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!
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!

Tradedoubler was founded in 1999 by two young Swedish entrepreneurs. They have offices in the UK and multiple countries throughout Europe, including Sweden, Germany, France, Poland and Spain. Their focus has always been to provide smarter results for both clients and affiliates through technology. In 18 years, they’ve amassed an army of 180,000 active publishers, connecting them to over 2,000 merchants in Europe and the UK. Many of these merchants are household names.
Products are now put in a category. The commission will be based on the category each product has been placed in whether or not the category is correct. For instance, I had a sale for a child riding toy tractor. Instead of it being in toys category which would have only earned me 3%, it was actually placed in lawn and garden category which I then actually earned 8% instead.
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.

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.


You need to keep your audience engaged. Social media is all about engagement and this is something that you need to keep in mind if you are to use it for affiliate marketing. Post interesting content, and people will keep checking your out. As an example, you can produce content that’s useful to your audience as a way of promoting engagement. Using the above example, you can write a “Latest Sci-Fi novels,” post to make sure that people stay abreast with what’s happening in the field. Keep refreshing this content and you can be sure that people will  keep coming back.
Affiliate Marketing is arguably a type of performance-based marketing. Where any company gets a certain percentage “commission” for every sale that takes place for the product that it was marketing to. As the company or the marketer displays the product on the Internet, and at any purchase based on the recommendation of the company or the marketer, it receives a commission for that.
Hi Nicky, thanks for sharing your experience. Assuming you were in a network marketing loop, which I’m not personally fond of. Whether you can be totally by yourself AND be persuasive enough is totally down to your natural personality I guess. Blogging has turned out to be the best option for me. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get back to me.
Earning income via Target affiliates, however, requires a bit of work. Cookies expire in just seven days, and commissions can be as low as just one percent, so you’ll need to be operating a high-traffic website in order to make serious cash with this program. But with Target’s much-beloved brand reputation and vast catalog, relevant product links can be a big earner for established influencers.

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
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.

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:


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.
The formula for affiliate marketing remains relatively constant no matter what your market or niche. Your main task will always be traffic generation (i.e. driving prospects to the merchant’s website via your unique “affiliate” link). If you don't have any money you can get started by finding ways to get free traffic to your website, including blogging, guest posting on other websites, and posting to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
For me I would choose a program with Recurring commission. You can build a real passive income. Its the best way to go! One suggestion is contact companies who sell services and ask if you can sell their service for them. Sometimes popular affiliate programs like these have just way too many people trying to sell their service. I personally went to sitecare.ca and asked them if I could sell their service and I couldn’t be happier! So find a service you believe in and go for it!

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Hello Adam. Thank you! After months of searching and reading how to start a blog, I decided to stop procrastinating and take the plunge…just get started! I signed up for three years with Bluehost using the link at the site of one of the MANY bloggers I came across in my search (didn’t want to miss out on the low cost). I have joined MANY courses for beginner bloggers. Yours has been by far SUPERIOR! Thank you for laying out the information so simply, for providing all the links for more information, but BEST of all, for providing the FULL course, in such detail no less, at the start! My blog is almost three months old, but I have gone back through using the steps in the checklist you provided. THANK YOU!
I would personally agree with linkshare.com as a great affiliate marketing platform to join as a publisher. Here’s why. Back in 2005 when I knew nothing about affiliate marketing and was using blogger.com as a free blogging platform without any experience whatsoever and joining Walmart.com as my first official affiliate program, I was able to insert Walmart affiliate in its in my blogger blog and earn a $72 commission. I was onto affiliate marketing for life from there.
Aside from the obvious advantages of running your own business, being able to work online from anywhere at any time, and having the freedom to choose just how hard you work, there are a few other perks. Affiliates with a strong social following (also known as influencers) can expect to receive freebies from advertisers looking to boost their brand awareness.
Affiliate marketing allows you to make money online, even if you don’t have a blog, website, or any products of your own. Following a few simple steps can get you up and running within hours and earning your first commissions right away. Affiliate marketing really is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money online and should be a part of every online business owner's portfolio.
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You can run your own affiliate program: This is the first option for brands that are looking to get started with affiliate marketing. Many companies out there run their own affiliate marketing programs. If you choose to go down this road, you may need to hire someone to manage your program and to interact with affiliates. The advantage of running your own affiliate program is that you do not need to pay someone else to run your program.
Earning income via Target affiliates, however, requires a bit of work. Cookies expire in just seven days, and commissions can be as low as just one percent, so you’ll need to be operating a high-traffic website in order to make serious cash with this program. But with Target’s much-beloved brand reputation and vast catalog, relevant product links can be a big earner for established influencers.
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.
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.
Hello Adam. Thank you! After months of searching and reading how to start a blog, I decided to stop procrastinating and take the plunge…just get started! I signed up for three years with Bluehost using the link at the site of one of the MANY bloggers I came across in my search (didn’t want to miss out on the low cost). I have joined MANY courses for beginner bloggers. Yours has been by far SUPERIOR! Thank you for laying out the information so simply, for providing all the links for more information, but BEST of all, for providing the FULL course, in such detail no less, at the start! My blog is almost three months old, but I have gone back through using the steps in the checklist you provided. THANK YOU!
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.
No matter how good your marketing skills are, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one. Take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it. Make sure to research the seller with care before teaming up. Your time is worth a lot, and you want to be sure you’re spending it on a product that is profitable and a seller you can believe in.
I have just started learning about affiliate marketing etc and have found your page to be most helpful and fantastic. However, as I am just starting of i do have 1 question. When in the process of setting up my own website and reviewing the diffrent affiliate programs out there, is it possible to sign up to more than one company as an affiliate marketer? to promote their products but all as one niche, and in regards to my own webpage, can i link/use more than one company to my webpage for the producst i choose to promote?

After the Internet has become widely available in various societies, the reliance on e-marketing has become more than before, and there is no longer any need for a marketer to become numb by moving from door to door to show what he sells! With the emergence of many types of e-marketing, a specific type known as affiliate or commission marketing has emerged.
It doesn’t let the link influence its decision of whether to include or omit anything it deems worthy of inclusion, as to do so would damage its trust rating. There’s a lot you can learn from taking this stance. Remember, your site should be built with your visitors in mind, not profit. Take care of your visitors and the profits will take care of themselves!
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.
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