**This post contains affiliate links. We may make a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on the links. It doesn’t change the price of the product, but we really appreciate your support in that way!
We have been working with ShareASale for about a year now and we’re so happy with the results. With a few thousand dollars earned, great partnerships with merchants, and discovering fun and awesome products and online stores, we are stoked to have learned about this affiliate network a year back.
If you are unfamiliar with ShareASale (SAS), let me fill you in, because as a blogger, it’s really time to start working with them. The longer you are not working with them, the more lost opportunities you have in terms of monetizing your site.
Let’s start with the basics – what is ShareASale?
ShareASale is an affiliate network. Merchants (companies, online stores, etc) sign up to ShareASale so their products and sites can be promoted by webmasters and bloggers. A merchant could technically create their own affiliate program, but the benefit of doing so through SAS is that the network already has an existing database of thousands of bloggers working with them.
Once you sign up to a merchant and you are approved as an ‘affiliate partner’ you can start promoting their products or simply linking to them where appropriate on your blog. If anyone clicks on your link and purchases ANY item from that store during a certain time-frame (varies from 24 hours to 30 days), YOU make a commission. Commissions can vary depending on the merchant.
Let’s take a look at an example.
We created a gift guide for Mother’s Day a year ago, and featured a mug that we found and really loved. Fast forward to a year later and someone who read our older post liked the mug and purchased it for this year’s Mother’s Day. Just like that, we made our commission, and on a post that was published a year ago! (It’s the gift that keeps on giving)
Now that you hopefully have a better understanding of what SAS is and how it works, these are the five ways in which you can earn money on SAS:
1) Bonus Posts
What are bonus posts? They are posts that you publish regarding specific information provided by the merchant. These are either written by yourself or often times, they can be easily copy/pasted from the merchant’s email newsletter.
Topics tend to revolve around sales, promotions, particular products, holiday events and so on. For example, you may be asked to publish a quick post on a 25% off promotion for Father’s Day. Most of the time, the merchant provides the content and images all ready for publication.
Once published, you are provided payment for the publication regardless of whether you make a sale or not. Payment ranges from $5-25 per post and the amount of bonus posts you receive can vary month by month. There are months when you can receive over 20, and there are others when you can receive 5. During gift-giving holidays, there are usually more bonus posts (i.e. Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc).
Not all merchants on ShareASale send bonus posts. We try to keep track of those who do in this handy list.
An example of a bonus post as it looks when published on our blog:
2) Affiliate Commissions
When you sign up to a merchant through the ShareASale network, you can easily copy their affiliate links for products, stores, their categories and so on. Place these links on to your blog posts and if anyone clicks on them and then makes a purchase, you make a commission.
I explained this briefly in the introduction, but I will go through the details again. The way affiliate commissions work is by tracking clicks on the links you placed on your site. These links can be placed on images, widgets, text, and so on.
An example of what an affiliate link looks like as text and as an image:
(clicking on them will open links to a product from our merchant partners)
Check out the Disney Frozen Fever designs at Cricut!
When one of your readers clicks on these links, they go to the merchant’s site to take a better look at the product or their online store. A cookie is placed on their computer and it tracks you as the referrer. If your reader then makes a purchase, regardless of whether it was for the product you mentioned OR any other, you make a commission on that sale.
Cookies can last for a short or long amount of time. Each merchant can apply their own desired expiration date, and they can range from 24 hours to 30 days. That means that if someone clicks on your link and only purchases the item 15 days later, you can still make a commission. Of course, that depends on a few other aspects, such as whether they cleared out their browser’s cookies or clicked on someone else’s affiliate link to that store during that time-span.
Commissions also depend on the merchant. Rates are usually at a minimum of 1% but can range up to 25%. Some merchants may offer a different kind of commission-based payment, such as a set price per sale or for a new client. You can always look through the merchant’s information on SAS to understand their commission payments.
Though less frequent than bonus posts, there are times when merchants will pay you for placing ads on your site. The ads usually come in standard sidebar or banner ad sizes (I.e. 250px * 250px) and are attractive. The intention is for the ad to catch your reader’s eye and lead them towards the merchant’s site.
Examples of the type of ads that are provided for payment (note: payment was not covered to place these here, they are merely examples of the look & feel of ads:
Payment is usually $5-15 for placing the ad on your sidebar or as a banner, usually above the fold. Duration is anything from 1 week to two months, although you are free to keep it on for as long as desired. Much like bonus posts, payment is made regardless of purchases or number of click-throughs.
Of course, if anyone clicks on the ad and makes a purchase, you make an affiliate commission on top of the payment for the bonus ad.
Not all merchants provide ads for placement. However, we do try to keep track of those who do. They are usually the same merchants who send bonus posts. They are listed here alongside those who send bonus posts.
4) 2-Tier Commission
2-Tier commissions are when you make a commission for referring more people to ShareASale’s merchants. For example, you could tell a fellow blogger about a particular merchant. If they are accepted as an affiliate partner to that merchant, you may make a commission on any sales made by them as well as from your own sales.
Not all merchants on ShareASale offer a 2-tier commission. However, many do and they can help increase your earnings.
There are two main types of 2-tier commissions on ShareASale:
This is when you are paid a set amount for each blogger you refer to a merchant, regardless of whether the blogger makes any sales.
Payment is a set amount and can vary merchant to merchant. It is usually between $1-25 and payment is made upon approval of the blogger as an affiliate partner. Most merchants who provide a referral bonus do so permanently, while others may offer it only for a short term (i.e. offering referral bonuses for any bloggers you refer within the next 2 weeks).
This can be a great way to earn extra money on ShareASale. For example, if you have a blogger friend and refer them to 10 merchants who each provide a referral bonus of $10 (which is a standard rate), you could earn $100 that same day.
This is when you are paid a commission based on sales by other bloggers you refer to a merchant.
Payment is based on percentages and can vary merchant to merchant. It’s usually anything from 1-25% on sales made by the other blogger and tends to extend in perpetuity. This means that you are provided the commission regardless of how long it’s been since the blogger became an affiliate partner of the merchant.
For example, if you refer a blogger to join a merchant and they are accepted, you earn a commission on every sale the blogger makes. So if 2 months after approval, they sell $30 worth of items, they will make a commission and YOU will make a commission as well. Your referral commission will usually be smaller than that earned by the other blogger (i.e. she/he may make 5% while you make 2.5%.) However, your commission does not affect the other blogger in the least and vice-versa.
It’s a great way to make ‘passive income’, meaning that once the blogger is approved, your work is done. You can make commissions off of other bloggers’ sales rather than actively pursuing your own.
Most merchants who offer this option do not provide a referral bonus in addition to the commission, but of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.
Some merchants will cover payment for earned objectives, rather than sales. For example, they may pay you $1 for every reader who downloads their eBook through your site. These are called ‘leads’ as they may eventually become clients – you are providing them with the ability to expand their database of potential clientele.
Leads vary depending on the merchant. Payment can be anything from $0.25 to $10 per lead and could be for any type of ‘objective’ such as signing up to newsletters, joining the merchant’s site as a new member, watching a video, downloading an eBook, and so on.
It usually does NOT involve payment by part of the reader clicking on your link, but you still get paid for every sign-up.
If you’re an international blogger looking to make money on ShareASale, take a look at this handy guide on how to get a Payoneer account and connect it to your ShareASale account from anywhere in the world!
Do you use ShareASale? We would love to hear your stories of success or any tips you can offer! Questions or requests for more information are welcome as well.
Thanks to Freepik for the unedited version of the featured image.