Even if you’re just blogging for fun it wouldn’t hurt to make a little pocket change. At the very least you could make enough to pay your web hosting fees. But who knows? You might even decide to join thousands of other bloggers and turn it into a full-blown business. The easiest way to make money with a blog? Affiliate programs. Check it out…
What Is An Affiliate Program?
An affiliate program is a system that allows you to earn income with your blog. You place an ad on your blog, using either linked text or linked images, and when one of your blog visitors clicks on that ad and buys whatever is on the other end, you earn a commission.
Examples Of Affiliate Programs
Almost every manufacturer you can think of has some type of affiliate program. Look around your own home or office and just about anything you see can be promoted on your blog with an affiliate link and you can earn money.
For example, one of my nephews left a Kooky Klicker Pen on my desk. If you go to their website and scroll down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see a link for ToyWiz Affiliates. It takes a minute to register as an affiliate and you get your own personal affiliate link. Place an ad containing that link on your blog and every time someone clicks on your link and buys a Kooky Klicker Pen, you earn a 5 percent commission.
Amazon also offers an affiliate program. Register to become an affiliate and every time someone follows your link and buys something at Amazon – no matter what it is – you earn a commission.
What Is An Affiliate Network?
Advertisers like to use affiliate bloggers to promote their products but the paperwork involved can be troublesome. Tracking commissions earned and commissions paid and commission rates, then keeping track of Paypal or home addresses, and tax information, well, it’s a hassle.
Affiliate networks represent companies who don’t want to handle their own affiliate programs. One affiliate network may represent several hundred advertisers. Because these networks work with so many affiliates and advertisers they have a system in place that makes sure everybody is getting paid correctly and on time, and they value their reputation.
Examples of affiliate networks include ClickBank, Commission Junction, Click2Sell, Shareasale and Google Ad Networks.
Note: Each network and each advertiser within each network will have its own rules and guidelines regarding how you’re allowed to promote their products. Be sure to read all the fine print so you don’t get banned.
What To Look For When Choosing An Affiliate Program
While I’d love to promote Kooky Klicker Pens using their own affiliate link, I don’t know anything about their reputation for paying their affiliates. I do know that Amazon carries the same pens and their affiliate program has a very good reputation. So, to be on the safe side, I’d probably use my Amazon affiliate links to promote these pens.
Before choosing an affiliate program, here are some things you should look for:
- What’s the commission rate?
- What’s the minimum pay-out?
- How often are commissions paid?
- Do they have a good reputation among affiliate bloggers?
- Is the product available through another network with a better reputation?
- If the product is available through multiple networks, is there a difference in commissions and minimum payouts?
Aside from Google AdSense, using affiliate programs to monetize your blog is one of the easiest ways to start making money online. No matter what you’re blogging about there’s a product out there somewhere that’s relevant to your niche.