So you’ve set up that beautiful, informative and popular blog or website with all the bells and whistles. You’re now looking to bear some internet fruits from all that hard graft.
One way of doing this that you have probably heard of by now, is affiliate marketing!
This guide will be your affiliate bible setting out out all the best affiliate marketing programs for your blog or website.
Affiliate Marketing Recap
If you’re new to this and are sitting there with the cogs still turning, I’ll quickly recap what affiliate marketing is.
Affiliate marketing is a way of earning a commission by promoting a product or service on your blog, website or literally anywhere else you can post a hyper-link!
You are given a special link by the business or individual selling the product and you place this in your content.
When the link gets clicked by your visitor this takes them to that business’s website and if the visitor makes a purchase, you secure a commission.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it?
I remember being blown away when I first about affiliate marketing about 5 years ago! I’ve gone on to make thousands since then with it and it’s one of my most touted ways to make extra cash online!
So why’s affiliate marketing so good:-
- You don’t need to spend time making a product. You literally ride on the back of someone else’s ingenuity and hard work. Amazing for the passive income seeker!
- You don’t have to worry about inventory, shipping or returns. The business whose products you’re promoting has got you covered. Trust me – you’ve just saved yourself a massive headache there!
- You don’t have to build a brand. The business you’re partnered with probably already has one.
- You make money completely passively. You can be earning while you sleep……
“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you’ll work until you die!”Warren Buffet
and for the sake of impartiality – the negative:-
- You have no control over the product. If the creator of the product redesigns it and it sucks, there’s not much you can do about it!
- You usually have no control over the affiliate terms. This means the creator of the product you’re promoting could simply change the terms so you get less commission. This happened with Udemy a few years ago when they cut the commission percentage from 40% to 15% – bummer!
- You’re unlikely to get repeat custom from the person who clicked your link. Once the customer has purchased, they’ll go straight to the creator of the product for their upgrades or renewal!
Types of Affiliate Program
Of course, like most things, not all affiliate programs are created equal. You’ve got to spend some time rooting out the gems. Separating the wheat from the chaff!
The best affiliate programs for your blog are the ones that are likely to convert your visitors so they buy the product and also pay you a decent return for your efforts!
I’ll grade the cream of the crop to the downright terrible in descending order:-
Multi-tiered Recurring Programs: You make a commission from the products your referral buys and also from the products your referral promotes and sells! The commissions are recurring meaning you get payment every time your referral purchases the product again or stays as a paying customer or member.
Multi-tiered Programs: You make a commission from the products your referral buys and also from the products your referral promotes and sells! Only this time the payment is a one off so there’s no recurring commission if your referral purchases again or stays a paying member.
Recurring Programs: You only get the commission from the product your referral buys but the commissions are recurring meaning you get payment every time your referral purchases the product again or stays as a paying member.
One Off Payment: You get a one time only commission when your referral buys the product you’re promoting.
One Off payment With Time Limited Cookie: You get a one time only commission when your referral buys the product you’re promoting within a limited time. If your referral doesn’t purchased within, say, 24 hours (or whatever the time limit is) but purchases after that time, you get sweet FA!
So, the lesson that comes from all of this, is to make sure you read the terms of the affiliate program before you jump in. Commission percentages vary so you need to consider whether the product you’re going to promote is worth your time.
There’s little point promoting a product worth $10.00 if you’re only getting a 10% commission. Unless you’re some kind of mega seller with a gazillion converting visitors to your blog, it’s going to take you a lifetime to see a return.
You need to weigh up how you want to operate with affiliate marketing.
The bigger ticket items will get you the bigger commissions but they’ll be harder to sell. The smaller ticket items will be easier to sell but you’ll earn less commission.
Personally, I prefer something down the middle with a recurring commission structure.
Should You Promote a Product Without Trying It?
I’ve read a good number of articles where the author says they are dead against promoting products they haven’t used!
I can see some weight in this argument. How can you promote a product unless you’ve got experience of what makes it great as well as its flaws?
My stance on this is that I don’t think it really matters ultimately. Ideally, in a perfect world, you should try and promote products you’ve used – this definitely adds credibility to your sales pitch.
But … you can find impartial information on pretty much all the products out there if you look hard enough.
The problem with affiliate products is that it can be harder to really get a feel for their quality. A lot of the reviews you find online have been made by people promoting the product. Naturally they don’t want to put people off buying a product they’re pitching.
It’s a matter of sifting through the bullshit to get a real feel for whether a product is good or not. My view on this is that if you’re going to promote a product – do it with integrity!
Your readers will appreciate this from you more than some sleazy, one-sided “this is the best product in the world” spiel!
If you’re promoting products that are clearly rubbish, your credibility as an authority on your topic (if that’s what you’re trying to be) is going to take a hit! Selling anything is about having the trust of your potential customer, so keep them onside!
So, without further ado, let’s get on to what you’ve come here for! Let’s go through my list of the best affiliate marketing programs for your blog!
Bluehost offer a range of website hosting services with WordPress fully integrated into their platform. Their reasonable pricing structure means they are a fair choice for beginner bloggers. Their prices start as low as a few dollars per month.
Unless you’ve been browsing the web like a character from Bird Box, you’ll have probably seen bloggers shouting about how good Bluehost are, followed by a link to their website in every paragraph, banner and email!
Yep – they’re trying to get you signed up so they can reap a commission payment!
People are crushing it with them too. Popular bloggers, Ryan Robinson, from RyRob.com and, Michelle Shroeder, from MakingSenseofCents, both do over $50k a month using this program. Absolutely Bananas!!!
You’ll often see their affiliates touting how they’ve got a “special price” just for you. But … it’s not really. It’s just the standard price as far as I can see with a good dose of affiliate marketing trickery at play.
Their affiliate program pays out $65 per sign up but you can’t withdraw until you’ve earned a minimum of $100.
They’re a good choice for those of you blogging about blogging, web development or anything else where your readers are going to want hosting!
You can check out Bluehost here.
Like Bluehost, but, let’s be honest, loads better. Faster, more secure and better customer service.
Go with these over Bluehost if you’re thinking of signing up to a web hosting service for your blog or website.
The affiliate payment you’ll receive depends on the amount of sales you make per month.
The more sales, the higher the payment.
Their payment structure looks like this:-
They also pay out on a weekly basis even if you’ve only made one sale. Not bad!
You can check them out here!
Shopify are the leading e-commerce store builder on the web with millions of users worldwide. They are my first choice for those wanting to start a successful and profitable online store.
Their platform allows you to build a web store quickly and easily. They even throw in the web hosting as part of the package.
Their affiliate program isn’t half bad either.
You earn an average of $58 for your referrals who sign up to their basic packages and a whopping $2000 if your referral signs up to Shopify’s plus package!
Their affiliate program is a great choice for anyone blogging about e-commerce.
Check them out here
Click Funnels is an online seller’s platform. It allows you to create landing pages, sales pages and sales funnels, which funnel your customers into eventually purchasing something by taking them through a few steps first.
They are one of the best affiliate programs out there. They offer 40% on all of their products. It’s also recurring. As I’ve set out above, these are the affiliate programs you want to be looking at!
Some of their products are even double tiered so you can a 5% commission from the work of other successful affiliates!
Click Funnels are perfect for those blogging about e-commerce or pretty much anything where your readers might be looking to sell a product.
You can check out Click Funnels here
You’ve probably heard by now but Pinterest is fantastic for blogging traffic but… it’s a bit of a farce having to re-pin your pins every 5 minutes.
Tailwind got you covered on that. Their program basically automates the pinning of your pins so you can do interesting things with your life. It also works on Instagram.
They pay a 15% commission on each sale and even $0.50 when a new user just signs up for the free account!
You can check them out here.
All bloggers want to write better don’t they?
We surely all want less spelling and grammatical errors in our material and to write more eloquently with a wider range of vocabulary.
Their software integrates into your browser or word processing software and effectively proofreads your content for you so you can correct your grammatical, spelling and sentence structuring errors!
Their affiliate program generates $20 per sale and even $0.20 for each free sign up you bring in. Their tracking cookie expires after 90 days but that should be more than enough time to snare any prospective referral. They have a minimum payout of $50.00.
They even offer you $25 if you sign up to their program, place a banner and write a post!
This program is ideal for all bloggers, no matter what their niche.
You can check out their program here.
The key to building any successful blog or website is to get a healthy following of email subscribers.
ConvertKit helps to entice the casual reader into becoming a subscriber of your blog or website. It also allows you to create personal automated emails that are sent to your readers. You can set up sale funnel emails and track your customer’s purchases.
You are rewarded 30% of the package price of whatever package your referral chooses. This is recurring so you are paid it for as long as your referral stays a customer. This is gold!
Check them out here
SEMrush is a online visibility and marketing software to help increase your presence on the web. If you’re looking to boost your organic traffic to your blog or website through Google SEO, then this is a must have tool!
It is literally a gift from the SEO gods if you’re looking to gather intelligence on your successful competitors, identify keywords and analyse traffic trends. It comes well recommended by digital marketing experts across the board.
It’s based on a software as a service (SAAS) model so it is paid for on a monthly or yearly subscription basis.
Their tracking system is based on a first click attribution cookie, which means the cookie is attributed to the affiliate even if your clicking visitor was to go back to SEM’s website through a different link (last click attribution).
For promoting their products you’ll receive a 40% recurring commission from sales of all SEMrush plans (Pro, Guru, Business).
Their packages aren’t particularly cheap either. Here’s their monthly subscription costs:-
So if you get one of your referrals signed up to the recommended monthly package you’ll receive $80 per month until they cancel. If they sign back up again you’ll start receiving it again!
This program is worth looking at if you have a blog or website about digital marketing or your visitors own websites or blogs that they’re looking to generate traffic to.
Check them out here.
If you’re a dropshipping wannabe who wants to set up a successful Shopify store but you don’t have the skills, experience or patience to get started, then Dropshipping Income is definitely worth looking at!
They sell a variety of off the shelf drop shipping e-commerce stores in a variety of niches. Their stores are based on an Ali Express drop shipping model and offer a sales forecast of 10 sales per day.
Packages range from $295 for one website to $695 for three websites.
Their website doesn’t advertise their affiliate program so you will need to email them. Nevertheless they pay $100 on a $300 sale.
This is the perfect program for anyone blogging about e-commerce!
You can check them out here
Create and Go is the creation of popular bloggers Alex Nerney and Lauren McManus. They initially set up a health and wellness blog, Avocadu, in 2015 and slowly grew it to a 6 figure moneymaker.
They later started Create and Go which documents their success with Avocadu and teaches others how they can too make a successful and profitable blog.
They sell a number of courses about blogging, monetisation and Pinterest marketing.
Their affiliate program allows you to promote their digital courses where you can earn 40% of the commission on each sale you generate.
This isn’t as straight forward to get on to as some other programs as they do expect you to have taken at least one of their courses before they allow you to promote.
They also expect you to have a decent amount of content and traffic coming to your blog before they will let you join.
Their courses are very thorough and come well recommended. They also have a massive online following with a popular YouTube channel.
Their most advanced course, 6 figure blogger, costs $297 so you’ll get a healthy return on any sales generated.
Check them out here.