Affiliate marketing – a blogger’s best friend.
One of the best ways to earn passive income online is by doing affiliate marketing. You can earn thousands of dollars every month, but it is not without hard work.
If you’re a new blogger and don’t know where to begin with affiliate marketing, then you’ve come to the right place.
I first discovered affiliate marketing while waiting for my dad at the doctor’s office. After spending hours reading up on it, I was intrigued but also confused that I eventually gave up.
Wish I didn’t though…
Everything I found was telling me to sign up for a course or a seminar to learn more. It felt like a scam so I just brushed it off and didn’t think about it again.
It wasn’t until I started my blog many years later that I discovered affiliate marketing is legit and a great way for many bloggers to earn a full-time income.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with a list of 100+ affiliate programs. Start with something easy, small and go from there.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is very simple. You promote a product to your readers and if they decide to make a purchase, you get a commission, at no additional cost to them.
You must promote products that you use and/or love. Don’t just promote anything or your readers won’t trust you.
Some affiliate programs require you to have a certain number of readers per month. It can be quite challenging when you’re a new blogger.
11 Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners
1. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associate was the very first affiliate program I applied to because it is easy and pretty much everybody knows what Amazon is. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in, there is always something on Amazon for you to promote. If someone clicks on your link, but decides to buy a different product – you still get a commission for it. How great is that!
It is fairly easy to get accepted into the Amazon Associate Program, but you have to make 3 sales within 6 months or they will cancel your account. You can always apply again and the approval process is the same.
You are NOT allowed to click on your own link to buy the products. You will not get credit for it and might even risk getting your account banned.
ShareASale is an Affiliate Marketing Network – which means when you join, you join their whole entire program.
Search for products that are a good fit for your audience. Some of the programs I have signed up for through ShareASale are Tailwind, StudioPress, NameCheap, Grammarly, etc. These are all products that I have used or currently using.
Related: How I made $25 in 15 Minutes with Grammarly
SiteGround is a reputable web hosting company and I just cannot recommend it enough. I could not be happier after I switched from Bluehost to SiteGround. The customer service is top-notch.
It is extremely easy to apply for their affiliate program. They even provide banners with multiple images and sizes for you to use.
Their commission rate is very generous:
- Monthly 1-5 sales: 50.00 USD/sale
- Monthly 6-10 sales: 75.00 USD/sale
- Monthly 11+ sales: 100.00 USD/sale
MaxBounty is a cost per action (CPA) affiliate marketing network. Once you get accepted into MaxBounty, you have the opportunity to become affiliate for different companies.
MaxBounty’s application process is a little bit different. After you are done filling out your online application, you will have to go through a phone interview.
You will be assigned an affiliate manager and this person will call to interview you. While the interview is short and simple, you want to be prepared and be professional.
I was asked how long I’ve been doing affiliate marketing and what products I want to promote. That pretty much was my whole interview.
MaxBounty is one of my favorites because the affiliate manager is there to help you every step of the way! You should definitely give this a try.
5. OfferJuice (Formerly iGain)
OfferJuice (formerly iGain) is another Affiliate Marketing Network just like ShareASale, but it has different products you can promote. OfferJuice accepts new bloggers without any traffic. The site is very user-friendly and it is one of my favorite affiliate marketing networks.
Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling tool and is a must-have for every blogger. It has freed up so much of my time to work on my content instead of pinning all day. There are two ways to go about this:
- Tailwind credits – if you use Tailwind, that means you already have the referral link in your dashboard. Every time someone clicks on your link to make a purchase, they will get 1 free month and you will also get 1 free month. If you haven’t already, sign up to get the 1-month FREE trial here.
- Cash: if you’d rather get monetary compensation, then you need to join an affiliate marketing network such as ShareASale and apply for Tailwind that way. You earn 15% commission every time someone makes a purchase using your link.
I applied for Media.net when I had zero traffic and got accepted right away. In addition to being an ad network, it is also an affiliate program. You can use both Media.net and Google Adsense ad networks together.
Once you get accepted into their Ambassador program, you will receive 10% of the revenue generated by each of your referrals for the first 12 months. Your referred publisher also gets an additional 10% of the revenue they generate the first 3 months. I call it a win-win.
Ebates is a refer-a-friend program in addition to cashback for shopping at more than 2,500 stores such as Walmart, Amazon, Macy’s, etc.
Ebates is one of the best affiliate programs because both you and your friend get paid. You get $25 and your friend gets $10 Walmart gift card. This works both online and in-store (not all stores).
Related: Beginner’s Guide to Ebates – How to Make Money Shopping
FlexOffers is a solid, dependable affiliate network that is great for beginners. Easy to sign up and very user-friendly dashboard. It has a lot of products for you to promote. You are able to see how much traffic you are getting from your offers and make appropriate adjustment.
Awin is another affiliate network program that connects customers with brands in over 180 countries around the globe.
To apply for Awin, you have to pay $5 using your credit card. But don’t worry, you are not actually paying Awin to join. This is for them to check that you’re a real person. You will be refunded the $5 once your account is approved.
ConvertKit is a popular email service provider that pays 30% recurring commission. I have been using MailChimp and looking to switch over to ConverKit. From my research, ConvertKit makes it easy to create automated email sequence. Additionally, ConvertKit allows you to use their mailing address instead of your own address in the email footer which is required.
Viglink is a great affiliate program for new bloggers for 2 reasons:
- When you paste Viglink’s code into your website, it will automatically scan your site for common product terms and turn them into affiliate links.
- If your application for a certain affiliate program was rejected, you can still earn money through Viglink. Let’s say your application for Amazon Associates was rejected, Viglink will turn your product links into affiliate links. You would earn money making a sale, but it would go through Viglink instead of Amazon. How awesome is that?
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways many bloggers make money blogging. But it can be overwhelming starting out – not knowing where to begin, what programs to apply. I hope this list has helped you and let me know what if you’ve tried any of them.
Great resources! Love it!
It’s very hard to get into affiliate marketing when we are new into blogging. Thank you for sharing list.
It is hard to get accepted when you’re new, but not impossible. Those listed above all accepted me.
These are some awesome affiliate programs. My recommendation to new-bie bloggers is don’t go for amazon associate program as it needs sales within few months of joining and the commission is hell as of April 2020 due to Corona virus pandemic.
Anyways that was my recommendation.
Kevin from TechStudio.
I love the fact that you mentioned some affiliate sites that I did not know about. Thanks for some great resources. I will surely look into some of these sites to
diversify my income. There are many ways to make money with affiliate marketing and this site only mentions a few but they are unique. Thanks for this information.
There are a looooot of programs out there, but these affiliates are meant for beginners with little or no traffic and slowly go from there. I have used and still use most of these affiliates and they work very well for me!
Thank you for this wonderful list. I actually wanted to try a few affiliate programs but was worried as I am a newbie.
You’re welcome! I keep track of all the places that I’ve applied to and the outcome (approved/rejected). It helps keep track of what you’d need to re-apply later down the road.
SiteGround is just amazing! Everyone who starts a blog should joint it’s affiliate program since the beginning.
Great article, Kelly!
Thank you! I love SiteGround and have been using it for years! Love love their top-notch customer service
Great post, it helped me a lot. Most of them i did not know, thanks.
Wow, I can not just believe I haven’t heard of viglink before.
If what you said about them is true, I’m going to start using them on my blog right away.
Thanks for this, it was really insightful
Very useful article Thanks for sharing
You’re very welcome!
Thank you very much! Love it
You’re very welcome