Setting up Affiliates for Your Blog – Making Money Blogging


Before I jump into this part of blogging, I want to make one thing clear.  When it comes to affiliates, it should be last on your list.  Here is what I mean.  Never take an affiliate if you haven’t used or couldn’t recommend the product.  Never put a commission before your readers.  While making a commission is nice, it should not be your top priority.

I see people all the time that put their commission first.  The one thing these bloggers have in common is they aren’t blogging very long.  With my tool site, we get so many people who want to pay us a commission for pushing their affiliates.  A bunch of these products suck and I would never recommend any of them.  Yes, we could have made some great money, but I can recommend a product without known it’s a product I would use or recommend.

For us and the tool site, we really only use Amazon because it’s a name we trust, they have a great return policy, they have fair prices and they won’t be out of business soon.  Is it the highest paid affiliate, no, not even close.  For us, we don’t care that their payout isn’t the highest.  Our goal is to introduce tools to people.  If they buy through Amazon, great.  If they buy through someone else, awesome.

Here is the deal.  If you are running a blog, you are taking a lot of time researching and writing for your audience.  If you are writing an article and there happens to be a product or service in the article, why not get a small commission.  Again don’t write the article for the commission, but if there is an opportunity, why not.

So How Do You Find Affiliates

Step 1 – Make a List

Your very first step to finding affiliates is thinking about what products or services you really like.  What products or services would you buy again, what products or service would you?recommend to family or friends?  Make a list of all these products.

Step 2 – Reach Out Directly

Once you have a list of products and services you love, go directly to their website and see if they offer an affiliate program.  Most of the time you will see an affiliate at the bottom of their website  If you don’t see if you can do a quick search on their website.  If that still doesn’t bring up anything, do a quick Google search by using the company name and affiliate.  If you find an affiliate this way, just make sure it’s their affiliate and not a scammer.  If you can’t find anything on their website about affiliate program, reach out and contact them to see what they offer.

Not all companies offer an affiliate, but don’t let that stop you from letting people know about their services or products.

Step 3 – Try Other Places

There are two types of affiliates: General & Niche.

Sometimes a company doesn’t have a direct affiliate.  Most of the times their affiliate is run through someone else.


There are two types of affiliates: General and Niche.

Affiliate marketing flowchart
General Affiliates

If a company doesn’t offer an affiliate and you love their product, you can look at general places that sell the product.  A general affiliate would be places like Amazon, The Home Depot or Walmart.  These are big places that offer a bunch of different products or service.  These big places usually have affiliate programs.  Even though you are only interested in some of their products, it’s a great place to use as an affiliate.

Amazon is awesome for an affiliate as it’s a secure place to shop, they are very competitive on prices, a great return policy and the list goes on.

Another general place as an example would be The Home Depot.  While Amazon has their own affiliate program, The Home Depot doesn’t.  The Home Depot uses a service called CJ Affiliate by Conversant.  This is a company that deals with large companies affiliates.  A lot of companies know an affiliate program helps them, but they don’t want the hassle of running the program, so they use companies like CJ.

The benefit is once you sign up to a company like CJ, you have access to other places that might sell the product or service you are looking for.

You can research and find a ton of affiliate programs.

Niche Affiliates

After you have looked at the general places that sell your product or service, next look at niche places.  A niche place is a company that sells only a specific product.  Say your blog is about coffee mugs.  Amazon would be an affiliate in your general affiliates because they sell coffee mugs and so much more.  But your niche might be a website that only sells coffee mugs, they are very specific.  Some of the specific places could be awesome, but you have to research.

Some of the smaller places you have to make sure they have a great reputation, the prices are good and the return policy makes sense.  Remember this is your name and people trust you about what to buy and where to buy.  So do your homework before you recommend.

Key Takeaways

  • Only recommend products you have experience with
  • Only recommend products you would buy again or recommend to family or friends
  • Do your homework on what companies you would recommend
  • Make sure you send people to reputable places to buy these products or services.
  • Don’t worry about the compensation rate.  That should be last on your list
  • Be honest

Final Thoughts

Remember you are recommending these products and services.  This is your name and your reputation you are putting out there.  If you steer people the wrong way, not only will you feel bad, but that is the impression you give people.

Just make sure you are using affiliates for all the right reasons.  It’s great to help people and if you can make a couple of bucks, all the better, but it better be for the right reasons.  If you can save a consumer time so they don’t have to do the research, why shouldn’t you get paid a couple of bucks for your service?

Next Step – Creating Your First Blog Post

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I grew up in a small town in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I worked my way through DePaul University in the construction industry. After college I worked in the financial industry and school system. I have also been in the technology field for a couple of years. Currently I write for GT Today and another power tool publication, plus I am a part time firefighter. My only hobby is spending time with my wife and kids.


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