Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to make money as a blogger. It enables you to promote your favorite products and earn a commission on each sale. However, if you’re just starting out, you might be wondering how to find affiliate programs for your blog.
Fortunately, the process is easier than you might think. With some research and work, you can identify the right brands to work with and select products that your audience will be interested in.
In this post, we’ll show you how to find affiliate programs and earn an income from your blog. Let’s get started!
📚 Table of contents:
1. Identify your most popular posts and topics
The first step is to reflect on your content and audience. You’ll want to choose brands that fit your blog niche and align with your values. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the affiliate products are appropriate for your readers.
Start by doing some research about your audience. For instance, you can find out where your visitors are from, their main age groups, and their interests. Google Analytics is a reliable way to obtain this type of data:
These demographic insights can help you select the right products for your audience. For example, if most users are based in the US, it makes sense to choose a company that ships to this country.
It’s also a good idea to look at the most popular posts on your blog. Again, Google Analytics will help you find this information.
Let’s say you have a travel blog, and your most popular posts are about staying safe on the road. In this case, you could look for insurance companies that have affiliate programs. You might even promote safety products, such as pickpocket-proof clothing and personal alarms:
You could also make a list of popular topics on your website. For example, if you have a lifestyle blog, your main subjects might be green living and recycling. In this scenario, one possible approach could be to look for brands that sell sustainable products or donate to environmental causes.
The goal is to find affiliate programs that align with your content and your audience’s interests. If you promote sustainable living, but feature brands with bad reputation, you might alienate or even upset your readers.
2. Join popular affiliate networks
Affiliate networks are platforms that connect bloggers with brands. They serve as the middlemen between merchants and publishers.
When you join an affiliate network, you can explore different brands in your niche and sign up for their programs.
As part of the sign-up process, most of these networks will require you to create a profile and enter some information about your blog. This data will be visible to brands when you submit applications to join their programs. Some of them will review each application manually and make a decision based on the information provided.
Therefore, to increase your chances of acceptance, you’ll want to show companies that your blog aligns with their brands and that you’re capable of helping them reach the right audience.
Some suggestions of what to include in your profile are:
- Your niche, blog goals, and mission
- Your target audience
- How you plan to promote the company’s products, for example by affiliate links, banners, gift guides
- Your monthly views, engagement rates, and other key metrics
Assuming you get accepted, you can then manage your memberships from the same dashboard in your affiliate network account. The affiliate network will also process your commissions, which is how you ultimately get paid.
One of the most popular affiliate marketing platforms, with over 20,000 merchants, is Awin:
If you create an account with them, take some time to browse through programs in different sectors, which include travel and retail. Awin gives you some important information about each brand, including commission rates and average payment times:
Another popular affiliate network you may want to consider joining is CJ, which enables publishers to partner with some of the world’s leading brands:
Regardless of which specific affiliate program or programs you apply to join, remember that the more details you provide when applying, the more likely you are to get accepted. You might also want to include links to your social media pages to show companies that you’re active on other channels (besides your blog).
3. Reach out to your favorite brands
Joining an affiliate network is a great starting point. However, these platforms tend to charge merchants a commission on successful sales. Unfortunately, this setup means you’ll probably earn a tiny percentage of the purchases.
An example from the lodging niche is Booking.com, which charges hotels a fee for bookings made through its platform. If you were to become an affiliate, you’d receive only a small percentage of the commission earned by Booking.com:
Therefore, you’d want to consider joining self-hosted programs instead. For example, some hotel chains and hospitality companies have their own affiliate programs:
These programs might offer better commission rates than what you’d find on affiliate networks, because there are no middlemen fees. Additionally, they often provide other perks, such as discounts on products and complimentary stays.
Whatever your niche is, start by making a list of brands you like and the products you use. Then, visit the websites of those companies to see if they have affiliate programs. Typically, you’ll find a link to a company’s affiliate page in the footer:
If you’re unable to find this information, consider reaching out to the brands directly. Tell them a bit about your blog and ask them if they’d be interested in working with you. While this approach may feel a little daunting, some brands might be happy to collaborate with you if they think you could help them reach their goals.
Fortunately, you don’t have to actively look for affiliate programs all the time. When you join an existing program, some brands might invite you to work with them.
However, it’s also possible to encourage companies to reach out to you directly by setting up a Work With Me page:
Here, you can provide some information about your blog and your audience. Consider displaying a showcase of past collaborations with brands and examples of affiliate products that you promote.
Additionally, you can include a link to your media kit. This is a document that contains key details about your blog, such as the number of monthly visitors, most popular posts, and more:
Canva offers a selection of templates for media kits, which can be customized to suit your needs:
Think of your media kit as your CV. You’ll want to convince companies that you’re the perfect fit for their brands.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that your Work With Me page contains a contact form or an email address. We recommend using your business address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) rather than your personal one, because it can make you look more professional.
5. Check out other blogs in your niche
If you’re still not sure how to find affiliate programs for your blog, you might want to do some additional research. One suggestion is to check out other bloggers in your niche to see which brands or products they promote:
You can do this by looking for affiliate links in their posts. Alternatively, you could check out their About or Work With Me pages. Some bloggers promote their partnerships with brands on their sites.
If any of the brands you come across seem like a good fit for you, then join the same affiliate programs. You can also look for similar products to promote on your blog. However, you’ll want to avoid copying content from other bloggers. Besides being unethical, it can also get you penalized by Google and other search engines.
Instead, consider using this information as inspiration. For example, if you come across a gift guide for hikers, use some of its suggestions in your packing lists for hiking trips.
Alternatively, consider offering better alternatives to your audience. For instance, if you notice that the majority of bloggers in your niche promote the same flight booking site, then try looking for a cheaper and more efficient service to differentiate yourself.
One of the most effective ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing. You can simply promote products to your audience and earn a commission on each sale or referral.
In this post, we showed you how to find affiliate programs to join:
- Identify your most popular posts and topics to find the right products to promote.
- Join popular affiliate networks like Awin and CJ.
- Reach out to your favorite brands and visit their websites to see if they have affiliate programs.
- Promote brand collaborations on your blog by creating a Work With Me page and a media kit.
- Check out other blogs in your niche to see which affiliate products they promote.
Do you have any questions about finding affiliate programs for your blog? Let us know in the comments section below!