Monday, October 20, 2014

Review of Affiliates

As a new (or even an established) blogger it is difficult to choose which affiliate programs are the most profitable or the best fit for our blog. Now I am not claiming to be an expert in any way but from my own personal experience I will tell you what has worked (and what hasn't) from my blogs. And hopefully it will save you a little time through that tedious trial and error of finding the best advertising mix for you.

There are basically four types of blog advertisements : pay per view, pay per click, pay per sale and sponsored posts.

Pay Per View

This is possibly the easiest way to make money at if you have high page views, and choose a company with a high eCPM (basically how much you make per 1000 impressions)

The companies I have personally tried are...


Smowtion is very easy to qualify for however their earnings are really low (approximately $0.10 per 1000). One upside they use to have was they had a two tier affiliate program in which anyone who you referred to join their company temporarily earned a higher amount and you received a portion of their profits however, I'm not sure they even offer this benefit any longer?

Personally, I no longer use Smowtion the earnings were quite low in comparison to other companies I have tried, and their minimum payment was really high at $100.

Google AdSense

The most common pay per view is Google AdSense and unfortunately I was denied the first couple times I applied as I featured round-ups from other blogs. So I cannot personally tell you how much they pay but I do know you need to wait a minimum 90 days after establishing a blog before applying.


Since I didn't qualify for AdSense I looked for the best alternative and personally I like You get to set the price you want for advertisers to pay and a minimum rate you want. So for instance you can set $1 for a side banner advertisement then you can set a minimum rate (say $0.60) you want before you use a back-up ad.

They are a little more difficult to implement only because you have to decide on your own rates and they do not have a 100% fill rate so you need to have a back-up ad [of the same size!] when no advertisers meet your minimum. I was using Smowtion as a back-up advertiser and recently switched to Share A Sale.


Although I am not currently using Media.Net I wouldn't discount them, I have heard other bloggers have had success with them and they are by far the best at personally working with you - recommending which size ads and where to place them. I took them off because I was receiving less than PulsePoint and was having difficulty in placing ads where they had recommended and didn't receive help quickly by e-mail but later received a few emails asking to work with me again.

Info Links

I'm sure you have encountered Infolinks often - the advertisements which underline key words within your blog posts. Infolinks provide links related to customer searches. They are fairly easy to qualify for, and review your application in 48 days. The payment threshold is $50 and they pay by pay pal. Although the threshold is a little high I have been paid by them a few times already. This is great for blogs with high views, if you only receive a few hundred views monthly your payout may be .10 cents but will increase with views and it's nice to earn anything while you work to establish your blog. I also like that it's not another advertisement clogging up your sidebar.

Pay Per Click


Early in my blogging days I tried Chitika and was not at all impressed with them, you only seemed to earn one or two cents when somebody clicked on an advertisement, and all their advertisement were text based so weren't very visually appealing.

Pay Per Sale

Pick Your Plum

 I  really liked the appearance of the Pick Your Plum advertisements but after a couple months without any sales (I did have several clicks though) I removed them from my site. They might be worth a try if your viewers are closely aligned with their products which offer a new deal daily.


I found ClickBank offered a lot of digital products, downloads etc. and sometime I found it difficult to find companies with banner advertisements. I personally didn't like ClickBank as their ads weren't always professional looking and I didn't have any sales with them.

Share A Sale

Share a Sale is now one of my favourite companies, I haven't been using them very long but they have a lot of companies they work with, their ads are really attractive looking, and their commissions are quite reasonable. I am still hovering under the minimum payout but have seen a spike around holidays and incorporating products into blog posts.

Share A Sale also has a referral program in which you get $1 for referring new affiliate referrals, and I believe it's $150 for referring a new merchant (so I would really appreciate if you used my link =)  )

The only complaint I have with Share A Sale is that when I am searching for a specific product I cannot always seem to find a merchant who is selling it.


Although I have yet to have a sale with Amazon I still use them as they have by far the largest product selection and I can find nearly any specific product I am looking for. I also just realized I was able to offer products even though I am Canadian and am hoping to see a few more sales as most of my readers are from the U.S.

Amazon starts with a 4% commission rate and eventually increases the rate to 6% after a certain amount of sales.

Sponsored Blog Posts

Moms Affiliate

I unfortunately haven't written any sponsored blog posts yet but do hope to get into writing a few in the future and have recently joined Moms Affiliate.

A fairly new program just for mommy bloggers, you can choose one of their campaigns, advertise their products and set your own rate for your sponsored posts.

They also pay for referral (so I would be super happy if you use my link to join) and also offer giveaways you can host on your blog for free - some of which even pay you for how many people enter.


I have also joined Sverve - they are like a social networking and affiliate program in one. Personally I like the twitter campaigns Sverve offers where you are paid 10 to 12 cents just for posting a tweet. They also offer campaigns that pay up to $350.

You can join Sverve  here for free - and if you are looking to learn more about Sverve - you can read my article How to Make Money Blogging with Sverve and join my Sverve link party that is permanently open to gain more followers and endorsements.


My Recommendations:

So for me personally my favourite affiliate mix is Infolinks, Share A Sale, Amazon and Pulse Point. My second favourites would be Pick Your Plum and MediaNet.

Please leave me a comment and let me know your experiences with these affiliates and what your favourites are.

*this post contains a couple affiliate links but, I did not base my opinions on referral programs


  1. I love Share A Sale. Having companies that auto-approve of affiliate is seriously just the easiest thing ever, plus you can choose which ads to use. I too would recommend them to anyone.

  2. interesting information! there are so many options that it can become confusing. thanks for outlining them!

  3. Hello, I am stopping by from the Frugal Friday Link Up Party. I have often considered starting a blog for residential income. I really have never understood any of the background of the advertising part of it. These tips are great. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you so much for the honest reviews! I've been trying to sort out all the affiliates, etc. and it's crazy! There are so many options!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Totally Terrific Tuesday! I hope we see you again this week. Party starts tonight at 10pm!

  6. Hi Kristen, Thank for sharing this on the Mom Blog Party this week. I haven't heard of some of them & will definitely be using your links to signup. For sponsored posts, I suggest you sign up with Moms Affiliate. Through them I was approached directly for a post & I'm certain you have more page views than me. They have advertisers who directly want to work with moms it's a great interface. If you want to signup, please use my link!

    1. Thanks so much for using my links! And I will definitely sign-up for Moms Affiliate this week. Thanks for the info.

  7. I used PulsePoint before but they had some changes and when that happened, I wasn't able to signup again. I'm gonna check it out again. Thanks for this post.Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

  8. Thanks for sharing. This really helped me out a lot!

  9. Hi there. Found you on Amanda's Books and More. You have a lot of great tips here for monetizing your blog. I like Commission Junction and Linkshare for monetization in the travel arena.

  10. Hi, I found you through #meetupmonday. I really enjoy the amazon affiliate program as most of my site is for recipes and the tools to make them. I will definitely be checking out some of your recommendations though :) Thanks for the great information.

  11. Hi Kristen, so much to learn! I'm new to blogging so haven't even got this far in my thinking. Thank you for some excellent points which I will follow up on. Thanks for being part of this week's Anything Goes!

  12. My experience with adsense is that it worth waiting for. It has taken me 5 years but now I am averaging maybe $50-$90 per month where I was THRILLED when I saw 10 cents in a day when I started. Until now, my payouts were more like $100 per year. Word to the wise: listen to their advice on how to place your ads and the style you should us. It will increase your revenues exponentially.

  13. Here from Share the Wealth Sunday. I'm looking at increasing the earning potential of my blog, so this is very useful, thank you. A number of places I'd never heard of here.

  14. Great tips! I'm relatively new to blogging and though I use adsense and Share-a-Sale, you listed some others that I haven't discovered yet!

    Thanks so much for linking up to #ShareTheWealthSunday


  15. Thanks for these tips! I"m working on my first sponsored post, but haven't really delved into any of the other options yet....

  16. You have really done a nice job outlining these options. Thank you for the information. I am currently using Amazon and Share-a-Sale as well, mostly because I enjoy promoting products that work for me.

  17. I had a really bad experience with and I looked it up online and found others with that same problem. Everything was going well for a while and eventually they just stopped having a pay rate.

  18. I just started blogging, so this is super helpful! I'm going to pin it to refer back to later. Thanks for sharing!

  19. My affiliate mix is Adsense, Amazon, Share-a-sale, Infolinks, and individuals who make curriculum packages. I was not at all impressed with Mom's Affiliate or Chitika, but when my page views increase, maybe I'll try them again. Great roundup of affiliate reviews!

  20. Thanks so much for the great tips, Kristen. This was most viewed at our party so you will be featured on Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop this week!

  21. I have been contemplating sponsored blog posts as that seems to be the main source of income for a lot of bloggers, but I think for my blog I just can't do it. Thanks for posting. Hello from Wonderful Wednesday.

  22. Great suggestions! I use and like Share A Sale. I also use Linkshare quite a bit. They have SO many merchants, and its more user friendly than SaS. For sponsored posts I like Linqia, TapInfluence, Find Your Influence and there are more I'm not remembering...Thanks for linking up with us at the Best of the Blogosphere! (Going to click your ads and links while I'm here!)

  23. Appreciate you sharing your information on this.

  24. Great list. I haven't been blogging for too long so I'll have to look in to some of these programs. Thanks for sharing. #ConfessionsLinkUp

  25. Really liked your post very informational.

  26. Yeah it is widely known by the entrepreneurs that the Internet is an effective resource to attract the audience for their brands. If you are not able to get interested people to your blog/website then I would highly recommend you to hire the expert Pay Per Click Advertising Management team. You will surely get success.

  27. Very nice article I like the way of your explanation by the way nice work
    keep it up. for more information

  28. Thank you so much for this post , I have never seen such a post like this before.

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