If you check out your feed on any social media platform as a blogger, you will see a proliferation of posts about how to make money blogging, how to create an ebook or an e-course and many, many posts that are income reports.
As a new blogger, or even a seasoned one, these catch your attention. You love blogging but you also want to be compensated for your time. I mean, less face it, blogging can take a lot of time away from other things, like your family. You want to have something to show for it right? You just want to grab your piece of the pie like the other bloggers in the posts you read.
The easiest way you can start making money online from day one is affiliate marketing. And that is why I love affiliate marketing so much and why it is a great way for new bloggers to monetize right from the beginning.
- You don’t have to be an expert in anything.
- You don’t have to develop or create anything.
- You don’t have to have massive pageviews, a huge following or a large e-mail list.
You just have to find outstanding products that would benefit your target audience and share it with them. That’s it.
So, what exactly is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is publishers (bloggers) recommending products or services to others(readers or followers) and earning a commission when those consumers click through and purchase using a custom tracking link.
In plain terms,
- you love a product or service
- you write a blog post about it
- you tell your readers how to find that product or service using your affiliate link
- the reader purchases
- you earn a commission
What is an affiliate link?
An affiliate link is a custom link that the affiliate program makes for you to be able to identify and track clicks and sales originating from wherever you share your affiliate link.
Where do I find my affiliate link?
You can find your affiliate link on the dashboard of the affiliate program you belong to.
How do I share my affiliate link?
Once you locate your affiliate link on your affiliate dashboard, you can share the link many ways. The easiest way is to highlight and click link in your WordPress editor. But, most affiliate programs will provide you with multiple text links and different sized banners that you can add to the html side of a post.
All affiliate programs have great help sections as well as video tutorials to get you started. Check out their resources if you are starting out and unsure about how to insert your affiliate link.
All affiliate links must also be marked as no follow and sponsored as per FCC guidelines.
Where can I share my affiliate link?
In general, affiliate links can be shared in posts, in e-mails and on social media. If you live in the United States or your traffic comes from there, you must disclose when you share affiliate links. Check out your own country’s disclosure laws to make sure you are not violating any.
Each affiliate program does have it’s own rules and regulations as well. Read those and abide by them. You do not want to either lose your commission, or be withdrawn from the program all together because you did not know. Some restrictions include social media platforms and e-mail.
Do I need to have massive pageviews and followers to join affiliate programs?
There are affiliate programs out there that do require minimums to join their program. The list below does not but I do encourage you to complete each application thoroughly and honestly. If you do get rejected, they usually will tell you why. Don’t be discouraged. Try another program and re-apply when eligible in the future.
Do I need to pay to enrol into affiliate programs?
You do not need to pay to join any of the affiliate programs listed below. In my 4 years of blogging, I have not come across any that I had to pay to belong but I am sure there may be some out there. In general, the affiliate gets paid for the product and you get a percentage or a set amount back depending on the payment structure.
Can I make money using affiliate links, even as a new blogger?
If you are using affiliate links correctly and are authentic in your recommendations, you do not need to have a huge reader base. The secret is to share products and services that your target audience will like and need. If you are just throwing affiliate links into posts for the sake of monetizing and do not promote products or services that will benefit your niche, it doesn’t matter if you have a million views, people won’t buy.
How do I get paid when I have earned a commission?
Each program is different. The methods include: paid by cheque, bank deposit, Paypal or credit towards your account. Many programs allow you a choice. I prefer to be paid through Paypal and if you do too, make sure to enter your Paypal address in the profile of the affiliate programs that offer it as a payout.
How many affiliate programs should I join?
In the beginning, you should limit yourself until you are familiar with using affiliate links. Also, many affiliate programs have a minimum payout. That means that until you reach that threshold, many use $100, you will not receive your commission. If you spread yourself too thin, you may not reach the minimum of each affiliate program for awhile. When you are new, it is encouraging to get those first payouts. Joining just a few at a time means you will see it sooner.
Before I continue, I want to make sure your blog is ready and able to harness the power of affiliate marketing.
If you haven’t started your blog yet, click here for a step by step tutorial.
If you are on the free WordPress platform and want to transfer to a self-hosted blog, click here for a step by step tutorial.
If you are on the free WordPress platform and wish to stay there, this article is not for you. Click here to get a list of ways you can monetize.
Are you ready now? Great! Let’s start making money blogging.
The following list of affiliate programs did accept me as a new blogger with low pageviews. I can’t guarantee that you will be accepted. Every affiliate program has their own criteria and requirements for joining their programs. Be sure to fill out all applications fully and honestly.
10 Affiliate Programs That Accept New Bloggers
One of the best and most used online stores on the web is Amazon. It may not offer the highest commission but if you can get a reader to click on your link, a cookie is created and anything that reader buys in the next 24 hours, you will get commission. So, even though they clicked on your link for makeup brushes and they bought tires instead, you make money! How cool is that? The best thing about Amazon is that every niche can find something to link to in it’s store.
Be sure to read all the terms and conditions. Amazon does have some limitations on where and how you can share their links. They also regulate how you disclose and they do change their terms and conditions now and again. Make sure you read your emails from Amazon and check your notices on your dashboard.
Once you are accepted by Amazon, you have 90 days to make your first sale to stay in the program. You should have no problem doing that!
To become an Amazon affiliate, click here.
ShareAsale is not one affiliate, but thousands rolled into one platform. From small companies to huge brands. ShareAsale is also the exclusive affiliate for many large name brands(like Tailwind). You will definitely find an affiliate program in ShareAsale that will work with your niche. You do have to apply within the program to become an affiliate of each merchant but it is very simple to do so.
As well, ShareAsale has one of the best affiliate networks so you can also earn by recommending ShareAsale to other bloggers to join.
To become a ShareAsale affiliate, click here.
3. CJ Affiliate
CJ Affiliates are one of the oldest and most reputable affiliate marketting programs in the world. With exclusive partnerships with stores like, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and LOFT, CJ Affiliate makes a perfect fit for lifestyle blogs. But there are 3,000 more publishers to work with in every niche.
With tons of tools and help, up to and including full program management, CJ Affiliate wants to help you be successful as an affiliate.
To become a CJ Affiliate, click here.
Skimlinks is one of the easiest ways to start using affiliate marketing to make money on your blog. Firstly, unlike the two programs above, you do not have to apply for each individual merchant. Once you are approved as an affiliate for Skimlinks, you have access to over 16 networks and over 6,000 merchants. And all you have to do is add code to your blog and every link you have on your site right now is monetized. No more fussing about with html. Find the product you want to share on any site, link it and magically Skimlinks will match it to one of their merchants! Now that’s crazy easy! As well I love that Skimlinks will automatically add a disclosure to your site.
Skimlinks has a plug-in for WordPress users. In it you can be more specific about which links Skimlinks is allowed to monetize. For example, if you are already an Amazon affiliate and have links to them on your blog, you can exclude those links.
To become a Skimlinks Affiliate, click here.
Viglink, as Skimlinks above, is for technophobes. All you have to do is add a code to your blog and you are monetized. And once you have been approved and accepted, you have access to all their brands and do not need to apply to each individually. Those two features are huge timesavers.
Viglink’s payout threshold is only $25 which is great when you are starting out and want to get money in your pocket ASAP. Some programs have $100 as a minimum which means you have to wait and when you are a beginner, that can be frustrating.
To become a Viglink Affiliate, click here.
6. Google Adsense
Adsense is the first ad network I joined. I think that is true for a lot of bloggers. Adsense does not have a minimum pageview requirement to apply like with other ad networks so it is a great place to learn about ads and how your readers react to them.
There is tons of articles about how to maximize your payout with Adsense and I encourage you to seek them out. Two suggestions I have is to use ad sizes that Adsense recommends and to adjust the colours of your ads so that they will match your site.
If you find it all too complicated in the beginning, there are a few WordPress plug-ins that will help you set up and install Adsense to your site.
The downside with Adsense is that their rates are low and their minimum payout is $100. I think it took me a year to see my first cheque from them but now I see one monthly.
To join Google Adsense, click here.
7. Media Net
MediaNet is another ad network similar to Adsense with one big difference, personalized attention. Once you are accepted, you will receive an email from your account manager. They will help you set up your ads, decide where they should go and be there for you if you have any questions. I love that!
I also like that their ads seem to tailor to my content so much better than Adsense. And they will load 100% of the time, in all ad sizes and for all devices.
The added bonus of MediaNet is that you can not only use them as an ad network but you can also become an affiliate for them. Recommend them to other bloggers and if they are accepted and place ads on their sites, you can earn a commission from the other blogger’s ads for a year. How great is that?
To join MediaNet, click here.
8. Your Blog’s Skeleton
Your hosting company as well as your blog’s theme are great products to advertise because people can see you use them. I have several blogs and use and promote all of my hosts, BlueHost, SiteGround, and HostGator.
I also use different themes, including Elegant Themes, and Bluchic.
I am affiliates for all because people ask me all the time who I use, what my theme is and where I got it.
One great way to promote these affiliates is to list them all on a resources page on your blog. If you do not feel that having a page like that fits into your content, I suggest putting one line in the footer of your blog, “Hosted by ABC. Theme by XYZ.” Then link the names of the companies to your affiliate links. It’s small. It’s discreet and if someone clicks through, why shouldn’t you earn a commission.
Log into your hosting company and check out your theme’s site to apply to become an affiliate.
9. Tools you use and like
Another great fit for you to be an affiliate of is any of the tools you use as a blogger or products that you like. For me, I use blogging tools like Grow/Social Warfare and Convert Kit. You may use meal planning apps, Stitch Fix, or some other tools that are niche specific to your blog.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to any products that you use and see if they offer an affiliate program.
I recently joined Weight Watchers and have lost 25 pounds in 6 weeks. I checked it out and they have an affiliate program. I have applied and I am waiting to hear back. Don’t be afraid to reach out to some of your favourite brands.
This is another natural fit for any blogger. Share your knowledge but also your resources. If you took a really awesome class or course, become an affiliate. The best products you can recommend are ones you love. It will shine through in your evaluation and presentation. Plus, what a great way to get your money back from investing in the course in the first place.
Courses that I often promote are Pajama Affiliates (learn how to use affiliate links properly) , Pintessential Planning (learn how to use Pinterest for your blog) and Ultimate Bundles(great resources for multiple niches).
The list above should help you know where to start to find affiliate programs that accept new bloggers. I know it can be over-whelming in the beginning and it feels like you will never get monetized but be patient and methodical in your approach. Join one at a time. Make sure to check all the rules and regulations. Use all the tools available in each platform to maximize your earnings.
Thank you for the details in this post! As a new blogger I will be using a few of your affiliate links I have not applied to yet.
You’re welcome! I hope they help you monetize your blog faster!
Hey Elena! Those are a vast list of affiliate marketing. I have already added Google Adsense and Amazon. But it’s not getting me any money for now. I don’t blame them, but page view is increasing very slowly probably once I have the right amount of page views my affiliates will also start paying me.
Thanks for sharing your list. I will add a few more to my list.
Just launched my website today. This is wonderful! How soon should a new blogger get started on this? I blog for young wives and military spouses
If you just started today, I would focus on content first. Build your audience and figure out what information they like from you. Once you do that, you will have a better sense of what kind of affiliate products will benefit them.
Thank you for the useful information! Moving these strategies forward ASAP!
Amazing Article! Thank you so much for this!
This is fantastic! I am a new blogger, and this is the best list of affiliate programs I have seen. so helpful!
Hi Elena, new blogger here! Your site has been extremely helpful, especially as it is tailored toward midlife bloggers like me. Do you have a post that teaches us how to get all the legal stuff right for using affiliate links? I haven’t found one yet.
I stay away from the legal stuff because it varies from country to country and changes over time. A good place for you to look is on Pinterest. You should be able to find plenty of posts there. Be sure to check the dates though.
Hi Elena–I just published my very first blog post! Thank you for all of your very helpful information for getting started with blogging. I just signed up to be an Amazon affiliate–are there any of the others that you would recommend for someone in my situation? I don’t want to go crazy and have too many new things to manage all at once! I would be honored if you would have a look at my new blog.
Congratulations! I would stick with just Amazon for awhile. At least until you are making their minimum payment consistently. All programs have minimums and if you join a lot and have multiple affiliate links, you may not get a pay out for a really long time. That can be frustrating. Take this time to learn what products have a great click through rate and hone your skill for integrating affiliate links successfully.
Thanks for the tips, very helpful!
Great post full of really useful tips!
Thank you! I just started self hosting and building my lifestyle blog, and this is the most useful information I’ve found yet. I’m sure there will be many more questions, but it’s so good to have some direction in how to start marketing!
I see a couple that I’m not signed up with. I think I’ll give them a go. Thank you!
Let me know how you make out!
Another very helpful post!! So glad I found your blog! Thank you
Thank you for reading!
Man I’ve been blogging for years and have never had the first clue how affiliate links work. 😉
And you call yourself a shop girl. tsk.tsk.
Haha, can’t sale much reporting on Retail news really. But on my new blog it will definitely come in handy 😉
Thank you, Elena! When I saw Amazon in your list, it reminded me to check the status of my Amazon Associate account. They politely told me in June that I hadn’t had enough traffic from my links and they were suspending the account. I reapplied a week ago and hadn’t followed up. But when I checked today I found that I was reinstated. Yay!
That is so awesome! Honestly, the one thing that truly made a difference in my Amazon sales was taking the pajama affiliate course I mentioned in the post. I started making the minimum payout monthly which really boosts morale I tell ya!
Thanks Elena! That’s a great tip!!!
Hi Elena. I really appreciated this post! I’m a relatively new blogger and have 102 followers. I applied to media.net yesterday and was just accepted. I was given the name of an account manager, but when I call the phone number associated with media.net, I get a recording saying no one is available right now and leave a message. It makes me paranoid and suspicious since I’m new at this. Does it seem normal to you?
I never called. I would send an email. I believe my account manager contacted me by email within a few days of acceptance. Be patient. Try to set up what you can. Once the ads are up, information is being tracked. My first 2 weeks were low for income until the algorithm figures out what works for your site. That is when the account manager can give you better insight.
Okay! Thanks so much for the info. I really appreciate your help.
Thank you for sharing this. I can’t believe I didn’t know about amazon.
Great info Elena, thanks or sharing. I’m bookmarking this because I think I’m may dive in to some of these in the new year. 🙂
Let me know if you need any help when you do.
Absolutely. Thanks Elena. 🙂
Very useful article for both noobs and pros.
Thank you for this. I’ve been blogging for quite some time, but I got a hard time to find out how I could monetize my blog for a start. This post helps me understand better, keep up the good work! 🙂
I am so glad you found it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions and good luck!
Thanks Elena that’s very helpful for a new blogger like me. Another thing on my To Do list !! Jill x
It’s growing isn’t it? Lol
Yes. With Suzie’s help. So much to learn ! Thanx for ur support.
Hey, seriously thank you for this post! I’m a relatively new blogger and always thought affiliates were something only for huge followings.
Welcome to blogging! I hope you try out some of these programs and start to see some cash for your work.
4 days into self-hosting this is a very welcome post Elena..Once I know how…I know how… it is that in between bit and that is where I am sitting right now thinking why am I doing this??? Well, we know why! It’s the how head ache…So many thanx Elena 🙂
Take a breath, relax and maybe take a few days off. Then come back at it fresh. It’s not as complicated if you just break it down and do one thing at a time. Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions.
Great advice Elena…Your post was very very welcome and thank you 🙂
You are very welcome! Did you see the link for the post about how to monetize your non self hosted site? That should help you if you are going to stay on that platform. If you do decide to switch, follow my post for doing the transfer. It is scary but if I could do it, so could you! Let me know if you have any questions.