Do you have a tech blog? Or a music blog? Or a book reading blog? Have you been struggling to find a suitable affiliate program to work with?
Did you know that Apple has an affiliate program for iTunes, the App Store, iBooks, and the Mac App Store?
It’s true. Keep reading.
Earlier I have talked about VigLink, which is one smart way to monetize all your existing commercial links. If you don’t know about it, you should read this review & also check out an exclusive case-study here. If you are using VigLink to create affiliate links to the Apple App Store, I recommend you directly signup for Apple’s affiliate program and stop paying extra money to VigLink or any other 3rd party affiliate networks.
Let’s take a look at some features of Apple’s affiliate program, and below I will share one trick which you can use right away to “affilitize” all your Apple links.
iTunes Affiliate Program Details & Features:
The iTunes Affiliate program is open for everybody, and you can sign up for free from here.
Once you apply for the program, it takes about five days to get approval. To ensure you get approval, add your working blog link. If you don’t have a blog/website, your application will be rejected.
Once your application is approved, you can log in to your Apple affiliate dashboard.
Here is what the dashboard looks like:
If you are inside your affiliate dashboard for the first time, make sure to click on Settings > Payment Method, and add your payment details. In most countries, Apple makes payment via direct bank transfer.
In Tracked Currency select “All Countries” & in Paid Currency select your country’s currency. Don’t forget to check the box which says “Auto Selfbill/Payment Required.”
Note: In the above screenshot I forgot to add a threshold limit, which you should add. Once your affiliate commission reaches that limit, they will send you payment automatically.
- Related Read: How To Promote Affiliate Products on Your Blog
Creating Affiliate Links for Apple Products:
Click on “Tools” at the top of your dashboard and you will find various options to create affiliate links.
Here is a screenshot:
You can use any of the methods listed to monetize your blog.
Here are my recommendations…
Auto Link Maker:
This is recommended for those blogs which are old and have a few (or tons of) links to the App Store or other Apple products on the official Apple site.
You can use the Google Tag Manager or edit your theme to add the JS snippet on your blog.
RSS Feed Generator:
This could potentially increase your revenue substantially as you can create an RSS link to Apple’s list of top products, music, books, apps, and more
Simply place it as a widget in your blog’s sidebar and let the money flow in.
This works great on specific niche sites which need to provide readers with the latest information and products.
This is useful when you need to generate an affiliate link for an individual product.
You can also use this to create affiliate links in bulk.
Tip: If your page is popular, you can use Link Maker to make an affiliate link for an app and promote it on your social media pages.
I’m not a personal fan of this, but it could be useful for you.
With Widget Builder, you can create a widget for a single app and embed it within your blog post. Your readers can read the description and click on the widget to install the app.
(App Developers can take advantage of Apple’s search API to show apps with their unique affiliate link.)
Quickest way to create an affiliate link:
At the top of your “Affiliate Dashboard”, you can find your unique affiliate ID. In the above screenshot (“Affiliate Dashboard” top right), note my id is 10lMjr. Similarly, there you will also find your ID. Whenever you want to link to any app or product from App Store, iBooks, and the Mac App Store, suffix it with ?at=XXXX (replace XXXX with your unique affiliate ID).
- Normal link:
- Affiliate link:
Important Facts About Apple’s Affiliate Program:
- Cookie period is 24 hours. That means if a user clicks on your affiliate link & makes a purchase within 24 hours, you will get a commission.
- You get a commission of 7% of iTunes products (apps & other content).
- You should also link to free stuff with your affiliate links. The reason is because you will get paid for ANY purchase a user makes within the 24-hour cookie period.
- Download the Blink app on your iPhone. Use it to generate affiliate links quickly on your iOS device. Highly recommended.
- Payments will be available to cash out after 90 days of the sale.
- Links to the Apple Online Store’s products do not earn commissions on the iTunes affiliate program.
- Links to iTunes Gifts on a desktop or within iOS, however, are eligible for affiliate commission.
- Resource: Advanced Affiliate Linking
Tracking Income from the iOS App:
You can download the ExactView app on your iPhone to keep track of your earnings.
If you are using the WordPress platform, you should be using the iTunes content plugin.
This plugin lets you add app details in an interactive way, which will get you more clicks & sales. It also supports QR codes which will increase downloads. This plugin only costs $12 & is recommended for any tech blog, which reviews or talks about iOS Apps.
Update: March 2016
It’s been almost half a year since I have started using the iTunes affiliate program & let me quickly share my earnings report with you.
I have received 2 payments so far from the Apple affiliate program. I was surprised to see earnings in all different currencies on my dashboard. Including all currencies, I have earned:
Note: Earlier I made the mistake of adding payment in USD. Today I have rectified this mistake & also updated the article accordingly.
The iTunes affiliate program could be a great addition for you as well, and I suggest you start using it right away. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me via the comments.
Also check out the following affiliate programs:
- List of Best Affiliate Programs for the WordPress Niche
- Best Travel Affiliate Programs For Travel Bloggers
- WPEngine Affiliate Program – $200/Sale
Do consider sharing this information about the iTunes affiliate program with other bloggers on your Facebook page, Facebook group, Twitter friends, and G+ peers. Or if you like, you can send this resource via WhatsApp.
Let me know your experiences with the iTunes affiliate program in the comments below.