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.
"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

If you’re writing reviews, you should 100% be using rich snippets (they add review stars to your search engine snippets and increase click-through rates). There are many WordPress plugins for this but my favorite is WP Rich Snippets. It’s $69/year (or $399 one-time) and I use it for every single review I write. They have tons of add-ons, settings, styling options, and looks nice. Free plugins like All In One Schema.org do work but lack settings, styling, and flexibility.
1. The Affiliate Marketing School Before joining a joint venture partner program, try to speak to some people that have used the scheduled program before. This assists you avoid any fraud from this program. Ask about just how much they pay and when they pay if they say that they shall. You can gain a whole lot of knowledge about this program from individuals who have used it before. Yoga is an excellent method for an affiliate marketer to help keep their stress in check. Off a day to accomplish some deep breathing take one hour, mediation, or yoga exercises to both clear your brain and help the body strengthen itself. Achieving this routine along with regular aerobic exercise shall keep you in top-top condition. HitFox is growing companies in the fields of Big Data, advertising and game distribution, and grew 600% in 2013 while making more than € 15m in profit. Our database keeps track of your program IDs and every person that is placed in your downline. Your will receive credit for people in your downline and your downlines site visitors that join any program that you participate in. Affiliate marketers are people who drive traffic to eBay and take a cut when the traffic results in a sale. While Gardner's book is not quite as detailed as some of the other books in this list, it is clear, concise and takes a no-nonsense approach to affiliate marketing. Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day was written by Evgenii Prussakov. The book is a few years old now, and it is aimed at merchants rather than affiliate marketers, but it still contains some valuable insights into how the world of affiliate marketing works. Topics covered include social media marketing, feeds, coupons, how to write compelling content, and much more. This highly focused affiliate marketing title was written by Steve Scott. This affordable title is packed full of tips and tricks for people who want to build up a strong presence on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social networks. Every affiliate marketers should have a good understanding of how to leverage social networks to promote their products and their brand. The more established companies share this information with affiliates so they can personalize their campaigns for better sales and commissions. Make it even more attractive by giving discounts to the people who answer the question correctly.can get better online marketing results by making your email newsletter valuable enough to its subscribers that people will want to sign up for it. Before the advent of internet marketing, emails used to be a novelty that people enjoyed receiving. You must be truthful with visitors to be successful. If your readers sense you are being less-than clear or somehow dishonest, they will bypass your affiliate link and find out how they can buy the product directly from the seller. Make the subscription options to your list very accessible. A visitor should be able to decide to join your list from any page on your website. The process should be simple and easy to complete. Usually people will decide to join your list after viewing a couple of the pages on your site. You want to have a subscription link available as soon as they make the decision to join.
But I think the biggest deciding factor in this, goes back to the site as a whole and all of the other posts. Are the genuine? Is the blogger constantly trying to push products? I’d like to think I’ve been doing this long enough that my audience knows I’m not out to make a quick buck – and I think even relatively new bloggers can prove this based on their other content.
"I have followed Michelle’s blog for years. Her blog posts are incredibly informative and never disappoint. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is no different. The detailed strategies she shares in her course can help any blogger implement affiliate marketing. Within two days I received my first ever affiliate sale! From then I was hooked. The Mastermind alone is worth the cost of the course and the immediate access to an affiliate marketing expert is priceless! I highly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing." - McKinzie Bean, Momsmakecents.com
Affiliates are the ones who connect the customers to the products through whatever channel they see fit. It can be the affiliate promoting the products via social media, blogs, or digital advertisements such as banners, etc. Customers do not really need to understand that they are a part of the affiliate marketing system to make the whole thing works.
Hmmm, whether you use the free WordPress cms with free themes and plugins, or a fancy custom build web design & system, the quality of your website will ultimately come down to your content. Specifically I think people are looking for a professional (not-spammy) looking website that is easy to read, loads quickly (so getting a good hosting plan helps) and most importantly has the information they’re looking for. Depending on what it is you need WordPress is perfectly suited for real web businesses, and it’s the cms of choice for many web developers, popular blogs and professionals around the world (here are some of the big brands using WordPress). In any case you can always give it a try by using a free WordPress.com account and if you like it move over to the more flexible WordPress.org (you can see our comparison of WordPress .com vs. org that we put together to understand the difference between the two). And best of luck with your website!
If you’re lost which idea you should be checking out, stick with what you know, what you’re passionate about, and products you can’t live without. Whether you’re planning to expand a generic product (such as “fitness toys for dogs”) or focus on a specific brand (such as FitPAWS), it’s essential that you know what the competition is like if you decide to go through with such a topic.
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.
If you don’t know anything about web hosting, that’s ok. All you need to know is this – web hosts are a dime a dozen. There are probably thousands of web hosts you can go with, and quite frankly. they are all about the same. Web hosting has turned into a commodity type of business which is good news for you. Web hosting is cheaper than ever and at the same time, it is better than ever.
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.

The two main parties involved in the affiliate relationship are the merchant (sometimes also called “advertiser”), and the affiliate (sometimes called “publisher”). There are different ways to run, manage and promote affiliate programs, which involve more parties in the relationship, but the two main participants (without which the existence of the very marketing channel would’ve not been possible) are: (a) the party that has the product (or service), and (b) the party that knows how to sell it.
The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network. Many affiliate networks exist, some which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no expense to you. This year I donated $3,000 to feed the homeless in Denver. In 2017, I donated $3,000 to American Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way I truly believe they’re the best host and that your site will run faster/smoother… do your research on Google and Facebook groups and you’ll find most people say the same.
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.

SkimLinks is primarily for established content producers (bloggers) who want to monetize their content. With a powerful WordPress plugin and scripts for just about any website type, setting up SkimLinks is very easy. And because you have access to all offers on their platform after you’re approved, SkimLinks is very well designed for affiliates who don’t want to spend a lot of time fiddling around with settings and other fine-tuning.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Validating your product idea is easy, you can either check out if there is any advertisement related to the niche, or you can simply ask people about it. Yes, just read the comments from YouTube, Facebook, or from Twitter, and then just ask those who are interested in the post, “Hey, would you like to buy a step-by-step video series that shows you exactly how to do that?”
Hey there, my name is Mike! I’ve been a full-time affiliate marketer for several years now and each year my business grows and grows through residual income. Literally, every morning when I wake up, I check to see how much money I made while I slept. I live and work literally wherever I want, when I want, as long as I want, and I do not sell any of my own products. How awesome is that?! You can read my full affiliate marketing success story here.
Not so sure on that, yet, Stuart! I need to do the research first to make sure there are enough products to be showcasing in any niche I'm considering.Thinking about maybe IQ/Brain testing, teasing and training games, devices, gadgets, tricks. Tons of freebies to share in this area, all sorts of questionnaires, interesting visual oddities and quirks, optical illusions, etc. What there'd also need to be are really enticing products to click the merchant site links on. Or sex accessories, just the really bizarre ones. In either case (or any other), I'm thinking (building on what you said about how people don't buy, but they share, and the idea is to get them onto the merchant site - e.g. Amazon) that if people click through to product sites, well, I myself have experienced being drawn to something strange (and expensive), shying away from purchasing it, but having some of that purchaser glow translate into my buying something cheaper and more basic from the site.
After being accepted into an affiliate program, marketers receive a unique URL that includes their affiliate ID. They share that unique URL with their subscribers, site visitors, and social networks via text links or ads. When someone clicks on that link, affiliate software records that click and any resulting product sales in the affiliate’s account. When commissions reach a pre-determined threshold, the affiliate is paid.
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.
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. 

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.
If you’re planning to create content on your own, you’ll have to commit to it wholeheartedly because the life of your affiliate marketing business relies on regularly-published content. If you’re planning to hire someone to craft the content for you, that’s totally OK too. Either way, here are awesome tips you could follow when it comes to creating content for your affiliate marketing site:
Affiliate marketing is an area that even the most seasoned bloggers can improve upon. Plus, most bloggers aren't making anywhere near the amount of affiliate income that they should be and are leaving money on the table. If you want to grow your affiliate income, there are numerous tips and strategies that I share in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Tip 19. Build a Brand of your Own. I am sure you see brands all the time promoting products and services that’s because it is a very powerful things to do. When you start having people engage with your brand it will build up your reputation within your desired market. Brand building is an amazing idea in any business and it’s going to be just as amazing if you do this in affiliate marketing.
Most commonly offered by “Services”. With recurring commissions you are paid on the initial signup of the customer and continue to receive commissions as long as the customer continues to pay for the service. Example – if you refer a visitor to a hosting service that offers recurring commissions and they sign up, you will be paid a predefined commission for the initial signup and receive a predefined commission for every month the customer continues to stay with and pay their bill with that hosting program.
All the work you do promoting third-party products shouldn’t be in vain. You have to understand that commissions in affiliate marketing aren’t guaranteed – you’d have to make sure your blog has traffic first, and that you’re able to encourage people to click the affiliate link. From there, you’d have to cross your fingers that these people buy something from the affiliate network so you can earn a cut from the sale. 

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways people make money online. It is a strategy where an individual partners with a business in order to make a commission by referring readers or visitors to a business’s particular product or service. But that really is quite a simple explanation. To be really successful at making money with affiliate marketing there is a little more to it.

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]
A quick and inexpensive method of making money without the hassle of actually selling a product, affiliate marketing has an undeniable draw for those looking to increase their income online. But how does an affiliate get paid after linking the seller to the consumer? The answer is complicated. The consumer doesn’t always need to buy the product for the affiliate to get a kickback. Depending on the program, the affiliate’s contribution to the seller’s sales will be measured differently. The affiliate may get paid in various ways:
Even though commissions can be very high, affiliates still want to negotiate the best deal. This is where impression counts get in the way of sales. While cost-per-actions (CPA) and cost-per-lead (CPL) deals can be risk-free for brands because they are based on performance, they are not always ideal for affiliates, which prefer to get paid per impression (CPM).
Still need more help deciding how to choose an affiliate marketing niche? Here is an article I wrote that might help you out. Choosing a good affiliate marketing niche can be overwhelming, so if you’re a bit stuck on what niche industry to go after, rest assured that is perfectly normal. You’ll be spending a lot of time creating content around whatever niche you choose, so really put some thought into it.
first off, show visitors that you have a great site by getting a better theme! You did not get a penalty because of affiliate content, nor have I ever heard of, however, I have heard of sites in the past getting penalty for having do follow links to affiliate programs such as amazon, remember, google does not like you giving credit to a site in exchange for receiving paid compensation, so ask yourself, are your external links nofollow? this may also include any buttons/graphics that link to affiliate sites that do not have a no follow attribute, not going to go to much into this, so I am going to assume your content is ok, if it is, then you need to check your link portfolio; maybe you have too many low quality links and/or you may have over-optimized anchor/text in your link building efforts; bad links, over optimization are common link issues that could cause your site to get a penalty, as it is not about what you are writing about, if all else fails, then hire seo consultant for an entire site autdit, they will go through your site tooth and nail, and see why you have lost your rankings. good luck.
I found the course extremely helpful especially as i am a beginner. Lisa is excellent at explaining which is important when you are starting out. She has made me understand the importance of finding the right niche and that to me is where most of us go wrong. I am extremely grateful for a course like this and would like to take this opportunity to thank you Lisa for creating a course that helps others! – Michelle
SEO: getting consistent traffic by writing AWESOME content about your keywords (there’s a phrase “length is strength” in SEO and this paid off big time for me). Maybe you’re doing videos or an eCourse, but I found blog posts WAY easier to update which means less maintenance. The biggest factor by FAR was the time I spent meticulously creating my tutorials… which eventually resulted in a sudden 3x increase in SEO traffic

In short, you must create excellent content, which will drive high quality traffic to your site from free search engines, at which point you can “pre-sell” those visitors by giving them so much awesome information that when you make a product or service recommendation, they are happy to buy. THAT is when you can monetize. I highly recommend you read this full article on the CTPM process as I use this process for ALL of my affiliate marketing websites.


Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is a great learning tool, even if you are a brand new blogger. By taking this course, you will start off blogging the correct way. You can learn from my affiliate marketing mistakes and learn the best ways to start making an income by being an affiliate. Through taking this course you are sure to grow a profitable blog quicker than the average blogger, as you'll learn exactly what you need to know about affiliate marketing. So, even if you only have one blog post, you are ready to get started with this course!
As you can probably see by skimming the headings below, my steps are rather general. That’s because so much of how you specifically go about launching your affiliate program depends on both your product and the platform/plugin you choose. Nevertheless, there are things you will want to consider no matter what. Which is what we’re going to get into below.
In short, you must create excellent content, which will drive high quality traffic to your site from free search engines, at which point you can “pre-sell” those visitors by giving them so much awesome information that when you make a product or service recommendation, they are happy to buy. THAT is when you can monetize. I highly recommend you read this full article on the CTPM process as I use this process for ALL of my affiliate marketing websites.
I found the course extremely helpful especially as i am a beginner. Lisa is excellent at explaining which is important when you are starting out. She has made me understand the importance of finding the right niche and that to me is where most of us go wrong. I am extremely grateful for a course like this and would like to take this opportunity to thank you Lisa for creating a course that helps others! – Michelle
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. 

Building trust with your audience is paramount in affiliate marketing, and the quickest way to lose trust is to recommend products either you haven’t used before or that aren’t a good fit for your audience. Also make sure you never tell anyone to directly buy a product, you are simply recommending the product. The more helpful you are and the more you make quality recommendations, the more likely your web visitors will come back for your expertise. 
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]
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