The affiliate marketing industry is growing steadily. An independent survey commissioned by Rakuten Affiliate Network found that affiliate marketing is set to reach $6.8 billion by 2020. Ninety percent of advertisers included in the survey said that affiliate programs were important or very important to their overall marketing strategy, with the majority of publishers reporting that affiliate partnerships drove more than 20% of annual revenue.

No, this didn’t happen overnight. Yes, I was broke for a couple years while creating content. But it 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 $6,000 to GoFundMe campaigns. I’m a humble dude but in affiliate marketing, the numbers do the talking. So, I want to show you how I did it. Enjoy :-)
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).
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:-
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!
Tiptopcat, I am very grateful for your insight and constructive criticism on my niche sites, and I will gladly take them on board. I actually am not too happy with my Mens Wrist Watches site, I too think it’s somewhat all over the place. I am also thinking about revamping my Beach Decor site. But that is a major project for me, so it might take time. Thanks again though for letting me know what I can improve on.

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!

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!


Affiliate Marketplaces – ShareASale and ClickBank have thousands of merchants to choose from. It’s nice to login to 1 place and check the performance of multiple affiliates without going to each individual portal on each website. Many programs aren’t part of a marketplace though. I’m a big fan of ShareASale – there are so many companies and industries you can choose from.
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.
This was a wealth of helpful information, thanks. In the first section you described how you found your niche. Any more suggestions on how I would find a niche that would be profitable? I understand you probably want to find something that you can write good content on, but what steps would you take to make sure to validate that it will be a good niche to work on? Thanks for any help Tom.

If you want to make real money with affiliate marketing, then set aside the idea that it is a get-rich-quick scheme. Affiliate marketing will only lead to immediate riches if you cheat and that, eventually, can lead to fines or jail time. If you want to make money at affiliate marketing and sustain that income over the years, then you have to do it right and that takes time.
Cooperation with partners always brings positive results, especially when selling goods with minimal expenses. About affiliate marketing, I first found out in Madcash's blog. In which, in a very accessible and understandable form, detailed information is given on how to place advertisements on its website. Money can always be done if all efforts and tools are made to achieve this.
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.
Seb, ebay is definitely worth a look. I am also with ShareASale which has lots of programs with a good commission. This has earned me around $74 last month, and already $10 for this month. An Affiliate Program that has also proven well for me (this one depends on what you are trying to sell though) is Art.com. It has been making me a steady commission since I have joined, on average close to $40 a month. They offer 20% commission on every sale! See whether you can do anything with them…
This was a wealth of helpful information, thanks. In the first section you described how you found your niche. Any more suggestions on how I would find a niche that would be profitable? I understand you probably want to find something that you can write good content on, but what steps would you take to make sure to validate that it will be a good niche to work on? Thanks for any help Tom.
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.
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.  
I joined Amazon affiliate program a few years ago and put links on my blogs and webpages with NO LUCK until I read a few blog posts about how to use a software program called Market Samurari (link above) to determine which keyword phrases have the most traffic and the least competition. They explained that if you are selling something like dog supplies, the #1 listing in google for the search term “pink dog collars” will only get “20” hits per day, while the search term “dog clothes for big dogs” will get “250” hits per day. (just made up examples, not real numbers). While the general term “dog supplies” has WAY TOO MUCH competition for you to even think about getting to the #1 spot on Google (where all the traffic goes). So the software can tell you exactly what keyword phrases you should target to get the most traffic for the niche you are in.
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:-
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.
I have similar experience like most of you do in the beginning for being an Amazon affiliate. However, things have been totally changed in Christmas of 2011. Starting from October, people starting to visit my website and I didn’t know where they came from. Before that , I only got about 6000 visitors in my website but by November and December, people just came to my website like a wave and nothing could stop them. Every day I have 20-30 sells and I have sold more than 200 items in month and some of them were high commission stuffs as well and many people also wanted to rent my website to post a link in there as well. By the end of December, I have more than 120,000 visitors to my website and I have a great year with Amazon and made $128 in November and $613 in December alone. Plus some traffic income from my website, I feel happy with that. Although traffic has been totally drop down after Christmas, but I feel happy with Amazon since it is easy to operate and no headache at all.I am still waiting for my first check to come (60days holding period) but I think it is already a small happy success for me already. I hope I will do better in 2012 Christmas. I didn’t put any effort in the last two years for being an Amazon affiliate but this year, I will do my best. However, it would be nice to have some other affiliate program that will pay much more but with good links and html for their products to paste on the website as well. But good program with all these are not easy to find. Commission Junction, I tried it before but it didn’t work for me but maybe I can try it all over again. As long as you have target traffic for your website, you can try to promote more and different things. The best of all, my website is free and they will pay you for traffic when people just clicked their ads as well. I have a new website on Valentine gift ideas just published with this free website program, you can feel free to take a look if you want to. Anyway, May God bless everyone in 2012.
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. 
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no cost to you. Each year I donate $3,000 to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, 2017 was to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way, I suggest doing your research, see who Yoast uses, and results of people who migrated.
Never use AdSense on your affiliate marketing pages. You will potentially earn much more from a click on an affiliate link than on an advert. If you publish any clickable link on a page also containing a link to an affiliate pre sales or sales page, then you are diluting your potential income from that page. Why pass up the chance of a $47 sale to get a 20 cent click on an AdSense ad? That is not an exaggeration, yet some people do that!
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! 😉
But let’s be totally honest for a minute here. There are millions of blogs out there, and a fraction (I dunno, less than 10%?) of bloggers are earning any money at all. And even fewer are earning full time income. The fact that I was able to join the ranks of “the full time income earning bloggers” just 7 months into blogging is sort of unbelievable. (Only, do believe it, because it happened!)
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