The right affiliate marketing programs for bloggers can mean the difference between making money, and not making a dime. You have to do your homework to make sure you are selecting the right affiliate programs.
And you’ve probably researched how to monetize your blog and came across the term “affiliate marketing.” As you read through many articles, you also came across “affiliate marketing programs.”
But what are these programs, and do you need one? To put your mind (and blog) at ease, we’ve briefly compiled everything you need to know about affiliate marketing programs for bloggers.
You’re Not Locked In Forever to an Affiliate Marketing Program
And no matter what affiliate program you choose, you’re not locked in forever! As a matter of fact, you’re not locked in at all. You can always try a new affiliate program for a while, and change directions any time you see fit.
When I was starting out nearly a decade ago, I was so cautious and overly concerned about picking the right program. Looking back, I wish I had moved a lot faster. To quote Elon Musk and his opinion on progress and effectiveness….“Move fast and break things.”
Choose an affiliate marketing program, and if it doesn’t work out (you’re not making as much money as you expected), you change course and try another. But the key is taking action and making decisions! Try out a lot of programs, and see which has the most potential for your site, and for your niche.
What Is an Affiliate Marketing Program?
Affiliate marketing programs are partnerships between a company and an external website (the affiliate or blog), where they agree to promote the company’s products or services on their site.
In exchange, the company rewards the blog owners with a commission for every customer they bring in. It’s the perfect way to sell and market products without using too much money on advertising.
And more importantly, you don’t need to carry any inventory! That’s one of the best things about affiliate marketing. You promote products and get paid a commission when a product is sold, but you never have to touch the product!
But how can a blogger get started with affiliate marketing? First, you need to have your website up and running. You should also have quality content, and when you do, you’ll build a considerable audience over time. You can read my review on a top affiliate marketing training platform that I swear by, and they teach all the steps to make this happen.
If you have all of these:
- Join by signing up for the affiliate program on their website. Many times there is an approval process that takes a day or so.
- Search for products or services you want to market on the affiliate partner’s website.
- Promote the item via your blog and hyperlink the affiliate link provided. Very simple process, and you can learn it in an hour.
- Track your progress and earnings.
Of course, as a blogger, you know how to take advantage of SEO optimization to help improve traffic to your site. You also understand how to create great content that will convince and convert your readers into customers.
What to Look For in Affiliate Programs for Bloggers?
Affiliate programs are many and varied. Finding the perfect one for your blog can be a little daunting. However, here are some factors you should always consider before signing up for one:
The products or services promoted should be relevant to your blog’s niche. For example, you can’t sell a vacation destination on a pet-themed blog. That misalignment will likely drive your readers away.
So if you’re in the fitness niche, then you’ll want to find an affiliate program that caters to the fitness niche. Why? First, they’ll likely have better products that convert better on your website.
And secondly, they’ll almost always offer better commissions and better attribution windows. You can learn more about attribution windows and why they’re important by clicking here.
How much will you earn for every successful transaction
Commissions vary depending on the industry but generally range from 2% to 50%. Some offer as high as 50%, but these are usually less common. Additionally, most programs will provide recurring commissions, meaning you’ll get a steady income stream.
The commission rate is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an affiliate program. Amazon, for example, pays notoriously low commissions (as low as 2%) to their affiliate partners. Why? Because they’re a giant, and they just don’t need the sales that badly!
So it’s well worth the time to do your research and find the very best affiliate programs for the niche that you are in!
I partner with an affiliate program in the health and fitness niche that pays 50% lifetime commissions. These programs are out there, you just have to hustle to find them.
Average Order Value
AOV is customers’ average amount spent on each purchase. These programs calculate it by dividing the total value of sales by the number of orders. The higher the AOV, the more you’ll earn per transaction.
In essence, it helps when you’re selling higher ticket items. But many of the high-ticket items have very low commissions. So that’s why it’s important to do your own research to find the right fit.
A cookie is a tiny file placed on a customer’s computer that allows the affiliate to receive sales credit. It usually lasts between 24 hours and 30 days. You can only receive a commission if the customer purchases within the specified lifespan.
Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
Trusting that now you know what these affiliate programs are and what to look for, here are some of the bests out there:
Founded in 2000, ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate marketing networks with over 4,000 merchant partners. It has about 40 product categories and over one million affiliates. Its commission range varies depending on the merchant.
They are a really great affiliate program, and look to promote their products as a priority. You have to apply to programs, but it’s an easy process and in most cases, you’ll be approved quickly.
And it’s a simple platform that is very user friendly. You can learn your way around in a day or two.
The commissions are much higher than Amazon, so this is really where you want to be. You just have to search the platform to make sure they have partners that offer your products.
2. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is a popular affiliate program by Amazon online retailers. It’s one of the easiest to use. Simply sign up, and start promoting products. You’ll receive up to 10% commission for every sale you make.
However, the commissions are low with Amazon. As low as 1%. Pathetic, right? Well, they’re the 500 pound gorilla so they get away with it. And they seem to get lower with each passing year. As the Amazon brand becomes more and more prevalent, they seem to need affiliates less and less.
The upside to Amazon is that they convert very well. When people land on the site, they often purchase something. Even if it’s not the original click that took them to Amazon.
So Amazon is a good base to have as your foundation. And then every week you should be looking to find new partners to replace your Amazon links.
So if you have a page on reviewing the best shoes for walking, you might start out with all 5 pairs of shoes linking to Amazon. But each week look for a partner to replace that Amazon link! You’ll likely change your commission from 3% to 15%.
As an example, on my creatine powder page, Amazon pays a whopping 1% commission or products sold. Pretty pathetic right? Well my other affiliate program partner pays 50%! So who do you think I guide my users to? Yes, pretty easy decision! 🙂
#3, #4, #5
So following my point in #2 above, you need to find affiliate partners in your niche! For example, I am big in the fitness niche, and I have posts and pages on my site related to dumbbell workouts.
So to promote dumbbells as an affiliate product, I would search “affiliate programs for dumbbells.” And then look for companies with….
- Highest commission %’s
- Longest cookie duration (Amazon is only 24 hours)
- Lifetime commissions (not easy to find)
6. WP Buffs
WP Buffs is a WordPress maintenance and management company. It has an affiliate program offering a 10% commission with long-lasting cookie tracking periods of up to 60 days. If your blog niche involves WordPress sites, this is a perfect affiliate program.
7. Trip Advisor
If you’re a travel blogger, TripAdvisor is the ideal affiliate program. It’s one of the most popular travel websites in the world. You can earn a minimum of 50% commission for every booking made through your affiliate link.
ConvertKit is a popular email marketing service provider for bloggers and online entrepreneurs. It offers simplified automation, landing pages, and email templates.
Its affiliate program gives you a 30% recurring monthly commission for every paying customer you refer.
These are a few of the best affiliate programs for bloggers. There are many more out there. You just have to find the perfect one for your blog.
Affiliate Marketing Training
And if you’re looking to sharpen your skills in affiliate marketing, there are many programs to choose from. Be careful, as many are very high priced but not much in the way of value.
Click below to see our recommendation for the very best, and affordable, affiliate marketing training online. And best of all, you can test drive the platform with not even as much as putting a credit card on it! That’s called delivering results up front, and there is a lot to be said for that.
Best Affiliate Marketing Training ==>> Affiliate Marketing Training
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