This is an awesome post, and am very happy to have wandered across it – you really go into detail about your personal experience with Amazon’s program, and it is a hugely helpful story to hear. I’m thinking of monetizing through affiliate links at some point, and hearing about that generally in other blogs is kinda annoying. What I need to hear are specifics, even if the specifics won’t apply to my situation. What I need to hear is how real people actually go about doing something, and your post accomplished that. Bookmarked.

When you check out a Google search engine results page, you will see the organic search results on the left and adverts to the right. Google adverts also appear immediately above the search results, labeled ‘Sponsored’. These adverts are what Google refers to as its AdWords program: pay-per-click (PPC) adverts, where advertisers pay for every click made on the advert. They are listed in order of how much the advertiser offers to pay Google for the click – the more you are willing to pay, the closer to the top of Page #1 of the SERPs your ad will appear.
Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.
For example, the content on Super Weddings is useful whether you're organizing a wedding today or next year. All the content on the site is created accordingly. To make things easier for the audience, it is separated into categories to make it very convenient for the reader to find what they're looking for. This, of course, is also very good for SEO. 
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.
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!
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of making money in today’s internet connected world. Affiliate marketing is far easier than what a beginner may think. It’s simply a partnership, where you and the business you’re promoting mutually profit one another. In fact, you can earn an extra money and even a full-time income from home.
In Amazons defence, they offer you a near unlimited choice of products to advertise, if you have targeted traffic I think it would be well woth incesting some time in to doing some A/B testing on the products you are advertising, and how you are advertising them. The fact that you are making low sales if you have traffic will be more down to what you are doing than Amazon.

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 :)
First I want to tell you what brought on this post: I received my first check from Amazon in the mail yesterday!!! It was a great feeling, mixed with a bit of a let down, because to bank the check here in Australia it will cost me around $15 AUD, and that hurts, especially because the check is “only” $212.09 USD (The US Dollar and the Australian Dollar are very close in value at the moment).
Start by thinking about your audience. What kinds of products or services are they most interested in? Which products or services are you currently using that you would feel comfortable recommending to your readers? You can add links to any affiliate program to your site, but if you want to market them with authenticity, it’s best to stick to companies with which you already have some kind of connection.
While affiliate marketing does take a lot of effort, the basic skills required are really simple to catch on to, and by learning them, you could start earning real money in a fairly short period of time. If you find a product niche you’re passionate about, you could even earn money by simply expressing your genuine love for a product you believe in, and feel good knowing you’re sharing your experience with others who will love the product as well.
CJ Affiliate – Overstock, GoDaddy, Zappos, Walgreen, Vitamin Shoppe, Verizon Wireless, Under Armour, TurboTax, TJ Maxx, Sears, Samsung, QVC, Priceline, Petco, Old Navy, Office Depot, Office Max, Nike, Newegg, Michael Kors, Intuit, Hotels.com, HelloFresh, Guitar Center, GNC, FedEx Office, AT&T, American Express, Vivid Seats, TeamViewer, Sunglass Hut, Ally Invest, more.
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.

Start your affiliate marketing career by choosing a handful (maybe half a dozen) of products that you are interested in, that you feel you can learn about, and that you can market confidently. If you know a lot about microwave ovens, for instance, then you should look for an affiliate program in that niche and avoid, say, conventional ovens. Of course, that’s a silly example, but the point remains. Focus your efforts on a few great products and a few great websites to promote them.
If your domain is your address, hosting is like the actual house within which your site will live. It's your own little slice of the internet — the place where all your website files live. Hosting is very affordable these days, so don't unnecessarily scrimp on costs. Go with a reputable, reliable provider because your affiliate marketing business depends on it. 
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.
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There is a saying across the internet that content is king. At the core of how affiliate marketing works is you providing excellent content that people want and need to read that has attached purchase opportunities to it. It is that simple in theory. Please read our post about how to earn money through affiliate marketing. It will give you information about how to get started.
Hi Dody! I honestly don’t think that’s a question that can be answered with an one size fits all answer. The best site for affiliate marketing will be based on your niche, what you audience wants and what you are comfortable selling. I know lots of people that RAVE about shareasale.com – I personally haven’t had wild success with them because they don’t offer many products that I personally have found useful / easy to promote on my blog. I would strong suggest taking the making sense of affiliate marketing course – it will clear up any questions you have about affiliate marketing 🙂
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