Digital marketing is an exciting landscape of opportunities, with revenue-generating ads that can be easily added to your sites, blogs, social media, and other channels. But for many influencers, creators, and publishers, the likes of Google AdSense and its rivals might seem too random, overly complex, confusing, or too much of a hassle for too little reward.
But among the other online marketing opportunities is the world of affiliate marketing. Working with an affiliate program, you can place targeted ads from brands that are relevant to your audience and make money with affiliate links.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
Affiliate marketing is essentially a referral program. As an affiliate, you refer people to a brand or product/service, and you get paid for this. There are different earnings models that determine what action the referral needs to take for you to qualify for a commission.
When a potential referral clicks on one of your ads or affiliate links, they are redirected to the brand’s product/service and when the lead takes an action (sale, signup, etc.) you generate some commission. When you have enough to meet the payment criteria, you get paid by the affiliate program. Each affiliate program has different payment thresholds and frequencies, such as daily, weekly, monthly, or longer.
Here are some of the most common affiliate earnings models:
- Pay per click (PPC): When a reader clicks on an advert you are displaying. The commission is a one-off payment for each valid click.
- Cost per action (CPA): When your referral takes a specific action beyond just clicking, for example subscribing to a service. The commission is usually a one-off payment.
- Cost per Sale (CPS): Each time a sale is made you earn a commission. This can be a flat fee or a percentage. There is also the possibility of receiving a commission on all future purchases by the same customer.
- Pay per install (PPI): When the referral downloads and installs an app. The commission is typically a one-off payment.
Starting Out with Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing might be billed as passive income (you don’t have to do anything) or sound like a get-rich-quick scheme. But it is far from that and requires considerable effort to succeed, just as with any business endeavor.
Three popular ways to approach affiliate marketing when getting started are:
- Blog about a topic you are an expert on or are passionate about and build an audience that will engage with your affiliate links and ads.
- Identify strong-performing affiliate niches with robust demand and build enough content to create viable websites that generate income.
- Develop your social media channels and followers by providing engaging content and then include your affiliate links in your posts.
All are valid routes to success, it all depends on your own ambitions, financial goals, and how much content you are willing to create. Once the blog, website, and or social accounts are up and running, and you have some traffic, you can join relevant affiliate programs and start implementing your affiliate links to begin monetizing your content.
Can You Make Money with Affiliate Links?
Yes, lots of affiliates make an excellent income from using affiliate links in their content. From moms blogging about their home lives to business experts delivering the latest advice on trends in their industry or market, all sorts of people use affiliate programs to earn an income.
Those that succeed are more likely to be those that deliver value to their audience. By providing regular engaging content, your audience and followers are more likely to click on your affiliate links.
Alternatively, in the emerging era of AI-generated content, it is possible for the cloud to deliver your content automatically, reducing the amount of work you need to do. From articles to art, AI-generated content can speed up delivery and bulk up the content on a site. That’s easier when discussing general subjects, but the AIs are fast becoming smart enough to deliver specific knowledge and information of value instantly.
Finally, many people create simple websites around a cluster of high-value affiliate subjects with enough content to make them searchable. They load those with affiliate ads and links that the audience is likely to click on and wait for the results to come in.
Each method is a valid route to earning money via affiliate marketing links, depending on the amount of effort you want to put in and the rewards you expect.
Affiliate Programs You Can Make Money with Affiliate Links
Having established a few ways you can create your affiliate content; the next decision is what sort of affiliate program to use. Affiliate marketing is highly competitive, therefore there are lots of programs and networks to work with. Some operate globally, while others focus on a key region.
They might operate all or some of the earnings model options listed above, or have a unique method, notably in the mobile affiliate segment. Check out this list below and see which affiliate programs might be the best fit for you.
Make Money with Amazon Affiliate Links
Amazon Associates program is the affiliate 101 lesson for many people. It makes a great entry point and has the benefits of being free to join for anyone, and it is easy to focus exactly on the products you want to see on your site.
For example, if your blog or site is about video games or smart home technology, you can show banner ads for the latest games or products. Or, have general ads with affiliate links to those categories of products to create several avenues to sales.
All you have to do is paste your affiliate link into your content or put a banner on the page. Most affiliates focus on their own Amazon region, but it is easy enough to share Amazon US links if most of your traffic comes from there.
For earnings, Amazon Associates gives a percentage of each sale, from 4% to 12% of the sale value, to the affiliate. That’s delivered in the form of an Amazon Voucher or to your bank account at the end of the month. And that’s all there is to it.
Amazon heavily promotes its big events like Amazon Prime Day, and its own products like Fire tablets, and Ring smart-home doorbells. Through its massive brand reputation, Amazon ads are an easy sell on any site.
However, as Amazon is such a massive retailer, it doesn’t really do much else for affiliates, with a very basic dashboard. While Amazon is a good option for most levels of affiliates, if you are brand new to affiliate marketing, you might want to work with a smaller program that offers more personalized one-on-one support till you get the hang of things.
Make Money with Affiliate Links on Facebook
You don’t need in-depth blog posts or a complex website to become an affiliate. Lots of people share affiliate ads and links on their social media posts across the likes of Facebook and other services. Facebook has around 3 billion users which is a massive potential audience if you can reach and appeal to them.
A key advantage of using Facebook is you don’t just need to rely on the organic growth and traffic you get to your Facebook pages, but you can also set up paid campaigns through Facebook Ad Manager and pay to have your ads shown across Facebook.
Well-managed Facebook campaigns can deliver exceptional results, but poorly managed ones can be costly. If you plan on setting up and managing your own FB campaigns, make sure to learn how to thoroughly. Plus, always comply with Facebook’s advertising guidelines.
Start by creating a Facebook Page (or if you have an existing site, create a Facebook Group that links to your website). Then use Facebook Ad Manager to create your own or post affiliate ads on those pages or within Facebook Messenger to your audience.
Always use an affiliate disclaimer to comply with regulations, and then use the regular posting power of social media to keep your audience engaged and clicking on your affiliate links. You can also use the massive social power of Facebook by joining other groups related to your subject and sharing their content on your page.
How To Make Money on Pinterest with Affiliate Links
Photo-based sharing site Pinterest is a curio among social media sites, with tightly focused groups enjoying sharing images on specific subjects, from fashion to art, seascapes to historic images. Many Pinterest users use the site as a shopping inspiration, so if you have a Pinterest board, you can post affiliate links within the content or comments, or links to your home content to get people to see your content and ads.
Similar to Facebook, Pinterest has guidelines that it enforces, so be careful about what affiliate product links or adverts you post, and don’t be spammy. Instead, you should concentrate on building an engaged audience with a steady stream of fresh images and chat about them. The site recently introduced Idea Pins that sit on top of images and make an ideal way to link to products or services.
Pinterest won’t be for all affiliates or affiliate products, but for those with a strong visual product, getting among the Pinterest influencers and sharers is a great way to boost your social clout, and drive traffic through your affiliate links.
Make Money with Algo-Affiliates Links
Moving on from the simple level of affiliate programs and social media sharing, we come to a heavy hitter in the affiliate world. At Algo-Affiliates, we offer a performance affiliate marketing network that delivers major results for affiliates, new and expert.
Once signed up and approved, you can choose individual offers from our intuitive dashboard that you want to appear on your site. We provide you with the hottest affiliate offers, and a selection of tools to improve your affiliate performance. Offers cover a range of popular niches, including education, business, finance, home improvement, health, technology, trading, cryptocurrencies, and more.
At Algo-Affiliates, we work with hundreds of brands to deliver high-converting offers. These are easy to filter on the dashboard to show ones applicable to your audience or region. Previews show exactly what the ads and landing pages look like, so you can avoid anything that clashes or looks inappropriate. Another great feature of Algo-Affiliates is we have a fully-fledged mobile app, so you can monitor your performance and get alerts while on the go.
We also have plenty of affiliate advice and ideas to help build your results to boost your commissions. Make sure to take advantage of the knowledgeable and experienced affiliate manager that you will be assigned. Their job is to help you succeed.
Join Algo-Affiliates Network now and start making money with your affiliate links.
Apps and Services to Make Money with Affiliate Referral Links
Making money with affiliate marketing is not just limited to physical products, there are endless opportunities to promote Apps and services. Typically rewards range from $5 to $100 or higher depending on the service.
There are plenty of examples, but Swagbucks is a popular one. Users earn points that they can convert into vouchers or cash by watching videos, doing surveys, using coupons, and much more. Affiliates can earn $3 for every person that signs up using their link, making it an easy way to build revenue for sites and content that focus on lighter, personal, or home content.
At the higher end, there are plenty of business apps like Freshbooks cloud accounting solution, that offers $10 per signup for affiliates, while Semrush hits the heights of $200 per subscriber, and there are many more. There are plenty more business services that will give affiliates a cut for selling their services, which is why for example SaaS solutions are some of the most lucrative.
Whatever topic you cover, there are bound to be some useful apps or services that deliver strong returns through referral links. And if you get heavy traffic in the right market, they can really boost your affiliate earnings.
Can You Make Money with eBook Affiliate Links?
“Content is king” is a maxim in all publishing businesses, and if you have content to sell, eBooks remain one of the most popular formats to monetize. You don’t even need to create your own content, there are plenty of businesses with eBook content to sell, and they are happy to work with affiliates to spread the word.
One of the leading players in this market is ebooks.com and they have mountains of eBooks across the business, history, science, health and fitness, food and wine, as well as fiction niches. That means there should be something for your audience, and their program is easy to sign up for and monetize.
With bonuses for commissions over $100,000, there is plenty of incentive to get selling eBooks via your affiliate content. And with plenty of other resources, such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon Kindle, and others, especially in the business, marketing, and similar niches, making a reasonable income is positively achievable.
How To Make Money with Text Links
While many affiliates like the look of big shiny banner ads on their pages, the humble text link when used correctly can deliver outstanding results. These minimalistic affiliate links direct users to all the shiny stuff for all sorts of brands, content, and services.
Text link program operators such as text-link-ads make this a really easy way to sign up and get going with their links. Unobtrusive on sites and easy for any business to use, they enable text concepts to be expressed clearly and save space for your content. They also work well on mobile and desktop with no variation required.
One of the biggest reasons you should test and consider using text links is due to the phenomenon called “Banner Blindness”. Web users have become more and more “blind” to ads, whether consciously or unconsciously, which means less effectiveness. Text links are less intrusive and if it catches the reader’s attention it is likely to get clicked on.
Another big benefit of text links is that ad-blockers are extremely popular, so your audience won’t always see your banners and video ads. Using text links can often overcome the obstacles of ad-blockers but there are some technical steps you should take to ensure your affiliate links don’t get blocked too. Never underestimate the power of text links.
Make Money with Affiliate Pay-per-Call Affiliate Links
Businesses want more customers and one of the best ways to engage and convert new leads is by speaking on the phone with these potential customers. Pay-per-call is a highly effective marketing method that presents really lucrative opportunities for affiliates.
The pay-per-call market works exceptionally well with health care, finance, home services, insurance, and other niches. There are a number of pay-per-call operators, typically focused on the US market, such as Offerglobe. Plus, pay-per-call is known to have very high conversion rates.
Similar to a regular CPA offer, you place your affiliate links (which in this case are your unique assigned phone numbers) within your content and wherever else you might advertise. Users click on your affiliate link and are automatically connected telephonically to a sales agent. If you want a unique and effective way to make money with affiliate links, then consider adding pay-per-call to your marketing plans.
Make Money Through Other People’s Sales
The likes of eBay’s partner program, Amazon Associates (above), and boutique site Etsy offer affiliate programs that encourage you to list other people’s products in return for a cut of the sale.
For second-hand sales, bespoke craft goods, or vintage items, there’s a huge market to tap into, and some that particularly affiliates focus on are fashion, retro, and collectibles.
Once again, you simply grab affiliate links from the respective program for the products you want to advertise and implement them into your content.
Earn Money Playing Video Games as an Affiliate
One of the hottest careers of the last few years sees younger, or not, gamers earning money by playing video games and streaming the feed to an audience on services such as Twitch. The Twitch affiliate program works for almost anyone. You only need 50 followers and a few hours of content, but you need to be an active member to head toward the $100 minimum payout.
Twitch shows adverts and links during your play, or videos before your stream, and you typically get a commission for each click. Other streaming services are out there including YouTube, but Twitch is where the action is for gamers, not just those playing the latest action titles, but people playing retro games, niche Japanese role-playing games, and others.
All you really need is to be personable and engaging during the stream, and memorable enough for people to come back and watch you compared to the millions of other Twitch streamers. Build a reasonable audience and you can literally get paid for having fun and helping out other gamers or showing off your skills.
With a strong following, you can then start using your affiliate links and recommend products and services to your audience. Some of the products you can promote include products like gaming chairs and controllers, memberships, upgrades, and much more.
1. What’s the fastest way to make money with affiliate links as an influencer?
You won’t know the answer to this until you try. The best way to find out is to use a mix of quick-appeal/low-pay, occasional/mid-range, and rarer/high-pay ads to find out which works out best for you over a period of time. Your audience and affiliate dashboard will show you what is working and then you can focus on the ideal offers, while continuously experimenting to find ways to boost your income.
Performance marketing success requires you to be inquisitive, to understand your audience, what they like and don’t like, and what marketing techniques deliver the best results. As an influencer, what may appear to work for another influencer in the same niche may not work for your audience, so you will need to focus on your followers.
While the appeal of making fast money with your affiliate links is great, there is no shortcut to building a long-term, sustainable affiliate business that delivers ongoing returns. It can take years to become a true performance marketing guru, but you have to keep learning and growing as technologies and audiences evolve.
2. Can You Actually Make Money with Affiliate Links?
Yes, yes, and yes! The global affiliate marketing space was worth an estimated $16Bn in 2021 according to Proficient Market Insights. Even more staggering is that they predict an almost 10% CAGR till 2027, and by then the market will be worth $28Bn.
Now that we understand the size of the market and that it will experience exponential growth in the coming years, we realize the massive opportunities to make money. The deeper issue of whether you will actually make money with affiliate links is how much time, money, energy, and commitment you are prepared to invest.
There are many super affiliates that make $1m+ a year, and some even make that kind of money monthly. If you were to ask any of these super affiliates about their journey to that kind of success and they will tell you it took an intense amount of consistent effort to reach those levels.
3. What’s the best money-making affiliate platform to choose?
Focus on those that work well in your area of content. It makes sense for mom bloggers to focus on affiliate programs with a strong range of home goods, kitchenware, fashion, health, and similar areas.
The affiliate programs and networks you partner with will have a dramatic impact on your success, so you need to choose wisely. The first and foremost thing when picking an affiliate program is its credibility. It doesn’t matter how incredible the commissions are or the amazing offers if your traffic is not going to be tracked properly or payments are always delayed, etc.
When you work with an affiliate program or network, you are entering into a business agreement and both parties need to fulfill their obligations. Do your due diligence thoroughly before entering into the agreement, because when you start generating tens of thousands of dollars in commissions, you don’t want to be left high and dry by the program.
4. How Do I Know My Affiliate Links are Tracking Correctly?
It goes without saying how important it is that your affiliate links track correctly. While you want to trust that the data the affiliate program provides you is accurate, sometimes the numbers may just not add up.
It is vital to understand how the affiliate program tracks your traffic and what criteria they use to scrub leads, how they manage click fraud, and deal with bots. All these mechanisms can have an impact on what you actually see.
However, the best thing you can do as an affiliate is set up your own tracking and analytics. There are various affiliate solutions like this for example RedTrack. These types of platforms allow you to manage all your campaigns across all the affiliate programs and give you deep insights into your performance. Most importantly, you can compare your data against the affiliate program data to determine if your traffic is being tracked accurately by the program.
If you find discrepancies, reach out to your affiliate manager and try to determine where the issues lie. If you are not getting satisfactory answers, you then need to decide if you are prepared to take the risk of losing out on income or moving to another program.
Your affiliate links are your key to making money in the exciting world of affiliate marketing. Yes, those little URLs with your tracking ID in them are the link between you and the affiliate program. In the article above we have covered just some of the popular ways that you can make money with your links but there are plenty more.
If you want to be a super-affiliate, you need to find your secret recipe by constantly trying new and innovative marketing approaches and channels. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination of what you can do with your affiliate links to make money.