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.
Within your terms and conditions, you need to define what can and cannot be promoted through PPC. The most obvious restrictions are brand terms and misspellings. So one of your objectives could be to increase your visibility on search engine affiliates, and you can do this by targeting only long tail keywords. Other things to consider are whether affiliates can link PPC directly to your site and whether they can use your URL in the ad copy. These are decisions you need to state in your terms and conditions.
A year ago, when I ran an ABestWeb contest for the best definition of affiliate marketing, Chris, who ended up winning the first prize, summarized things both eloquently and beautifully. He defined affiliate marketing as “the art of doing a merchant’s marketing better than they can, and profiting from it.” Many successful affiliates (also known as super affiliates) are truly better experts in what they do that most of the merchants that they promote. Consequently, they can market e-tailers’ products/services in such a way that merchants get incremental business, while they themselves make a good living off the per sale commission they get.
By far, the content-based affiliate website is one of the most widely used methods to promote an affiliate product. When you read a blog and someone is recommending you buy a certain product from Amazon, highly likely, the blogger is an affiliate to the product and if you purchase the product, the blogger may earn a small percentage from Amazon for his effort to bring in the customer, which is you.
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. This year I donated $3,000 to feed the homeless in Denver. In 2017, I donated $3,000 to American Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.

Since it is much easier to sell a product than create one worth selling, more time and resources are spent teaching people how best to become a successful affiliate of others as opposed to starting their own program. But in today’s post I’d like to cover at least the basics of what it takes to create an affiliate program around your own product or service.


CJ Affiliate, which formerly known as Commission Junction, is an online advertising company operating in the affiliate marketing industry. This company is a real deal for affiliates who want to build a serious business online. They have big branded clients including American Airlines, Forever 21, Marc Jacobs, Santa Barbara, Barnes & Noble, and much, much more.
In the BigCommerce affiliate program, you receive a 200% bounty per referral and $1,500 per Enterprise referral, with no cap on commissions. Plus, the more referrals you drive through the program, the higher your commission tier will go. BigCommerce uses an industry leading 90-day cookie, so you will receive credit for up to three months for the referrals you generate. Also, there are no obligations or minimum commitments to join the program.

The two main parties involved in the affiliate relationship are the merchant (sometimes also called “advertiser”), and the affiliate (sometimes called “publisher”). There are different ways to run, manage and promote affiliate programs, which involve more parties in the relationship, but the two main participants (without which the existence of the very marketing channel would’ve not been possible) are: (a) the party that has the product (or service), and (b) the party that knows how to sell it.


As you can probably see by skimming the headings below, my steps are rather general. That’s because so much of how you specifically go about launching your affiliate program depends on both your product and the platform/plugin you choose. Nevertheless, there are things you will want to consider no matter what. Which is what we’re going to get into below.

Affiliate marketing is popular among digital marketers since it’s a straightforward way to earn some additional income without having to shell out any money in advance. Even so, anyone hoping to earn a full-time living this way has to be prepared to put in the work. It requires a concerted effort in pushing products and services through all possible online mediums.
Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular of them all. I don’t participate myself (yet) but the majority of affiliate marketers I know use Amazon because… it’s Amazon. You can review products you have used or write tutorials (eg. how to connect computer to TV) and drop an affiliate link to an HDMI cable… just a couple examples. You may want to build relationships with the manufacturers so you can get products before they’re released – giving you time to create a review before the product is launched and capture sales during peak buying times.
Keyword Planner gives a good impression about search volume for each keyword on Google’ search engine including the number of clicks it receives plus its average cost per click. Bing Keyword Tool which is very similar to Google’s tool but all keywords here are related to Bing. Long Tail Pro is one of the best paid keyword research tools available. It’s useful for finding high volume keywords.
At the time, I had a ton of people reaching out wanting to hire me (I ranked my self #1 in Google for WordPress SEO Consultant, WordPress SEO Expert, many other good keywords). Unfortunately I struggled with basic things you need to run a service-based business… keeping track of clients, time management, and making sure I was charging clients for my time (and getting them to create content which often seemed impossible).

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.
2. There's different levels of start up. If you were on a super tight budget most things can be done for free if you are willing to compromise on quality but if you want a good level of service and quality then much more - for example NicheHacks costs around $600-$800 a month to run. It can be done for less than $20 though I'm sure if you use cheap shared hosting, get a discount coupon for a domain, use a free autoresponder etc.

I found the course extremely helpful especially as i am a beginner. Lisa is excellent at explaining which is important when you are starting out. She has made me understand the importance of finding the right niche and that to me is where most of us go wrong. I am extremely grateful for a course like this and would like to take this opportunity to thank you Lisa for creating a course that helps others! – Michelle


The course helped me identify TWO areas I was doing wrong in affiliate marketing, which could have gotten me fined by the FTC or booted out of one of my favorite affiliate programs. The huge reason I took this course was actually to figure out some of the legal considerations for affiliate marketing. Michelle is NOT a lawyer, but she researched this area heavily and offers some practical tips in plain language that helped me understand I was doing two things wrong that I needed to fix to cover my tail legally. I feel the course was worth this alone because you get a lot of information out there when you just Google it.
As Target is the second-largest general retailer in the United States, their affiliate program is primarily for American bloggers or publishers who can route visitors to relevant products. Overall, the program works much like Amazon’s does in that publishers (bloggers) get a small commission on sales, but Target’s gigantic product base (over one million items) and high brand recognition make their affiliate program a great option for influencers.
Affiliates decide within their affiliate programs which banners or ads they're going to place on their websites. This decision is based on their individual calculations of which company ads their website visitors are most likely to be interested in. They will also agree to affiliate programs based on which merchants have the best commission structure, although the structure is not usually considered very high-paying or profitable.
No matter how good your marketing skills are, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one. Take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it. Make sure to research the seller with care before teaming up. Your time is worth a lot, and you want to be sure you’re spending it on a product that is profitable and a seller you can believe in.

Hmmm, whether you use the free WordPress cms with free themes and plugins, or a fancy custom build web design & system, the quality of your website will ultimately come down to your content. Specifically I think people are looking for a professional (not-spammy) looking website that is easy to read, loads quickly (so getting a good hosting plan helps) and most importantly has the information they’re looking for. Depending on what it is you need WordPress is perfectly suited for real web businesses, and it’s the cms of choice for many web developers, popular blogs and professionals around the world (here are some of the big brands using WordPress). In any case you can always give it a try by using a free WordPress.com account and if you like it move over to the more flexible WordPress.org (you can see our comparison of WordPress .com vs. org that we put together to understand the difference between the two). And best of luck with your website!
Article marketing, in which you submit well-written articles to other websites, blogs, and article directories, can be an effective marketing technique. Most of these websites will not let you put an affiliate link within the article. You can put a link back to your website, thereby generating more visitors to your site. This will also bring your site to the top of search results for targeted keywords.
Web hosting is where you will actually have a website with the physical files on location. The domain you select will be forwarded to your web host. Some people will argue why can’t you just use a Tumblr, WordPress, Blogspot, etc type of web site where you simply have a domain forwarded there. In our opinion it lacks professionalism and loses credibility big time. What looks better to you: dogtraining.blogspot.com or dogtraining.com? I would go with the latter as it is easier to remember plus once you start building out pages it would look better. There’s no shortage of web hosting companies as its a very big industry. We’ve personally use (not for Secret but other smaller sites) and highly recommend Hostgator web hosting for the great prices, features, and most importantly 24/7 tech support. We recommend purchasing the Baby Plan as it gives you unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, and most importantly, unlimited domains. Trust us when we say you’ll start buying tons of domains when things work out.
One of the most sought after and highly recommended course is this one on Guide to Effective Affiliate Marketing Strategies by Kudus Adu. Not only does he focus on create an affiliate marketing strategy, he focuses on best practices to create money pages, tells you how to build your email marketing list and how to profit from it. He clearly asks people looking for ‘get rich quick strategies’ to stay away from the course.
It is importing to get some formal training in affiliate marketing before hurling yourself into it. Affiliate marketing might seem like a simple thing to get into and make a career out of, but there is too much information out there to figure out what you need to know. A good way to have a focused understanding of the subject is to take an affiliate marketing course and obtain concise and comprehensive training in the field. Since the concept is rapidly evolving and changing, an affiliate marketing course will also have to be up to date to the techniques that are commonly used and not train in redundant techniques that are no longer very profitable.                        
PeerFly only has a limited number of products at the moment, but they have tremendous momentum and are growing by leaps and bounds. Their payout rates aren’t spectacular, but everything is upfront and transparent, and affiliate satisfaction is very high. PeerFly is perfect for authentic marketers who want to offer high-quality products to their visitors as opposed to “get rich quick” schemes and opaque offers.
Each day the affiliate marketing industry becomes more and more competitive, and if you have been exploring the idea of becoming an affiliate marketer, or have already been trying to make money online, you may be asking yourself if affiliate marketing schooling is necessary to succeed as an affiliate marketer. Is it necessary to join an affiliate marketing school or affiliate marketing university, when there are so many books, videos and websites teaching on the subject?

Recent corporate changes and folding 2Checkout into a larger company that is involved in payment processing and e-commerce means that the affiliate program can sometimes feel somewhat neglected. But the ability to generate custom coupon codes and the comprehensive knowledge base make 2Checkout a good option for experienced affiliates with an established user base. But if you’re just entering the affiliate field for the first time, 2Checkout might not be where you want to start.
Thanks so much, Stuart! I read the article you sent a link to today: "How To Start Your Own $20K p/m Affiliate Site". I got very intrigued, and then found my way to this tutorial where, serendipitously 🙂 you showcase WhyImSoBroke as your ultimate example in the chapter: "How To Create Your Own Unusual Product Site". Very jazzed about the potential in building a niche weird product site! Thanks again. Wow, what amazing content you post!
If you don’t know anything about web hosting, that’s ok. All you need to know is this – web hosts are a dime a dozen. There are probably thousands of web hosts you can go with, and quite frankly. they are all about the same. Web hosting has turned into a commodity type of business which is good news for you. Web hosting is cheaper than ever and at the same time, it is better than ever.
All in all, building a WordPress affiliate site and turning a healthy profit is doable. Many sites on the internet depend and thrive on commissions, so yeah, it is a viable business model. Just play your cards right and exercise some patience. Become a shark and invest your resources wisely. Until next time, remember sparring is training. Here’s to your success: Cheers! 

Stands for Return on Advertising Spending, also shortened many times to Return on Ad Spend and can also be referred to as ROI. It refers to the amount of money made as a result of a specific advertising campaign. To find the ROAS of a campaign, you take the revenue divide it by the ad spend and multiply the result by 100. The result is presented in percentage form. Example – if you spent $200 to run a campaign and you made a gross profit of $600, you would take $600 (revenue) and divide it by $200 (ad spend) to get 3 and then multiply that by 100 to get 300 – displayed as a 300% ROAS. The amount over 100% using this method of calculation is your profit. In this example, that would mean you received a 200% profit on the campaign.
Hey there, my name is Mike! I’ve been a full-time affiliate marketer for several years now and each year my business grows and grows through residual income. Literally, every morning when I wake up, I check to see how much money I made while I slept. I live and work literally wherever I want, when I want, as long as I want, and I do not sell any of my own products. How awesome is that?! You can read my full affiliate marketing success story here.
For those who want to figure out how to sell Amazon products and make money off it, this course on 2017 Affiliate Marketing + SEO Strategy could be ideal for you. It’s a quick course that teaches how to build an amazon affiliate website, brushes you on the latest SEO techniques but may not be enough if you are looking at an advanced curriculum. The trainer Isli Hoxha, Website Developer & Growth Hacker will teach you marketing in depth.
A lot of consideration, time, and effort go into launching and maintaining a successful affiliate program. The various platforms and plugins out there are geared towards different types of people and business needs. If you’ve created and run your own affiliate program with WordPress (and/or on a platform like Sharasale or Impact Radius) we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

I have been considering affiliate marketing for my web design company.. however not sure if it’s appropriate or not? What does everyone else think? Currently I rely on social media, email marketing, networking and SEO to bring the customers in. I guess I could get local affiliates, however I have tried before and its hard to find genuine people who actually put the effort in!


It will probably take a couple years to build a sustainable, passive income. That is the 1st car I have EVER purchased myself at age 29 (I was broke until then and leased from my parents). But the time committed to affiliate marketing and creating great tutorials and YouTube videos was worth it… I work for myself, there is virtually no limit on how much I can make, my schedule is flexible, and I collect enough passive income to live how I want.
Web Hosting – In order for your website to be visible on the internet, you’ll need to have a “web host”. A web hosting service allows you to basically rent a web server. That web server is what enables your website to be seen by anyone who visits your site. Again, don’t get intimidated by this. I will set you up with a web host that does everything automatically for you.
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.
MaxBounty works exclusively with digital products, usually about giving one’s email or signing up for a newsletter. MaxBounty has CPA, Pay-per-call, and CPL campaigns that you can choose from. MaxBounty is involved in a large number of verticals, including market research, real estate, social games, finance, dating, and diet, but is primarily designed for marketers seeking to acquire new leads.
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. This year I donated $3,000 to feed the homeless in Denver. In 2017, I donated $3,000 to American Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.
Authority websites take years to develop so if you choose this model make sure you have other income streams coming in while you build it out. The monetization options for authority sites are only limited by your imagination. Advertising, straight affiliate marketing, 2nd-tier models, paid reviews, JV’s, are just a few examples of how to make income from authority sites.
"I have to tell you, I took the course and have implemented her strategies and am already seeing results. There are some courses I have taken and have wondered what I learned after I took it. That is not the case with this course. This is one of those courses you won’t regret taking. Michelle knows what she is talking about when it comes to affiliate marketing and she has results to prove it. She brings in over $50,000 a month in affiliate income alone. And now she is teaching us how we can do the same thing." - Crystal, Blogger, HappilyEverUncluttered.com
A third party who provides affiliate program management to a merchant. Affiliate networks provide the technology for tracking affiliate efforts, ensure that sales are properly tracked, commissions are paid to affiliates, handle reporting for both the merchant and individual affiliates and help expose the merchant to potential affiliates for their products and services. You can find a list of the more mainstream affiliate networks here.
Let's look at the affiliate program of a fictional company called Daisy's Emporium. Daisy's Emporium sells all kinds of things online for a very reasonable price. Everybody knows about this store, and almost everybody has made a purchase online through this store. It's a trusted store. On its website, Daisy's Emporium mentions its affiliate marketing program and how it pays each affiliate 10 percent of each sale they make. That's a pretty good percentage, especially since most customers of Daisy's Emporium make a purchase of at least $100. A 10 percent commission from a $100 order is $10. If you spend one hour working on your affiliate marketing and make five sales, then you could potentially earn $50.
A very good example is TheWireCutter.com, an affiliate website started by a former Editorial Director at Gizmodo. It is a very successful affiliate website that brought in $30 million in cash as reported by The New York Times. You can find a lot of useful information, reviews, and price comparisons for their electronic products from Amazon. Yes, they are affiliates of Amazon and they promote products there.

"Reading Michelle's income reports each month made me realize the huge potential there is to make more money online. Even as a blogger with an established site over 8 years old, I knew that there was so much that I could learn from Michelle because she's had such incredible success! Watching her income climb each month has really motivated me to change up my affiliate strategy and be more intentional with my efforts." - Jessica Bishop, TheBudgetSavvyBride.com
Effective website design is fundamental to making any Internet marketing campaign work. Thousands of affiliates may increase web traffic, but if the landing pages aren’t attractive, a business won't convert these visitors into paying customers. Internet shoppers in the process of researching and comparing are likely to spend only seconds summing up a page.
I’m not sure of the exact reasons why I started to rank, but I have a few theories. It was a very long, honest, and informative post on the subject. I believe this made it stand out from all the other reviews in which the author just wrote up a basic summary of what it’s about. It also is one of the latest reviews on the book, so perhaps google freshness has something to do with it. I haven’t done any linkbuilding on this page and it currently sits at #2.
Of course you want affiliates with high commissions, but they should also have a solid reputation with high conversions and low reversal rates (you get $0 if people cancel after signing up). If they’re part of an affiliate marketplace like ShareASale or ClickBank you can see some numbers there. Companies likes Amazon/SiteGround are safe bets, otherwise do your research (or track your affiliate links so you can monitor their performance). Avoid affiliates offering huge commissions since this probably means they’re struggling to acquire/retain customers naturally. This will hurt your numbers (specifically your conversions/reversal rates).
Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.
Once you know “What is affiliate marketing?” you can begin to consider whether it’s a good tactic for your business. You need to work with professionals once you can define affiliate marketing. They know the most common mistakes and can provide helpful affiliate marketing tips. You don’t want to waste your money advertising on another’s web site, make sure you’re getting on a profit return on your dollars. Affiliate marketing is another tool for your business to compete in today’s tech-hungry world. But like other tools, if not properly used you can even damage the traffic heading to your site. A poorly designed, poorly placed advertisement can make viewers think twice about your competitor. You want to send your competitor an ad that makes them a little scared. Many businesses have exploded due to affiliate marketing in your company could be next.
×