If you are thinking about or have already started a blog, vlog, website of any nature you are at some point going to want to monetise this.
An easy way of monetising your blog or website if through affiliate programmes. These are programmes that you can sign up to and will be paid to advertise and produce sales for them.
Some sites such as Amazon and eBay have their own affiliate programmes while other programmes such as Awin and Paid on Results are intermediary agents for other companies offering affiliate payments.
The key to earning commissions as an affiliate is to make sure you are promoting products that are relevant to your niche and that your readers want. Below I have listed my top 5 affiliate programmes for those looking to start monetising their online business. Choose who you affiliate with wisely as it is not only the products you will be promoting that are of interest to your readers/clients/followers but for some people, it is also the ethos, integrity and values of the companies making the products.
Don’t Jump the Gun
While we are all desperate to see our online businesses start to bring in some cash it is worth noting that you should not jump into signing up for an affiliate programme before your site is able to produce results that will benefit both the advertiser and yourself. Some affiliate companies will drop you if you haven’t made them any sales within a set time frame. Amazon Associates likes to see some sales from you within the first 6 months and while this is not a difficult task be sure your site is seeing a steady stream of visitors before signing up to save this from happening.
While we all want to be monetising our sites as quickly as possible there are things that you need to take into consideration before signing up to these programmes.
You need a steady or growing amount of website visitors. If you are blogging it takes an estimate of around 40 blogs for you to be ranking well on search engines and gaining regular amounts of visits to your site. Remember that not everyone who visits your site will click on your links and even those that do will not always make a purchase.
Your links and advertising on your site should match your chosen niche. People who are visiting a website about fishing are hardly going to click on a link or advert that is for makeup!
Useful Affiliate Programmes
Awin has thousands of advertisers on its programme from a variety of sectors and countries. You need to sign up for each website you own and will apply to advertiser separately. You can also create a profile for each website you own that will allow advertisers to reach out to you if they think your site is a good fit for their company and/or products.
Each company that is registered within Awin has its own rules and policies for becoming a publisher with them and these are clearly laid out before you join.
The dashboard at Awin is easy to navigate and it will show you all your earnings in one place while also allowing you to break this down into individual advertisers which is helpful. They also show the number of clicks through your site as well as purchases made through clicks.
Amazon Associates is a very popular affiliate site for people just starting out in their business venture to sign up to. As we all know most people have purchased a product off of Amazon at some point since it started. Again each of your sites must be listed separately within the Amazon Associates programme. While Amazon offers a diverse array of things to purchase what you list on your site should be relevant to your niche.
It is also worth noting that while people may not always buy the things that you have linked to if they land on Amazon through your link then purchase other items you may still earn a commission on these items. This is true for most affiliate programmes and this is done with the help of “cookies”.
Paid on Results
Paid on Results, like Awin has a growing number of businesses that you can become an affiliate for in a variety of niches. You can simply create an account and browse the merchants (businesses) offering affiliate programmes and request to join that you think will work well in your chosen niche.
Paid on Results has a nice clean control panel and is easy to navigate. Your control panel allows you to see how many merchants you have joined, your revenue and new merchants as well as being able to browse all creative links, feeds, voucher offers and products.
Similarly to Amazon, eBay has its own affiliate programme called the eBay Partner Network and again this site sells items from across many niches and from many companies. Ebay Partner Network is also easy to sign up to and work with. It has a clear structure and interface although unlike some other affiliate programmes a purchase needs to be made through your link within 24 hours in order for you to qualify for a commission on it.
Clickbank is a favourite for many affiliates and some affiliates earn a full time living working only with Clickbank and may base their business around it. This is done more through email marketing than via websites, blog sites and such although you can integrate many of their items, niche dependant, on your site. However, Clickbank is better known for promoting digital products rather than physical products. This allows them to pay out higher commissions too.
My Top 5
These are my Top 5 recommended affiliate sites to get anyone started who would like to monetize their online ventures. I have used all 5 sites with varying success since I started online. Now there are many other programmes you can join and you will find these by simply doing a search online. I have chosen these as they are easy to navigate and suit many niches, so there should be something for everyone within these 5.
As stated above it is always better to wait until you have a steady stream of daily visitors to your site before signing up to affiliate programmes. This will ensure that you better meet the requirements, of the merchant/advertiser, should there be any about making sales in the first few months.
This will also stop you from becoming disheartened as it can be frustrating when you are waiting on that little bit of could news to say “you have earned commission on …”. When you have a steady flow of traffic this will come much sooner and easier for you. Once you have earned your first commission you will be eager to earn more and this really does give you a boost.