Ohhh making that first affiliate sale might be the greatest feeling ever, even if it’s 18 cents. Here’s the sad thing though: most networks will have a minimum payout threshold that’s typically $50 or $100, so it may be a LONG time before you see the money. I used to be an affiliate for BlueHost, and after my first sale, I was stoked to see $65 in my affiliate report!! Legitimately, I felt like a millionaire. Unfortunately, BlueHost has a minimum payout of $100, so that money went untouched until I made another sale, but even then…
Most search engines follow the PPC advertising model. Google is the leading search engine, acquiring the largest volume of search shares, Yahoo, Bing, Ask and AOL. There are numerous keyword research tools to help you find relevant keywords for your campaign including Google’s Keyword Planner, a free tool that comes with each Google Adwords account.
Gated content is where people have to hand over some information such as their email address to view your content. Ungated content is available for anyone to access freely. The choice is up to you which one fits your goals. Some affiliates depend on gated resources for lead generation so this can be a useful tool in your arsenal. Most content marketers agree that ungated content works out best in the long. Having something that’s open and shareable and building up a readership might be more gratuitous than getting a few email addresses for example.
StudioPress is a WordPress hosting service and framework that is designed to make setting up and running a WordPress site much simpler and easier. StudioPress comes with its own unique themes and SEO tools, collectively known as the “Genesis framework.”. Their affiliate program is solely for referrals to pay for a StudioPress framework account or buying a StudioPress theme. Previously, the affiliate program also included web hosting, but this is now managed separately by StudioPress’s owner, WPEngine.
Each of these works in tandem with the others, but you may not need to do all of them to start. And to further complicate things, these are large categories with a lot of different tactics within them. For example, content marketing can include hosting webinars, making podcasts, publishing a blog, making videos –or some combination of any or all of those things.

Since publishers generate income from the traffic their website generates, they are tasked with marketing. The affiliate must attract potential customers to their content, and convince them that the merchant’s product is worth buying. Publishers market products to the consumer through a range of channels: digital billboards, social networks, and search engines using content marketing on websites or blogs. We’ll cover how this is done further along the article.
The website named in the subheading there is little more than an odd product aggregator, with a focus towards interesting, often expensive, amusing stuff. I’ve seen everything from drones to pajamas, and let me tell you; it’s always tempting. Looking at their front page right now, I see things like color changing showerheads, the Playboy Mansion that recently went up for sale, a magic wand TV remote, and a dolphin-shaped speedboat. Needless to say, the selection of products on the site runs the entire spectrum of price ranges.
At first sight, affiliate marketing is simply a dream come true business: No own product creation, no storage of items, no shipping, no customer support, etc. Unsurprisingly, almost everyone online want’s to make use of this model of generating commissions for promoting other peoples products online. But truth is, more than 95% of newbies fail to do affiliate marketing with success.

Give it all a try yourself: As a hopelessly stubborn person, I understand that sometimes you just want to try things out for yourself. No stress, friend! All these resources will still be around later, so if your gut tells you that it’s not time to buy a course or eBook, don’t force it. Test the waters for yourself and then see later whether or not you need the extra boost.
Honestly, if you sign up for the right web host at the start of your affiliate business, you will discover that getting a great looking WordPress website up on the web is actually pretty easy. In some cases, you simply sign up, hit a button that says “install WordPress”, choose your site layout from dozens of pre-made templates, and you’re good to go.
TemplateMonster has taken care to assist you with the success of your affiliate campaign, providing you with all necessary tools. These are not only banners but also showcases, landing pages, WordPress plugin, ready-made shop and many others. Everyone can find something that suits his particular project. Moreover, unlike all the other web development affiliate programs, TemplateMonster provides you with your personal affiliate manager, who is ready to help around the world, around the clock. You can call, write an email or contact him via Skype if you have any questions.
We’d be remiss not to mention Commission Junction, who currently reps over 3,000 of the world’s top brands including H&R Block, Home Shopping Network, and The Home Depot. They offer a fairly bare bones pay-per-sale service but it does have a few additional layers you can add for a price. Like ShareASale they offer robust reporting and tracking tools so you can differentiate and see what links are receiving the best ROI.
Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
Hi Vera, nice extensive article and great site too. I’m afraid I might be guilty of #6 on your list. I have over a dozen URL’s registered, I have started to work on 3 of them (actually building the site and content ). I keep telling myself to forget about everything else and focus on one until it has substantial content and a reasonable amount of traffic. I can’t seem to take your (or my own) advice. I am diligently working on not making the other 11 mistakes you listed however 🙂
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Quality content is the foundation of your website and so, you must focus on that with priority. Make sure that you create valuable content that has useful information and that relates to the audience. For example, instead of simply making a list of beauty products write reviews on each product that will compel the readers to click on the affiliate link and purchase the product.
SkimLinks is primarily for established content producers (bloggers) who want to monetize their content. With a powerful WordPress plugin and scripts for just about any website type, setting up SkimLinks is very easy. And because you have access to all offers on their platform after you’re approved, SkimLinks is very well designed for affiliates who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with settings and other fine-tuning.

I wasn’t expecting to see immense results as early as my first month. I thought that I have to wait for a long time to actually see people visiting my website and buying my affiliate products. I am really happy with my website builder and because of this website maker I know how to create a website and I created a new website for my new business. My second website is also a big hit to my clients. Like the first one, it is easy to navigate and people like what I offer.
To me, ease of use is the most important aspect of a website builder. It doesn’t matter how many whistles and bells a builder has if you cannot work out how to use it you will waste many hours of precious time trying to create what you want. Personal preference can come into play as some people like drag and drop applications whereas others prefer to create files within the builder or uploading them to the builder. This is where free trials can be a boon as you can try out the website builders and see which is the best fit for you.
HostGator often offers promotions, coupons and special offers to customers during their initial term. Please note that special offers are limited-time promotional prices that are available to new customers and are valid for the Initial Term only, and not for successive or renewal periods. Promotional rates apply to GATOR, Shared, Cloud, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress and Reseller hosting plans and will automatically renew after initial term at regular rate found in your control panel. Note: If you register a free domain through us and wish to cancel your account, there is a fee to retain your domain.
It can be tricky to Include an affiliate marketing link on a video broadcasting platform. Making informational videos combined with text content is a great way to promote products. You could host videos on your own site, or embed them into a related blog post. You could even compliment the video with a written version of the how/to guide to optimize for your keywords and boost your pages SEO.
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
In short, you must create excellent content, which will drive high quality traffic to your site from free search engines, at which point you can “pre-sell” those visitors by giving them so much awesome information that when you make a product or service recommendation, they are happy to buy. THAT is when you can monetize. I highly recommend you read this full article on the CTPM process as I use this process for ALL of my affiliate marketing websites.
This is a very common way to promote offers. For example, you will often see a blog post with links to certain products or services. If the reader clicks through and makes a purchase, the blog owner will make a commission. These in-text links blend in with other content on your site and are a great way of promoting an offer within your content, without being over-the-top salesy with banners. 
Can you name 30 products related to your topic? If you know your topic well, you should be able to list 30 or so related or complementary products or services. Can you? If you can, great. There’s a good chance you’ll find affiliate partners that sell products that you can promote in your content. If you can’t name 30 related products off the top of your head, your topic may not have much profit potential.
But, if you are lost on how to go about it you can avail the services of a trusted affiliate marketing software like LeadDyno, that can help you create an affiliate page and then host it at their domain address. It allows you to customize the page with your website name which you can even embed on your website and start earning profits with no added efforts on your end.
Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
ThemeForest offers, perhaps, the biggest collection of templates on the web. On their website you may find 31,000+ templates of all types and categories. ThemeForest is a part of Envato Marketplace, which provides you with more possibilities to earn, as you get your commission if the person you referred buys any Envato product. To become an affiliate you need to create an Envato account and obtain approval. After that, you generate your referral link and send traffic to any Envato page. You are going to get 30% commission for the first cash deposit or purchase the person has made. There are some eCommerce themes that cost $79-$90, but the price of the majority of the templates varies from $10 to $40.
Betfair Affiliates is the affiliate marketing program for the well known Betfair betting website. Betfair’s primary market is sports betting. It’s actually a betting exchange, so it allows gamblers to place lay bets too – in other words, bets that bank on the opposite outcome. Betfair also offers in-play betting that allows users to lock in profits before the match ends. They also have great offers for the new customers to Betfair Casino.
On-site Analytics (preferably Google Analytics) – It’s free and can be easily integrated with WordPress and other website platforms. Google Analytics lets you see bounce rates, sources of traffic, keywords used to land your site, and a whole lot more. You can use this information in developing your topics that your readers like best and improve traffic of your site.
Award-winning Graphic Design business offering fantastic rates on Flyers, Advertising, Brochures, Logo Design, Stationery, Website Design and much more. We work closely with various clients, large and small, including Audi, Tesco, Homebase, O2, Samsung, Blinkbox, Clubcard and many more. There is a small selection of our work at www.vandermills.co.uk but do send a message if you'd like to see more (We have lots!). We look forward to hearing from you soon! [email protected] 
Your niche is one of the biggest determining factors of your success in generating money. As a starting point, where possible write about something that interests you. If you enjoy hiking, for example, go with that. You could start off looking at REI for products and Zappos for outdoor footwear for inspiration. For movie fans, sites like http://www.redvdit.net/ and http://www.dvdbeaver.com/ are a good start. Take the latter; you can probably make something a lot prettier than DVDBeaver. Similarly, If electronics is your thing, check out wirecutter.com and rtings.com for inspiration, what are they doing well, and what can be improved upon. 

Affiliate marketing is still one of the most reliable ways to earn a recurring passive income online. It takes more work to build a profitable website than it did a few years ago, but it still can be done. You’ll need to put in a lot of effort at the beginning, but afterward you should be able to outsource most of the work and focus on other projects.
It is impossible to provide these unique and very useful information about a product, if you haven’t used or tested it yourself. Of course, there are products you can not test in-depth by your own, like supplements for specific health problems you don’t have, for example. But in these cases you have to do extensive user experience research to get the big picture of what kind of help the product can provide for people.
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is when you earn commissions for recommending products/services to readers (or people you know). This is done by joining affiliate programs, where you get unique links (tagged with your personal ID) that tracks whenever your links convert to a sale. If someone out there buys something through your link, it rains money. Or, well, usually a smallll percentage of the sale, but it’s a start!
We’d be remiss not to mention Commission Junction, who currently reps over 3,000 of the world’s top brands including H&R Block, Home Shopping Network, and The Home Depot. They offer a fairly bare bones pay-per-sale service but it does have a few additional layers you can add for a price. Like ShareASale they offer robust reporting and tracking tools so you can differentiate and see what links are receiving the best ROI.

Although Instagram is one of the younger social media networks, it’s popularity skyrocketed, quickly. Instagram is a primarily visual experience and their typically younger users tent to interact with pictures and videos more than words. Ads through this channel need to have a strong vidual component for Instagram advertising to pay off which can be tricky for some onine marketes. Given that 80% of Instagram users follow brands, and 75% of those that view branded posts take some kind of action, Instagram is worth cracking.


With possibly the most transparent affiliate network online, we give affiliates access to stats no other program dare, including earning data, conversion stats, demographic information and seasonality trends. With ethics and consumer protection being high on the agenda, you can rest assured when working with MoreNiche you are working with an honest, trustworthy and transparent company.
MotoCMS’s Website Builder has all the tools you need to create a website. Features include a drag and drop editor, built in admin panel, responsive web designs, widgets, social integration, SEO integration, and much more. You can create all types of websites like blogs, business websites, and eCommerce stores. The newest version of MotoCMS loads in a blink of an eye which will boost trust in your website and help increase conversion rates.
Darren is one of the most prominent affiliate marketers around, precisely because he’s always open with his history, his techniques, and his success. This post is from 2013, so he’s had three more years to rack up his success, but even then it was impressive. In 2013, it was the 10th year he had been working affiliate marketing with Amazon, and he had racked up nearly half a million dollars.

Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to gain control of their own income by focusing on performance-based revenue options. Working in tandem with a seller, a motivated affiliate marketer will be able to achieve a passive income from the comfort of their home without worrying about producing their own product or service. Although the success of the job does depend on the affiliate’s marketing skills, it can prove to be an effective way to meet your income goals as either a primary career or a profitable second job.


4) The Site’s Niche – Check out Commission Junction and Clickbank… and you’ll see that there is virtually an endless list of products you can promote. However, the “Best-Selling” or “Top Products” from affiliate networks shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when picking your site’s niche. Choosing a niche for your affiliate site should involve more research and analysis than that. After all, the success of your site relies mostly on your topic’s level of demand and how well you take advantage of your readers’ needs.
Many top-tier online brands list their affiliate programs right on their website so you can find them easily. Some are self-administered, others are run through an affiliate marketplace, but you can sign up from the brand’s website. Like marketplaces, these large affiliate programs are free to join and easy for affiliate marketing beginners to navigate.
What’s your passion? The subject that you talk, write and read about day-in and day-out is a good contender for your passion. It doesn’t have to be overly broad like wine reviews. A sharper focus, say West Coast Wine Reviews, can be a better place to start when learning how to affiliate market. In fact, a narrow focus can help your site appear high in the search engines and stand out in social media, which we’ll get to later. For now, start by listing the topics that interest you, starting with the ones you’re knowledgeable about.
Most successful affiliate marketers focus on a market or topic that they have knowledge of or are passionate about — preferably, both. Your niche market doesn’t have to have mass appeal and a huge audience either. As long as there’s some type of audience following the topic and products or services that relate to it, it has affiliate profit potential.
Last but certainly not least is SiteGround. SiteGround is perfect for WordPress enthusiasts because it offers some really amazing WordPress-specific features and 1-click free domain transfer. So they are ideal for anyone looking to change hosting platforms for an established site. They have a very low price point with plans starting $3.45 that includes a free domain, free website builder, free SSL, 10GB of storage space, and free email accounts. They offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee and are highly rated as one of the most reliable and fastest hosts on the internet.
Tim that great advise, I surely do appreciate it. I paid some amount of money last year for someone to help me establish my own website, however I never took it further than that. Now I have tried a few different online scams, that are just that “SCAMS” ! They don’t tell you 90% of the negative behind it, like e-bay or amazon and retail marketing for example. So, anyhow I have a little online experience in different areas, and I have nothing but time on my hands I lost my career a few years back and I can no longer drive. This is fantastic I’am going to take some time and figure out what I am truly interested in and have some knowledge about and start a web site or two. From my heart I truly thank you for the wisdom and encouragement.
Promoting your affiliate storehouse is the next most important thing. Although many affiliates prefer using pay-per-click engines, getting organic search results via the search engines is always a better approach. For this, you would need to seek assistance from a search engine marketing service that will help you achieve the desired results effortlessly. Pay-per-click tools are only for those who are experienced and know what they are doing, so in this case being a beginner you would save a lot of your earnings on these tools.
HI Dawn. Really useful article. Affiliate marketing is something I’ve tried on and off for years but as soon as it comes to keyword research, i block. i’m blind so understanding all the information that keywords research gives you is just soooo. difficult. and i don’t know how to choose longtail keywords. As a result I’ve always stuck to direct selling but I love to write and feel sure that if i got my head around keyword research and knowing how to pick words I could make a go of this. Any advice?

People new to affiliate marketing often mistake PPC for just writing an advertisement with your target keywords thrown in and leaving it at that. Indeed that’s part of it, but that alone won’t get you many sales. To justify paying for PPC, you need to familiarise yourself with how AdWords and Analytics works. A big part of PPC is tracking everything to be sure of what keywords are generating conversions, thus worth bidding on, and which aren’t.
To help you grow faster and keep your headaches to a minimum, you should enlist some help from freelance writers across the web. Resources like UpWork and Freelance Writing Gigs are great for finding quality writers at fairly low costs. UpWork is especially useful at guiding you towards the right candidates, because it has them answer specific questions—set by you—when they apply. You’re looking at anywhere from 25-50 articles to get the ball rolling. Why not delegate that task so you can focus on other important things?
Great article! Number 4 is definitely something that many affiliate marketers fall into. So, for instance, lots of people were making good money selling top tier products through MOBE (My Online Business Education) until the FTC, using its Gestapo tactics, shut everything down overnight. Guilty first before proven innocent seems to be the prevailing motto.
Great post – I’m a bit late in seeing this it seems!I have a question around how you assess the metrics and in turn success of these websites. It’s obvious where the money is coming in for most of them but Im wondering how you assess 50em.com? Its a great looking site but it has around 350-400 organic views a month and does not rank 1st, 2nd or 3rd for most keywords – not even its main target keyword -ontraport vs infusionsoft. Are you assuming its successful because of the high commission rates for these products and they might make 20 sales a month or is there other signs you see that indicate its a profitable site (or do you know the owner!)?

Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.
Click the "get started now" button and let’s get started! (see above). Select a hosting plan that fits your needs. (Normally, if you are just starting out I recommend the basic plan but, if you are really serious about this and want more resources & power go with their Prime or Pro plan). Keep in mind, you can always upgrade your plan as you grow.
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!
Don’t just hope and pray that visitors will buy; setup everything correctly and make it happen! If you think that visitors will click on your affiliate links and buy just because you placed dozens of affiliate links on your website then you are wrong! You need to have a structured plan in place. Affiliate marketing is a business so you will have a much better chance of succeeding if you treat it like one.

Yes is the short answer. Any time you are planing on generating money, you should have a plan. No plan means no real focus. There may be some 1/1000 percent of a chance you will succeed, but I haven't met them yet. If you have already started and have generated an income, record how. Doing so will give you material for use in expanding your business faster.

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