Awesome article! This is jam packed with great info. I am just starting a personal finance blog with my fiance and we were a little confused about how to start monetizing. We were initially thinking about using Google AdSense but between this post and another blog I read I am surely convinced that’s not the correct route. I’m really happy you have shared this information because it’s provided an excellent starting point for creating income.

Something seldom mentioned here is that no online method keeps working forever...or even long term. Product creators can be profitable for a long time on sales from a premium product....but at some point they will need to upgrade or create new products to keep money flowing. Running dozens or hundreds of micro niche affiliate sites used to be very profitable - but things change.


Dr. Rose wrote that she was about to give on in frustration, then, fortuitously, she ran across a pin that blared, “How To Make Your First Affiliate Sale in 24 Hours Using Pinterest.” She clicked it out o fcuriousity, then found out what the “catch” was. The link was to a purchase page for a book by that name. Not wanting to make the purchase — after all ,she’s been blogging for a couple of months, but still ahdn’t made any money, she thought to herself “How’s this possible?”
Affiliate marketing is one of those fabled work-at-home opportunities that people want to aim for, but few actually understand how to get started. Unfortunately, many people don’t even bother trying because they assume that they’ve missed the train. They think that other affiliate marketers are well ahead of them and that there’s no chance to make a lucrative amount of money from it or even turn it into a full-time job.

I will mention the reasons why affiliate marketing is not suited for everyone and why so many people fail at it. Everybody can try it but the truth is the majority of people will fail. There are a lot of false information and too many success stories on the Internet from affiliate marketers. Unfortunately, the result of that is people entering the world of online business with the wrong mindset. And that can only lead to failure.


CPA marketing programs pay affiliates when a specific action is taken by the referral or lead. Common actions include clicks, impressions, form submits, sign-ups, registrations, or opt-ins. Since Cost-Per-Action models don’t necessarily involve a direct sale (and involve more risk taking) the payout percentages are far smaller than they are in Cost-Per-Sale.

Are you an expert in conversion optimisation, sales funnels, SEO, website building, copywriting and proofreading? If so, you have a better chance than most newcomers. Chances are, if you’ve only just heard about affiliate marketing, you don’t have all or even any of these skills just yet. In this case, settle down for the long haul. This is going to take some time, but you will get there – as long as you don’t give up along the way!
Not only that, but your questions are answered so fast it will make your head spin. Going through the live training modules is when I really had my light bulb moment though. Jay is a wizard at teaching you how to actually help people with problems, not sell to them. I could go on but you get the idea. It should be a no brainer to go with WA especially given how great the price is. Highly recommended!

Do you think the inability to connect with the types of people who buy these products makes affiliate marketing a bad fit for me? And don't say I'm lazy or want a quick win because I work hard. I've sunk weeks of research into this and still haven't gone forward. It's easier to get things right the first time. I brought up PBN's for a variety of reasons. Some people think they're the fast track to getting a site deindexed. You obviously think they have some value. They can also take a long time to properly build while minimizing footprints.
More and more people get to my sites from Bing and Yahoo and Ask. If Google want’s to get out of the search engine business, of which I doubt, someone will gladly come by and pick up the slack. What would replace search engines for all the information people are seeking? There is a market and always will be for that. Statistic show the huge and continuing trend to online shopping as well.
The Amazon affiliate program has a 24-hour cookie, which means that once users click on an affiliate link to Amazon, anything they buy in the next 24 hours is commissionable to the affiliate whose link they last clicked. So if you click on Gawker’s affiliate link to Amazon to look at cable ties and end up buying another, unrelated product, Gawker Media still receives a commission for that sale.
There is serious competition in the affiliate marketing sphere. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of any new trends to ensure you remain competitive. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to benefit from at least a few of the new marketing techniques that are constantly being created. Be sure you’re keeping up to date on all these new strategies to guarantee that your conversion rates, and therefore revenue, will be as high as possible.
Hi Tommy. I vet the programs listed on my site and eliminate the ones that people make complaints about. But its important for you to also use your due diligence when you choose a program. Google the name of the company followed by queries such as “complaints” and “fraud” and “scam” to see if people are making accusations. You can also contact their affiliate manager directly to ask questions. If you can’t locate an affiliate manager that is definitely a red flag. Finally, diversify into a few different companies so you can compare them. Hope this helps. Sincerely – Bill
Do you have any tips to offer as far as where to spend the bulk of your time? I get overwhelmed and never know where to start. I started out learning from Pat Flynn and just googling from there, and you're right that once you learn the basics it's just a matter of creating compelling, high value content. I just struggle to figure out what direction to go in. Should I create an identity with lots of personality or just a generic tone on the website? How much do I need to connect with visitors, how important is a strong social media presence? How important is website speed as far as what I get from my host goes (outside of website performance on my end)?
Dave makes a very valid point. If I visit each of my websites in succession (all are different topics), the Google ads tend to stick with the topic of the first site, presumably trying to get me to buy by repeating the same ads through my period of browsing different sites. I’ve certainly seen my affiliate income drop off dramatically in the last 2 years. Some free applications that folk download, install software to hijack affiliate banners. Meanwhile, merchants have become better at marketing themselves online without the need for affiliate help. I also believe that Google tends to ‘ban’ certain practices, to clear the way for them to take over where the competition has been suppressed. Affiliate marketing isn’t quite dead, but it’s getter tougher all the time!

It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to customize your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product recommendations. You shouldn’t just focus on the vertical you’re in, but on the traffic sources and audience that’s visiting your site. Traffic sources may include organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic. You can view traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as time on page, bounce rate, geo location, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more so that you can focus your effort on the highest converting traffic. This analytics data is crucial to making informed decisions, increasing your conversion rates, and making more affiliate sales. 
Since I share affiliate marketing strategies with awesome people like you, naturally my content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I’ll earn some coffee money ☕️ which I promise to drink while creating more helpful content like this.Affiliate Disclosure
That’s totally up to you but if there are products/services that could help your audience then in my opinion you should definitely think about promoting them. You could use affiliate marketing not just for making extra money for yourself but also for providing more options/solutions to your readers. Assuming of course, that your audience will appreciate that.
And recent Ad and Commerce Operations job postings by the company state that the position entails “develop[ing] interesting new revenue sources for the company, helping to expand our successful e-commerce campaigns (which have driven approximately $160m in sales to partners)” and include the notation that “experience with commerce-oriented ad APIs (e.g., Amazon Product Advertising API)” is something that’s nice for applicants to have.
4. Rakuten Formerly Buy.com, Rakuten.com has grown into a monster. Rakuten ranks among the top three e-commerce companies in the world with over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners and more than 18 million customers. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales.
Hi Kyle, that is a good post. A few weeks ago i was one click away from joining an affiliate network called GAZ then i looked further into it and it looke to me to be one of the systems that simply sells its own memberships. The coach that i was connected with assured me it was a legit system that sells health products but for the life of me i could not find proof of that online.
On the off chance that you have no any product/item/service and need to enjoy passive income, then you may advertise an item that you think has esteem and can aid you make money as an affiliate marketer. The thought behind this is that you advance, promote and advertise other individuals’ products or services, regularly through an associate/affiliate system, gaining a commission, if individuals really wind up purchasing because of your marketing skills–> Affiliate Marketer.
I ran a cookie test to see the effect of the SAH toolbar on my links to a major sheet music supplier in the USA. Without the SAH toolbar a cookie named “affiliate” is set to my affiliate ID number. If the SAH toolbar is enabled the cookie contents are changed to the affiliate ID number of the toolbar operator – and that is just having the toolbar enable, not even clicking on anything in the toolbar to collect cashback.
But this post is not about the most common mistakes affiliate marketers make. This post is about the reasons why people with certain false expectations and the wrong kind mentality should not attempt affiliate marketing. People fail because of their mindset and behavior and not because affiliate marketing doesn’t work. This kind of characteristics are mentioned below. But remember you can always change your way of thinking. It’s just a choice. In order to succeed, you must have the mindset of an entrepreneur.

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.


Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".

“It took me about six months to make my first affiliate sale, and my first affiliate sale was worth about $35,” Miki says. This blogger went on to say, “I didn’t make my first dollar until I decided to invest in the “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” course. Taking an affiliate marketing course was the best decision I ever made because I had no idea how much money I was leaving on the table. This course taught me the exact strategies to make money with affiliate marketing.”

You are also right about writing about s topic you are passionate about. I learned that one not in a bad way because when I first started here I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about and it has happened and I love what I write about. What really matters to me is that the ones that come here  to read gain knowledge and value . Passionate about helping whoever I can whaleneverI can
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.
In concept, Gawker Media’s content is created to inform, and then they monetize within it where possible. I say “in concept” because I’m sure that their content strategy is not entirely uninfluenced by their ability to monetize it. But the important aspect is that the content their sites produce would still have relevance, purpose and value to a user without being monetized.
Let me just say that finding a legit affiliate marketing program these days is extremely difficult. Since 2013, I’ve had this site up and have been exploring which ones work and which ones don’t. The 95% of systems I’ve found, don’t. The remaining 5% do, but many of these good places have also gone out of business, not because they were bad, but because they were overtaken by other sites, some good, some not so good.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[18] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[13]
Where do you start?!? This is the age of the INTERNET! There are simply piles and piles of free resources at your disposal. In fact, if you sign up for my free 7-day affiliate marketing e-course, you’ll be up and running in just one week from today. You’ll have a business plan and your very own website ready for success. From there, all you have to do is feed your awesome new website fresh content. Just 2 or 3 pages per day will be enough to see success within’ 6 months.
Kyle – I was recently burned (but thankfully only for $7) by an outfit called Rich Janitor, whose spiel was that he’d stumbled on some way to make fabulous money on the net. After signing up, I was immediately pommeled with an offer for ‘special individual help from the founder’, which would only cost me an additional $497. I declined, and immediately started seeking out legitimate ways to make money on the net, and came across Wealthy Affiliate, on which I am now a member.

Most new affiliate marketers have no problem creating content…. at first. But 6 months in? Hardly anyone makes it that far. The reason is because most people simply don’t like to write as much as they think they do. Once writing becomes a job instead of a hobby, motivation to keep going can easily waver. As an affiliate marketer, you’ll essentially become a full time content creator, and most of that will be in the written form. Can you handle writing 1,000 word articles every single day?

Advertisers often prefer affiliate marketing as a way to promote their products because they know they’ll only need to pay for the advertising when there’s a conversion. I knew when I started this affiliate program that while I’d earn less for each sale that having a network of affiliates promoting it would almost certainly increase overall sales levels.
Assuming a four-percent cut may be underestimating the overall commission rate the media giant averages. Amazon’s commission structure consists of multiple classes of commission rates. Certain product categories have fixed commission rates, while commissions on General Products start at four percent and can go up to 8.5 percent, depending on sales volume.
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
When I visited San Juan several years ago, I took a bus tour of the city. The driver was very diligent about pointing out the casinos, extolling their virtues, and asking people to tell them he sent them to get a free drink. That tour guide was an "Affiliate Marketer" - he connected people looking for a good time with an establishment that offered it, and got paid to do so.
Mobile continues to dominate the discussion and many people don’t know how to effectively market to these groups. The mobile marketing funnel differs from the traditional marketing funnel, and simply copying your existing marketing practices over to mobile won’t help. If you are interested in some resources that explain this, check out our Mobile Marketing 101 webinar.
I am always skeptical of such internet celebrities. Real successful affiliate marketers don't go around publicizing how they are making their money. They usually profit from the publicity. I don't know this guy, but I am sure if I do a little digging I will find something he is selling directly or covertly to its followers and that will be his real source of income.

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.


For me I would choose a program with Recurring commission. You can build a real passive income. Its the best way to go! One suggestion is contact companies who sell services and ask if you can sell their service for them. Sometimes popular affiliate programs like these have just way too many people trying to sell their service. I personally went to sitecare.ca and asked them if I could sell their service and I couldn’t be happier! So find a service you believe in and go for it!

As a course developer and promoter, I can say that on the face of of it, promoting can be easier than developing one. The upside of development though, is that once it’s done, have to do is keep it updated and it can earn you money for years. That’s the case with my SEO copywriter training course, which I’ve been teaching (and earning from) since 2009.


I am so tired of the affiliate marketing scams. Thomas Witek, who has been a marketing for only a few years, falls on the fact that he was a "former" apple developer. Several times the programs he puts out he promises lifetime updates, but this is so FAR from the truth. He's very rude when you call him out on this. Recently he sold Tube Hammer. Thought it was interesting and when I got the program, already had a YouTube account banned in 48 hours, after he said it wasn't possible. I had the YouTube account for 4 years and just now after using TubeHammer it's banned. I also paid for ClickJacker 4, and after 8 emails to him and his nonexistent support, he still has not responded. Well, today I will report this to PayPal and get a refund and asked that he be banned because of his persistent scams, which others are also complaining about on a mass basis. I promise to get him BARRED/BANNED and report him to the Better Business Bureau and wherever else I can to get him off of his fake affiliate marketing kick. He's another one with the fake screen shots. I called him out on this and still no response to this. BEWARE OF "THOMAS WITEK.
The most popular way to make money with SEO seems to be affiliate marketing. Just put some of these terms in YouTube and you'll find plenty of guru's. I'm on the verge of creating a site for marketing these digital products but had a thought today; why are all these guru's selling courses? From people like Alex Becker all the way down the food chain, they all have things in common like clickbait titles on YouTube, video intros where they show off exotic cars and always showing off their earnings pages as well. I started to wonder, was I the product? I mean I haven't purchased any courses but I have spent plenty of time watching these videos looking for those golden nuggets.
Wealthy Affiliate was where we got our foundation, and today many years later, we have a legit online business that has generated over 6 figures a year for the past several years and we’re currently building a products business that’s looking to grow much bigger. But WA is certainly where it all began, so yeah – we can vouch for that. We proudly tell people that we got our basics at Wealthy Affiliate.
I love your thoughts on this and totally agree. It’s interesting to watch the multitude of new opportunities that are coming up as technology advances and the social and mobile space expand – further the international landscape allows for further reach. I agree, Google does not own the world, and people will continue to be innovative leading to continued incremental value through affiliate marketing. Thanks for commenting!
If an affiliate changes the terms of its program, your revenues could be directly affected. Choosing the wrong affiliates can also be problematic if your blog or website audience doesn't feel compelled to buy their products or services. With the affiliate-marketing industry experiencing a boom, you’ll also have to contend with competition from other marketers shilling the same affiliate products.

I would like to add that for information products, a lot of the time it’s pretty easy to rank for “information product review”. I recently did a review of a popular ebook that is a month long discipline program. I went about it by doing the actual program and documenting everything. At the end of the month I wrote up a 2700 word article summing up the whole experience.
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4. Rakuten Formerly Buy.com, Rakuten.com has grown into a monster. Rakuten ranks among the top three e-commerce companies in the world with over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners and more than 18 million customers. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales.
If you have a passion to learn this Ian, I can definitely help you out. There are a few things I will always be real about. Success does not happen overnight. It takes hard work, but anyone can achieve success within the affiliate marketing world if they are willing to work at it. If you are cool with that idea, then I invite you to check out Wealthy Affiliate, a platform where you can get personal coaching and help directly from me and absolutely everything you need to create and grow a business to any level online.
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.

Personally, I feel that affiliate marketing will never die regardless of what Google does – Because Google is not the only traffic source in the world. I work directly with the vendors as their main affiliate because I push around 1,000 – 1,500 leads per day – vast majority of the leads being on advertising platforms other than Adwords. The only way I see affiliate marketing coming to an end is if there is some sort of Governance of the Internet by the United Nations – or something freaky like that. As long as there is advertising platforms with great inventory, the right affiliates will never let the industry fade away. My primary point being – that SEO or Paid Placement (PPC / PPA / Media Buys) will never “die”. It’s out of Google’s hands!
Many low-quality affiliate marketing training programs have contributed to the creation of that myth and that is really a shame (if you want to learn how to spot the real ones click here). But that’s not how affiliate marketing really works. The truth is that you have to accept that you will lose some money in the beginning but if you have a plan and a strategy things will improve over time. If you need to make money online right now you should look for something else.

I would keep the experience very simple for now. Make it clean, easy to navigate, but don’t worry about backgrounds or graphical headers too much. You can worry about all of that later. For now, focus on your content until you’re getting a decent amount of traffic (at least 50-100 visitors per day, maybe more) and at that point I think it would be okay to start tweaking the design a little bit and working on the “branding” aspects a bit more.
Many affiliate marketers use paid advertising to generate additional traffic to their site and drive more sales. Paid advertising on social media is often a good place to start, as these networks tend to be more affordable.You may also want to consider taking out inexpensive banner ads on small niche sites. Depending on your niche, Google AdWords could also be a good option to drive some paid traffic to your site.
Campaign tracking tools are more robust, allowing better decision-making and supporting a wider variety of promotional methods. In addition to standard online sales tracking, you can also track referrals by phone, by coupon code, by in-store purchases stemming from online referrals, across multiple devices, and even pay affiliates by multiple in-bound referral sources.
Whether you want to use affiliate marketing to boost your earnings, or you want to carve out a new career, it’s not too late to join some programs and start work as an affiliate. With dedication, creativity, and persistence, you could supplement your salary. If you know how to create great content, you could engage a loyal and highly engaged audience.
Sorry to hear you were taken by the MOBE scheme. You certainly are not alone and currently the receiver is in the process of recouping some of the money (as much as they can), to pay back to the customers. Be careful not to fall in this trap again, anything with a “phone coach” is more than likely a scam. These people, as you have figured out are not in fact coaches, rather they are high pressure sales people with the only goal of getting as much as they can get out of customers.
As affiliate networks keep coming up with more effective techniques, as well as better payment methods these numbers can only keep getting bigger. In addition, proficient online entrepreneurs like you know just how incredibly effective blogging can be at driving traffic to their websites for the purpose of marketing affiliate products and services to visitors. Blogging, and affiliate marketing is indeed a very lucrative business.
The area that really breathes life into the “Is affiliate marketing worth the effort?” question is trial and error. Successful affiliate marketing will take quite a bit of it, and you shouldn’t expect to build your website one day, and be flooded with commissions from sales the next. This is where many people give up on affiliate marketing, and get the wrong impression that just because success isn’t instant, it must not be for them. You’re not going to hit every mark from the get-go, and you’re going to need to look at your statistics to see what’s working and what’s not in terms of attracting audiences and turning their visits into new sales.
A quick and inexpensive method of making money without the hassle of actually selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable draw for those looking to increase their income online. But how does an affiliate get paid after linking the seller to the consumer? The answer is complicated. The consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product for the affiliate to get a kickback. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently. The affiliate may get paid in various ways:
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