*Disclosure: Each country has it’s own rules on how you have to disclose affiliate links in your post. We have a general disclosure on our blog found here and we generally give an informal disclosure on each post that contains them*
Although affiliate marketing is not our top source of income for our blogs TOTS: Business and TOTS: Family, it is a source of financial support. If you own an income blog I highly suggest you use affiliate marketing as one of your income streams. You can read more about making income on your blog here.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is performance based marketing. Businesses reward their advertisers (or in this case bloggers) by paying a percentage of total sales the business receives as a direct result from a link on the referring blog. It is best done in posts that are not just ‘buy this’ or ‘shop here’. At TOTS we use affiliate links in many posts. Most of the times readers won’t even notice they are intended as advertisments. For example in this post about Raising A Baby On A Budget, we used the contributors post to link to a few items on Amazon. The post was written for content first and then links were added where they flowed best.
We currently work with 3 different Affiliate Marketing companies. These include:
Share-a-Sale. We work with a number of different companies through Share-a-Sale and have made a good amount of income through them. They work with companies such as Gymboree, Crazy 8, Tea Collection, Zulily and thousands more.
CJ Affiliate by Conversant. Commision Junction one of the top affiliate marketing company and has many great companies that it works with. The interface is easy to use and getting paid is no problem.
Amazon Associates. We use Amazon links if we want to monitize a product or company that we do not have a direct affiliate relationship with. Amazon sells almost everything, so finding the products are easy. As an Amazon Associate we can link to any page within Amazon. Being Canadian, we have accounts with both Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Amazon affiliate rates are lower than most. Typically we earn 4% of sales. One thing to keep in mind as well is that average order sizes on Amazon are not that high (as opposed to a stroller or high end clothing store’s average sale).
Our Highest Individual Companies:
If you are looking for companies to work with that will get you the most return on your time, check out the companies that we earn the highest payout from. Obviously all blogs are different and behaviour of readers will vary depending on your niche. If you are looking to get started with just a few companies, we suggest the following.
Zulily. Selling items from Zulily is easy. They offer adult and children’s items at up to 70% off. If you are interested in becoming an affiliate of Zulily click here. If you want to be able to shop with them you need to sign up here. Zulily pays 10% of sales to affiliates.
Gymboree and Crazy 8s. As most of our readers are moms, we do fairly well with children’s clothing companies. These companies also pay 8% per sale. To join these affiliate companies, first sign up with Share-a-Sale.
Hootsuite. If you aren’t familiar with Hootsuite, I highly suggest you learn about this timesaving tool useful for all bloggers. Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to schedule many different social media accounts at one time. Hootsuite’s affiliate program is through Commision Junction by Conversant. As our TOTS: Business site is a site written with resources for bloggers and moms who run their own business, promoting this tool (that we actually use ourselves) is easy. If you are interested in trying Hootsuite click below. For information on becoming an affiliate of Hootsuite signing up with Commision Junction is a good first step.
Green Geeks. This is the hosting company we use at TOTS. They have an amazing referral program you can learn about here. If you are in need of hosting, please check out this company. We have had nothing but positive experiences with them. They pay $50+ for each referral.
As you can see, affiliate marketing does not have to be complicated. Adding a link here or there in your posts can make income without any work for you. All sales are tracked and all you have to do is sit back and wait to get paid.
If you already use affiliates, who is your top paying Affiliate?