How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog @, a lifestyle and travel blog | Blogging is the perfect avenue to make your play-thing your pay-thing. One way you can easily monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing.

How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog

February 18, 2017

Life should be about makin’ your plaything, your pay-thing! For those of us who love writing and sharing our knowledge with the world, blogging is the perfect avenue to accomplish that. One way you can easily monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing.

If you’ve already started blogging, you can go back through your old posts and see how you can add affiliate links to them! Why promote products for free when you can make a little dough from your thoughtful product promotion?

Haven’t started a blog yet? Read this guide on How to Start a Self-Hosted Lifestyle and Travel Blog!

You can use this Affiliate Marketing guide to:

  • Learn about affiliate marketing
  • Use affiliate marketing to monetize your blog
  • Promote products in an authentic way, and,
  • Find companies to start working with today!

This post contains affiliate links to help keep this blog running.
To learn more about affiliate links, click here.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a company’s service or product and that promotion is tracked via a special link. Every time you inspire a reader to click your link and do something, like make a purchase, you receive a small commission or some form of compensation.

As you create more content, your affiliate partnerships will naturally fit into the web that is your blog! Choose affiliate partnerships that are not only right for you but right for your audience.

Are you afraid you may seem inauthentic to your readers by promoting products?

  • Stick to promoting companies and products that will benefit your audience
  • Show your readers how a product can benefit them by writing a “how-to” guide
  • Write informative, helpful posts that give readers a wealth of information (beyond the product)
  • Connect with readers by providing a personal experience with the company, or a photo of you using the product!

In my 8 Essential Travel Tips Guide, I promoted features of websites I use and companies I love – whether or not I received compensation for the promotion. I made sure to include a lot of helpful information and advice for my readers who may not be ready to sign up for services I promoted such as earning $40 in travel credit at AirBnB or signing up for Airfare Watchdog’s low airfare alerts.

Also, ensure what you promote will be helpful to your readers! For example, the services I promoted help my readers save money when they are traveling.

So, how do you start helping your readers and monetizing your blog?

  • Brainstorm a list of companies related to your niche you want to promote
  • Google “company/brand affiliate program”
  • If they have an affiliate program, follow the steps to apply for their program

It’s not always easy to come up with a list of companies right from the get go. So, here’s some ideas as to where you can start!

Promote Your Hosting Company

Yes. You can start your blog, and then get money for starting your blog! All you have to do is sign up for an amazing hosting service and then you can start recommending them to others.

For example, when you sign up for Siteground’s hosting, you are automatically eligible for their affiliate and referral program.

BTW: I freaking love Siteground. First of all, they installed WordPress for me within minutes. But second of all, they have amazing 24/7 customer service. I had a problem at 4 am one morning and within ten minutes they not only solved my problem but also let me know how I could prevent it from happening again.

Thinking about starting a blog you can monetize? Check out my Ultimate How-to Guide on Starting a Lifestyle Blog!


Awin partners you with well-known brands including Etsy, Airfare Watchdog, and Hyatt! There are brands for every niche: beauty, travel, lifestyle, finance!

When you sign up, they require you to pay a $5 deposit that can be returned to you in whole later. Don’t let that intimidate you! You can get that money back later!

One of the best parts about joining Affiliate Window is the opportunity to work promote Etsy products. Etsy is a huge marketplace with sellers promoting their own WordPress themes, personalized products, clothing and jewelry… there are so many ways you can promote Etsy on your website!

Click here to sign up for Affiliate Window!

Amazon Affiliates

Amazon Affiliates has a great and easy to use affiliate program! Since Amazon is such a big company, you can find a product that benefits every niche.

Ideas to Promote Amazon:

  • Gift Guide
  • Fashion Guide
  • Travel Essentials
  • Hiking/Camping Essentials
  • A Shop page
  • My (Monthly) Favorites
  • Top Ten List

Even if you are not writing a guide or essentials list, you might be able to find a product related to what you are writing about.

In my guide on How to Use VSCO to Create Beautiful Images, I promoted this camera to phone SD reader. VSCO is a mobile app, but I wanted to extend my reach to people who use digital cameras for their photography, too. The camera to phone SD reader makes it easy to upload photos from their digital camera’s SD card to their phone! So digital camera users can use my VSCO guide, too.

Amazon is a great way to start affiliate marketing! It’s easy to sign up and start adding products to your site.

CJ Affiliates

CJ Affiliates (formerly Commission Junction) is essential for every blogger who wants to work with big-name brands. Since they have a centralized system connecting bloggers with plenty of brands, using CJ Affiliates makes working with tons of companies easy. You can work with brands in every niche, including:

  • Travel: Tripadvisor, Expedia,, CityPASS
  • Fashion: Banana Republic, Dresslink, Forever21, Fabletics
  • Lifestyle: Backcountry, Lonely Planet
  • Finance: TransUnion, CreditSesame

Share a Sale

ShareASale is another great affiliate program for bloggers! They have a huge base of recognizable brands for bloggers in every niche! What I love most about ShareASale is that as you apply to work with different brands, you can pitch to them about your blog, and how you will promote their products and services. When you give companies a great visual of how you will promote their products, connecting with them becomes so much easier! 

Some examples of brands on ShareASale include:


If you are only trying to join programs that have a large marketplace, join Flexoffers. They have an amazing range of categories of Advertisers to whom you can apply in their marketplace (careers, business, clothing, shopping, travel… the list goes on!).

If you are not in the United States, you can even search advertisers by country. Seriously, Flexoffers is a must-join for bloggers!


BrandCycle is yet another affiliate program that offers brands in a variety of niches! Plus, they have a simple-to-navigate website! My favorite part about BrandCycle is that once you are accepted into their program (my application took two business days to receive a response), you can access the brands they work with all on one page! BrandCycle is one of my favorite affiliate programs because once you’re approved, you have access to all of the brands they work with (you don’t have to apply to different brands – this is amazing).

Once your application is approved, you have access to links from:


Yes! You can work with Lyft. Lyft is a rideshare smartphone app that is a great alternative to taxis. You can work with Lyft to refer riders or drivers. Lyft constantly expands cities where it is available. Not only does Lyft costs cheaper than Uber, but drivers also attest to better pay from Lyft. Yeah! Both parties (the rider and the driver) benefit. And by working with Lyft, you can benefit, too!

Haven’t joined Lyft yet? Use this link to sign up and get $15 towards your first free rides!

When you refer a rider, they get $15 towards their first free rides. Lyft gives its affiliate partners $10 for each referral.


Have you started using Ebates yet? Ebates is a site built on affiliate links! They just share the commission they earn from their affiliate links with their users. Basically, you click on an Ebates affiliate link which leads you to a company’s online shopping website. And, Ebates will share their commission with you, offering cash back on every purchase you make! Ebates works with a ton of well-known companies including Amazon to give cash back to their users.

If you are shopping anyway, it’s basically free money.

And Ebates is totally blogger friendly! You can offer your readers $10 cash back after they make their first purchase. This is in addition to the cash back they will receive from that purchase!

Haven’t joined Ebates yet? Click here to get your first $10! It’s so addicting, you’ll love it!

ShopStyle Collective

For all you fashion bloggers out there, ShopStyle Collective is a great clothing affiliate program. They have a variety of options and ways you can display the products they offer! I love using their widgets to promote clothing products and accessories. It is very simple to sign up and start using ShopStyle Collective! Plus, it’s fun to browse their products and choose which ones you like best.

Inzpire Me

Inzpire Me connects brands with social media influencers. So basically, your referral registers, connects his/her social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter), and sets a rate. You will earn 5% of your referrals’ earnings for 12 months! 5% is the service fee that InzpireMe charges to brands. Yep, instead of collecting the service fee, the company gives it to you as a thank you for the referral!

Other Referral Programs You’ll Love

Parabo Press: I could rave about Parabo Press forever! If readers use your referral code, they can receive one of either 25 free square prints or a small photo book. You get $5 in shopping credit for every person who use your code! Another win win situation from a brand that produces quality content. When you sign up, use my code KRISTA to get your first 25 prints free! 

AirBnB: I love staying at AirBnBs! They offer great alternatives to staying at a hotel or hostel. You can offer your readers $40 in travel credit. After they book their first trip, you get $20 of travel credit! This is perfect for travel bloggers because if your travel credits add up, you can travel more often using AirBnB and produce more content for your readers!

Ibotta: Ibotta is another cashback shopping app. You can receive cashback rewards by completing tasks on the app and making purchases in certain stores! Your readers get a $10 welcome bonus just for using your code! Not on the Ibotta train yet? Register to get your $10 welcome bonus!

But Most of All, Stay True to You

love blogging. I put a lot of time and thought into my blog, but it never feels like work! Finally, I’ve found something I can be passionate about. If you’re not blogging, but you love to tell others about products you love, or experiences you have in day-to-day life, why don’t you start?! I’ve written a great guide to get you to start a successful lifestyle or travel blog.
How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog @, a lifestyle and travel blog | Blogging is the perfect avenue to make your play-thing your pay-thing. One way you can easily monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing.

Have you already started your blog, and you’re looking for more guidance? Here are some related blogging posts:

Sign up here for access to money-making blogging tips and exclusive content.

And, remember: when you promote products or services, only promote products or services you love! Don’t lose your voice when you start doing affiliate marketing, either. If you feel like you haven’t found it yet, don’t worry. After you write a few articles, you’ll begin to find your voice.

Maintain your connection with your readers and only promote products that they will love, too. Even though I had affiliate links in this post, every link helps someone interested in monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing by either connecting them with a brand or giving them an idea of how they can promote a product.

If this post helped you, please share or pin!

Do you have any affiliate programs you love? What’s worked for you? Or, are you a newbie to the blogging scene like I am? What questions do you have about affiliate marketing?


How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog @, a lifestyle and travel blog | Blogging is the perfect avenue to make your play-thing your pay-thing. One way you can easily monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing.
How to Use Affiliate Marketing to Monetize Your Blog @, a lifestyle and travel blog | Blogging is the perfect avenue to make your play-thing your pay-thing. One way you can easily monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing.
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  • Tereza

    This is such a good overview of all the different ways to use Affiliates, I really need to bookmark this and implement them! x

    February 19, 2017 at 12:55 am Reply
    • Krista

      Thanks Tereza! If you try any, or have any questions, please feel free to let me know!

      February 19, 2017 at 9:04 am Reply
  • Brandi

    Great tips!! Thanks so much for sharing all of the ideas!!

    February 19, 2017 at 4:35 am Reply
    • Krista

      Thanks, Brandi! Of course! Let me know if you have any questions.

      February 19, 2017 at 9:05 am Reply
  • Kamille

    Wow! You have a list of affiliates and I’m going to use some of them for my blog post. Thanks girl.

    February 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Yay! You’re welcome, Kamille! Let me know if you have any questions.

      February 20, 2017 at 8:30 pm Reply
  • crystal

    Hey!!! Great post…. I have been trying to figure out affiliate marketing…. my head spins when I think about it. You laid out this info well. I recently signed up for Share A Sell, so wish me luck…. I’ll need it LOL

    February 19, 2017 at 7:51 pm Reply
    • Krista

      It’s a science that’s difficult to wrap your head around, that’s for sure!! Good luck girl!! Let me know if you have any questions with affiliate marketing in the future.

      February 20, 2017 at 8:30 pm Reply
  • Kimberly

    This is such great and helpful information! I’ve been a little intimidated by affiliate marketing but this helps it look less daunting! Thanks!

    February 19, 2017 at 8:05 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Yay! I’m glad I could make it look less daunting. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions as you start to approach affiliate marketing.

      February 20, 2017 at 8:31 pm Reply
  • Mommy B

    Great tips. I have stopped blogging and now starting again, I’ll definitely take note of these helpful blog monetizing tips.
    Thanks for sharing!

    February 21, 2017 at 7:01 am Reply
    • Krista

      Hey girl! I am so happy to hear that you’ll be referring to these tips. The world of affiliate advertising is so huge! Let me know if you have any questions as you implement these tips in your blog.

      February 22, 2017 at 10:12 am Reply
  • erika

    So many great ideas! Thank you for the quality post!

    – ee

    February 21, 2017 at 9:08 am Reply
    • Krista

      You’re very welcome, Erika! Thank you for taking the time to check it out!

      February 22, 2017 at 2:09 pm Reply
  • Andy J. Salgado

    Thank you so much for this phenomenal post! 🙂 I have earned a lot. I felt like I was stuck for a bit and stumbled across this post! 😀

    I created a positive living blog geared towards entrepreneurship and motivational speaking! Maybe we can collaborate on some ideas! 🙂 Overall, thank you!

    February 21, 2017 at 9:24 am Reply
    • Krista

      Andy, you are so very welcome! I love the idea of your blog – positive living plus, entrepreneurship and motivational speaking! Let me know if you have any questions as you start to implement my suggestions in your blog.

      I’d be happy to find something to collaborate on in the future, too!

      February 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm Reply
  • Vy

    You are on a roll with great content! Thanks so much for sharing this, Krista!

    February 21, 2017 at 8:07 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Thank you so much Vy! I appreciate your kinds words and taking the time to check this out!

      February 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm Reply
  • Allison

    Lovely! This is so informative
    Allison from

    February 22, 2017 at 9:03 am Reply
    • Krista

      Thank you Allison! Always feel free to let me know if you have any questions in the future.

      February 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm Reply
  • Linda

    Great post with great tips. As someone who is floundering about how to monetize my blog, your tips and information are easy to follow and understand. I have bookmarked this site to return to (after I am home from work) so that I can consider your post thoughtfully. Also, you have a new follower here as I think your blog is delightful. Have a terrific day!

    February 22, 2017 at 9:12 am Reply
    • Krista

      Linda, I’m so happy you find this article helpful! Please let me know if you have ANYYY questions as you start to implement affiliate marketing on your blog!

      February 22, 2017 at 2:21 pm Reply
  • Carrie

    This is great. I want to start growing my blog more, and use affiliate marketing. I tweeted this so that I can go back (once I’m not at work) and read this more closely. Thanks!

    February 22, 2017 at 9:22 am Reply
    • Krista

      Carrie, yay! I think affiliate marketing is a great way to start growing and monetize your blog. Please let me know if you have any questions!

      February 22, 2017 at 2:22 pm Reply
  • Sheila Joy

    So much helpful information here, thank you!! x

    February 22, 2017 at 9:32 am Reply
    • Krista

      You’re welcome, Sheila! I hope this helps you!

      February 22, 2017 at 2:22 pm Reply
  • Nausheen

    Wow, what a helpful post! Definitely bookmarking this, thank you:)

    February 22, 2017 at 9:44 am Reply
    • Krista

      Nausheen, I’m so glad you found this helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions in the future.

      February 22, 2017 at 2:23 pm Reply
  • jessica

    super helpful post on affiliates, just what i needed to hear. thank you!

    February 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm Reply
    • Krista

      You are super welcome! Please let me know if you run into any questions as you start to implement affiliate marketing!

      February 23, 2017 at 9:39 pm Reply
  • Stacy

    THANK YOU! You are wonderful. I’ve read dozens and dozens of posts with a similar title but always leave out the ways to do it.

    February 22, 2017 at 6:51 pm Reply
    • Krista

      Stacy, that is so kind! And it’s so good to hear that my guide added to your knowledge bank! Please don’t hesitate to ask questions if you ever have any.

      February 23, 2017 at 9:43 pm Reply

    Thank you for all the awesome information on here ! You listed several I was unaware of, so I am glad I stopped by!

    February 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm Reply
    • Krista

      I’m glad you stopped by, too, Alicia! I am so happy to hear that this list helped!

      February 23, 2017 at 9:46 pm Reply
  • Viviane

    I love this informative post! So true about staying real even when you are promoting. It’s good to see that you love what you do and don’t feel like you’re working!

    February 23, 2017 at 4:17 am Reply
    • Krista

      To be honest I’m still trying to find my middle ground. But it’s totally fun doing it! Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Viviane! Let me know if you ever have questions about affiliate marketing.

      February 23, 2017 at 9:47 pm Reply
  • Hope

    Hi Krista, thanks for the post! I’ve already started some affiliate marketing on the blog courtacy Wealthyaffiliate, but these posts always help because you shared some affiliate companies I’ve never heard of. BrandCycle is new to me, for instance.

    February 26, 2017 at 12:16 am Reply
  • Shoshana Sue

    You couldn’t have provided this info at a perfect time. Thank you!

    February 26, 2017 at 10:30 am Reply
  • Mary

    This is a great post! As a new blogger, I’m always super curious how people start monetizing their blogs. Thanks for the tips!

    February 26, 2017 at 8:37 pm Reply
  • Lauren

    I just started my college blog last week and this is beyond helpful! Thank you so much for an easy to read yet informative post!

    February 27, 2017 at 7:17 pm Reply
  • Icy at Creative Living Abroad

    Thanks for this, Krista! Very informative! 🙂

    March 5, 2017 at 3:35 pm Reply

    Thank you for this post so much, it has been so helpful! I want to monetize my blog, but didn’t know how. My name is Brandy, and I am new to the blogging community, its very nice to meet you Krista, and all of you! Have a blessed day!

    March 13, 2017 at 6:27 pm Reply
  • KallMeKelz

    This was an awesome post. It was super informative for a newbie like myself…I’m def gonna subscribe! Great job😎👍🏾

    March 17, 2017 at 12:18 am Reply
  • Kim Galeta

    Excellent job, Krista! I’m definitely bookmarking this page!

    April 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    Krista you’re amazing! I’m definitely making April into the month I finally monetize because of this post! I’ve been so scared because I didn’t know how to start, but between this post and your income report, I’m learning now can be the time

    April 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm Reply
  • Tiana

    This is extremely helpful, thank you Krista!

    April 9, 2017 at 7:10 pm Reply
  • Jasmine

    This was SUPER helpful! I love your writing and your blog! Keep it up girl! (:

    April 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm Reply
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