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.

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. 
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.
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.

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.
Great post and right on target. I found that if you blog and/or do videos that sharing little stories will help connect you to potential leads. I do how-to videos and posts and I always tell personal stories or my own experiences that relate to the subject. It works and I get personal messages from people about it. It makes you more real and down to earth in the viewer's eyes. Once they like you and trust you they will become a lead and hopefully a sale. They may very well become a regular buyer because you will be their go to person. For best results it's best to blog daily and do at least one video a day.
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.
Hi Ray. I have been invited to join a backlinking and social media promotion service. What do you think of them? I know backlinks can be important to rank in search engines but how many do you need? I have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest but I don’t use them regularly. Can a social media promotion service automatically post my affiliate links for me, they did not give me the detail?
Now, most affiliate programs have strict terms and conditions on how to generate leads. There are also certain banned methods, such as installing adware or spyware that redirect all search queries for a product to an affiliate's page. Some affiliate marketing programs go as far as to lay out how a product or service is to be discussed in the content before an affiliate link can be validated.
Hi Ray, thanks for the very informative article. I think this is just what everyone needs to get their affiliate marketing started. I know Wealthy Affiliate provides everything that we need and the level of help and advice is top class. You can ask any questions at any time and almost immediately you receive helpful answers. It’s the best way to earn commissions. Your guide is perfect for people who have not tried.
Compared to other more popular affiliate marketing networks, Commission Junction (which is also known as CJ affiliate network) does two things better than others: one is, it offers you a wide range of products to promote and the other is giving you access to a ton of tools ranging from dashboards, charts, graphs, metrics and so on to increase your sales.

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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.

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.

If you're interested in unlimited payouts with minimal effort, Wix could be for you. The web development company is one of the most popular web hosting platforms, and offers $100 per Premium referral with no limit on the amount of people you can refer (which means, if you refer 10 people, you've already made $1,000). Additionally, Wix provides links and creatives, including banners and landing pages in all languages, to make it easy for you to include their link on your site.

This is another thing that affiliate marketing beginners need to be aware of. Affiliate marketing is not limited to blogging and social media. You can actually do it using email. However, the challenges that you face here are more or less similar to the ones that you face when it comes to blogging. Without a big audience, you are probably not going to be able to make it work. Anyway, there are many ways of increasing your mailing list. You can use your blog, as an example, to offer freebies to those that are willing to sign up for your newsletter.
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