People ask me all the time if it’s possible to earn money by blogging. Well, it’s difficult. However, using carefully selected affiliate programs can be helpful. I’ve actually done quite well with two of my favorite services that I use regularly: the Digital Ocean affiliate program and WPEngine. Digital Ocean is a cloud-based hosting startup that’s one of the fastest growing and emerging as a major player. While, WPEngine is, in my opinion, the best managed hosting service for WordPress; I run Flee the Jungle with it.

Today, I want to share my historical experience with the Digital Ocean referral program. First, let me tell you a bit about the quality of Digital Ocean as a hosting company.

I run all of my self-host WordPress sites with Digital Ocean (like this one) and WPNow, my guide to WordPress management. The service continues improving and I can’t remember any slowdowns or downtime in recent memory. It’s solid. Support too has improved consistently. I am a satisfied customer. I’ve also written about them for Envato Tuts+, check out some of my Digital Ocean tutorials there. It’s nice promoting a company on my site that I believe in.

Furthermore, the Digital Ocean affiliate program has proven financially beneficial. When you refer someone, they earn $10 in credits and once they spend a total of $35 in hosting, you earn $25. This year, I’ve earned an average of $465 monthly. In nearly two years, I’ve earned $6,975 to date.

digital ocean affiliate statistics

Digital Ocean Referral Statistics


The most I’ve ever earned was $775 in January and then $650 last month. Digital Ocean sends a PayPal transfer at the beginning of the month for the prior month’s revenue.

I used to keep more careful track of ongoing signups but the chart above and the chart below show the approximate growth of signups and income from the referral program. For recent months, I’ve estimated the monthly sign up rate.

digital ocean affiliate and referral income

Digital Ocean Affiliate Program Income

Last spring there was a short term spike in the rate of click throughs and sign ups. We could never determine where it was coming from and it eventually faded. The best information Digital Ocean gave me is that a popular Google search item may have redirected to my affiliate link.

As you can see in the above statistics table, if all of my referred members eventually reached $35 in spending, I’d earn $52,320. It would be nice if Digital Ocean shared more transparently the age and state of these accounts — which are active and their current progress towards completion.

You can sign up for an account at Digital Ocean here!

Please let me know about your experience below in the comments below.

Note: Sometime in 2014, Digital Ocean switched from cash awards to service credits for new referral program members. However, if you have an existing account, you may have been grandfathered into the cash awards program.

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest. Try scheduling a meeting with his new startup Meeting Planner (, simpler, faster scheduling for work or play and read his series about building it). Follow @reifman on Twitter.