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.

The average commission rate is $58 per the Shopify website. Shopify’s commissions are paid according to different metrics. For instance, if a referral signs up for the Shopify Plus enterprise plan (the highest tier), the payout is a flat $2,000. Referrals who sign up for the standard plan earn a $598 commission. The payout for a Basic account is $58. Commissions are calculated as follows: you will earn two times the monthly rate but only two months after the user has been a paying customer.


Over time, you’ll gain a much deeper understanding of what resonates with your audience. You’ll learn important details such as the retailers and type of products they like, what price point works well, and whether a discount or sale motivates your followers. You can even start to understand when your audience likes to shop, honing in on specific seasons, months, weeks, days, and even certain times of the day.
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.
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.
The Federal Trade Commission actually recently shut down the MOBE Program (My Online Business Empire) because it was a total scam! It charged you money to buy into the exact same things they were promoting, but then wanted you to bring in new people to promote the exact same things… and it created a situation where no one was bringing real value, and money was just trickling up to the top.
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.
The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them. 

Shopify is probably the most popular e-commerce solutions provider out there, but because there are so many products and options, newcomers can easily get confused. If you believe your audience has products to sell and could benefit from Shopify’s products and are able to elucidate the benefits of signing up for Shopify, you can definitely earn some big money with their affiliate program.
Totally agree with your opinion on affiliate marketing. I’m in the same space myself and can tell you what it feels like to earn $1000 commissions while literally sitting on the sofa watching TV. It is absolutely mind-blowing. High-ticket commissions are what sets apart the affiliate marketers that scale their business up to six or even seven figures to the ones that only make a few thousand a month. I run a website based on digital marketing an entrepreneurship. You should check out our affiliate program – it is guaranteed to blow your mind. 🙂
A sound product strategy is a must for new affiliate marketers. Ideally, you should choose a niche that you can make money online with and has a lot of product vendors. This will give you a wide selection of products to offer your online community. However, when you're just getting started you should limit yourself to two or three products at a time. This will allow you to really become an expert on the products you are promoting which can be helpful when it comes to marketing those products (such as writing products reviews).
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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
SkimLinks is probably best for bloggers who want to write content around the affiliate link rather than add affiliate links to existing products. SkimLinks offers a lot of tools to compare commission rates and offers in order to customize your content to optimize your income. Once nice aspect of SkimLinks is that it offers lots of products for non-US creators, including popular UK brands like John Lewis and Tesco.
© 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.

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.


Hi Arslan, thanks for your comment. But let me be clear – I’ve never even nearly “scammed” people…! What I meant in my post was spamming – sending out unsolicited emails, but what I was promoting on behalf of my clients were always legitimate products. If it was something scammy, I had no option but to refund money and refuse to serve. I appreciate your visit and comment though. Thank you!
VigLink works a bit differently than other affiliate programs in that it is specifically designed for bloggers. Instead of affiliates picking and choosing which merchants to work with, VigLink uses dynamic links that automatically change to work with merchants that VigLink has determined are offering the highest conversation rates and/or commissions at any given moment.
This is usually what happens with affiliate marketing programs for web hosting companies. I am personally an affiliate for such companies as Bluehost, DreamHost and InterServer. When I make a sale on behalf of these companies, I get paid a fixed amount. The amounts for web hosting companies are around $100. So, you can actually make a decent living if you are able to refer lots of people to these companies. However, this is a flooded marketing and unless you are very good, you may want to look elsewhere.
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.

JVZoo was founded in 2011 and has since rocketed to near the top as one of the most popular affiliate programs out there. JVZoo is unusual in that there are no upfront costs for either publishers or merchants (advertisers). JVZoo’s income is exclusively from charging fees (to both the merchant and the affiliate) after a sale has been made. It is also unusual in that it pays commissions “instantly” via PayPal rather than once a week/fortnight/month like other affiliate programs.
Typeform, which offers conversational forms and surveys including Contact Forms, Employee Satisfaction Surveys, and Event Lead Capture Forms, doesn't offer commission on referrals, but the company does deduct 10% from your own account when one of your referrals subscribes to a paid plan. That means, with 10 referrals, you can deduce your Typeform bill to zero dollars.
If your domain is your address, hosting is like the actual house within which your site will live. It's your own little slice of the internet — the place where all your website files live. Hosting is very affordable these days, so don't unnecessarily scrimp on costs. Go with a reputable, reliable provider because your affiliate marketing business depends on it. 
Join affiliate programs: As your audience grows, you can begin joining affiliate programs. One thing that I need to mention as part of this affiliate marketing for beginners article  is that you don’t need to join all the affiliate marketing programs that are out there. What I like to do is to join programs that I have previously used. Of course this is not a prerequisite but doing so is helpful in that even as I blog, I am very aware of what I am talking about. And my readers can actually tell that this is not an article that was written by someone off a company’s website, but one that was written by a user of a particular product. I have already noted that I use Shopper Approved for online reviews. I am also an affiliate for this company. And the content that I have produced on the subject is in-depth and contains relevant examples. As a result, I have been very successful in my affiliate marketing efforts for this company.

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.
I have yet to implement all the tools you have shared and recommended in this article, but I really like the way you explain things. It is written in a very easy-to-read style, and ho hype or exaggerated comments. Now I have to get busy and take the necessary time to study, and implement, your recommendations. Thank you for all that you have shared.
Over time, you’ll gain a much deeper understanding of what resonates with your audience. You’ll learn important details such as the retailers and type of products they like, what price point works well, and whether a discount or sale motivates your followers. You can even start to understand when your audience likes to shop, honing in on specific seasons, months, weeks, days, and even certain times of the day.
There is serious competition in the affiliate marketing sphere. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of any new trends to ensure you remain competitive. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to benefit from at least a few of the new marketing techniques that are constantly being created. Be sure you’re keeping up to date on all these new strategies to guarantee that your conversion rates, and therefore revenue, will be as high as possible.
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.
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!

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 Jamie, awesome content that is very helpful esp with the resources, links and the rich discussions. Want to start e-commerce and blog for money…selling others products, want to go full on with this, tired of the daily routine crunch working for others. I live in a developing country (PNG) that has high internet costs (work still in progress with getting rates down…) so will see how I go with your posts. Any advise? Don’t have a website yet, have to build one I guess….
Hey Ahmed, great value share, I must admit. Your explanation on the affiliate program connected to Six Figure Mentors was fascinating, but since you’re a fairly direct source, please explain to me how promoting their products works. I am aware that their products are qualified and life-altering(which makes it so much more interesting to promote) and also aware that you suggested there are financial obligations. I’ve already committed thousands to AWOL(I’m 17 by the way) and I believe in quality products as such to promote. Do I need to purchase SFM training eventually? I am willing to do so, in… Read more »
Leadpages claims that its affiliate program is not exclusively for affiliate marketers, which is true, but the narrow focus of this niche means that only professionals affiliate marketers will ever be able to earn significant income from the program. Leadpages’s affiliate program does offer quite a lot of different options (webinars, videos, blog posts, free marketing courses, etc.) to send referrals to, which can lead to higher conversion rates if done correctly.
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