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.
Develop a strategy — What problems are you solving? What niche or audience do you want to serve? Outline the above, and determine how you want to get there while offering something unique or a little different. After that, design your brand look and identify your messaging. While you are at it, set an action plan you can live with based on how much time you have to allocate to your affiliate efforts.

Product Reviews – The infamous product review websites… This is a very popular method where the author is an expert in a particular field and gets hands-on experience for a product/ service and gives their personal opinion on the product. This is a very competitive market if you are trying to go after something broad such as cameras or laptops. An example would be http://www.steves-digicams.com


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!
Let’s start by looking at the competition. Where are their gaps? If you can beat it, this is a good place to start. By now you should have an understanding of your target audience. This is the time to think about what makes them tick. Use anything you have to build a picture. Look into keywords and search queries to see what people are looking for, and any existing analytics you have. If you’ve written a well performing blog article, is there room to expand on that topic?
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).
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.
Video tutorials are similar to how-to guides, however, they add more value to the learning process as they have a more interactive approach. Additionally, videos guides are popular and can help your blog reach a larger audience. Text is an obvious format, however, people generally prefer consuming content in video form rather than reading an entire article. Can you afford to not take part and miss out on this audience? If you’re a natural in front of the camera, then consider informational videos to talk about your chosen products.

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]
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!
Affiliate marketing has increased in prominence with the internet age. Amazon popularized the practice by creating an affiliate marketing program where websites and bloggers put links to the Amazon page for a product being reviewed or discussed in order to receive advertising fees when a purchase is made. In this sense, affiliate marketing is essentially a pay for performance marketing program where the act of selling a consumer on a product is outsourced across a potentially vast network.
Whitelabeling refers to a merchant allowing an affiliate to sell products under their own brand with no mention of the actual merchant. Visitors to the affiliate's website would likely believe it was the affiliate who was actually selling the items or taking the leads since there is no mention of an outside merchant. This typically occurs by the merchant creating a website branded solely to the affiliate on their own server under their control and allowing the affiliate to “mask” that website as appearing to be a subdomain on the affiliate website. Many times merchants limit Whitelabeling opportunities to only being available to Super Affiliates.
“When we started working with Brick Marketing, we had just been subjected to a Google algorithm update and our websites both took substantial hits to traffic. Within a few months, Brick has taken both of our websites to pre-algorithm traffic and conversion levels, and for the CallFinder site, the traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year. Their expertise in SEO, responsive design, and content marketing helped us turn the situation around, and we could not be happier with the results we’ve seen in just our first four months of working with them. The team we work with at Brick Marketing is always available for off-the-cuff consultations and are at the ready to provide recommendations and suggestions to improve our site’s appearance and performance. They are truly a hands-on partner, which is immensely valuable to our business.​”
Many affiliate marketers use paid advertising to generate additional traffic to their site and drive more sales. Paid advertising on social media is often a good place to start, as these networks tend to be more affordable.You may also want to consider taking out inexpensive banner ads on small niche sites. Depending on your niche, Google AdWords could also be a good option to drive some paid traffic to your site.
In affiliate marketing, last click is often used to describe an affiliate program where the last affiliate to get a user to click a link and make a purchase is the one to be credited with the sale – even if a valid cookie from a prior click on a different affiliate's link still exists on the users computer. There has long been a debate between whether first click or last click is most beneficial to both the affiliate and the merchant.
SkimLinks is probably best for bloggers who want to write content around the affiliate link rather than add affiliate links to existing products. SkimLinks offers a lot of tools to compare commission rates and offers in order to customize your content to optimize your income. Once nice aspect of SkimLinks is that it offers lots of products for non-US creators, including popular UK brands like John Lewis and Tesco.
Creating blog content is a very useful and effective way of consistently building content on a site. When creating blog posts, it's a good idea to do some keyword research to figure out what it is that your audience is interested in and searching for online. Also, be sure to research competitors, forums and social media to narrow down on topics for your blog. 
Kathy Burns-Millyard has been a professional writer since 1997. Originally specializing in business, technology, environment and health topics, Burns now focuses on home, garden and hobby interest articles. Her garden work has appeared on GardenGuides.com and other publications. She enjoys practicing Permaculture in her home garden near Tucson, Ariz.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
If your domain is your address, hosting is like the actual house within which your site will live. It's your own little slice of the internet — the place where all your website files live. Hosting is very affordable these days, so don't unnecessarily scrimp on costs. Go with a reputable, reliable provider because your affiliate marketing business depends on it. 
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.
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).
Let’s start by looking at the competition. Where are their gaps? If you can beat it, this is a good place to start. By now you should have an understanding of your target audience. This is the time to think about what makes them tick. Use anything you have to build a picture. Look into keywords and search queries to see what people are looking for, and any existing analytics you have. If you’ve written a well performing blog article, is there room to expand on that topic?
Tip 9. Build Trust with your Followers and Market. There’s nothing better than having people trust you when you’re advertising to them. When you build a relation ship with the people you market to it will allow you to build a far better business online. By trying to just sell to people who don’t trust you is a recipe for disaster and that’s why you should try and build trust before you give them your affiliate link.
“From the beginning, our new company, AA Global Printing, has provided a superior global service, backed by a solid operations team. What we didn’t have were marketing resources to support the growth of our client base and to build a strong online presence. Fortunately, Brick Marketing has given us a structured website development process/solution and a cost effective “answer” to creating a viable web presence. Moreover, our account rep has been a professional and knowledgeable resource at every turn. Thanks to Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team, AA Global Printing is marketing with all the right tools ranging from SEO, strong content, a weekly blog, and easy site navigation for our visitors.”
“I have had the good fortune to work with SEO expert Nick Stamoulis and his team at Brick Marketing and it was clear form the get go that Nick had superior knowledge of marketing on the internet. The SEO campaign and technical writing that Brick Marketing provides has been impressive, where in the past we struggled to find the high levels of competence in these two skill sets. Were only just beginning with Brick Marketing and look forward to growing with their expert guidance. Thank you Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team!”
I would have one partner create a separate page/contact form specifically for the advertiser – so only people who see that contact form are people who were referred to by the advertiser. The advertiser would use that page as their outbound link. I know you can track outbound clicks in Google Analytics events and Contact Form conversions (usually through most contact form plugins) but that is the best way I think. Never done it, but this is how I see most affiliate programs like that work.
One of the disadvantages of working with a network is that they charge a commission, which is normally up to 30% of what you charge affiliates. For example, this is how it works: Brand C affiliate program might sell $1 million of clothing. They pay their affiliates 10% commission, so the total commission of the program would be $100,000. The affiliate network would then charge 30% override on this figure so the brand would pay $130,000. The affiliates would get the $100,000 commission and the affiliate network would get $30,000 override.
Test your ideas. The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to build a website first to find out if your idea is viable. Instead, you can join affiliate networks, browse products that fall under your chosen niche, and conduct research to see if these products would “sell.” Find what is trending online to see what ideas would bring more money to the table.

For the remainder of this tutorial, I will be showing you how to register your domain name, set up web hosting, and install WordPress all from the same service. This service is Bluehost, a very well known and established web hosting company. If you use this Bluehost discount link you will get a discounted price of $2.95 per month and it includes everything you need.
We've partnered with The Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education (FLYTE), a nonprofit organization that empowers youth living in underserved communities through transformative travel experiences. FLYTE teaches that we are more alike than we realize. By bridging the gap between fear and understanding, FLYTE empowers future generations by connecting them to the world.
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.
People new to affiliate marketing often mistake PPC for just writing an advertisement with your target keywords thrown in and leaving it at that. Indeed that’s part of it, but that alone won’t get you many sales. To justify paying for PPC, you need to familiarise yourself with how AdWords and Analytics works. A big part of PPC is tracking everything to be sure of what keywords are generating conversions, thus worth bidding on, and which aren’t. 

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.
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.
Without doubt that was by far the best summary of “Greatest Tips” I have read to date. It is so confusing out there…I want to help my son who struggles with cranky bossy managers to empowering him and havening him live life on his terms. I know affiliate marketing is the way out but where to start?? Do we set up on Shopify and offer other people’s products? Do we set up a blog with a few good links? Do you go to clickbank and peddle the China trinkets etc? Its a tough one to sort but this tutorial was an easy to understand read and you have my word that any of the hosting or other services offered I will use your affiliate link to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your mistakes. Sincerest thanks Tom!
An elegantly straightforward process, affiliate marketing via reviews, blogs, social media, and other platforms is a new frontier in marketing that’s just waiting to be utilized. Follow the tips included in this article, and you’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance your paycheck one click at a time.
Carry out your keyword research to determine what users are looking for. Use your content to address the user’s pain points, and you have yourself a foundation of a sustainable business. After all, you earn only when you solve a problem for your users. And with an affiliate site, you’re simply showing them why the product you’re recommending is the solution they need. Can’t get easier than that.
Thats a great point, and I’ve definitely seen my fair share of those “how to start a blog” posts. That’s always been a good fit for people at Location 180, and if they do a good job on the post (truly make it useful) that’s one that doesnt bother me as much – solely because I know how valuable starting a blog can be for your life and goals. So if it’s some personal finance blogger that creates one and you start a blog from that by following their tutorial – all the better!
Niche Marketing Sites – These types of websites are what you will see the majority of the time when it comes to affiliate marketing. We will cover how to find the right niche in the next topic but basically these websites are usually small to medium sized and go after a very specific niche. Usually it is something you’ve never would of imagined but that’s the beauty of it as there will be little to no competition. http://www.birdcagesblog.com 

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.
Whichever way you choose to promote something, you’ll include a trackable link that’s unique to your affiliate account so that any sales can be attributed back to you. If you’re a blogger who wants to monetize your platform, then becoming an affiliate can provide that steady source of income. It also gives you the opportunity to provide solutions to your audience who may need a product to solve a problem.

When you’re starting an affiliate business, don’t make things more complicated than it has to be. You simply need to promote your website and get it seen by as many people as possible. You can promote your websites through a number of ways. Social media promotion is one of the most common. Many affiliate marketers use search engine optimization techniques to generate page views and sales. For this, useful, rich content is essential. The content should include good reviews of the products you are promoting. You can use video sites like YouTube to publish video reviews and then share those videos through your website.
Some commentators originally suggested that affiliate links work best in the context of the information contained within the website itself. For instance, if a website contains information pertaining to publishing a website, an affiliate link leading to a merchant's internet service provider (ISP) within that website's content would be appropriate. If a website contains information pertaining to sports, an affiliate link leading to a sporting goods website may work well within the context of the articles and information about sports. The goal, in this case, is to publish quality information on the website and provide context-oriented links to related merchant's websites.
Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another. 
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.

Still not convinced? Image for a moment that you are the one consuming the content, not marketing it. Let’s say for instance you are about to launch your own business. You’re concerned about breaking even, making your mortgage payments and so on. A quick online search and hey presto, you find the definitive guide to starting a business, and, it helps you.
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.
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.
When you visit an affiliate company, you’ll be able to choose between a free plan or one that comes with a monthly cost. The premium membership comes with more support, more websites, and a stronger connection to the affiliate marketing community, but if you’re at the point where you’re just dipping your toe in the water to see what it’s like, the free membership option comes with some support for the first week and enough freedom and tools to quickly create a basic website and get going.
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).

Designed to create a huge amount of traffic at all times, these sites focus on building an audience of millions. These websites promote products to their massive audience through the use of banners and contextual links. This method offers superior exposure and improves conversion rates, resulting in a top-notch revenue for both the seller and the affiliate.


Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]

Develop a strategy — What problems are you solving? What niche or audience do you want to serve? Outline the above, and determine how you want to get there while offering something unique or a little different. After that, design your brand look and identify your messaging. While you are at it, set an action plan you can live with based on how much time you have to allocate to your affiliate efforts.
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! 
×