Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blogging 301 ~ Lesson #3: Monetizing a Blog with Affiliate Network Services

One favorite way of monetizing a blog for many bloggers is the use of affiliate programs.  There are several, if not dozens, of affiliate networks that you can join as well as individual affiliate programs.  When you apply to become an affiliate you do the advertising for the company or product and receive a commission when a certain action is performed by one of your
readers.  Actions include, but are not limited to:

  • making a purchase
  • printing a coupon
  • signing up for emails
  • entering a contest
  • signing up for a service

Affiliates earn from a few pennies to a lot of dollars for each required action depending on the companies payout.  Most affiliate programs pay bloggers once a month when a minimum amount has been earned--most often $100, but many times less than that.  Affiliate networks are nice because you can be running a half dozen offers that you may earn just several dollars a month on each, but combined can make up enough for a payout.

Each company has their own rules for how an affiliate blogger can use the advertising, from posting about the deal, adding banners to their homepage, tweeting or putting on Facebook.  Be sure to read all requirements and rules carefully.  There were problems recently with some bloggers being accused of misuse by one company because they used the name of the company in the title of their post and when they tweeted it or put it on Facebook the name was in the title which was not allowed.  It also shows up in the URL of the post which is often not allowed--so be aware of all requirements.

Many bloggers blog exclusively about affiliate deals.  I rarely post at Simply CVS about them because they do not fit into my niche of posts, but there are a few I can include and when I do they do much better than when I just put them in a sidebar as a banner.  It is a good idea to look around the blogging world and see how people are incorporating affiliate programs in their posts if you are interested in doing this--once you find a company you like with an affiliate program Google it to find posts by bloggers to get ideas.  Here are a few posts I have done:
I will be posting about individual affiliate programs but will list a few here to help you get started until I do longer posts individually.

  • Escalate Network 
    • Categories:  Coupons, Education, Surveys, Food & Grocery [but they have some travel ones and a few others that do not fit these categories they list]  
    • They currently have about 35 offers (you can see them after you sign up). 
    • Each offer pays differently. 
    • $3.50 referral bonus for sending other bloggers. 
    •  Pay out at just $25!  
    • This is my favorite one--great customer service.
    • My favorite from them:  Coupons.com.
  • Logical Media 
    • Categories:  They have a several different categories with dozens of offers (you can see them after you sign up).
    • Each campaign pays differently.  
    • They offer a 5% referral bonus and pay out at $100.
    • My favorite from them:  Swagbucks.
  • Commission Junction 
    • Dozens of Categories with thousands of companies (you can see them after you sign up).  
    • Pays out at $100.  
    • This one you apply at Commission Junction and then you apply for each supplier.  
    • My favorite from them:  Upromise.
    Do not forget if you are monetizing your blog you need a disclosure page.  Becoming an affiliate blogger is easy, but earning a lot of money from it is hard work and it is usually necessary to make posts about the offers.  I'll be sharing more affiliate possibilities and even more information about the ones in this post, but go ahead and join one of these and see how it all works.  I recommend Escalate for ease and help from the staff.

    Logical Media


    Amanda said...

    Ok, I just signed up with Escalate. I've been signed up with Commisions Junction but they may have cancelled my account or something i never heard from them any more. I never posted anything from them because it was all so confusing to me. Plus when I tried to apply for the individual companies, half of them declined my application so there wasn't much for me to choose from.

    Amanda said...

    I signed up for escalate, waiting to hear back from them. I tried signing up for logical media and then remembered why I hadn't done it before. They make you provide a SS# up front. I don't have a tax ID number, so thats my only other option. HELP.

    Cheryl said...

    Amanda, I would just stick with Escalate for a while. They are really simple. You may have to give a SS# to get paid, though. I basically use Upromise at CJ because it fits Simply CVS. LM I don't use too much at all. I did stick a couple of the banners on recently but I've made a grand total of $3 or something from them.