What is affiliate marketing for bloggers?

What is affiliate marketingBloggers can earn money in a number of different ways. If you’ve been around the blogosphere a little while, you’re probably quite familiar with the concept of banner and sidebar ads, sponsored posts and product reviews. But one type of money-making often overlooked by bloggers is affiliate marketing.

The word “affiliate” can seem quite scary for new bloggers. If you’re not sure how to use affiliate links well, or even what they are, it’s a daunting prospect. But they can be an extremely lucrative way to earn extra income. Have you seen Michelle who earns over $50,000 per month from affiliate income alone?! And she can teach you how to do it here! And even better, you can earn it passively – ie. you don’t have to do anything at all.

If you don’t already have a blog, check out my guide on how to set one up and starting earning money from it in 5 easy steps here!

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way for businesses to market their products directly, and the publisher receives a small reward or kickback if the customer makes a purchase after clicking their link.

An easy way to think of it is as a sales commission. In “real life”, if a sales person sells you something, they’ll earn a small amount of commission on that sale. In the same way, publishers earn something for recommending that product or service to a customer.

How can bloggers use affiliate links?

Bloggers are the ultimate platform for affiliate marketing! As a blogger, your goal is to build a community of followers who trust your recommendations enough to buy them. And if they do so, you’ll earn money from it.

Some ideas of where you can publish affiliate links are:

  • Blog posts (wishlists, sale guides, reviews, how-to guides…the list goes on!)
  • Blog recommendation pages (your favourite places to shop, places to find certain ideas)
  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram)
  • Blog courses
  • eBooks

The best thing about affiliate links is that once they’re published, all you need to do is continue to promote them and they’ll earn income for you even while you sleep. Obviously you need to be bringing in that engaged traffic to do so, but once you’ve cracked it, it’s the easiest form of income there is.

Top tips for bloggers using affiliate links

There are a few things you need to know if you’re planning to earn an income from affiliate links, and for this, I’d HIGHLY recommend checking out Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing review

Before I took this course, I was kind of floundering with affiliate links. I was using them here and there, getting a few clicks and the occasional (accidental, I’d imagine!) purchase through them. Mostly because I wasn’t sure how best to target the links and where to use them. It was a bit of an investment for me at $197, but I’m already seeing the return on it so it was TOTALLY worth it.

I took the course and last month was my first month seeing the results of it. Before then, I was earning around £30 per month from affiliate links; last month saw me earn over £100 from affiliate income for the first time and I’m expecting to see even more this month with very few changes!

Also don’t be scared of using affiliate links and signing up to networks. The key is to make sure to use ones that are relevant to your brand. This is so important! If you’re using random affiliate links everywhere, people will stop clicking them. But if you’re using ones which are useful to your readers, they’ll appreciate this.

How much can I earn from affiliate marketing on my blog?

As I’ve said, I’ve increased my affiliate income from £30 to £100 in a month. But there are bloggers earning oh-so-much more than that! In fact, it’s entirely possible to make a SIX FIGURE income just from affiliate links. That’s crazy.

Generally you’ll earn between 1 and 10% of a sale through most affiliate networks, but it could be as much as 40%.

It’s not necessarily just referral of sales though. If a user signs up to a service or downloads something, you may even get commission on that. Sometimes it’ll be a set amount for 1 sign up, for example.

If you want to know more about how much you can earn from affiliate links, sign up to the Making Sense of Affiliate Income course here.

What are the best affiliate programmes?

This is entirely dependent on your niche, but here are a few networks that I would personally recommend to bloggers who write on similar topics to me:

  • Shopstyle Collective – this is aimed mostly at fashion bloggers, but they have some interiors products too. This one works on a PPC (pay per click) basis where you earn a specific amount for each click.
  • RewardStyle – this is again aimed more at fashion bloggers but is a pay per sale basis.
  • Affiliate Window – this is my favourite network because it’s so easy to use and I’ve earned the most from it. They have a huge number of brands available to choose from in almost every sector. Make sure to sign up here and check out the brands.
  • Webgains – another networks with lots of different brands in lots of sectors.
  • Rakuten – another favourite network with lots of brands.
  • Viglink – this one is a little different as it works like a normal affiliate network (with loads of brands), but they can also insert links onto keywords that you’ve missed links on. It’s advisable to use this carefully, but can be VERY lucrative on missed opportunities.
  • Rochen – this is my hosting company. They pay up to $100 per sale if people buy hosting through your link. Plus I highly recommend them!
  • Bluehost – another hosting company. I used to use these but moved when they no longer worked for what I needed. They pay $65 per sale.
  • Tailwind – this is a Pinterest and social media scheduling tool. You get $15 per referral, and the person who signs up gets a free month too – win, win!
  • Boardbooster – another Pinterest scheduling tool. This one pays $5 per sign up.
  • Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – the programme I recommended above, because it really is that good! This course will help you learn how to use affiliate links properly so you can start earning a six figure income from them. It pays 40% per sign up – that’s $78.80!

I plan to have reviews of most of these networks on the blog in the near future, so stay tuned to see those!

How do I find affiliate programmes to join?

If you’re planning to discuss a certain product or service on your blog, I’d recommend Googling the name of it alongside “affiliate” or “referral” – for example, if I was writing a review on a bra from Brastop, I would Google “Brastop affiliate” which brings up a page on their own site talking about their programme details and a Webgains page where you can find their affiliate programme. From there you can apply to join.

It’s as simple as that!

If you’re working with a company, it’s always worth asking if you can join their affiliate programme too. Or if you can’t find any details of a programme, email the company. It’s always worth trying!

Pin this for later:

What is affiliate marketing


  1. December 19, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    Definitely going to save this information, thanks!

  2. December 19, 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Love this post! You wrote an amazing summary of affiliate marketing! Must read for beginners 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *