When I started blogging, like many bloggers today, I wanted to be able to use my blog to generate some passive income. But I had no idea where to start or how to go about monetizing my site. So I did a lot of research and reading, and one of the things I kept coming across was affiliate marketing. It seemed that every article I read mentioned affiliate marketing, and in particular Amazon affiliate program. I though affiliate marketing was synonymous with Amazon affiliate program. I was eager to sign up. However, the more I read, the more I found out Amazon was not the only one, and that there were, in fact, many affiliate programs and even networks. I grew even more interested and excited, knowing that I had many options.

What is affiliate marketing?

In affiliate marketing, an agreement is made between a merchant and a publisher. The publisher may agree to engage in email marketing; placing text links, banner ads, or reviews on his or her site in order to promote a product or service for the advertiser. In exchange, the publisher earns a commission after a referral is made, or on the sale of the goods or services when a link or banner, for example, is clicked by a reader. Each affiliate program will offer a different percentage of the commission earned. It’s important to remember to promote things that you have used, trust, or what reflect the central message of your blog.

How do you join an affiliate network or program?

First, you decide what you want to advertise on your site. For example, say your blog is about how to be a better writer or publish a book, you know that editing and proofreading are important aspects in writing. So you do a search for editorial products or services and check to see if the merchant has an affiliate program. Another way is to search for the company and “affiliate program.” If they do, it’s a matter of just signing up and if they accept you, you are given codes usually in HTML forms that you can copy and paste into your site in order to display the text link or banner ad. There is usually no membership or joining fees to get into an affiliate program. Another thing also is that most of these programs don’t require a certain number of traffic to your site, so if you’re just starting out, you still have a good chance of being accepted into the program of your choice.

Types of affiliate programs

There are various categories of affiliate programs. The ones you choose to participate in will obviously depend upon the overall core value or message of your blog. Today, I want to briefly mention four types, but there are many more.

i. Cost Per Click (CPC) or Pay Per Click (PPC)
If you have just created your blog or you have a small website, this affiliate program is the most popular, and the easiest one to make money from. The way it works is quite straightforward. You place banner ads or text ads on your site and if someone clicks those ads, you earn a small commission even if the person doesn’t buy any goods or services from the advertiser.

ii. Cost Per Sale (CPS) or Pay Per Sale (PPS)
In this type of affiliate program, the associate gets paid a percentage of an actual sale or a fixed amount. In other words, if you refer a person to a merchant’s website and of he or she makes a purchase, you get paid a commission. These types of programs usually pay more than the cost-per-click ones.

Iii. Cost Per Action (CPA) or pay-per-performance (PPP), which pays the affiliate for particular actions performed by the person he or she refers to the merchant’s website. For instance, filling out surveys, signing up for newsletters, service, or printing a coupon. 

Iv. Cost Per Lead (CPL) or pay-per-lead (PPL), which generally involves signing up for something or filling out an application for a product or service.

Affiliate networks. What are they?

Affiliate networks consist of many affiliate programs. Instead of searching for individual affiliate programs on the web to try and figure out which ones to join, you could save yourself a lot of time and join an affiliate network. Once accepted, you have instant access to hundreds of these programs that are already well vetted and established in most cases.

Really good affiliate networks


i. ShareASale
The affiliate programs are diverse—CPS, CPL, CPC, CPA.
The method of payment includes direct deposit and check with a minimum payout of $50 via direct deposit or Check.

ii. CJ Affiliate
The affiliate programs are CPS, CPL, CPC, CPA. The methods of payment are direct deposit and check. The minimum payout is $50 for direct deposit $ 100 for check.
Sign up free      

iii. Rakuten Affiliate
Types of affiliate programs are CPS, CPL, CPC, CPA. The payment methods are Paypal, direct deposit, and check. The minimum payout rate is $50 via both direct deposit or check.

iv. Panthera network. These have many affiliate programs for blogs that are geared towards deals, bargains, rewards, work at home, and surveys.
The affiliate program is mainly CPA or performance based. Lots of different payment options: Paypal, direct deposit, wire transfer, or check.
Minimum Payout: $50 monthly.

v. Escalate Media. 
CPA is the main affiliate program, and it’s focused on sites that are mainly family friendly, deal or bargain-oriented. The method of payment is via Paypal or check. The minimum payout is $ 25 monthly via Paypal or check.

vi. Clickbooth. This is one of the best for cost per action affiliate programs. The methods of payment are Paypal and check with a minimum payout of $50
Sign up free      

vii. FlexOffers. This is one of the best for cost per action affiliate programs. The payment methods are direct deposit and check. Minimum Payout: $50.


i. Tradedoubler
Diverse programs—CPS, CPL, CPA. The method of payment is direct deposit with a minimum payout rate of $70.

ii. Affiliate Window
Types of affiliate programs are CPS, CPL, CPC, CPA. The methods of payment are direct deposit, wire transfer, or check. Minimum Payout: $20 bimonthly.

iii. Zanox
Types of affiliate programs are CPS, CPL, CPC, CPA. The methods of payment are direct deposit, wire transfer, or check with a minimum payout of $25.

Other honorable mentions

i. Avangate   
ii. Revenuewire   

iii. iTunes where you can promote music, movies, books

Automated Affiliate Networks  

i. Skimlinks  
ii. Viglink

Top affiliates Programs in the US

i. Amazon Associates
The largest US-based online retailer. It’s affiliate programs are popular and well known among associates. Low commission of 1-10% but lots of products to choose from and you earn a commission on each product you sell so it adds up. The affiliate program is CPA. The methods of payments include direct deposit, check, and Amazon gift certificate. The minimum payout: $10 and $100 via check.
Sign up free     

ii. Clickbank
Type of affiliate program is CPA. Payment is via direct deposit, wire transfer, or check and it has a minimum payout of $10.
Sign up free    

iii. Ebay Partner Network
CPA affiliate program and the methods of payment are Paypal, direct deposit. Minimum Payout is $25.
Sign up free    

Best advertisement programs

Display programs

i. Google Adsense
CPC and the payment methods are direct deposit or check, with a minimum payout of $100.
Sign up free    

ii. Chitika
CPC and the methods of payment are check and Paypal. Payout rates minimum are $10 with PayPal, $50 via check on a monthly basis.

iii. Yahoo! Bing Network run by is a great alternative to google aAdsense. Its affiliate program is CPC. The methods of payment are wire transfer and pay pal with a minimum payout rate of $100 monthly.

For other alternatives to google Adsense, check out Clicksor, Bidvertiser, and Superlinks.

In text pop up ads

i. Infolink
Type of affiliate program is CPC with many payment options like wire transfer, Paypal, Payoneer, and direct payment via ACH. Minimum Payout: $50 monthly.
Sign up free    

This is tied to product or service review. If you’re the type of person who likes to review things or give your opinion about a particular product then dedicate a post to the review of the product and get paid for doing so. Check out ReviewMe and blogsvertise

Such as ebooks, notes, or an online course. This is how I got started with the publication of my book on Amazon. Publish an ebook easily.

Compile a list of companies in your niche. Give readers access to a database of company information at the click of a mouse.

This works well for blogs that are known or have larger audiences So if you're just starting out, you have to build up a following first before merchants would want to buy Ad space on your blog. But I've mentioned plenty of other ways for newbies to profit from their blogs. If and when you choose this route, you could work directly with the merchant or you could use a service like buysellads

Connect potential employee with employers and get paid to do it.

If you have steady traffic and loyal readers to your blog, you could use an email marketing service to stay connected with your readers and sell products and services directly to them. 

Give your readers an opportunity to contribute to the upkeep of your site if you are providing them with valuable content for free.

You could use these workshops to train or coach other people in the area you are really good at and charge for these live coaching sessions.

This can generate a good amount of money up front, but once it's sold, any revenue streams from the site will dry up. 

To sell your domain(s) name check out these sites.


To sell your website(s) name check out these sites.

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