What are the best affiliate programs for bloggers?
As someone who enjoys affiliate marketing and teaches affiliate marketing, I get asked this question all the time. Wouldn’t it be great if someone like me could simply tell you to join these three programs and you’ll be rich? I know. I want that too.
You don’t know how much I wish I could give you an easy answer. We’re all looking for the pots of gold in this big digital world of online business. But what becomes a pot of gold for one blogger may be a lump of coal to another. It’s all relative.
I mean, think about it. A beauty blogger might make a killing referring her readers to a monthly makeup bag subscription. But if your audience is older guys worrying about ED, beauty bags are irrelevant.
When it comes to choosing the affiliate programs that are best for your blog, the choice is as unique as you and beautiful niche you’ve created in your online space.
So here’s my frustrating and vague answer to your question. The best affiliate program for you and your blog is the one that serves your audience and their needs. That answer sounds so trite. I apologize for that, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I told you otherwise.The best affiliate program for your blog is the one that serves your audience and their needs. #heartmylife Click To Tweet
But the fact is if your audience doesn’t relate to those programs, then you won’t make any affiliate commissions.
Although I can’t give you the name of a particular affiliate program that will be perfect for you and your blog, I can give you suggestions that will help you find the right ones. It all begins with knowing your audience.
Finding The Best Affiliate Program For YOUR Blogging Audience
If you want to make money as a blogger, you have to know your audience. I realize you probably read this advice a lot. I do too and sometimes I don’t really want to hear it. At times I get tired of trying to figure out who my audience is for a piece of content and what they want and need.
But relating to your audience and helping them solve their problems or create a transformation in their lives is the key to blogging success all around.Relating to your audience and helping them solve their problems is the key to blogging success. #heartmylife Click To Tweet
People get on the internet to look for solutions to their problems and answers to their questions. Usually they’re experiencing pain or discomfort in some area of their life and they want to make it go away. Enter the blogger.
With a blog you have the unique opportunity to provide a place where your readers can connect with the solution to their problems. You can do the research that they don’t have time to do and compile the information that they need to solve their problems and move forward in a happier and healthier way.
You’re a matchmaker of sorts, introducing people to possible solutions to their problems.
What problems or challenges does your audience face on a daily basis?
Sit down for ten minutes with a blank piece of paper and put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Walk through their day in your mind and see what challenges they encounter, where they feel frustration, and how they struggle in certain areas. What are their insecurities? What are their fears?
Write down everything you think of in a big messy pile on your tablet. Don’t leave anything out. There’s no right or wrong answers. This is brainstorming.
Are they young moms who are trying to keep kids happy and get healthy meals on the table while trying to work full or part-time? Lots of problems to solve there. You could suggest:
- Games and activities for their kids
- Meal plans or meal delivery service
- How to find safe, reliable childcare
- Planning and organizing materials to help them keep the chaos in check
Are they middle aged women who are struggling with empty nest syndrome and changing hormones that are adding pounds to their waistline? Are they worried about looking and feeling older? They might appreciate:
- Books on parenting adult children
- Diet programs geared toward middle aged metabolisms
- Articles on high quality supplements
- Beauty treatments that fight aging
You get the idea. Now it’s your turn. Now that you have some ideas about their struggles, look for solutions. Once you have some ideas about how to solve those problems, look for affiliate programs.
You can find them by doing a search online for “Meal plans” or whatever your keyword happens to be. When you find some reputable companies that you’re comfortable recommending (and trying yourself) you search for “Name of company affiliate program.”
If they have an open affiliate program, you will usually find info on it in the search results. You can also go to that company’s web page. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and see if there’s a link in the footer that says “Affiliates” or “Referral Program.”
If those options don’t shed any results you can also find the company’s contact info. Send a polite email, introducing yourself, giving info about your blog and your focus, and inquiring about becoming a referrer.
They will probably check out the look and feel of your blog. If they have a program and they like you, they will send you the info you need to get started. Trust me, companies are always looking for ambassadors who will promote their products or services to the world. It’s not too hard to find a program on almost any topic.
The Best Programs For You
In addition to considering what your audience needs, you also want to look at the business side of affiliate marketing. The fact is you’re doing affiliate marketing to make money right? So before you commit to a program, it’s smart to know what the return on investment is for your time and energy.
Before I sign up for an affiliate program I ask the following questions:
- What is the commission rate?
- What types of commissions do they pay? Sales, leads, or pay-per-click?
- Is it one-time or recurring?
- How to they pay? Ie. Paypal, direct transfer, etc.
- When do they pay? Some have long delays before you earn any income.
- How long does the cookie last?
- Is there a payout threshold or minimum?
I wrote an in-depth article detailing how to evaluate affiliate programs which you can read here if you want more information.
Related link: How to evaluate affiliate marketing programs
Some programs are easy to sell and they pay great, creating a wonderful income stream. Some are harder and don’t have much of a payout. Sometimes it takes trial and error to figure out which programs your audience responds to. Once you figure that you, find more of the same.
How To Promote Your Affiliate Links
Now that you have a list of programs that are going to meet your audiences needs, you want to promote them. I offer a short FREE ebook that outlines 25+ Ways To Market Your Affiliate Links which will help you develop a robust and multi-faceted strategy to promote your affiliate links. Oh look! There it is!
One of the best methods of promotion is to write blog articles about them. Emails to your mailing list are also effective.
But if you want to be successful, you don’t want to be obnoxiously blatant about it or make them feel like you’re pushing a product on them. That feels scammy and readers will run.
The best way to go about suggesting a product or service is to relate to your customer on their level. Let them know that you understand their problem or struggle. You know how they feel, and you describe those feelings in your post. You know what their going through and you outline all those stages of emotion and frustration in your post.
This is an important part of affiliate marketing because people buy based on emotion, not logic. They are hurting. They want to not hurt. Or they are struggling and they want to stop struggling. Their emotions drive their decision-making process.
You can logically outline a product’s benefits and great features and make it sound so incredibly amazing, but if you don’t hook a reader’s emotions, you won’t see as many conversions.
People also relate to storytelling. By design, stories capture our emotions and hold our attention. Our brains seemed to be wired by nature to appreciate a good story. So if you have a story to share about how a product or service helped you or created transformation in your life, share it.
I also encourage you to add value beyond your affiliate product solution. Give them some research, facts or stats, suggestions to make their lives easier, or resources that let them know they aren’t alone. In short, try to be a human being and show that you care. Relatable bloggers are more successful than robots.
This article by Relevance offers some great information capturing your readers’ emotions and engaging your audience. It’s worth the three minute read! https://www.relevance.com/5-tips-to-emotionally-capture-your-readers-through-your-content/
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If I Had To Pick The Best Affiliate Program For Bloggers
Okay, so now that I’ve said all of that, I’m going out on a limb here and I’m going to name one affiliate program that I think almost any blogger could benefit from joining.
I choose this one for a variety of reasons including:
- The bundles are packed with value that is offered to the customer at over 90% off the original value of all the components combined. Super values are fun to promote.
- There is a bundle related to almost any niche so you can find one that your audience will love.
- The commission rate is higher than most affiliate programs.
- The UB team writes engaging swipe copy and graphics you can “borrow” for your emails and promotions, making it easy to set up a campaign.
- In addition to scheduled promos that happen at specific times of the year, they also have Evergreen Bundles that you can promote anytime.
- They pay promptly after a bundle.
Ultimate Bundles is an easy program to promote and it pays well. What more could you ask for? I enjoy participating in Ultimate Bundles more than any other program and I can heartily recommend it to any blogger who is interested.
If you’re wondering if this is a program that might interest your audience, here’s a list of the current evergreen campaigns:
- Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle
- Ultimate Productivity Bundle
- Master Your Money Super Bundle
- Herbs And Essential Oils Super Bundle
And here’s a list of upcoming fall/winter 2019 and 2020 bundle campaigns:
- Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Flash Sale
- Photography Mini-Bundle
- Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle Flash Sale
- Master Your Money Super Bundle Flash Sale
- Productivity Bundle
- Women’s Healthy Bundle
- Grow Your Business Bundle
See something your audience might enjoy? You can sign up right now by clicking here and filling out a short application. I hope you enjoy working with this affiliate program as much as I do.
My Top Pick For Best Affiliate Marketing Network
An affiliate marketing network is a company that coordinates affiliate programs for numerous companies or services. It’s basically like an affiliate program department store where you can find programs in a wide range of niches.
I love working with networks because I like having hundreds of affiliate programs to choose from with the convenience of running them all through one dashboard.
If I had to choose an affiliate network to recommend, I would choose Share-a-sale. This network has hundreds of programs in a wide range of industries, so there’s something there for every audience.
In addition to affiliate commissions for sales, many of the programs offer commissions for clicks or leads. (Pssst! If you don’t know what that means, read this article.) This adds another level to your income.
The dashboard is easy to navigate, so it’s a great network for beginners who are new to affiliate marketing. They send out regular emails to keep you informed of updates and changes to your programs.
If you’re looking to add some programs to your offerings, check out Share-a-sale. I’m sure you’ll find some gems inside the network.
So now you know how to find, evaluate, and utilize the best affiliate programs. Get out there and earn some cash-ola with those affiliate links! I’m rooting for you!