Hey guys. Great post with detailed, actionable content. I would like to add my ‘2 cents’ if that’s ok. You are absolutely right with offering a ‘free gift’ in exchange for someone’s name and email address but I have found short reports have worked best for me. If you give away too much information for free they don’t tend to get consumed so the trust isn’t built with your subscriber. Your free gift is the first point of contact with your prospect so it’s unlikely they will read an entire ebook but if you give them a short report which they are able to consume in about 20 mins and they get tremendous value from they are more likely to listen to you in the future and buy your recommendations. A big mistake i see a lot of affiliates make is the content they use for their free giveaway. They think just because it’s given away for free that they can just throw together some PLR material and use that. Unfortunately that doesn’t cut it these days and will damage your relationship with your prospect rather than strengthen it. The best way is to carry out some research in your marketplace and see what pains and frustrations your prospects have and create your free giveaway around that.
Just like everyone should be split testing, they should also be running their best campaigns on different networks and traffic sources as well. A great example of this would be if you were running an offer on Google Adwords that’s been profitable for quite a while. Since you already know which keywords and landing pages are working best, it wouldn’t be hard for you to take all of that same information and create a new PPC campaign through Bing.

Look for a gravity score of 30 or more, because these products have a proven track record of selling well for a number of different affiliates. Products, especially new products, with gravity scores under 30 may work but are more risky. Gravity scores of greater than 100 mean the product’s popular. You could have competition, but don’t worry about that. The important thing is that there’s lots of demand.
… ensure that long, multi-topic pages on your site are well-structured and broken into distinct logical sections. Second, ensure that each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name (i.e., not just “Section 2.1”), and that your page includes a “table of contents” which links to the individual anchors… you won’t see it on the results all the time — only when we think that a link to a section would be highly useful for a particular query.
Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.

There are a lot of affiliate programs to choose from, but I encourage you to start your search by checking out ClickBank or Amazon Associates, as they have a lot of amazing affiliate programs for digital products. When you join an affiliate program, you will get an affiliate link, so that the person who is selling the product or service can track which sales were produced by you.
If you write honest reviews, you will get something that SEO can’t provide, good word-of-mouth. Having good recommendations passed from friend to friend is important for every product, but it can really make or break a niche site. If you pick your niche well and create a reliable site that is full of good information, then you can be sure that the first people to come across your site will spread the word to their friends. The word-of-mouth effect is great because it compounds. In other words, one friend tells two friends and then those two each tell two more and so forth. The pattern continues until you saturate the market and become king of the niche.
It would be nice if we could create websites about whatever niche we wanted, and that’s fine if you don’t care about money, but if you actually want to earn an income from your affiliate marketing efforts, you need to know for sure that your niche is profitable and winnable (enough demand but not too much competition). Trust me, there is a niche for you. Go out there, do some research, and find it. These videos will show you exactly how to do that, step-by-step.
A perfect example of this would be if you were trying to rank for something like “blogging” or “how to make money with a blog”. The two search phrases are similar but completely different in nature. There is no way to know what someone wants when they search for “blogging”, however if someone is searching for “how to make money with a blog”, it’s quite obvious.
The last big tip for success in affiliate marketing is to not solely rely on affiliate marketing forever. By this I mean you should be looking for new opportunities in how you can scale your earnings and business in size. Even outside of your own affiliate marketing efforts, there are plenty of ways to make money from home. Some of these methods can help inspire new ideas for products or services you can create to cater to different audiences.
When you visit an affiliate company, you’ll be able to choose between a free plan or one that comes with a monthly cost. The premium membership comes with more support, more websites, and a stronger connection to the affiliate marketing community, but if you’re at the point where you’re just dipping your toe in the water to see what it’s like, the free membership option comes with some support for the first week and enough freedom and tools to quickly create a basic website and get going.

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.
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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