File-Sharing: Web sites that host directories of music, movies, games and other software. Users upload content to file-hosting sites and then post descriptions of the material and their download links on directory sites. Uploaders are paid by the file-hosting sites based on the number of times their files are downloaded. The file-hosting sites sell premium download access to the files to the general public. The websites that host the directory services sell advertising and do not host the files themselves.
If you’re wary something is a scam, chances are your intuition is correct. If you don’t understand what the program is or they don’t let you try it before you buy it, then I would be weary of joining at all. And if people tend to seem protective actually what you’re going to be doing an like it’s some sort of secret, then I would also avoid any programs that take that approach. They’re hiding something for reason (and its usually that you are going to be taken advantage of).
To break down the question “Is affiliate marketing worth the effort?” take a look at the efforts I’ve laid out, and determine for yourself. In order to be successful in affiliate marketing you’ll need to choose a product category to focus on, learn about your audience, build a website or blog audiences can trust, create LOTS of content, and promote your content and your product, and with the right trial and error, you could be well on your way to receiving those commission checks from happy brands earned by referring happy customers. In terms of regular maintenance you will need to keep up with the latest online marketing trends, promote your content regularly, and continue learning about how your product category of choice is developing in today’s modern age in order to remain a trusted resource on your chosen topic.
The fact remains that affiliate marketing has changed rather than died. After all, vendors will always need others to help sell their products, since they likely won’t be able to handle all of the marketing work themselves. However, affiliate marketing is certainly no easy way to start making money overnight, as is the case with any form of Internet marketing.
Aside from the obvious advantages of running your own business, being able to work online from anywhere at any time, and having the freedom to choose just how hard you work, there are a few other perks. Affiliates with a strong social following (also known as influencers) can expect to receive freebies from advertisers looking to boost their brand awareness.
Almost everything can be sold under affiliate marketing. There was a time when only specific items, such as electronics, were sold under affiliate marketing campaigns, however now everything from software to eBooks are sold and purchased under affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is an easy and tested way to give a boost to sales, which is why more companies are trying this concept.”
In 1996, Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com, popularized this idea as an Internet marketing strategy. Amazon.com attracts affiliates to post links to individual books for sale on Amazon.com, or for Amazon.com in general, by promising them a percentage of the profits if someone clicks on the link and then purchases books or other items. The affiliate helps make the sale, but Amazon.com does everything else: They take the order, collect the money and ship the book to the customer. With over 500,000 affiliate Web sites now participating, Amazon.com's program is a resounding success.
But big brands began to become enlightened in the mid-2000s. They started to invest more and more budget into online marketing initiatives, while Google slowly moved to favoring them in the search results. Blogs were undergoing a metamorphosis — evolving from glorified online diaries to significant sources of valuable content with increasingly large readerships.
Amazon is an amazing platform to be an affiliate of. They provide much detail and reviews that people are looking for. The only problem is that the affiliates don’t always read the fine print. What I mean is, if you have no sales in a certain amount of time, they revoke your membership. Always read up on your contract, with any company, and know what to expect.
In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy.[10] By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking.[11] In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.[12]
I just wanted to say you're awesome for engaging in the conversation here, as a reader, I've learned some. I'm part of a group of entrepreneur's (and some wantrepreneurs) and I always enjoy seeing how some of them make their money. A lot of people wanting to start get rich quick companies, but a lot of others grinding out IG accounts, websites, dropshipping deals, either promoting their own product or someone elses. Just today I saw someone launch a new store website and they had $1000 in sales and 1000 visitors the first 30 minutes (granted they had a youtube channel with 100k subscribers already). It's cool stuff. My "real job" pays pretty good, but I've got one website going and looking to create more on the side for what will hopefully be enough to cover all my expenses so I can FI/RE one day.
Hi Brian, every single one of those programs has success stories whose income reports you can find if you Google the name of the program. Since I haven’t dived as deeply into the other 4 programs like WA, I can’t give you a specific number there. But when it comes to WA, I can definitely show you some real success stories (here). There’s a lot of people doing well with this program (as well as the others).
Try to post at least 2-3 pieces of high quality content per week. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, but realize if you’re only posting one piece of high quality content per week it can take 2-3 times longer before you’ll see consistent results. The major search engines take time to catch up and acknowledge your website as high quality but, once they do, you can receive a flood of traffic and much of the content you’ve already produced will begin receiving higher rankings as well, resulting in a “waterfall effect” where it will be very clear that you’ve “broken through”.
Since you are not actually carrying or storing the products you are selling, the sky is the limit! There are no limitations to what you can sell or how much of it you can sell. This all translates into endless opportunities for profit making. Also, since there are no physical items being sent from you to the buyer, you don’t even need to worry about packaging and shipping!

Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don't be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you. 
I tried out affiliate marketing a year ago and had absolutely no results. But because I am into self-development and I love sharing this information with other people, I kept creating content for absolutely no money. If it would have been any other niche, I would have probably given up on the third month. And then I would be one of those people online shouting that affiliate marketing doesn’t work.. just kidding. 🙂
My point I wish to make & and illustrated by you. Is that there is legit & illegitimate opportunity out there in “ALL” businesses / opportunities. As a very proud networker marketer, yes I will name my company, MaxInternational. I thoroughly researched the company & its science, and the how & why we bring to the world our brand of scientifically proven products.
After claiming them, you’re going to want to start finding blogs where your target audience hangs out, and leave comments that are useful, and relevant to the topic. By leaving a link to your website when you leave a comment, visitors will begin to trickle onto your site, and you’ll open the door to building a relationship with the webmaster that you can tap into later on down the road.
The fact remains that affiliate marketing has changed rather than died. After all, vendors will always need others to help sell their products, since they likely won’t be able to handle all of the marketing work themselves. However, affiliate marketing is certainly no easy way to start making money overnight, as is the case with any form of Internet marketing.
So how can affiliate marketing evolve to fit this growth and the changing market dynamics?  I have come to realize it is because in every performance marketer’s DNA, is the ability to constantly change and have a laser focus on performance. Affiliates only get paid on performance and it is this mentality that has allowed the industry to mature and grow.
Of the many key reasons these sites are so massively successful, one stands out in particular: they are genuinely helpful to their visitors. When you need to renew your car insurance, do you seriously go filling in forms on every individual provider’s website, or do you instead just fill in the one form on a site like Comparethemarket to get all the quotes you need at once? If you think about the answer honestly, you’ll realise exactly why comparison websites like this are so genuinely useful to a visitor.
An elegantly straightforward process, affiliate marketing via reviews, blogs, social media, and other platforms is a new frontier in marketing that’s just waiting to be utilized. Follow the tips included in this article, and you’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance your paycheck one click at a time.
For instance, five years ago this forum was absolutely packed with super successful affiliate marketers and product creators and list builders and there was loads of amazing information available here for free (and it still is, if people would learn how to use the "search" function). Today, not so much. Just the same old people asking the same old questions OVER AND OVER AND OVER!
Now those are the easy parts of Affiliate Marketing (other than finding your niche/topic to discuss). The hardest part is trying to use your blog posts to rank, in Bing, Google or Yahoo so you can start getting traffic. That is the hardest thing to do is trying to get traffic to your site then they will either buy or not buy that program or product. The reason being is that getting traffic to your site takes time and hard work in order to do that.
I don’t like how other sites brag about their income and show hundred and thousands of dollars they are making per month while in reality very few sites can achieve that level of income. I welcome more realistic approach with more decent numbers. Because when expectations are wrong you can easily lose motivation after 2,3 months and quit. That’s why I believe it’s very important to give people a more sound motivation.
Once you’re signed up, complete your personal consultation interview. You’ll then get access to your own affiliate mentor plus our Academy training course. Here you can learn everything from how to build your first website through to optimising it for greater conversion rates, plus everything in-between. Written by our affiliate management team, the guides are in-depth and super helpful.
It takes several months to really get off of the ground with affiliate marketing, and they’re some of the toughest weeks that any internet entrepreneur will face in their careers. You work hours and hours each week producing 2-3 pieces of content, answering comments/emails, etc… but still the site is barely getting any traffic or it’s not making much money.
You say people that trust a website or mailing list can be sold anything. Once again, not following. I would never completely trust a website. When I research something I go to multiple websites and formulate my own opinion. Personally, I have zero tolerance for spam emails. Let's say I buy something from XYZ company. The minute they send anything besides tracking info, I'm in the email looking for the unsubscribe link.
I’m seeing more and more “bundled installs.” They first came to my attention because a client said that some of his employees went in and used their own site one day and saw a strange display ad at the top of the home page. Somehow one of their affiliates had not only cookie-stuffed their customers, but had installed a software application on their site so that anyone who received the cookie and visited their domain would see a banner ad for his site. I think that’s really insidious.
I totally agree, Don (and sorry it took me so long to see this post! EEK!). Authentic content and value do come out but it takes a little bit of training and thought from the merchant side to really understand what impact each affiliate is bringing to the table. As you said, once you’ve been able to identify which affiliates are brining you good value, you’re able to make better decisions on who to approve into your program and not. Thanks for the comment!
Thanks for your time and really great feedback from your experiences with Google, Amazon and EBay. The amount of people struggling with this issue is really mind boggling and I’m all ears to potential solutions to the problem. I’m also all ears on how this industry will survive if Google decides to shut it down completely. The power really is in their hands in a lot of ways. But since they don’t own EVERYTHING yet, there are still opportunities out there in the social, mobile and offline arenas. There are also a few affiliates who have recovered from both Panda and Penguin and are still going strong. Though those seem to be far and few between at the moment…
Hey Vlad! If it’s any consolation, feeling overwhelmed at multiple points while building a successful online business is very, very normal. I think it would be much more abnormal to not feel intimidated or overwhelmed at all. I can’t tell you how many times I burned out, gave up, and came back a couple of months later before I made decent money for the first time.
It was for $1.49. I had to pay a few people to help me out. So I’m actually still in the negative but I’m hoping consistency is going to pay off. I focused mostly on social media because I knew my site wasn’t going to be ranked very high more then likely for awhile. It’s been fun overall. I try to stay active researching and adding posts at least a few times a week.
Another over-looked aspect of affiliate marketing is the proliferation of rewards and loyalty programs. Affiliate Marketers love incentives: “Get double points for today only!” or “Buy one now, get a $10 gift certificate”. These are all compelling messages that can drive a huge amount of traffic. But we don’t necessarily think of these as being associated with affiliates.
Adgild Hop, Head of Retail Consulting at Cap Gemini commented “2014 has been an important milestone for the online retail sector, with the £100 billion mark being exceeded for the first time. When we consider that almost £1 in every £4 is now spent online, and that a large proportion of the other £3 is influenced by some form of digital interaction, it becomes very clear that retailers need to continue to embrace the opportunity that e-retail poses.”
If you are involved in such a program as this or being sold a program like this, you are on the fringes of operating in a space in which the FTC is going to be investigating the program you are involved with. If you are operating in an MLM where your goal is to recruit others into it, be careful. That is not an mlm, that is likely going to be deemed at some point a pyramid scheme.
I totally agree, Don (and sorry it took me so long to see this post! EEK!). Authentic content and value do come out but it takes a little bit of training and thought from the merchant side to really understand what impact each affiliate is bringing to the table. As you said, once you’ve been able to identify which affiliates are brining you good value, you’re able to make better decisions on who to approve into your program and not. Thanks for the comment!
I’ve been thinking about affiliate marketing for a while now and decided to check to see if they are a scam. Your info was valuable. I don’t know all the ins and outs about affiliate marketing. I get bits and pieces. One question I have is do you buy your products or can you get them drop shipped from a supplier. I have a product in mind to make so am also wondering about stock. Any info will help.
And with the emergence of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, the potential reach for affiliate marketers has increased significantly. Social networks are an affiliate marketer’s dream come true: they offer a constantly changing feed for which they can tailor their ads, as well as gain valuable remarketing data on shoppers’ habits. This is a relatively untapped market that is only going to continue to expand. So affiliates aren’t dead and gone; we’re right in front of you. You probably just don’t recognize us.
If you follow the proven methods I’ve used to build my affiliate marketing business, you’ll spend the vast majority of your time WRITING. My business is all about creating content, content, and more content. Are there other ways of succeeding at affiliate marketing? Certainly, but I find that content marketing is by far the single most profitable method of affiliate marketing.

If you are involved in such a program as this or being sold a program like this, you are on the fringes of operating in a space in which the FTC is going to be investigating the program you are involved with. If you are operating in an MLM where your goal is to recruit others into it, be careful. That is not an mlm, that is likely going to be deemed at some point a pyramid scheme.
Amazon is an amazing platform to be an affiliate of. They provide much detail and reviews that people are looking for. The only problem is that the affiliates don’t always read the fine print. What I mean is, if you have no sales in a certain amount of time, they revoke your membership. Always read up on your contract, with any company, and know what to expect.

The internet offers boundless possibilities for earning a living online. Upwork and Freelancers Union found that 35% of the American workforce was doing some type of freelance work in 2016, and 73% said technology made it easier to find that work. One of the ways to harness the internet as an income source is pursuing affiliate marketing. It’s intended as a way to generate passive income, but does it really work? Let’s consider. 
4. Zero Entitlement – This has been the death of many potentially successful marketers on the internet. Affiliate marketing is no get rich quick scheme — it’s a business that requires dedication, effort and hard work. If you feel entitled to earn money because you placed a few ads or you followed a guide and are expecting instant or guaranteed returns, you will be killed! Failure is just a lesson learnt and a step closer to success.
A few years ago when everyone jumped on the rebill bandwagon, the money will flowing and many were making money, it was a bubble that was sure to burst and it did. Unfortunately many people were using some grey methods (and some straight shady methods) to promote these and the FTC, networks and merchants have really cracked down on this. Many of these people weren't able to adapt to a more whitehat and legit approach.

My first suggestion? Don’t start a coupon site. Affiliate managers are sick to death of reviewing affiliate applications where 80% of the new applications are pop-up coupon sites that are trying to get into the market. If you’re coming in now, you’re way too late. Merchants do not need 100+ coupon sites. They only need a handful of selected ones to get the job done.
This is a very good article and in great depth. It is good to have this sort of information online for customers who are interested in venturing into the world of affiliate marketing. I myself have looked online for many different ways to make money online and whilst coming across affiliate marketing, I never went ahead because I was scared and had very limited knowledge.
Thanks for your time and really great feedback from your experiences with Google, Amazon and EBay. The amount of people struggling with this issue is really mind boggling and I’m all ears to potential solutions to the problem. I’m also all ears on how this industry will survive if Google decides to shut it down completely. The power really is in their hands in a lot of ways. But since they don’t own EVERYTHING yet, there are still opportunities out there in the social, mobile and offline arenas. There are also a few affiliates who have recovered from both Panda and Penguin and are still going strong. Though those seem to be far and few between at the moment…
Bloggers use different channels outside of (but not excluding SEO) to drive new traffic and business to their websites and build solid relationships with their readers through shared opinions that are either original, said with conviction or as a proven expert in their field. They rely on building a following through social channels, newsletters or RSS feeds, search, conferences, online and offline PR and even good old word of mouth. All in all, they don’t put all their eggs in one basket.
I wasn’t until mid-2017 that I began to see some traction. My blog finally began to receive organic traffic, and that inevitably led to some affiliate sales. Most of the time, it was just $5-$15. I was in no way enough to support me, but it still was something. Hey, if you love what you do and you don’t expect to be paid for it, but you do anyway, you’ll feel good about it regardless of the amount.
Many people are just lying to you. Making money is not easy at all. Why should it be easy in online world? You are right. It’s different from a so called normal business. You just promote services/products and earn a commission. You don’t need to stock products, ship or return them. This is an easy part of affiliate marketing business. The rest is not easy. It takes effort and time.
While affiliate marketing does take a lot of effort, the basic skills required are really simple to catch on to, and by learning them, you could start earning real money in a fairly short period of time. If you find a product niche you’re passionate about, you could even earn money by simply expressing your genuine love for a product you believe in, and feel good knowing you’re sharing your experience with others who will love the product as well.
But I think the biggest deciding factor in this, goes back to the site as a whole and all of the other posts. Are the genuine? Is the blogger constantly trying to push products? I’d like to think I’ve been doing this long enough that my audience knows I’m not out to make a quick buck – and I think even relatively new bloggers can prove this based on their other content.
The affiliate marketing industry is growing steadily. An independent survey commissioned by Rakuten Affiliate Network found that affiliate marketing is set to reach $6.8 billion by 2020. Ninety percent of advertisers included in the survey said that affiliate programs were important or very important to their overall marketing strategy, with the majority of publishers reporting that affiliate partnerships drove more than 20% of annual revenue.
Greed is something that is slowly taking over the internet marketing and affiliate marketing spaces and hopefully the better interest of the people within this niche and the “voice” of the people will reclaim this industry. I can slowly see an uprising to these and people of the opinion of “making money at any cost” are hopefully slowly transforming their businesses putting the customer first. Those that do will prevail.
I was able to make my first online dollars through Amazon Affiliate sales… It was never much and in the beginning I was just excited to make $10 in a month, which was enough for a free ebook or two. With regular updates and link inclusions in my posts over time I was able to grow the number up to like $300 a month–which I was pretty happy with. Of course the payout rates are paltry compared to a sale of an info product like one from Unconventional Guides, etc. Thing is, people seem to be more open to purchasing physical products rather than information products…

Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site. 


Maybe you have heard that term before or maybe not but you should know that it affects even experienced marketers sometimes and not only beginners. What it basically means is when people go from one method or from one training course to another hoping they will succeed this time. They spot something new online that looks promising and they get excited. They will try it for a short period of time but pretty soon they get discouraged and move on to the next one. Don’t be that person. Ignore the distractions that promise you easy results. Distractions lead to procrastination. Stay focused on your path.
Wow Yuwanda, I’m so impressed with this site and very thankful you made it! I’m very new to all this and chose a site on what I was interested in and that’s drones. They are fun to use and a wide variety so this was a easy choice. I made lists of different price ranges for people looking to buy one as a gift or for themselves. I’m constantly looking up new ideas and trying to find other people’s experiences with affiliate marketing. That’s why this site was so amazing to me. It’s very inspiring and I’ll be checking back from time to time to read everyone’s experiences. Thanks a lot! BTW I signed up for share a sell through you. Maybe they have something I can add

I spent much of my time curating quality content and promoting it on social media. Honestly, I still spend a lot of time doing those tough tasks, but now I’ve built a strong foundation and the sales are coming in consistently. These days, I make around $500 in passive affiliate sales each month, in addition to my other blog revenue! I can’t complain. The long haul was worth it.


My name is Philip and I first learnt how to make money online with the best online community available. This is my simple blog where I explore the complex and frustrating journey that is called Affiliate Marketing. I hope you find the information within these pages helpful and effective. If you wish to have me as a mentor, to show you how to make money online, then go to Start Here page.


Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates".[34] Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
Communicate with affiliate managers — Your affiliate managers should have a strong grasp on your activities and placements of offers. This helps them identify any low hanging fruit for affiliates. Tap into that knowledge and communicate with them. Although, they can’t provide 1:1 training, they can point you in the right direction and help get started or improve performance.
Major companies like Google, Amazon, and eBay have joined the affiliate marketplace. These companies have the resources to get their ads in front of a large audience. Anyone can publish their affiliate ads on their webpage and earn commission on any sales. These ads serve a rotation of ads based on your site’s content and traffic. So now if you end up at a country musician’s homepage, you might see Amazon ads for country CDs, or eBay ads for guitars online. This is affiliate marketing on a large scale.
Despite its older origins, email marketing is still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists they can use to promote the seller’s products. Others may leverage email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning a commission after the consumer purchases the product. Another method is for the affiliate to cultivate email lists over time. They use their various campaigns to collect emails en masse, then send out emails regarding the products they are promoting.
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