When it comes to monetizing your blog, affiliate programs provide an exceptional alternative (or complement) to display pay-per-click advertising. And there are tons of companies with affiliate programs to choose from. But what are the best affiliate marketing programs and which ones are right for your blog?
While it probably goes without saying, if you’re looking to join an affiliate program and start making money with your blog, Amazon is a great place to start. I’d dare say it’s one place that can work on just about any blog because of the wide variety of they sell.
Amazon’s commission rates on referral sales definitely aren’t the highest, but they’re one of the easiest programs to get started with and no matter what your niche is, you can probably find items to market in your blog that match your topics.
Our company has been an Amazon Associates member for quite a few years and while affiliate income isn’t our focus, it’s a nice extra that essentially costs us nothing to maintain. What’s also nice is that you can choose to get paid in the form of Amazon gift cards, so if you spend a lot of money on Amazon anyway, this can really be a great option.
Amazon makes it very easy to embed products in their site (like the ones on this page) and has an excellent reporting platform where you can see exactly how many links your blog has served up, how many were clicked, and which items you got credit for selling.
One of the really nice things about the Amazon Associates program is that you get commission for everything in the customer’s cart. Let’s say you have an affiliate link for an essential oil, and the customer clicks through your link to buy it – in the process they also add a few Kindle books and an air purifier to their cart before checking out. After checkout, you get commission on everything they bought in that order!
ShareASale is a popular affiliate marking program that connects you with nearly 4000 different merchants who sell everything from home decor to makeup to clothing to wine. Each merchant has their own commission rates and you can choose which merchants you want to work with.
While many of the merchants have their own affiliate programs you can sign up for independently, ShareASales puts them all under one roof so you can find the ones that you want to do business with.
We don’t use ShareASales ourselves because we like Amazon better and our site isn’t focused on affiliate marketing, but many of our clients do and we’ve heard great things about them.
If you’re looking for an affiliate program that’s a tad more personal than the monstrously large Amazon, then ShareASale may be the right pick for you.
Using More Than One Affiliate Program
Most affiliate programs don’t require exclusivity, but you’ll want to check the affiliate agreement for each program you plan on signing up for first just to be sure.
If you’re planning on going full throttle into the affiliate marketing world, and you have enough content, then consider starting with both Amazon and ShareASale. You could run ads on the same articles or test ads from different merchants on different articles to see how they perform.
We are members of about a half dozen of affiliate marketing programs that are specific to our industry and use their referral links any time we mention their services. But if you’re going to really get deep into affiliate marketing, you’ll want to create content around specific topics that allow you to drive those referral links. Product reviews a popular method for doing this.
Starting with Amazon and ShareASale will help you get your blog monetized easily & quickly. Pick one, or both, and watch your investment in blogging begin to pay off.