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.
Most newbies in affiliate marketing make the mistake of registering with too many affiliate programs and try promoting everything they see. If this is the path you are treading, then it will overwhelm you and you won’t promote the products properly. Take time to understand the needs in the market and search for products that will go well with your site’s topic.

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.

Finally, in some cases, you may work with a company or individual directly as an affiliate; rather than going through a network. Entrepreneurs or companies may run their own affiliate program and you can apply directly to them to promote their products and services. If you see a product that you would really like to promote as an affiliate and the company doesn't offer a formal affiliate program, you can always reach out to them to work out a private deal as well.
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 …?
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.
Individual sellers and companies offering products or services have to deal with their consumers and ensure they are satisfied with what they have purchased. Thanks to the affiliate marketing structure, you’ll never have to be concerned with customer support or customer satisfaction. The entire job of the affiliate marketer is to link the seller with the consumer. The seller deals with any consumer complaints after you receive your commission from the sale.
Coupon sites: If you're offering a new product or service that isn't popular in the marketplace, you might try creating an affiliate partnership with a coupon site for a limited time. While you don't want to lose money by giving your product away at a discount, it could be effective at getting some first-time buyers to check out your website and become brand advocates.
© 2016-2020, Smart Affiliate PTE. LTD. DISCLAIMER: All contents found at Smart Affiliate Success are based on opinions built on facts available through research at their time of writing. It is still the customer's responsibility to due their due diligence and further research if something might be inaccurate. Claims of success and results written on a review may or may not be similar to yours, depending on certain factors but not limited to background, experience, and work ethic. Smart Affiliate Success and its contents do not offer direct financial advice, nor are we responsible for any financial decisions made based on our reviews. Again, we reiterate the importance of customer due diligence and further research.
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
If you are building a site that has the potential for information that will never age and remain useful for your audience, you have the opportunity to create what is known as evergreen content. It's important to carry out extensive keyword research before planning any evergreen content for a site like this, as your site could hugely benefit from the proper usage of keywords within such content. 

ClickBank allows you to join for free, and the approval process is virtually automatic, so it’s a great choice for people entering the affiliated game for the first time. ClickBank has a ton of information, including FAQs, walk-throughs, and videos available, so the barrier to entry is quite low. There’s also a (paid) program called ClickBank University with courses and assistance from experienced marketers.

This is your second option when it comes to affiliate marketing. These days, everyone is on social media. Most people have followings composed of their parents, siblings, friends and colleagues. Now, that is all great, but that’s not really going to work when it comes to affiliate marketing. If you try to use these people to sell products and services, you may have only one or two sales. If you are really serious about doing affiliate marketing via social media, you need to think of the whole venture as a business. You need to go way beyond the social networking mentality. Think of your audience as an asset. And you need grow that asset. There are a number of ways through which you can do this;

Additionally, you'll receive promotional materials, a tracking dashboard, and personalized support to help you succeed with the affiliate program. Constant Contact is used by major brands including Facebook, WordPress, and Shopify. If you believe your clients or prospects could benefit from email marketing tools, this is a good partnership to consider.


LinkConnector is something of a mixed bag, so it’s probably best for experienced affiliates who have become disillusioned with other networks and are looking to expand. LinkConnector’s bizarre mix of high-quality products and a low-quality dashboard make it hard to truly assess its viability, but their exclusive deals with some vendors can make it a true home run for publishers working in certain niches.
However, it's important to note, there is a minimum sales target you need to reach to get paid — $300 per month (if you make less than that, your earnings will stay in your account until you reach that benchmark). If you feel your website, blog, or social channel is visited on a regular basis by prospects who might be interested in creating their own website on a hosting platform, this could be a good program for you, but if you're unsure if you can meet the mimimum sales target for a while, you might want to reconsider.
The downside is that Shopify is only appealing for people who have physical or digital products to sell and have a need to set up a Shopify store, including site hosting, payment processing, and all the other services offered by Shopify. This can significantly narrow the appeal for this affiliate program. But if you can distinguish yourself by educating people on how to use Shopify, how it can benefit their business, and/or make them money, you could potentially big money via the affiliate program. Add in the 2 x monthly fee commission rate, and landing just a few sales of their mid-tier and top-tier products can result in significant earnings.
You need to decide on a domain name for your blog: This can be anything and you don’t need to worry about it too much. However, most people prefer to have a domain name that speaks to the theme of their blog. As an example, if your blog is going to be focusing on buying eggs, you can call your site buyingeggs.com. You will find that most of the intuitive domain names are already taken. You will also find that some of these are up for sale for thousands of dollars. My advice is that you should never buy these. It’s a waste of money. Your site is only going to be as good as its content and buying a domain for $20000 instead of $12 is not going to do it for you.
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.
It is important to note, however, that StudioPress is now a subsidiary of WPEngine which is the company that actually does the web hosting on which StudioPress’s Genesis framework runs. The affiliate program only works with choosing the StudioPress framework and themes, not the actual hosting on WPEngine. WPEngine has a separate affiliate program for its hosting services, which yes, is a bit confusing.
You can put up banners on your site, to promote your affiliate offers. Most affiliate programs will usually provide their own creatives when you sign up for their offers. All you have to do is insert the banner on a highly trafficked page (your affiliate tracking is usually embedded within the code). Banner ads in the right locations can do a great job of driving sales.  
Once you’re signed up, complete your personal consultation interview. You’ll then get access to your own affiliate mentor plus our Academy training course. Here you can learn everything from how to build your first website through to optimising it for greater conversion rates, plus everything in-between. Written by our affiliate management team, the guides are in-depth and super helpful.
If you actually use the product and get results with it, then sharing a case study or your personal experience can be one of the most effective ways of selling those products to your audience. As you build a more responsive list of email subscribers and buyers and your reputation, merchants may offer you “free” samples of e-books or other products.

Given that I am still in reading and preparation phase, I am mainly interested to overlap my niche with real life interests so I could have motivation to produce content on regular basis. Two that I am highly interested are PC parts and Fitness. I am aware they are too general subjects with lot of sites doing the same, but my idea is to produce constant review on PC parts, Laptops, Mobile devices, Accessories all in different categories, create lists like top5 or 10 under XX budget etc. Similar approach I would use if I I decide to go with Fitness path and divide content training advice, review of fat loss methods, supplementation, nutrition etc. I am aware that this will be a long journey and that it can pass few months before sales start to kick in and that’s the risk I am ready to take. My questions are:
Another industry that has seen better commissions recently is the “making money” vertical. Along the same lines of Forex trading platforms, products or programs that help people earn money at home are also giving out average (or better than average!) affiliate commission rates. Products such as website hosting, WordPress themes and plugins, marketing products and other related items are all offering great commission rates.

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.


Hey Karen, thanks for reaching out! You’d first have to get the small businesses to join a network like CJ, Shareasale, or Impact Radius. Once they are considered an affiliate merchant, you can find them in the platform and join their affiliate program. I don’t typically recommend affiliate for small businesses or artists, as you need a good amount of traffic to make any money. To make money quickly, I’d start by developing a website based on your expertise and personal brand, and selling a high-end consulting service to B2B clients. Feel free to check out my start here page or email course to get the details :). Thanks again for reaching out and hope to talk to you soon.
I started a blog which I plan to monetize only through affiliate marketing and my own products, no ads. I’ve been working on building an audience for my blog, for about 1 year and a half, many people think is maybe too much time, but I just want to make sure that I build enough trust with my readers before I start to try to make them buy something.
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.
I am Rowan, just another blogger trying to get in the affiliate marketing community. I want to spice up my earning from adsense to affiliate marketing level. But the thing is i don't wanna make any mistake, i've been searching for plugins and especially some free good ones but i could not find any. but others are not that well to my need as well. I need some like Coupon, daily deal and cashback etc. but there is no platform that is providing all that under one roof except this site that came up on my search like this comment section, 'Revglue' but i have no idea so i need suggestion.
Thats a great point, and I’ve definitely seen my fair share of those “how to start a blog” posts. That’s always been a good fit for people at Location 180, and if they do a good job on the post (truly make it useful) that’s one that doesnt bother me as much – solely because I know how valuable starting a blog can be for your life and goals. So if it’s some personal finance blogger that creates one and you start a blog from that by following their tutorial – all the better!

Working for commission can be stressful even online. It's most likely the case with network marketing (or MLM - multi level marketing), where they reach out to other people on internet markers' forums and social media. All depending how they approach it, but what many of them are doing is essentially cold-calling. They deserve to be bitten back, "get the f- out of my life, or I'll report you to the admin!"

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.


Many affiliate programs will often run promotions with good discounts or giveaways that might be attractive to your audience. For example, if you're an Amazon Associate and the site have a big Holiday Sale, it would be the perfect opportunity for you to promote discounts to your website visitors. This is a great way to promote your offers while also providing good value to your audience. 

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.


Wirecutter's affiliate program might make you doubt the legitimacy of Wirecutter's recommendations -- but, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Wirecutter only makes commission when a reader purchases a product from an affiliate retailer and doesn't return the product. Wirecutter, then, has no incentive to promote inferior products -- if they did, they'd make less money and turn away readers.
Hi Ray, great article. To me affiliate marketing is the best way to earn commissions. I know other ways like joining surveys or writing for others but you can only earn temporary income not passive income. I would rather like to have a good income source that provides constant income for years to come. This is to me the only way so I totally agree with your suggestion. Thank you for such an informative post.
Hello, Jerry so good to read your post as usual. I always look at your work and I am amazed at how professional and well detailed your work is. You are right with what you said about affiliate marketing and I feel the same way too. This is a great way to work for yourself and live life on your own terms. You have a ton of awesome information that will inspire your readers.
I started a blog which I plan to monetize only through affiliate marketing and my own products, no ads. I’ve been working on building an audience for my blog, for about 1 year and a half, many people think is maybe too much time, but I just want to make sure that I build enough trust with my readers before I start to try to make them buy something.
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. 
This is your second option when it comes to affiliate marketing. These days, everyone is on social media. Most people have followings composed of their parents, siblings, friends and colleagues. Now, that is all great, but that’s not really going to work when it comes to affiliate marketing. If you try to use these people to sell products and services, you may have only one or two sales. If you are really serious about doing affiliate marketing via social media, you need to think of the whole venture as a business. You need to go way beyond the social networking mentality. Think of your audience as an asset. And you need grow that asset. There are a number of ways through which you can do this;

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!


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.

Additionally, any user can start free and upgrade when they decide it's worthwhile, so it's easy for your site visitors to give the tool a try. You can provide their affiliate link in your email signature, on a blog post, or in an email newsletter, and Invoice Ninja provides both logos and ads to make it easy to promote their tool. If your social media followers or website visitors are typically online entrepreneurs or freelancers, this could be a good partnership to consider.
There are also a lot of customization options. You can integrate hotel booking sites into your website, choose specific destinations, and showcase properties that interest you. For example, you could start a niche affiliate site about “Denver Family Vacations,” write content about the top things to do in Denver, guides about the local area, and promote specific hotels.
×