The most important part of affiliate marketing is not selling but helping your audience. By offering solutions you are building trust. People will buy from you only if they trust you. The more you try to sell the fewer sales you will make. If all you see at people is the chance to make $ then you are not going to achieve much. Anyone can offer their affiliate links and tell their visitors “click here” or “Buy Now”. But if that’s the only thing you want to do you are just sabotaging your own business.

If you find a website or a product you want to sell, use or promote, do some research. Look at the whole picture and get a feel for who they are, what they represent and see if they appear honest. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you agree to promote someone's product or represent someone else's interest in the affiliate marketing world.
This is real informatic information. I found this one real meaningful, wow! you truly showing the way affiliate works. I agree ad monetize can be passive income theme while affiliate can be our primary hope…I read so many articles but feels like something is hidden..but found this one real insidefull. This is showing us how our 100 bug can be harvested from from small sources. Because newbies might want to give up blogging as they are not going to earn because they thought it’s one shot income source. Thanks Sean it will really encourage every new entrepreneurs.
On the other hand, they may need longer to think about it. Perhaps they’re waiting for payday, or they’re not quite sure yet whether they prefer the blue one that they also spotted while browsing around the advertiser’s site. They may go away and come back in a couple of weeks’ time, no longer able to resist the urge to blow their wages on a better board.
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.
Influencers, high profile leaders, and authors. ‘Influencer’ is a popular buzzword right now, and that space overlaps with affiliates more than you would initially think. Simply put, to earn big commissions in affiliate marketing you want to get the right product/service in front of the right audience with the right message. Influencers already have a strong audience, and are determined to continue to grow it into the millions, making them perfect for affiliate programs. For some time, the space has been very fixated on monetizing through general sponsorship for a one-time payment, however, an affiliate payout allows the influencer to earn ongoing revenue for as long as the content lives on. This can easily earn the right influencer 10x more in the long-term.
That is how high ticket programs work, they close the deals through fine as it is very difficult to sell high ticket products of $5K plus without some sort of phone consultation. This is very often how they will capture your financial details by asking how much money you have and what sort of access you have to “debt”. These are sure signs up of a program you never want to get involved in. If they are phone you offering high ticket programs or if they are asking you how much money you have in terms of access to debt, RUN!
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!
I agree, many programs out there are very eager to take your money…in fact TOO eager. Then when it comes to offering their service or their product, they hide behind the walls or anonymity without any repercussions. Fortunately there is a voice that people have within the online space to share their experiences with such programs these days to help others avoid them.
I’d like to end this post by saying that I wish Greg all the best in his life. I learned a long time ago that when people steal from you, it’s probably because they need the money more than you do. I mean, what if Greg had a daughter in the hospital and he needed the money to pay for her surgery? In this scenario, I can feel good about donating my $5000 to help save his daughter’s life.
You can’t rush this process. It takes time and will get overwhelming at multiple points in your journey, but in the end it’s worth it. You have to keep focused on your goals of working for yourself, quitting your horrible job, developing some extra income, spending more time with your family, etc… and use those goals as motivation to push through the hard times when you feel like you just don’t have anything left to give.
While affiliate marketers are generally able to join affiliate networks for free, merchants usually have to pay a fee to participate in the network. Affiliate networks usually charge an initial setup fee for each merchant and often a recurring membership fee. It’s also common practice for affiliate networks to charge merchants a percentage of the commissions paid to affiliates. This percentage is known as an ‘over-ride’ and is payable on top of the affiliates commissions. But make no mistake about it, despite these fees, the benefits to the merchant for joining these networks is well worth the price. Here’s why…
I believe in The Law Of Attraction and I believe what you put out you will get back in return. Basically if you are willing to really work on your business then you should go out and do what you can to achieve all your goals. Results in affiliate marketing can vary from time to time but once you get consistent traffic to your site you will surprise how many sales you will get.
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
Mediocre product publishers that we’ve reviewed repeatedly here on StoppingScams like Ewen Chia, Adam Horwitz, and Michael Cheney might lead you to think so, but fortunately the answer is no — affiliate marketing is a very viable business model when approached correctly. In this post I’m going to address three circumstances that commonly make people ask this question, and what you can do to avoid reaching that level of burnout yourself.
Generally said, no matter what niche... just have to be clean white hat type of marketing, that is trying to help customer and seller/business. That's it! No scam, no fraud, ponzi schemes, grey hat, black hat, etc. The top search engines became smarter and the businesses that need advertising became more strict on the type of promotions they permit.
Varies from not at all to hugely important. Social is a great way to drive traffic in the early days before google shows you love. It is also a great way to connect with a reader on a different medium whether that be through pictures (instagram), short news updates (twitter), solving problems that users are facing (quora/reddit), or videos (youtube) Not all social media is going to be relevant to your audience, but you could leverage any social medium on it's own to drive major traffic and to connect with an audience you might not otherwise be able to sell to just by appearing in google. And let's be realistic, diversification of traffic is important - if you are relying on a single source, and it dries up, you don't get paid.
I signed up with AWOL Academy and after reviewing the info, decided it was too difficult for a tech novice. I reached out to take advanytage of the refund but they never returned my call. I finally got through 4 weeks later and they refused to refund my money. I was supposed to recieve some training materials which never arrived. All I have received is an auto generated e-mail from the founder once every week. Im going to an Abraham Hicks Seminar next month and Im going to make sure they know what is going on as AWOL advertizes on Abrahams You Tube Channel. DO NOT SIGN UP FOR AWOL ACADEMY!!!

The results were damning proof that affiliate networks are little more than a scam. Of all the traffic our affiliate network sent to us that had made a transaction, only 1.68 percent hadn’t been to our site before. This is more than 95 percent lower than our site average. Basically, of anyone coming to our site through an affiliate network, there was a 98 percent chance they had been to our site before.
Small blogger? I work with publishers of all sizes and bigger doesn’t necessarily translate to more commissions. Often smaller bloggers have more engagement from their audience compared to their larger counterparts. I’ve experienced this first hand too. Recently I was a top earning affiliate for a course launch – alongside bloggers with audiences 10-40x bigger than mine.
Yada yada yada….for those o f us who know absolutely NOTHING about marketing, how to manually create a webpage/blog, understand terms like SEO and MANY others that you and others use….not to mention we have no real knowledge of what it takes to write a successful blog or the tools you need to make a good YouTube video (yes, you need a video camera and a GOOD microphone among other things to make a GOOD video); those of us who don’t know that it it
As an affiliate, you will make money off commissions. If a company is offering a ridiculously high commission percentage, don't believe it straight away. It's not impossible (some programs really are quite generous), but it's better to do your research and see if they really pay out their affiliates. Also, make sure the products and services they offer are genuine and of good quality.

Fortunately there are many folks out there that are standing up to this kind of behavior and helping others avoid these types of programs. My suggestion is to always do your due diligence before you invest your money online, in particular if you are entering into the opportunity world and the company is not up front about what their product actually is.

3. Joining a community – Some programs house an exclusive private community of like-minded people. A community where you can share ideas, collaborate and empower each other on your collective online journey. This alone is worth its weight in gold. Help is always just around the corner and you will be motivated by fellow members to persevere and keep going no matter how you feel!

I agree, many programs out there are very eager to take your money…in fact TOO eager. Then when it comes to offering their service or their product, they hide behind the walls or anonymity without any repercussions. Fortunately there is a voice that people have within the online space to share their experiences with such programs these days to help others avoid them.
On the other hand, they may need longer to think about it. Perhaps they’re waiting for payday, or they’re not quite sure yet whether they prefer the blue one that they also spotted while browsing around the advertiser’s site. They may go away and come back in a couple of weeks’ time, no longer able to resist the urge to blow their wages on a better board.

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.


Your best bet is to learn a valuable, in-demand skill set, such as web development, which involves learning the craft, creating a Github account, building a portfolio, and applying for salaried positions with actual businesses. You can learn web development via websites like the Odin Project, which is an open source training curriculum created by passionate volunteers and sponsored by Thinkful.
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.
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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!
My first affiliate sale was somewhat of a family affair and it only took a few days at most. It was in December 2008. One of my sisters wrote a book on foreclosure cleaning. If you remember, foreclosures were big in the news from 2007 to about 2011/2012. The collapse of the financial — and hence, housing — industry flooded the market with foreclosures.
Second, there is no money in them giving away their book.  They will set up shipping at a price point that covers the cost of publishing their books.  They are going to use your mailing information and your contact details to present you with other offers.  Often times these are in the $1,000’s.  Often times there are instant upsells and OTO (one time offers) as well.
I like how you throw a dose of realism at bloggers. I use affiliate marketing, but unlike many of my colleagues, I didn’t go into it thinking I was going to make a fortune right from the start. The money earned from my beer site, Great Beer Now, has increased steadily but it was very low at first- maybe a few dollars per month. Keeping one’s expectations in line with reality is an important first step.
Affiliate marketing is a good way to promote a product or service as long as the ad is truthful. The problem is that some dishonest affiliate marketers put out ads with exaggerated claims or misleading information to get people to click. They may say anything to get you to click on their ad because they have an incentive – getting paid. Check out the infographic we created to explain this.
When promoting affiliate offers, just make sure you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions attached to your affiliate program. Some programs can be strict about how they allow you to promote their products. For example, some may limit you to banner ads and links only, while others will allow you to use paid advertising, but won't allow email marketing. 

So, now you know what kind of mindset you shouldn’t have if you want to do affiliate marketing. If you are looking to “get-rich-quick” you have to stop now. It’s not going to happen. There is no need to try it if you don’t have the patience it takes to succeed. No success is not waiting for you, you have to build it from scratch. It’s not easy and that’s exactly the reason why it’s worth it.
Google’s Penguin algorithm update radically changed the affiliate landscape, forcing affiliates to stop link-spamming practices, offer unique website content, and limit displayed banners. Gone are the days of mass-produced ad banner sites, full of the latest deals and offers. Failure to comply meant certain death as Google moved your site to the bottom of the search results.

I personally don't recommend them or use them. But I would be lying if I said a properly constructed PBN doesn't work, but that requires it's own set of expertise - if you are learning from scratch, it is a massive gamble that you won't tank your websites rankings. I sure wouldn't buy any "pbn links as a service", which is what I believe spencer did? That's just asking for google to smack you down.
As search engines have become more prominent, some affiliate marketers have shifted from sending e-mail spam to creating automatically generated web pages that often contain product data feeds provided by merchants. The goal of such web pages is to manipulate the relevancy or prominence of resources indexed by a search engine, also known as spamdexing. Each page can be targeted to a different niche market through the use of specific keywords, with the result being a skewed form of search engine optimization.

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.
Unlike with advertising networks, you’ll rarely be rejected when applying to an affiliate network or program based solely on your audience size. I’ve processed thousands of applications and have never rejected someone for that ridiculous reason. Most program managers happily accept bloggers of any size because they know the blogger’s reach will grow in time and if they’ve nurtured the relationship early on, it will benefit the company when they break out.
I was a victim of this exact scam. The only reason why I was successful in having my credit card restored, and my "customer number," deleted was because I wrote to the FTC as it is recommended in the emails that everyone receives from the FTC E-mail list of which I am a recipient of emails from the FTC, and they helped me with this exact situation that I embarrassingly tried. Thank you for restoring my money and my not being a victim of this problem. I am very grateful for this site and the award winning professionals who research countless types of illegal and scamming individuals who could ruin your life.
Affiliate marketing is a good way to promote a product or service as long as the ad is truthful. The problem is that some dishonest affiliate marketers put out ads with exaggerated claims or misleading information to get people to click. They may say anything to get you to click on their ad because they have an incentive – getting paid. Check out the infographic we created to explain this.
That’s a great tip Sean, thanks! I was thinking about what you said in your post about some companies not putting that they have affiliate links and you having to do some digging and there are couple of companies/authors who made products I love and keep using, but I’m not sure how to go ahead and ask about the affiliate link. I read the post you linked below about asking for guest blogging, which I thought was a must-read, and so, if you think of doing a follow-up on this one, would love to read some of your tips and do’s and don’t about this. Thanks again, Sean, you’re doing some very inspiring work here!
It is amazing how many people in this industry have literally been taken for $1,000’s of their hard earn money. It is quite sickening that the business model for many companies has been based on how much money you can get out of a single customer versus offering a truly valuable service. Thus the reason people in general are so skeptical of this industry, it is full of crookery and you only have to be ripped off once by these affiliate marketing scams before your guard goes up.
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.
That’s a great tip Sean, thanks! I was thinking about what you said in your post about some companies not putting that they have affiliate links and you having to do some digging and there are couple of companies/authors who made products I love and keep using, but I’m not sure how to go ahead and ask about the affiliate link. I read the post you linked below about asking for guest blogging, which I thought was a must-read, and so, if you think of doing a follow-up on this one, would love to read some of your tips and do’s and don’t about this. Thanks again, Sean, you’re doing some very inspiring work here!
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.
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.
While the commission model means you might not get as many payments as a standard internet ad, it also means that you can run your affiliated marketing campaign in any way you choose. If you mess up and run ads for sporting goods on a website dedicated to duck breeds, the only result is that you won’t see many commissions. As a self-employed contractor, the companies you affiliate with don’t have to pay you anything if you don’t sell anything and so you’re free to try whatever strategies you want.
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.
And yeah, it definitely does ruin it for those authors that are legitimating creating a free book to gain traction and recognition for their great work. Fortunately though, many people that utilize that model are within industries that are far disconnected from the affiliate marketing/mlm/opportunity world (like children’s books) so I think they will be just fine in many cases.
Now most affiliate programs have strict terms and conditions on how the lead is to be generated. There are also certain methods that are outright banned, such as installing adware or spyware that redirect all search queries for a product to an affiliate's page. Some affiliate marketing programs go as far as to lay out how a product or service is to be discussed in the content before an affiliate link can be validated.
12. Avangate Avangate is a player in digital commerce that you may not be familiar with. Avangate, backed by a cloud platform, focuses on online commerce, subscription billing, and global payments for Software, SaaS and Online Services companies. More than 4000 digital businesses in over 180 countries trust Avangate including Absolute Software, Bitdefender, Brocade, FICO, HP Software, Kaspersky Lab, Telestream, Spyrix and CleverControl.
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.

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!
First and foremost, you’ll want to find a product category you believe in and focus on it. You don’t want to spread your affiliate marketing out too much, and by focusing on one specific product category, you’ll be able to pinpoint audiences to market to and establish yourself as a trusted source on a particular subject. If you spread out too much, you’re going to need a lot more effort to attract much smaller audiences, rather than allowing your knowledge on one particular subject bring people back again and again. Here’s a bit more info on how to choose a good niche.
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.
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.
Too much too soon. Stick to one website to begin with. Don’t get distracted by shiny new niches. This will only dilute your efforts. It’s absolutely not a waste of time to spend hours on end researching the very best niche for you to enter into. The commission, cookies, product and even the advertiser’s website all have to be excellent. The last thing you want to do is invest money in creating your own site only to send visitors to an advertiser’s site that barely converts a single sale. Would you buy from the advertiser’s site? Question everything before you spend a single penny on building your new site.
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