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.
I would like to add that for information products, a lot of the time it’s pretty easy to rank for “information product review”. I recently did a review of a popular ebook that is a month long discipline program. I went about it by doing the actual program and documenting everything. At the end of the month I wrote up a 2700 word article summing up the whole experience.
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is all about promoting someone else’s products and earning a commission by so doing. By all means, it eliminates the tedious process of product development, meaning you can easily set up your site and start earning in a couple of months. It also means you have more time to concentrate on content development and marketing.

The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[4][5]
With the ability to rank organically in search engine queries, bloggers excel at increasing a seller’s conversions. The blogger samples the product or service and then writes a comprehensive review that promotes the brand in a compelling way, driving traffic back to the seller’s site. The blogger is awarded for his or her influence spreading the word about the value of the product, helping to improve the seller’s sales.
One last thing to consider: even if your product listings point to reputable retailers, visitors might be confused or freaked out when they’re sent to other sites when trying to purchase your curated products. By being upfront about your affiliate relationship and how the site works, you’ll increase trust and remove any doubts they have about shopping with you.
affiliate 101 Amazon AM Days attribution BBJ Black Friday BlogHer Bonobos conferences CRM Customer Service Cyber Monday e-book Entrepreneur flex schedules Fraud Fremium FTC global Global Affiliate Google holidays incrementality Lending Bubble Mortage NDA Outsourcing Pacesetters Panda Pay Per Click Pinnacle Awards Rent the Runway Revenue Sales Strategy SEO ShareASale Shop.org small business Start-Up summer meeting trademark hijacking volunteering Wayfair webinar working parents
Many years ago, I was a broke college student in debt up to my eyeballs. I couldn’t even afford my own place. I became a full-time over-the-road truck driver and was working 70 to 80hrs+ per week, away from home for weeks or even months at a time, and was living in a space the size of a walk-in closet. To make matters worse, I was getting paid chump change.

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. 

Improve your conversion rates. Don’t worry if you can’t match your competitors’ cost-per-actions (CPAs). Start experimenting with new affiliates and improve your conversion rates, because the more conversions you produce, the more your affiliates get paid. They will prefer promoting your product over someone else’s when they see the number of customers they can generate.


So an effective affiliate marketing program requires some forethought. The terms and conditions have to be tight, especially if the contract agreement is to pay for traffic rather than sales. The potential for fraud in affiliate marketing is a possibility. Unscrupulous affiliates can squat on domain names with misspellings and get a commission for the redirect; they can populate online registration forms with fake or stolen information; they can purchase adwords on search terms the company already ranks high on, and so on. Even if the terms and conditions are clear, an affiliate marketing program requires that someone be monitoring affiliates and enforcing the rules. In exchange for that effort, however, a company can access motivated, creative people to help sell their product or services to the world.
This adds, even more, value to the course. I want to help you with your blog so that you can increase traffic, your income, and so that you can help your followers, so what's better than this? Two Saturdays a month, there will be a group coaching session in the private Mastermind group for students in the course. It will be called "Ask Michelle Saturday." This is your time to get feedback and support from me, and you can ask any questions related to your business, course material, your affiliate strategy, blog, and so on. I will answer every question in the group coaching session.
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.
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.
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.
So an effective affiliate marketing program requires some forethought. The terms and conditions have to be tight, especially if the contract agreement is to pay for traffic rather than sales. The potential for fraud in affiliate marketing is a possibility. Unscrupulous affiliates can squat on domain names with misspellings and get a commission for the redirect; they can populate online registration forms with fake or stolen information; they can purchase adwords on search terms the company already ranks high on, and so on. Even if the terms and conditions are clear, an affiliate marketing program requires that someone be monitoring affiliates and enforcing the rules. In exchange for that effort, however, a company can access motivated, creative people to help sell their product or services to the world.

Affiliate marketing on prominent coupon sites such as Groupon and RetailMeNot have proven to be highly successful. People love a bargain, and savvy shoppers there are often discounts available when shopping online. The best thing about this type of content is that instead of relying on your content and brand influence to push for conversions, you can rely on your readers love of a bargain. These shoppers perform searches to seek out these discounts. There are a lot of coupon style websites dedicated to promoting affiliate products to capitalize on this search traffic.

Website Development Help – need help setting up your theme? I’ve been working with the same 2 developers for 3+ years. To hire them, sign up for a Freelancer account, post your job (WordPress theme installation) then invite user i333 or bdkamol to your project. If you want, contact me and I will introduce you to them via email. Both are great developers with reasonable rates, speak fluent English, and I outsource all my programming work to them.
In regards to affiliate marketing, click fraud most often refers to generating “fake” clicks to a merchant program that is based on a PPC compensation method. The fake clicks (which can be generated in a manual or automated fashion) have no chance of converting for the merchant since the traffic clicking the ads have no real interest in the product or service the merchant is selling.
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
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.
The dollar amount of commissions an affiliate has to accrue before being paid. Some merchants set a minimum payment threshold themselves (to lower accounting costs by paying less frequently to people sending very few sales) while others allow the affiliate to do so (usually to avoid receiving frequent smaller checks and instead receive one larger one).

I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?

For a slightly different take on the subject and figuring out how to get targeted traffic onto your promoted links, you must have a look at Affiliate Marketing: Instant Traffic to Affiliate Links. A quick look at the reviews will help you decide if this is the exact course you are looking for. Sometimes the right approach is what is required to make a campaign work, this one might just work for you.
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.
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.
Colmex Pro is the leading European Regulated CFD Broker. Offering Tier 2 CFD’s, as well as Live Equities, Indices, Commodities, Futures, and Forex, Colmex Pro offers nearly every investment vehicle available on the US Stock Market to international day traders. Coupled with their partner’s educational packages and trade room access Colmex Pro offers investors the best opportunity to grow and learn how to day trade successfully. CPA up to $1000
Thanks Nathalie! And glad to see you came over from AONC 🙂 When done the right way I think affiliate links in context are much less intrusive and offensive than having ads on your sidebar. The average non-tech reader probably wont even know its an affiliate link anyway. So just by doing everything you’ve already been doing, you can switch out links, and probably make a nice side income!
Learn how to analyze data — Know how to use marketing tools and analyze performance data. Do the math to determine your marketing costs in order to bring traffic to your site, and calculate conversions and commissions to determine what’s performing best for you. Tweak copy or the location of a CTA to optimize success of the page. Study success for all of your highest performing pages, and try to lift conversions. A performance increase of just a couple of points could mean a big lift in sales.
“Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business. Through their expertise with the ever changing world of SEO, our web presence is as strong as ever. Our working relationship with Nick Stamoulis and Danielle Bachini has been outstanding. In collaboration with web designer Chris Roberts, we were also able to develop the perfect responsive website that truly reflects our business. Thank you Brick Marketing!​”
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. 

I thought I would just bring something else to your attention; I did take a second to look at your site; you know why I left within just one second? EXACTLY! You have less then 3 seconds to make your first impression on visitors; if your visitors are bouncing off your site at the speed of light, they either found your site by mistake, or they were not impressed with your site, and left, which means? right, they did not trust your site!!! What happens if you have a high bounce rate? right, you can certainly lose rankings! Is google going to keep sending you traffic if you have nothing to offer? nope! I can not say this is your problem, or you could have multiple problems going on at the same time to cause you to lose rankings. I can tell you one thing for sure by just taking a 1 minute look at your link profile; You have quite a few links, and you have almost no authority, what does this mean? This most likely means you are spamming your link to poor quality sites. You also have a massive amount of do-follow links which does not look natural vs your no follow links, and with your site having low trust flow, do you think your site deserves that many do-follow links? I wonder what google thinks? at first glance, your anchor/link diversity does not look to bad, so your anchor/text does not look over-optimized, but whoever is building links for you, consider firing them immediately, as you are getting all the wrong links. I am going to assume at this point google has certainly given you a penalty; Your next move to to hire someone to audit your site, and start disavowing/removing bad links from your portfolio, over time, your rankings may come back, and that may depend on other factors also, but at this point, it certainly looks like you have link issues. Just a little bitty research goes a long way. good luck.
Once you’ve chosen your interest and you’ve create a website where you can write about it, the next step is to pick out the affiliate programs that will advertise on your site. It’s tough to start affiliate marketing without a monetization plan! With over a million products and services to pick from, you’re bound to find something related to your interests, so feel free to go crazy with ideas like underwater basket weaving and scuba lessons if your interests lie with the ocean, or organic food and organic conditioners if you prefer to discuss how to stay beautiful with only organic plant extracts.

StudioPress itself is somewhat of a niche product as it is targeted to existing WordPress users who found setting up and managing a WordPress site too difficult or time-consuming. StudioPress prides itself on being easy to use, but their main claim to fame is that their hosted websites are “faster and more secure” than other WordPress hosting companies as well as using the “Genesis framework” which is supposedly more SEO friendly than other WordPress builds.
Another problem with self teaching is that you will end up spending a lot more money than is necessary. Most of the educational products online have not been written for the sole purpose of teaching you all you need to know to succeed in this industry, but have embedded within their pages, recommendations to other products that you should buy. And buy, and buy. The price tag can get pretty high. For instance, some of the products you may find yourself buying include: web builiding software and hosting, auto responder, article submission software, keyword research tools, article writers or PLR articles, advertising, graphics tools, SEO software, link cloaking & analytics tools, coaching or mentoring, directory submission services, more and more educational guides, ebooks and tutorials, and dozens of other products that are able to convince the unsuspecting newbie of the necessity of purchase.
To track your analytics, first you need to make sure that conversion tracking is in place. Conversion tracking is available through all major PPC search engines, utilizing conversions tracking services from Google, Bing and all the other large search engines will let you manage your accounts easily because they offer immediate access to conversions stats. For an in-depth guide to tracking and measuring your PPC campaign, refer to this comprehensive guide from WordStream.
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!
Think about the number of people querying search engines daily. Can you afford to miss out of this traffic? A popular method of promoting affiliate products is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is all about a website’s visibility in search engines. SEO focuses on unpaid so called natural or organic search results. Any attempt at SEO won’t bring immediate results, but in the long run, it can be extremely rewarding.
When it comes to creating profitable affiliate websites, you need to focus on adding great content that your readers will love and appreciate. I’m not talking about filler content that doesn’t add any value or teach anything useful; instead, you need to be building your sites based around cutting-edge information, advice, and resources for your visitors.
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.
Although affiliate marketing is an incredibly effective online strategy, many businesses have yet to take full advantage. This presents a huge opportunity for you to gain an extra edge over the competition, but you’ll need to move quickly. As we saw in the statistics above, more and more companies are engaging with affiliate marketing to drive revenue. If you don’t incorporate an affiliate program into your marketing strategy, then you’re likely to be missing out on sales.
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.

Once you’ve chosen your interest and you’ve create a website where you can write about it, the next step is to pick out the affiliate programs that will advertise on your site. It’s tough to start affiliate marketing without a monetization plan! With over a million products and services to pick from, you’re bound to find something related to your interests, so feel free to go crazy with ideas like underwater basket weaving and scuba lessons if your interests lie with the ocean, or organic food and organic conditioners if you prefer to discuss how to stay beautiful with only organic plant extracts.
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.

The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don't have enough content about a topic, you're not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it's unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you. 
“When I think of Brick Marketing I think Thank You!!! We had previously used another SEO firm and although I think they were doing their job, it never felt right. But we didn’t quite know why. I did a lot of research and was drawn to Brick Marketing because of their customer feedback, white hat philosophy and TRANSPARENCY. Once we started working with Nick I realized that what didn’t feel right about our previous SEO company was that everything was veiled in mystery. We never knew what they were doing, why or when.
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.
Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks

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
In today’s fast-paced, electronic world, affiliate marketing can be a great tool for your business. Once you can define affiliate marketing and have picked up some useful affiliate marketing tips, it’s time to consider whether it can help your business. The web is getting bigger by the day, and spreading your presence to other web sites can help attract more visitors and customers to your web site, providing a route for your business to grow.
×