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.
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.
For example, if I talk about how cool a product is, and then you find out that I’m an affiliate for them, wouldn’t you as a conscientious observer become skeptical as to whether my information is biased, if perhaps I’m only saying how cool something is because I can get paid for it? Wouldn’t that make you question my integrity with other things I say as well?
The majority of people who get involved in internet marketing, almost all of them started with affiliate marketing. The idea behind is easy to understand and it is a business model that requires no capital or product to start. What you need to do is to promote other people’s products and make commissions from them. Or it can also be the other way round, whereby you source for products and then look for affiliates to promote them for you. Either way, affiliate marketing is a great business model that based on revenue sharing that has been around since ages ago.
4) The Site’s Niche – Check out Commission Junction and Clickbank… and you’ll see that there is virtually an endless list of products you can promote. However, the “Best-Selling” or “Top Products” from affiliate networks shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when picking your site’s niche. Choosing a niche for your affiliate site should involve more research and analysis than that. After all, the success of your site relies mostly on your topic’s level of demand and how well you take advantage of your readers’ needs.
Okay, there’s this secret course out there on the internet that no one really talks about, but it’s WAY cheaper and I think the tactics are more in-depth and advanced: Pajama Affiliates blogging course. I bought the Pajama Affiliates Home Blogging Bundle in February and it blew me away. BUT, the caveat: Yes, the content is more advanced and more helpful, I think, BUT it’s horribly disorganized! In fact, some days I can’t even figure out how to log into my course account. The design looks like something from the 1990s, and it’s not even on a sophisticated platform; it’s just a series of password-protected blog posts. On top of that, the demographic is different. It’s not the shiny, millennial bloggers with cute Instagram accounts. It’s filled mostly with older moms and grandmothers, but they are genuine and very kind. So it’s up to you. The big draw is Pajama Affiliates is SO much cheaper, just $37 when I bought it. Again, don’t be fooled by appearances. The tactics in this course are way more advanced, and they’re what I used to get my product review blog posts in the #1 spots in Google search. It’s worth a try (especially at such an affordable price!)
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]
At this stage, you’ll likely be wondering how you generate money. There are different types of affiliate marketing compensation. It depends on how the company or affiliate program chooses to compensate you the publisher for your work generating traffic and sales. Most of the time, you can expect a share of the revenue, meaning that you get an agreed percentage of the sales you help generate. There are alternative arrangements.

Spam is the biggest threat to organic search engines, whose goal is to provide quality search results for keywords or phrases entered by their users. Google's PageRank algorithm update ("BigDaddy") in February 2006—the final stage of Google's major update ("Jagger") that began in mid-summer 2005—specifically targeted spamdexing with great success. This update thus enabled Google to remove a large amount of mostly computer-generated duplicate content from its index.[29]

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…


Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular of them all. I don’t participate myself (yet) but the majority of affiliate marketers I know use Amazon because… it’s Amazon. You can review products you have used or write tutorials (eg. how to connect computer to TV) and drop an affiliate link to an HDMI cable… just a couple examples. You may want to build relationships with the manufacturers so you can get products before they’re released – giving you time to create a review before the product is launched and capture sales during peak buying times.
Affiliate marketing is also called "performance marketing", in reference to how sales employees are typically being compensated. Such employees are typically paid a commission for each sale they close, and sometimes are paid performance incentives for exceeding objectives.[21] Affiliates are not employed by the advertiser whose products or services they promote, but the compensation models applied to affiliate marketing are very similar to the ones used for people in the advertisers' internal sales department.
There’s a good reason why ClickBank is still a strong contender, however it does tend to focus more on digital products which may be of questionable quality. Yes, the review process is more professional these days, but it’s still primarily focused on selling digital products, especially “how to make money” courses and the like. That being said, there are some genuinely high-quality products on offer, and few affiliate programs are bigger than ClickBank, especially in selling (primarily digital) books.
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.
The truth is much more complicated. It’s true that affiliate programs can be sources of phantom revenue and off-brand promotion. But managed properly, they can also make up 5-15 percent of online revenue and have an ROI among the highest of any online channel. CMOs are realizing that affiliate marketing can be an important part of their arsenal and are integrating the channel into their overall marketing strategies.
If you choose this model you’ll have the best results if you post high-quality content daily and interact with your audience through social media, questions and answers, and email. Expect to be very personally involved with your audience since this model demands the most from you. Further, it takes some time to build both your reputation and your audience so have some patience using this approach.
We covered the essentials on what you need to get started with affiliate marketing. The domain, hosting, and CMS are the backbone and you are responsible on filling it with great content. Our next section we will cover how to find the right niches which also will come into play with what domain you choose to register. So if you’re anxious we would recommend waiting for the next article as it will make sense on why a domain can make or break your website. Like we said, we could get really technical with the steps but that would just make this guide a little over your head. Any questions you have feel free to email us and we will help you get it sorted.
Awesome article! This is jam packed with great info. I am just starting a personal finance blog with my fiance and we were a little confused about how to start monetizing. We were initially thinking about using Google AdSense but between this post and another blog I read I am surely convinced that’s not the correct route. I’m really happy you have shared this information because it’s provided an excellent starting point for creating income.
LinkConnector imposes a very rigorous and lengthy screening process, so you’ll need to prove that you have a high-quality website and established audience before being accepted. Despite its somewhat schizophrenic approach, LinkConnector does have some very happy long-term affiliates. And their “naked links” allow for direct connection to the merchant website without having to be rerouted via LinkConnector, which will give your website an SEO boost.
When you’re picking a domain name you’ll want to choose an authoritative domain, that doesn’t limit the potential of your website. For instance, topoutdoorgrillreviews.com might sound like a good choice, but then you’re limited to just writing about outdoor grills. Something like theultimatebackyard.com will allow you to expand your site into different niches as your site becomes more established.

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.


As many you want (or as many as your hosting plan can handle). WordPress doesn’t have any limitation that I know of when it comes to a post or page limit. But as you add more content (text, pictures, links) and get more traffic you’ll need more & more server space so your website doesn’t slow down. Just be sure you choose a hosting plan that will support your website.

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.  

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. 

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

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


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.
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.

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?


LinkConnector has struggled to stand out from the pack but nonetheless has managed to sign some exclusive deals with big name brands, including Writer’s Digest, the Disney Store, Ironman, Hats.com, and Everly. Their strictly controlled screening process for both merchants/advertisers and affiliates/publishers means that you can always rely on the quality of products on offer.

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.


Successful affiliate marketing leverages the relationships between these parties to generate revenue. Publishers promote a product or service using their own unique affiliate link and consumers make purchases as a result. Tracking cookie technology is used to record consumer activity so that sales can be attributed back to the publisher. The network and advertiser use the cookie data to quantify results and calculate commission payments.

“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!”
We covered the essentials on what you need to get started with affiliate marketing. The domain, hosting, and CMS are the backbone and you are responsible on filling it with great content. Our next section we will cover how to find the right niches which also will come into play with what domain you choose to register. So if you’re anxious we would recommend waiting for the next article as it will make sense on why a domain can make or break your website. Like we said, we could get really technical with the steps but that would just make this guide a little over your head. Any questions you have feel free to email us and we will help you get it sorted.
You can make really good commissions from the eBay partner but it depends on the products which you decide to promote. Interestingly the commission levels vary according to where you are in the world not just on the products you decide to promote. One of the great reasons to sign up is that you can earn DOUBLE commissions in your first three months. They offer free to use link generators, ad creatives and widgets for you to promote different eBay items. eBay has over 162 Million active buyers which means there is a great potential to convert your traffic.

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.
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!
Once you get your basic website set up, your affiliates all arranged, and you start producing content that other people might want to see, it’s time to learn how to market yourself so that people will start visiting your site and finding out what you have to offer. If it’s good, word of mouth will bring others to see your website, and that (along with more marketing and SEO) will slowly but surely grow your audience. But to learn more about that, you should read some of the other articles on this site. 

Affiliate marketing is still one of the most reliable ways to earn a recurring passive income online. It takes more work to build a profitable website than it did a few years ago, but it still can be done. You’ll need to put in a lot of effort at the beginning, but afterward you should be able to outsource most of the work and focus on other projects.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon.[41] The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
The vendor can be an individual like Matt Lloyd who owns MOBE and sells internet marketing courses to people who want to make money from the internet, or it can also be a big company like Panasonic or Dyson. Anyone can be the product vendor as long as he or she has something to sell. And take note that a product vendor usually does not have to be actively involved in the process.
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.
A year ago, when I ran an ABestWeb contest for the best definition of affiliate marketing, Chris, who ended up winning the first prize, summarized things both eloquently and beautifully. He defined affiliate marketing as “the art of doing a merchant’s marketing better than they can, and profiting from it.” Many successful affiliates (also known as super affiliates) are truly better experts in what they do that most of the merchants that they promote. Consequently, they can market e-tailers’ products/services in such a way that merchants get incremental business, while they themselves make a good living off the per sale commission they get.
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