*Affiliate disclosure: I may receive commissions if you buy via the links below. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners
Getting started with affiliate marketing is a challenge because it can be difficult to find programs to accept you. Most people think your site must have a significant amount of traffic first, before you can get affiliates. This is not necessarily true. You just need to know what the 6+ best affiliate programs and ad networks for beginners are.
I am going to share that with you here.
There are ways to get accepted as an affiliate, even if you’re just starting out. You just have to have a little bit of information under your belt.
And to you beginners out there, congratulations. Blogging is an exciting way to make a living and I am really happy for you. You should also know, if you really want to monetize your blog, you will want to work with the top ad networks too. I am going to go over both program types below.
Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners
Before we begin, I want to remind you that the key to choosing any good affiliate program is that it offers a product/service that you can stand behind. You want to promote websites and products that will actually help your target audience.
For example, if you run a blog that is all about beauty products and make up, you might want to become an affiliate for products that help people look and feel better. And if you run a travel blog, you may want to promote products that teach people how to travel safely or find discounts on vacation stays.
When you’re considering which affiliate programs to join, think ahead to what kinds of blog posts you can write in which you can include affiliate links that will be very helpful to your readers.
What is affiliate marketing?
If you don’t quite know what Affiliate Marketing is yet, but you really do want to know more, here is an excellent affiliate marketing program that will teach you all about it – fast. I highly recommend it to beginners to help get them up to speed quickly.
Affiliate marketing can be a bit tricky at first, so a good program to help you right away, can be worth it’s weight in gold.
This is one of my favorite affiliate programs because I use Amazon ALL the time (like every other day…), and it’s such a huge online store that there is bound to be some product on there that your audience would be interested in buying.
You’re not limited to only promoting products via Amazon, you can also promote their Kindle program and their Prime membership (I use my Prime two-day free shipping all the time!).
Word to the wise: If you become an Amazon Associates affiliate, make sure to abide by the strict rules. For example, you cannot list prices because prices on Amazon are subject to change.
You also need to paste their disclosure on your blog.
Lastly, you are NOT ALLOWED to use Amazon Associates links in emails, ebooks, PDFs, or other “offline” things. Stick to using their affiliate links on the site you submit in your application.
Skimlinks is my FAVORITE affiliate program for beginners for three big reasons:
One, all you need to do is paste Skimlink’s code into your site, it will automatically turn every link (where possible) into an affiliate link, thereby maximizing your affiliate revenue opportunity.
Two, Skimlinks has a Google Chrome Extension now, so once you have put your code on your website, and you are surfing the web, you can use the chrome extension to quickly see if a website is affiliate with Skimlinks. If it is, you just grab the affiliate code for that page or product, and BAM…you will start earning with Skimlinks.
Three, if your application for a certain affiliate program was rejected, Skimlinks allows you to become an affiliate anyway!
Here’s an example: Let’s say you applied for Amazon Associates, but for whatever reason, you weren’t approved.
Well, if you have Skimlinks, it will automatically (where possible) turn your product links into Amazon affiliate links! So you would earn money from making sales on Amazon, but it would happen via Skimlinks. Seriously, go check out Skimlinks now!
Watch how easy it is to use the Skimlinks Google Chrome Extension in the Video Below!!
I think it should be on every website, automatically!!
Keysearch is the premium keyword research tool I use for SEO. Their affiliate program, hosted via JVZoo, explicitly states that everyone is accepted!
SEMrush is another great keyword research tool that I use regularly. It is like Keysearch but on steroids for help with keywords, writing blog posts and help with SEO, or search engine optimization.
This tool is so powerful and they have an excellent affiliate program too! I only recently discovered SEMrush but they are both an excellent software and affiliate program.
SEMrush’s affiliate program will pay you up to $100 if you use this link to join.
Another great affiliate program for beginners is Clickbank. You can join, and then search the database for products that are a good fit for your audience. You can choose to promote the products that you like, with an affiliate link that Clickbank generates for you.
There are two ways to go about this: The first way is, if you use Tailwind, you already have a referral link available to you in your dashboard.
That means if someone signs up via your link, you get Tailwind credits—not cash. However, if you use Tailwind to schedule your pins (I do!), then it would be awesome to be able to pay for your annual subscription with your referral credits.
The second way to do this is to join the official affiliate program via Shareasale. This way, you earn 15% cash commission if you refer someone.
Shareasale is a bit like Clickbank. It is an affiliate network program so they work with hundreds or thousands of different affiliate programs. You join shareasale, and then you search for products you want to promote, within the shareasale network.
If you use ConvertKit (I do!), you can sign up for their affiliate program, which will give you a 30% monthly recurring commission. Their affiliate program is a bit like Tailwind’s, in the sense that you can either earn credits against your monthly fees, or you can join an affiliate network, and actually earn cash as you refer people.
ConvertKit is one of the best email marketing platforms around. Use my link here to get 500 subscribers for FREE and full access to all of their features right away.
OK, those are some of my very favorite affiliate programs for beginners, that I use myself every day on my blog at Wherever Writer.
What is an ad network?
However, if you really are interested in making money with your blog, affiliate links are great, but you are also going to need an ad network.
What does that mean?
Ad networks will sell ads on the pages of your blog. While you are starting up, assuming you don’t have a lot of traffic just yet, it will be difficult to get an ad network to work with you. However, as you build traffic to your website pages, you will want to start working with one as soon as possible.
Best Ad Networks for Beginners
If you have low traffic, it’s going to be very hard to sell ads directly to a brand. In that case, you’ll want to join an ad network.
An ad network places code on your site and serves different ads automatically. However, even with ad networks, you usually need to meet a minimum traffic requirement.
Two ad networks I know of that do not state a traffic minimum are:
I’ve seen a lot of good things about this ad network, though I haven’t used them myself. I also asked them, and they said there’s no state minimum traffic requirement. It’s probably still a good idea to have some traffic (AKA not zero) coming to your site before you apply.
I used Google AdSense when I first started monetizing my site with ads. They are a great ad network for beginners looking to grow their website and traffic. Once you get up and running, at let’s say 25,000 monthly sessions, you will be able to switch to ad networks like Mediavine or even Adthrive.
Once my Wherever Writer blog hit 25,000 sessions/month, I switched to Mediavine and saw a huge jump in ad revenue. Then again, once I reached 65,000 monthly page views, I switched to Adthrive.
Mediavine requires a minimum of 25,000 monthly page sessions and Adthrive requires a minimum of 50,000 but they prefer to see 100,000. They are excellent ad networks and they will do everything they can to help you earn money on your website.
It’s ok if you are a beginner and no where near those page views. Just keep working on great content and you soon will be. And now, you know great ad networks to work with as your site traffic grows.
Those are just a few of the best affiliate programs and ad networks for bloggers. I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too many, but these are great ones to start with. Go through the list and apply to at least 3 of them!
Even if you apply and don’t get accepted this time around, take the feedback from the affiliate manager and go back to your blog and revise it.
Often, you just need to add more content or grow your traffic a bit more. You can always reapply later!
You might also want to check out my blog post on how to monetize your blog.
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