Easily the biggest mistake I made when I first started blogging is NOT leveraging affiliates right away. In fact, I waited a full THREE YEARS before I ever did any type of affiliate marketing. From a community/authority building perspective this was a good thing, but from a business perspective…I missed out on A LOT of money! I've invested heavily in my affiliate strategy on this website (to great success!) but -admittedly – finding the top affiliate programs is a tricky dance.
Getting Started with the Top Affiliate Programs
Really, there's a lot of experimentation involved with affiliates, no matter which network you go with or which product you decide to promote. I constantly test and re-evaluate my affiliates based on their performance – always keeping in mind what works well, and what doesn't.
The best place to start is to look at products you know and love or have already recommended. Then do a search online of which affiliate program has that relationship, it'll either be through a network, or the company/brand may have their own affiliate program.
Personally, I like working with affiliate networks. They do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, have daily reporting (so you never wonder where your money is), and come built in with a lot of resources like multiple landing pages and creative so you can test what works best. Networks have all of this to make YOU more successful at promoting their affiliates. Some programs can be a bit sketchy, but the ones below are some of the top affiliate programs in the business, and I've used ALL of them at some point or another. (No sketchies allowed.)
Top Affiliate Programs for Bloggers in All Niches
Some of these require a minimum number of page views to join, but if you're looking for affiliate networks to join and start generating cash…start here! *some of these are affiliate links
- Commission Junction (now CJ Affiliate)
- Impact Radius
- Amazon Associates (sign up with your own Amazon Account!)
If You're Interested in Going Further with these Top Programs
It isn't enough to just join the best networks. You have to learn how affiliate marketing really works in order to make the most money. Also, since affiliate success is largely based on traffic and numbers, it will help to focus on building your audience as well. Below are some of my favorite resources for growing traffic and learning more about affiliate marketing.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (Course)
Michelle makes over $100,000 (that's not a typo!) each month from affiliate marketing on her website Making Sense of Cents. Her strategies have helped me ramp up the affiliate income I make from my site, and I definitely recommend it for those who want to start aggressively monetizing their site with affiliates. She's the expert to learn from!
How I Went from 17k to 350k Pageviews (E-book) Super helpful if you want to grow your traffic!
Pinaffiliate Masterclass (Course) If you want to blog, you need to learn how to leverage Pinterest for more traffic. More traffic = more money.