Leanne, that was great stuff. I saw some interesting delineators I’d never seen before, like how many subscribers you have making a difference in whether you should start with affiliates, at what level, etc. I appreciate the “ethical” angle you weaved throughout this, too, because affiliate marketing can/does have a bad reputation due to the way it’s been abused in the past. Your article will help educate current and future affiliate marketers, much appreciated!

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways people make money online. It is a strategy where an individual partners with a business in order to make a commission by referring readers or visitors to a business’s particular product or service. But that really is quite a simple explanation. To be really successful at making money with affiliate marketing there is a little more to it.


This literally changed my life… I moved out of my parent’s house (sigh) into a nice studio in downtown Denver, bought my first car (a Mercedes c300), adopted 2 kitties, and my credit raised 45 points. I also donated $3,000 to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. I’m a humble dude but in affiliate marketing, the numbers do the talking. So… I want to show you how I did it :)
The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network. Many affiliate networks exist, some which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.
If you’re planning to create content on your own, you’ll have to commit to it wholeheartedly because the life of your affiliate marketing business relies on regularly-published content. If you’re planning to hire someone to craft the content for you, that’s totally OK too. Either way, here are awesome tips you could follow when it comes to creating content for your affiliate marketing site:

The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network. Many affiliate networks exist, some which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.

When you learn Affiliate Marketing it is must to know different ways that can help you build relationship with your audiences and then you should patiently follow them before generating money online. Creating and maintaining relationships with partners will help you get targeted traffic for your marketing campaign. Below given are some methods to attract potential customers for your Affiliate Programs-
Long-Tail Keywords – specific keywords usually with 3-7 individual words in a phrase. They are highly targeted and MUCH easier to rank for than broad keywords (all mine are long-tail). The lower your domain authority (check using OSE), the less competitive (more long-tail) your keywords should be. If you can get more specific and the keyword still shows up in Google Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer and other keyword tools… choose the SPECIFIC one.
It is fine to write reviews about the products you promote. It is encouraged even. That being said, make sure that your review is honest. You need to genuinely represent the product you are promoting, which means pointing out its flaws as well as its qualities. If you focus only on the good to the exclusion of the bad, then people will distrust what you have to say and abandon your website. Affiliate marketing thrives on credibility.
Your website works for you 24/7 without a human manning your site and can pull earnings in around the clock. You have a never-ending list of products and services to promote. And, my personal favorite, you don’t even have to worry about inventory, storage, customer service, handling, shipping and other day-to-day operational issues faced by ecommerce stores.

If you are writing online your posts should be brief, clear, checked for spelling and grammar and consistent. Your blog may not have broad appeal if it has limitations in these, so your EBooks and public posts can benefit from a professional proof-reader, or extra classes in English, whether it is your first language or not. Whether you write a blog, a book or anything else, your only tool to deliver your message is language, and you should gain all the skills you can with it. If you don’t have time for this, use the services of someone with the best language skills you can find.
I hope you found all of this to be helpful. Learning affiliate marketing for free is actually easy to do. There are lots of people teaching affiliate marketing for free. The problem is learning from the right people and knowing who the right people are. The above information should help show you that you really can learn from successful affiliate marketers at no charge. Those videos in your free account speak for themselves.
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

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 :)


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.
You can put up banners on your site, to promote your affiliate offers. Most affiliate programs will usually provide their own creatives when you sign up for their offers. All you have to do is insert the banner on a highly trafficked page (your affiliate tracking is usually embedded within the code). Banner ads in the right locations can do a great job of driving sales.  
Easy management: All marketing tools and affiliate links are provided by the merchant. You never have to bother creating banners, links and all that. You only have to use what has been provided by the merchant. Also, you do not have to handle orders, ship any inventory, or deal with the customer. The merchant handles all that, so you are only focused on promoting the offers to your audience.
As mentioned earlier, there are various approaches to affiliate marketing and it’s up to you to pick which one or combinations to use. You may easily scour the Internet for them. Don’t be scared to try out different strategies as it is one of the most effective ways to find out the best method’s for your niche or product’s. Should you go for content marketing, it is better to supplement it with social media marketing to maximize your exposure. Just don’t forget to use the keywords from your research for your articles.
REBILLS – Rebills can be a wide range of products across many verticals, both tangible products and services/information. The basic principle is a repeating charge to the customer. The billing cycle often starts with a free trial membership and then recurs at a set rate every 30 days, for example. Any type of subscription would fall into this category.
Keep in mind, there is no facile and quick path towards success. Affiliate marketing may seem very tempting due to numerous encouraging testimonies of merchants and affiliate marketers alike who have benefited from it, but it entails great deal of hard work and persistence. Likewise, you need to be creative, flexible and willing to embrace new ideas to market your partners’ products until you find the perfect strategy that works for a specific market that you are targeting. Neither signing up for an affiliate program nor copying ads and leading others towards the merchants’ site doesn’t guarantee success yet. Many affiliate marketers fail to understand this, so when they don’t make sales, they quit, look for other programs and repeat the same mistake. In the end, they conclude that affiliate marketing is just one of those scams in the Internet. Even as you sleep, you can work your way to great financial success if you employ the right strategies in affiliate marketing. Be creative, be smart and surely, you’ll achieve your goals.

Last, but not least, you need to make sure you're in compliance with each affiliate program's terms of service. Some programs will allow you to promote via email marketing, others, like Amazon, do not. Keep a detailed spreadsheet of all the affiliate programs you belong to and what methods of promotion are allowed. Not following the rules could get you banned from a program — which means you've lost a source of revenue.
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. 
This is a very common way to promote offers. For example, you will often see a blog post with links to certain products or services. If the reader clicks through and makes a purchase, the blog owner will make a commission. These in-text links blend in with other content on your site and are a great way of promoting an offer within your content, without being over-the-top salesy with banners. 
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.

The best way to market your affiliate website is actually free! You want to rank highly in search results where people will find your site and visit at no cost. Preferably, these visitors will be highly targeted and “ready to buy” visitors that you can refer to earn commissions. The best way to promote your site in search engines is to use something called SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. However, you shouldn’t just rely on search engines to bring you traffic. There are tons of ways to diversify traffic sources and while search engines are probably the best, other methods work well, too. The most popular is through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, but you can also look into things like Google Adwords and the Yahoo Bing Network located at Media.net. While paid advertising can be a bit risky and expensive, a working paid advertising campaign can make you a ton of money. In order to sell the affiliated products, you need to have readers one way or another. Attracting readers requires a lot of dedication and is as important as creating high quality content. My highest recommended way to achieve a huge number of website visitors over time is to use the CTPM process.
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.
If you have to earn $50-$100 commission you have to sell product of cost $500-$1000 (If you’ll get 10% commission). If anyone who is reading have the potential to sell product of this much amount then why not he/she should start selling his/her own product. And money ultimately comes when a service or product is sold! So if you can write an Ebook then write another which you can sell for money!
The website layout: You can make affiliate marketing work no matter what website layout you choose. For example, if you’d like your site to look more like an online store similar to the popular Odditymall, nothing is stopping you to do so. There’s no rule preventing site owners from showcasing affiliate products this way. Many affiliate marketers choose a blog layout instead, often writing product information or reviews along with links going to the store.
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?
I personally prefer to do it that way--you can create a more convincing review that's more likely to make sales. It's not always possible or practical, though; for example, would you break up with your significant other just to test a product for getting your ex back? ;-) In cases like that, or if the product is expensive, it's usually best just to use the vendor's affiliate resources instead.
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.
One of the key elements to success with affiliate marketing is picking the right products to promote. They could be digital information products, memberships, physical products, online services… there are many industries that use this model. When promotiing to your target market, you may be promoting one or many of these different types of products as an affiliate.
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.
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