sale.
Amazon is the biggest online retailer, featuring millions of products to promote and make money from. Since Amazon is such a widely used site, there is an automatic sense of trust when shopping with them which means your audience will be more likely to buy the product.
Amazon’s affiliate program has a one-day cookie which means you can earn a commission on whatever someone spends on Amazon for that one day. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to make 1-3 affiliate sales in 90 days or your account may be terminated. You should be able to make a sale within that timespan, but if you don’t and your account is taken down, you can always apply to their program again, so there is no need to worry.
Canva is a great graphic design company for Pinterest, Facebook, infographics and many more. They offer a flexible affiliate program that is relatively new right now, so you should definitely get started with them!
If your audience is primarily made up of people who are doing a lot of writing, then they find Grammarly to be incredibly useful. It checks more than 250 types of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Along with that, it enhances vocabulary usage and will suggest necessary citations.
You can earn $0.20 for a free registration which requires no payment information. If the account is upgraded to premium, you can earn a $20 commission. The duration of the cookie is a whopping 90 days which gives the customer ample time to take the jump and upgrade.
If your audience is looking for a theme for their blog/website, you can promote the beautiful and intuitive designs from StudioPress. You will receive a 35% commission for any qualifying theme sales which will be auto-deposited into your account. The cookie lasts for 60 days. You can sign up for their program through ShareASale.
All affiliates will receive a 15% commission every month if someone signs up for the monthly plan. Furthermore, this is a great recurring affiliate program that can create a nice passive income stream. The cookie also lasts for a whopping 90 days which is enough time for someone to eventually upgrade to the PLUS plan. You can sign up now through ShareASale.
When you write your first post for Tailwind, you can submit it for review and receive a $25 commission. Tailwind may also put ad dollars behind it on Pinterest which can significantly increase the number of views your post receives.
If you have an account with Tailwind, you can also join their referral program. If someone clicks your referral link and joins, not only will they receive a $15 credit to their account, but you will as well. It’s a win-win!
WP Tasty is a premium recipe plugin that allows bloggers to add a Pinterest and SEO description to all the images in a post. The average commission rate is around $11 with a 90-day cookie duration. You can sign up for their affiliate program through ShareASale now and start earning.
rewardStyle influencers have access to a network of over 4,500 retail partners. This includes brands in fashion, health & wellness, technology, travel, beauty, family, home and food. After you apply to their program, it can take a few weeks for them to get back to you. If you’re accepted, they will send you an invitation.
Some brands include Loft, Bonobos, Urban Outfitters, Saks Fifth Avenue, Everlane, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, eBay, Reebok, Topshop, Conair and Kendra Scott.
Skimlinks is a content monetization platform that connects you to a wide assortment of companies and brands. With Skimlinks, you have the opportunity to work with many fashion/clothing brands that wouldn’t normally pay much attention to you in the first place.
Commission rates vary depending on the company/brand, so you’ll have to read the description listed to find out. You do not need to apply to each program within Skimlinks to access the affiliate links. Instead, you copy the url of the item you are promoting into the link converter which turns it into an affiliate link.
Some brands on Skimlinks include Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, ASOS, Nike, American Eagle Outfitters, L.L. Bean, Anthropologie, REVOLVE, Topshop, Reformation, Shopbop, Zappos, Michael Kors, Athleta, AllSaints, Zulily, Banana Republic, Free People, Victoria’s Secret and many more.
Give your visitors the best prices on over 2 million properties with Agoda. The way Agoda’s affiliate program works is the more completed bookings you have each month, the higher the percentage of those commissions you get paid for that month.
If your audience is consumed by wanderlust and has an urge to travel, AirB&B is the perfect site to refer. You can invite people to join AirB&B and if they sign up through your link, they can receive $44 off their first home booking. In return, you will get a $30 travel credit.
Booking.com is another popular destination for people who are planning out their travel destinations. You can gain instant access to their affiliate program and start earning up to 40% of the commission on bookings made through your site.
There is also a referral program where you can earn about $56 for every new property that joins through your link.
Travelocity is an online travel agency that offers cheap hotels, flights, cruises, vacation rentals, and travel packages/deals. Their affiliate program offers a 2-6% commission and a 45-day cookie duration. You can apply to their program through FlexOffers or CJ Affiliate.
If someone is planning a vacation, they’ll most likely end up at TripAdvisor as it is the world’s largest travel site. With that said, if you plan to write about travel, you should apply to TripAdvisor’s affiliate program.
You can earn at least 50% commission for any sales generated although the referral period lasts for only one day.
Make sure that the program is 100% free and offers many different products that you can promote. However, it’s a must that they relate back to your niche. For instance, if you’re visiting a site that focuses on skincare, you would be confused if they had an article promoting dirt bikes.
Check the cookie duration. When a person clicks a link, a cookie will be placed within their browser which means if they don’t buy it right away, you can still get a commission for it even if it’s 60 days after they clicked it. Furthermore, the longer the cookie duration, the better your chances are of earning a commission.
After finding a merchant, check their commission rates. It’s important to promote products you’re familiar with, but if you’re only receiving a few cents per purchase, it may not be the most lucrative option. With that said, you should look for merchants with a high commission payout.
There are thousands of affiliate programs, networks and referral programs out there that can help monetize your blog/website. It is a great way to make money online as it can become a large portion of your overall earnings.
How to be successful with affiliate marketing?
1. Recommend Brands You Love or Trust
Remember to only recommend brands you personally love or trust. If you wouldn’t use it, why would your audience use it? It’s better if you have personally used the product/service as it makes your article more authentic and reliable. All in all, be upfront.
2. Write Compelling Content
Make sure you write a compelling review or list that explains why your viewers need this product and how it will help them. Identify their pain points and use them to your advantage.
3. Don’t Overuse Links and Banners
When you first start your blog, you may think it’s a good idea to spread links and banners throughout your site, but that method won’t bring in a lot of revenue. Instead, use them sparingly and thoughtfully throughout your posts. Try putting links at the beginning, middle and end.