The Best Affiliate Networks for New Bloggers


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the best affiliate networks for new bloggers | Oh, She Blogs!

Affiliate marketing can be confusing at first, especially if you’re a new blogger. You’re already trying to learn the ropes of your preferred blogging platform, trying to make it look the way you want, setting up the plug-ins, publicizing yourself on every social media outlet possible, and trying to find readers. There’s a lot to do and adding one more thing on the list might seem overwhelming. While some aspects of monetizing your blog may not be possible on day one – such as finding sponsors and advertisers – adding affiliate links to your blog on the day your blog launches is easy and, if at all possible, you should do it.

Part of the reason why is that Google rewards longevity. Older posts tend to do better than newer posts in SEO. What if the first post you ever write becomes exceedingly popular and the opportunity to add affiliate links was there but you never took it? You’d be missing out on money and that’d be a huge bummer!

I love affiliate marketing because it allows you to add links naturally to your blog. For instance, perhaps your first post is a list of all of the baby products you can’t live without. Adding affiliate links here makes complete sense since you were already going to write the post with or without affiliate links. I don’t recommend just filling a page on your blog with a bunch of gibberish links because your readers are smart people and they’ll likely see what you’re trying to do. But natural links? Absolutely!

If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing you might be wondering how, exactly, you’re supposed to know what products and stores have affiliate networks. Here’s some good news: Almost EVERYTHING you buy online has an affiliate program these days. Seriously. On my blog ShopGirlDaily.com, I took the approach that if I had an affiliate link for a product it’d be awesome. If I didn’t have an affiliate link it’d still be awesome and I’d write about both products equally. These days, however, it’s next-to-impossible to find a product where no affiliate program is available.

If you’re ready to put your toes in the affiliate marketing water, so to speak, here are the best affiliate networks for new bloggers. These are the ones that are not only fairly easy to apply to and get accepted into, but that also make it easy to get links on your site ASAP.

Best Affiliate Networks for New Bloggers

Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates, to me, is an ideal first affiliate program for new bloggers for two reasons:

  1. They sell pretty much everything under the sun.
  2. Most people are already shopping at Amazon so sharing their links won’t seem odd to your readers.

You could probably have a blog that contained nothing but links from Amazon and you’d be good to go. (And I’m sure many people do only use Amazon!)

Amazon Associates Stripe

Amazon Associates is easy to apply to and fairly intuitive to use. Once you’re an Associate the “SiteStripe” will appear whenever you head to Amazon.com. That stripe will always be there and will allow you to quickly grab affiliate links for any product sold at Amazon!

The only downside to Amazon Associates is that it may not be available in all states. Thanks to pesky nexus tax laws, Amazon Associates is not running in select states where the law is in effect. If you are in an ineligible state, Amazon will not let you complete the application.

Please note that Amazon does NOT allow Associates to use their own affiliate links to make purchases. They have fairly advanced tracking systems in place so you will never receive credit for the orders you place anyhow.

 

ShareASale

While ShareASale is a major affiliate network that works with thousands of brands/advertisers, one reason I recommend it as one of the best affiliate networks for new bloggers is because many, if not most, of the advertisers that partner with ShareASale are smaller and oftentimes independent companies. This is important because oftentimes smaller affiliate programs will be more lenient about letting new bloggers without a proven track record into their programs. There are even quite a few advertisers on the ShareASale network that will approve you without even reviewing your blog!

Shareasale is a great affiliate network for new bloggersAnother reason ShareASale is a great network for newer bloggers is because they go out of their way to help bloggers to be as successful as possible. The ShareASale Blog is filled with tips and tricks. They send out quarterly catalogs that are filled with brands they work with and the products each brand carries. I love getting these catalogs in the mail! Each year ShareASale holds a conference, called ShareASale Think Tank, that aims at getting bloggers and brands to mingle. I highly recommend attending if you have the chance. I attended one a few years ago in Denver and had a blast. You do have to apply to go, but if you are chosen you will only have to pay $50 for the entire conference… and that includes your hotel stay and most meals! (You have to pay for your own transportation.)

To get you started, here are some of the most popular advertisers at ShareASale:

Bonus: Once you apply to ShareASale and get approved you can use the links above to directly apply to each program!

 

ShopStyle Collective

Shopstyle Collective is a subaffiliate network, meaning that once you are accepted into the network you will be able to promote ALL of the advertisers they work with without needing to individually apply to each program. ShopStyle works with thousands of advertisers, which means that this could be the only affiliate program you ever join. (Yes, they actually work with Amazon, too!)

Shopstyle Collective is one of the first affiliate networks new bloggers should join.Unlike all of the other affiliate networks, however, ShopStyle Collective is a pay per click network, which means that you will make a few cents whenever someone clicks any of the links in your posts. You will not, however, earn a separate commission when someone makes a purchase. (That said, frequent purchases will lead to an increase in your cost per click rate.)

While Shopstyle Collective is primarily known as a “fashion” network, they work with all types of bloggers! Don’t be intimidated if you look at their blog and see mostly fashion posts. I mean, one of the advertisers in their network is Target, and you know Target sells everything under the sun.

ShopStyle Collective is incredibly easy to use and they provide their users with many different tools, such as the ability to quickly make widgets or even add your affiliate links to your videos. They also offer a couple of different methods for using your affiliate links to make money from Instagram. One of my absolute favorite features of Shopstyle, however, is that they’re the ONLY network where you can still use your affiliate links to make money on Pinterest. You can pin items direct from the Shopstyle interface to Pinterest and earn money if people click on the products you have pinned.

RewardStyle is a competitor of ShopStyle Collective and while the sites are fairly similar the reason I recommend ShopStyle over RewardStyle is because RewardStyle is fairly exclusive about who they let into their network. If you want to start monetizing your site NOW, ShopStyle is definitely the way to go.

 

Skimlinks

Like Shopstyle Collective, Skimlinks is a subaffiliate network meaning that once you’re accepted you will have access to all of the advertisers in the network. The thing that makes Skimlinks unique, however, is that it’s pretty hands-off. After applying all you need to do is add their code to your site and then you’re done. Skimlinks will AUTOMATICALLY add affiliate links to any of the products or brands in your posts that also happen to be in their network. It really doesn’t get any easier than this!

Everyone should have skimlinks installed on their blogs.I actually recommend Skimlinks as the first network that new bloggers should apply for because it’s absolutely the easiest way to get started with affiliate marketing. You can add some links to your site automatically while you’re figuring out how all of the other networks work. But, it’s not just for new bloggers! I still use Skimlinks on my site because it helps me to make money from old links I never monetized, as well as links to companies with whom I have no other affiliate relationship. Once you start joining other affiliate programs you can adjust your Skimlinks setting so that their affiliate link does not override any that you manually place on your site.

An alternative to Skimlinks is Viglink. These sites are nearly identical and the only reason I recommend Skimlinks is because it’s the site I’m currently using. I’ve used Viglink in the past though and they’re just as good so feel free to choose whichever site you like the best.

 

So, Where Should You Start?

In my opinion, Amazon Associates, ShareaSale, Shopstyle Collective and Skimlinks are the absolute best affiliate networks for new bloggers because it’s easy to get into the networks themselves but each program makes it fairly simple to start adding their links to your blog immediately. If you were going to apply to just one network today I would start with Skimlinks because with just a bit of code you’ll be able to add affiliate links to your site while you take some time to decipher the other networks and what will work best for you. But honestly – you can’t go wrong with any of these sites and ideally I’d recommend applying to all four of them because they all serve different needs.

Just remember: Before placing any affiliate links on your site you want to have your privacy and disclosure policies in place.

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Lisa Koivu

Founder at Oh, She Blogs!
Lisa Koivu is the founder of Oh, She Blogs! A seven year blogging veteran, Lisa can also be found posting shopping deals and steals at ShopGirlDaily.com . In her free time (ha!) she is also a freelance writer who has written for About.com and U.S. News.
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BEAUTYSOCHICAnil agarwalLisa KoivuJessicaHollie Recent comment authors
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Dominick
Guest

Thanks so much for these sites! I’ll definitely be looking more into each one.

– Dominick
http://www.domijones.com

Blondedlights
Guest

I’m doing some affiliate marketing but I’m a baby beginner blogger. I feel so lost but I keep coming back to this article so thank you for sharing!

Gaurav Verma
Guest

i think amazon is a greate affiliate program for all type of blog. What you think

Shalaria
Guest

I think so. I currently use it and the ads and links are easy to place, plus there’s pretty much an item for a blog of any topic.

Tsvetelina
Guest

Great post, I know you published it a while ago but helpful. I work with Shop Style Collective but haven’t made much, to be honest, and I don’t think they work hard to help me grow as a blogger. I see other bloggers working with Reward Style and they are gaining way more followers and exposure for some reason. Many popular Instagram accounts seems to promote only bloggers that work with Reward Style. I’m trying to figure out the best way I can promote my blog (the money I make isn’t really an issue). What would you suggest in my… Read more »

Shalaria
Guest

Most of the sites you’ve shared I’ve never heard of so I’ll definitely be checking them out. I’m really overwhelmed as a new blogger and I keep trying ti decide where most of my focus should be right now. Any advice?

Bloggers2follow
Guest
Bloggers2follow

Awesome list of affiliate programs for bloggers. I am a newbie in blogging, I will surely use some of them to earn some money through affiliate marketing.
Really Nice share. Thanks

Claire
Guest

I’ve been blogging for a few years but affiliate links have always intimidated me! This guide was super helpful and easy to follow. Thank you!

Kelvin Chege
Guest

This is wonderful, but I’m still looking for affiliates that can best suit a Christian audience the very same way baby products do well on mommy blogs.
And you are correct, putting things together and trying to learn and still produce is quite a hectic bit but as I always say, courage on!

Kasias
Guest
Kasias

Hi there, thanks for this article, a lot of great info 🙂 I was just wondering – do you know any affiliate networks which use unusual methods to encourage their affiliates to do more? 🙂 Do you think a competitions is a good incentive? And what kind of incentives is the most powerful for affiliates – gadgets, vouchers, higher commision? I know there is a lot factors which decide about this (for example, age and interest) but I’m curious about your opinion as a bloger 🙂 Maybe you have taken a part of some affiliate competition and you have found… Read more »

Mark
Guest

Lisa, great post, thank you so much for sharing. I think marketers should look at the industry they are working in and then seek out products by individuals that are relevant to their markets. For example, I’m a copywriter, and I looked around for affiliate programs that were within that niche. One of the affiliate programs I found was one created by the copywriter Bob Bly, Bob has loads of products that you can sell from his affiliate program directly and make money. Another affiliate program for copywriters if from John Carlton. Click bank is also another way to sell… Read more »

Sanne Meijboom
Guest

Hi Lisa,

I am running my own travel platform I Like Local, that provides authentic local experiences to travelers and extra income for locals in emerging markets. I have just set-up an affiliate program, but for me it is the other way around, how can I find bloggers that want to join? We don’t have the money to join expensive affiliate networks at this moment in time. Would love to hear your thoughts! Oh in case someone is reading this and would love to join our program, have a look at http://ilikelocal.ositracker.com/refer and our website i-likelocal.com.

Earn Cent From Home
Guest
Earn Cent From Home

So far, I have experience with Amazon and Shareasale affiliate program only.

Karla
Guest

Hi! When you say new bloggers, how “new” do you mean? I’ve only been blogging for months and my highest views per month is about 500++. Do you think it’s too early to apply to be an affiliate? Thanks! x

Hollie
Guest

Pinned!! Thank you so much for this list! As a new blogger I had no idea where to start. I’d be lost without you right now. I definitely appreciate it!

Jessica
Guest

Hello Lisa–Thank you for the article. I’m working on a new blog and these are great affiliates to start. How many posts do you recommend having before applying to affiliates? Thanks!

Anil agarwal
Guest

Good article, You gave me good ideas of the different affiliate program.
Thank You

BEAUTYSOCHIC
Guest

Love this post! Very informative. Thanks for sharing!