Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your blog.
Some bloggers are so successful at promoting affiliate programs/products that they make a six figure income just from that!
But as you will find out quickly, there is an overwhelming amount of affiliate programs out there and finding the good ones is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Plus, there are so many different categories to choose from that it can get really confusing.
The biggest thing to remember when choosing your networks is to stick to what you are writing about. Since this post is about food blogging, I’m sharing with you the programs and networks that have brought me the most success. I have used every single one of them and found that they have good conversion rates.
If you would like a bigger list, I have added more programs you can join at the bottom of this post.
Bookmark this page so you can come back to it as often as you need to!
When Should I Start Advertising and Selling Stuff On My Blog?
How about right now?
You don’t have to be a seasoned blogger to start selling!
While some bloggers will tell you to wait a few months before adding banners and links, I say do it as soon as you can. There’s no reason why you can’t start making a few bucks today!
If you don’t have a blog yet but are seriously thinking about starting a career in blogging, check out my post How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost to learn the basics of working in WordPress. I show you step by step how to create a Bluehost account, what plan is the best and most economical, how to fire up WordPress, choose a theme and how to use the WordPress dashboard.
How many affiliate programs should you join?
That’s up to you but I personally believe that the more you join, the more successful you will be!
Having different streams of income for a food blogger, or any other type of blogger for that matter, is important. The reason being that businesses close all the time. If you are only pushing one product and that product suddenly goes bankrupt, then you will be in big financial trouble my friend.
Promoting many different affiliates means that if one source of income dries up, there are other ones still generating cash flow. It’s a way to protect yourself and make sure that there will always be a little money on the table.
How should you promote Affiliate Programs?
As organically as possible and as honest as possible.
I know it sounds simple but there is a fine line between sounding like an advertisement and being genuinely excited about a product.
Many of us will also want to post banners and links everywhere – we see dollar signs and get excited about the possibilities of earning a living as a blogger.
I totally get it because I’ve been through it! Making $30 per month is no fun, especially when you are busting your butt delivering free content for people to consume. It can get frustrating.
But remember that too much advertising can easily turn visitors away.
Now, I’m sure you are looking at my blog and thinking “but don’t you have a ton of ads on yours?”, and the answer is yes. But I also have half a million visitors coming to my blog every single month. This means that I can afford to lose a few if they get annoyed by my ads and my bounce rate won’t change that much.
If you are new at food blogging, keep your ads in the sidebar for now and at the bottom of your posts (not throughout). You can use links within your posts to push products. Putting banners in your newsletters is totally fine too. Once you get past 100,000 page views per month, you will have more options for advertising. But that’s another post I will be covering in the future.
My other recommendation is to test banners and links by keeping track of where your sales are coming from. If you see a sudden spike in income, find out which post, link or product is having success and repeat that formula throughout your other posts.
1. BLUPRINT – High Conversion Rate with Generous Commission
Bluprint, formerly known as Craftsy, is a well established online platform with over 13 million subscribers.
What makes it so popular is the sheer volume of classes they offer. Over 1,300+ in-depth classes in more than 20 categories including quilting, knitting, cooking, dance, yoga, music, art, and photography. Their motto is Pursue your passions, hone your skills, and learn from 600+ experts amongst a community of like-minded makers, seekers, and doers!
What’s in it for you:
There are so many different ways to promote their classes and so many different commission tiers that I would need to create a separate post for it!
In a nutshell you get:
- 75% commission of first-time class* or DVD purchases by new customers (30-day cookie)
- 15% commission of class* or DVD purchase by existing customers (5-day cookie)
- 15% commission of physical product** purchases by new customers (30-day cookie)
- 4% commission of physical product** purchases by existing customers (5-day cookie)
- $5 for every Bluprint trial signup (15-day cookie)
- $15 for every Bluprint monthly membership signup (15-day cookie)
- $25 for every Bluprint annual membership signup (15-day cookie)
- $15 for referring a friend who is accepted into the affiliate program
Plus, their support team is there to help you win so make sure to develop a good relationship with your sales partner. She will guide you every step of the way with special affiliate newsletters and promotional ideas.
You can also contact someone directly at Bluprint who will work with you on coming up with the best strategies to sell products on your blog. Since they know their products inside out, they can provide you with some really helpful tips!
I have been using Bluprint as one of my affiliates for about 5 years and promoting them has been effortless. I make at least one sale every day!
2. SHE MEDIA – MOST Diverse Portfolio of Monetization Opportunities
SHE Media (formerly SheKnows Media) is a digital media company created by and for women with approximately 60 million unique visitors per month. You can decide to just monetize your website or blog, or participate in sponsored campaigns on your site or on social media.
I was with Blogher, one of their flagship sites for several years and it was great! They often contacted me with sponsored post offers and I was able to get some traffic by sharing some of my posts on their site. My reason to leave was simply because I wanted to join AdThrive, the company I currently am with for advertising, and couldn’t remain with both.
Everyone is super helpful and easy to get in touch with.
Sovrn is an ad network that pays based on CPM (cost per thousand). Basically, you get paid a certain amount of money for every thousand impressions an ad is viewed. Visitors on your blog don’t have to click a banner in order for you to make money, which is great for food bloggers!
I’m saying this because most people visiting food blogs are looking for recipes, not stuff to buy. So the chances of them clicking on one of your banners is very low. If you are with an ad network that pays based on CPC (cost per click), you will be making peanuts because they will only pay whenever someone clicks an ad.
I know this because I was with Adsense for a long time and made zero money. Meanwhile, photography blogs and insurance blogs were making a fortune because their visitors were looking to purchase something and clicked on their ads.
I’ve had great success from using Sovrn, they were my top earner until I joined AdThrive (which requires a minimum of 100,000 monthly page views to join). I highly recommend these guys!
4. Healthy Wage
Healthy wage is a program where participants get paid to lose weight.
Well, it’s a little more complicated than that but basically participants put in the amount of weight they want to lose, how long it will take them to lose it, and the calculator will show them how much money they could win. Participants who reach their goal within the allotted time frame, get paid the projected winnings.
As you can see, it’s a pretty interesting concept that may be appealing to some of your readers who are looking to shed a few pounds. This is an easy post to write for your blog, just talk about the company and how unique their program is! Remember to try them first, you can let them know you are doing research for a post and not looking to win money. Most companies will give you temporary access to check out and try their program.
Commission rate is $50 per Healthy Wager signup, $30 per Team Challenge signup, and 10% second-tier commission.
5. Yellowhammer Media
This is another ad network affiliate that has done well for me.
The set up was easy and the CPM rates were good (although not as high as Sovrn). My only problem with Yellowhammer is their interface – it’s not user friendly and there is very little analytics available so you can’t see what is working vs what isn’t.
The payout is also a bit of a pain as you have to send them an invoice if you want to get paid. But maybe things have changed since I was with them, it was a few years ago after all.
6. Gourmet Ads
I was with Gourmet Ads for almost a year and things were good – not stellar – but comfy. It’s the same system as Sovrn and Yellowhammer, the only difference is they only display food and cooking related ads.
7. Amazon Associates
One of the most famous – if not the most famous – affiliate program out there!
Amazon Associates was the second program I joined and I still use them for every post I create. It’s easy to use and I’ve had a lot of success with it.
The way it works is you make commission (between 4%-8%) for every sale you make on your blog.
So say I link the words fish sauce to a fish sauce sold on Amazon. Well, every time someone clicks on the link and orders one, I make commission.
What’s also great is if the user clicks on your link but doesn’t purchase the fish sauce, you will still make a commission from whatever they purchase during that visit.
Amazon is great because it’s a household name. People trust the brand so they aren’t afraid to purchase things from there. I guarantee you will be making money with them!
Shareasale is an affiliate network with over 2,000 merchants.
The registration process is automatic and once you’re inside you get to choose which merchants you would like to promote. You have to send a request and wait for their approval before you can start promoting them. I haven’t been declined once so far, it’s really not that hard to get accepted. Payments are consolidated into one paycheck and the minimum is $50.
Most of the brands I work with are with Shareasale. I like how their dashboard is set up (straight forward) and that I have so many different tools available to use to promote my products.
Alcohol delivery in minutes. Saucey offers access to the whole liquor store at your door within 30 minutes! The commission per sale is 4% and their average sale is $52.
Swoop is an affiliate company specifically made for food blogs – and they are amazing! All you need to do is place a code in the header of your blog and Swoop will insert an ad within the content of your site, typically in an article or a recipe, when it finds a contextual match. You can also choose to only display Swoop ads (like I do on my blog) in your recipe cards as opposed to throughout your posts. I think every food blogger should use Swoop – it’s non invasive and you are guaranteed to make a few bucks every month.
VigLink specializes in in-text advertising. This means it converts words from your posts into affiliate links and if a user makes a purchase, you earn a referral commission from it. I briefly used VigLink so I cannot say much other than it was pretty easy making a few cents here and there.
They have a good reputation and many bloggers seem to be happy and successful with them. My reason for not using them is simply that I already have many other links and ads on my blog.
Additional Food Affiliate Programs For Food Bloggers
Restaurant Affiliate Programs
Restaurant.com – Restaurant.com offers the best deal on more than 62,000 restaurants and providers across the US. They also offer gift certifitcates ranging from $5 to $100, and allow customers to save at thousands of restaurants across the country with just a few clicks.
Healthy Eating Affiliate Programs
California Tea House – California Tea House is a gourmet loose leaf tea company that carries the highest grade loose leaf tea and custom, flavored tea blends.
Matcha Source – Matcha Source sells premium matcha green tea powder from Japan and related accessories.
I’m in search of affiliate marketing programs and I can’t thank you enough for breaking this article so well.
Thank you, Caroline, for the great Information here! I found this most helpful to me as a new Food Blogger.
Caroline, thanks for sharing well-needed information. It is so helpful to new bloggers like me.
Thanks & Regards,
Thanks for sharing and listing these amazing and profitable affiliate programs here. this article will help a lot of affiliate marketers to choose the best and earn more.
Thanks & Regards
I noticed your link for Blueprint isn’t working and I can’t seem to find the correct place to sign up. Do you know where the best place to sign up for this is?
Hi Kristy, it looks like Bluprint is once again called Craftsy! So confusing! Thank you for letting me know, i’ll update the link 🙂 In the meantime, here it is 🙂 https://affi.io/m/craftsy
Hi Caroline. I know I am a little late to the party but I keep reading everything I can on affiliate marketing before committing myself to it. I really like your list because you mention the less-known programs which seem interesting. Would it be possible to get an update? Which of the above are still in business and worth checking out?
Hi Zachary, I will be reviewing the affiliates again shortly! Unfortunately, it’s been a tough job to keep a list of active ones since affiliates close all the time without any notifications! And it seems to be getting worse lately 🙁
I’ve read almost every article you’ve written this, absolutely love your content!
Thank you so much Ashfaq! 🙂
Caroline, I too have a food blog for about 2 years now. I am guilty of hardly leaving comments even when I liked something, but I am so glad to have found your blog and have learned so much from your posts, I had to tell you thanks! Great, helpful information!
Thank you so much Dianne! 🙂
Caroline, thanks for sharing well-needed information. It is so helpful to new bloggers like me. I wanted to know whether all these sites accept new bloggers who have fewer visitors?
Hi Abhi! Yes, all of these affiliates approve new bloggers so you are good to go 🙂
Thank you for sharing this post. I started my food and wellness blog 8 months ago and have been trying to start with affiliate marketing but I’m quite confused as to who’s the best. If you could only choose one from your list, who would it be and why?
I’ll really appreciate your guidance.
Hi Shristi! My suggestion is to pick as many as you can since you don’t know which one will yield a successful sale. Sign up for as many affiliates that fit your category first and organically include them in your posts, without overdoing it obviously 🙂
After a few months you will see which links get clicked the most and have a better idea of the type of items your readers are interested in buying 🙂
Such helpful content! Thank you!
This is so helpful for food bloggers! Thanks for sharing! Can you explain more how Swoop works? I visited the website but I didn’t understand how it works.
Hi Alyse, I think Swoop no longer is what it used to be. Sorry about the confusion, I’m going to have to remove it from the list 🙁
Swoop sounded interesting but the link on #10 goes to swoop.com which is a healthcare company, maybe the affiliate is out of business now? Also is Viglink and Svorn the same company now?
I know sometimes things can change fast in the affiliate world. I’m absolutely checking out Saucey!
Thank you for letting me know Sydney. Companies come and go indeed but it’s been particularly difficult to keep them updated since the pandemic 🙁
Love this website pickled plum, full of great recipes and good ideas.
surely very goplod resource to monotize your food website
Such a very helpful article of best affiliate programs & Step-by-step guide. Thanks a lot for sharing this and keep it up.
Thank you so much! 🙂
Great info I need to really my stuff together and stay focus paying all this money for my recipe website not bringing in any revenue. Nothing is free when having a paid website. Siteground charging me 20.00 a mount plus about 60.00 for maintenance of my site etc. I opted to pay monthly until I can find another less costly.
Hi Deborah! Oh wow, you don’t have to pay that much money if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers! I would switch to shared hosting, you wouldn’t have to pay more than $3-$5 a month. Bluehost is cheap and so is Hostgator, check them out. I was also with Siteground for a while and felt they were constantly trying to upsell me stuff. I ended up paying more than I probably should have 🙁
I just wanted you to know that your Share-a-sale link says it isn’t active.
I love all the information, I saved your blog to use a resource.
I am a Massage Therapist, working on relieving pain by teaching people techniques to use at home, so we are both safer.
I will be also using affliate links to recommend products I like and use.
Thank you so much for letting me know Elizabeth!
Thanks so much for this article! I’m starting a food blog soon but it’s primarily because I am starting an affiliate marketing course and culinary is my expertise (I’m a chef) as well as organic and veg centric slant to everything-health promoting food and recipes. I’m trying to find the most lucrative affiliates and this has been super helpful-hope the research I’m doing pays off!
Great article! There are a couple networks here that I need to check out.
This has been very helpful, do you have any updated list, It looks like SOVRN is now Ambassador (part of Intrado) I cannot see a CPM with them at all.
This list is super helpful, Shareasale is definitely user friendly and this has been so helpful in the startup of my blog.
Thank you so much for you feedback Jessica, the list does need an update and I’ve added it to my “must do” list for this month 🙂
Super helpfull thank you now I know where to start.
Very helpful blog.Thanks for sharing this post.
I have been working on my website for months in between other projects. My husband does not understand how this will ever make money. Thank you for explaining that one day, my hard work will pay off. I am Canada, so some of these affiliates may or may not work.
Responding to comments really gives the sense of community to readers, it really shows them that you care about your readers and that your not some robot behind a keyboard. I think it is my favorite tip on this list. Good work!
Super helpful post
It’s Amazing to see your blog.This provide us all the necessary information regarding
food which having all the today’s facilities.
I have gone through your blog post, nice blog it’s very helpful and I really thankful for you.
keep it up, you are doing such a great job
Super helpful post!! I really like Skimlinks as well although I haven’t made much from it:/ it’s very easy to use. I’m surprised you haven’t made more from Adsense honestly:( Do you create your own pins? Love your site and great job!!
Thank you for such a useful post! I did have one issue though – with swoop, the website seemed to be a healthcare type one? I’m wondering if either it no longer exists or if perhaps you accidentally linked to the wrong place? Thank you!
Hi Hannah, you are right, Swoop has changed to a healthcare company since I published this post! Thank you for letting me know, I’ll remove it from the list 🙂
Thank you for this brief plan for Affiliate Marketing. I have been planning for my store, and your information is a good startup.
thank you for the complete list of affiliates programs. I will try Shopify and eBay network and give you update how this helps.
Great post and write up, with lots of cool affiliate programs for food bloggers! A couple of which I’d never heard of before. In addition, I would recommend trying out Skimlinks. It’s quite similar to Viglinks, but I’ve found it to be a lot easier to use, with a wider variety of programs to promote.
Thank you so much for sharing recipes.Great blog!!!
Hi Caroline! I’m just getting started with my blog and this list is super helpful! There are so many affiliate programs out there that it was starting to get a little overwhelming. This is a great list to get myself started! Thank you!
You’re welcome Akiko, glad I could help!
Affiliate marketing really help to change the life of blogger. Tnx for sharing us man if you u have any bluehost article then please share
Which ones do you use nowadays and what % of your revenue do they represent?
My blog is 100% adsense right now and I’m wondering how much more up-side i might expect rolling out all these other things like amazon affiliates, adthrive, etc.
Hi Hayk, I don’t know how much you are making from Adsense but for me it wasn’t good at all. So by adding Sovrn and Yellowhammer as a backfill waterfall I saw my income double, triple and eventually quadruple. It’s always recommended to have a few different streams of income coming in in case one of them crashes or decides to close. Even if you decide to stick with Adsense I would recommend you add Amazon and join an affiliate network like Shareasale. I guarantee you will see an increase in earnings.
Nowadays I use Amazon, Shareasale, Rakuten and I am with AdThrive which is a company that manages all of my ads. I also use 5-6 other individual affiliate programs. It’s the only way I was able to go from making $150 a month to $7,000-$8,000 per month (with working on increasing my traffic too of course).
Hey Caroline! I just found this post, I learnt a couple things here, thanks so much. I got a lot of question to ask about Affiliates and other food blog related question. I would be glad if you message me on gmail. And beside My main question is Should I use WordPress affiliates plugin or just join the affiliates manually .. I don’t really how the WordPress affiliates plugin works.
Hi Alesh, I don’t know anything about joining affiliates through a plugin, I do all of mine manually. Just go to Shareasale and join as many affiliate as you want, they have thousands to choose from. You can join by signing up for the Craftsy program – https://pickledplum.com/Craftsy which is one I recommend to all food bloggers because they have a good conversion rate 🙂
Thank you so much. And I got an advice for you, you should use “comment subscribe plugin” so those that comments would be informed whenever you or another person replies them! I wasn’t notified in my about the reply till I came to check myself.
Thank you so much. This was a really helpful post. I have googla adsense and Rakuten–which I haven’t been doing anything with. But I hadn’t heard of Swoop.
You’re welcome Jennifer! Make sure you also join Sovrn and Yellowhammer since the payout is higher than Google Adsense!
Hey Caroline. Thank you for the list. Just one question , if we are having google adsense in our blog. Can we sign up for Sovrn or Yellowhammer or Gourmet Ads. I just had the perception as if we are having google adsense in our blog, we cannot shows ads from other networks like gourmet ads etc. Please let me know.Thanks in advance.
you most certainly can do that and I would actually suggest to only use Adsense within your posts and getting rid of them in your sidebar, top and bottom pages since the payout with Sovrn and Yellowhammer are much higher. I think Sovrn had the best CPM – Adsense only pays per click (CPC) which is terrible for food blogs since very few people click on food related ads. I earned pennies with them and it was demoralizing! I think Adsense is good for fashion blogs, travel blogs or technology blogs where the readers are more likely to click on an ad to go shopping to look for deals.
You’re much better off going with an ad company that pays per CPM (cost per thousand views). The best way to earn as much as you can is to set up a Backfill Waterfall – a chain of ads so when ads from your first Ad Network (for example Sovrn) are not displayed, it will automatically display ads from your second Ad Network (Gourmet Ads). And when your second Ad Network doesn’t have ads to display, the third one (Yellowhammer) takes over. The way I had it set up was #1 Sovrn, #2 Gourmet Ads and lastly Yellowhammer.
Play around and pay attention to their CPM. The highest one should be first on the waterfall.
You can ask Sovrn to help you with Backfill Waterfall, it’s very easy since they have a section in their dashboard where you can add codes (Gourmet Ads, Yellowhammer) and save them.
This!!!!! Thank you, so valuble. Thank you for sharing
Well, what can I say….your post is awesome…I enjoyed it for the most part…am absolutely grateful I came across this…though am new to food niche feel free to visit lifevigor.com.ng…tanks
Once again your post was wonderful
I think some of the affiliate has changed and not like you have mentioned in this post anymore.
For example, on Ebates. On your post, you said that we just have to refer a friend and they don’t have to purchase anything and we will earn cash. But when I visited their websites, it requires the people we refer to to purchase at least $25 before we earn some cash.
Swoop is now become a pharmaceutical and automotive affiliate, not a food blog affiliate anymore
Thanks Steven, I had no idea Swoop was only focusing on pharmaceuticals now, what a shame, they were so good! I will check with Ebates, I’ll send them an email to find out what happened to their program. Again, thank you for letting me know, I really appreciate it!
It’s an useful post regarding affiliate marketing & in fact this is one of the most best list & points on the subject. I will to implement this all on my blog, thanks for your guidance.
Thank you Marina for the comment, I’m so happy I can help! 🙂
There is some out of the box ideas in this post – I love the idea of creating niche specific content (foodie for example). Our team focuses on the health and wellness, tons of great products to promote.
Adsense, eBay, and Amazon work great for us as well.
Good article, You gave me good ideas of the different affiliate program.
Nice list, I have a food blog and try to do Amazon affiliate, I think that’s the best way to monetize.
Google Adsense is another great one, but food niche not perfect for Cpc
Thank you for such a valuable post for us newbie food bloggers. My blog is only 9 months old and I am struggling with monitizing. This will help me prioritize where I spend my time on this aspect of my blog. Your descriptions of each network are especially valuable along with the rankings. Hopefully with your advise I will see a bit of income soon!
Jeanne, thank you for posting a comment here.
I am carefully doing research and figuring out what the HECK I am doing. I visited your site out of curiosity and learned a lot from you. Seeing your comment was posted just over a year ago, my visit to your current site is pleasant, clean, and friendly. Your resources page was extremely helpful to gain more trusted insight. Thank you
Great blog, Will definitely look at it closely.
Hi. Thanks for the post. I have been using adsense for a while now and haven’t generated any income cause I get just about 2000 impression monthly. Please what can I do to improve my traffic and what can I do to generate income with this little traffic?
I haven’t started blogging yet I’m still doing my homework, when it comes to recipies I’m not sure how to incorporate the ad without it being in a visitors face?
Your blog is awesome, I know this isn’t the place but I also want to know how you got your site up and running? I’m so clueless
Hi Chali, I wouldn’t worry too much about the ad position in the beginning since it takes a while before the ‘real’ money comes in. I would suggest concentrating on the recipes and quality of pictures first. I wrote a post about how to start a food blog – you can read about it here -> https://pickledplum.com/how-to-start-a-food-blog-today/
Best of luck!
I came across your article right when I needed it! Great information for food bloggers. I just recently decided to start using ads and am using Google Adsense. I definitely don’t want intrusive pop-in-your face ads. My question is, how many of these affiliates can you use at the same time without them bumping into each other or causing conflicts or problems. I see you have nine listed – are you using a lot of them at the same time? Thanks so much for helping us beginners out.
Hi Susan, I used all 9 ads at the same time and it wasn’t a problem. I would use one – Google adsense for example – at the bottom of every post, then use a mix of Sovrn, Gourmet Ads and Yellowhammer in the sidebar (they convert much better than Adsense since they pay per impression as opposed as per click), Amazon links throughout my post, Swoop inside the recipes, etc… It’s always a good idea to have different sources of income coming from a variety of affiliates, this way you can see what works well for you, where you make most of your money, etc…
Thanks for this article!!! I am just now at the point of adding ads to my site and have been approved by both Sovrn and Gourmet Ads. I wasn’t sure which one to go with and now I know to go with Sovrn. I also wasn’t sure if I should do the Amazon affiliate thing but now I think I’ll go for it. Love your site btw! I’m glad I stumbled on it 🙂
Thank you Lindsay! For Amazon, make sure to use the new native shoppings ads, they convert well!
How much traffic should someone have to start doing affiliating?
No specific amount is necessary Selma! The affiliate that I mention on the list don’t have a minimum requirement, you can join them today 🙂
Hey Caroline, first of all thank you for this excellent list, I have signed up for almost all of these after reading this.
Gourmet Ads was actually one of the first to hit me back, so I was curious about your relationship with them.
Did they ask for administrative privileges on your site in order to better optimize it? And I noticed you said they only did food related ads, but I am seeing a lot of Google Adsense like ads that alternate (non-food related) ads a lot.
Matt (The ATL Food Guy)
I wish I could remember better how things were set up with Gourmet Ads, it was over 2 1/2 years ago… I don’t think they asked me for that but if they are the highest paying affiliate you have on your blog, I would suggest to let them do what they think would work best for you. You can always give them a month or two and if you notice your earnings dropping instead of increasing, let them know that you’ll take it from here. I would ask them if that’s a possibility 🙂 I think Sovrn performed best if I remember correctly but things change all the time and maybe Gourmet Ads is bigger and better than they used to be (they were getting started when I joined them). Hope this helps and let me know how it goes!