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How To Make Money Online For Beginners: Sponsored Posts Vs Affiliate Reviews?

*This post contains affiliate links. Thus, if you purchase any products or services using the links, I get compensation at no extra cost to you.

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?

Looking for ways to make money online as a beginner blogger?

Well, you must have heard about the success of sponsored posts or affiliate marketing,right? We’ve seen that bloggers are running to Amazon Associates while influencers are going for sponsored posts. But successful influencers have always said that the best way to make money online is by having a mix of all these money-making channels. And I agree!

Anyway, almost every blogger out there has gone through Michelle’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and has managed to leverage this affiliate marketing game. As well, Elaine Rau’s course on How To Make Money As An Influencer that covers the basics of making money through sponsored posts, on blogs and on social media. Clearly, we can see that these two channels seem to be the most common and successful ways of making money online.

On this lifestyle blog, we use a mix of sponsored posts and affiliate marketing to make money online among other ways. And here we are getting down to the basics of sponsored reviews and affiliate reviews and how you can leverage these money-making channels.

So let’s explain the basics:

What are Sponsored Posts?

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?

Sponsored reviews, or sponsored posts as they are commonly called, are posts that are normally paid for, in regards to a brand being promoted. Before you actually post any sponsored content, you must have reviewed it and it resonated with your audience. Hence, the term.

For example: if a brand approached you to talk about their new CBD oil and they gifted you their new range while also catering for your pay, that’s a sponsored review.

Most Instagram influencers are known to be flourishing through sponsored posts where depending on your feed and engagement, a brand will pay you to feature their content. Thus, sponsored reviews become a short-term money-making channel.

I first made money from this blog through sponsored reviews and definitely, I can say that I’m still a fan of this money-making method.

But it comes with its limitations. For example: you can be offered poor pay hence the need of knowing your value in order to give a proper price quotation. Sometimes, you can get awful products and services to review. Normally, such won’t appeal to your audience or will be irrelevant for you. Good enough,  you must never feel compelled to review such and much more.

But hey, just how do you make the most from sponsored reviews?

How To Make The Most Of Sponsored Posts

1. Understand your audience.

Sponsored posts can be so lucrative as long as you understand the type of audience you write for. This ensures you provide for them content that they will appreciate. If you provide quality content, you should use this as a bargaining point with the brand.

As well, you should know the average readership of your blog per month, the demographics of your audience and their gender because this also serves as a point of sale. If you understand your audience this well, then you can confidently quote your figures for a sponsored post without undermining your worth and bringing forth exaggerations.

2. Offer honest reviews

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?

I recently shared a post on the challenges one faces when working with brands and influencers and clearly, we can all see the rise of dishonest reviews. Giving positive reviews just because of the money or the name of the brand puts your integrity ‘as a brand’ on the line. As a reviewer, you must never feel compelled to share a positive review. In fact, you must state it in your privacy policy that you only offer honest reviews.

What I advise when looking for a brand to collaborate with on a sponsored review is that you should review what you would personally use. This way, your arguments will be convincing, be it positively or negatively. We have to bring back authenticity in this space indeed!

Read Also: Reviewing Paris Lights Platinum- the Fragrance for Warmer Seasons

3. Know your value

Thought about the time, money and other resources you’ll be putting in the preparation of a post? Then let that also determine your rate. Clearly, in order to offer a great sponsored review, you must consider all the resources necessary and good enough, the brand should cater for that.

Does the brand require a YouTube video? Then you must think about your videography and come up with something great at their expense. This way, both you and the brand will be proud of the turnout.

4. Do a giveaway with the brand

Giveaways can be such great ways to make money through sponsored posts. Most of the giveaways I’ve seen for sponsored posts include free items and discount codes for your followers. This provides a good basis for you to grow your followers and also spread the name of the brand. Essentially, it becomes such a win-win situation.

What are Affiliate Reviews?

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?

Affiliate reviews are posts where a review is done for a brand but instead of it being paid for upfront, you are given an affiliate code to share with your followers. This ensures that in case they click on your affiliate link to make a purchase, you earn commission at no extra cost to them.

Affiliate reviews are a majorly a long-term passive money-making channel hence as your traffic grows, you would be lucky to make sales from even an old affiliate post.

So let us see how to make the most of affiliate posts:

How To Make The Most Of Affiliate Reviews

1. Go for affiliate programs with recurring commissions.

Recurring commissions ensure you still keep on earning as long as your referee still keeps on using the service from the brand. This is such a great feature that is mostly offered by brands that offer services and software unlike most product brands where someone will buy a dress once and for all.

Some of the best affiliate programs I use are: Ultimate Bundles, Share A Sale and Shop Style Collective.

2. Utilize affiliate programs that have a longer cookie period of 30-45 days.

Cookies are values saved on your computer that show proof to your browser history. That means that when a visitor to your site clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie is saved on your computer.

The cookie is normally tracked when it comes to determining your affiliate commissions.

For example: if the cookie period is 30 days, that means that if a visitor makes a purchase  within 30 days after clicking on your link, you’ll get commission for it. This is so important because some people won’t make the purchase right away.

3. Do a giveaway.

In case a brand is approaching you for an affiliate review, you can request to also partner with them for a giveaway. Since people always love to win free stuff that can highly boost your sales. In this way, you can get credits from all the sales done and you can also share a discount code to be used by those who won’t win.

I did an affiliate review and giveaway with WP Forms here and I loved the turn out! In fact, you can boost the performance of your giveaway by sharing it on Giveaway Sites. I used Giveaway Frenzzie to promote mine and the turn-up was wild!

Read Also: WP Forms License Giveaway

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?

4. Share guides.

Guides like gift guides have always been the one of the best ways to make money online using affiliate programs. You can simply prepare a Mother’s Day gift guide, a Valentine’s gift guide , a things-to-pack-for-your-trip guide and much more guides. This way, people can purchase from your affiliate link for you to earn commissions.

5. Make your affiliate links obvious.

In order to run successful affiliate reviews, you must create clear call-to-actions for your audience to purchase through your link. For example: use words like “click to buy” , “take advantage of this sale” , “use my coupon code to grab 20% discount at checkout” and much more.

As well, it is the law that you must disclose affiliate relationships in your articles.

6. Super promotion.

Affiliate posts can be one of the best ways to make money online because what you earn directly depends on how much referrals you bring on-board. That means that you have to be very proactive with your promotion. Share to your email list, promote your affiliate post and links on Pinterest.

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?

Now we know the basics of making money online using either sponsored posts or affiliate reviews. But how would you determine if you should go for sponsored posts or affiliate posts?

Ride along…

Should You Go For Sponsored Posts Or Affiliate Reviews?

1. Know the size of your audience.

Honestly, why should you go for affiliate reviews when you know that your audience per month is still wanting? There is no way you can make money from that especially if you’d want to earn as soon. I have done some affiliate reviews before that never made me a single coin. But I’m positive because as my traffic is growing, good tidings are making way to me too.

For example: if you are a newbie blogger and a brand approached you for a review, you can choose a sponsored post over an affiliate post where you’ll get paid up front. And as you grow, you can bring in affiliate posts into the picture.

2. Determine your urgency for the pay.

We should not deny it! We all want some pay in the end, right? So depending on how fast you require the pay, you should know if to accept a sponsored post or affiliate post.

We’ve seen that an affiliate review provides passive and long-terms funds while a sponsored post ensures up front payment. Now you know what to choose in case you need to renew your hosting and time is ticking!

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?

Above all, remember to always create good content! Content is always king! In order to convince your readers to love the brand, you must present great content. As well, if you need people to make purchases through your affiliate link, you must write an arguably convincing content.

My slogan is that I should always write for my audience. I mean, if you have to relate to your audience, then you must write content that will either inspire them or educate them. Now that’s a content strategy!

Are you on Pinterest? Pin this…

Making Money Online: Sponsored Reviews Versus Affiliate Reviews?


How to Make Money as an Influencer

How to Make Money Blogging

So, have you had luck with affiliate reviews or sponsored posts? Please share with us your experience in the comments section below…


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    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      Hi Cristina,
      Sponsored posts can be good because they need no much effort after the review is done unlike affiliate reviews. Anyway, what don’t you understand?

  1. Joanna says

    I do prefer affiliate marketing over sponsored posts and this is because I prefer passive income. When you work with a brand you can’t add affiliate links so you earn only once instead of every time someone makes a purchase.

    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      That’s true; and honestly, sometimes I get hurt when people really purchase from a brand I’ve reviewed yet I had no chance to have my affiliate links within the post.

  2. Amber Myers says

    I prefer the sponsored posts. I’ve done some affiliate work and I rarely do well with them. Sponsored seems to be a better fit for me. Thank you for these ideas!

  3. Chad says

    To be completely honest i didn’t know the difference between both. Thank you so much for the article, very insightful.

  4. Candace says

    Great post! This is perfect for all the new fabulous bloggers joining this new adventure. Definitely both are great tools to grow in the business. It’s all about what suits us and what we feel more comfortable doing. I’ve used both tools and they are both great!


  5. Nicole Anderson says

    These are some really great tips and helpful ideas. I tend to prefer the sponsored posts over affiliated ones. Sponsored reviews come more easily to me. I’m trying to get a better idea of what works best for me when it comes to affiliate posts/reviews.

  6. Nadia Hasan says

    This was a great post! I am new to both forms of income and I think initially I am keen to lean towards affiliates because I am new to the blogging world.

    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      Welcome to this space Nadia; affiliate marketing is a good source of passive income while sponsored posts will provide almost instant income. It’s good to use both.

    • Dalene Ekirapa says

      Honestly, it depends with the deal. If a brand can offer more on sponsored posts, that’s fine. Same applies to affiliate programs since the larger the cost of an item, the higher your commissions.

  7. Michelle Paige says

    These are great tips! I usually lean towards sponsored posts as I can get more creative and the payment process is a little more streamlined. I would like to start dabbling in affiliate reviews sometime this year though!

  8. Alexandra Cook says

    I’ve never been through the courses you mentioned before. However, it sounds like I sure could use them!

  9. Diana says

    I do a mixture of both! I’m more for affiliate marketing as I’m picky when it comes to sponsors. I don’t want to sponsor anything I don’t approve of.

  10. Lyosha says

    I think both have benefits. I worked more with paid reviews and see nothing wrong with it. Yes I might have not buy this item myself but blogger’s opinion is always honest (or so I believe)

  11. vidya says

    Thank you for this post Dalene.. I am still trying to monetize using affiliate links but that is not still working.. I hope to get better at both types you mention..

  12. Hannah Marie says

    Now I know the complete difference between the 2. Quite the same but still has their own kind of benefits. This makes me understand both of it better.

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