Affiliate Marketing 101: Monetizing Your Blog

June 6, 2017

These days it’s easier than ever before to start a new blog and make some money from it. 

How much money depends on the work that you’re willing to put in as well as the different monetization methods that you take advantage of.

For many people, like when I first got started, blogging is just a hobby, but it’s actually possible to work on your side hustle long enough to turn it into a full-time paying gig.

how to make money affiliate marketing

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation from the different companies that I mention in this post. I’ve personally used each product/service/company that I recommend and I would only make a recommendation for something I believe to be the best. All opinions expressed here are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

In this post I want to share with you some of the different ways that you can monetize your personal blog and start making money with affiliate marketing right away.

For those of you that have already started your own blog, you can actually start adding affiliate links right away, and as long as you’re getting some traffic then you have the potential to make some money rather quickly.

To do this, just go back and look through some of your older posts to get a better idea of where you can add links to with the different programs that I mention down below.

If you haven’t started your own blog yet, then you better get right to it! So check out my guide on how to start a blog so that you can start making some extra money! 

Hopefully, this helpful affiliate marketing guide is going to allow you to:

  • Learn more about the basics behind affiliate marketing
  • How to make money with affiliate marketing as a monetization method
  • Get a better idea of promoting different products on your blog
  • Find some of the best affiliate marketing companies then you can start working with right away

Monetizing Your Blog with Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate Marketing 101 – What is it Exactly?

Maybe you’re a beginner, or you never thought about making money blogging just yet, so you might be wondering:

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is basically when you promote different products or services from different companies by using special links.

Whenever somebody clicks on one of these special links and buys something, it’s possible that you can earn a small commission or some other type of compensation depending on when you’re promoting. 

This is a lot less intrusive than using display advertisements on your blog and you can actually pick and choose the different companies that you want to work with and promote, so it’s a really honest way of making some money with your blog.

There are quite a few different affiliate programs available to choose from regardless of the niche that you’re in or what your blog is about.

For example, you can find products and services to promote in different industries such as:

  • Travel
  • Beauty
  • Fashion
  • Home decor
  • Blogging
  • Eating/Restaurants

The list is endless when it comes to the different companies that provide affiliate links that you can try out and earn some money with. 

You might be worried that promoting different products and services might make you come across as unoriginal or inauthentic .

Quite the opposite is true actually, you’re doing your readers a favor by promoting products that you yourself or stand behind, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting other people to be able to take advantage from the same products and services. 

When you’re using affiliate marketing on your blog to make some extra money, here are some things you should consider:

  • Try to only promote products and services from different companies that you believe your audience will actually benefit from using
  • Consider writing in depth tutorials and helpful guides that showcase the benefits of the different products and services that you’re promoting
  • Always do your best to deliver as much value as possible rather than just strictly focusing on making money
  • Never hesitate to give your own personal opinion or share the experience that you had with any specific products or services as a better way to relate with your readers

 For example, in my post that I wrote on the best survey sites to make money with, I included affiliate links to a few of the different survey companies that I actually enjoy using. 

It actually took me quite a while to write that post and I tried to make it as helpful as possible so that even if somebody doesn’t want to sign up for any of the websites, they are still left with a better idea of how to make money from surveys.

The content is very helpful for my readers, and even if I don’t make any affiliate commission from the different companies that I’m promoting, I know that if anybody decides to take advantage of the information provided that they’re going to make money on their own, and helping my readers is what’s most important for me.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to make a little bit of extra cash from a side hustle so if you already have your own blog or you’re thinking of starting one, affiliate marketing is one of the best methods to try out when you’re just getting started.

As a beginner, it can be hard to find the different companies that you can work with, so let’s take a look at some of the companies I used as well as some other options when it comes to the best affiliate marketing companies for bloggers.

Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

Amazon Associates Program

The Amazon Associates Program is the official Amazon affiliate program and it’s one of the best ones to start out with.

They’re especially awesome if your blog is any products like makeup, beauty products, travel gear, etc.

Basically, anything sold on Amazon you can promote on your blog and earn a commission with if someone buys something through your link.

Some blogs are better suited for the Amazon program than others, but more the most part there’s bound to be something that you can promote.

For example, in my beach vacation packing list post, I link to a bunch of different Amazon products that I actually use and that can make a beach vacation a lot easier for my readers.

With Amazon it’s really easy to get started – you just need to apply for the program, nearly everyone is accepted, and you can easily add links to your blog posts straight from the Amazon product page!

Some ideas for things you can promote on Amazon include:

  • Your favorite makeup products
  • Reviews of any products you use on a regular basis
  • Fashion accessories you like
  • Gift guides for holidays
  • Essential items you carry with you when you’re traveling

There are so many different ways that you can promote Amazon products, and with so many products to choose from it’s a really great affiliate marketing program for beginners.

Your Own Web Hosting Company 

When you’re first getting started with your blog, one of the best companies that you can start out promoting is actually your own hosting company (I’m a huge fan of SiteGround, so check them out here if you’re looking for your own awesome hosting!).

This is also one of the easiest ways to start making money with your blog because you have some personal insight into why you like your own hosting company and you can share it with your readers to help them make a more informed choice on choosing the right company for their own blog.

After signing up for your web host, you can just quickly sign up for their own affiliate program and start promoting them on your website right away.

One great tip here is to leave an in-depth review and provide your readers with your opinion about your hosting platform, why you like using it, and whether or not you would actually recommend it.

For example, I currently use SiteGround and they have a section on their website completely dedicated to their affiliate program where you can earn money for referring people to them.

I really like SiteGround, and I recommend using them if you want to start your own lifestyle or travel blog, so I have no problem dropping their links when I choose them as a recommendation to my readers.

The reason I like SiteGround so much is because the platform is really easy to use, WordPress is super straightforward to install, and after signing up I literally had my website up and running in less than 10 minutes.

It’s really that easy! 

A lot of top bloggers are making good money from referring their web host, so it’s a great place to get started with if you’re looking for affiliate programs to use on your own blog.

ShareASale 

Another one of my favourite affiliate programs for bloggers is ShareASale.

On the ShareASale platform there are so many different brands and companies that you can work with and it’s possible to find one in just about any niche.

The way it works is that you apply to the different brands separately, rather than automatically getting accepted for every one.  

This is good because you can give the different companies a better idea of how you’re going to promote their products and you can create a unique pitch for each  affiliate you want to work with.

When you get accepted, you’ll get connected with an affiliate manager and they actually work together with you to find you the best products to promote and give you some helpful tips on increasing your conversion rates.

There are so many different brands and companies to choose from on ShareASale and it’s definitely one of the best affiliate programs for bloggers to get started with.

As for using it, the website is pretty easy to use and it’s rather straightforward when it comes to finding how you can the different links to your website.

CJ Affiliates 

Similar to ShareASale, CJ Affiliates is a huge affiliates network that connects you with a wide range of different popular brands and companies.

It’s really easy to get started using the platform and there are affiliates available in basically every niche.

To start promoting a specific company, you need to apply to them directly, and this makes it easier for you to move forward with a personalised approach rather than just being another random blogger looking to promote something.

Additional Programs to Consider 

AirBnb 

I’m a huge fan of staying at AirBnb apartments when I travel and in many cases it can be cheaper than staying at a hotel.

AirBnb has their own referral program and if somebody signs up through your link and books a trip, you actually get a decent sized travel credit that you can use for your next trip.

How much you get changes all the time, but the travel credits can really add up and help to completely subsidize your next trip abroad when it comes to paying for accommodation.

Getting the AirBnb referral code is really easy and you just need to login with your account and visit the referral page – there’s no need to apply or fill out any information to get started.

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