How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog + What to Avoid

One of the simplest ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing, it is also the most profitable for a lot of bloggers today. The best thing about affiliate links is you don’t have to have a ton of traffic to get started. You can begin adding affiliate links to your blog post as soon as you set up your blog.  You can share your love of writing with the world while earning some extra cash on the side. If you are passionate about a product, why promote it for free?

Haven’t started a blog yet? Read this guide on How to Start a Self-Hosted Lifestyle BlogBelow I show you how you can use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog, find companies that fit your blog, find affiliate programs to sign up with today, and how to promote products the right way.

This post contains affiliate links to help keep this blog running.

Affiliate Marketing? What is it?

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a company’s service or product. You can promote a product through a special text link or through a banner. Each link is tracked via a special link so companies know when to pay you. Every time a reader clicks your link or banner and makes a purchase, you receive a small commission, and sometimes a compensation depending on the company. It is important that you choose an affiliate partnership that is right for you and your audience.

Tips on Getting the Most Out of Affiliate Links

*Don’t break your readers trust

This just means don’t sell out to make a quick buck. You may be tempted to write blog post full of affiliate links, so you can make as much as possible. This is not the right way to start earning, if you are pushing links on to your readers every post. It will be very transparent, and your readers may start not to trust what you recommend because it doesn’t feel genuine.  You will potentially be earning money from what someone buys during their session. So you want to make sure your recommendations are genuine. If you are recommending any old items for the sake of earning money, you may be responsible for someone spending money on a crappy product. A fun way to promote a product is to Show your readers how a product can benefit them by writing a “how-to” guide.

*Don’t forget about old post

When I first started utilizing affiliate links I went back to old post to see if there were any opportunities to place a link. There were a lot of places where I had talked about a product, so I was able to go back and insert a link for that product. If you are just starting out, there is a high chance you previously written a post that can be updated and monetized.

*Talk about what you know 

If you have a product you absolutely love, don’t be afraid to let your readers know why you love it. The best thing to do is to write a paragraph about your experience with the product, instead of just inserting a single link. Connect with readers by providing a personal experience with the company, or a photo of you using the product! This shows your readers that you actually know what you are talking about. Not only will it show them you previously purchased it, but that you actually use the item. When you write about your personal experience with the product you sound less like a commercial, but more like a friend who is just recommending a product to another fried because you yourself had such a good experience. You want your readers to trust you, not to pull away from you.

*Be mindful of what you are recommending

You know your audience more than anyone, meaning you should know their budget. Don’t go promoting a $200 foundation when your readers are single working moms. If you yourself are on a budget, be mindful of your audience’s budget as well. Connect with readers by providing a personal experience with the company, or a photo of you using the product.

Whatever you are promoting should be helpful to your readers in some way.

How can I start helping my readers and monetizing my blog?

– Search for companies related to your niche that you would like to promote.

– If they have an affiliate program, follow the steps to apply for their program. Some companies do not have their own affiliate programs, but they will be a part of an affiliate network. Affiliate networks like Sharesale, and awin are great because they work with a variety of brands worldwide.

Where Are Some Good Places to Start?

Awin

Awin partners you with a variety of brands worldwide. Many of their brands are known world wide like Hyatt, Etsy, and Nike. There are brands for every niche travel, lifestyle, finance, and beauty. The best part about joining Awin is the opportunity to promote Etsy products. Etsy is a huge marketplace with sellers promoting their own WordPress themes, homemade products, clothing, graphics, stock photos and jewelry there are so many ways you can promote Etsy in different blog post on your blog. When you sign up, they require you to pay a $5 deposit that can be returned to you in whole later when you get your first payment.

Click here to sign up for Affiliate Window!

Amazon Affiliates

Amazon Affiliates has a great and easy to use affiliate program. Amazon is a well-known company so your readers are very likely to trust a product from Amazon. You can find a product that benefits every niche, because there are literally thousands of items on Amazon. It’s easy to sign up and start adding products to your site. Check out this post if you want a more in depth post on the Amazon Affiliate program, and ideas on how to promote Amazon products. How to use the Amazon Affiliate program to make money

Promote Your Hosting Company

If you are signed up with your own hosting company, you can start recommending them to others and earn a commission. My blog is hosted by Siteground, and when you sign up for Siteground’s hosting, you are automatically eligible for their affiliate and referral program. Siteground is amazing by the way, and beats out more popular hosting websites in my opinion. They install WordPress for you within minutes. They have amazing 24/7 customer service. One morning my site was down after updating WordPress in 15 minutes they solved my problem and gave me tips how I could prevent it from happening in the future. Thinking about starting your very own blog? Check out Ultimate How-to Guide on Starting a Lifestyle Blog to see how to set up your blog today.

Share a Sale

ShareASale is a great affiliate program for bloggers, and influencers. They have a huge base of well-known brands for bloggers in every niche!

Ebates

Ebates is a site built on affiliate links, they share the commission they earn from their affiliate links with their users. Ebates works with a lot of popular well-known companies including Nike and Amazon to give cash back to their users. If you are shopping anyway, it’s basically free money. Haven’t joined Ebates yet? Click here to get your first $10

ShopStyle Collective

ShopStyle is a shopping search engine with hundreds of brands and products all in one place. The affiliate program (for all niches) lets bloggers, and influencers create clickable widgets and links to those products, which they can then share with their followers on their blog and on social media profiles. When someone clicks on your link you get paid, really simple way to earn money from your blog The first thing to do is create a ShopStyle Collective account and get acquainted with their website. They have a fairly simple set up so it won’t be hard to get your account up and running. You can start by using the navigation bar to search for different products. Here is a more in depth post on the best way to earn money using shop style affiliate links. Earn money using shop style affiliate links

AirBnB

I love staying at Airbnb,  They offer great alternatives to staying at a hotel or hostel. You can offer your readers $40 in travel credit.  After they book their first trip, you get $20 of travel credit The perfect travel niche affiliate program. The Many Pros of Using Airbnb & How To Use it Plus a Coupon Code For Your Next Vacation

If you have not created a blog yet, you should here are just a few reasons:

  • Creative Outlet
  • Friendship & Blogging Community
  • Inspire others through your content
  • Accountability 
  • Side Hustle & Passive Income
  • New & fun hobby

I’ve written a guide to get you to start a successful lifestyle blog. I also have helpful blogging post like how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic and engagement, and how to never lack time and my favorite blogging tools.

Last Thoughts:

Resource page:  A resource page is a great way to make good use of affiliate links. Every niche can create a resource page, a resource page is a place your readers can get resources on a certain topic whether it be blogging, or traveling on a budget. You can monetize your resources page with relevant affiliate links. Here is my resource page if you want an example. Resource Page.

Staying true: You will potentially be earning money from what someone buys during their session. So you want to make sure your recommendations are genuine. If you are recommending any old items for the sake of earning money, you may be responsible for someone spending money on a crappy product.

Do you use affiliate links?

What are your favorite companies to work with?

  • Thank you so much. I found that a few were hard but your blog helped a lot thank you.

    Chrisy B. | CurlyGirlAndHerBlog.com

  • Christie Moeller

    Oh my gosh these are such great tips! Def going to put them to use!

    xoxo Christie
    http://icanstyleu.com/blog/

  • Janine

    Thanks for the advice. I had so many questions about monetizing and I really learned a lot form reading this!

    • Jonnie

      Great!

  • Love Teachers

    I love Amazon so I signed up with their affiliate program. Haven’t made a single buck yet but I hope so soon. I pinned this article to refer back to. Thanks for sharing!

  • You’ve answered so many questions I’ve had but been afraid to ask in this blog! It’s intimidating starting a blog, thanks for offering your expertise.

    • Jonnie

      No problem, If you have any more questions feel free to email me!

  • This is a really good post with so much useful information. I’m a new blogger and this is so helpful

    • Jonnie

      Glad I could help Nicki!

  • This is a really helpful post! I’ve been behind on utilizing affiliate links, I definitely have to get going on that!

    • Jonnie

      You really should, Good Luck!

  • Sheila Jo Spencer

    Useful tip to go back through old blog posts to see where adding an affiliate link makes sense – I need to do that!

    • Jonnie

      Yes, it helps a lot to make a little more income.

  • Tina Martin

    Helpful information! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Jonnie

      No problem!

  • This is so helpful! I’m looking toward monetizing my blog more this month so thank you for all the ideas x

    Sophia x

  • Shani Ogden

    I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get my readers to actually CLICK on the affiliate link and make a PURCHASE. Next weekend, I’m going to an affiliate conference where they are going to talk all about affiliate marketing and I’m so excited!

  • Gemma Köseoğlu

    Wow some great affiliate program ideas. I have only signed up to Amazon and awin so far. Thanks for the tips

  • Our Little Bunch

    Your tip about going back to add links to old posts is a good one! What a great way to re-use content that you already have!

  • Cheryl Lang

    Good tips. Some of these affiliate programs I’ve never heard of, but I will check them out. I also didn’t think about going to some of my older posts to update them with links! Very good tip. I’m just now updating photos.

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  • Maria Manlangit

    This is such a helpful post for people looking to monetize their blog. Thanks for sharing!

  • Mizuki Tao

    Thank you for the information! It’s very helpful

  • Samantha

    This is so helpful! I want to monetize my blog, but there are so many options out there that it can be hard to know what’s legit. Monetizing older posts is a really great idea!

  • Ive found many posts on AM pretty confusing most times but your points are clear and straight forward. thanks for the suggestions as some of these I haven’t heard of and would like to look into

  • Jackie

    Good points. I signed up for Amazon Associates but i’m still trying to figure it out. I’m going to visit your other page with more in depth info on AA.

  • These are so helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!

    xo Tina
    http://www.tinasweetheart.com

  • Carissa Eva Stephanie Vikis

    This is great, because I just started my blog and will definitely be looking into affiliate programs! Thank you for the valuable advice!

  • I have been blogging for close to a year but i have decided to only venture into monetization when the traffic improves. I just bookmarked your page for future use.

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    Thank you for the reminder about going back and places links in our old posts-I was blogging for about a year before I started using affiliate links and now I need to go back and add in those links!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  • TeeShares

    Great tips. I like the point especially about being mindful of what you’re recommending. Sometimes we’re quick to recommend something we haven’t spent time getting to know or using.

  • Mummy Times Two

    Thanks so much for this. This is definitely an area of blogging that I need to start looking into more.

  • Mama Bean

    Airbnb!! How did I miss this one!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Regina Chustz

    You’ve mentioned some that I’ve never heard of. I’ll have to check them out. I’m new to monetization, so this post is very helpful.

  • Nicole Kleiss

    I have recently started monetizing my blog, amazon has been a total flop, I will definitely be looking into Share a Sale and Awin! Thanks for the tips

  • Gillian Kent

    I like being able to offer links to useful products when I share ideas and recipes. Making it easier for my reader to get started.

  • Mary Anne

    those are really great tips! very interesting list! thanks for sharing

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  • Super helpful post! I think a lot of people find out about affiliate marketing and treat it as placing banners but that is not how it works at all!

    Your advice here is the perfect starting point for new affiliate marketers and I just had to share it with my audience as well because it’s a topic I also blog about and I know they would love this!

    Ana – http://www.thesheapproach.com

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  • Steve

    If you haven’t had a chance to check out the WebStarts Affiliate Program, you can do so at https://www.webstarts.com/. Not only do we pay 50% on any sale you generate, but WebStarts is the perfect platform for you to build and manage your own Blog to promote your other affiliate relationships. One stop shop!

  • Andrea Broom

    I love Amazon so much and I have yet to sign up with their affiliate program and I have been hearing a lot of awesome things about maybe its time to take the plunge.

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