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Affiliate marketing is on the rise and for a good reason. It’s a win-win strategy for publishers and advertisers. An affiliate marketing blog is one of the best ways for bloggers to monetize their content and earn a living promoting products they believe in. Businesses of all sizes now realize that an affiliate’s content can increase brand awareness and drive sales in a way that’s so cost-effective they are happy to share part of their profits.

So, how much money can you make as an affiliate marketer?

Super-affiliates rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

  • Tom Dupuis from Online Media Masters saw his income go from $20,000 to $80,000 in two years but now earns $150,000 per year.
  • Affiliate marketing guru Pat Flynn generates $145,000 per month
  • Jeremy Shoemaker went from unemployed to making $10 million from affiliate marketing

But what about those who are newer to the industry? According to a poll from Affise, income ranges widely but over 25% of affiliates make between $81,000 and $200,000 per year.

affiliate marketing income

As you can see, making money from affiliate marketing is not a pipe dream. Hard work is involved, but once you get your affiliate marketing blog up and running, the sky’s the limit.

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Blogging and Affiliate Marketing

Before we look at the best affiliate marketing programs and the top affiliate marketers you should learn from, let’s start with some basics.

What is affiliate marketing?

The concept of affiliate marketing is simple. An affiliate (you, the blogger) promotes a company’s products or services using a special link that identifies your blog as the traffic source. When a reader clicks on your link or purchases the product you’re promoting, you earn a commission. Essentially, you’re sending leads and traffic to an advertiser or seller’s site, and they pay you for that.

how affiliate links work

How to get affiliate links on your blog?

Writing about a product without adding an affiliate link won’t earn you any money. To have your unique, trackable affiliate link, you’ll need to join an affiliate program. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to create affiliate links to add to your content.

What is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is a mechanism used to create an agreement between the affiliate and the business or merchant. Some affiliates join large programs that offer access to thousands of products like Amazon Affiliates. Other marketers focus on high ticket items, which usually come through programs that support technology products.

Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

Ready to monetize your blog? Let’s take a look at some of the best affiliate programs you can join.

1. Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing’s affiliate program is often ranked as one of the best to join. With more than 1000 merchants, you’ll find products from industry giants, including Sephora, Virgin Holidays, New Balance, Udemy and DialogTech, plus many other brands.

A simple user interface and a great help center make this program ideal for those just getting started.

Rakuten Marketing affiliate marketing program

2. CJ Affiliate

Zappos, Verizon, Travelocity and other heavy hitters are part of CJ Affiliate’s program. The interface is easy to navigate, and the advertiser filters let you quickly identify the most profitable programs.

There’s also a cool widget creator that allows you drag-and-drop products into a slideshow, grid or collage that can be embedded into your content.

CJ Affiliate

3. ShareASale

With over 4000 merchants and some paying up to $300 per sale, ShareASale is a great program. Although it has fewer top-tier brands, ShareASale shines with its search parameters, including EPC Greater Than and Commission Rate Greater Than.

The Two-tier Program filter shows which products enable you to earn a commission from your sub-affiliate referrals.

ShareASale affiliate

4. Creative Market

Creative Market is an example of a niche affiliate program. If your audience is on the lookout for photos, graphics and WordPress themes, Creative Market is a great option. The company pays a 15% commission on your customer’s first purchase.

An excellent strategy to use here is to bundle items that work well together in your content so readers will make larger initial purchases of multiple items.

Creative Market affiliate

A few more great affiliate programs for bloggers:

  • Shopify
  • Hubspot
  • ConvertKit
  • Coursera

Top Affiliate Marketing Blogs

Affiliate marketing isn’t new, so while there is room for bloggers to get creative, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

It pays to learn from those who have already found success with affiliate marketing, so bookmark these blogs from top experts and take advantage of their insights.

1. Smart Passive Income

Now known as SPI, Pat Flynn’s blog is a goldmine for information on everything related to online marketing and running an affiliate business.

You’ll find articles packed with tips, inspirational success stories, recommended tools, and lots of audio content for podcast lovers.

Smart Passive Income

2. Missy Ward

Missy Ward is an industry veteran, and her blog is an excellent source for insider knowledge and benchmarking data.

Since she’s CEO and co-founder of Affiliate Summit, her site also hosts hundreds of videos from past conferences that are worth watching.

Missy Ward

3. Affilorama

Nearly 1 million people have signed up (it’s free!) to learn from Mark Ling and Simon Slade’s, the masterminds behind Affilorama.

Start with the introductory lessons or dive into their content about advanced SEO and PPC strategies.


4. John Chow

Who wouldn’t take advice from John Chow, a guy who turned his blog into a $40,000 a month revenue stream in just two years?

His articles and videos span every marketing topic under the sun, and his content is a pleasure to read.

John Chow

More affiliate marketing experts to follow:

  • Shawn Collins
  • I Am Attila
  • Spencer Haws


By 2022, business spending on affiliate marketing will top $8.2 billion in the US alone. Now is the time to strike, whether that means launching your affiliate marketing blog or upping your game with your existing assets.

Remember, the road to success is two-fold: choose affiliate marketing programs that offer products you want to promote and learn from the best in the business.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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