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Affiliate Marketing

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing + 5 Blog Post Ideas to Boost Earnings

Looking to start earning money on your blog and wondering how to get started with affiliate marketing? You are in the right place!

Today I’m going to give you a quick overview of affiliate marketing + a template for the 5 types of blog posts that you can craft to give your affiliate marketing efforts a giant kick in the booty!

Let’s get started!

What is affiliate marketing and should I use it for my blog?

Short answer? Ab-so-freaking-lutely. Affiliate marketing is a way to monetize your blog content that involves mentioning, reviewing or showcasing a product available for sale somewhere on the web. When you mention the product on your blog, you will link to it using a unique URL. Once people purchase that product using your unique link, you earn a commission. These commissions can be as low as 5% all the way up to 50% depending on the program.

If you take a look at most blogger income reports, you will see that a majority of bloggers use affiliate marketing as a monetization technique and some of them earn tens of thousands every month just by promoting products!


Want to know what it takes to make affiliate marketing really work on your blog?

You’ve got to be honest. Blogging is all about earning the trust of your readers. You NEVER, EVER want to compromise your integrity to make an affiliate sale. So you’ll want to make sure that you are only promoting products that you believe in, that you would use, that you currently use, and are aligned with your blog’s niche. For example, if you run a parenting site, it would not be in your best interest to promote e-Cigs…even though they might be paying $50 per sign up!  Nor would it be in your best interest to say that you LOVE a product that you’ve never used before or actually have tried and hated. The best affiliate marketers keep it real and their audience appreciates their honesty.

Click here to get a list of the Top 100 Retail Store Affiliate Programs!

How can I start using affiliate links on my blog?

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is sign up with some of the bigger affiliate companies like Amazon, Commission Junction, ShareASale (my fave!), Linkshare and Pepperjam.
  2. Once you get accepted by the affiliate company, you will then have to start applying to individual programs. For example, if you become a member of Commission Junction, you can apply to work with Gymboree, Old Navy or hundreds of other individual programs. You must be accepted into the individual programs before you can start earning from them.
  3. Once you’ve been accepted into individual programs you will usually be provided with an assortment of text links and banner ads that you can use on your blog to start generating revenue.
  4. You’ll want to take those text links and use them in your blog posts to generate commissions.

Awesome! Now that you know how to get started with affiliate marketing, I’m going to take you a step further and give you some different blog post ideas that work really well for promoting products using affiliate marketing!

how to get started with affiliate marketing

What Types of Posts Earn the Most Affiliate Marketing Revenue?

1. Round Ups: As I mentioned before, your readers LOVE to see what products you are using, what products you recommend, and what neat things you found on the web. You can easily publish a few blog posts like, “What I’m loving this Month” or “Gift Guide for a 2 year old” to showcase some killer products that your readers will feel encouraged to buy. (Example: 15 Mugs every Mom who keeps it real needs for her morning coffee)

2. Reviews: Product reviews are great way to introduce a product and get people to buy …as long as you do them right. I personally love product review blog posts so much, I have a whole blog dedicated to reviewing subscription boxes. The key to doing effective and lucrative reviews is to actually show yourself using the product. You can do this by using video or well lit photos. But the point is…your audience will WANT to see you using the product. They’ll want to know what you liked about it…what you didn’t like. So be sure to go into detail about what your true feelings are about the product! (Example: Birchbox Unboxing April 2016)

3. How-To: How-to posts are another great way to monetize your blog with affiliate links. Let me give you an example, perhaps you are doing a post like, “How to take better Selfies”. In that blog post you mention how you like to use a certain light like this RC Selfie Right light for example. So then you show your readers how to use the phone mounted light to take better selfies. They love your tip and buy the light so they too can take better selfies! Now this is a great post, because it is NOT all about the product. It’s about providing a benefit (better selfies) to your audience that just so happens to mention a product.  (Example: How to start a Mom blog)

4. Sales: What do customers love? A good sale! Whether broke or rich, no one can resist a good sale. And as a blogger you can take advantage of these time sensitive sales by letting your audience know about them right as them happen. For example, let’s say your audience tends to be moms of young children…and it just so happens that Gymboree is having a blowout FREE Shipping sale! You can use this opportunity to promote the sale using your affiliate link in a blog post OR on social media! The one thing that you will want to make sure whether you post on social media or a blog post, that it’s a time sensitive deal…people need a deadline to get them to act fast! (Example: $10 off $10 Purchase at Payless!)

5. Email Blasts: Please tell me you have an email list? If not, head over here and read this blog post get your email set up and come back to this post! One of the more advanced affiliate marketing tips is to send out an email blast to your subscribers about a product. For example, if you found a new product that you just love and think will resonate well with your subscribers, craft an email with the subject line something like , “I just discovered <insert product name> and I think you are going to love it!”. Once you get them to open the email, tell them all the highlights, features, and benefits of the product. Be sure to include an actual photo of the product, (ideally not a stock photo) one that you actually took will work a LOT better at convincing your readers to make a purchase. Remember, they actually want to see that you use the product!

Click here to get a list of the Top 100 Retail Store Affiliate Programs!

If you want a few more tricks on how to increase the profitability of your affiliate posts, check out this post!
getting started with affiliate marketing


Chrystie is a mom of 3 kids and wife to one. She's sold 4 blogs in the last 10 years and now helps other women start their blogging empire. Her love for really bad reality TV is only trumped by her love for margaritas without salt. Her other addictions include spray painting everything gold and embarrassing her kids at the bus stop. #thatmom

This article has 36 comments

  1. Caroline

    I’ve just started my blog (in April), and I’ve signed up with Amazon. No luck yet, but it’s early days,, and I’m hopeful! My email list is…in existence, but small. My previous blog was totally unmonetized and on, because I felt icky making money. Now I realise that as long as I only link to products I genuinely love, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t make a wee bit of commission.

    Thanks for the awesome tips!

    • Chrystie

      Exactly! Don’t feel bad about making money with your blog as long as you are being 100% and true to your integrity 🙂

  2. Dia All The Things I Do

    Thanks so much for this. I am trying to get more into affiliate marking. I joining CJ but just felt confused and let me account close out maybe I should give it another try.

    • Chrystie

      CJ can be overwhelming! Better off start with one of the smaller networks to get your feet wet 🙂

  3. Lauren

    Great info! I just re-signed up for Amazon after being booted for reasons I don’t know (lol) and applied to Share-A-Sale but have yet to apply to any programs. I wanted to learn as much as possible about how to actually incorporate affiliates before diving right in! Thanks for the info – it’s very helpful!

    • Chrystie

      That’s a great strategy! Slow & steady wins the race 🙂

  4. Jenny

    I use affiliate marketing through ShopStyle and RewardStyle but I am interested in trying out some of the other networks.

    xoxo, Jenny

  5. Nicole

    This is really informative, but I still feel like huh? I think it’s because I’m still a newbie. I will have to dive into how this works a little deeper on some of these links you offered.

    xo, Nicole

    • Chrystie

      Girl! What can I do to help you? Which part do you find confusing? 🙂

  6. Rachel

    Great tips! I’ve been wanting to incorporate more affiliate links into my posts!

  7. rebecca

    I haven’t done any affliate links yet, but am looking for ways to monetize my blog. Your tips make it sound like something I want to look into more. Pinning to keep for reference.r

    • Chrystie

      Yes! Definitely look into can be very lucrative 🙂

  8. Ashley

    Such a great post! Thanks for all the fabulous tips for affiliate linking!

    xo Ashley

  9. Tee

    Been thinking of getting into affiliates links now for long but I was never sure how to start. Thanks for the great tips and step-by-step guide especially for a person with little knowledge on the topic!

  10. Jenn

    I’ve just started thinking about doing affiliate marketing. This is a fantastic post, I learned so much. Thank you so much for all of the awesome information!

  11. Cara

    Any tips on what to include in your bio for programs such as Commission Junction? I’ve signed up but was wondering what companies typically look for when they are looking at your profiles to approve? Thanks!

  12. Francesca - From Pennies to Pounds

    Thanks for these tips. Would you say it’s better to wait a little while – do they look at how popular your blog is before accepting you?

  13. elika

    thanks for the tips,i joined amazon,cj hope this will help me alot

  14. Holly

    I use both Amazon and Shop Style but I don’t get enough traffic to my site yet to see any money coming from this;

  15. Rhonda Howse

    Thanks for these post ideas. I’ll be using them as I monetize my blog soon.

  16. husna favaz

    I have just started to use affiliate links and had so many doubts. Thanks for this awesome article!

  17. vaskar maharjan

    Thank you very much for awesome tips!!! 🙂

  18. Gary Wilfrd

    Good read. Thanks for sharing this one. It is helpful to my online money making journey.

  19. Karim | GrowCheap Blog

    Thanks for the awesome post. I got great results with roundups. Im publishing a roundup once a month mentioning about what worked for me, and what I loved this month.

    One thing, I would recommend going for how to, and product review posts instead of using email blasts. It makes me feel I’m selling my loyal subscribers hardly so I’m basically not using it.

    Thanks for sharing..

  20. John Trussell

    Just started by blog a month or so ago…. Love it.
    My blog
    Thx…. Your site is full of great info!

  21. Daniel Banks

    Great info you have here. I’ve recently launched my affiliate website and hopefully I am doing the right stuffs. Glady I found your site. Those ideas are helpful to me. Thanks!

  22. Natural Wealth Wise

    I just launched my affiliate marketing site and I’m excited to see results after applying what you’ve said. Thank you so much for helping newbies like me.

  23. Anis Chity

    Hi there I found your post on Pinterest, I loved it!

    I was wondering if you could have a look at my site and give me your honest feedback?

    I would appreciate it! Keep up the great work, you’re an inspiration!

  24. Emily

    Hello Crystie,

    I have a small question regarding sponsored posts, could you please help me? How do you contact brands and ask them about paid sponsored posts? Whenever I contact them they agree to send me free products but never mention anything about money, and if I do they simply respond with something like “we don’t invest in paid sponsored posts blablabla”.



  25. Graham Lee

    I do hope I will get sales from my blog using the tips you gave. My affiliate blogs been running for months but products just sit there and it’s so frustrating getting no sales at all.

  26. Angela | Mary Angela's Blog

    Hiya Chrystie!
    I signed up to become an Amazon Affiliate. But I never really did anything much with it for quite a few months. However, I created a round up post and it did quite well! I was pleasantly surprised. I was looking for more ideas and I’m glad I found this post. Thank you!

  27. Courtney Neiss

    I’ve just been binge reading and it’s like you started a blog just to answer questions I have about my blog lol. Very helpful!

  28. Sandy Harvill

    Love your blog. The ideas are clear and easy to understand.

    I am on my 3rd blog. This one will be the one that is successful!

    Love the power of Positive Thinking!

    Thank you for posting these instructions. I will let you know how I do soon.

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