Affiliate Markets that Accept Small Blogs

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

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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.

Example:Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 8.09.46 PM

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.

For instance: would be the original link 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

1. VigLink

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!

Join VigLink

Ideal Blog Niches: Fashion, Lifestyle, Beauty, Frugal Living, Mom-Blogs, and just about any!

2. Amazon Associates

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.

3. Shopstyle Collective

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.

4. Bluehost

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

Join Bluehost

Ideal Blog Niches:  Your Bluehost hosted Blog!

5. Rakuten Marketing

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.

6. Google Adsense

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.

7. Impact Radius

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!

8. Shareasale

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!

Join Shareasale

Ideal Blog Niches: Fashion, Lifestyle, College, Family, & Mom-Blogs.

9. CJ Affiliate

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!

10. Escalate Network 

 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!


How to use  & (2)  10 safe Ways  Make Money Blog  

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Blogging is one of the simplest yet most rewarding platforms to earn profit from! How much fun would it be to be paid to write about something that YOU are 100% passionate about?!

We all have that one thing in life that has forever inspired us.  Maybe it is fashion, music, baking tarts or watching sports? You name it!

So… Have we devoted our whole lives to that one thing for it to just become a weekend hobby? 

It’s such a shame that very little people will ever get to do exactly what they love to do for a living. Especially, when the best work is achieved when we are actually interested in the work we do.

Maybe “living the dream” has always been just a dream until you starting hearing about bloggers working full-time for themselves. Or, maybe you started a blog and realized that this could easily become something more!

Well, it is completely possible for anyone!

If you feel inspired, I am going to show you 5 basic steps to set your blog up for money-making success!

Step 1: Decide on your Niche

What is that one thing that you could talk for hours about?

What are YOU constantly pinning on Pinterest?

Whatever those topics may be, they might just be the perfect niche for you!

Maybe you are vegan and love dessert?! Create a place where your people can find great recipes! Are you really good with finances and other “adulting” things? I know I am always pinning ways to save money every month!

Really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to niches. I mean, it’s 2017… there is a blog for everything! Choose what makes you, YOU. 🙂

Step 2: Choose a Platform & Host for Your Blog

{Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. However, all opinions and advice are 100% my own. In order to stay truly transparent and honest, I only recommend services that I use, love and believe will benefit others.}

I originally created my blog with the free version of Unfortunately, this free version does not allow any monetization or ways to earn money. It was perfect for me at the time, but I knew that I really wanted to invest in my blog!

(If you want to just dip your toes in the blogging water before investing, check out how I made my blog for free –> here).

I thought about upgrading, but wanted about $8 -$25 a month! Yikes! (You will need the $25 plan to access useful plugins and SEO tools for monetization and making any profit.)

And then I found bluehost. ::angel ahhs::

Bluehost let me create a self-hosted, WordPress blog for $3.95 a month! I mean, that’s literally cheaper than a Starbucks latte… 

I even have access to the hundreds of plugins and SEO tools that wanted $25 a month for…  What?!  hint: go with bluehost.

The best part was that I didn’t even have to start my blog from scratch. I literally just imported my site and was good to go!

Why did I choose bluehost over other hosts?                    

 3 Simple reasons:

  1. They offered me a free domain name! Similar hosting platforms wanted $14.95 to create a domain. “Free” just sounded way more courteous.
  2. They have no limit on views per month. Similar hosting platforms limit you to a certain number of viewers per month. If you reach over that amount you will have to upgrade to a more expensive plan. Ouch.
  3. 30 day full refund! I decided to at least try it. I felt so comforted knowing that I could get money back if I didn’t like it. Literally, there was nothing to lose!




How to Sign up for Your Host:

Since I use Blue Host, I will use their set up as my example. This is to show you how easy it is to sign up for a host.

Go to

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Click on the Green button, “get started now”

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I chose Basic, but I wish I went with plus for the extra features! Honestly, the price I paid for bluehost was made back in blogging profit within the first few months blogging.

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Choose Your FREE Domain Name. If you are unsure of what to choose, they will let you decide later!

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After Filling out your information, payment and billing address you will create your password and then you have your website! I use WordPress with bluehost, but there are other platforms as well.

Give bluehost a try—> HERE!   

If you end up not liking it, you get your money back!

Step 3: Create Content that SERVES others

Take on the perspective of a blog reader.

What do you search for on google?

What Pinterest pins do you save and actually click on?

Chances are you are clicking on articles that give advice, inspiration or show you how to do something. It’s no coincidence that some recipe blogs are making six figures every. single. month. What?!

Challenge: Create 5 posts that “teach” your future readers how to do something within your niche(s).

i.e, “How to Start a Blog”, “10 Recipes for Weight loss”,”5 outfits for Fall”…

Step 4: Monetize Your Blog

Now for the real money maker. Literally.

***Update: I did make a profit via affiliate links & ads after my first month of blogging! Check out how I did it —> HERE

Obviously things don’t typically happen overnight with monetization, but with your constant effort and love for what you write about, you will notice growth!

In the meantime, there are dozens of ways to profit from your blog!

Here are the top three ways:

  • Affiliate links. They are everywhere and you don’t even know it!

    Check out the Affiliate & Ad companies that accepted me as a new blogger! –> HERE

Think of your favorite fashion blogger on Instagram. In her stories, she is showing you her new, favorite pair of jeans she got at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. She was even sweet enough to give you the link to the exact pair, so that you, too, could rock those  high rise, distressed skinny jeans… affiliate links, folks… affiliate links.

It’s not that she is only in it for the money, but she is really just spreading her love for fashion whilst making a bit of profit. It’s harmless! Psh, I ain’t mad. Don’t be afraid of affiliate links! 

Make sure you give your readers a bit of a heads up when you are using affiliate links Mainly, because it is required. However, it’s also just good blogger moral to always stay honest and transparent to your audience.

  • Ads. They are everywhere and yup, you definitely notice.

    Ads are a quick and easy way to monetize your blog. However sprinkle them lightly around your blog!

    Nothing is more annoying than reading an article and having to keep clicking the x on every pop up ad. Especially when you accidentally click on the ad… which might even be the point. Clever. 

    That happened me earlier today! To be honest, after the second attempt I just closed out of the website and never looked back. Be classy with your ads!

    Tip: Amazon Associates & Google Adsense are easily the top ad companies. I prefer Amazon Associates since, well, they are Amazon! You can pretty much include any product within your posts!

    • Your own products. …because you are a boss lady! …or man!

    This may as well be blogging gold. I have heard of bloggers making six figures by selling eBooks, eCourses, stationary… you name it!

    Personally, I have yet to venture into this endeavor. It is definitely a goal! However, with the time it takes me to ensure perfection within my FREE blog posts, I can only imagine the time I will need to make sure I have a quality product for sale.

    Step 5: Send Traffic to you Blog

    Finally Step 5! Whew! While this step may be the least complicated, it is probably the most crucial and frustrating of the bunch!

    It’s 2017, there are literally millions of blogs out there! How will yours stand out?       How will you send readers to your blog? It’s a little daunting, huh?!

    Fortunately, there is a tool out there great enough to send hundreds of thousands of readers your way! Pinterest. 

    If I were you, I wouldn’t focus too much (or at all) on making the first page of Google. Let’s be real, a “google” is 10 to the 100th power, and that’s probably how many websites you are in competition with…

    Stick with Pinterest at first!

    Best Pinterest tip: If you are short on followers, join as many group boards within your niche(s) as you can! This enables you to pin your own content and have it all reach the thousands of followers on those boards. Always make sure that your pins are, indeed, pin-worthy 🙂

There we have it! 5 steps towards setting up your blog for money-making success! No need to wait until your blog “grows”. Why not set yourself up for success right away?

As I stated earlier, nothing is completely achieved overnight. With the right tools and your 100% passion, you WILL make it!

I hope this post was helpful in any way possible! If you felt inspired, please Pin it to spread the love!

Best wishes to you! Once you start a blog, let me know below! I would love to become one of your biggest blog fans♥


Favorite    My First Month Blogging   proposal

How I Made my Blog for free

So I started a blog. After years of wanting and saying that I would, I finally just did it. Sound familiar?

I am by no means an expert, but I want to share with you the steps that I took to finally get my blog going. The beginning process, for me, was way longer than it should have been, so hopefully this saves you some time and MONEY along the way!

***Update: Recently I decided to invest in my blog. I signed up for Bluehost and began my Money-Making Blog. I even began making money through ads right away! Click to read more on this!

1. Literally, Just Do it.

I’m not going to lie, it felt awkward. I felt that I couldn’t hold a candle to all of the incredible bloggers out there with their Chanel purses and Canon cameras… and it’s true. However, it’s okay to be a beginner and enjoy the learning process! You literally have to ignore all the doubts and just do it.  

2. Come up with a Name, but don’t over think it.

I wasted so much time researching the perfect blog name when in fact, there isn’t one. Guitar & Lace was as simple as two nouns that described me in a nutshell. I am a songwriter and I love feeling stylish. Voila, Guitar & Lace. 

So, if you are having difficulty finding name, try two nouns that describe you.  __& __. Rhyming and alliterating words also create a memorable name. i.e “Doug the Pug”, “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives”. 

3. WordPress? Blogger? 

I tried both. I ended up with Here’s why:

I have nothing against Blogger. I just didn’t find it to be as user-friendly as WordPress. I initially tried without knowing there was a There’s a difference! I literally felt like I was about to accidentally hack into some private FBI server. can start your blog off for FREE and you can eventually upgrade when you’re ready. 

4. Do I have to spend a ton of money right away?

No. As a teacher on summer break, I haven’t seen a paycheck since May. There is no way I could afford a domain name, millenial camera 3.0 and a vase of peonies for photo opps right now.

Don’t have a fancy camera? Tips on how to take blog photos with your smartphone.

Instead of throwing money down ASAP, I am taking the let it grow approach. I will eventually upgrade to a nicer camera just as any blogger before us has. It’s ok to start with humble beginnings! I believe your creativity is what will make the blog.

5. Paint the walls, or don’t.

You know when you move into a new place and everyone suggests that you paint the walls before moving in all the furniture to avoid yet another hassle? Yea, I never listen to them either. However, in this case I got all of the decor out of the way ASAP.

I tried every free theme on and chose one (button). I created my own graphics, added widgets, menu bars and all of that fun stuff. That way the blog feels nice and tidy before you start adding content.

6. Verify your Site!

If you are using WordPress go to your settings —> Traffic —-> Site Verification Services

They will give you links to obtain your personal html codes for each of those sites. You simply copy and paste them into the provided box. Now the world has a better chance of stumbling onto your blog!

If you are not using WordPress, you may find these two sites helpful:

Activate Pinterest

Activate Google

7. Start Posting!

This step is a little more obvious than the others, but it could also be the most daunting. What if my content isn’t good enough? What if no one finds it interesting? What if I don’t have a fancy camera?

Right now, I have an iPhone 7 camera, a laptop and bunch of random ideas. I am choosing to celebrate the little things. I received 23 views and 2 Instagram followers 20 hours after my first post. It’s all progress! Your first post is progress.

If you treat it as challenging and exciting learning process, you may just go far!


8. Network with other blogs and/or hide in the bushes.

See what other bloggers in your niche are doing! Find other bloggers who are starting fresh and follow their progress. You can either connect with them or hide in the bushes and watch from afar. Whatever your style may be.

I was a bit disappointed when I couldn’t find bloggers with original blueprints while they began their blog. My goal is to continue to layout my own blueprints as I go and hopefully encourage and inspire some of you out there!

If you found this even a little helpful leave a comment and/or follow.

Best wishes!


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