Monday, June 17, 2013

How I Get Paid to Write - Affiliate Programs That Work

Finding the right affiliate programs to match your site and your style can take some time.  I've tried quite a few over my near-decade writing online.  In this article, I'll share those with which I've been most successful, and hopefully save you some time.

Personally, I tend to be very laid back in using affiliates.  I write about things I love, and then go out looking for affiliates to match.  I have a feeling that more of a go-getter would look at the affiliates available to them, and think of ways to craft articles from that perspective.  I've made a decent income doing it my way, though, and these are the sites that made it possible:

Zazzle - What makes Zazzle so awesome (besides the wide range of unusual product themes) is that they offer a commission even if you're promoting and selling your own products.  I'm thinking that will be great if I ever make all those t-shirt, poster, and other ideas I've had.  Meanwhile, I built some gift pages along themes I had in mind, integrating Zazzle products in addition to using other affiliates.  It works well.  I've earned a bit with that.

Commission Junction - CJ is a big umbrella under which you can find tons of affiliate programs in all kinds of topics.  The website can be confusing to try to use, at first, and I mostly just dabbled with it while I was trying to figure it out.  I started out selecting a handful of their advertisers to apply to.  When the answers came back, I then only put in one referral link (for something my kids love and I was already promoting for free).  And it worked.  Quite well, actually.  As I received my first payouts for that, I applied to more of the other advertisers - companies I knew, that offered services or products that fit well with my niches or were websites I was already promoting.  Most of them accepted, some declined, and some have a habit of letting applications linger forever in limbo.

Commission Junction, though, affirmed to me that "my way" of affiliate marketing could work.  Yes, I could authentically promote real products and useful services that I had confidence in and succeed.  So, I kept pairing my interests with products I could find on CJ, and that is now one of my highest payouts each month, along with my Amazon affiliate links, which brings me to:

Amazon AssociatesSigning up with Amazon directly as an affiliate has really paid off.  I almost didn't bother, as, at the time, I was primarily writing for a website that had their own Amazon affiliate relationship, but it occurred to me that the knowledge I would gain learning to insert those links myself could be used on my own blogs, or anywhere else I might choose to write that allowed it.  And so it has.  

But Amazon doesn't have everything, and sometimes you want to offer your readers a comparison - which is why I recently signed up with Walmart's Affiliate Program - which is currently under another umbrella affiliate company called LinkShare.  The process was quick and painless, and I had an approval from WalMart within a day or so.

So there you have it - my quick, little, essential affiliate programs list.

No comments: