What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is basically when a consumer earns commission for promoting a product and/or service. Simply stated:
You love a product –> You talk about that product –> You tell people where to find that product (via affiliate link) –> You get paid for bringing the company customers
What role do I play in Affiliate Marketing?
You are the affiliate! You can advertise your favorite products/services via blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest… you name it!
Just make sure you always disclose when you are using Affiliate Links. Not only is it required, but I feel it helps you to remain transparent and honest with your audience. Likewise, ensure that your affiliate links contain the “nofollow” attribute.
Luckily, there are wordpress plugins that can do this automatically! I use “Nofollow for external link”.
What is an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is a unique link to a product or service that enables the merchant (company you are advertising for) to know that you referred the customer.
nordstromrack.com would be the original link
http://shopstyle.it/l/jiGi would be your unique affiliate link.
(example affiliate link is not an actual affiliate link.)
Both links take you to the cardigan, but the affiliate link is specific to you. When your adoring subscribers click to shop that cardigan, Target will know that it was YOU who sent them.
Do I need a HUGE, successful blog to join an affiliate Program?
Nope! Sometimes you will find that affiliate programs only accept bloggers with a decent following, but don’t let that discourage you! I have actually found that a good amount of markets will accept newbies. Yay!
Will I even earn any commission as an owner of a small blog?
It’s possible! Will you earn enough commission to become a full-time blogger? Probably not right away, but heyyy, anything is possible!
Check out How to Use Pinterest Analytics to Boost Your Blog Traffic. I got my first 2 Viral Pins as a newbie blogger!
When I began Guitar & Lace, I kept reading on how you need to build this incredible following before even thinking of using ads and affiliates. However, instead of waiting (what still feels like an eternity) for my blog to grow, I decided to monetize within my first month.
Naively, I applied for almost every market I could find and ended up being declined by most. That’s fine! I ain’t mad… because some ended up accepting me!
I just feel, why wait? By the time my blog has a substantial following, I will have the affiliate experience and won’t be setting myself back with the additional learning curve.
I ended up making a little over $9 in my first month with just ads and a few affiliate links (I tried not to spend it all in one place!)
I’ve decided to celebrate all blogging successes!
Check out My Favorite Blogging Tools that helped me earn a bit of profit as a new blogger!
If this is something you are interested in, I have created s a list of “free to join” Affiliate Markets that I was accepted into as a new blogger!
While these markets did accept me as a new blogger with no blogging history, I cannot guarantee that everyone will be accepted. All markets and ad companies have their own requirements and criteria before accepting new affiliates.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission if any products are purchased. However, all opinions and advice are 100% my own. In order to stay truly transparent and honest, I only recommend services and products that I use, love and believe will benefit others.}
Affiliate Markets that Accept Small Blogs
VigLink is one of the easiest affiliate markets to work for! Once activated, you will have the option of automatically turning all qualified outgoing links into an affiliate link. No tedious copying & pasting html codes on your part! You can also use their “anywhere” links for just about any product online. Basically, you copy the URL to the product and they create an affiliate link for it. No need to apply to every company out there! VigLink has a huge range of products suitable for any niche within their network!
Ideal Blog Niches: Fashion, Lifestyle, Beauty, Frugal Living, Mom-Blogs, and just about any!
Amazon was the first affiliate market that I applied for! The fact that they accepted me right away was super encouraging as a newbie. You literally can create an affiliate link and/or product ad for anything on Amazon. Basically the sky is the limit as an Amazon Associate! I mean, they are Amazon!
Join Amazon Associates
Ideal Blog Niches: Any Blog can benefit.
Shopstyle will feel like home to any fashion and lifestyle blogger! Think of your favorite fashion blogs. Most likely their “what I’m wearing” product links are thanks to Shopstyle. I am a huge fan of their website! The affiliate dashboard is very clean and girly. They also have a very helpful blog that provides fun blog challenges and extra assistance with using their affiliate program.
My favorite part is their simple widget generator! I can create widgets to link my audience to sale items, wish lists and items I have purchased. These look so much better than plain old hyperlinks!
For example, My Fall Dream list 🙂
Join Shopstyle Collective
Ideal Blog Niches: Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle.
Bluehost is first and foremost a great hosting platform for your blog! Likewise, they reward you with commission if you refer anyone to use Bluehost. As of now, the pay is $65.00-$120.00 per commission. You could possibly pay for a year+ subscription with Bluehost JUST by referring a new customer to them. BINGO.
You May Like: How I Sarted a Money-Making Blog
Rakuten has been around since blogs were referred to as “weblogs” (late 90’s). However, Rakuten is anything but outdated! The dashboard platform is very user friendly, which is a plus for affiliate marketing newbies! They offer a wide variety of merchant companies to advertise for. Some notable companies include, Nordstrom, Sephora, Antrhopologie, Bloomingdale’s, Walmart, & Kohls.
Want to earn even more passive income? Check out –>10 Safe Ways to Make Money Online
Join Rakuten Marketing
Ideal Blog Niches: Fashion, Lifestyle, Home Decor, Mom-Blogs & Frugal Living.
I love how I can customize the appearance of my ads to fit my blog’s theme! Nothing is worse than visiting a site with huge, tacky ads. I have heard from some bloggers that it is difficult to be accepted into Google Adsense, however, I was accepted as a newbie. Give it a shot!
Join Google Adsense
Ideal Blog Niches: Just about any! They use Native ads that will fit in seamlessly with your content.
Impact Radius is a newer affiliate market. With that being said, I find them to be very innovative and user friendly. They have quickly earned their spot as one of the most preferred affiliate markets! They are home to some of the largest merchant companies such as ULTA and Target. Make-up and cardigans, people!!
Join Impact Radius
Ideal Blog Niches: Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle, but I could see them fitting in with any blog!
With over 2,000 merchant companies, Shareasale is the ideal affiilate market for lifestyle bloggers! Once accepted, you can apply to become an affiliate to companies such as Shoe Dazzle, Stella & Dot, Warby Parker, the NFL Shop and so much more!
Ideal Blog Niches: Fashion, Lifestyle, College, Family, & Mom-Blogs.
CJ (formerly Commision Junction) is easily one of the largest affiliate markets with name brand companies. They are especially perfect for lifestyle, fashion and mom blogs since they host a wide variety of retail stores. These stores include, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, LOFT and more.
Join CJ Affiliate
Ideal Blog Niches: Fashion, Home Decor, Mom-Blogs, but just about any niche would work!
Escalate is the perfect affiliate market for advertising deals, coupons and food savings. They have extremely high ratings and an excellent reputation for providing real, honest deals. This is extremely important when trying to gain trust with your future subscribers! No one wants to return to a blog if the deal you are advertising turns out to be fake!
Join Escalate Network
Ideal Blog Niches: Frugal Living, Blogging Blogs, Mom-Blogs, & Food Blogs.
I hope you found this article helpful in any way! Every blogger was once a new, beginning blogger. Let me tell you, the struggle is real! However, with a little optimism, encouragement and GRIT I believe you can be so successful with your blog!
Have you had any success with these affiliate markets or any others not listed? Let me know in the comments! Show us all your blog!
Best wishes to you and your blog!