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.
The best way to find suitable brands to promote is by simply using a search engine using: '[Brand] + Affiliate Program'. Some companies run in-house affiliate programs however, this is a very specialist area. Therefore, most companies opt to employ an 'affiliate network' which has already built a large base of affiliates and gained years of experience in running successful programs for clients.
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to get SiteGround’s $150/sale, but long-term my research paid off.
Mike touched on this a bit in the article, explaining that the “exact match penalty” targeted low quality sites that were overly-reliant on their seemingly-relevant domain name for rankings. Everything is an exact match for something so if you build a great resource, it shouldn’t be an issue. (For instance, I get a ton of search traffic for “side hustle nation”…)
Being open and upfront about earning affiliate commission is another way not to appear pushy or as if you’re just trying to make a sale. This very useful and informative post contained a number of affiliate links and were I to want to buy one of those products or services mentioned, I would actively seek out this post and buy it through Sean as a way of saying thank you for such top information.
All the work you do promoting third-party products shouldn’t be in vain. You have to understand that commissions in affiliate marketing aren’t guaranteed – you’d have to make sure your blog has traffic first, and that you’re able to encourage people to click the affiliate link. From there, you’d have to cross your fingers that these people buy something from the affiliate network so you can earn a cut from the sale.
Affiliate marketing works effectively for the merchant and the affiliate. To the first, he gains opportunities to advertise his products to a larger market, which increases his chances to earn. The more affiliate websites or hard-working affiliates he gets, the more sales he can expect. By getting affiliates to market his products and services, he is saving himself time, effort and money in looking for possible markets and customers. When a client clicks on the link in the affiliate website, purchases the product, recommends it to others who look for the same item or buys it again, the merchant multiplies his chances of earning. On the other hand, the affiliate marketer benefits from each customer who clicks on the link in his website and who actually purchases the product or avails of the service provided by the merchant. In most cases, the affiliate gets commision per sale, which can be fixed percentage or fixed dollar amount.
ShareASale has been in business as an affiliate marketing network for 18 years. Their technology has received accolades for speed, efficiency and accuracy and they have a reputation as a well-known, honest business within the industry with over 3,900 merchants. Payments are made automatically on the 20th day of each month when your account balance reaches $50 or more for the previous months’ transactions.
And as much as possible, write evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that will be relevant all year. When I first started my blog, I was excited to publish my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Him (fun fact: this is the post that earned me my very first $0.46 commission). But I can’t necessarily promote this post all year long. So while these holiday-centric posts are fun, they won’t generate many views (and thus affiliate commissions) throughout the year.
A niche is a segment of the entire market population that you want to focus on. In this context, it’s a group or place where online users share common interests and similar behavior as consumers. Focusing on a niche lets you focus on the ins and outs of affiliate marketing on one particular consumer group, allowing you to maximize your results for less effort—that, compared with marketing in many different niches.
And while that may sound like a tall order, just remember that all you need to do to be unique is act like yourself as you write reviews or provide readers with blog posts and articles full of interesting information. The important part is to keep up the volume since the longer you wait between articles, the further your website will fall in the search engine rankings.

DOI – Double Opt-In. These offers require more than one action from the user. Originally, this concept required users to enter their email address and then click a confirmation link in the “welcome” email. These days there can be more requirements, like filling out a profile, defining interests or uploading a photo. DOI provides better list protection, communication with subscribers and user relevancy than SOI.

One of the main reasons why most newbie affiliate marketers give up after 3 months is the fact that they can’t build up traffic to their affiliate website. It’s a thorn in most marketers’ sides, but one that can be easily resolved if you put the effort in. Below I have covered a few areas that will get you good targeted traffic to your affiliate deals.
However, affiliate marketing isn’t just about marketing your partners’ goods, or at the very least it can be about much more than that. Affiliate marketing is also an opportunity to create your own website or some other form of content and get paid to do so, because you’ll be running ads and providing other links to things your audience will genuinely want to buy, at least if you combine your affiliates and your interests correctly.
Being open and upfront about earning affiliate commission is another way not to appear pushy or as if you’re just trying to make a sale. This very useful and informative post contained a number of affiliate links and were I to want to buy one of those products or services mentioned, I would actively seek out this post and buy it through Sean as a way of saying thank you for such top information.
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