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!
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!
Blogging is something that has been gaining in popularity over the past few years. You should think of a blog as your very own personal space on which you have the freedom to do and say whatever you want. Each day, thousands of blogs are created around the world by people who are looking to join the bandwagon. Most of these are soon abandoned as reality sets in. It’s not that easy to come up with and run an interesting tale for long. Most people abandon the effort after a short while. However, as a beginner to affiliate marketing, it’s imperative that you create your own channel through which to make sales. A blog is one such channel. Anybody can create a blog. The difficult part lies in making it work. The following are some of the things that you should understand to help you stay in the game;
That’s because the affiliate program works by setting a browser cookie when someone clicks on an affiliate link and tracks any purchases made at the destination before the cookie expires. After that, the affiliate program pays out a small commission. Thus, it’s possible to make a little money or even make a living off of affiliate marketing, but only if you can convince people to click on your links and buy your affiliate partner’s products.
While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as consumers purchase the product over the following days and weeks. You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it. Even when you’re not in front of your computer, your marketing skills will be earning you a steady flow of income.
Of the many key reasons these sites are so massively successful, one stands out in particular: they are genuinely helpful to their visitors. When you need to renew your car insurance, do you seriously go filling in forms on every individual provider’s website, or do you instead just fill in the one form on a site like Comparethemarket to get all the quotes you need at once? If you think about the answer honestly, you’ll realise exactly why comparison websites like this are so genuinely useful to a visitor.
At Digital Marketing Skill Institute, we strive to give back to the world and that is why we have partnered with Health Emergency Initiative (HEI) by donating money from our income while helping to build their donation funnel in order to spread the message  and maximize impact by raising funds to pay for more Indigent Emergency Patients Medical Bills to save more lives…
Ahmad, Great post and great information. I have some more specific questions for you relating to my personal company and how affiliate programs can tie into it. Is there a chance we could talk sometime soon? I think you may have the answers to several of my questions on whether affiliate marketing is what I am looking for or not. And if it’s not what I am looking for I think you can direct me in the direction I need to go.

Not promoting the right products is a common issue with newbie affiliates. Would you purchase the product you are promoting through a website? Think about it. You can advertise a Ford dealership on your website until the cows come home, but will anyone seriously purchase a brand new car via a website without visiting a garage? I don’t think so. Don’t market cars, houses, wedding venues, perfume or dogs online. Do market products people will actually buy from a website without seeing them in the flesh!
Hi, I find your article so interesting because I too was nearly trained to be a spammer (?) or hard sell some beauty products in such way that I would never. In the end I just could not follow my coach and left the job. I also lost a few hundred dollars for buying anti aging products that I didn’t think worked. Now I know the only way is that as an affiliate I really have to be myself. I hope I can earn my commissions as much as you earn in the future.
That being said, LinkConnector’s platform looks and feels outdated and is rather clumsily designed. Their dashboard also makes it difficult to find “hot” products or compare conversion rates, leaving affiliates somewhat in the dark about which products to choose. Ironically, despite their low-quality website, they offer some of the best customer service in the affiliate space.

MoreNiche is one of the few affiliate networks that offer free affiliate training and ongoing personal support in this way. Many people who don’t know about our network currently pay out hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on affiliate training courses, seminars and even personal mentors each year. But they only learn the same information we give away for free once you’re working with us!
the idea that you can "get content" is dangerous… This by definition means that you're going to be scraping, copying, etc. You need to create content that is 100% unique based off of your research, experiences, trials and errors, etc. I started making money online in 2003. I went full-time as a digital marketer online in 2010. I started teaching into thousand and 16… Meaning I had 13 years of experience and six years full-time experience for ever trying to teach. This is what I pull from when I teach… I'm not researching an idea in order to teach you, I have been working with every aspect of digital marketing and online entrepreneurship for 15+ years.
Another way to find this information is to do a simple Google search. For example, one could place the following phrase into Google Search:  “(product name) + affiliate program”. (Replace “product name” with the name of the product you are promoting.) There is an interesting chrome addon called Affilitizer is available which makes this process easy.
This is extremely helpful information for somebody who is a newbie blogger! I’ve been looking for an all inclusive “guide” to explain affiliate marketing and this is the best I’ve found. Quick question for you – when you talk about the cookie expiration date, is that from the date that you post your review/recommendation or from the date that the reader clicks on the link? For example, the affiliate links you posted in this post are well over 90 days old but if I click on one of them now and buy that product, do you still get paid? Just curious how that works.
The seller, whether a solo entrepreneur or large enterprise, is a vendor, merchant, product creator, or retailer with a product to market. The product can be a physical object, like household goods, or a service, like makeup tutorials. Also known as the brand, the seller does not need to be actively involved in the marketing, but they may also be the advertiser and profit from the revenue sharing associated with affiliate marketing.
As I shared creating blog would not be enough to start earning money you need to promote your blog through digital marketing which would help you to generate relevant traffic to your website. I would suggest attending our free demo session on digital marketing where we would be sharing how digital marketing can help you to promote your business or blog: http://digitalvidya.com/dmo
Powered by Commission Junction, TripAdvisor's affiliate program pays a 50% commission off the revenue generated from a user clicking on links and/or ads that send them to a TripAdvisor partner site. Which means, unlike most other affiliate programs in this list, you don't have to wait for your referral to make a purchase to earn your commission. As soon as someone comes from your website and clicks on one of the ads or links on the TripAdvisor website, you get paid.
Thanks Miles. I’ve always shied away from a lot of the typical internet marketing strategies that are all about how to make as much money as possible with little regard for actually building trust and engagement with your audience. Totally agree with you, it should be audience first, profit second. And over time if you do that, you’ll come out way ahead.
That’s because the affiliate program works by setting a browser cookie when someone clicks on an affiliate link and tracks any purchases made at the destination before the cookie expires. After that, the affiliate program pays out a small commission. Thus, it’s possible to make a little money or even make a living off of affiliate marketing, but only if you can convince people to click on your links and buy your affiliate partner’s products.
I absolutely see the value in affiliate sales (and Pay Flynn is one of the masters at doing this authentically and openly), but I got really turned off it when I saw a lot of bloggers I read and respect writing junky “How to set up a blog” posts that didn’t seem relevant to their audiences purely so that the could get the sweet Bluehost commissions in.

An influencer is an individual who holds the power to impact the purchasing decisions of a large segment of the population. This person is in a great position to benefit from affiliate marketing. They already boast an impressive following, so it’s easy for them to direct consumers to the seller’s products through social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with their followers. The influencers then receive a share of the profits they helped to create.


Hi Ray, I can learn a lot of stuff from here. I am hoping to make a good success in earning good commission income month after month so that I can leave my day job, hopefully within this year. I have joined CJ and Awin so far but haven’t decided what to promote as yet. I’m busy building my site and there seems to be so much to learn. Your post sure helps a lot, and I have also recommended it to a couple of my friends also. Great job, thanks!
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.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is a set of regulations governing the use of personal data across the EU. This is forcing some affiliates to obtain user data through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even if they are not located in the European Union. This new regulation should also remind you to follow FTC guidelines and clearly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your recommendations.


A cookie is a value stored on an end user’s computer and is used to track affiliate sales. The duration is the length of time the cookie stays on the computer after clicking an affiliate link. For example, with a 30-day cookie duration, this means that if a user clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 30 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.
Hi, I find your article so interesting because I too was nearly trained to be a spammer (?) or hard sell some beauty products in such way that I would never. In the end I just could not follow my coach and left the job. I also lost a few hundred dollars for buying anti aging products that I didn’t think worked. Now I know the only way is that as an affiliate I really have to be myself. I hope I can earn my commissions as much as you earn in the future.
Hey Jennifer, I don’t really know much about MOBE as I haven’t had personal experience myself but in terms of paying for a programs, i’ve had experience with the Six Figure Mentors. They teach people marketing and entrperneurial mindset stuff that I found invaluable. They have a paid tiered membership system that can be promoted on an affiliate basis. What sort of affiliate business are you looking to set up?
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.
Shopify has three different account types as well as standalone third-party products like themes and apps. Commissions are paid for sales of any of these products, including users who sign up for a 14-day free trial and then convert to a paid account. Shopify also has a wide range of blog posts, webinars, and video tutorials that can be linked to with the standard commission paid on any sales that are generated.
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Having several affiliates is not a guarantee of making money online. Studies show that a successful affiliate marketing campaign requires you to get the right collaborations that would drive traffic to your site. Whether these associates are big or small sites or even a combination of both, you must create and maintain strong relationships with the affiliates.
Spocket, a dropshipping supplier, wholesaler, and distributor of high-quality United States and European products, enables entrepreneurs to choose products to sell from thousands of dropshipping suppliers around the world. They also offer an incredibly impressive affiliate program — you can make up to $450 for each customer you find for Spocket, and you'll continue to collect commission off your referral's Spocket account as long as they remain a customer.
Hey Amos, great question. The length of your review blog posts will depend on the specific keyword you’re targeting and the competition. I would Google the term and look at who’s ranking in the top 10, then check how long these articles are. I use a free Chrome extension called Word Counter Plus which makes it easy. Once you see how long competitor articles are, make yours longer and higher quality. 🙂
Hi, I appreciate your confession about having been a spammer in the past. I know how difficult it is to promote your business without being completely transparent. There is always an element of evasive expression involved when sending swipe emails in an attempt to be brief to novices. I totally understand what it feels like. It’s good to hear you got out of it. I quit my email marketing and moved on to investment which also involves a lot of dishonest activities going on. It is my biggest challenge.
Also I don’t believe the way they make more commissions each time your referral happens to refer to others, and the referral’s referrals and so on. It means the part of the job is about educating others to sell. If you love that kind of stuff, then perhaps that’s what it is, but I don’t personally recommend it, just like I don’t recommend jobs that I’m not interested, for example working for a call center.
Hello Clicky! In terms of connecting with affiliate marketers, a good place to start would be the major affiliate networks in your niche. Two examples off the top of my head are http://www.uk.cj.com/ and https://freshpress.media/ – these sites are heavily used by affiliates but you’ll want to make sure you have great visibility when people are searching for affiliate programs in your niche. A great way to do this is to find out what the top business in your niche is doing in terms of their affiliate offer and match with something similar. Another way of attracting affiliates is to… Read more »
Hey Jennifer, I don’t really know much about MOBE as I haven’t had personal experience myself but in terms of paying for a programs, i’ve had experience with the Six Figure Mentors. They teach people marketing and entrperneurial mindset stuff that I found invaluable. They have a paid tiered membership system that can be promoted on an affiliate basis. What sort of affiliate business are you looking to set up?
Leadpages also offers an option for affiliates to send referrals to attend a Leadpages webinar with standard commissions paid for any sale generated from the webinar. However, Leadpages requires you to get at least 150 people to sign up (but not necessarily attend) each webinar. Leadpages also offers affiliates the ability to view blog posts and videos on Leadpages’s site, again with the standard commission paid for any sales.
First things first, choose a niche. You should choose something which interests you, you don’t mind learning about, or have the ability to pay someone else to write about. Consider the potential costs carefully before delving into something which you know absolutely nothing about. Another important aspect is to be confident that it will be a lucrative niche to work in. There needs to be an abundance of products to promote, and the commission levels need to be significant enough to give you a good profit each time a sale is made.

I think you might of misunderstood me I am not looking to promote my page, it is just a hobby really that grew quickly due to the need. I do this while I finish my degree in HR. I am looking to make money off of posting other people’s things on my page. Not to boost my page I have about 6k active users. I’m looking to sign up to affiliate programs.
You can view traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as time on page, bounce rate, geo location, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more so that you can focus your effort on the highest converting traffic. This analytics data is crucial to making informed decisions, increasing your conversion rates, and making more affiliate sales.
It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to customize your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product recommendations. You shouldn’t just focus on the vertical you’re in, but on the traffic sources and audience that’s visiting your site. Traffic sources may include organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic.
It's been over 3 years since I joined Wealthy Affiliate, and it allowed me to earn my first $1,000. But first 8 months, I struggled. That's partly because I was occupied with two other businesses that I had. First one year, my monthly affiliate income was somewhere between $100 - $200. But I knew there was always a big learning curve in the beginning and I was never going to quit.
Thank you for a very straightforward introduction to the world of Affiliate Marketing. I’m looking forward to the journey and just starting out. For me, I’m just as enthusiastic about the challenge of gaining success for its own sake, as the financial rewards it may hopefully bestow on me. There are so many variables involved and putting the whole thing together feels like attempting a 40,000-piece jigsaw puzzle with a hangover.
Affiliate marketing is one of the various ways to make money online by promoting products or websites to earn a certain percentage as commission from sales made. The sales are made via web traffic. This simply implies that money is made from sales of the product being promoted. What you need to know is that services or products you promote are provided by others and not necessarily you. The only duty you are required to perform is to provide a marketing or sales outlet. So, let’s learn how to earn from affiliate marketing.
Hey there, sorry my very hungry blog ate your first comment. I would say that for new bloggers, my #1 tip is to focus less on writing and more on scaling. I’ve seen a lot of new bloggers worry about every word they write and spend so much time on every article. My advice is to get your posts live and start focusing on real-world relationships. Guest posts and backlinks will help your Domain Authority and traffic 100x more than just writing new content. Plus, since blog posts need to be updated over time, just hit the publish button and worry about making the article perfect later. 🙂 Good luck on your journey. My email list has a 7-day course that goes over my strategy in detail.

As it is understood from the above, affiliate marketing is based on a reward system if the marketer succeeds in convincing customers to buy the product. The owner of the product or the manufacturer allows other parties to conduct the marketing process, which allows affiliate marketers to earn money and make profits without the need to purchase the products themselves.


StudioPress is a WordPress hosting service and framework that is designed to make setting up and running a WordPress site much simpler and easier. StudioPress comes with its own unique themes and SEO tools, collectively known as the “Genesis framework.”. Their affiliate program is solely for referrals to pay for a StudioPress framework account or buying a StudioPress theme. Previously, the affiliate program also included web hosting, but this is now managed separately by StudioPress’s owner, WPEngine.
The advertising company sets the terms of an affiliate marketing program. Early on, companies largely paid the cost per click (traffic) or cost per mile (impressions) on banner advertisements. A technology evolved, the focus turned to commissions on actual sales or qualified leads. The early affiliate marketing programs were vulnerable to fraud because clicks could be generated by software, as could impressions.

Hi, I find your article so interesting because I too was nearly trained to be a spammer (?) or hard sell some beauty products in such way that I would never. In the end I just could not follow my coach and left the job. I also lost a few hundred dollars for buying anti aging products that I didn’t think worked. Now I know the only way is that as an affiliate I really have to be myself. I hope I can earn my commissions as much as you earn in the future.
Writing product reviews are an excellent way to enhance your credibility as an affiliate marketer. This is especially easy with information products like e-books which are relatively inexpensive. After establishing some steady income it may even be worth buying higher-end products, provided you get in touch with the product creator to work out a strategic marketing plan that takes you to the next level.
The reason you need to understand this before you learn how to start affiliate marketing is because you need to choose your interest (or interests) wisely. You’ll be spending a lot of time researching and writing about your chosen topics, and so they need to be something you’re passionate about, not just something you think is popular and will get you a lot of traffic. You may be right, but you’ll quickly burn out as you either run out of things to say or you begin to hate your topic instead.

Vendors engage the services of affiliates to do marketing of the product on their behalf. But how do vendors and affiliates meet? Well, vendors can engage affiliates directly to sell their products and services. Another option is for vendors to join affiliate networks. These are companies whose sole purpose is to serve as the meeting place for vendors and affiliates. The advantage of an affiliate network is that a vendor can find thousands of relevant affiliates there without having to run around looking for them all over the internet.
And while that may sound like a tall order, just remember that all you need to do to be unique is act like yourself as you write reviews or provide readers with blog posts and articles full of interesting information. The important part is to keep up the volume since the longer you wait between articles, the further your website will fall in the search engine rankings.
Writing good advertising sales copy (copywriting) is the other important skill for online marketers. The good news is that when it comes to affiliate marketing, many vendors will provide you with advertising copy to use for your blog posts, websites ads, etc. They'll give you the emails to send, the banner ads to display, and even posts you can use on social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). The more materials that vendors give their affiliates the better changes an affiliate has to make sales for them - it's a win/win situation.

PeerFly only has a limited number of products at the moment, but they have tremendous momentum and are growing by leaps and bounds. Their payout rates aren’t spectacular, but everything is upfront and transparent, and affiliate satisfaction is very high. PeerFly is perfect for authentic marketers who want to offer high-quality products to their visitors as opposed to “get rich quick” schemes and opaque offers.

Absolutely wonderful post! I love how you’re striaght forward with all your information but my favorite is how you describe the way you feel when you make that first sale. It’s always a great feeling to see a return on your efforts. I’d just like to add how important it is to Never Ever give up! If you have any interest at all in being successful in this business (and it is a business) then treat it like one and plan, prepare and dedicate yourself. Don’t always focus on making millions, focus on what it will take to change your life. Most peoples lives would change with just an extra $50k a year!


Bloggers/influencers:If there are impressive bloggers or social media influencers in your industry who engage with your ideal buyer persona on a regular basis, you might consider partnering with them. For instance, if you sell kitchen appliances, it might be good to reach out to bloggers or YouTube influencers who post recipes, and ask if they'd feature your product as a "recommended tool" in their next recipe post. Ideally, this would result in your target audience taking a look at your website, and if they like the products you offer, could provide additional revenue for the influencer.
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.

Since you’re essentially becoming a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.

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