One Way to Make Money from Your Blog: How I Used Being an Affiliate Marketer for Professional Development
Screencap of Shareasale.com landing page – a website where merchants and affiliates find each other.
*This post contains affiliate links. What does this mean? If you click a link on this page, then you create a profile or buy a product/service, I get a commission for that. You don’t pay more for the service, but you help me make a little money to support my blogging addiction.
When I first started on my blogging journey I was doing it for fun, but as time went on I realized that there’s a lot more to this blogging thing than I had anticipated. Long hours of sitting at a computer researching the next place/thing to review, going out and having an experience to share (paying for those experiences myself), typing, editing, and re-typing quality content for my readers. It’s a lot of fun, but, also, expensive and a lot of work!
So, I started looking into options for making money from my blog, and I learned that bloggers can become affiliate marketers for products, services, and brands.
What does becoming an affiliate mean?
A blogger who is an affiliate for a product, brand, merchant, or service gets paid to write about them in exchange for a small commission if their readers click on their links and buy things. Sometimes merchants will give bloggers free samples of their products/services to try out, so they know exactly what they are advertising.
My Promise to You: I will only post affiliate links to things that I have tried myself and that I personally believe will benefit you.
How did I become an affiliate?
I sought out different ways to become an affiliate.
I signed up with Groupon and Amazon, and it was fairly easy. They had short and simple applications.
But I don’t want my blog to be all about trying to sell my readers products or experiences. I want to help fellow bloggers navigate these murky blogging waters, or share some fun experiences to make you chuckle.
I had to find other products to try out and advertise, so I scoured Facebook groups about blogging to find out how to connect with other companies looking for affiliates, and that’s how I found out about Shareasale.
You have to have a website/blog setup to sign up for an account with Shareasale – it’s like a Monster.com for bloggers/reviewers/affiliates and merchants. You create a profile and once your profile is approved, you can start looking at the merchants that are in search of bloggers/affiliates to help advertise their stuff.
NOTE: There are other websites similar to Shareasale out there, but I chose to talk about Shareasale specifically because it is the only one that I am signed up with and have found my interactions with the site to be fairly easy and pleasant.
If a specific merchant has a product or service you are interested in marketing on your blog, you can send them an application to become an affiliate.
How did I use Shareasale to find a merchant looking for affiliates?
Around the same time that I signed up with Shareasale, I started a YouTube channel because I found that blogging was a very limiting medium for reviewing subscription boxes.
So in an effort to provide more exciting content for you, my readers, and connect with you on a different sensory level, I decided to start my channel.
I looked for merchants on Shareasale who had products or services that I would be interested in purchasing for myself, and I found CreativeLive.
I had no clue what CreativeLive was, so I went to their website and found out that they provide free live classes to people who sign up for an account with them. You can create an account and sign up for a live class for free, or you have the option of paying to watch the playback of the class, and that playback is available to you forever.
I love to learn, so becoming an affiliate for CreativeLive sounded pretty sweet.
I applied to become an affiliate for CreativeLive and was accepted!
Now, anytime someone clicks on a link that I post in one of my blog posts (like this one), and they open an account with CreativeLive or purchase a class, I get a commission, but that doesn’t mean that my readers are paying more for the service. My readers pay the same as everyone else, but I get a little cut for myself for introducing them to the service.
Here’s the big question:
How did I use my affiliate status for my own professional development?