You can sell affiliate stuff if you did not use the stuff but a high, high, high, really high level of clarity is required to do this. Most bloggers lack this clarity. I recall Tony Robbins selling/being an affiliate for a $25K coaching class. Never took it. Never sat in it. But the guy made millions. He had full clarity in selling without seeing. So he rocked out the selling.
The book is well organized. I appreciated the discussion of how to avoid common mistakes like being too salesy or thinking that affiliate marketing is a get rich quick scheme. The material on attracting traffic was helpful.This book is a no-nonsense, concise guide that steers you in the right direction. It's full of great tips to keep you on track, but it's not so wordy that you'll fall asleep.
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. 
Next, is kind of a no brainer. You can’t be an affiliate marketer without a website or a blog. I mean, is it possible to have an affiliate marketing business based entirely on social media or YouTube or some other source? Sure, you could even technically earn a living through affiliate marketing without ever going onto the internet! But setting up a website is the absolute best way to earning a living online and it’s the main way I earn my living. Starting your first affiliate marketing website can be really intimidating if you have no web design skills and are just starting out. Luckily there are plenty of programs that can help you if you’ve never built a website. I worried quite a bit about this before starting my affiliate business from home because I was not a web designer at all, so I can certainly relate. If you have the time and resources to dedicate to it, sign up for a great training program like Wealthy Affiliate. They don’t only help you build your website, but they help with niche selection, market research, web hosting, domain registration, and everything else that goes into growing an online business. So don’t be intimidated, check them out to see how they can help you build and manage your first website. Once you learn the basics, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can build more and more sites to extend your reach and have a higher chance of making money as an affiliate. Otherwise, if you’re just looking for a free step-by-step way to build a great looking website from scratch, check out the video below!
I just started implementing some affiliate offers to my blog. And I agree that you have to find the balance of offering something to your readers without being too pushy or like what you said without selling your soul haha. For me sine my blog is about travel i just mention where I stayed or what hotel and if I liked it and I recommend it I put an affiliate link.
Good point about reviewing online courses before you promote them to protect your reputation. However, I would like to point out that the level of attention the course creator gives you (the endorser) and what they give to a random customer might be very different. There are so called marketing gurus out there who are extremely skilled at making false promises and not delivering on them. Once they have the endorsement of a few reputed marketers and some ‘lucky’ customers, they can easily get away with ripping other people off with hyped up money making guarantees. I have had a personal experience with this as a customer, but lets not mention names! The point is, when we are promoting someone, we need to do an in-depth due diligence. Only going through their course is not enough. It would be great if there was some kind of a course review site -something like tripadvisor. This is something that the industry really needs – something to make people accountable. A lot of people are losing faith in these online courses. I am staying away from promoting people unless I am very certain of their integrity.
Test your ideas. The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to build a website first to find out if your idea is viable. Instead, you can join affiliate networks, browse products that fall under your chosen niche, and conduct research to see if these products would “sell.” Find what is trending online to see what ideas would bring more money to the table.
Even though commissions can be very high, affiliates still want to negotiate the best deal. This is where impression counts get in the way of sales. While cost-per-actions (CPA) and cost-per-lead (CPL) deals can be risk-free for brands because they are based on performance, they are not always ideal for affiliates, which prefer to get paid per impression (CPM).
Paid advertising is NOT something I recommend for those who are just getting started. With that said, it’s good to have a basic understanding of what is known as PPC or Pay-Per-Click website traffic. In short, you can use services like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your site. You pay per website visitor, but you can make a lot of money doing this. Say it costs you $1 to send a visitor to your site, but each visitor on average earns you $2 in affiliate commissions. You, my friend, have a money machine on your hands.
These issues have not seen much discussion within the online marketing community, certainly not as much as SEO, content marketing, PPC and other marketing channels. We read online that many companies over the past decade have relied on affiliates to produce sales for their brands. We also read that affiliate marketing has continued to grow, and the most recent figures on the industry from research conducted by the IAB concluded that $16.5 billion worth of sales was driven by the affiliate channel, while advertisers spent $1.1 billion on affiliate marketing in 2014, 8% more than in 2013.
I have been using LongTailPro for more than a year and have just started using the cloud version. It’s very fast and easy to use! Since I have been using LongTailPro, I have saved a lot of money not having to build that many links. Most of the keywords revealed by LongTailPro rank without building links. There are lots of very well written tutorials and videos that guide you. The training is all white hat! It’s helped me a lot with my SEO business. Keep up the good work guys!

Michael, great article–lots of good solid ideas to get my affiliate (& my rear end), up and at it!! Also, love those falafels too! I am in the process of building a website that will have approximately 8-10 products offered over time. The products all come from the same niche. Do you think this type of site can have good success as well, or do you think just focusing on one product per website is the way 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!
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