One of the best ways to earn money through your blog is through the use of affiliate networks. Affiliate networks allow you to promote products as a publisher (or blogger) with multiple merchants (also known as advertisers or vendors) under one network.
When someone visits your site, clicks on one of your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you are owed money for referring business to a particular company.
Typical conversion rates will vary, however, they can range anywhere between 10% to 1.5%.
So which affiliate programs are the best? You’ve come to the right place to find out!
Below are our favorite affiliate programs for bloggers who want to make that moolah on their sites. We’ve also indicated some tips and benefits of joining the affiliate program.
Best Affiliate Program for Bloggers
#1 Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is one of the most popular affiliate programs. Once approved for their affiliate program, you can choose from their millions of listings created by Amazon or different merchants on their marketplace WORLDWIDE. It’s also FREE to join.
You need to make three sales within the first 90 days or they will close your account and have to start all over again.
As an affiliate, you will be able to access their SiteStripe tool that makes it easy to generate affiliate links to your recommended products.
#2 Reward Style
Benefits of Using Reward Style:
- Create “Shop the Post” widgets so people can easily access your product feeds.
- Create folders for your favorite products and add them as a gallery widget to your blog.
- Link Ninja (a browser bookmark tool) allows you to easily create referral links to recommended products.
- Reward Style offers a WordPress plugin that allows you to integrate and run product feeds on your blog.
- Offers a first-year bonus when you refer new members to their community.
To join Reward Style, you’ll need to be referred. If you’d like a referral, please e-mail me and include the following info:
- Your full name
- blog URL
I’d be happy to refer you to the Reward Style family! It takes approximately 2 weeks to hear back regarding your application.
It’s important to note that if you apply with Reward Style directly through their website, there is a high chance that you will be denied. They are very exclusive and operate on a referral-based model.
#3 Sovrn //Commerce (formerly known as Viglink)
Sovrn //Commerce (formerly known as Viglink) is a great affiliate program that is best used in conjunction with another network. If you cannot find an affiliate on another site, Sovrn // Commerce will typically have it.
Benefits of Using Sovrn //Commerce:
- A unique feature with Sovrn //Commerce, that can really come in handy for bloggers is the ability to add code to your site and that will automatically convert existing outgoing links to affiliate links (when applicable).
- You can also set the code to pick out text and create affiliate links in your content as well.
AvantLink is great for those who produce content about the outdoors and active living.
AvantLink has publisher minimum requirements. You will need to show your current stats in order to be accepted into their exclusive affiliate network.
Benefits of Using AvantLink:
- Allows deep linking so that you can link products directly into your content.
- Access all of AvantLink’s tools using a WordPress plugin.
ShareASale is an affiliate network that requires merchant approval before you can start earning money.
The minimum payout is $50 and can be requested via check or direct deposit.
Benefits of Using ShareASale:
- Over 3,000 merchants on their network.
- Deep linking tool. Unfortunately there is not an extension or bookmark to create deep links.
- Robust reporting homepage which allows you to see stats such as earnings, inactive merchants and broken links.
One con that I’ve noticed about ShareASale is that once a merchant has declined your request to participate as an affiliate, you will not be able to reapply again. You’ll have to reach out directly to the merchant for them to review your status.
Magiclinks gives you access to their entire network of merchants. You will not need to apply to each one individually.
Benefits of Using Magiclinks:
- Google Chrome extension allows you to quickly create affiliate links.
- Create a shopping page through their ObssessedWith.It App. You can check mine out here.
- User-friendly interface to track your clicks and conversions.
- Get a referral bonus for referring new members.
#7 CJ Affiliate (formerly known as Commission Junction)
CJ Affiliate requires merchant approval. If you are not approved the first time, try again in a few weeks or months.
The payout at $50 via direct deposit or check. If you do not earn any affiliate income within 6 months, your account will be closed and you’ll have to start all over again.
Benefits of Using CJ Affiliate:
- Apply with over 2,800 merchants.
- Merchants are very responsive with some often offering sponsored content or product review opportunities.
- Offers CPA and CPC opportunities.
When signing up with Awin, you are required to make a $5 payment. The $5 is then credited to your account and get it back in your first payment from them. This is done to ensure that Awin is attracting high-quality affiliate publishers.
Benefits of Using Awin:
- Awin offer affiliate opportunities with big brands like Etsy and AliExpress.
One complaint that we have about Awin is that their user face is not very easy to navigate.
#9 Rakuten Marketing (formerly known as Linkshare)
Rakuten Marketing (formerly known as Linkshare) is an affiliate network. They also operate a cashback rebate company (formerly known as Ebates). While bloggers are totally not fond of their rebate site, their affiliate network is a good place to begin monetizing your blog.
You will need merchant approval before you can start earning commissions. If you are denied, most merchants will allow you to re-apply after 15 days.
Benefits of Using Linkshare:
- One of the oldest affiliate networks. Linkshare started in 2005 and currently work with over 2,000 merchants.
- They hold an annual conference for marketers, merchants and affiliates that might be worth checking out.
- They offer free online affiliate webinars to help you learn about Linkshare and insights on how to boost your sales.
- Use code to automate your affiliate links.
- Complimentary phone, live chat and e-mail support.
- Platinum-status publishers receive consultations and early access to new technology.
Some cons we’ve found with Rakuten is that their reporting needs to be customized. If you run it as it is set-up, it will not make a lot of sense. It can be a little confusing to use.
Skimlinks‘ affiliate network gives you immediate access to ALL their participating merchants. There is no need to get approved to start monetizing.
Benefits of Using Skimlinks:
- Install the Chrome extension to quickly create affiliate links to all your recommended products and merchant sites.
- Easy to navigate and run income reports.
- Toolbox tab allows you to automate affiliate URLs on your site with Link Wrapper or shorten them.
- Offers a referral bonus when you refer new members.
Impact is an affiliate network that requires merchant approval to join their affiliate programs. The network is for food, health, travel, technology and apparel related publishers.
Benefits of Using Impact:
- Over 1,100 merchants to work with.
- Impact’s reporting interface is very detailed. We recommend spending some time going through it if you’re earning a significant amount of affiliate income on Impact.
- Link shortening tool located on the home page.
Their application process for each merchant looks very confusing and is referred to as an Insertion Order. We signed up thinking we were agreeing to a brand placement on our site.
FlexOffers is an affiliate network that requires merchant approval.
Benefits of Using FlexOffers:
- Has a network of over 12,000 merchants.
- Easily create deep links with approved merchants.
- The homepage offers the best affiliate deals to help you yield higher income.
- Once you’ve been recognized as a top-performing affiliate partner, you will automatically get immediate approval with most or almost all merchants.
The reporting interact is not intuitive. We find difficult to navigate and requires a lot of adjusting to get the reports you need.
#13 eBay Partner Network
EPN is a great affiliate program for new bloggers and those who love finding ways to budget. eBay is also a great affiliate network for various blogging niches from interior design blogs to bargain hunting or electronics niches.
Benefits of Using EPN:
- Use code to automatically turn your eBay links into monetizable ones.
- The commission is 50-70% (of eBay‘s final cut) of each sale made.
- Cookie length is 24 hours for BUY IT NOW (BIN) products and 10 days for auctions. If an auction goes on for more than 10 days, you will not earn affiliate income.
- Wide range of products to choose from, making it great for various blogging niches.
Clickbank is a great affiliate network for digital products, tutorials and courses. Prior merchant approval is required before you can start earning.
Benefits of Using Clickbank:
- Wide range of digital categories that are organized very well on the Marketplace page.
- Great place for entrepreneurs with digital products to promote.
- Choose from thousands of digital products.
MaxBounty is an affiliate network that will require a phone call screen prior to being accepted. The phone interview took me no more than 5 minutes. It’s a requirement, so there’s no way of getting around it.
Once accepted, you will have immediate access to certain merchants. Some merchants will require you to apply or send creatives prior to being accepted into their programs.
Benefits of Using MaxBounty:
- User friendly interface. Bookmark your favorite merchants.
- Wide range of products/services from over 1,800 merchants.
- You are matched with a dedicated affiliate manager who supports your success.
- High commission rates with commissions varying per campaign.
- Weekly payments.
- Performance bonuses.
- Free resources and webinars to help you increase your conversion rates.
- Uses Payoneer to payout in check or direct deposit.
- Join the affiliate referral program and get 5% of affiliate earnings in the first year.
If you don’t get approved, you will have to wait a couple of months to be able to apply again.
How Do I Find the Best Network?
Before you leave, here are some tips to help you choose the best affiliate network:
- Partner with affiliate networks and programs that your audience will find valuable. Use Google Analytics to see what your audience is searching for and reading. Use this date to promote programs and products that resonate with your audience.
- Offer testimonials to entice people to try your products. Talk about how a product has changed or improved your life. Giving people a firsthand experience of what you’re promoting will encourage them to click on your links and take action.
- If you can’t find a company on one of these affiliate networks, there are two things you can do:
While affiliate income is a great way to earn extra cash, it’s not a get rich quick scheme. You’ll have to coordinate your content and do some groundwork to get your content noticed.
Spending some time to create a strategic affiliate plan will help you earn the income you need to afford the life you want to live!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section of this post.
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