I think there are a couple main reasons why the research aspect is so overlooked in affiliate marketing. The first reason is, people are just lazy. Most new affiliate marketers are only thinking about making money in the shortest period of time, so they simply choose a niche and build a site in their first day. Then, months go by with little to no website traffic and they proclaim that affiliate marketing no longer works. Considering affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar per year industry driving about 20% of all online sales, that of course isn’t true. Most people just don’t do the research necessary to truly find a profitable niche that is in demand without too much competition.
When choosing the products or services you wish to promote, you must also consider their conversion rates; the number of visitors that converted buyers. As I previously mentioned, there are numerous affiliate programs and networks that can give you information on the most profitable products and services as well as the best paying merchants. The key is to do your research.  If you join a network, reach out to your Affiliate Manager.
Affiliate marketing is a practice that involves a publisher or third party referred to as an “affiliate”, who promotes a merchant’s product online and gets paid only for actual conversions. It makes use of various tools depending on the approach or marketing model used: pay per click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, e-mail marketing, etc.
I will give you a very simple example. Let’s say you build up an audience of 50,000 readers and out of that 50k you have about 1% that trust you (1% of people that trust you online is actually very huge), so that equates to 500 readers. Out of that 500 readers you will have about 10% that will buy your eBook and other affiliate products, so 50 people total. So, if you are selling your eBook for $10, you will make $500. Of course it doesn’t stop there, those people that buy the eBook and like it will most likely recommend it, and you will have a snowball effect where more people keep buying your book and other affiliate products. This is just a rough example that shows you some realistic numbers. Do not ever think that if you build up a huge number of readers that they will all trust you and buy the products that you promote; if it was that easy everyone would be a millionaire by now.
LEAD GEN– Lead generation offers attract new clients and turn them into leads. They usually collect some kind of information about the customer in exchange for some benefit or access to a service. The majority of all offers are actually lead gen offers: affiliates locate potential customers based on certain criteria – interests, age groups, niche/vertical – and deliver them to advertisers.
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.
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.
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 wish I could give more than 5 stars because this course deserves more stars. I have learned a lot by taking this course. I was able to complete two websites making them look half way decent because I used what was taught to create the websites in a matter of days. I still have to add content to the website but I was able to accomplish more by taking this course than I have by taking other courses. I really felt like I accomplished something by taking this course. I plan to watch it again several times. This course is great for anyone wanting to build a website. The website does not have to be an affiliate website. I advise everyone to use the same theme that he uses in the course. I will take more of his courses for sure. – Latoya Simmons
Amazing and thorough breakdown of how it all works! Thank you so much for sharing! a group of 3 friends myself + 2 are about to start affiliate marketing together. Since many advertising rules have changed with affiliate marketing (facebook ads etc.) and many articles have not been updated since, weʻd love any advice or suggestions you have for 2018!
These days, you have the best programmers in the world creating what are called Content Management Systems (CMS) that will build awesome looking websites for FREE. For example, this website is based on the WordPress platform. I did pay about $50 for a premium design, but other than that, I don’t have to know any computer code at all and either do you.
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.
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.
Depending on the network, you may also need to pay setup costs. This covers the cost of integrating you to the network and testing tracking etc. Start-up fees can range from nothing to over $5,000. I have been asked for $30,000 before and, obviously, I never started with that network. This cost is often negotiable when you discuss contracts with the network, but it is worth noting when considering the start-up costs.

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.
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.

The best way to obtain website traffic is through free search engine referrals. However, obtaining traffic from the search engines takes time. You should expect to create content for your site for about 6 to 12 months before the search engines really start showing you some love. In the meantime, there are so many other places you can obtain website traffic from. That’s what these tutorial videos will show you. Everything form creating email marketing lists to social media marketing and even how to write a blog post to increase how many people share it – it’s all there. This is the best tutorial section to go through first because it will lead to returns sooner.

I loved the landing page idea. This would be very effective in one case ONLY. If you are promoting a product or a an eBook this would work very fine OR increasing an Email list by offering something for FREE. You know in this life “Nothing is for FREE”. So you are giving your visitor for an example “A guide to how to install a blog template in wordpress or blogger” or “how to monetize your blog?” a FREE guide will drive this visitor to type his email and hit the subscribe button right away. But if the visitor a PayPal Button he just click the MAGIC X button on the top of his browser. Landing pages are very effective when you know how to use them.
This is something you should spend a lot of time researching before you dive in and write that first article. The tutorial videos you’ll find here are probably the most important videos you’ll watch. Even if you’re “not a writer”, they will show you how to create awesome content for your new affiliate marketing site. The tips and tricks in those videos is invaluable. Go through all of those videos… twice.
Once you’ve chosen your interest and you’ve create a website where you can write about it, the next step is to pick out the affiliate programs that will advertise on your site. It’s tough to start affiliate marketing without a monetization plan! With over a million products and services to pick from, you’re bound to find something related to your interests, so feel free to go crazy with ideas like underwater basket weaving and scuba lessons if your interests lie with the ocean, or organic food and organic conditioners if you prefer to discuss how to stay beautiful with only organic plant extracts.
Website Development Help – need help setting up your theme? I’ve been working with the same 2 developers for 3+ years. To hire them, sign up for a Freelancer account, post your job (WordPress theme installation) then invite user i333 or bdkamol to your project. If you want, contact me and I will introduce you to them via email. Both are great developers with reasonable rates, speak fluent English, and I outsource all my programming work to them.
Actually Nunya, Jafar’s English is very good, with only a few very minor errors, and far better than most English speakers. It is simply not true that you can “barely read it”, it’s as good as yours. Most Americans, Australians and British I see online have very poor spelling and grammar, and use memorized abbreviations and SMS-speak instead wherever possible. You cannot sound as if you have something to teach people, if it sounds as if you still have to learn basic literacy yourself!
The best way to obtain website traffic is through free search engine referrals. However, obtaining traffic from the search engines takes time. You should expect to create content for your site for about 6 to 12 months before the search engines really start showing you some love. In the meantime, there are so many other places you can obtain website traffic from. That’s what these tutorial videos will show you. Everything form creating email marketing lists to social media marketing and even how to write a blog post to increase how many people share it – it’s all there. This is the best tutorial section to go through first because it will lead to returns sooner.
If you would like to take a more subtle approach, include a product or service from your company that relates into your blog post. For example, let’s say that you are a wine connoisseur and that is what your blog is based around. In any post that is enticing your readers to open up a good bottle of Merlot or what have you, it would be wise to embed an ad for a quality, easy-to-use wine opener, wine glasses or stoppers that keep the wine fresh.

I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
Its obvious his first language isn’t English but the guy has made an effort to help other people out of his experience. Nunya what you did is bad and you should apologize really. There is power in the words you speak. Putting someone down like that is wrong, like all his effort to put something together was a disaster. I myself found his grammar appropriate and very understandable, I think the person with the problem here isn’t Jafar. Next time if you dont have something better to say, dont comment. If it were to be you in his shoes, am sure you won’t like it either…. Stop the negativity!!
The trainers Phil Ebiner and Diego Davila are very proficient when it comes to all things digital marketing. Having taught 600,000+ students on a variety of subjects till date, they are more experienced than you can believe. Affiliate marketing is incomplete without in depth knowledge of digital marketing and that is exactly what this course wishes to fulfill in 32.5 hours of intense training. You will learn about platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest in addition to finding more about Email Marketing, Quora, Google Adwords and much more.

To learn Affiliate Marketing, the first thing that you should know is the difference between an Affiliate Marketing Merchant and an Affiliate Marketer. The product creator or seller in Affiliate Marketing is known as Affiliate Marketing Merchant, while on the other hand Affiliate Marketer helps in marketing those products by using different platforms.

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?
If you’re in the WordPress industry like I am (whether it be design, development, or SEO) I have accumulated quite the list of WordPress affiliate programs. I excluded those I found unsuccessful or pay too little to make a profit from, specifically ThemeForest, Creative Market, and low quality theme stores like Template Monster. Hosting pays well and I wrote a tutorial for SiteGround’s affiliate program and StudioPress themes which are my 2 highest paying affiliates. Those tutorials have tons of screenshots/social proof especially for SiteGround.
Fill your website with content that will be useful to the people who are interested in your niche, and place your affiliate links throughout in the most relevant places. That way when someone interested in your content clicks your link, they go to a sales page for a product that they might also be interested in, and if they buy it you get a commission!
Thank you for a very straightforward introduction to the world of Affiliate Marketing. I’m looking forward to the journey and just starting out. For me, I’m just as enthusiastic about the challenge of gaining success for its own sake, as the financial rewards it may hopefully bestow on me. There are so many variables involved and putting the whole thing together feels like attempting a 40,000-piece jigsaw puzzle with a hangover.
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.
Upselling is a sales technique where the salesperson encourages a more expensive purchase by a customer by persuading them to get an upgraded version of an item or to purchase add-ons. Remember our food processor example? That food processor could probably be best used with a book of recipes, which also can be purchased at the same company’s website.
Yes, creating content is the most difficult aspect of running any affiliate marketing company. Why? Because it takes long-term dedication and commitment. You can’t just write a few articles and expect floods of traffic to your site. You need lots and lots of content. Creating enough content to truly develop a great resource for people takes a months of work. You’ll also notice that I practice what I preach. ALL of my affiliate sites are heavy on content. From this very website you’re on now to my dog food review site to my site about sharks and all my other sites, they all have piles and piles of content.
Create custom alerts on your phone for affiliate sales – if you use GMail, go to your settings and create a filter so all emails with “SiteGround Affiliate Sale Generated” in the subject line go into their own folder (tweak the subject line to match whatever email notification your affiliate sends you). Then setup a custom alert on your phone using the GMail app so anytime you generate a sale, you get a custom alert (here’s a tutorial for Android and here’s one for Apple). I have different notifications for SiteGround, StudioPress Themes, etc. Makes your day better :)

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!

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