Lesson Progress
0% Complete

In the My Work from Home Money survey, the authors asked this question: “How do bloggers make money?”

Responses indicated that 70% of bloggers say that affiliate marketing is the most popular and most commonly used source of monetization.

Many new bloggers recognize affiliate marketing and associate it with the Amazon Affiliate Program.

While Amazon is a great start, there are tons of other opportunities for earning affiliate revenue.

vector graphic showing an illustration of high ticket affiliate marketing in action

What is Affiliate Marketing?

In affiliate marketing, publishers earn commissions when they promote a service or product that’s made by another advertiser or retailer.

If a sale is made, the affiliate (the publisher) receives a portion of the sale as a commission.

Affiliate marketing is sometimes referred to as referral marketing.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

When you use affiliate marketing, you are essentially a salesperson.

The affiliate program provider will give you a unique tracking code or ID, and when one of your blog visitors clicks the link, you are credited with the sale if the customer makes a purchase.

In some cases, affiliate marketing isn’t a sale.

It could be an app download, a lead, or even a free-trial user.

Usually, affiliate programs are free for publishers to join, so you don’t have to worry about startup costs.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are three primary types of affiliate marketing: unattached, related, and involved.

1. Unattached

If you are “unattached,” it means you don’t have authority in the niche of whatever product or service you’re advertising, and there is not a connection between the customer and you.

An example of this would be a food blogger running an Amazon Affiliate ad for computers.

Publishers tend to like unattached affiliate marketing because no legwork is required.

Instead, the businesses rely on trust and the reputation of a target audience.

2. Related

With related affiliate marketing, bloggers promote services and products that they don’t necessarily use but that are in their niche.

With our food blogger example, this would be a blogger having an affiliate ad for a cookbook on their site.

Because the blogger has influence in the blogosphere and community, their opinion is trusted.

When using related affiliate marketing, it’s important to use transparency to indicate that you’ve not used a product.

Otherwise, you can lose the trust of your audience.

3. Involved

Involved affiliate marketing is when you only recommend services or products you use yourself.

This type of affiliate marketing is the best one to use because it builds trust with your audience.

With involved affiliate marketing, a food blogger would only mention products, services, or ingredients that they use.

How Much Can You Make Promoting Affiliate Products?

Affiliate marketers make money primarily in four different ways.

  • Pay per sale: Merchant pays affiliates a percentage of the product’s sale price
  • Pay per lead: Affiliate is compensated based on lead conversions
  • Pay per click: Affiliate is incentivized to direct customers to the merchant’s website
  • Pay per install: Merchant pays affiliates when a user installs a product (usually software or a mobile app)

Naturally, how much you make as an affiliate is dependent on how large your audience is and how many customers you send to the clients.

An Affiliate Marketing Benchmark Report produced by Influencer Marketing Hub in 2022 revealed that 3.78% of affiliates make more than $150,000 per year.

Conversely, 57.55% of respondents make below $10,000 per year.

How Easy is it to Start Promoting Affiliate Products?

Affiliate marketing is super easy to execute.

Because a publisher is essentially the salesperson, you aren’t involved with the development, customer support, or fulfillment of the products or services.

Here are the three things you need to get started with affiliate marketing.

  1. A niche
  2. Products to promote
  3. A relevant audience (this can be your blog readers or social media following)

Once your blog is set up, you fill some of your ad inventory with product media and link out to the customer’s sale page with your unique tracking code.

Best Affiliate Marketing Networks to Try

There are tons of affiliate marketing networks and programs in existence, but five of the most popular are Amazon Associates, Rakuten, ClickBank, JVZoo, and Impact.

1. Amazon Associates

As the world’s largest leading online marketplace, Amazon sells nearly everything under the sun.

For this reason, it’s no surprise that the Amazon Associates program is popular with bloggers.

Whatever your niche, you can find products on Amazon that will resonate with your audience.

Depending on the product, Amazon’s commission rates are between 1% and 20%.

The best thing about the Amazon affiliate program is that your readers don’t have to buy the product you link to.

Amazon stores a cookie on its users, and anything the reader buys in the next 24 hours will be credited to you as the referrer.

Amazon pays every month, but the payment is NET 60.

You can opt for payment via mailed check, direct deposit, or (of course) an Amazon gift card.

2. Rakuten

As a cashback website, Rakuten Advertising gives money to consumers when they make purchases through the company’s website.

A popular site for shopping, Rakuten reported revenue for Quarter 2 of 2021 as $3.4 billion and the company continues its meteoric growth.

The company’s affiliate program is connected to more than 2,500 different retailers selling all types of products. With Rakuten, you can earn commissions in three types of ways:

  • Dynamic commissioning: Great for scaled revenue
  • Coupon commissioning: Coupon codes
  • Multi-touch commissioning: Affiliate gets credit at all stages of the customer’s journey
3. ClickBank

One of the most well-known affiliate programs is ClickBank, which is a leading global retailer.

ClickBank operates in more than 200 countries and has been around for a long time.

To date, ClickBank has paid out more than $4.2 billion in affiliate commissions.

In addition to physical products, ClickBank also has lots of digital products that you can promote.

4. JVZoo

If you want to promote digital products, JVZoo is the way to go.

Something to love about JVZoo is that your affiliate link connects to all of the products in a given funnel.

Equally impactful, the cookies are for life, so you have plenty of time to earn a commission from a referral.

The company is based in the U.S. and has been around since 2009.

With more than 18 million products and more than 800,000 affiliates, JVZoo is worth noting.

5. Impact

Founded in 2008, Impact was started by a team of marketing enthusiasts who also introduced the world to LeadPoint and Commission Junction.

Impact has some big names as clients, including Airbnb, Adidas, Lenovo, L’Oreal, Allstate, Levi’s, and more.

The company boasts robust reporting and cross-platform tracking, along with more than nine million products.

Here are some more popular affiliate networks and ideas.

Why is Affiliate Marketing a Great Monetization Method?

The affiliate marketing space is booming, and a study conducted by Statista estimates that the affiliate marketing industry should be worth more than $8.2 billion.

In 2017, this figure was only $5.4 billion, so this industry is growing at a rapid pace.

Here are some more benefits of affiliate marketing:

  • Easy to execute
  • Easy to scale
  • Low risk
  • Passive income

Besides being able to make a lot of money with affiliate marketing, it’s also easy to get started monetizing with affiliate programs.

Most of them don’t require a minimum traffic amount, so it’s a great option for even small and new bloggers.

Not all affiliate programs are created equal. Some pay well, others not so well. The key is selecting the ones that pay the most within your industry.

Recommended: The highest paying affiliate programs