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How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

I make money on some of the products and services I mention on Thinking Frugal through affiliate relationships. I never endorse a product or service unless I believe it will benefit my readers.

Affiliate marketing is an easy way to make money online from home. There’s no fee to sign up with an affiliate program, and you can promote a variety of products and services, meaning more potential for income.

At first, it can be tricky to know what content to promote and how to get people to click on your links. Once you understand the basics, however, it’s not that difficult.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where an affiliate (or publisher) promotes a company’s product or service and earns a commission for each sale generated through their unique affiliate link.

Affiliates are people who promote a business’s services or products through their own channels, such as a website, blog, or social media account. Affiliates earn a commission when a reader clicks on the link and makes a purchase.

Affiliate marketing is a mutually beneficial way for companies to broaden their reach and for affiliates to be rewarded for promoting products or services that they trust. 

With this type of marketing, both businesses and affiliates benefit: the company sees an increase in sales, and the affiliate receives a commission for their efforts.

Benefits of Becoming an Affiliate Marketer 

Becoming an affiliate marketer can offer several benefits, including:

  • The ability to work from anywhere with an internet connection. 
  • Being your own boss and the ability to set your own hours.  
  • Generating passive income by promoting products or services you believe in. 
  • Developing relationships with other affiliates.  
  • Learning marketing skills that can be applied to other business ventures.

Choosing the Right Products to Promote

When choosing affiliate marketing products to promote on your blog or website, it’s important to consider the relevance of the product to your audience. The products you choose should be related to the topic of your blog or website. For example, promoting products like fitness equipment or healthy food would be a good fit if your blog is about healthy living. 

You should also consider the quality and reputation of the products you’re promoting and the affiliate program’s commission rate. 

It’s also a good idea to promote a variety of products to appeal to different interests within your target audience.

Affiliate Marketing vs. Multi-Level Marketing

Affiliate marketing and multi-level marketing (MLM) are both marketing strategies that involve promoting and selling products or services to consumers. 

Affiliate marketing is often confused with multi-level marketing; however, there are some key differences between these two approaches:

  • Fees: It’s typically free to join an affiliate program, and there are no costs or fees to become an affiliate marketer. On the other hand, multi-level marketing often requires an initial investment or purchase of a starter kit and may involve ongoing costs and fees, such as monthly quotas or inventory requirements.
  • Structure: Affiliate marketing typically involves a two-party system where the affiliate (or publisher) promotes and sells the products or services of the merchant. In contrast, MLM involves multiple tiers of salespeople, with each salesperson responsible for recruiting and training new salespeople to create a downline.
  • Compensation: Affiliate marketers earn a commission on the sales they generate, while MLM salespeople may earn commissions on their own sales as well as on the sales made by their downline.
  • Recruitment: In affiliate marketing, there is no emphasis on recruiting others to become affiliates. However, in MLM, building a downline is a key aspect of the business, with the goal of recruiting and training others to sell the products and earn commissions.
  • Focus: Affiliate marketing is typically focused on promoting a specific product or service, while MLM often involves promoting a broader range of products and building a network of salespeople.
  • Risks: While both strategies have the potential for financial success, MLM has been associated with more risks and controversies due to the potential for pyramid schemes and the pressure to recruit others to join the business. Affiliate marketing is generally considered to be a lower-risk business model.

Overall, the key differences between affiliate marketing and MLM lie in their structure, compensation model, emphasis on recruitment, focus, and risks.

How to Participate in Affiliate Marketing Without a Website

While most people who participate in affiliate marketing have a website or blog, you can still do it without one.

There are a variety of other ways to promote affiliate products, such as a YouTube channel, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. 

The key is to find the platform that best suits your target audience and to create engaging content that promotes the affiliate products in a way that is both informative and persuasive. 

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Retailers That Offer Affiliate Programs

Amazon’s affiliate program, known as Amazon Associates, is a program that lets you earn commissions by promoting and selling Amazon products through your own website or other online platforms. 

The commission rate varies according to each product category and the volume of sales. 

Amazon provides affiliate partners with access to a variety of tools to help them promote and track their sales, including banners, links, and product widgets.

Walmart’s affiliate program is a way for website owners and bloggers to earn commissions by promoting and linking to Walmart products on their own websites. However, you don’t need a blog or a website to join.

The program is run through a third-party platform called Impact Radius, which handles the tracking and payment of commissions. 

To participate in the program, you must apply to become an affiliate and be approved by Walmart and Impact Radius.

Target’s affiliate program is a great way to earn money. You can earn an 8% commission when someone buys something through your Target affiliate link. 

In order to participate in Target’s affiliate program, you must apply to become a member and be accepted by the company.

If you love beauty and skincare, then joining Ulta Beauty’s affiliate program is a great way to make extra money. You can earn up to 30% for each sale through your link.

Ulta Beauty is a large chain of beauty stores in the United States. They sell cosmetics, fragrances, skincare, hair care, bath and body products, and salon services. The company carries both drugstore and high-end beauty brands.

To join, you’ll need to complete the online registration.

As an affiliate with Best Buy, you can access exclusive deals, discounts, and promotional materials to help drive shoppers to their site. 

In order to join the program, you must sign up on their website. After approval, you will receive a unique tracking link that can be used on websites, social media posts, and emails. 

Affiliates are paid monthly for all commissions they earn.

Affiliates can promote Home Depot products on their website, blog, or social media accounts and earn a commission on any resulting sales. 

Impact Radius, a third-party affiliate network, manages the program. It is free to join, but you must apply and be approved before you can start promoting Home Depot products and earning commissions.

Chewy’s affiliate program allows you to partner with Chewy in order to promote and sell their products. You can earn a 4% commission for each sale made through your affiliate link. 

Chewy provides you with promotional materials and tools that make it easy to get started. You’ll have access to exclusive promotions, custom links, dedicated support from the affiliate team, and more. 

Overstock is an online retailer that sells a wide variety of products, including furniture, home decor, bedding, and clothing. The company is known for offering discounted prices on overstocked or closeout merchandise.

As an affiliate, you can earn a 6% commission on any purchase made by customers referred through your link. It is free to join the program, and Overstock provides access to a variety of marketing materials to help promote their products.

Kohl’s is a department store chain in the United States that offers a wide range of products, including clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, and home appliances. The company operates more than 1,100 stores across 49 states.

Impact Radius, an affiliate marketing platform, manages Kohl’s Affiliate Program. 

In order to join the program, you will need to complete the online affiliate form and be accepted into the program by Kohl’s. The commission rate and terms of the program may vary.

Cabela’s is an outdoor gear retailer based in Sidney, Nebraska. They specialize in fishing, hunting, camping, and other outdoor activities. They sell a variety of clothing and equipment for sportspeople and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Impact Radius manages the company’s affiliate program. You can earn up to 5% commission on sales through your affiliate link. You’ll need to complete the online application form to become an affiliate.

Petco is a retail chain selling pet products like food, toys, and supplies. They also offer services such as grooming, training, and veterinary care. 

The company offers an affiliate program through Impact Radius, where you can earn commissions from their website.

Nordstrom is a leading fashion retailer offering the latest trends in apparel, shoes, accessories, and home decor. Nordstrom has grown to more than 350 stores across the United States and Canada. The company also provides online shopping services through its website and mobile app.

Nordstrom’s affiliate program allows you to earn a commission through their online referrals. 

Paw.com is an e-commerce website that sells pet beds, blankets, and wellness products.

To become an affiliate with Paw.com, you’ll need to fill out the online affiliate form.

Lowe’s is a home improvement chain that has been in business for over 70 years. They offer a wide variety of products and services, from appliances, tools, and building materials to garden supplies and home décor. 

Lowe’s also offers an affiliate program that allows you to promote Lowe’s products and earn commission from sales. By joining the program, you can access exclusive discounts, promotional materials, and other benefits.

Urban Outfitters is one of the most popular fashion stores for young adults, offering trendy and stylish clothing for men and women. 

In addition to their online shop, Urban Outfitters also has an affiliate program, allowing you to earn commissions for referring friends, family, or anyone else to purchase through your link. Affiliates are able to track sales using an easy-to-use dashboard that features sale notifications, detailed reporting options, and more.

Final Thoughts

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money from home or anywhere you have an internet connection. You don’t need your own website or any technical skills to get started. All you need is a good idea and the willingness to promote somebody else’s products. Even if you are just starting out, as long as you have some marketing skills and an audience, you can start earning money quickly by promoting other people’s products.

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