Most people want to earn a little extra by doing some side hustles. The pay you’ll get from a side job is a good addition to the paycheck you receive each month.
One popular side hustle nowadays is affiliate marketing. An affiliate marketing program is a lucrative way for both merchant sites and affiliate blogger sites to gain more customers and earn more money. It’s soaring in popularity because of its simplicity and effectiveness.
If you’re a content-based website creator who wants to monetize your blog, joining an affiliate marketing program could be a great idea. You can get paid simply by advertising products on your website.
But with so many affiliate programs crowding the online world, which one should you choose? This post will help you find the right affiliate program for you. It also includes a brief background on affiliate marketing.
A Quick Overview of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing, also known as associate marketing, is a simple program designed to help merchants sell more products and to help the affiliates earn some cash through advertising.
Here is how affiliate marketing basically works:
- You put up a blog or content-based website, and drive lots of traffic to your own site.
- You then join an affiliate marketing program of your choice.
- You will be presented with choices for payment arrangements such as pay-per-view, pay-per-click, or pay-per-lead.
- The merchant on the affiliate marketing program lets you select which products you want to advertise on your own blog.
- You advertise these products on your site by putting up small ads or banners your merchant site created.
- Blog visitors click on your ads, leading them to the merchant site. They either stay on the site for a few seconds or buy the products you advertised.
- The merchant then records these activities and pays you according to your chosen payment arrangement.
Basically, you’ll earn a commission for every click, lead, or sale the merchant generates through your website’s advertising. Commission percentages vary depending on the merchant site, but the ranges are usually less than 10% to 60% or more.
Popular Top Affiliate Programs
Interested to join an affiliate program? The online world holds so much affiliate programs that it can be hard to choose what’s best. Maximize your earning potential by checking this list of most popular affiliate programs. Pros and cons are provided to help you decide if it’s fit for your needs as an affiliate.
ClickBank Affiliate Program
ClickBank is a well-known affiliate network that sells digital goods such as e-nooks, membership sites, and software. Their affiliate program pays out commissions for successful affiliates who promote their products.
ClickBank has a wide range of digital products where you can choose which ones you’ll promote. Niching is important here; you should select those digital products related to the niche you’re working on.
Also, select products that are of higher standard than others. You’ll actually see that ClickBank has some excellent goods and some sub-standard ones as well. Choose wisely so that more people will likely buy ClickBank’s products and earn you a commission. You can gauge the popularity of a ClickBank product for the past three months by looking at the parameter called “gravity.”
ClickBank also offers optional training materials for newbies in the affiliate industry. This helpful, albeit paid, resource is called ClickBank University.
- Widely known company in affiliate marketing
- Great for website owners and bloggers with specific niches
- Weekly payouts for commissions
- Paid training resources from ClickBank University
- Limited physical goods available
- Concentrates on digital goods like e-books
- May have some substandard products on the marketplace
The popular ClickBank Affiliate Program is recommended for niche bloggers and newbies in the affiliate industry.
The e-commerce giant offers an affiliate program for almost all products that they’re selling. The program is called Amazon Associates, and it’s one of the most widely used affiliate programs on the Internet.
Amazon Associates is a general affiliate program that offers commissions for a wide range of physical and digital products. You can actually earn commissions as an affiliate by promoting virtually anything from their extensive product range.
One main advantage that makes Amazon Associates a great program is that the company does a good job converting people to buy their products. That’s a good thing because when people buy, you and Amazon earn together.
Another great advantage is that Amazon is well-known all over the world, and several people enjoy online shopping through their site. They also have a huge range of product brands and models. The more choices for them, the better chances of you getting higher accumulated payouts from their sale’s commissions.
Amazon Associates recently cut their commission rates based on product profitability. As of early 2017, commission rates range from 1% to 10%. Products with the lowest commission percentage include video games and their consoles, while the highest-ranking products include luxury beauty supplies and digital video games.
- Extensive range of products from various niches
- Highly respected and reputable company
- Most people buy lots of stuff mainly from Amazon.
- Good commission rates for most product niches
- Does not pay commission for certain products such as wine and Amazon Gift Cards
- Terms of Services may be hard to understand.
Amazon Associates is an affiliate program that’s recommended for beginners and for those with lots of website niches.
Target Corporation is among the largest discount stores operating in the United States. Apart from their physical stores, they also have a website for fast and convenient online shopping.
The company offers an affiliate program that allows you to earn commissions through Target’s online shopping platform. The program is dubbed Target Affiliates.
Target Affiliates work on a volume-based model. They have a table that shows the percentage of commission you’ll earn per niche for each required number of net orders. Home goods, outdoor living, apparel, and accessories have high commission rates ranging from 5% to 8%.
If you’d like to promote furniture, baby gear, and health and beauty products, Target might not be the best for you. They only pay 3% to 5% for furniture and baby gear, and 1% for health and beauty products.
- A well-known brand that attracts many customers
- Volume-based commission rate model
- Large selection of home goods and other products
- Cookies last for 7 days
- Low rates for baby gear, furniture, health, and beauty products
- People might opt to shop in the physical store after browsing online instead of directly buying on their website.
Target Affiliates is an overall great affiliate program that’s perfect for monetizing lifestyle and fashion websites.
eBay Partner Network
eBay is a well-known online auction and listings site. This large online marketplace offers its own affiliate program called eBay Partner Network.
eBay lists and sells almost any kind of physical goods there is. They also have a wide range of sellers and buyers willing to purchase these goods that you’ll be advertising on your niche website.
eBay Partner Network charges commissions differently from other programs. It offers its affiliates a commission on fees charged per auction, not per final sale. Rates are at 50% to 70% of the auction fee. Most items such as vehicles and electronics carry a 50% commission, while car parts, accessories, and fashion items carry the highest commission at 70%.
The main driving forces of this program are high customer conversion rates and eBay being an internationally known brand with several loyal customers. These factors give you higher chances for earning more as an affiliate.
- Well-known and established brand with huge product selections
- Boasts of several loyal customers
- High auction fee commission rates
- Double commissions for the first three months of use
- May not work well if readers do not like the idea of auctions
- Conversion of auction rate commissions to dollars works differently than other programs.
Try out eBay Partner Network if you’ve got auction-savvy readers from several niches.
Shopify Affiliate Program
Shopify is an established company that helps people create their own online stores. They’ve launched their affiliate program to help interested affiliates earn commissions on Shopify referrals.
Once you’ve signed up for the affiliate program, Shopify gives you links and other resources to place on your website. Each person who successfully signed up to Shopify via your link earns you a referral commission. A certain percentage of a person’s Shopify subscription fee is deducted and given to you as commission. You may earn as much as 200% from referral commissions, and 20% from each customer’s monthly revenues.
You can also get commissions from sales of Shopify’s themes and mobile apps. Rates for these items get as high as 70% to 80%.
- A known company in the field of online selling
- High referral commission rates
- High conversion rates
- Accepts all sources of traffic and social media marketing
- You need to create compelling content to drive aspiring online sellers to sign up for Shopify.
Overall, Shopify Affiliate Program is an amazing program and is highly recommended to all, especially for blogger and publishers in the online store setup niche.
In A Nutshell
Affiliate programs help bloggers and publishers monetize their online activities easily. Earning some extra cash on the side can easily be done by joining an affiliate program that suits you best. Choose from among the popular programs reviewed above, and be on your way to becoming a successful affiliate.