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.

SkimLinks works very similarly to VigLinks in that it is designed for bloggers who don’t want to do a lot of hands-on work to participate in an affiliate program. SkimLinks also works much like VigLinks in that it uses a plugin or script to create dynamic links in your content to send visitors to higher paying offers from merchants. SkimLinks claims to work with over 24,000 merchants/advertisers.

Social media marketers often say sponsored social messages (the ones you pay for) are more effective than many of the other marketing tactics. Paid social ads increase your reach and since social media platforms have a lot of information about their users demographics and behaviour, these can be leveraged to target your desired audience. If you want to put your money where your mouth is, your best bet is through the follow platforms.
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.
WP Rich Snippets – premium plugin that adds rich snippets (eg. review stars) to your snippets. You get 33% of sales and it’s what I use on my site. However the developer does not provide plugin updates or support. Here’s a post I used it on. If you’re writing reviews, get 100% need SOME rich snippets plugin. The All In One Schema plugin works too. If you want to allow users to submit reviews, try the Site Reviews plugin.
The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network. Many affiliate networks exist, some which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
Companies have to decide whether their price points give them enough profit margin to also pay an affiliate for his or her sales. If a company doesn't have enough profit margin to pay an affiliate, then affiliate marketing won't be a financially viable option. Companies also have to consider the risk of an affiliate marketer misrepresenting the company. For example, an affiliate marketer might mistakenly claim that a particular lotion will make your wrinkles go away in two weeks, but in reality, the actual lotion product makes no such claim. An affiliate marketer could potentially cause problems for a company with such untested statements. Some affiliate marketers will say anything to make a sale, so companies need to weed these people out.
Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.

So if you're affiliated with Walmart, for example, and you want to sell coffee makers, then you make a website about coffee makers. You place your special links on your website to show people where they can purchase your coffee makers. Then when people visit your site and click on your special links, they'll be taken to Walmart's website. And if they then make a purchase, you'll be paid a percentage.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.[citation needed]
In short, you must create excellent content, which will drive high quality traffic to your site from free search engines, at which point you can “pre-sell” those visitors by giving them so much awesome information that when you make a product or service recommendation, they are happy to buy. THAT is when you can monetize. I highly recommend you read this full article on the CTPM process as I use this process for ALL of my affiliate marketing websites.

Developing and monetizing microsites can also garner a serious amount of sales. These sites are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. They are distinct and separate from the organization’s main site. By offering more focused, relevant content to a specific audience, microsites lead to increased conversions due to their simple and straightforward call to action.


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.
Set a goal to add fresh content to your website at least once a week. A good way to do this is to feature a blog on your authority site. Make regular blog posts about the latest happenings in your niche. For example, you can update your job-seeking authority site with commentary on the latest Canadian jobs data when the government releases it each week.
Your web host is responsible for hosting all of the files necessary for your site to function. When choosing a web host you’re going to have a variety of options to choose from. Some will be dedicated towards sites with large volumes of traffic, while others will specifically host WordPress sites. We offer a detailed breakdown of hosting options here.
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.
If you do decide to purchase Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing through my affiliate link, I’ll send you my Google Docs spreadsheet I use to track my passive income each month (affiliate, advertising, eBooks, etc.). It will have the labels, formulas, and everything, and you can customize based on what your income sources are. Just be sure to send a screenshot of your receipt to team@whereverwriter.com and we will get it over to you ASAP! Thank you!
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.

Domain Name – Your “domain name” is simply the URL you want to use for your website. For example, the domain name for this site you’re on right now is AffiliateMarketerTraining.com. In order to obtain a domain name, you must register your domain with what is called a “domain registrar”. Don’t get intimidated, it’s going to be incredibly easy to do this.


Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics,[31] LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum,[32] and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers.[33] Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.[34]

LinkConnector is something of a mixed bag, so it’s probably best for experienced affiliates who have become disillusioned with other networks and are looking to expand. LinkConnector’s bizarre mix of high-quality products and a low-quality dashboard make it hard to truly assess its viability, but their exclusive deals with some vendors can make it a true home run for publishers working in certain niches.


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.
LinkConnector is something of a mixed bag, so it’s probably best for experienced affiliates who have become disillusioned with other networks and are looking to expand. LinkConnector’s bizarre mix of high-quality products and a low-quality dashboard make it hard to truly assess its viability, but their exclusive deals with some vendors can make it a true home run for publishers working in certain niches.
This affiliate network is one of the largest available, and has been in business since 2000. That’s 17 years of experience under their belt already, making them a trustworthy company. They have over 4,000 merchants within their catalogs which span over a wide variety of categories. In January of 2017, ShareASale was acquired by another global affiliate called Awin, thus increasing their reach to a more international crowd.
Finally, an effective affiliate marketing campaign requires maintenance. This involves tracking data from thousands of affiliates and responding to issues—such as poor affiliate behavior -- that must be eliminated. (See also Closed Loop Marketing) Maintenance also helps businesses identify which websites bring in the most traffic, so they can adjust accordingly.

If you’ve decided affiliate marketing is right for your business, there are many different ways to go about it. It’s not the right strategy for every business. It depends on the kind of business you have. If you have a brick and mortar pizza shop, this probably isn’t for you. But for a retailer it can be a helpful tool. Brick Marketing sets up one web site that resells your product or service on other web sites. It’s performance-based marketing, paid by commission. Brick completes the whole process: Develops a strategy, writes program terms, writes banners and text ads to promote the site. They start by listening to what your business needs—the audience you’re looking to reach and who your competitors are. From there, Brick designs a successful affiliate program that works for your business. Picking an affiliate network—a group of web sites that represent your business interests—is another key part of the process. Then they launch the program and put a tracking system in place to illustrate how effective it is. The whole thing is completed in-house by Brick to get your affiliate program started. Down the line, they do monthly promotions and create affiliate programs to help. For their monthly full service program, Brick charges a flat fee of $2,000, which takes about 20 to 30 hours. This is a program that offers clients a full solution for their affiliate program.
In the case of cost per mille/click, the publisher is not concerned about whether a visitor is a member of the audience that the advertiser tries to attract and is able to convert, because at this point the publisher has already earned his commission. This leaves the greater, and, in case of cost per mille, the full risk and loss (if the visitor cannot be converted) to the advertiser.
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.
Some merchants will create a specific and custom landing page for an affiliate to send referrals to that contains both the merchant's branding and the referring affiliate's branding. Example – a merchant might create a page on the merchant's website that shows a lead form that contains both the merchant's logo and the specific affiliate's logo on the page. This is referred to as Co-branding. Many times merchants limit Co-Branding opportunities to only being available to Super Affiliates.
SkimLinks is primarily for established content producers (bloggers) who want to monetize their content. With a powerful WordPress plugin and scripts for just about any website type, setting up SkimLinks is very easy. And because you have access to all offers on their platform after you’re approved, SkimLinks is very well designed for affiliates who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with settings and other fine-tuning.
Affiliate marketing works because it creates a win-win situation for everyone involved. Companies only pay commissions on sales that are generated which guarantees a strong return on investment. Affiliates get to earn more money which can eventually turn into passive income over time. It’s a low-risk marketing channel that benefits both advertisers and publishers.
Writing good advertising sales copy (copywriting) is the other important skill for internet marketers. The good news is that when it comes to affiliate marketing, many vendors will provide you with copy to use for your blog posts, websites ads, etc. They'll give you the emails to send, the banner ads to display, and even posts you can use on social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).
An e-commerce merchant that wants to be able to reach a wider base of internet users and shoppers may hire an affiliate. An affiliate could be the owner of multiple websites or email marketing lists; therefore, the more websites or email lists that an affiliate has, the wider his network. The affiliate that has been hired would then communicate and promote the products offered on the ecommerce platform to his network. The affiliate does this by implementing banner ads, text ads and/or links on their multiple owned websites or via email to their clientele. Advertisement could be in the form of articles, videos, images, etc., which are used to draw an audience’s attention to a service or product.

Great article! I need to go back to your post many more times for it to properly go in and for me to understand. Sorry if my question is a strange one. I am quite new to the whole concept of amazon affiliate marketing. When we are advertising their products, do we spend any money ourselves? Or we are just middle wares advertising their product? In what case, we have to have inventory? Can we sell products in Amazon?
Hi Jamie! Thank you for the great information. I just learned about affiliate marketing last week. The source however, is an older couple who work for World Wide Dreams Builders (WWDB). So, basically Amway. After researching a bit. I have no interest in WWDB and. (It sounds like years of recruiting people with minimal payout) Though, I am highly intrigued by e-commerce and affiliate marketing. Before your post the company I recognized was Amazon. Can you please tell me if that will be the best 1st step. I am currently an unemployed student Veteran. So plan to fully emerge into this business regime and would greatly appreciate your advice on this!!!

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.


Add plenty of content – ten blog posts and five reviews won’t buy you a trip to Disneyland. You need plenty of traffic and better SEO rankings, and the only way to get both is to publish high quality content consistently. Note: The more the content, the more the opportunities you have to place your affiliate links. That’s right, you can place your links in blog posts, pages, reviews, case studies, interviews, podcasts and videos among others.

Hi, Nice article. I am not sure about the process though. I can understand, finding a niche. But, when it comes to affiliate programs I get a little lost. Would I be promoting someone else's products? If so, no problem. I know I need to research high end products with gravity, are these products ones in certain stores, or companies, etc.?? If so, do I need to get permissions to be on an affiliate program with that company? Also, if it is products with a company, then how do I offer promotions on their products since they are not mine? Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site. 
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. 
Tip 20. Learn New Things Rise Above the Competition. There’s always competition out there and there’s no better way to make people notice you than rising above the rest. This can be as simple as releasing a new hot article every week about the trending things in your market, or it could be just as easy as truly helping people with their desires and needs. Showing people you’re on the forefront of the market will allow you to be the go to source for their needs and wants.
An affiliate uses a tracking link to promote products and offers. Tracking links via cookies include a unique affiliate ID. When someone browsing the affiliate’s site and clicks on this special link, your affiliate ID is stored on their browser within a text file. The text file is called a cookie. The cookie remains in the visitor’s browser for a month or so, or until the cookie is cleared from the browser manually. The reason for tracking with cookies is that if the customer comes back a few days later and completes a sale or any suggested action, the lead is still attributed to the affiliate, via the original affiliate ID.
Long-Tail Keywords – specific keywords usually with 3-7 individual words in a phrase. They are highly targeted and MUCH easier to rank for than broad keywords (all mine are long-tail). The lower your domain authority (check using OSE), the less competitive (more long-tail) your keywords should be. If you can get more specific and the keyword still shows up in Google Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer and other keyword tools… choose the SPECIFIC one.
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.
Unfortunately, the 2Checkout dashboard is a bit limited in scope, making it difficult to get any metrics on conversion rates or even sorting by commission payouts. The workaround is to go to the Avangate store, which does list their best-selling products, and then search for these on the affiliate dashboard. That being said, 2Checkout does offer products from more than 4,000 different vendors, making it the leading affiliate network for software and digital products.
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.
Great article! I need to go back to your post many more times for it to properly go in and for me to understand. Sorry if my question is a strange one. I am quite new to the whole concept of amazon affiliate marketing. When we are advertising their products, do we spend any money ourselves? Or we are just middle wares advertising their product? In what case, we have to have inventory? Can we sell products in Amazon? 

I have a question: while searching for the niche, and I think I found one that is pretty good, the search on google (for “high end …….”) didn’t revile any brands. Now, I believe it’s possible that there are not many brands for this niche, but checking it little further, I found that there are some, but it was difficult finding it on amazon and even if I did find the products, they didn’t have many reviews, if there were any.
Set a goal to add fresh content to your website at least once a week. A good way to do this is to feature a blog on your authority site. Make regular blog posts about the latest happenings in your niche. For example, you can update your job-seeking authority site with commentary on the latest Canadian jobs data when the government releases it each week.
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.

VigLink works a bit differently than other affiliate programs in that it is specifically designed for bloggers. Instead of affiliates picking and choosing which merchants to work with, VigLink uses dynamic links that automatically change to work with merchants that VigLink has determined are offering the highest conversation rates and/or commissions at any given moment.
"I have followed Michelle’s blog for years. Her blog posts are incredibly informative and never disappoint. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is no different. The detailed strategies she shares in her course can help any blogger implement affiliate marketing. Within two days I received my first ever affiliate sale! From then I was hooked. The Mastermind alone is worth the cost of the course and the immediate access to an affiliate marketing expert is priceless! I highly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing." - McKinzie Bean, Momsmakecents.com

Strive to become an authority. It doesn’t matter if your niche is the silliest topic in the world, as long as you’re “THE” site to check out when it comes to everything about fidget spinning (or whatever niche you decided to focus on), then your website is a success. To become an authority within your niche, you have to be consistent with publishing content, provide value to your readers, and make it a goal to earn your readers’ trust.
One last word of advice on products; don’t recommend something you don’t believe in just to get a click. Find something that you are happy to promote and that your target audience will benefit from. That’s not to say that you should be using each product you recommend. You should just trust that the product is worth your visitors hard earned cash. It won’t serve you well to willingly recommend anything that may affect your reputation among your site visitors. If a product doesn’t rate well, it’s advantageous all round to offer alternatives.

Nick Schäferhoff is an entrepreneur, online marketer, and professional blogger from Germany. He found WordPress when he needed a website for his first business and instantly fell in love. When not building websites, creating content or helping his clients improve their online business, he can most often be found at the gym, the dojo or traveling the world with his wife. If you want to get in touch with him, you can do so via Twitter or through his website.
Sorry to hear you are having issues with the theme mentioned in the post! It appears that they offer support only via their own dedicated forum. Where you able to receive support there? You could always try requesting a refund for the product if it’s not working as expected here is a link for requesting a refund on themeforest. If you were able to locate a better theme for creating comparison sites, please let me know so I can take a look and update this post accordingly.

You don’t mention Zazzle’s affiliate program. I’m a designer there so am automatically enrolled. Perhaps Zazzle has been overlooked because, until now, there wasn’t really a professonial quality plugin to do all the work? Now there’s NiftyGridZPro, which not only creates great grids, responsively designed, it also has optional inbuilt search and pagination. But making it soar is its real-time global slot messaging system. All links are rel=nofollow and best SEO practices used.


JVZoo works exclusively with digital products, primarily e-commerce, online courses, and internet marketing offers. Because there are no limits placed on the number of links, buy buttons, or calls to action on a website, JVZoo can sometimes be somewhat low quality both in terms of offers as well as products. Nonetheless, it has proven itself to be a fierce competitor to companies like ClickBank.

Browsing between products, you’ll notice a steep difference in the amount of commission offered from one to the next. Often, you’ll find there is a trade-off between the quality of a product and the commission paid. Naturally, it’s tempting to gravitate toward the products that pay the most per sales (conversion). But, realistically, if those products are unlikely to convert, they might not be the best fit.
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