I’ve been hesitant to share any income reports on my blog, and have been going back and forth about the idea. But then I realized that without other bloggers sharing their income reports, I would have never known that you could make money blogging. There are a number of different ways bloggers make money, from sponsored posts to ads to offering courses and ebooks, but today I’m going to be talking to you about affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service for someone else and they kick back a portion of the sale to you. Many bloggers use affiliate marketing as a main source of income, and although I’m not quite there yet, I have picked up on some tips to help you make your first few hundred dollars with affiliate marketing.

I decided around June that I was going to start taking my blog really seriously and eventually wanted to turn it into an income-generating machine! I never gave too much thought to affiliate marketing, but as time has gone on, I’ve decided that I want to make it a bigger part of my blogging to business plan.

This $500 didn’t happen over one month. It didn’t even happen over 2 months. In fact, it happened over 5 months. But I have to say, I’m pretty proud of this number! It proves to me this it IS possible to make PASSIVE income from my blog (AKA without providing services or doing sponsored posts), and I’m super excited about it!

Are you a blogger or entrepreneur who’s looking to make passive income with your blog or business? I just made my first $500 with affiliate marketing and I’m letting you in on some smart ideas and tips! Find out the best programs to make money for beginners with my affiliate marketing blue print! Click through to check out my post and save it for others to read too!
What I’m even more excited about is that this shows me my readers are trusting me enough to make a purchase based on my recommendations and this means SO much to me. If I ever recommend a product, it’s always something that I’ve used and loved and I guess this is showing through my writing! So thank you!

Here’s the breakdown of when I made my affiliate income and where it came from.

October: $250 (Bluehost)

November: $93 (Ultimate Bundles + SiteGround)

January: $105 (SiteGround + Blog Clarity)

February: $63 (SiteGround)

Okay, so it’s actually $511 but $500 sounded way better for the title!

As you can see, most of my affiliate income has come from blog hosting services (through both Bluehost and SiteGround). I hosted through Blue Host for my first year of having my own domain and I had only positive experiences with them. They were always really helpful whenever I had a problem and they never failed to get things back up and running when something went wrong on my site.

However, I have heard other bloggers talking about having issues with them, especially bloggers with higher traffic. So when my traffic started to grow I made the switch to SiteGround to be on the safe side. SiteGround has been amazing, and if you’re looking for a reasonable hosting package with amazing customer service, I highly recommend them!


There are many affiliate programs out there these days. Find ones that work for you and your blog. Amazon Affiliates is really popular and so is Etsy and Creative Market. If you use social media schedulers like Tailwind or BoardBooster, they have affiliate marketing programs as well! Do some research and find some affiliate networks you can either sign up for or apply to! Every affiliate program will kick back a different percentage to you, just make sure anything you’re an affiliate for is something you use and love!

Now, let’s check out my best tips for affiliate marketing!


As I mentioned above, I only recommend products/services I have used myself and found to be helpful and solve a problem for me. If I don’t like it, there’s no way I’m going to recommend it to my readers, no matter how much money I get paid.

It’s important to keep your authenticity as a blogger. I think sometimes bloggers get caught up in the glitz and glam and focus too much on the moolah, but it’s SO important to stay genuine. You readers/ fans will see right through you if you don’t and it’s going to hurt your influence in the long run.


Having a resource page is a great way for bloggers with any focus to promote affiliates they love. For me, my resource page contains links to courses I’ve taken, my hosting plan, my email service provider, anything I think will help my readers on their blogging journey.

But it’s not just helpful for business bloggers! If you’re a food blogger, you can have a resource page filled with your favorite cook books, kitchen appliances, etc. If you’re a beauty bloggers, you can link to your favourite place to buy makeup brushes, and eye shadow palettes you love! There are so many possibilities!

Take a look at my resource page here!


My post on how to start a lifestyle blog is one of the most popular posts on my site! And guess what? That’s where I link to Site Ground now, and where I used to link to BlueHost when I used them! Seeing that BlueHost and Site Ground have brought in the most for me in terms of affiliate income, this post has been essential in my affiliate marketing success!


Write blog posts where you can work your affiliate links in. Don’t randomly link to an affiliate product in an unrelated post. If you’re blogging about a new café you visited over the weekend, don’t link to your hosting site at the bottom. Too much of a good thing can turn things sour.


You can also use your affiliate links in social media posts! Since you are sent a unique link and tracking code, whenever you use the link you’ll get the credit. You social media followers want to hear your recommendations, so it’s a great place to share your affiliate partnerships!


Have you started an email list for your blog yet? If not, you’re going to want to get on that STAT. Having an email list is a great way to establish and grow relationships with your readers. And guess what? Once you have a relationship they’re more likely to trust your recommendations! When you have an affiliate link you want to promote to your audience, send it out to your email list! These people are your biggest fans and want to hear what you use yourself!

If you loved this post on how to make money with affiliate marketing, make sure to share it on Pinterest!

 Want to know how I made my first $500 with affiliate marketing? I’m letting you in on my best tips for bloggers and for beginners! If you want to make money blogging and turn your blog into a business, click through now to read how to make your first $500 with affiliate marketing, and save this pin so others can read it too!
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12 thoughts on “Passive Income Party! How I Made My First $500 with Affiliate Marketing

  1. Great content and tips as usual. I need to find out brands that offer affliate marketing here in Nigeria. Passive income here I come.

    I took your double your blog traffic course and wow! It was fun of useful and helpful information. I’m currently working on my email list. Thank Kate, you’re a champ!


    Posted on February 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm
    1. Hi Fehintola! Thank you so much! I’m so happy you found the post helpful and my traffic course as well 🙂 Keep doing your research and your blog will grow in no time 🙂 Email list is definitely key to success!! Xo

      Posted on February 8, 2017 at 4:10 pm
  2. This is such an excellent post Kate. I have been hesitant about posting my own income report. I agree with everything you said here too. Great tips. I have to check out your resource page, mine needs alot of work… My affiliates are disorganized

    Posted on February 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm
    1. Thanks so much Kami! I went back and forth with it, but for the reasons mentioned in the post I ultimately thought it was a good idea! Hope you have an awesome Sunday! 🙂 Xo

      Posted on February 12, 2017 at 11:50 am
  3. I have only been blogging for a few months, so $500 seems like a great payout! I had never thought about creating a resource page – that’s a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted on February 9, 2017 at 1:20 am
    1. Thanks! I feel pretty good about it 🙂 I would definitely suggest the resource page! I see many bloggers I admire do this, and I like to learn my example! Have a great day! xo

      Posted on February 12, 2017 at 11:42 am
  4. Don’t you dare round down! $511 is lovely. This is great advice. Pinned this page, and your resource guide. Best wishes.

    Posted on February 14, 2017 at 3:04 pm
    1. You are so sweet! I shouldn’t round down I know 🙂 So happy you found this helpful and thanks so much for sharing, I really appreciate it! Xx Kate

      Posted on February 15, 2017 at 9:11 am
  5. Thanks for sharing. I always appreciate fellow bloggers that are willing to share their knowledge. $511 to start is something to be damn proud of! Only fellow bloggers can relate to the frustrations that come with blogging. But with enough grinding, dedication, and surpassing all those wanting to bang your head on the wall moments, it’s very possible to reach your vision. This post reminded me that I still need to get an email list and a resource page. I’ve been meaning to do it, but wasn’t able to get around to it yet. I’ll put that on my priority list.

    Posted on February 16, 2017 at 1:46 pm
    1. Yes, yes, yes! It takes a lot of hard work and determination, but it IS possible. It doesn’t happen over night, but don’t give up if you;re passionate about it! Keep your vision at the forefront of your mind and go for it 😀 An email list is key! Get on that ASAP 😀 xo

      Posted on February 21, 2017 at 5:16 pm
  6. http://ammastery.com/amj

    Great content. Beautiful blog. I have found Passive Income for 8 months. Finally, I found the product that has multiple streams of income.

    Posted on May 11, 2017 at 7:33 am
    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely comment, and congrats! That is amazing 🙂

      Posted on May 11, 2017 at 9:43 am