Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details.
Start with the Big, Easy Ones
I advise starting with affiliate programs like Amazon or Clickbank. Why?
About Amazon’s Affiliate Program
While you need a website/blog to get approved to Amazon’s program, but they’re less likely to turn you down for lack of traffic. All they want to see is a bona fide web presence (eg, a blog with some content on it).
Apply to Amazon’s affiliate program here. Remember, get your blog up with some posts on it first though. You’ll be asked for its URL during the application process, so do this first.
FYI, here’s how to get a blog set up on WordPress pretty quickly via HostGator, the hosting company I use and recommned.
About Clickbank’s Affiliate Program
As for Clickbank, you don’t need anything to get started; not even a blog. You can just open an affiliate account (it’s free), choose a product(s) to promote, and start promoting. Right about now you may be wondering, but how do I start promoting products if I don’t have your own web presence?
For years — even though I have a website (several in fact) — I’ve used the free classified ad site backpage to promote products. I used free blogging platforms like blogger to test products.
Note: Using free blogging platforms is something I do NOT recommend. I strongly, strongly urge you to get your own website hosted on its own domain. However, if you’re strapped for cash and just can’t even squeeze out the few dollars it costs to do this, selecting a product from Clickbank and promoting it via a free site is one way to get started for $0 in affiliate marketing.
As soon as you can though, I BEG YOU to get off the free platform and onto your own hosted site.
Selling a Product on Clickbank: What You Need to Know
In addition to promoting products that I find on the site as an affiliate, I sell one of my ebooks there. One affiliate consistently sells on average of 1-3 copies per week. I get half of each sale she makes. FYI, if you want to sell a product on the site, you have to create a seller’s account. At the time of this writing, it’s a $50 “activation fee,” but you can sell more the one product from that account.
Approved, but Still Rejected
Even if you get approved to a big affiliate marketplace like CommissionJunction, some companies INSIDE that marketplace have to approve you. For example, I applied to CheapTickets.com’s affiliate program. I wanted to promote it on the “Living in Jamaica” series here on this blog. I was denied. No reason was given and it was done almost instantly (sniff, sniff).
I didn’t sweat it so much. I also applied to Expedia and TripAdvisor’s affiliate program — both of which are run through CommissionJunction.
FYI, Attn: Travel Bloggers — 59+ Affiliate Marketing Programs for You
As this shows, there are plenty more “fish in the affiliate marketing sea” if one program rejects ou.
2nd Chances: Reapplying to an Affiliate Program/Marketplace
You can always query the company directly to ask why they denied you if you’re rejected. Sometimes they get back to you; most times they likely won’t. Usually biggies like CommissionJunction this will take a week or so to respond, but it can be longer.
The point I want to leave you with is this — getting denied is all part of the affiliate marketing game. I’ve gotten rejected plenty of times, and I have a long-time blog with decent traffic and tons of content (almost 1,000 pages as of this writing). So, don’t get your feelings hurt if/when this happens.
Thanks to biggies like Amazon and Clickbank, there will always be an appropripate product or service you can find to promote and earn. Speaking of biggies that it’s easy to get accepted into …
An Easy Affiliate Marketplace to Get Accepted to That Offers More than 1 Way to Earn
One program I found it really easy to get accepted to is ShareaSale. Not only do you get paid on specific products you promote — and there are thousands — you’re also paid just for referring potential affiliates to the site ($1/lead).
Within the first month of signing up, I got a sale and earned some referral dollars. Not bad for just placing a few links on my website.
3 Affiliate Programs to Start With
So these are three affiliate programs you can start with as a beginner (Amazon, Clickbank and ShareaSale) and almost immediately get accepted. Remember to get your blog set up first. That’s your home on the web; where you’ll be sending traffic. It’s the foundation of your affiliate marketing business.
Good luck applying! Fingers crossed for tons of acceptances.
Til next time,