One of the first methods people turn to for making money online is affiliate marketing. A lot of businesses run their affiliate programs on their own, while others are members of various affiliate networks.
Affiliate networks give you access to multiple affiliate programs from many different merchants. You can promote products from merchants who accept you into their program by adding special links to your content.
Affiliate marketing takes minimal effort (compared to creating a product yourself, anyway!) once you realize how it works. It’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to start earning money online through your content, content that you probably already have.
Once you’re comfortable with creating affiliate-friendly content and have a system set up to guide people towards a purchase, you have the potential to make thousands each month.
But before you can start making those thousands, you need to make your first few dollars. Joining affiliate networks will help you do that.
Since it’s so easy to get into, a lot of people do affiliate marketing completely wrong. They use any random product, try throwing around their referral link anywhere, or completely disregard the disclaimer needed on both blog posts and social media posts.
After reading this post, you won’t be making any of those mistakes and I’ll give you some awesome affiliate networks to join at the end.
Get started with affiliate marketing
A simple way to promote an affiliate product
I’ve found that the best way to promote an affiliate product is simply to show the product in action. You can do this through writing blog posts, creating videos, or discussing products in audio content, like on a podcast.
The whole process from creation to building traffic to making a sale can be pretty involved, but overall it all boils down to these simple steps.
- Find an applicable product or service for your audience
- Sign up for the company’s affiliate program
- Create content showing how to use the product/service as a solution to specific problems
- Add your affiliate disclaimer
- Add your affiliate links
- Promote to your email list, social media, Facebook groups, Pinterest, etc.
Remember your FTC disclaimer
Most parts of the world require you to disclose any partnerships between you and a company. This includes promoting as an affiliate or via sponsorship.
Even if your country doesn’t, if the company you’re promoting for operates out of a country that does, you’ll need to have the notice. Most of them require it as a part of their affiliate agreement and some programs, like Amazon Associates, even have their own disclaimer that they require you to display on your site.
Your notice must appear sometime before your first affiliate link and be on the same page as the promotional links or post. A separate disclosure or disclaimer page on your website is not enough.
For social media, using #ad is the best way to tag your sponsored posts or affiliate links. If the platform has any other features to mark business/influencer relationships, such as YouTube’s Paid Promotion disclosure or Instagram’s Branded Content feature, use that as well.
Example affiliate disclaimer
Below is an example of my affiliate disclaimer, which is true and real because yes, there are affiliate links coming up in this post.
Using affiliate networks
You’ll find that affiliate programs are usually run directly from the company or through an affiliate network.
Affiliate networks are a third party that exists between you, the publisher, and a merchant. They handle all the in between stuff, like taxes and payments, while you use the platform to share the links and creatives provided by the merchants.
Ultimately, it’s up to the merchant to let you into their program, but having an account on one of these sites is often the first step to becoming an affiliate for many companies. For example, if you want to be an affiliate for Etsy, you’ll need an account on Awin.
Top affiliate networks for bloggers
This list is a few of the top affiliate networks you can use to connect with thousands of retail merchants and earn money as an affiliate. You can also check out my post with 10 ways to monetize your content for some other ideas to make money online.
- e-Commerce Affiliate
- Awin – The only place to find the affiliate program for Etsy
- CJ Affiliate
- Rakuten Marketing
- PartnerStack – best for business related blogs
What have you done with affiliate marketing?
Have you started using affiliate marketing to monetize your blog or social media following?
Do you have any tips you’d like to share?
Let us know in the comments!