Please note this post may include affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy here.
These affiliate programs for beginners won’t make you feel weird when you share them with your readers. In fact, at least one will work for any niche!
Imagine going to a coffee shop with a friend. You’re both enjoying your fragrant cup of deliciousness and are probably nibbling on a treat. You’re catching up on the latest news and then . . .
She pulls out her laptop and proceeds to share with you about a multi-tier sales program.
Suddenly the scone you’re eating isn’t as appetizing. You start to think about ways to escape but you feel bad. After all, this is your friend, and she’s so earnest!
But seriously, this is a coffee shop. And she’s pulling out brochures! Now you’re starting to feel embarrassed. And frustrated. Is this the real reason she wanted to meet for coffee?
To sell you something? Yuck.
This is exactly what happened to me several years ago.
I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do. Side note: the company she was advertising was the exact same one my family had lost money on in my childhood. There was no way I was going to get involved in that.
Let’s just say she didn’t get the sale that day.
I don’t want that for you.
I want you to be able to share products and programs with your readers and friends that you believe in, in a way that doesn’t put them on their guard. I don’t want them to be looking over your shoulder for an escape route. I want them to feel like you really care for and “get” them.
Let me tell you a little secret. Affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be weird. Or awkward. Or complicated. There are actually only two rules.
The Two Rules of Affiliate Marketing
1. Make sure the product or program is one that you have used and love.
2. Make sure the product or program is something your people will enjoy.
BONUS Rule: Always, always, always, disclose. You must always disclose that you are using affiliate links per FTC requirements. You will need a disclosure policy page on your site as well as a note at the top of your posts that says you’re using affiliate links before you actually link to anything. (Here’s my disclosure policy.)
My Favorite Affiliate Programs for Beginners
Below are five of the easiest affiliate programs to get started with because they’re as simple as setting up an account and linking to the product or service from your website. Pro tip: teach your readers how to use the program/service via blog posts so they know what a value it is!
1. Swagbucks — This is a site that rewards you with points when you use their search engine, take the daily poll, and even watch tv! Once you’ve earned 300 points, you can cash it in for gift cards. This is how we shop “for free” on Amazon all year—I love Swagbucks! Try it out for yourself so you can teach your readers some insider tips and tricks.
2. Ebates — This is rebate site you can share with readers. Let them know they can earn cash back from online purchases from airline tickets to clothing to craft supplies. I was sharing Swagbucks and Ebates with my family and friends before I was a blogger. It’s natural to want to share easy ways to make and save money with your friends.
3. Ultimate Bundles — If you haven’t heard of Ultimate Bundles, then definitely check them out. They offer several “bundles” of e-products each year on different themes that they sell for a discounted price. They team with authors and give them a fair commission so the authors are able to give away their products for practically free. Not kidding. The last bundle I purchased from them was The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit which included $3,600 worth of ecourses and ebooks. I bought it because it included Ruth Soukup’s Productivity Guide for Bloggers. That bundle was only $97. What?! I know. It’s likely they will have a bundle for sale this year that your audience will enjoy so check them out. They also offer EXCELLENT free training and support for affiliates.
4. Amazon — Most people use Amazon and most things are sold on Amazon which can be a great win for your site. What I love about Amazon is if someone clicks on a link for a gel pen on my site, gets distracted and buys a vacuum cleaner . . . I earn a commission from the vacuum cleaner. (I’ve probably earned other affiliates millions because of this; Amazon is my favorite nemesis! haha)
5. Target — If you’re a Target fan, sign up for their affiliate program and start promoting all the things you are already talking about. I have a weakness for their craft section so when I share a craft tutorial that uses their products, I drop in a Target link. (Yet another reason to love Target.)
Make sure to read the “fine print” on each of these programs. They are all slightly different so you want to know what to expect.
What to do NOW
Sign up for one of these affiliate programs for beginners to get started. Think up a blog post or a series of blog posts that will talk about the benefits of this affiliate in an interesting way. Promote your posts on social media. Once you get one affiliate program down, sign up for another so you can have a regular cycle of programs you share.
I think you’ll really appreciate that extra income coming in!
P.S. If you’d like to dive deep into affiliate marketing for bloggers, I highly recommend Tasha Agruso’s book, Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers. She walks you through the basics as well as many over-looked opportunities to earn extra income. I started seeing results pretty quickly after reading her book which was awesome! You can click here to learn more.