Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.
That’s a great tip Sean, thanks! I was thinking about what you said in your post about some companies not putting that they have affiliate links and you having to do some digging and there are couple of companies/authors who made products I love and keep using, but I’m not sure how to go ahead and ask about the affiliate link. I read the post you linked below about asking for guest blogging, which I thought was a must-read, and so, if you think of doing a follow-up on this one, would love to read some of your tips and do’s and don’t about this. Thanks again, Sean, you’re doing some very inspiring work here!

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.
MY FAVORITE PRO: The exclusive Facebook group for students of Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Okay, you know like EVERY online course includes an “exclusive Facebook group” as a “bonus” for buying the course, right? And then, often, you get into this Facebook group and see that the admin has posted a couple of times, but no one engaged with the posts, and no one really participates in the group at all. It’s useless, just a vanity bonus.Well, I’m happy to say the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook group is NOT like that! It is my FAVORITE Facebook group, and here’s why:

If you have built up an email list, you could also promote your affiliate offers via email promotions. Just make sure you build up a relationship with your audience first instead of going for the hard sell straightaway. The emails you send out must contain your affiliate links to products so when your audience click through. the sale is attributed to you. 
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.
Refers to a term often used in affiliate reporting that allows you to see how many unique people have clicked on your affiliate link versus seeing all clicks (Raw Clicks) that have occurred. If a person on their home computer clicks your affiliate link 3 times, then 1 of those clicks would be considered a unique click. What is defined as unique typically resets after 24 hours with most programs. So, if that same person in the above example comes back 6 days later and clicks on your affiliate link 1 more time, they would now account for 4 raw clicks and 2 unique clicks.
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.
Flexoffers is another huge affiliate marketing network. They pay you (the affiliate) a lot faster than others in the industry. It has more than 10 years of experience in the field. While they do not offer anything that is neither groundbreaking nor revolutionary, they do provide a solid array of tools and features that will surely aid you in your campaigns. In addition to the fast payouts, Flexoffers lets you choose from thousands of affiliate programs to promote, offers various content delivery formats, and more.
Because of the affiliate website’s commission, the profit margin on products sold is lower, but total volume of sales tends to be higher. Products that particularly benefit from high exposure, such as books and music, are good candidates for an affiliate marketing strategy (See also Product Marketing). Entertainment, and particularly gaming, has also experienced growth through such marketing. Other business sectors that are growing through affiliate marketing include finance, travel, and mobile-phone sales.
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.

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!


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.
We offer free one on one assistance to help people make money online, using proven techniques that have already made money for our members. We do not sell e-books, charge a monthly subscription or bombard you with emails from "carefully selected partners" - we simply provide help and guidance to suit your level of ability. Our membership is worldwide and contains people from all walks of life.
Affiliate managers need at least a bachelor’s degree (typically in marketing); and experience with online commerce, including sales, advertising, business-to-business marketing, and affiliate marketing. Education preparing them for this career includes classes in marketing, market research, statistics, microeconomics, consumer behavior, and internet law.

A very good example is TheWireCutter.com, an affiliate website started by a former Editorial Director at Gizmodo. It is a very successful affiliate website that brought in $30 million in cash as reported by The New York Times. You can find a lot of useful information, reviews, and price comparisons for their electronic products from Amazon. Yes, they are affiliates of Amazon and they promote products there.
Being open and upfront about earning affiliate commission is another way not to appear pushy or as if you’re just trying to make a sale. This very useful and informative post contained a number of affiliate links and were I to want to buy one of those products or services mentioned, I would actively seek out this post and buy it through Sean as a way of saying thank you for such top information.
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.
Thanks so much, Stuart! I read the article you sent a link to today: "How To Start Your Own $20K p/m Affiliate Site". I got very intrigued, and then found my way to this tutorial where, serendipitously 🙂 you showcase WhyImSoBroke as your ultimate example in the chapter: "How To Create Your Own Unusual Product Site". Very jazzed about the potential in building a niche weird product site! Thanks again. Wow, what amazing content you post! 

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]
There are a couple of excellent WordPress review themes out there as well, so don’t hold back; feel free to go with a solution that works for you. We’ve shared some great examples up above, but there really are tons of others around the web. After installing your WordPress site, it’s time to start creating awesome content. But first, a few pointers.
It is importing to get some formal training in affiliate marketing before hurling yourself into it. Affiliate marketing might seem like a simple thing to get into and make a career out of, but there is too much information out there to figure out what you need to know. A good way to have a focused understanding of the subject is to take an affiliate marketing course and obtain concise and comprehensive training in the field. Since the concept is rapidly evolving and changing, an affiliate marketing course will also have to be up to date to the techniques that are commonly used and not train in redundant techniques that are no longer very profitable.                        
What you are about to discover in this article is the most comprehensive and eye-opening instructions written about “Affiliate Marketing”. This is the ultimate guide that equips you from A to Z and everything you need to understand to jump-start your affiliate business right away. Regardless of whether you are a beginner who just gets started or a seasoned affiliate marketer who has the experience, there will be some amazing insights for you to learn here. We hope you enjoy reading this ultimate guide and while doing so, uncover the secrets to building multiple streams of steady passive income from your affiliate business.
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.
“Brick Marketing is extremely valuable for feedback and advice in many aspects of marketing, not just SEO and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the long term to continually improve our business and increase sales. That’s what it’s all about. Just like their name implies, Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation.”

Merchants receiving a large percentage of their revenue from the affiliate channel can become reliant on their affiliate partners. This can lead to affiliate marketers leveraging their important status to receive higher commissions and better deals with their advertisers. Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are a lot of high paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are in the driver’s seat.
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.
Thanks so much, Stuart! I read the article you sent a link to today: "How To Start Your Own $20K p/m Affiliate Site". I got very intrigued, and then found my way to this tutorial where, serendipitously 🙂 you showcase WhyImSoBroke as your ultimate example in the chapter: "How To Create Your Own Unusual Product Site". Very jazzed about the potential in building a niche weird product site! Thanks again. Wow, what amazing content you post!
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.
While the world goes gaga over Digital Marketing, few seem to be discussing affiliate marketing in depth. A true gem, a lot of digital marketing in the future will be reliant on affiliate marketing. While social media marketing helps create buzz, search engine marketing helps drive traffic, affiliate marketers helps converts traffic into leads and sales. As the focus on ROI and analytics grows, more businesses will demand (they have started demanding already) people to showcase the exact value of digital marketing efforts. If there is one decisive way to measure digital marketing, it’s affiliate marketing. These are best suited for both affiliate marketing beginners and experienced professionals. Of the thousands of methods to make money online, Affiliate Marketing stands out. It has been more than a decade that thousands have turned millionaires simply by mastering this art and its your turn to grow and shine now.
Affiliate marketers have to consider whether a particular product or company is worth their time to promote. Some companies only pay a one percent commission, while others pay 75 percent commission. And you can get paid as little as a few cents and as much as a few hundred or thousand dollars depending on the type of item sold. As the affiliate marketer, you also have to determine how much time you need to spend in order to make a sale. Affiliate marketing is not a set it and forget it kind of method, as some people claim it to be - it takes active work to make a sale. If you have to spend one hour in order to make $0.38, then it may not be worth it for you. But if you spend only 20 minutes and you get paid $50, then that's probably worth it.
The best WordPress hosting – Your affiliate site has to be super-fast for good user experience. You don’t need downtimes on repeat, and you definitely don’t want to lose your site to a hacker. Furthermore, you need enough server resources for when your site grows. How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting has your back covered. If you need a quick fix, we recommend WPEngine and Siteground among these other quality web hosts.
Once you have both the domain and hosting purchased and connected, your website should be showing just a basic coming soon type web page. A website needs some type of Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. CMS allows very easy creation and updating of websites. We highly recommend and use WordPress 99% of the time. In fact, this website is run on WordPress as well as CNN, NASA, FOX News, New York Times, and many others. The best thing about WordPress is that you can virtually modify every aspect of it from design to add-on features. It also has the biggest following when it comes to users and people love to help each other out.

I’ve been following Michelle for over a year because she posts insane income reports and is always generously giving her tips for free. When I found out about her affiliate marketing course, I jumped on it! In fact, I bought TWO logins for her course, one for my dad and one for me. My dad is an entrepreneur too and when I learned he wanted to learn about affiliate marketing, I bought him the course for his birthday. :)

In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[14] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[9]
The term “qualified sale” (or its synonym, “qualified purchase”) is important in the affiliate marketing context because the advertiser (the ecommerce merchant) defines in advance what constitutes a qualified sale. When an affiliate agrees to promote the merchant’s products, that affiliate is accepting the merchant’s definition of a “qualified sale.”
If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.
Communicate with affiliate managers — Your affiliate managers should have a strong grasp on your activities and placements of offers. This helps them identify any low hanging fruit for affiliates. Tap into that knowledge and communicate with them. Although, they can’t provide 1:1 training, they can point you in the right direction and help get started or improve performance.
Being open and upfront about earning affiliate commission is another way not to appear pushy or as if you’re just trying to make a sale. This very useful and informative post contained a number of affiliate links and were I to want to buy one of those products or services mentioned, I would actively seek out this post and buy it through Sean as a way of saying thank you for such top information.
I had a really hard time writing a review because Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing isn’t the first course I’d recommend to bloggers who want to make money. I’m way more enthusiastic about Pinterest Traffic Avalanche or Pajama Affiliates. BUT, having said that, I DO NOT regret buying Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing, and I am glad I did buy it. So, I’m on the fence. I think it is good, but I think only for certain people. I’ll let you decide. But I just want you to know I am being totally honest, and I never would let a blogger buy a course if I thought it was a BAD course (and trust me, I’ve taken bad courses, and I never recommend them to anyone—even when the course is crazy popular). 

The people that you refer too did not master amazon, they merely mastered the value they offer to visitors. If you are able to engage/connect with visitors, then you got a winner, some people merely have better skills then others, which may include offering high value content, coding/custom skills. Do you agree that these people brought something to the table? If they did not, then visitors would not continue to visit their sites, right? You can put up all the content in the world, you can get all the backlinks you want, but if you can not engage/connect with your visitors, then all is lost. These site most likely did not start off with custom sites; they started off just like everyone else, some rag/tag site. I ran across an affiliate site a few months ago, and the content on his site would just blow your mind, and let me tell you,this guy had affiliate links from all major affiliate networks, his site has so much authority that he is listed right up under amazon, and some actual product manufacturers; how did he do this? He brought solutions, and value to his visitors, he knew what they were looking for, and knows how to engage, and connect with them. If you can not figure out how to blow your visitors mind, then what do you really have to offer? His avg reviews were between 7k-10k words? how about you? 500-1000 words? at the end of the day, which site will google find more impressive, yours, or his, and i assure you, he had far more affiliate links on his site then you have on yours as you could not skip-a-paragraph without seeing affiliate links.
Becoming a part of an affiliate network is an excellent strategy for bloggers looking to up their current income or even just to begin actually making money from their blog. There are several options when it comes to affiliate marketing as well as strategies for making affiliate marketing work for you. Below I will teach you what is affiliate marketing, examples of affiliate marketing in blogging, affiliate strategies and some of the top affiliate networks to join.
Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.

A practice that underhandedly deposits cookies from merchants onto users computers when the user has never visited the merchant through the affiliate's link and potentially may not have even the affiliate's website. Cookie stuffing is done with the intent of stuffing as many cookies as possible onto as many user computers as possible in the hopes that they eventually come accross the merchant website and make a purchase. The larger and broader the merchant, the more likely that is to occur (think Amazon). Cookie stuffing is heavily looked down upon by legitimate affiliates and most merchants ban affiliates using cookie stuffing in their affiliate agreements.
Thanks for a nice job. I am currently promoting some of the affiliate programs listed here and making a few dollars from them. But I must say that making money from affiliate programs is not rocket science; it requires hard work and perseverance. Affiliate marketing keeps evolving daily and any serious affiliate should be ready to change tactics and invest time and money in order to beat the competition.

Once you hit the green Select button you’ll end up on the domain name page.  This is where the fun begins!  Choose a good, short, easy-to-spell, and relevant domain name for your business.  Keep in mind that the best .com names are long gone so get creative or use a .net if you need to.  If you need some help please take a few minutes to read this article I wrote on the topic: domain name tips.  


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. 
Effective website design is fundamental to making any Internet marketing campaign work. Thousands of affiliates may increase web traffic, but if the landing pages aren’t attractive, a business won't convert these visitors into paying customers. Internet shoppers in the process of researching and comparing are likely to spend only seconds summing up a page.
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
What you are about to discover in this article is the most comprehensive and eye-opening instructions written about “Affiliate Marketing”. This is the ultimate guide that equips you from A to Z and everything you need to understand to jump-start your affiliate business right away. Regardless of whether you are a beginner who just gets started or a seasoned affiliate marketer who has the experience, there will be some amazing insights for you to learn here. We hope you enjoy reading this ultimate guide and while doing so, uncover the secrets to building multiple streams of steady passive income from your affiliate business.
“I have been very pleased with the responsiveness, diligent work efforts and creative ideas Brick Marketing has shown me since we started our organic SEO optimization campaign. My account executive has provided great support and has written relevant and timely articles for our website blog. Her willingness to go above and beyond to achieve the best possible results is very evident. I would recommend Brick Marketing to anyone looking to enhance their online business profile.”
If affiliates don’t make any sales and their reporting system states that a campaign had 100,000 impressions, 10,000 clicks, and 0 leads or sales, then that means the affiliate won’t be paid, nothing more. Affiliates and networks might say to their clients that they can produce 1 billion impressions, which is just jargon. They might not produce any sales at all.
Focus on reviewing products that fall within your niche. Then, leveraging the rapport you have created with your audience and your stance as an expert, tell your readers why they would benefit from purchasing the product you are promoting. It is especially effective to compare this product to others in the same category. Most importantly, make sure you are generating detailed, articulate content to improve conversions.

FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.


I’m not sure of the exact reasons why I started to rank, but I have a few theories. It was a very long, honest, and informative post on the subject. I believe this made it stand out from all the other reviews in which the author just wrote up a basic summary of what it’s about. It also is one of the latest reviews on the book, so perhaps google freshness has something to do with it. I haven’t done any linkbuilding on this page and it currently sits at #2.
I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like this poll where they were rated the #1 host. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many generated 100 visitors/day since the great content got them ranked high.
"Reading Michelle's income reports each month made me realize the huge potential there is to make more money online. Even as a blogger with an established site over 8 years old, I knew that there was so much that I could learn from Michelle because she's had such incredible success! Watching her income climb each month has really motivated me to change up my affiliate strategy and be more intentional with my efforts." - Jessica Bishop, TheBudgetSavvyBride.com
I have loaded a video on how to install different WordPress themes and how to start building your website below.  There are 10 total videos that will load back to back without you having to do anything but watch.  So have at it.  Have fun.  And let’s make some money together.  Please make sure to bookmark this site so you can come back for more tutorials to learn how to generate traffic and start earning passive income.
You don’t need a website or blog to run adverts on Facebook, you just need a Facebook page for your affiliate account. The best thing about running ads on Facebook is the privilege to target your audience. This way you can be sure that your campaign is sent to the right people. Advertising costs as little as five dollars a day and you can run a test for a week to evaluate their performance. Since facebook purchased Instagram in 212, advertising via Facebook also targets Instagram users which could translate into more conversions..
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.
hey sean, am a newbie who is so ethusistic about online marketing. great post , i must commend , it came in handy. through your post i clearly understand that an affiliate mustr have a website and a blog as a platform for promoting the good and services. here the thing with me , i dont have either of them and am asking ….. is it advisable for me to delve in affilate marketing peradventure i get a blog running now …?
Hi, Jamie! Very good list. I needed something like this for 2018 so that I know what to target in the future blogs I create. As for now, I’m comfortable using SiteGround affiliate network and it’s pretty good actually. Their hosting service is pretty much the best considered its price. I’ve tried others but SiteGround stands out. I’ll also try new affiliate networks, something from the list you have just provided. I think Amazon is too saturated at the moment, and I need a better network. 2018 will be interesting indeed.

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.


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.
While your site is still new, it's a good idea to start capitalizing on someone else's audience. Continue focusing on building your own content, but also considering writing content for a few big, high-traffic blogs that are relevant for your niche. By writing content for a bigger site, you are able to get in front of another audience and showcase your expertise on a particular topic. This will eventually lead to more traffic to your site, as well. 
Wonna make some money? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? And do you know what the best part is? You can make a killing using WordPress as we’ve already seen in the recent past. Today we will build you an affiliate site, so you can go ahead make some moolah, and buy beach houses, Ferraris and the works. All this for you, just so you can learn something new and live large because you deserve it.
Another one of the highest paying and most popular dating affiliate programs is eHarmony, which is based on the actual earnings that can be made from each referred sale. Up to $188 can be made from a single sale. In general, the members at eHarmony are typically looking to find serious long term relationships, so many of them are willing to pay extra to find similar people.
Affiliate marketing has contributed to the rise of many leading online companies. Amazon.com, one of the first significant adopters, now has hundreds of thousands of affiliate relationships. It is not uncommon to see industries where the major players have affiliate programs–often structured in a similar manner and making similar competitive changes over time.
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