Affiliate marketing, if done well can be a very lucrative pursuit. It hasn’t paid me a ton, but it has taught me a lot about what it takes to encourage people to buy products based on recommendations they read online.
I signed up for my first VPN affiliate programs in 2018, and over the past couple years VPNS have paid me over $2000 for sales I’ve made. If you’re looking to get into the VPN affiliate marketing space, here’s what I’ve learned.
Which VPN Affiliate Programs Did I Use?
- NordVPN: This is the first program I signed up for, and has had the highest conversion rate of any of the affiliate programs I’ve used. Commissions are high and the affiliate dashboard is super easy to navigate.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is the second affiliate program I signed up for. I started seeing sales pretty quickly with this one, although just not as often as NordVPN. The affiliate program setup was smooth and it’s generally easy to use.
- Perfect Privacy: I signed up for Perfect Privacy’s affiliate program so I could navigate into reviews and content about other VPNs besides NordVPN and ExpressVPN. I had some success early with Perfect Privacy, but didn’t push it like I did with Nord and ExpressVPN.
- Private Internet Access: Private Internet Access (PIA) was another great affiliate program that I’m glad I signed up for. Again, I saw some early success here, but it quickly fizzed out. PIA has recently shut down my affiliate account for inactivity, so if you want to maintain an account keep in mind that you will need to make some sales.
My First Affiliate Sale
I remember it didn’t take long for me to get my first sale. It was within a few hours after publishing my first post and the commission was $36! I was so excited, because that felt like so much money to earn from something I posted online. I quickly realized the beauty of affiliate marketing – your earnings are unlimited and completely based on your performance. I saw the roadmap to making thousands of dollars a month, or a week, or even in a day.
My VPN Affiliate Earnings
I’ve been promoting VPNs in blog posts since mid-2018. I’ve made over $2000 in those two years. One thing that makes this type of marketing so appealing is that I haven’t created any content about VPNs in over a year, but I still see a few conversions per month.
NordVPN Affiliate Program Earnings
NordVPN was my best performing affiliate offer. My personal opinion is that NordVPN has the best landing pages, and they have a number of offers for users in different locations.
Organic Search Traffic Is Incredibly Valuable
When it comes to an e-commerce store or a blog post that is selling affiliate product, organic search traffic is a gold mine. It is so valuable because it is free and continuous. Any sales you get from organic search traffic are 100% profit, because you don’t have to pay for these users to come to your site via ads.
I think if you want to be really successful in the affiliate marketing space, you probably have to use ads. Otherwise, it’s going to be really difficult to rank for competitive, high-value keywords.
My Tips for Anyone Looking to Get Into Affiliate Marketing
- You don’t need your own website. I got affiliate sales from a number of websites that I didn’t own. The majority of my sales came from posts (like this one) on Medium. Having your own website does give you more control, but if you have a large following on social media or other online platforms you can be successful.
- Provide valuable content. My early articles were like “NordVPN is the best.” It was easy to see that I was just promoting a product, and as a result these articles didn’t perform well. I quickly adjusted to trying to help people in certain situations that may lead them to purchase a VPN. I started writing resource and how-to posts, and I started to see my sales tick up.
- Build authority first, then try to sell. I’ve written other posts about this, but I think people will be better off if they try to build a following before trying to dive into affiliate marketing. If you can grow a following of people that trust you, when you finally do promote a product they will be more willing to believe your recommendations.