There’s a blog dedicated to cats with their faces inserted into slices of bread.
There’s another one that only posts images of ugly renaissance babies.
It’s no wonder there are so many blogs out there.
These days, anyone can start up a blog for free, no overhead.
But done right, a blog can become an impressive money-maker.
If you’re considering starting your own blog or beginning to monetize your existing blog, check out our list of the top affiliate networks for bloggers.
A Quick Tip for Affiliate Marketing
No matter which niche you’re in, SEO and backlinks need to be a vital part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
The first step is to record and analyze what is and isn’t working for your site. What content is ranking for your chosen keywords? What isn’t ranking? What’s earning tons of precious backlinks for your website? Where are readers being converted into paying customers?
This information will help you reach the top of the search engine results pages, score more organic traffic and ultimately more commissions.
Our recommendation is to get yourself an SEO monitoring tool like Monitor Backlinks. There are plenty of good tools out there, but this is our go-to for beginning affiliates and SEO newbs. It’s designed to be super easy to use and it’s got a free 30-day trial you can take advantage of.
Monitor Backlinks also has the right combo of tool for most affiliates, namely: keyword rank tracking, organic traffic reporting, competitor SEO analysis and backlink monitoring.
And you’ll always know what’s going on with your keywords, which is a big deal for affiliate marketers:
That’s how you know which posts are visible and bringing in your organic traffic. If you’ve got questions about SEO and linkbuilding in the niche, start by reading this guide.
Apart from watching your keywords and backlinks, keeping up with the latest trends on social media and current news will give you the best chance of creating a popular site.
Feeling extra competitive? That Monitor Backlinks tool above will get you head and shoulders above your toughest competitors. You’ll discover brand new ways to outrank, outpace and outsell competitors thanks to Monitor Backlinks competitor research features.
Which of your chosen keywords are your competitors already ranking for? Where are they scoring backlinks? Which of their articles are being shared thousands of times across the internet? You can find out with a tool like this—then make their strategies your own.
The 7 Best Affiliate Networks for Bloggers in Every Niche
We’ve rounded up some of the best affiliate networks for bloggers to consider based on their features and the range of affiliate products they offer. Ease of use is also a big factor we’ve focused on, since many bloggers don’t have experience with affiliate marketing and need to learn things from scratch.
By focusing on easy-to-use affiliate networks, we’re hoping to get any interested blogger on track to start making money with their digital content.
Ready to make a few bucks on your blog?
Let’s start with one of the most expansive options out there.
Amazon Associates is a great fit for just about every type of blogger out there. Its massive inventory is the leading reason for its popularity, making it an ideal choice for beauty bloggers and auto bloggers alike.
In fact, Amazon’s vast inventory is the reason why it’s the only affiliate network some bloggers rely on.
This network is extremely easy to use for both the publisher (blogger) and the customer. The easier it is for a customer to navigate product pages, the more sales you’ll make. When you post Amazon links, you’re bringing shoppers to a website they’re already comfortable with—and where they probably already have an account—which makes your blog more trustworthy as a result.
Registration for affiliates is simple and painless with quick turnaround—just keep in mind that the Nexus Law does prohibit certain residents of certain states from using Amazon Associates.
The “catch” with this network is probably its lower commission rates and slower payment cycle. Commission rates range from 1-10%, but before deciding this network isn’t for you, know that Amazon’s powerhouse reputation and inventory leads shoppers to purchase more per sale, on average.
Payment is made on a 60-day cycle, which is a bit slower than many other networks (most are on a 30-day cycle), but that’s still not too shabby.
CJ is one of the most widely-used networks, and not just by bloggers. Founded in 1998 under the name Commission Junction, CJ has paved the way for bloggers to enter affiliate marketing in many ways.
It’s known for having top-of-the-line reporting features, including one of the best dashboards across all of the big affiliate networks. Link building is easy and painless for all CJ publishers, so you won’t need any advanced knowledge to hook your readers up with products.
The reason it’s great for bloggers? It’s expansive enough that it’s able to meet your needs, regardless of your niche.
The coolest thing about using CJ as a blogger is that it offers a “Content Certified” program that earns you higher commission rates and automatic acceptance into programs that fall under your niche. In order to qualify for Content Certified, you must submit a competitive content offer to the CJ Content team.
Ebates is one of the lesser-known affiliate networks but can definitely compete with the big guys.
The background behind Ebates speaks volumes of its integrity as a company. It was started way back in 1998 by two deputy district attorneys who specialized in fraud and identity theft.
What does this mean for you? It means you should have no concerns about secure transactions when working with Ebates—security is in its very foundation.
The application process is easy with this network, and if you’re accepted, registration is free. Plus, you’ll get $5 for each first-time buyer who clicks through one of your links.
Keep in mind that payment with Ebates only happens once every quarter, and only when you’ve accumulated more than $25 from new buyer transactions. Yes, the payment system is kind of a drag, but Ebates makes up for it with their great customer service. The support is one of the most talked about features of the network.
Don’t let the name deceive you. Shopstyle Collective isn’t an affiliate network only for fashion bloggers. Yes, this network is very well-known in the fashion blogging world, but it also works with many non-fashion niche advertisers.
Shopstyle is a top-tier network for bloggers largely due to its impressive list of advertisers—including Amazon. As if that isn’t good enough, Shopstyle is a sub-affiliate network, which means you don’t need to be approved by each program separately in order to post. All you need is to be approved by Shopstyle once and you’ll be able to post whatever you want.
This network is known for its ease of use and flexibility. When it comes to making widgets and using your affiliate links, you’ll have the freedom to do just about anything you want with the displays.
And we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet! Shopstyle is one of the rare affiliate networks that allows you to pin directly to Pinterest, giving you the opportunity to actually make money on Pinterest.
ShareASale has 4,000 partners and is the favorite of many bloggers and affiliates alike. Clear tracking is among the top sellers for ShareASale, closely followed by how easy it is for beginners to navigate.
ShareASale excels at helping beginners get started easily, which is why it’s ideal for new bloggers. The program is chock full of tips and it offers a catalog with useful tips and tricks as well.
This network has a sort of family feel to it because it works most often with small companies. Small companies make perfect partners for lesser-known bloggers because they are more willing to take a chance on the small fish than many larger companies that use only the numbers to analyze affiliates.
Payouts are reliable and are made on a monthly basis, which is an ideal situation for a publisher.
Rakuten Linkshare is one of the top affiliate marketing networks—and one of the oldest. Founded in 1996, Linkshare is highly respected and commonly used by affiliates of all types. In fact, last year, Linkshare made more than 100 million orders happen.
Because it’s one of the most popular networks, Linkshare has very few bugs to still be worked out. It’s extremely user-friendly. Virtually everything within the network is designed to function seamlessly for beginners, from ad creation to reporting. Plus, deep linking on Linkshare is just about as easy as it gets.
This small network—only 1,000 partners total—probably won’t be the only network you need. However, it could likely be your favorite network!
ClickBank is among the oldest of the affiliate networks, and like Linkshare, most of its bugs have been worked out over time. Thanks to its smooth, painless system, ClickBank has gained a reputation as one of the leading affiliate networks out there.
Clickbank promotes all types of products, so it’s a network worth checking out regardless of your blogging niche. If you’re a beginner, you need not shy away from this network. For further instruction and guidance, you can even check out “ClickBank University,” a paid program that teaches beginners how to navigate the network.
ClickBank offers useful reference tools for bloggers. Our favorite reference tool is the use of a “gravity score” beside each product to let you know how that product is performing for other affiliates.
As a blogger, the affiliate networks you choose to work with can make or break the success of your business. Not just any affiliate network will do the trick. It’s important for bloggers to find networks that are the right fit for them.
When a network is a right fit for your blog, you’ll be able to stay true to your brand while gaining a connection to top publishers and a consistent, reliable cash flow.