Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I could receive payment.
When I started my own blog over 6 years ago I had no idea how I was going to monetize it. I just knew I wanted to write about the things that I loved. A year into my blogging I found out about this thing called affiliate marketing. It turns out affiliate marketing helps bloggers get paid to write about the things they love!
Don’t know what affiliate marketing is? I basically think of affiliate marketing as word of mouth advertising. When you become an affiliate for a brand you can place links in your blog posts that contain your special affiliate code. Whenever someone clicks on these links and purchases from that site you can earn a small commission from that sale. And the cool thing is a lot of times these links will contain code that stores cookie information that will allow you to make commission even if that person doesn’t purchase that day. These cookies can be stored anywhere from 30-90 days. Meaning that the person that clicks on your affiliate links goes back and orders from that site within that 30-90 day period you will still earn commission. Pretty cool, right?!
How do you get started with affiliate marketing? There are actually a few different ways you can go about doing this. If you are just getting started with blogging and building up your traffic and audience you will go through some trial and error with this. But don’t give up!
When you sign up for ShareASale you can apply for affiliate programs within ShareASale. Some of the affiliate programs I have signed up for within Shareasale include Gymboree, Fitbit, Addidas and Modcloth. The cool thing about ShareASale is that you will get emails from time to time about bonus activities. They will send you a prewritten post and you will earn $5 just from copying and pasting this post and reporting the links. Super easy money.
Linkshare is similar to Shareasale. The difference is that Linkshare seems to have more of the well known larger stores. I did pretty well with Linkshare for a while, but lately I’ve kind of gotten away from using them. They are still a great starting point.
I’ve actually made quite a bit of money from the Amazon affiliate program. SO many people shop on Amazon, especially with Amazon Prime being so popular. The Amazon Affiliate program is super easy to sign up for and use. When you sign up for the program you will actually have a little toolbar at the top of you page that will make it super easy to grab affiliate links for specific products. Amazon Associates is the affiliate program I use the most.
Go Directly to the Source
Do you have a favorite store that you shop at? Online academy or class that you love? Author who you love? Products you can’t live without? Go to their website and browse around. If you look particularly in the footer of the websites you will see links to sign up to be an affiliate. You can go through the affiliate application process straight from their site.
Don’t see an affiliate link? No problem!! Just email them directly and ask them if they have an affiliate program. Explain that you love their products and would love to promote their products on your blog. Flattery will get you everywhere!
A few extra tips:
- Don’t go affiliate crazy! Just because you’ve just found out about this new awesome thing don’t go crazy with the affiliate links. You will start to drive your audience away if they feel you are just a walking billboard.
- Only go after affiliates who you truly believe in. If you start blogging about affiliate programs for places you have never shopped or products you have never used it will show through your writing. Stick to writing about what you love and don’t whore yourself out just because someone sends you an offer.
- Disclose, disclose, disclose. FTC regulations require bloggers to disclose when they are posting links where they could get paid from readers clicking on their links. Plus, it’s just polite to share that you are posting affiliate links. An example of a disclosure is at the beginning of this post. You are welcome to use my disclosure or edit it to make your own.
- After you have signed up for a few affiliate programs and feel like you have the hang of it go back to your older posts to see if you could add affiliate links to those posts. Chances are you have blogged about a product or service that you could add an affiliate link to.
If you are an affiliate marketer I would love to know what your favorite programs are! Leave me a comment below so I can check it out! And if you are just getting started in affiliate marketing and find anything that I’ve written about confusing please leave me a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to help you in any way I can.