Yesterday I discussed sponsoring blogs. One of the reasons to sponsor another blog is for monetary compensation=$$$ In my fab opinion, most people start a blog to record a part of their life, whether it be pregnancy, Pre-Wedding to Wedding, or to share their everyday life with long distance relatives. They don't become a blogger to make money. It's really just a perk of blogging.
An Affiliate program is very similar. A lot of independent online stores provide an option to join their affiliate program. If you decide to sign up, and are approved, you can receive a commission for people that make a purchase or have signed up for the first time, from your blog. Most of the time, all you have to do is post a banner on your sidebar. If your readers click on it, and complete a purchase (or whatever the conditions are), in exchange you will receive a percentage of the sale as your commission. Some Affiliate programs want you to have X-amount of followers and unique pageviews for you to be approved. Others are not as strict.
Some affiliate programs will provide a certain product for you to review and post about. You get to keep the product, and they will benefit from the review. Sometimes these websites will start to connect with you and want to work with you to promote their product, when your blog starts to grow. I've gotten an email from Firmoo when I had around 30 followers, and decided not to participate in the giveaway since my blog was so small.
I have decided to add a few websites that I like to my sidebar. If people find something they like, awesome! And if not, no biggie. I'm not out of money, and perform minimal work. There are actual websites you can apply to, and if you are accepted you can pick from a list of hundreds of stores that you could potentially receive a commission on. My goal is not to make a ton of money from my blog. I'm just not interested in it. I have seen blogs grow from an awesome blog where there is actual content about the blogger into a giveaway-only no-content kind of blog. Sometimes it's disappointing because you follow that person because you think they are cool, and then they turn into a virtual shopping page and only post to make money or receive something.
I'm going to only work with companies that I like. So you might start to notice that if you read my actual blog page. For some reason the blue chevron stripes have disappeared from my blog, and I have no reason why. I don't like all the big gaping white areas. Awhile back, I won a blog design makeover, so I need to decide what I want to do to get rid of the naked white. I'm thinking pink octopuses.....Spell check said multiple octopus is only spelled with one S. Very interesting indeed.