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!
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!

Self-supporting or not, students like you do need money! Aside from tuition and other miscellaneous schooling expenses, there are other things that you’d need money for: projects and other school requirements, educational trips, books and gadgets that can help make studying a lot easier, etc. You don’t want to bother mom and dad who also have other expenditures to worry about, and you don’t have time to get a part time job. Still, YOU JUST NEED THE MONEY!

The web is so large today that it is possible to make money on just about any topic. No matter what you choose to cover, you will find a product and affiliate scheme to complement it. If you choose a topic that interests you, then you will write better content, produce better videos, and have a more engaging website than if you choose a topic of only passing interest. The world is a large and diverse place, so don’t worry that there won’t be enough people interested in your topic. As the saying goes, “if you build it, they will come.” On the web, that means building a great site with great content.

For those who want to figure out how to sell Amazon products and make money off it, this course on 2017 Affiliate Marketing + SEO Strategy could be ideal for you. It’s a quick course that teaches how to build an amazon affiliate website, brushes you on the latest SEO techniques but may not be enough if you are looking at an advanced curriculum. The trainer Isli Hoxha, Website Developer & Growth Hacker will teach you marketing in depth.
If you have to earn $50-$100 commission you have to sell product of cost $500-$1000 (If you’ll get 10% commission). If anyone who is reading have the potential to sell product of this much amount then why not he/she should start selling his/her own product. And money ultimately comes when a service or product is sold! So if you can write an Ebook then write another which you can sell for money!
Freelancer – refer people to developers, designers, and other freelancers you’ve worked with and make 100% of Freelancer’s project commission for the first 90 days. I get a lot of people requesting WordPress speed optimization services… so I refer them to my developers with a freelancer affiliate link and make $125/month in passive income. You can’t use affiliate links to link to specific freelancer profiles, so I direct people to the homepage via affiliate link and give people my developer’s usernames.
For example, the content on Super Weddings is useful whether you're organizing a wedding today or next year. All the content on the site is created accordingly. To make things easier for the audience, it is separated into categories to make it very convenient for the reader to find what they're looking for. This, of course, is also very good for SEO. 
This is real informatic information. I found this one real meaningful, wow! you truly showing the way affiliate works. I agree ad monetize can be passive income theme while affiliate can be our primary hope…I read so many articles but feels like something is hidden..but found this one real insidefull. This is showing us how our 100 bug can be harvested from from small sources. Because newbies might want to give up blogging as they are not going to earn because they thought it’s one shot income source. Thanks Sean it will really encourage every new entrepreneurs.

You need to think of affiliate marketing as if you were a business owner. This is the mindset shift that you need to make. Affiliate marketing is a real business and you need to treat it as such. Research shows that over 80% of brands utilize affiliate marketing. A brand isn't built overnight. It requires time, patience, hard work and discipline to build a business from the ground up. The same goes for an affiliate marketing business.


Improve your conversion rates. Don’t worry if you can’t match your competitors’ cost-per-actions (CPAs). Start experimenting with new affiliates and improve your conversion rates, because the more conversions you produce, the more your affiliates get paid. They will prefer promoting your product over someone else’s when they see the number of customers they can generate.

Take ThirstyAffiliates, for example. This plugin helps you add affiliate links to your site and then organize and manage them. You can also include corresponding images, and track your links’ statistics. Pretty Links offers many of the same features, but focuses on optimizing your affiliate links. Both plugins have premium versions offering even more functionality. There are also plenty of alternative options to choose from.


Make a content plan - Once you’ve scoped out your niche and have the keywords you know you want to target, build out a detailed content plan. This needs to cover both on-site content, and content you want to publish. Aim for 3 posts a week. Look at your competitors, and make your content is better. They wrote about the 10 best guitars in 2017? You write about the 20 best.
Click the "get started now" button and let’s get started! (see above). Select a hosting plan that fits your needs. (Normally, if you are just starting out I recommend the basic plan but, if you are really serious about this and want more resources & power go with their Prime or Pro plan). Keep in mind, you can always upgrade your plan as you grow.
Hosting – This is where your new website will be hosted. You can start with just the most-basic plans of popular hosting companies. For example, Bluehost’s Basic shared plan already has a free domain included, plus everything you need to begin your affiliate marketing journey. It’s priced normally around $8, but is often on sale at $4/month. Like all hosting providers, the longer subscription you pay upfront, the bigger your savings.
The tips mentioned above covers the bulk about how profitable affiliate sites are set up nowadays. If you’re familiar with building sites and a bit of SEO, then this affiliate marketing guide should put you on the right path. However, if you want a more comprehensive guide to affiliate marketing, then you will need more than just free resources online to get a website up and running.
I’ve learned so much with this course! KC Tan is an excellent instructor. He covers all the bases. Also, his facebook group and email list have both been a great value for me. I’ve made money using this method, and I’m hoping to start making even more by learning list building details in another of his courses that I just started. So glad I came across his courses. – Maya Brown
My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1 (here’s last year’s poll) plus Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or social proof, you NEED to include outside opinions. You can also use WP Rich Snippets to allow people to leave a review about the product/service on your site and get those review stars in Google (you will want to use their front end submit add-on).
Finally, and most importantly, remember that your affiliate business from home is like any other business. Meaning there will be taxes, routine work tasks, and some accounting work. So if you are looking to start an affiliate business from home, it’s also important to brush up on the basics of running a small business. Even though the overhead is low compared to a brick and mortar business, it’s easy to overlook the realities of running a business. At some point, you may find that one day you’ll have to hire people, find new avenues for profit, determine the best tax status, and all the other things any other traditional small business will do as they grow. So it’s a great idea to also learn the basics of running a small business while you build your affiliate business from home.
It can be published as a book, and other people have already suggested what to include into ‘part 2’. As someone who has been asked by other people wanting to promote my products/serviced, I’d love to read about the merchant’s side of AM, e.g. various software that can be used, how to choose affiliate partners, what to include in the agreement, etc.
In addition, you should always know who you’re getting your information from. There are far too many “guru’s” out there who really have no idea what they are talking about. When you sign up for your free account, you’ll be learning directly from Mark Ling and Simon Slade who are both affiliate marketing MILLIONAIRES. They’ve also helped to hand select some other successful affiliate marketers for their training videos. About a year ago, I had my own free training videos right here on this site, but I realized after a while that I just can’t create the type of quality training that Mark Ling and his crew have already put together and continuously update.
Love these tips! I have also been dabbling in affiliate marketing more myself as I’ve seen first-hand that the income potential can actually be far greater than what you can get from any of the ad networks. I also prefer pay per lead … for me, the banner ads don’t seem to convert very well. I think a lot of people just automatically turn the blinders on when they see banners on websites. But I have found that trying something out yourself and then writing a fair and balanced review of the product and/or service works quite well for getting conversions so I’ve been focusing most of my efforts there.
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
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