Affiliate Marketing For A Newbie

With the right knowledge and resources, you can start affiliate marketing as a beginner. If you want to become successful in this field then you need to be consistent with your efforts. You should always keep an eye on which products are hot today so that you can invest in them.

In this guide, we review the aspects of Affiliate Marketing For A Newbie, is affiliate marketing worth it, how to become an affiliate marketer, and best affiliate programs for beginners without a website.

Affiliate Marketing For A Newbie

Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

Some Information On Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission for referring customers to a product or service. You don’t have to own the product or service; you just need to sell it, and then you’ll get paid for every person that clicks on your link and buys from the company.

Some companies will pay out 50% of their profits (the rest goes towards paying for advertising, salaries, etc.), while others might only pay out 25%. Either way, affiliate marketing is still worth pursuing if you’re looking for an additional income stream!

Affiliate Marketing Rules

When you’re a newbie at affiliate marketing, there are some rules that you need to follow. After all, this is your first time out in the field and if you don’t have a lot of experience under your belt yet, it’s best to be careful about what you do.

  • When choosing products to sell as an affiliate:
  • Choose quality over quantity – choose one product or service per niche (if possible) instead of going for quantity and just trying to get any old product in front of as many people as possible. This way you can focus on getting sales from the people who actually want what’s being sold and not just anyone who happens upon your site.
  • Avoid selling low-quality products – if the product isn’t something that will be useful or interesting enough for people who come looking for it then they won’t buy anything from you; they’ll just move on without thinking twice about it.

How Online Reviews Help You To Make Money?

As a newbie affiliate marketer, you need help to make money. And the best way to find that help is through online reviews. Online reviews help you to build trust and credibility, which in turn can lead to authority and sales.

Let’s break down what each of these mean:

  • Trust – You want your audience to trust that what they’re getting from you will be useful or beneficial for them in some way (e.g., making money). The best way to achieve this is through online reviews by other people who have used your product or service and have had results with it. This shows that the information provided by you has helped others in similar situations as well as yourself – so it shows others how much value there actually is in what you offer!
  • Credibility – When someone reads an article on a topic they know nothing about, but then see several other sources cited within that article (and those sources also cite other sources), this gives them more confidence in trusting all those sources together than if only one was cited at random intervals throughout an article (which could easily just be saying its own opinion). When something has been said many times over by people with different backgrounds than yours then chances are good that at least some of them are correct – further increasing credibility levels when combined together into one source rather than being spread across multiple ones randomly throughout various articles out there online today.”

How to Become a Super Affiliate?

So, how do you become a Super Affiliate?

  • A good website. To be honest, it takes a lot of money to build a powerful website that generates tons of traffic. If you don’t have the cash to create your own site, find someone who can help you build one for free or cheap (like me).
  • A blog. A blog is like an online journal where people can read up on your experience in the industry and get inspired by what other successful affiliates are doing. This will help you grow as an affiliate marketer because it shows people that there was once a time when things didn’t go so smoothly for us either! Blogging also gives visitors another reason why they should choose this company over another one just down the street from them: because both companies offer great products but only one provides useful information through its blog content!
  • A clear call-to-action (CTA). You want readers coming back again and again until eventually they decide whether or not they’re going spend some money buying something through this link presented in front of their eyes right now while reading through all these paragraphs about what makes me so proud about myself? Because if there isn’t any sort of action taken after clicking away from here then nothing else matters anyway! Here’s what happens when someone clicks on my link: They’ll see another page with more information inside which explains exactly how much money I make each month thanks primarily due towards my efforts instead being based solely upon luck alone – as many others claim theirs has been too…

is affiliate marketing worth it

With so many pessimistic, optimistic, and biased articles, you might wonder, is affiliate marketing worth it? After reading so many contradicting facts and opinions about affiliate marketing, it is natural for you to be confused. 

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way of earning without having a full-time job. However, to become a successful affiliate marketer, you must know the industry’s insides and how it works. For that, you will need to spend considerable time researching and experimenting. 

Most of the content on the internet about affiliate marketing is to promote or market products. So in today’s post, we will discuss the actual potential of affiliate marketing based on our experience and how to know when affiliate marketing is worth it.

So without wasting any time, let us get into the details!

When is Affiliate Marketing Worth it?

Often affiliate marketing is seen as an easy source of income. While teaming with most affiliate programs is not challenging. However, generating an income and, more importantly, huge profits take much more time, effort, and dedication than just joining a link and having your dashboard.

Even though there are several challenges, affiliate marketing can bring you high revenues when done right. So here are some circumstances when affiliate marketing can be beneficial to you. We also have a few affiliate marketing courses that can help you learn everything about affiliate marketing and how to get started.

1. Having an Engaging Audience 

To achieve the trust of your audience, you do not have to use a product for years. However, to gain your audience’s confidence, you must talk about the value and necessity of the products in-depth. So ensure you spend considerable time researching the product. 

Your audience should trust you when you say the product can help them with the in-hand task, so never talk about a product with incomplete knowledge or experience. This practice will ensure you always provide substantial value to people, which will help build loyalty.

To begin with, you must decide your niche in which you will build a trustworthy command. The key to an engaging audience is providing honest reviews even if you are affiliated with the brand. 

Sometimes your commitment to the brand can make things difficult, so you must have a well thought content strategy that covers positive reviews, valuable tutorials, and problem-solving guides. 

2. Having a Legitimate Customer Base

Developing a legitimate customer base that provides you with long-term sales and business is essential for a successful affiliate marketing career. Many affiliate marketers depend on agencies to sell the products they promote. 

They do this by becoming a consultant to them; that is how the agency becomes a client to the affiliate marketer. When you work with an agency, you have to provide them with products that give value to their customers. Just like, content writers write blogs that are valuable to the readers. 

The vital thing about developing a relevant client base is that you must not compromise your long-term clients just because you get a short-term opportunity. People make this common mistake, thinking that short projects and sales bring more money, whereas your long-term clients are far more profitable. 

To ensure your client’s trust and loyalty, you must recommend products that effectively increase their sales. Once you earn their trust by offering profitable results, they will always rely on your proficiency.

3. Having Products Related to Your Clients or Audience

The main focus of affiliate marketing is to provide the right products to your client or audience. If you fail to deliver your clients what they are looking for, the chances are you will never succeed at affiliate marketing. 

Another critical aspect to consider before starting your journey as an affiliate marketer is identifying a niche you are passionate about. Once your find what interests you, you must see if the products you select are in demand or not. 

By balancing out the two,i.e., looking for products that are highly required by people and the niche of products that you find the most interesting, anyone can quickly become a successful affiliate marketer. 

Once you form a loyal audience or a client base, you can set up your affiliate marketing methods if you work for agencies. You can use email marketing, social media marketing, client calls, and webinars are all excellent affiliate marketing methods. 

4. Adding Value to Your Customers

Whether you are targeting a specific audience or working for a client base, your priority should be delivering value to your customers. Adding value shows that you care deeply about your customers and are dedicated to providing them the best. 

Although there is no harm in focusing on your traffic and ranking, it is always better to be a value-adding partner to your clients. This will help you in various aspects of affiliate marketing. 

For example, once people know that you have something valuable to contribute to their business, you will become their go-to person. Moreover, when the word starts to spread, more and more people will want to be on your network and grow their businesses with you. 

5. Having High Profits Through Every Click 

EPC is a vital technology that helps you know how much earnings are coming in through clicks for a specific product. This data can be used to decide whether the product you are marketing is worth promoting or not. 

If you see that certain products have a high EPC (Earnings Per Click), you must focus on that product and cover the niche to which that product belongs. This will effectively help you generate profits and grow as an affiliate marketer. 

This aspect of affiliate marketing can be profitable for both audience-based and client-based marketers to generate profits and grow.  Audience-based marketers can drive traffic and increase their ranks through the right keywords. Client-based marketers can research the market and advise on the most beneficial products in high demand. 

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Whenever a company launches a product, they also start an affiliate program with it to promote its products and get more sales. They can either start their own affiliate program or connect their product to an affiliate network such as ShareASale. An Affiliate network is a middleman between the company and an affiliate marketer. To get started, an affiliate marketer needs to join the affiliate network after they can easily create an affiliate link for a business they want to promote.

Every affiliate marketer gets their own affiliate links from the business or affiliate network. The link would be a URL with an “id” that reflects the marketer’s id for that particular product. When someone clicks on that link and purchases the product from the business, they will receive a commission from that sale. This is how affiliate marketing works, and it is an easy way to make money only if you know how to promote the products to get sales.

Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable?

Yes, affiliate marketing is still profitable even in 2023. To earn a profit through affiliate marketing, you will need products that your audience is willing to buy, quality content that ranks on search engines, and an engaged audience. To capture the attention of readers, you will need to create content that solves the search intent of users. You will also need to find lucrative deals for your readers so they can get the best deals on products.

It is important to keep your audience engaged; for that, you will need to update your content every 15 to 30 days with fresh deals and content, so it looks relevant to the search engines as well as your audience. Don’t go for an affiliate product that offers the highest commission, but the readers do not like it. Promote those products which your audience love and willing to buy. Try to know your audience and their search intents and create a strategy accordingly that will help you in the long run. 

Affiliate Marketing: Pros And Cons

To help you understand better here is a list of pros and cons of affiliate marketing. Depending on this list you can decide whether affiliate marketing is worth it.

Wrapping Up On Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It? (2023)

After going through all the points in the above article, you must have got your answer to the question, ‘is affiliate marketing worth it?’. While there are many aspects one must consider before entering the field, do not form an opinion based on biased or fake posts on the internet.

Affiliate marketing is worth it for people willing to put hard work, patience, and dedication into it. The most important thing is to take your time and learn about the products you will recommend to others. 

So the bottom line of this post is that affiliate marketing is not dead. We hope this article helped to learn the worth of affiliate marketing; for more such posts, please keep visiting our page. 

how to become an affiliate marketer

How to become an affiliate marketer? How to do affiliate marketing? These are the most important questions facing people interested in online business models.

If you stop to think about it, affiliate marketing is in some ways like starting a business. You have the distinct advantage of not holding inventory and typically don’t need to hire employees, but you’re still setting up an online operation.

No matter what approach you take, whether writing blog posts or running ads, there are certain steps you’ll need to take to help you find out how to use affiliate marketing to make a living. That means you need to take strides to ensure you prepare yourself for what lies ahead.

In this article, we’ll look at a step-by-step method you can use to learn how to do affiliate marketing. This will provide a platform for your efforts, and can help give you a leg up when you’re starting out.

Whether you decide to go it alone, partner with others, or look for affiliate marketing jobs, these steps will prepare you for what’s ahead.

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer in 6 Steps

When learning how to become an affiliate marketer, it’s important to know where to start. It’s all too easy to get the cart before the horse, and that metaphor covers a variety of scenarios. Finding merchant partners, high commision affiliate programs, or affiliate marketing jobs that pay well and are consistent requires a great deal of up-front work before you’re ever in touch with a merchant.

So to help you build your online audience and find the right niche, here’s a six-step checklist you can use that can help give you a solid foundation as you start as an affiliate.

1. Choose a Niche

Every affiliate marketer has a niche in which they try to influence their audience. But if you’re too greedy and try to speak to too many niches, you could risk overextending and making your efforts ineffective.

So finding out who you’re going to target is the essential first step. But just because it comes first doesn’t make it easy.

Choosing your niche is one of the most crucial parts of starting your affiliate marketing efforts. The wrong niche will make it harder to sell, and the right niche will make it easier.

Finding your niche is one of the most crucial parts of starting your affiliate marketing efforts. The wrong niche will make it harder to sell, and the right niche will make it easier.

So how do you find out which niche is the best one for you?

To start with, you can do a short self-assessment. As affiliate marketers are meant to be reliable advocates for a product or brand, you want to make sure that you are in the right headspace.

Start by asking questions like:

These questions will help you find out if the product you’re considering is something you want to promote regularly. No matter what type of affiliate marketing tactic you ultimately choose, these are the make or break questions.

It should also be said that passion shouldn’t be the only reason why you become an affiliate marketer. A site like KitchenFaucetDivas probably didn’t start as a project of passion, but that doesn’t make it any less profitable.

Someone has to write those reviews, right?

So keep in mind that finding the right affiliate products to sell isn’t always about fun. It’s about profit.

Len Markidan of Podia says,

“If you don’t genuinely think that a product will improve people’s lives, don’t sell it! This is critical to long-term success as an affiliate. It only takes one bad recommendation to lose someone forever. But by taking the time to do your research, try every product you’re thinking about promoting, and think carefully about whether it’s a good fit for your audience, you can build a successful business by being a trusted source of useful recommendations.”

2. Evaluate Market Demand

It’s also important to evaluate the market demand for your affiliate niche. Doing so will help you identify items that consumers are willing to pay for. With that knowledge, you can start marketing products that convert shoppers, earning you commissions.

To start assessing demand for a product, the best place to go is usually a tool like Google Trends. This tells you how often Google users search for a particular topic on a 0-100 scale. It also gives you a regional breakdown, and some suggested topics as well.

For example, let’s see how many people actually search for the phrase ‘kitchen faucet’ on Google:

It’s relatively consistent since the past 5 years. That means those kitchen faucet reviews have a good potential to make money through affiliate marketing.

So whatever niche you’re considering, start by plugging it in and seeing if there’s consistent demand. This is one of the most consistent tests you can run when determining which affiliate products to sell. Many affiliate marketing items will have moderate degrees of consistency, with spikes around the holidays.

3. Analyze the Competition

The next step is to determine whether or not there’s a lot of competition in your chosen niche, and there are a couple of ways to go about this.

A simple way is to use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to help you see how competitive particular Google searches are.

Let’s keep running with this kitchen faucet example, to show you how it works. Start by plugging in your search term, and then click ‘Look Up’ to see the results.

As you can see, on the right side of the results you’ll see an indicator that says ‘Competition’. On Ubersuggest, this indicator ranges from 0-1, with 1 being the highest level of competition.

So with just a few clicks, you can find out what you’re up against in your niche. You can also see a variety of suggested searches that are related to your niche, as well as how competitive they are.

The second way to research competition levels is to use a service like Clickbank. For this purpose, click on the Affiliate Marketplace option on the home screen.

From there, you’ll see an option to input a search term. Again using the kitchen faucet as an example, here’s how you use this feature:

In the search results, you’ll see a section that I’ve highlighted in the example above called Gravity. On ClickBank, Gravity is a measurement of how high demand is for a product that’s on a 100 point scale. The lower the Gravity, the harder it will be to sell your product.

When you combine all of these approaches, you should be able to get an adequate view of how well your chosen niche will perform. Too much competition and not enough demand is a recipe for disaster, so be diligent in this process.

An excellent example of an affiliate marketer that’s clearly done their homework in their niche is the highly successful site the Points Guy. The site centers around travel-oriented reviews and guides, but also provides curated news updates for those already on the go. They also promote credit cards, which is where they make their money.

This site gets more than 2.5 million unique monthly visitors, and for every successful card signed up for, they receive anywhere from $50-$400. As both the travel industry and the credit card industry can be competitive, this is the kind of success that makes you pay attention.

And to round out their approach, they also run ads for their content to help bring in more traffic and make more money.

At the very least, this shows the importance of finding the right affiliate products to sell in your niche. Get this step right, and you’ll be giving yourself the best chance to make some money as an affiliate marketer.

4. Research Affiliate Programs

After you’ve picked a niche, it’s time to find out which program out there can help you promote products in your niche. This is where you take a step deeper into your study of how to become an affiliate marketer.

Affiliate marketing programs are sites that act as the middleman between merchants and affiliates. Since it can be hard for merchants and affiliates to find each other, these sites act as a gateway for the relationship to begin.

With that, I’ll bring up some key questions that you’ll need to have answered while you’re figuring out how to become an affiliate marketer. This is an essential checklist that you should consider before you proceed with a particular program.

Keep in mind that this is another step that can make or break your success as an affiliate marketer. In other words, your program is the bridge that helps you find profitable partnerships. Don’t skip out on it.

5. Pick Your Affiliate Marketing Methods

Two most popular methods that affiliate marketers adopt include:

While these are only a couple of options, they’re the best way to do affiliate marketing. So, we’ll break down how to set up each.

First up, let’s build a website.

While there’s some discussion over whether or not affiliates need a website at all, there are so many benefits that it’s almost pointless not to make one when you’re trying to get the knack of how to do affiliate marketing.

It doesn’t matter if you’re working with low or high commision affiliate programs, websites can help you be successful.

Plus, if you want to look for affiliate marketing jobs in the future, having your own affiliate site is a perfect resume builder.

So when you search for ways to build a website, you’re going to get a lot of competing opinions about which option is the best. Should you go with a free option like Wix or WordPress.com, or is it better to build your own by using a hosting service?

While the ultimate hosting choice is up to you, you’ll want to find one that offers a reliable service and a good experience all around.

Many of these hosting companies offer:

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process of starting a website, some of these services even offer step-by-step tutorials on their site that help get you started.

If you’re starting a blog, your best bet is to find a template theme that helps you create a friendly user experience. There are thousands of themes to choose from, so pick the one that suits you best.

Once you host your site and pick a theme, all you have left to do is design it to your liking. You can use custom or stock photos, and make sure that it’s clear what your site has to offer your audience.

From there, it’s time to start creating the content you want to share with your audience.

6. Create and Publish Top-Notch Content

The phrase ‘content is king’ gets thrown around a lot in marketing, and there’s a good reason for that. In many ways, the Internet is just a collection of content. If you don’t contribute, people have no reason to come to you.

As we’ve already seen, that content can be as simple as this blog post. How you ultimately deliver value is up to you.

But what types of content can you create that will help you stand out as a trustworthy and valuable affiliate marketer? Even if you’ve got the right niche and a flawless website, you need something to build your audience.

When considering what type of content to create, you’ve got a lot of options. In fact, one blog compiled 113 different types of content that can be created and shared. With all that variety, where do you start?

While to some degree this boils down to the ideas that interest you the most, there are at least three good starting places familiar to affiliate marketers. These can ultimately lead to success, so we’ll dive into each.

Product Reviews

One of the most effective content strategies is to write reviews for different products and services in their niche. Brands are always looking for product reviews that convert customers, so this can be a profitable place to start.

When done well, it can provide a seamless transition into affiliate marketing efforts, and can be a great way to generate income..

For example, TheBestVPN is a site that reviews the most popular Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, on the market. For audiences interested in cybersecurity and ensuring the protection of their information, this type of website is a goldmine of information.

With each review, there’s an option for readers to go to the site and learn more about the VPN. As you might expect, this link is an affiliate link that attributes each referred buyer to TheBestVPN’s website.

By simply focusing on product reviews, the site positions itself as a high-authority source for newcomers to the world of cybersecurity. Everyone involved gets something from the affiliate relationship, which completes the perfect model of affiliate marketing.

Blog Posts

In a similar vein to product reviews, blog posts are another way that you can start building trust and making inroads in your chosen niche. More importantly, blog posts can help you boost sales over time as you master how to become an affiliate marketer, which is your end goal.

By addressing common questions or problems in your target market, you’ll be positioning yourself to make recommendations down the line.

The big key with writing blog posts is consistency. You need to post consistently, and you need to keep a single voice that provides high-quality ideas and tips to your reader.

A great affiliate brand that’s done an excellent job of developing an innovative blogging approach is the site Top Ten Reviews.

While it sounds at first glance that this is just another review site, it’s actually a lot deeper than that. It’s a review comparison site that’s all delivered in blog posts and slideshares, like this roundup on hot tubs:

By creating and delivering unique content, they’ve developed an engaged audience and dominate their niche. All of this is done as an affiliate too.

So if you’re struggling with a place to start and don’t want to do product reviews, take the leap into blogging. Offer solutions and share your tips as much as possible.

Guides

The final type of content you can focus on creating is an informational product that you can use as a hook to get people interested in more of what you have to say. Just like the previous two types of content, helpful guides can ultimately lead to increased sales and more money in your pocket.

This can be an ebook, email series, webinar, or any other type of extensive, in-depth look at a particular topic. As long as it’s accurate and helpful, you’ll be one step closer to gaining trust in your niche.

In time, you can also use this technique to help your audience build interest in the affiliate product that you sell.

A good, simple example of this comes from the affiliate blog PC Part Picker. They offer a wide variety of guides that help newcomers and veterans build a computer that meets their needs.

This provides constant engagement with their audience with high-value content. And of course, with each purchase made from their recommendation, The Wire Cutter gets a piece as the affiliate marketer.

How to Do Affiliate Marketing Without a Website

As we’ve seen all along, building a website is just one option when it comes to the best ways to do affiliate marketing. Running ads is another. Ads can help you be successful, especially for high commission affiliate programs.

So what if you only want to use paid ads to push people to your merchant partner’s site? In that case, you don’t really need a website.

Instead, you’ll need to set up an account to create ads in, which means you’ll need to use Google ads, Facebook ads, or even Bing ads depending on your audience.

First, let’s show you how to get started on Google Ads. To get started, you’ll need to head over to the Google Ads homepage and click the Get Started button.

You’ll be sent to a screen that asks for your email address and the website you’ll be sending ads to.

Next, you’ll be asked to sign in if you’re creating this with a Google account.

From there, you’ll be walked through the process to target and complete your ad, including images and copy. First, you’ll need to pick a goal for your ad.

Since you’re most likely trying to get users to buy a product, you’ll want to select the ‘Take an action on your website’ option. Even if you’re not the website’s owner, you can direct and track traffic accordingly.

From there, you’ll need to select the geographical location that you want to advertise in. This can be as broad or as narrow as you want it to be.

best affiliate programs for beginners without a website

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you’re probably overwhelmed by the number of things you need to do.

Don’t worry. I was overwhelmed when I first started too.

Back in 2009, when I created the blog Investor Junkie, I was already an established business owner. I’d done affiliate marketing with my previous business but never deeply explored it.

There was a lot to learn!

Anyone can start a blog, but few understand how to monetize that blog with affiliate marketing effectively. Even some of the “super affiliates” miss out on techniques to better optimize their content.

Affiliate Marketing Isn’t Just About The Money

Tip: Don’t chase after the most lucrative affiliate programs.

Going after the highest-paying affiliate programs is a poor strategy and one that too many beginner bloggers (and some experts) make.

Instead, the first step to successful affiliate marketing is getting into programs aligned with your niche.

I’ll often come across a mommy blogger writing about raising kids, couponing, and recipes but also posts about how you can create a side hustle by starting a blog with Bluehost.

Now, I’m not picking on mommy bloggers specifically. I’ve seen this phenomenon in many other verticals (niches).

And I get it: Bluehost is one of the highest-paying affiliates out there. But that doesn’t mean it belongs on your site.

A more effective affiliate marketing strategy is to promote products you either use or have no problem recommending to your audience. Your goal should be to create a brand firmly rooted in your niche and to become an authority on related topics.

Avoid topics outside your wheelhouse. It’s disingenuous and alienates your audience. Your readers will immediately see right through it.

I didn’t write a list of the “9 Highest-Paying Affiliates for 2023.” because it’s the wrong model to follow, and I recommend you ignore any affiliate marketer that says otherwise.

TL;DR – What Are the Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners?

I’ve based my affiliate network recommendations on the following:

Be aware not all affiliates are created equal. I’ve seen my fair share of crappy affiliate programs. I think there are several reasons for this, including the following:

Some of the affiliate programs I recommend are nowhere near the highest-paying affiliate programs (cough, Amazon). In a way, I consider Amazon the affiliate program of last resort.

But I’m also not a beginner and know how to maximize affiliate revenue.

Amazon Associates is the number one program on my list for anyone starting out.

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

My list of affiliate marketing programs is by no means comprehensive. There are thousands of affiliate programs to choose from, and not all of them are public, either.

I’m sure there are affiliate programs better suited to your specific niche. And you may find that some merchants require you to establish a direct relationship with them rather than using a network.

However, regardless of your niche, these are the best affiliate programs for any beginner. You can’t go wrong with any of them, and I recommend that you join all nine.

Create Your Content First

Tip: Be very strategic when submitting your affiliate merchant applications.

It’s easy to get anxious when just starting with affiliate marketing. I get it: You want to start seeing results quickly.

But affiliate marketing is a long game; it could take at least six to 12 months before you start seeing any measurable results.

It’s all too common for a blogger to work on a site for six months, get discouraged, and then quit.

Affiliate managers want to see professional-looking websites and actively curated content. Remember, they don’t know you from a hole in the wall.

I recommend building up at least one to three months of content and actively working on your website before submitting your blog to any of the services mentioned below.

You may want to publish content that references some of the most competitive merchants before you even attempt to get accepted into their affiliate programs.

Otherwise, a highly desired merchant or affiliate network will likely turn you down. First-time rejection likely means you’ll have a more challenging time getting accepted in the future.

For more tips, check out my article:

Let’s take a closer look at what makes these affiliate programs great.

1. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates isn’t perfect, but I’ll deal with that in another article. However, the program is excellent for anyone just starting.

Amazon is one of the world’s largest and most trusted e-commerce services. If you want to link to any products for sale, Amazon should be your go-to.

For example, the software product Quicken once had an affiliate program with Commission Junction, the second network on this list. I placed several affiliate links for Quicken on my blog, Investor Junkie, and they worked great.

However, Quicken’s affiliate program unexpectedly shut down, so I quickly changed my affiliate links to use Amazon instead. That way, I could still monetize the web pages that referenced Quicken.

If you already have an Amazon account – and who doesn’t? – you’re already halfway there. Ideally, if you have an incorporated business, you should sign up for Amazon using your company’s information.

The biggest issue with Amazon is that its affiliate programs are country-specific. If your traffic comes from one part of the world, you’ll need to ensure your Amazon links work for that country.

Here are the 14 countries where Amazon offers its affiliate program and the corresponding links to join:

If you’re looking for a better way to manage your Amazon affiliate links, I recommend the WordPress plugin AAWP. This plugin can create Amazon links that apply to each site visitor’s country. AAWP can also display current Amazon prices and create product summary boxes that increase conversions on your site.

Larry’s Take

2. Commission Junction (CJ)

Next to Amazon, Commission Junction is perhaps the internet’s second-oldest affiliate program. Most folks in the industry refer to the company as “CJ.” Unlike Amazon, it’s a network rather than an e-commerce store.

In other words, CJ connects its affiliates with merchants and manages most of those relationships. This can feel like a godsend for new affiliate marketers because it eliminates the need to deal with merchants directly.

At the time of writing, more than 3,300 merchants used CJ’s service. These merchants are in a wide variety of niches, so I highly recommend that you join this network.

CJ’s signup process isn’t complicated. But once in, you’ll need to apply with specific merchants. The application process varies per merchant. Some will grant you instant approval, others will take a few days, and a few will leave you in limbo forever with no response.

3. Impact

Impact is one of the younger affiliate networks on this list. The company was founded in 2008 by former employees of Commission Junction, Savings.com, and Leadpoint.

At the time of writing, there are more than 3,500 merchants in Impact’s network. As with Commission Junction, the diverse array of merchants should fit most verticals.

The application process to join Impact can be a little more challenging than it is for CJ, but once in, I’ve found it easier to get accepted by the merchants.

Impact’s reporting and postback options are much more flexible than other affiliate programs. If a merchant I want to partner with deals with multiple affiliate networks, including Impact, I’ll use Impact.

4. Awin

The next one on the list might be one you’ve never heard of. Awin is a relatively new player on the field. It’s the result of a merger of two other affiliate networks, Zanox and Affilinet, in August 2017.

With more than 8,000 merchants on board, Awin is one of the better networks and is very easy to use. They offer affiliate programs in several countries, so I recommend it if you have international visitors to your website. However, remember that Awin’s merchants seem to focus more on physical products than software or SaaS.

5. ShareASale

ShareASale is part of Awin and has some of the best merchant choices available. ShareASale currently works with over 1,000 merchants offering everything from physical products to software services. This makes it perfect for this site’s focus on internet marketing.

The application process is relatively easy, and you can access data on conversions from existing affiliates. My only gripe is the limited number of links available from most merchants.

One of the nice things about the ShareASale service is it gives you insight into the effectiveness of the merchants you work with. ShareASale provides the average sale, conversion rate, EPC (earnings per click), and how they rank in the ShareASale platform.

6. FlexOffers

In many cases, FlexOffers offers the same affiliate programs as other networks, like CJ. FlexOffers has more than 12,000 merchants available in its system. It’s perhaps one of the largest affiliate networks available.

FlexOffers works directly with many merchants but is also known as a “sub-affiliate” platform. This means FlexOffers joins a merchant’s program as an affiliate and allows bloggers to use its affiliate links instead of applying directly to the merchant. You’ll split the commission for each affiliate signup with FlexOffers.

If you have a tough time getting into a particular affiliate program because you’ve just started out, FlexOffers can act as your middleman.

Of course, the downside is that the payouts are often lower because FlexOffers needs its cut of each transaction.

The signup process to join FlexOffers can be a pain. Because it’s a sub-affiliate, FlexOffers is partly responsible for the quality of conversions, which means it can be choosy regarding the affiliates it permits into its network.

However, if you’re a beginner affiliate, FlexOffers is a great option worth applying for. Just make sure your website is ready and presentable.

7. Sovrn //Commerce

I’m not a huge fan of using automation to place merchant links on a blog, but some affiliate marketers would prefer to monetize with little effort. Sovrn //Commerce is a way to do this. Previously, this product was known as VigLink.

Sovrn //Commerce gives you the choice of CPC (cost-per-click) or CPA (cost-per-acquisition) merchants.

They will automatically insert affiliate links on your blog posts via a WordPress plugin or with Google Tag Manager. If you’re looking for an effortless way to monetize with affiliate links, Sovrn //Commerce is the way to do it.

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