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!
I founded this site back in 2007. I lost $50 to a data entry scam when I was still in college. I felt ripped off and had no recourse, but to suck it up and pull an extra shift delivering food to make ends meet.I setup this site so no one would have to go through the same experience I went through. I wanted to stop scam artists from preying on the vulnerable and help regular people learn the true, legitimate ways of making money online.
Thats a great point, and I’ve definitely seen my fair share of those “how to start a blog” posts. That’s always been a good fit for people at Location 180, and if they do a good job on the post (truly make it useful) that’s one that doesnt bother me as much – solely because I know how valuable starting a blog can be for your life and goals. So if it’s some personal finance blogger that creates one and you start a blog from that by following their tutorial – all the better!

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.
I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like this poll where they were rated the #1 host. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many generated 100 visitors/day since the great content got them ranked high.
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).
If you’re not looking to spend money on an e-mail service just yet, use . You can use Mailerlite for free for your first 1,000 subscribers. Mailerlite’s free version gives you access to all of their features including e-mail automation and landing pages. It’s definitely a step up from other free providers. Sign up for Mailerlite for free and start building your e-mail list!

If you can get your affiliate partners to provide you with free products, then you can pass those on to customers. These can be actual products, promotion codes, or even access to limited-time offers. In some cases, companies will only dole out freebies to established affiliates, but if you can convince them that it will help launch your site and therefore bring them more business, they are likely to bite.
I would then get a hosting provider (a place to put the website on the internet) and a domain name (the name for the website), and then install WordPress so I could start playing around with the look of my website. I’d browse some free ‘themes’ (pre-designed ‘looks’ for websites) if I was tight on cash, or I might buy a high-quality one if I had the money. 
The benefits of affiliate marketing are location independence and the ability choose which products to promote. Also, your investment of time and energy directly correlates to the return you see. Depending on your availability and what you hope to gain from the enterprise, you can choose to be the type of marketer who sets up shop and passively waits for customers to come, or you can proactively spread the word about your favorite merchandise from prominent brand affiliates.
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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