Chances are you’ve already heard of this one, but Amazon really is one of the must-haves for affiliate networks, and a great place to start.
With endless choices within hundreds of niches, you can freely promote digital products such as Kindle eBooks, high fashion clothing, Apple Products – there’s really no limit to what they sell on Amazon.
Note: Although they have a Wine Category, you will not get commission on alcohol sales. Disappointing, but understandable.
ShareASale is one of the largest networks with over 3900 brands to work with across 40 different niches. They’re well known, safe to work with, and provide you with brands within services, and both digital and physical products.
They’ll also pay you on the 20th every month, and you can choose from many different payment options (finally).
It’s a great place to start for newbie bloggers as they don’t have any traffic requirements, so most will get accepted immediately.
Although quite new, MaxBounty is one of the networks to work with, as they have an extensive list of brands, great rewards for top earners, as well as a weekly payment system.
They cover pretty much every niche with well known brands, anything from dating sites, student loans, health and digital marketing – they have clients within everything.
The CJ Affiliate Publisher’s Program is a personal favorite, as it provides you with over 3000 international brands, giving you access to top brands focused on Europe, Asia, Uk, etc.
They also have well known brands that operate worldwide.
You’ll have access to live view reports through the CJ Insights system, where you can track all of you clicks, conversions and commissions accross campaigns.
ClickBank is also one of the major affiliate networks that are perfect for both new and seasoned bloggers, and you’ll get access to over six million different products.
They have a great reputation, been around for ages, and have great customer service.
Bonus: You get to decide yourself not only how you get paid, but also how often.
Rakuten is definitely a network you want to join, as they will give you access to just over 1000 household brands.
Some of them include Sephora, Guess, New Balance, Huter, Lacoste, Best Buy – all well known brands within many different niches. They even have Walmart.
Bonus: One of the rare affiliate programs that are willing to pay you through PayPal transfers.
If you’re an influencer within the beauty, fashion or house decor niches, RewardStyle will cover all of your needs by giving you access to 4500 retails partners worldwide. You’ll find Asos, Sephora, RiverIsland, Macy’s – they’ve gotchu.
You’ll usually get 5-15% through your links, and it’s definitely one of the most used fashion networks out there.
Click here to apply for the RewardStyle Affiliate Program.
Although FlexOffers haven’t been around for too long, they’ve still gathered over 12000 merchants across 25+ niches, and they’re still growing exponentially.
It’s also great for bloggers outside of the U.S., as they have thousands of international brands for you to work with.
Bonus: You’ll get a dedicated account manager when you sign up, who will help you get started and give you advise on increasing performance.
Want to start a blog?
Here’s a six step guide to starting a profitable blog today.
“Isn’t it too late to start a blog?”
So, chances are, if you’re looking to start your own website, you’re overthinking it like crazy. You’ll spend weeks, months, maybe even years reading up on profitability, niche selections, success stories, failure stories, while occasionally searching the term “is it too late to start a blog in *year*?” as you realize time is passing.
If you look at it logically, there’s no reason not to start a website in 2019, as long as it’s something you have even the slightest interest in.
Everything is happening online these days, people are craving communities and interactions more than ever, and the more the world goes to shit, the more people are coming together to find enjoyment and safety in pursuing their passions along with like-minded individuals.
Whether a blog is profitable or not, is really up to you.
Actually, the unofficial first step, is to stop searching for “is it possible to…” and start reading up on “how do I…”.
You decide your business, you decide your future, and it’s up to you to network with the right people and learn what you need to know in order to succeed.
So to summarize how to actually make a living off of blogging, article-writing, content marketing – whatever you want to call it – here’s a 6 step overview on how to get started the right way.
#1 Decide Your “Why”: Goals, expectations and direction
Before you even start worrying about hosting and niches, you need to clarify your “why”.
What is it you want to get out of blogging?
What is important to you, what are you willing to give up?
Do you want a high income, less hours, or do you want to be able to blog full-time and build a platform where you can share your passion?
Why are you doing this?
Once you figure out your why, you’re ready to take the scariest step. Finding hosting.
#2 Finding The Right Hosting For Your Blog
See, now you can worry about hosting.
If your plans are to treat your website as a business, to make an income, build a community or any of the sort, then you will need to get a self-hosted website where you are in charge.
I’m not going to go into the endless variants of websites and hosts, but let’s just say you will most likely end up with WordPress and Bluehost, because they’re just great.
These two companies also work together, so once you sign up for Bluehost you’ll get access to this amazing button that says “1-Click WordPress Install” and then you’ll have both.
More than that, they’ll take care of you with 24/7 customer service, cover all of your future needs, and when everything goes to shit because you accidentally press the wrong button (trust me, it will happen a lot), there are endless resources online for any and every problem that may occur.
Literally so well known that there is nothing you can’t google your way out of.
By using this link you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee (in case you panic or it’s not for you, no one will judge you, I swear)
You’ll also get a free domain name registration, which usually costs $15, so you won’t have to worry about any additional startup costs.
#3 What’s Your What: Find A Niche
Ok, so you have your why, you have your hosting, now what’s your “what”?
What do you plan to write about?
Obviously this is pretty crucial at this point, as you’re about to register your domain, which is a bitch to change later on.
When it comes to niche selection, it’s really up to you how you want to do it.
Most people will tell you to pick a narrow niche, focus on only that topic, as this will make it easier to rank with SEO and later on monetize.
Well, I don’t really agree (shocker).
The way I see it, you need to stay sane, and this whole “single niche rule” is slightly bullshit.
There are plenty of sites that have 20+ articles within 5-6 wildly different topics, that earn $10K+ a month. This isn’t just for online magazines with teams of writers, you can easily do it yourself if that’s what you prefer.
An example of this is www.chasingfoxes.com, who is making $10-15K a month after less than a year, and her topics include Food, Career, Money, Men’s Fashion, literally everything.
The key to deciding your niche lies in the longevity of your interest in it.
The median blog that makes a full-time income is 36 months old, so the question is, are you able to write about your topic every single day for the next 3 years?
The next 10 years?
Honestly, I would jump out a God damn window if I had to write about Celery Juice for the next 36 months, which is why I chose several niches that make up the millennial lifestyle.
Which brings me to my next point, which is to write what you want to read.
Personally I want to stay updated on which spices to add to my morning coffee, but at some point I will also need a refresher in my negotiation skills before meeting up in the office.
There is nothing wrong with having it all in one place, because it’s all relevant to my target audience.
And I certainly will be bringing my celery juice into that negotiation, so clearly it’s all connected.
As you’re slowly figuring out where your passion lies, what you want to be writing about and researching for the next 3-5 years minimum, I’ll just mention that the most profitable niches at the moment are:
- Health / Fitness
- Finance / Making Money
- Food / Recipes
…so while you figure that part out, I’m just going to move on to step 4.
#4 Setup: The technical stuff
After you’ve decided niche and domain name, you’re probably getting some ideas for content you want to be writing already.
That’s great, but now there’s also a lot of setup to do.
Again, here is where I disagree with most people.
It’s usually recommended to write up 20-25 articles minimum before “launching” your website, to ensure perfect user experience from the first visit, build your email list from day one, etc.
Weeeeell…. Not sure what personality type you are, but that sure as hell would never work for me.
Yes, there’s a lot of setup to be done, but the great thing is that you can change themes and add plugins whenever you want. Even if you were to design the perfect website from scratch, you’re probably going to spend countless hours changing it and making improvements regularly.
So I recommend finding a theme you can deal with for the time being, whether you want to start out with a paid one or a free one doesn’t matter, then start getting some content out there.
It makes it a whole lot easier to design your website when you don’t have to imagine the articles there, just get them out and go back to setting up when you feel like it.
No offense, but no one’s really going to be reading it in the beginning anyway, so you actually are free to whatever you feel like doing in the order you feel like doing it.
Welcome to being your own boss.
#5 Build Content
As for content, just start writing.
It’s useful to understand the different types of content you’ll be producing, and deciding your own style.
Some prefer to have a low amount of 10K+ word posts that rank high in SEO, literally feels like you’re reading an ebook on your phone, yet others prefer more light-hearted articles that are 5-800 words and more regular.
Both are great, so just figure out how you prefer to present your topics, and get started.
More than this, it’s good to understand that different types of content will increase your website’s value in the eyes of our master AKA Google.
Read up on the value of cornerstone content, using inbound and outbound links, writing seasonal content for higher traffic, etc, and start playing around.
When you’re finally getting a hang of steps 1-5, it’s time for the fun part, which is actually making money off of blogging.
There are many ways to do this, but here are the most used and trusted ways.
You’ve probably heard of affiliate marketing, so in short, it’s when you work with a company who gives you commision when you bring them new customers.
There are thousands of brands who will be willing to work with you, even without traffic, as they don’t spend money until the customers do, so it’s a great way to get started with monetizing.
I recommend joining a few affiliate networks as most of them have hundreds of brands working with them, so you won’t have to approach them individually.
It will make it a hell of a lot easier to keep track of your income if it’s in the same network, and it’s also easier to find the products you use and want to promote.
A great example of this is Amazon affiliate program.
Basically you won’t have to look ways to sell a certain product, but instead just write about whatever your topic is, and whenever you refer to something you like, add an amazon link to it.
I swear, they have literally everything.
Apply for an automatic ad network like AdSense, Mediavine, AdThrive, etc., or even go as far as selling your ad space individually to companies and brands.
This doesn’t produce much in the beginning, but is the most consistent form of monetization, as it’s based on traffic and click through rate.
The most popular products to monetize with are usually digital ones, such as webinars, ebooks and ecourses.
This will require a lot more forethought than simple ads, but can also be more profitable than any other form of monetization.
It’s recommended to wait until you have loyal readers who are email subscribers or previous customers, as they won’t get their social proof the same way they will when buying something through your Amazon affiliate link.
Although I could make this ten times longer, this is a quick run-through of what your startup process should look like.
Also, if I don’t stop writing now this will turn into a fucking ebook, which I’m not here for because it’s 4:30am and I have to be at work in three hours.
So I guess my last advise for anyone looking to start a profitable website, is learn to live off of caffeine ASAP.
You will need it.