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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!
While your site is still new, it's a good idea to start capitalizing on someone else's audience. Continue focusing on building your own content, but also considering writing content for a few big, high-traffic blogs that are relevant for your niche. By writing content for a bigger site, you are able to get in front of another audience and showcase your expertise on a particular topic. This will eventually lead to more traffic to your site, as well. 
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?
Next, you’ll need to measure your success, and quite honestly, your failures, too (some of the best lessons learned are through our failures). First look at the success of your content. Are there certain pieces of content that had higher viewership and lead to more conversions than others? What made those different than the pieces of content that had less viewers? Once you understand that you can create more content that is successful. It’s possible to get a glimpse into this if you start searching for things in your niche. For example, “top lists” are extremely important such as “the top 20 ways to make your dog happy” or “the top 12 places to travel in Europe” and things like that. In other niche industries, “how-to” articles are huge such as “how to make your own garden” or “how to jump start a car” or things like that. Just look at sites like tie-a-tie.net. Even a site about properly tying a tie can be a success if done right! You also want to look at how your marketing campaigns have worked. Do your posts on Instagram drive more traffic than your Twitter updates? If so, you should focus more on marketing with Instagram. The more you measure your success, the more you will understand what is and what is not working for your business.
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.
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.
Strive to become an authority. It doesn’t matter if your niche is the silliest topic in the world, as long as you’re “THE” site to check out when it comes to everything about fidget spinning (or whatever niche you decided to focus on), then your website is a success. To become an authority within your niche, you have to be consistent with publishing content, provide value to your readers, and make it a goal to earn your readers’ trust.
Without doubt that was by far the best summary of “Greatest Tips” I have read to date. It is so confusing out there…I want to help my son who struggles with cranky bossy managers to empowering him and havening him live life on his terms. I know affiliate marketing is the way out but where to start?? Do we set up on Shopify and offer other people’s products? Do we set up a blog with a few good links? Do you go to clickbank and peddle the China trinkets etc? Its a tough one to sort but this tutorial was an easy to understand read and you have my word that any of the hosting or other services offered I will use your affiliate link to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your mistakes. Sincerest thanks Tom!

If you have built up an email list, you could also promote your affiliate offers via email promotions. Just make sure you build up a relationship with your audience first instead of going for the hard sell straightaway. The emails you send out must contain your affiliate links to products so when your audience click through. the sale is attributed to you. 
A sound product strategy is a must for new affiliate marketers. Ideally, you should choose a niche that you can make money online with and has a lot of product vendors. This will give you a wide selection of products to offer your online community. However, limit yourself to two or three products at a time, so that you become the expert others turn to and trust when reaching for their wallet.
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.
As you become comfortable with the affiliate marketing process, you can consider both specialized (e.g. fly fishing) and broad (e.g. weight loss) niches. Don’t forget to track your marketing metrics! They are usually provided by your merchant and/or affiliate network. This way you'll be able to know which products your audience are responding to and which ones aren't generating any profits for your business. This is especially important if you are investing into paid advertising to drive traffic and promote products as an affiliate...
There are so many benefits to building an affiliate marketing business. Some of which include that it is low-risk, cost-effective, easy to track, and most importantly you don't actually have to create anything on your own. Rather, your job is only to create epic content that recommends products and services, based on your own experience. It's a win-win.
I would like to add that for information products, a lot of the time it’s pretty easy to rank for “information product review”. I recently did a review of a popular ebook that is a month long discipline program. I went about it by doing the actual program and documenting everything. At the end of the month I wrote up a 2700 word article summing up the whole experience.
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