Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks
All of the above info is for those of you who want to learn affiliate marketing for free. As you can see, there is a lot of free help for you if you plan on doing all of this yourself. However, I also know that some of you do have some funding available and you want to create a bit of a shortcut to success. The only way to do that is to outsource right now.

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.


I would have one partner create a separate page/contact form specifically for the advertiser – so only people who see that contact form are people who were referred to by the advertiser. The advertiser would use that page as their outbound link. I know you can track outbound clicks in Google Analytics events and Contact Form conversions (usually through most contact form plugins) but that is the best way I think. Never done it, but this is how I see most affiliate programs like that work.

Creating blog content is a very useful and effective way of consistently building content on a site. When creating blog posts, it's a good idea to do some keyword research to figure out what it is that your audience is interested in and searching for online. Also, be sure to research competitors, forums and social media to narrow down on topics for your blog. 


It is a very good idea to use different product promotion strategies so you can figure out what is working and what is not. Try to do split testing and measure the performance of each campaign then take actions accordingly. Changing a few things here and there can increase your profit dramatically. Make sure to place the banner ads on different areas of your site’s pages. Some positions will make the ads more noticeable than others.

Cookie period is the time wherein affiliates can still be credited for commissions. It is set by the affiliate network. The browser cookie links a sale to you whenever your site visitor clicks on a particular affiliate link and makes a purchase. The cookie period refers to the time they reach the destination website to the actual time they purchased something from the store.

I’ve read this post and I truly appreciate the information and honesty you have provided. The problem I have is that I’ve done ALL of this and more and yet I have a hard time generating traffic. I think that is one thing that is never emphasized in these posts and don’t genuinely express that it is just that (traffic) and lots of it, that brings in any kind of interest, little own an income. I don’t know what else I could be doing at this point besides not continuously working at the marketing, but I am. If someone could shed a little light on this because this post makes it sound so easy so I wonder what I’m doing wrong or what is the information that is missing in these posts? Either way thanks for the candid guidance!
Now, truth be told, affiliate marketing does come with some costs. Fortunately, those costs are rather small when compared to starting other businesses. For example, if you want to succeed with affiliate marketing in the same way that I teach it, you’ll need a website. In order to have a website, you need to pay for “website hosting”. If you don’t know what website hosting is, don’t worry, we’ll get to that, but website hosting does cost a few bucks per month (generally under $10 / mo). If you have about $40 for startup costs and about $10 / mo for recurring expenses, this is entirely doable. There are many other optional expenses for affiliate marketing, which I will also get into, but those optional expenses are used more for speeding up the path to success (outsourcing, etc.) rather than a requirement for success. When I first started my affiliate marketing business, I had about $200 to my name.
Paid ads should be your last step in marketing your range of affiliate products. You want to make sure you’re in a money-making niche and have a roster of products proven to sell, as well as proven sales funnel that compels your prospects to buy. That way when you invest the money in a paid ad, which can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars, you’ll see a decent return on investment.
​Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another. 
This, is most likely one of the absolutely best courses on building amazon affiliate sites. Trust me, the explanations are extremely in-depth and understandable, I never had any experience in this field but I learned everything with ease and got to work right away thanks to the instructor’s very broad understanding of SEO. This is easily one of the top affiliate marketing courses and I realy thank the instructor for putting together such an amazing course, and sharing it with other people. If you want an A-Z explanation of amazon affiliate marketing, you will not be dissapointed by this course! – Beleuta Teodor
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
To start an affiliate marketing business, focus on selling products you are familiar with so you can sell them more easily. Then, build a website around that niche and fill it with good content that shows your knowledge of the topic. Next, find and join an affiliate marketing program that sells things in your niche. Get links from that program to the products you want to sell, and work them into your content so people reading it naturally go to their site.
If you’re lost which idea you should be checking out, stick with what you know, what you’re passionate about, and products you can’t live without. Whether you’re planning to expand a generic product (such as “fitness toys for dogs”) or focus on a specific brand (such as FitPAWS), it’s essential that you know what the competition is like if you decide to go through with such a topic.
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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