The Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Monetizing your blog: it’s a topic many of us have researched time and time again because it seems too good to be true!

Beginners Guide Affiliate Marketing

We all know people make money from having a part-time or full-time job and putting in hard work, but what about the other options?

The truth is, you can make money blogging, and bloggers have proved it time and time again.

It’s totally possible to turn your blog into a full-time business, you just need to know how!

One of my favorite ways to monetize my blog is with passive income. Passive income is when you do a bit of work in the beginning to put some money making strategies in place, and then you receive that money days later, even years later, just from putting in a bit of work in the beginning – hence passive income.

One of my favorite ways to put some passive money making strategies in place is with affiliate marketing.

I brushed on affiliate marketing in my post 5 Ways to Make Money as a Blogger, but in this post I’m going into waaay more detail.

In this beginner’s guide you’ll learn what affiliate marketing is plus some strategies on how exactly to incorporate it into your blog, and I even tell you which programs are best for beginners.

With this guide you’ll be making money from your blog in no time, and I can’t wait to tell you how to do so!

P.S. some companies require that you have a blog in order to join their affiliate program, so before you do anything further, make sure you start your own blog using SiteGround so you can start making those affiliate sales!

Let’s dive in!

This post contains affiliate links to keep my blog up and running!
To learn more about affiliate links, 
click here.

Back to the Basics: What IS Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to earn passive income from your blog.

Basically affiliate marketing is when you promote a company’s or a person’s service or product in exchange for a commission. How it works is the person or the company will give you a special link and then that link is tracked. So, when someone clicks your link and does something, such as make a purchase, you will receive a commission from that sale. It’s as simple as that!

With affiliate marketing though, someone doesn’t necessarily have to make a purchase using your link for you to make a commission.

Affiliate marketing is known as a cost-per-action type of advertising. What this means is that you get paid a cost-per-action.

What is a cost-per-action you ask? Well, it means that when someone makes a certain action using your link, you get paid. So, like I said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a purchase. Sometimes all people have to do is click your link and enter their email address, or click your link and answer a few questions. As long as they’re clicking your link and completing the action that the affiliate program set up, you will get paid a commission.

To find out what someone has to do after clicking your link for you to get paid, it’s important you read the program’s terms and conditions.

Each affiliate program is different and can have different rules and guidelines, so make sure you read the fine print!

What Makes Affiliate Marketing So Worth It

Affiliate marketing is one of my favorite ways to monetize my blog, and I’m sure it’ll quickly become yours too!

The best thing about affiliate marketing is how passive it is. You don’t have to worry about spending money and time creating your own product and selling it to your audience – the product is already there, you just have to advertise it.

So, affiliate marketing because one of the easiest ways to make passive income. All you have to do is join some programs and add your links into your posts and that’s it! You can be on vacation with no wifi whatsoever and find out that you made some sales while you were away because people were clicking your links.

And, who wouldn’t want to make money while they’re laying on the beach sipping on strawberry daiquiris?

Keeping it Legal

If you do decide to join some affiliate programs, it’s super important that you keep it legal.

Now, before I begin talking about the legal side, please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer and I cannot give you legal advice. The information I’m about to give you is simply a few things I learned through my own research that I’m summarizing here for you!

When you become an affiliate for a program and start promoting their products and services, it’s required that you disclose this with your readers.

For example, when I add affiliate links to my blog posts (which I have in this one) I put that little blurb at the top of my post that says:

This post contains affiliate links to keep my blog up and running!
To learn more about affiliate links, 
click here.

That “click here” link then takes my readers to my disclaimer and privacy policy page, where I go into a bit more detail about how affiliate links work.

A lot of times bloggers may feel uncomfortable about telling their readers they’re working with companies to make money. Many people have this idea in their heads that if they’re trying to sell something to their readers this will cause their readers to not trust them and think they’re just being used.

However, it’s important to remember that many people do this! Tons of bloggers out there are using their blogs to make money, and as long as you’re only promoting products to your readers that you love and trust yourself, there’s no need to feel bad about doing so!

What You Need to be an Affiliate

To implement affiliate marketing on your blog, it’s super important to have a self-hosted WordPress blog.

If your blog is set up with a free host, such as Blogger or, there are strict rules and guidelines you have to follow, and these guidelines most likely make it very hard, if not impossible, to use affiliate links on your site.

On the flip side, if you set up a self-hosted blog, your content is totally yours – you own it. This means you can use affiliate links however and wherever you want (as long as you’re not breaking any rules set up by the affiliate.)

If you need to set up a self-hosted blog but don’t know where to begin, you’re in luck. I created a step-by-step guide that takes you through the entire process of setting up your blog with SiteGround. With SiteGround I had my site up and running within minutes, and, though I did run into a few roadblocks along the way, SiteGround’s customer service worked with me to immediately solve every issue, and, for someone who’s totally not tech savvy, that was an absolute lifesaver.

Related Reading:

Best Affiliate Programs for New Bloggers

Through all the research I did before starting my blog, I came up with list of the best affiliate programs to join as a new blogger. Here’s a few you’ll definitely want to check out:

  1. Ebates

Ebates is my absolute favorite affiliate program, and the reason why is because it SAVES you money while also MAKING you money!

Ebates allows you to make money by shopping online…seriously! All you have to do to make money is shop – what can be better than that? Nothing, of course.

This makes Ebates such a great affiliate program because almost every blogger can promote it no matter what their niche is. Your readers will love the fact that, no matter what they’re online shopping for, they’ll make money by doing so.

And it gets even better than that. Just for using your affiliate link and making their first purchase your readers get $10 (if you’d like to get in on this deal click here) and you’ll get $5 per referral (which increases as your amount of referrals increases!)

You can also add a button to your browser so every time you visit a website to do some shopping it’ll pop up at the top of your browser reminding you to shop through Ebates so you can make some money, this way you’ll never forget!

Ebates sends you quarterly payments either by check or by Paypal, whichever you choose, and will let you know when your “big fat payment” is on its way!

To sign up for Ebates and make your first $10, click here!

  1. Amazon Affiliates

Another great affiliate program that’s perfect for bloggers of any niche is Amazon Affiliates. What makes Amazon Affiliates so great is that Amazon sells literally every product you can imagine, so no matter what you blog about you’ll be able to find a product to promote.

Amazon pays its affiliates 4% of most of their sales and their minimum payout threshold is $10, so it makes it super easy to get paid.

  1. ShareASale

If you’re looking to join a bunch of different Affiliate Programs, ShareASale is a program you’ll want to join.

ShareASale connects you with various companies from Etsy to Tailwind and many, many more. Simply search for a merchant you’d like to be an affiliate for and join their program right through ShareASale – it’s that easy.

ShareASale has both programs that are commission-based and pay-per-lead, so you have many opportunities to use ShareASale to monetize your blog.

To sign up for ShareASale, click here!

  1. Maven

For bloggers whose blogs pertain to lifestyle, fashion, beauty, or travel, Maven is a great program to join.

Maven is just like Pinterest in the sense that you create boards and then pin products that you love to those boards. Then, if someone clicks on a product from your board and makes a purchase (it doesn’t have to be the exact product you recommended) you get a commission!

The boards you create can be shared wherever you choose, such as on social media and your blog itself, so it’s really easy to get your readers to check out your boards!

Maven sends monthly payments through Paypal if you’ve reached their minimum balance of $20.

Beginners Guide Affiliate Marketing

To start making money with Maven, click here! 

  1. Shopstyle Collective

For fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers, Shopstyle Collective is a great program to join.

On Shopstyle Collective you can create widgets filled with products you love and then add those widgets to your blog posts. Then, if someone clicks your link you get paid a $0.05 commission. If someone then purchases something through that link you get a commission from that sale.

Shopstyle Collective pays you via Paypal once you reach the minimum threshold of $100.

Check out my post Must-Have Products for a Successful New Year to see how these widgets look within a post.

  1. Awin

Awin is just like ShareASale in the sense that they connect you with different merchants you can become an affiliate for and they have programs that are both commission-based and pay-per-lead.

To join Awin they ask for $5 when you sign up, but once you receive your first payment you get that $5 right back! And, their payments are set either through direct deposit or check once you meet the $20 threshold.

To join Awin and start making money, click here!

  1. The She Approach Affiliate Program

By promoting Ana from The She Approach’s products, you can offer your readers some extremely valuable blogging resources and make money doing so!

Ana currently has 3 digital products for sale that you can promote to your readers and make a commission from:

This ebook is filled with 10 chapters of information on the exact strategies Ana used to successfully increase her blog traffic. I purchased this ebook myself, took about 11 pages of notes on it, and immediately started implementing some of her strategies into my own blogging strategy and immediately saw results.

It gets better though! This ebook comes with 2 months of Tailwind – a $30 bonus!

The From Zero to Superhero bundle is aimed towards bloggers who have started monetizing their blog but are struggling to implement an affiliate marketing strategy that actually works.

This bundle goes into details on the exact strategy you should be following in order to start making some money from your blog.

It also comes with access to a private Facebook group!

The Affiliate Programs Masterlist is a database of 500+ affiliate programs in over 17 different niches.

This masterlist gives bloggers a huge range of products and services that they can promote to their readers and increase their affiliate sales.

  1. Reroute Lifestyle Affiliate Program

Krista from Reroute Lifestyle currently has 3 products that you can promote to your readers and make a commission from!

Krista’s Career in the Making ebook tells all about how she made money in just her first 6 months of blogging!

In the ebook she goes into detail about everything she did to turn her blog into a business and monetize it and how you can do the same!

This ebook really helped me understand the whole blogging thing since it was one of the first ebooks I purchased when I first started my blog, and I definitely recommend it to all of you!

Want to make sure your blog is up to par? Well with this blog audit you’ll receive personalized, tested strategies that will turn your blog into a profitable one.

Allow Krista to give you the steps you need to reach your blogging goals as well as her full and honest impression of your blog and how you can make it better.

Many people struggle with the tech side of blogging, and if you’re one of those people why not let someone else do the work for you?

Whether you’re a new blogger or a veteran blogger, this custom website design will take your blog to the next level. Krista will design your website theme for you and turn your blog into one that’s fully responsive, stylish, and easy to navigate.

For the not-so-tech-savvy, you’re definitely going to want to take advantage of this!

Promoting Your Affiliate Links

Now that you’ve joined some affiliate programs, you’re probably wondering: how do I promote these products? Well, there are tons of different ways you can do so. Some options are:

  • Create a pin for the product and promote it on Pinterest
  • Send emails to your mailing list promoting the products
  • Write a post about the product where you give your readers a tutorial on how to use it/how it helped you
  • Create a list of a products (a gift list, your favorite things, etc.) and incorporate products you’re an affiliate for in there
  • Create a page of resources and add affiliate links to that

Whichever option feels most natural to you will most likely be the most successful option, so choose whichever one speaks to you the most. And you can even come up with your own strategies, so get creative!

Keep Putting Your Posts Out There

The most important thing when it comes to being an affiliate is you have to continue to promote your blog posts as much as possible. You’re writing quality content and adding your affiliate links into them, but how will anyone ever click those links if they’ve never even seen your post to begin with?

Related Reading:

One of my favorite ways to promote my posts is with Tailwind. Tailwind is an automatic Pinterest scheduler that does all the work of pinning and staying active on Pinterest for you.

Using Tailwind has exploded my blog traffic and post views and the best part is after you complete your free trial, it’s super affordable.

To get your free trial of Tailwind and boost your blog traffic, click here!

Related Reading:

Start Making Money

Affiliate Marketing truly is my favorite way to make money blogging. Not only is it passive income but it’s a super easy way to promote products to my audience that I love and that I really think will help them out as well.

By joining these programs and putting these strategies to use you’ll start making money from your blog in no time.

However, it’s important you’ve taken all the necessary steps to make your blog as successful as possible to have the highest chance of making as much money as possible. To help you along the way, check out some of my other blogging posts:

I’d Love to Hear From You

Let me know in the comments below if you have any further questions when it comes to affiliate marketing.

And if you try any of these strategies out and join any of these programs, let me know about that too! I’d love to chat with you more about affiliate marketing and how great it is!


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