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).
I've been building affiliate websites for more than a decade, and earning a decent income from those sites.  The great thing about affiliate websites is that if you build them correctly, they'll mature over time and reward you month after month, year after year in passive income.  However, if you build them incorrectly, you will simply be wasting your time.  In the last few years, Google have tightened the noose around webmasters out to make a quick buck by gaming the system.  This course was created to show you how I build successful affiliate websites now, in 2018 and beyond.  I'll take you from the very beginning and show you, over-my-shoulder, how I:
Once you have both the domain and hosting purchased and connected, your website should be showing just a basic coming soon type web page. A website needs some type of Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. CMS allows very easy creation and updating of websites. We highly recommend and use WordPress 99% of the time. In fact, this website is run on WordPress as well as CNN, NASA, FOX News, New York Times, and many others. The best thing about WordPress is that you can virtually modify every aspect of it from design to add-on features. It also has the biggest following when it comes to users and people love to help each other out. 

Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
Education occurs most often in "real life" by becoming involved and learning the details as time progresses. Although there are several books on the topic, some so-called "how-to" or "silver bullet" books instruct readers to manipulate holes in the Google algorithm, which can quickly become out of date,[37] or suggest strategies no longer endorsed or permitted by advertisers.[38]
Affiliate marketing is an online strategy where people are incentivized to promote your product or service. It’s defined as ‘a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals’. All of the referrals are tracked using cookie technology so that commissions and affiliate payments can be automated.
My name is Jamie Spencer and I have spent the past 5 years building money making blogs. After growing tired of the 9-5, commuting and never seeing my family I decided that I wanted to make some changes and launched my first blog. Since then I have launched lots of successful niche blogs and after selling my survivalist blog I decided to teach other people how to do the same.
The downside is that Shopify is only appealing for people who have physical or digital products to sell and have a need to set up a Shopify store, including site hosting, payment processing, and all the other services offered by Shopify. This can significantly narrow the appeal for this affiliate program. But if you can distinguish yourself by educating people on how to use Shopify, how it can benefit their business, and/or make them money, you could potentially big money via the affiliate program. Add in the 2 x monthly fee commission rate, and landing just a few sales of their mid-tier and top-tier products can result in significant earnings.
Leadpages claims that its affiliate program is not exclusively for affiliate marketers, which is true, but the narrow focus of this niche means that only professionals affiliate marketers will ever be able to earn significant income from the program. Leadpages’s affiliate program does offer quite a lot of different options (webinars, videos, blog posts, free marketing courses, etc.) to send referrals to, which can lead to higher conversion rates if done correctly.
Affiliate marketers have to consider whether a particular product or company is worth their time to promote. Some companies only pay a one percent commission, while others pay 75 percent commission. And you can get paid as little as a few cents and as much as a few hundred or thousand dollars depending on the type of item sold. As the affiliate marketer, you also have to determine how much time you need to spend in order to make a sale. Affiliate marketing is not a set it and forget it kind of method, as some people claim it to be - it takes active work to make a sale. If you have to spend one hour in order to make $0.38, then it may not be worth it for you. But if you spend only 20 minutes and you get paid $50, then that's probably worth it.
Affiliate marketing is an online strategy where people are incentivized to promote your product or service. It’s defined as ‘a marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals’. All of the referrals are tracked using cookie technology so that commissions and affiliate payments can be automated.

I’ve been following Michelle for over a year because she posts insane income reports and is always generously giving her tips for free. When I found out about her affiliate marketing course, I jumped on it! In fact, I bought TWO logins for her course, one for my dad and one for me. My dad is an entrepreneur too and when I learned he wanted to learn about affiliate marketing, I bought him the course for his birthday. :)
MY FAVORITE PRO: The exclusive Facebook group for students of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Okay, you know like EVERY online course includes an “exclusive Facebook group” as a “bonus” for buying the course, right? And then, often, you get into this Facebook group and see that the admin has posted a couple of times, but no one engaged with the posts, and no one really participates in the group at all. It’s useless, just a vanity bonus.Well, I’m happy to say the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook group is NOT like that! It is my FAVORITE Facebook group, and here’s why:
Banners – after testing them out I decided to take down my banner ads since they looked salesy and weren’t working like my affiliate links did. They’re easy to throw up, but distracting and probably won’t get great results. If you try them, be sure to show specific sidebar banners based on the type of content people are reading on your blog (for posts that fall under my SEO category I would show a banner related to SEO, and for posts under my website speed category I would show a different banner). You can do this using a plugin like Widget Logic.

If you’re planning to create content on your own, you’ll have to commit to it wholeheartedly because the life of your affiliate marketing business relies on regularly-published content. If you’re planning to hire someone to craft the content for you, that’s totally OK too. Either way, here are awesome tips you could follow when it comes to creating content for your affiliate marketing site:
You can afford it. If you’re hesitant to purchase the course because money is tight right now (I KNOW how that feels), I strongly discourage you from making the purchase. Michelle offers a payment plan, but personally I am against those because in my mind, if you can’t afford the full price, you can’t afford the course. Please just use the free resources Michelle generously offers on her blog or check out my blogging tips. When your budget is ready for it, THEN you can purchase the course.
So far, you have learned the four parties involved in affiliate marketing, you have seen the examples of some successful affiliate websites and networks, you have also learned the payment and different types of affiliate programs out there, plus, you already know how to become an affiliate or a product vendor, it is now your time to make this work.
We mentioned that making a successful living from affiliate marketing takes work. Regardless of the niche you’ve gone with, you’ll find that the most successful affiliates build a brand. Building a brand means people will trust you. They see you as an authority in your niche and as the "go-to" person for information on a given topic. To be that person you need to start publishing some interesting and useful content that helps your readers make smart purchasing decisions while helping you make money from your marketing efforts. Let’s explore the most successful strategies for creating affiliate marketing content.
You don’t need a website or blog to run adverts on Facebook, you just need a Facebook page for your affiliate account. The best thing about running ads on Facebook is the privilege to target your audience. This way you can be sure that your campaign is sent to the right people. Advertising costs as little as five dollars a day and you can run a test for a week to evaluate their performance. Since facebook purchased Instagram in 212, advertising via Facebook also targets Instagram users which could translate into more conversions..
The amount of time a Cookie set by someone clicking on your affiliate link has to show a conversion before you are no longer credited with a sale even if that user eventually ends up making a purchase. The standard length of a Cookie is typically between 30-90 days. Anything below 30 is considered low/short while anything above 90 is considered to be healthily above average.
The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them. 
Upselling is a sales technique where the salesperson encourages a more expensive purchase by a customer by persuading them to get an upgraded version of an item or to purchase add-ons. Remember our food processor example? That food processor could probably be best used with a book of recipes, which also can be purchased at the same company’s website.
The neat thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s beneficial for all the involved parties. Advertisers, publishers, and customers alike get something from this type of relationship. Think about it: if you provide a service or have a product, affiliate marketing is a convenient way to sell more with a smaller outlay than traditional advertising. Publishers have a way to earn money without stocking a product, and customers can find what they’re looking for while supporting sites they find helpful.
Affiliate Marketing school is necessary to succeed as an affiliate marketer, because it will teach you in the proper sequence of learning. Like anything, you will need to learn the basics first, and build upon each foundational principle that you master. A good affiliate marketing school provides a systematized learning structure, preventing you from becoming overwhelmed or lost. You will be given updated tutorials and courses to study, homework to complete, and tasks to accomplish. The tools of the trade are made available to you for no extra cost, and you will never be alone as ongoing support and mentoring is the central, integral part of the system. The community of affiliate professionals who are there for each other is invaluable, and learning and friendship flourish in this environment. This is far from the isolated, frustrated and confusing struggle that the lone affiliate experiences, as she frantically tries this and that, earning little of value, and spending far too much money.

Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together. For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click. 
Building a successful Amazon affiliate site does take a lot of work. But, even if you’re a beginner it’s a great way to learn the fundamentals of working online. The steps above gave you everything you need to know to get started creating your very own website. Now it’s time to get to work! Remember, success will only come with consistent and sustained effort.

I personally prefer to do it that way--you can create a more convincing review that's more likely to make sales. It's not always possible or practical, though; for example, would you break up with your significant other just to test a product for getting your ex back? ;-) In cases like that, or if the product is expensive, it's usually best just to use the vendor's affiliate resources instead.

Previously known as Affiliate Window but now officially referred to as “AWIN” after acquiring Zanox a few years ago, this network claims to work with over 13,000 active advertisers and 100,000 publishers (affiliates). Founded in Germany, AWIN’s merchants primarily hail from Europe (especially Great Britain) although the U.S. network is growing rapidly. AWIN is currently active in 11 countries.

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.
Alongside publishing high quality content, you need to make a conscious effort in promoting your site. Do everything in your power to attract visitors, just make sure your tactics are legitimate or you’ll anger the likes of Google and earn a bad rep. Promote your site both online and offline – market the hell out of it. Here’s how to drive more traffic to your WordPress site to get you started.
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…
So while I think affiliate programs are great and potentially offer up a lot of benefits, I’d also advise anyone thinking of starting one to consider the fact that as it grows so does your commitment to managing it. Resources will have to be diverted from your core business to support your network of affiliates as well as time spent preventing fraud or other problems that can arise.
I LOVE Michelle and my Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing community. There’s the notion out there that you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with. When I started “hanging out with” high-income bloggers on the interwebs, my blog income started to skyrocket. I firmly believe you need to surround yourself with people who share your goals and are at least one step ahead of you. It encourages you to step up your game. 

Content and media – If you have a knack for writing, or is good with photography or Photoshop, then you can save some money and do these yourself. But if for any reason (lack of skill or time) you can’t create content or media like photos and videos, there are people willing to do them for you. You can hire freelancers either by the hour or on a flat fee.
And what about joining another company's affiliate program? It's all about extra revenue. Think about your customers' needs: What other products or services would interest your site visitors? Join those affiliate programs. Affiliate programs can increase your sales with no upfront cost to you. It just takes a little time to plan your strategy and select the partners that will have the greatest impact on your business.
A practice that underhandedly deposits cookies from merchants onto users computers when the user has never visited the merchant through the affiliate's link and potentially may not have even the affiliate's website. Cookie stuffing is done with the intent of stuffing as many cookies as possible onto as many user computers as possible in the hopes that they eventually come accross the merchant website and make a purchase. The larger and broader the merchant, the more likely that is to occur (think Amazon). Cookie stuffing is heavily looked down upon by legitimate affiliates and most merchants ban affiliates using cookie stuffing in their affiliate agreements.
It gave me a solid, actionable tip that helped me boost my affiliate income in the FASTEST way possible. It’s crazy what you can’t see that seems so obvious after you read it. What I loved about the course was it came with workbooks that let you plan out how to implement the exact strategies Michelle talks about in the course. There was one strategy that was genius, didn’t require new content creation, and helped me maximize my affiliate earnings instantly.

It doesn’t matter the products you’ll review and promote, WordPress comes with a wide range of themes and plugins that will help you to build a professional review site in no time. And since WordPress themes are easy to customize, you don’t even need to go with a specialized review-style theme, although it would be a big leap in the right direction.


An influencer is an individual who holds the power to impact the purchasing decisions of a large segment of the population. This person is in a great position to benefit from affiliate marketing. They already boast an impressive following, so it’s easy for them to direct consumers to the seller’s products through social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with their followers. The influencers then receive a share of the profits they helped to create.
After starting an affiliate business and signing up for the affiliate program(s), you will get a special URL known as a tracking link that you can use to drive visitors to the product page. This tracking link will track any sales generated by you, and the company will credit the commission in your account. This is basically what starting an affiliate business is all about.
Popular social media websites from Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the best platforms to promote products as an affiliate. You can learn more about effectively using social media, here, here, and here. Browse for groups that relate to your products interest group. These types of interest groups serve as an extremely effective way to increase a product’s reach in terms of organic audience.

Personal Blogs – Generally a personal blog of yours could potentially work. You would either have to: be a guru in your field and know what you’re talking about or branded yourself in a way that you’re known for something and have a following. If you’re just rambling about your life then don’t expect to make money but if you’re a bird cage builder then a blog like the one posted above would work.
We are shining light on this area today. Product review sites such as dpreview.com host expert reviews about products you’ve used or tested. You can also welcome reviews from users who have used said product in the past to enrich your content. You earn an affiliate commission when the user you refer to the retailer makes a purchase or completes any other desired action.
There’s no point in lying about it: it’s not easy to make a lot of money through affiliate marketing. The best way to understand it is to think of it like a small business: you have to start at square one and build your business from the ground up. You have the advantage of not needing a business loan to begin with, and the fact that you can set your own hours for each day and each week, but you’ll need to invest a lot of time and effort into your affiliate marketing business before it will grow.
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