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.

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.
StudioPress itself is somewhat of a niche product as it is targeted to existing WordPress users who found setting up and managing a WordPress site too difficult or time-consuming. StudioPress prides itself on being easy to use, but their main claim to fame is that their hosted websites are “faster and more secure” than other WordPress hosting companies as well as using the “Genesis framework” which is supposedly more SEO friendly than other WordPress builds.

The products and services you will be promoting to your audience must be relevant and good quality. Make sure you believe in them and know everything about them, because this will be crucial to you delivering the sales pitch to your audience. You need to build trust with your audience so make sure the products and services you choose to promote are trustworthy enough. 


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;
Hi Kingsley, thanks for your comment. Yes, email marketing involves a lot of direct costs (acquiring subscribers) as well as overhead costs (email marketing service, link trackers) so you need to keep an eye on your expenses. My other online income includes some consultancy, a little web designing, it’s becoming less and less now. If you don’t have a skill to sell, for example and cannot think of other possibilities, try creating your website to start with, and I can take you through. Any more questions don’t hesitate to get back to me at any time!
A more complex system, pay per lead affiliate programs compensates the affiliate based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate must persuade the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete the desired action — whether it’s filling out a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files.
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.
Coursera's affiliate program runs on the Linkshare network and offers a commission ranging from 20% to 45% with bonuses for strong performance. Courses and Specializations are generally priced between $29 and $99. As a Coursera affiliate, you get access to professionally-designed banners and a monthly affiliate newsletter with curated content recommendations.
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. 🙂
Affiliate marketing is also a great source of passive income. The great thing about passive income is that you do not need to constantly work in order to get paid. Once you have done the work, the money will begin rolling in. All that you will need to do is carry out a few maintenance tasks going forward. So, if you are a beginner, you should know what affiliate marketing is something that has the potential to give you the kind of freedom that we are all looking for.
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
I would like to add that for information products, a lot of the time it’s pretty easy to rank for “information product review”. I recently did a review of a popular ebook that is a month long discipline program. I went about it by doing the actual program and documenting everything. At the end of the month I wrote up a 2700 word article summing up the whole experience.
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.
However, affiliate marketing isn’t just about marketing your partners’ goods, or at the very least it can be about much more than that. Affiliate marketing is also an opportunity to create your own website or some other form of content and get paid to do so, because you’ll be running ads and providing other links to things your audience will genuinely want to buy, at least if you combine your affiliates and your interests correctly.
Of course, this is a generalization, and there are some programs that have made themselves exceptions to the rule. For example, I’ve seen many affiliate programs that offer low commission rates on products that are worth very little. I’ve also seen a few programs with items priced into the hundreds or thousands of dollars that offer commission rates of 20-30%.
A more complex system, pay per lead affiliate programs compensates the affiliate based on the conversion of leads. The affiliate must persuade the consumer to visit the merchant’s website and complete the desired action — whether it’s filling out a contact form, signing up for a trial of a product, subscribing to a newsletter, or downloading software or files.

After you find an affiliate network with merchants that match your niche, the next step is to make sure you can earn high commissions from your sales. Remember, average affiliate commissions (depending on vertical) range from 5-30%. When you scan the list of merchants, do some math on potential earnings and product prices so that you maximize your revenue.
Hey. Yes you can use just one website to promote multiple affiliate programs, but I’d say that your website should focus on just one niche. So you mention, SellHealth, that would lead me to believe your site is about health and fitness. I would then advise you to stick to that niche rather than promoting unrelated products like dog leashes and fashion accessories.
For example, if I talk about how cool a product is, and then you find out that I’m an affiliate for them, wouldn’t you as a conscientious observer become skeptical as to whether my information is biased, if perhaps I’m only saying how cool something is because I can get paid for it? Wouldn’t that make you question my integrity with other things I say as well?
Later on, I managed to earn more money from Walmart.com as an affiliate and joined commission junction and other affiliate networks to earn more money in affiliate marketing. the one part I really find challenging is creating rich content for my site every day or every other day. This is when I focus on other things such as YouTube video marketing, writing periodicals online, and so on. But nevertheless, joining a multiple affiliate networks is good for anyone to do because you want to create diversify sources of income. Just be mindful that when you join multiple affiliate networks you’re not only keeping in touch regularly with the affiliate managers you partner with through those specific affiliate programs, assure also asking them questions often about how to create effective affiliate landing pages,, informative YouTube videos with your affiliate link in them, as well as asking your affiliate manager to offer any other kind of promotional tactics you can use to increase your affiliate commission potential. I am sick and tired of hearing some people say they never earn one dime in affiliate marketing. That’s absolutely nonsense because they’re lazy and don’t bother to do the extra work. If you’re building relationships with your target audience and affiliate managers, creating content for your site and engaging YouTube videos daily or every other day, and staying active with other marketers in the affiliate marketing community, there’s no reason for you to fail.. Simple as that!

Review sites: If you offer a product or service that is more expensive or niche, it's likely that most of your buyers need to conduct research on that topic before purchasing — if that's the case, it might be a good idea to research the top review sites related to your product or service, and reach out to the business or writer who published the piece, asking whether they'd be interested in providing an affiliate link to your product or service in the text.
JVZoo works exclusively with digital products, primarily e-commerce, online courses, and internet marketing offers. Because there are no limits placed on the number of links, buy buttons, or calls to action on a website, JVZoo can sometimes be somewhat low quality both in terms of offers as well as products. Nonetheless, it has proven itself to be a fierce competitor to companies like ClickBank.

It’s free to join the SellHealth affiliate program, though you do have to apply and be accepted before you can start promoting their products.  Once you’re accepted, you’ll have access to a number of tools, graphics, banners and more that you can use to promote SellHealth products.  The sales are actually made at company-owned Websites, which look professional and handle all of the selling. Commissions vary, but the base rate is 30% of all sales and upsells, and SellHealth says you can earn up to $350 per sale.
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.
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.
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.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of @ArmaniBeauty. One of my favourite makeup brands for many years now (I bought my first Armani beauty product 17 years ago!) Due to current circumstances, the event was cancelled, but I wanted to share with you their newest launch of Luminous Silk foundation and concealer. It feels and looks amazing on, and I will try and shoot a little video for you so you could see the difference it makes when applied. 👌🏼 – Shop your screenshot of this pic with the LIKEtoKNOW.it shopping app or via my beauty edit on MERCER7 http://liketk.it/2M2Of #liketkit @liketoknow.it #LTKbeauty #happyanniversary
A relative newcomer to the affiliate space, MaxBounty was founded in 2004 in Ottawa, Canada. MaxBounty claims to be the only affiliate network built specifically for affiliates. MaxBounty is exclusively a CPA (Cost Per Action/Acquisition) company that doesn’t deal with ad banners or the like, just customer links that the publisher (blogger) chooses where to place on their website.
Many affiliates struggle to make enough profit from the sales they make to allow them to reinvest that money into more content or marketing. Once you do find a product that people can and will buy online, make sure it offers enough commission per sale to make it worth your while. There’s little sense in promoting light bulbs for 1% profit per sale.

Later on, I managed to earn more money from Walmart.com as an affiliate and joined commission junction and other affiliate networks to earn more money in affiliate marketing. the one part I really find challenging is creating rich content for my site every day or every other day. This is when I focus on other things such as YouTube video marketing, writing periodicals online, and so on. But nevertheless, joining a multiple affiliate networks is good for anyone to do because you want to create diversify sources of income. Just be mindful that when you join multiple affiliate networks you’re not only keeping in touch regularly with the affiliate managers you partner with through those specific affiliate programs, assure also asking them questions often about how to create effective affiliate landing pages,, informative YouTube videos with your affiliate link in them, as well as asking your affiliate manager to offer any other kind of promotional tactics you can use to increase your affiliate commission potential. I am sick and tired of hearing some people say they never earn one dime in affiliate marketing. That’s absolutely nonsense because they’re lazy and don’t bother to do the extra work. If you’re building relationships with your target audience and affiliate managers, creating content for your site and engaging YouTube videos daily or every other day, and staying active with other marketers in the affiliate marketing community, there’s no reason for you to fail.. Simple as that!

Hey. Yes you can use just one website to promote multiple affiliate programs, but I’d say that your website should focus on just one niche. So you mention, SellHealth, that would lead me to believe your site is about health and fitness. I would then advise you to stick to that niche rather than promoting unrelated products like dog leashes and fashion accessories.
There’s no point in lying about it: it’s not easy to make a lot of money through affiliate marketing. The best way to understand it is to think of it like a small business: you have to start at square one and build your business from the ground up. You have the advantage of not needing a business loan to begin with, and the fact that you can set your own hours for each day and each week, but you’ll need to invest a lot of time and effort into your affiliate marketing business before it will grow.
Hi Russell, yes of course. Millions of affiliate marketers promote “make money online” products when they’re not earning themselves (by pretending they are!) There are numerous products that are rather interesting, and there are also some scam products to avoid. If you need any help in starting up, don’t hesitate to get back to me any time. Thanks for your comment.
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.
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.
On the charter value of a boat, Boatbookings receives commission on the net charter value (not including APA or any additional items ordered). On this commission, affiliates will earn 20% as a base rate, with a possibility for escalating rates if referring multiple clients. When customers return to Boatbookings, affiliates receive an additional 10% commission on that second purchase.
This is Simon, thank you for your post, it is very helpful for me. However, we are a lighting company, and we are plan to try the Affiliate Website to increase our sale. But it seem that there are many different Affiliate website to be chose and some of them also need pay some fee to begin, so as we just begin to do this, which website is your recommend ?

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?
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;

Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don't be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you. 
You need to choose a web host: Most people worry about web hosting and whether or not their choice is going to be good enough for their site. However, in most cases, beginner bloggers do not actually need expensive web hosts or web hosting plans. Shared hosting will do for you so you should go for that. I have previously covered a lot of the web hosts that can be found out there. Some of the best are Bluehost, DreamHost and HostGator. You can choose any of these for your site. For beginners, hosting packages cost as little as $3 per month. On top of that, you get a free domain for the first year.
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!
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.
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