Affiliate Marketing Programs

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Blog Blogger

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase items via my affiliate links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale as a thank you for making the introduction at no additional cost to you. I only use affiliate links on products I personally stand behind. Your support is the reason why I’m able to provide free resources such as this article. 

What is affiliate marketing?

A marketing arrangement by which a company pays a commission to an independent entity for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.

In simpler terms: a blogger can earn money promoting products and advertisers, such as Amazon, make a sale they may have otherwise missed out on. It’s a win-win for both parties.

There are three different forms of affiliate marketing: pay per lead, pay per click and pay per sale.

Why should I participate in affiliate marketing?

Besides the obvious (earning income), there are many wonderful reasons to participate in affiliate marketing:

  • You are helping people by recommending products you trust
  • It requires less work than creating your own product
  • Besides the initial cost of purchasing the product, it does not cost you any money.
  • You don’t necessarily have to have a lot of traffic on your blog
  • You can literally earn money while you sleep!

How do I pick the right Affiliate Market Program?

Keep in mind that not all affiliate programs are created equal. For example, I would not join a program that charges a fee– there are way too many affiliate networks that allow you to join for free. My second piece of advice is only promote products within your niche. If you run a fashion blog, it may not make sense for you to join a program that focuses on boating equipment.

Continue reading to see which Affiliate and Subaffiliate Marketing Programs I recommend for all new bloggers!

Skimlinks

Skimlinks is a free service that turns any product link in a blog post into an affiliate link. For example, if I post a product round up highlighting all of my favorite spring items, all I would have to do is go to the retail website, copy the link of the product I want to talk about, and then paste it into my blog post. Skimlinks does the rest by converting the product link into an affiliate link, and then you will get commission if the brand is in their network and the user makes a purchase. The other nice thing about Skimlink is that it is a subaffiliate network, which means once you’re accepted you will have access to all of the advertisers on their network. This saves the time and hassle of having to apply to be a publisher for different brands.

How can I join and do they have any requirements?

You can apply by clicking here. Their website does not list any requirements, but I would imagine they are looking for a semi-established blog with at least a couple of posts.  The approval process for me took about 24 hours.

PROS:

  • It’s so easy to use! All you have to do is plug your unique javascript code into the footer section of your blog and you’re good to go!
  • Merchants in the Skimlinks network are places I already shop at such as Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, American Eagle, Forever 21, Revolve, Saks 5th Avenue,  Target, Ulta, ASOS and more.
  • A lot of merchants have a high threshold for accepting publishers. For someone like me with a newer, smaller blog, it would be almost impossible to work with a company with Nordstrom without third-party help.
  • Cash out is only a $10 minimum

CONS:

  • The ease of use comes with a price: They take 25% of the merchants commission rate. For example, if a merchant is offering 10% commission and you generate a sale worth $100, you will receive $7.50 and Skimlinks will keep $2.50.

ShopStyle Collective

Similiar to Skimlink, ShopStyle Collective is subaffiliate network. The biggest difference is that ShopStyle is a pay-per-click network, which means that you will make a few cents whenever someone clicks any of the links in your posts. However, you will not earn a separate commission when someone makes a purchase. The more purchases made via your affiliate link, the higher your pay-per-click rate will be.

How can I join and do they have any requirements?

Anyone can join by visiting their website here. There are no requirements to join.

PROS:

  • Every single click is guaranteed to be monetized. Right now, I make 5 cents per click.
  • Everyone is accepted and you can start making money immediately.
  • Their platform is very user friendly and the widgets are easy to use and look very sleek. I much prefer to showcase items like this instead of copying and pasting a bunch of links. Here is an example of what their widget looks like:

CONS:

  • At 5 cents per click, it will take 2,000 clicks to earn $100, which is their minimum cash out.
UPDATE- October 2018: I have been accepted into rewardStyle! rewardStyle, in conjunction with LIKEtoKNOW.it is an invitation-only, end-to-end content monetization platform where influencers can easily link outfits (and more!) via Instagram and their blog. I plan on writing an entire post on rewardStyle soon. In the mean time, if you have any questions, or if you would like me to refer you, send me a message!

ShareASale

ShareASale is a major affiliate network that works with thousands of merchants. Unlike Skimlinks and ShopStyle Collective, you must individually apply to each merchant via ShareASale’s website.

How can I join and what are their requirements?

You can apply by clicking here. Their website does not list any requirements to join, but again, I would recommend having a semi-established blog with at least a couple of posts before applying. The approval process took less than 24 hours for me.

PROS & CONS

PROS:

  • Some of their merchants include: Modcloth, Stella & Dot, Reebok, Adidas, Lulus, Wayfair, DressLily and more.
  • Again, even if you have a new blog with low traffic you will most likely be accepted.
  • Commission as high as 30% on certain brands.

CONS:

  • I know this has nothing to do with ShareASale itself, but I’ve been rejected from almost all of the programs I’ve applied to solely due to the Nexus Tax Law. A handful of states, including Rhode Island, charge a sales tax to brands who make affiliate sales in their state, so a lot of companies choose not to work with them. Again, not ShareASales fault, but I wasn’t aware being from Nexxus state would hurt me when I signed up.

Amazon Associates

Obviously, we have all heard of Amazon. They are the world’s third-biggest retailer and if you’ve shopped online you’ve most likely made a purchase on their site before. Amazon has it’s own affiliate program that you directly apply to. Once you are accepted you will be able to convert any product link into your own personal affiliate link for your website.

How can I join and what are their requirements?

You can apply here. there are no traffic requirements to join as long as your blog isn’t violating any rules.

PROS:

  • As I mentioned above, almost everyone shops at Amazon, so you’re more likely to make a sale.
  • Their platform is very user friendly. You can search for products via your person Amazon Associate dashboard and easily link up.
  • They have a huge product selection.

CONS:

  • Their commission rates on certain products are as low as 1%.
  • If you do not make at least three referral sales within 180 days your account will be closed.

HELPFUL TIP: If you have questions on how to make your first affiliate sale, I HIGHLY recommend investing in the House of Brazen’s course: How to Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours. Elise’s step-by-step guide shows you exactly how she made her first affiliate sale in less than 24 hours using Pinterest, so that you can start making sales today rather than months from now. I was skeptical about spending money on an e-course, but after doing research and discovering that some experts charge $150 – $200 for their e-books and courses, I jumped right on it. Her simple method worked for me and I’ve made almost $100 just one month into blogging.

My final piece of advice: less is more. Choose four to five programs that you believe in and focus your efforts on promoting those.

Please be sure to subscribe and bookmark this page as I may add new Affiliate Marketing Programs in the future!