Petra- your keyword phrase “Beach Decor” can expect to get 374 hits per day for the number 1 spot on Google, but there are 189,000 websites in competition with you (hard to get to #1). But you can get to #1 easier with the keyword phrase “Sea Decorations” and if at #1 you can expect 50 hits/day and only competing with 12,600 other websites. Also “Beach Party Decorations”, #1 Google spot can expect 40 hits/day and competes with 16.200 other websites.
I really enjoyed your peek into the affiliate marketing career. You covered areas that a lot of people fail to cover and that was refreshing. I loved that you broke it down into easy to follow steps, so that I the reader could not get lost or confused. The social media and email ideas were different that what I have been seeing and gave me some fresh ideas for my own marketing campaigns. You explained in great detail how the money actually comes which is another thing often skipped when people are new to this. Overall it helped me and gave me great ideas. Some questions, If you had to choose one social media platform to start with what would you recommend? As far as content goes what is a good weekly goal to set that allows you to add content regularly, and gain trust with your readers, but not feel overwhelmed with the writing process? Overall great article and very informative and helpful, I will be checking in for more tips in the future!
So, affiliate marketing vs. AdSense: which is more profitable? Both are profitable if applied correctly, but generally, affiliate marketing is best if you want to build a long-term business online. AdSense is good if you want to make some residual cash from your website or blog. It is not a full-time business model, and many who try to make it so went too far and lost their accounts forever.
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There is forever a oppourtunity to earn capital through affiliate programs but evaluating the best product that blends our niche is the most complex part. I went through a few of your site and found it enormously delightful. I genuinely think, your blog has helped me a lot to identify the solution behind affiliate programs. I have bookmarked your blog and am following your feeds.
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.
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don't be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you. 
I am new to all this. I saw that Chris Guthrie posted quite a while back on here. Did you change any of your strategies based on his blog? How are your amazon sales going these days? So far, all I have on my site is amazon. I also was curious, I understand Google looks at load time and I had 2 amazon widgets on my sidebar that took a long time to load, I recently removed those, hoping it will help my rankings, which need alot of help! :o) Looking forward to hearing how things are working for you these days.

2. Of course, nearly all my readers are using WP so I’m biased. But even so, most successful affiliates use WordPress. There are less restrictions in terms of hosting (site speed), design customizations, plugins, cloaking affiliate links, lots of things. I would setup a free wordpress.com site just so you can play with the dashboard and see how you like it. Who knows, you might find a theme you really like (eg. StudioPress) and want to make the transition. I would at least test it out…it’s better to make the transition earlier than later.
Of course you want affiliates with high commissions, but they should also have a solid reputation with high conversions and low reversal rates (you get $0 if people cancel after signing up). If they’re part of an affiliate marketplace like ShareASale or ClickBank you can see some numbers there. Companies likes Amazon/SiteGround are safe bets, otherwise do your research (or track your affiliate links so you can monitor their performance). Avoid affiliates offering huge commissions since this probably means they’re struggling to acquire/retain customers naturally. This will hurt your numbers (specifically your conversions/reversal rates).
Rebecca, it’s really up to you. The problem with NOT waiting is that some programs can kick you out if you aren’t making sales, so double-check the company you are an affiliate for. It’s probably better to focus your time on what is going to give you the best ROI. Newer bloggers try to do allthethings which sometimes backfires because you spread yourself too thin. Basically, there is not cut and dry answer regarding whether you should wait. It’s going to be dependent on individual factors related to YOUR blog. Good luck!!
So, each year he spent as a corporate drone was getting harder and harder for him. Maybe it was the routine; maybe it was the fatigue caused by the constant pressure of overworking and chasing deadlines. The bottom line was that it was time to do something about it. Finally, he took a gap year that has now lasted two years already and is unlikely to end anytime soon.
Giving away a free informational product such as an e-book, an email series or a mini-course is a popular tactic many affiliate marketers use. Usually, your readers will have to provide their email addresses to receive the product from you. You can then use this to sell to them via email marketing. Additionally, an informational product can generate interest in the actual product you're trying to sell. If your product is popular enough and brings enough traffic to your site, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways, such as AdSense.

This is such an important post. I used Amazon Affiliate program and find it really works. I’ve been doing this stuff for years and I do things in a certain way to get best results. And i believe this is indeed a topic which has been ignored by many experts & professionals. You have done a great job by bringing this topic into light. I hope quality discussions follow this post. Great job.
I agree with you that the most important thing you can do at the start of your affiliate marketing career is to work out your WHY? Affiliate marketing is actually hard, hard work – especially in the beginning when you have no traffic and no followers. If you can’t figure out why you should be spending hour after hour on this “hobby” then it will never grow into a full-time income producing business. There is lots of great advice here for people getting started and people looking to get extra sales and give their career the extra boost they are searching for. Cheers
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.
SEMrush runs an affiliate program called BeRush where you can get big commissions with every commission that you’re able to make. It provides up to 40 percent recurring commission for each sale. This means up to $120 commission. Since the commission is recurring, this means that you will continue to make money as long as the user stays active in the program. Plus, it has 10 years cookie duration. You will receive your payment twice a month via PayPal. There is a payment threshold of $50.
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site. 
These add review stars to snippets and increase click-through rates. I have tested many rich snippet plugins over the years and my favorite (and what I use now) is the WP Review Pro Plugin by MyThemeShop (view the demo). It’s fast, looks great (here’s a page I use it on), comes with 16 pre-styled designs, supports user reviews, and is well-supported by the developers at MyThemeShop. I was previously using WP Rich Snippets but the developer abandoned the plugin and hasn’t updated it for 2 years, and All In One Schema lacks customization options.
That is the 1st car I have EVER purchased myself at age 29 (I was broke until then and leased from my parents). But the time committed to affiliate marketing and creating great tutorials and YouTube videos was worth it… I work for myself, there is virtually no limit on how much I can make, my schedule is flexible, and I collect enough passive income to live the life I want.

Hi, Nice article. I am not sure about the process though. I can understand, finding a niche. But, when it comes to affiliate programs I get a little lost. Would I be promoting someone else's products? If so, no problem. I know I need to research high end products with gravity, are these products ones in certain stores, or companies, etc.?? If so, do I need to get permissions to be on an affiliate program with that company? Also, if it is products with a company, then how do I offer promotions on their products since they are not mine? Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich
Let’s ask you something, if affiliate marketing is not profitable then why so many people are digging their nose in this. Why the competition is so high these days? It’s simply because they see a lot of money in this business. As a matter of fact affiliate marketing is something in which you can make huge money and even without much investment. We know you may have three queries in your mind:-
I’m actually going through setting up a few different sites that are only going to be monetized with Amazon. There are certain benefits to Amazon such as a well-known website and added items on purchases and then there are negatives as well such as low commission and short cookie span. I definitely think you have to choose higher priced items if you want to make decent money from Amazon.
When promoting affiliate offers, just make sure you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions attached to your affiliate program. Some programs can be strict about how they allow you to promote their products. For example, some may limit you to banner ads and links only, while others will allow you to use paid advertising, but won't allow email marketing. 

You can research what affiliate programs are already out there and try to compete with their commission rate. Try to get listed in affiliate marketplaces like ShareASale or CJ. I don’t have experience actually running an affiliate program but I personally look for good commissions and a company with a solid reputation with products that can actually help my readers. Make a list of relevant websites/influences that fall within that criteria and reach out to them about your affiliate program. I know it’s broad advice but that’s why I see other companies do – they often have affiliate managers that are constantly working on business development.
Affiliate marketing is most profitable if you generate your own emailing list using an autoresponder. This involves some initial expenditure, but the rewards of creating a list can make the work well worthwhile. By communicating with your list and providing useful information on your niche you can gain their trust. List members will then be more likely to listen when you recommend certain products to them.
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. 
Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.
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.
To become involved in affiliate marketing you should join a program – try ClickBank to begin with if you are new to affiliate marketing – then advertise products on your website or blog including your affiliate reference in the sales link. Your affiliate program explains how to do this, and most will provide graphics and promotional material to help you sell.
I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like the 34 Facebook polls where they were rated #1. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many get 100+ visitors/day since great content = higher rankings.
One of my websites is now i think 1,5 years old and my sales was 0,00 with the amazon programm, ok. I have to say i put this site on and didn t do anything for the popularity so i think i recept also only 5 visitors from google i think. So this tells us, if you try to earn a little money with your website you need to work very hard and if you also are a little bit lucky, you can earn a good amout of money with your site….
when Chris Guthrie posted on here, I actually didn’t know him, if I would have I would have been awed!! 🙂 I have not put any more effort into my Amazon program, so for me nothing has changed, still very low sales and commissions. But there have been so many good tutorials and plugins for WordPress out lately that I am very tempted to have another good go at it, with a different approach this time. Will let you know if I succeed! 😉
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. 
Otherwise, it’s as easy as adding a link to the video description and asking people to click on it. Coupon codes are a huge bonus (if your affiliate offers this) since often times, you can give people a discount using your custom code, while crediting you the sale, without them even having to click your affiliate link. This results in higher conversions. (Tyler Moore does this).
Many website builders also prefer to use SiteGround, which is known for its efficient system and user-friendliness. When you become a member of this affiliate program, you can earn anywhere from $50 to $125 from each sale. The amount depends on the number of referrals you are abel to make. A notable feature of its affiliate program is that it gives weekly payment. Most other programs have a monthly payment system. It also does not impose any payment threshold. This is a great way to generate earnings more quickly.
Kim, thanks so much for doing so much research for me! 😉 Guess what, after your comment I went and snatched up the domain Sea Decorations.com (would you believe it, it was still available!!!) and I am in the process of installing a new (but much less elaborate) website which I am going to try to get some Adsense earnings with. I do have Market Samurai, too, I just haven’t really used it to its potential yet. After your comment I think it is high time, though!!! Thanks again, Kim. Good luck to you in all you do!
Carly I’m so happy for you! And thankful for all you have done. Your series for the Computer Confused and Tech Troubled really helped me turn things around with getting my blog going. I still got a long way to go, but I’m making progress. It’s so inspiring to see your September income report and that you’re doing something that will allow you to realize your dreams of staying home with your child. I couldn’t be happier for you!
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