People have asked me, how do you make money blogging? How can I make money blogging? You need to write amazing content and then promote those posts using social media. You don't have to be a guru or computer wizz to do it. I tell you how in this article, and explain to you all about affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, advertisements, and how you can get started making money from your blog this month.

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?

If you haven’t started a blog yet, or are itching to make the switch from a free hosted blog to your very own self-hosted blog, definitely check out this guide on how you can start a blog, and own your own corner on the Internet, for less than $4 per month.

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 .

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.

Related Reading: The Best Strategies to Use Affiliate Marketing to Make Money Blogging

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!

1. 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!

2. Awin

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!

3. 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.

4. 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:

5. Flexoffers

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!

6. BrandCycle

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).

7. 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

8. Ebates

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!

9. 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.

10. Ultimate Bundles

Ultimate Bundles are bundles of products (eBooks, audiobooks, eCourses, etc.) you can offer to your audience at 90% off or more. These bundles go on sale during specific parts of the year. Even better, for every bundle you sell, you receive 40% commission. There are bundles for a variety of niches, including fitness, blogging, entrepreneurship, healthy living, and even travel. Sign up for Ultimate Bundles ASAP and you won’t regret it!

Other Referral Programs You’ll Love

Linqia: Linqia is a freaking FAB program for bloggers. They connect you with potential blogging sponsorships AND give you $5 for every referral. You can’t miss out on their amazing blogger program!

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!

And if you like what I’m saying about affiliate marketing, you’ll love my new ebook Career in the Making. This book goes into the exact strategies I used to bring my lifestyle blog $2,200 in its first six months (seriously). Click here to learn more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

    – ee

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

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • Vy

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

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

  • Lovely! This is so informative
    Allison from

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

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • So much helpful information here, thank you!! x

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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.

    • 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.

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

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

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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!

  • Thanks for this, Krista! Very informative! 🙂

  • 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!

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

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

  • 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

  • This is extremely helpful, thank you Krista!

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

  • How do you get those, beautiful, pin-friendly images? (:

    • Hey Jennifer! I create the pin-friendly images using Canva! <3

  • Such great information! Taking notes from all over your website.
    Does it ever bother you knowing people would rather read your money articles more than your actual lifestyle and traveling blogs?

    • Blossom, thanks for your comment! Wow, I’m so pleased to hear you’re taking notes! 🙂
      To answer your question, it actually doesn’t bother me because I enjoy writing these posts about making money. I’ve considered rebranding but I do have so many ideas on my backburner so I need to figure out what I want to focus on!

  • Steve

    If you haven’t had a chance to check out the WebStarts Affiliate Program, you can do so at Not only do we pay 50% on any sale you generate, but WebStarts is the perfect platform for you to build and manage your own Blog to promote your other affiliate relationships. One stop shop!

  • This post is also suuuuper helpful! I had no idea about some of this stuff! Your site is awesome, so much helpful information!

    • Yay!! I’m so so glad this helped you, Ryan! Can’t wait to see how you implement these techniques!

  • First off I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks!

    • Berry, it’s okay if the first 10-15 minutes are lost. Just start writing. Normally what I write in the beginning is crap, and I rewrite it. It helps me to plan my content and create an outline, too. Good luck!

  • Thank you YOU’RE THE BEST! Why don’t you have a gajillion followers right now?!

  • Thank you so much for the tips! You’ve given me a lot of fantastic tools to work with on my new blog.

  • Thank you soooooooo much for this!! I’m just starting and I know very little, if anything at all. I also noticed that you were part of the Influence Her Collective with Her Campus. I’m a writer for Her Campus at Texas A&M!

    • What?! Girl that is so cool! I really really love Influence Her Collective/Her Campus & everything they do to support the blogging community.

  • This is SUPER helpful and informative first of all! Thank you. I do have a question though. It seems like a lot of these affiliate sites require you to have a certain amount of traffic and/or make a certain amount sales. Did you wait until you had a lot of blog traffic to sign up for these? or did you sign up when you first started your blog. I really wanna sign up but I’m worried I don’t have enough traffic yet 🙁

    • Hey girl! I actually applied to these affiliate sites like Awin, Shareasale, etc. pretty much right after I started blogging. It did take me a while (maybe 2 months, or so) to get approved to Etsy’s program (within Awin)!

      But it doesn’t hurt to try – and then just reapply when you have more content/views.


  • Hello,
    I have started blogging myself. I am trying to find out the basic problems that my blog is having and looking for solutions. Also, I’m searching for some basic things like themes and other stuff.
    I have read your whole article, I am looking forward to getting a positive result after performing this myself.
    Can you suggest me any basic idea that I might need in the future as a new blogger?
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  • In my honest opinion, this has truly been the most helpful and honest post on affiliate marketing I have come across. As a new blogger this is amazing advice and I am glad I stumbled upon you blog through pinterest. You have earned a new follower and subscriber. Thanks for this helpful post, it was well needed!

    • Thanks so much Alante! I really appreciate that.

  • Rachel Beyer

    This is an awesome post! thank you so much for the honest advice! Seriously the best post I have come across about monetizing blogs!