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.
To find a good program, start first with companies that are large and trusted. They generally offer lower commissions, but that is because they actually pay their commissions. Once you know which programs are interesting, scour the web to find out if they actually pay. You don’t want to put in the work, over months usually, just to find out that the company won’t pay. Finally, make sure that the program has a support system in place. The best programs should not only be in touch when you first sign up, they should also email you when you make sales, keep you up to date about earnings, and be available for problem-solving and troubleshooting.
The key is to work very hard on your affiliate blog, or for that matter, on your podcast or YouTube channel. While the top 6% of affiliate marketers around the world earn a six-figure income from this business, as someone starting out, you should aim for anything from $10,000 to $25,000 in your first 1 or 2 years in this business. It gets better as you go along and learn precious skills on the job.
Many affiliate marketers use paid advertising to generate additional traffic to their site and drive more sales. Paid advertising on social media is often a good place to start, as these networks tend to be more affordable.You may also want to consider taking out inexpensive banner ads on small niche sites. Depending on your niche, Google AdWords could also be a good option to drive some paid traffic to your site.
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.
Diane, leave valuable comments on other blogs (preferably dofollow and commentluv blogs), become active in forums where you can leave your websites link in your signature, maybe try http://www.linkreferral.com for a while, to get your visitors up. Just keep link building and interacting, and you will get there. But you need to be patient. I wouldn’t buy traffic.
All CPA marketers put their eggs in one basket. I’ve seen plenty of the greats go from zero to hero and vice versa several time in their careers. The smart ones learn to build their own business in the process and pimp their products to CPA newbies (where the real money is). So if your only focus is to make the most money you can I would advise you not to spend it all because that business model won’t last.
The best affiliate marketers don’t do everything on their own. In fact, it is impossible to make good money doing absolutely everything from web design to content creation. You can choose to do one or two things, but remember that your main job is not unlike that of a CEO. You are in charge of coordinating the entire marketing scheme. You need to know and understand the details, but you don’t necessarily have to have your hands on every aspect. Learn how to delegate well because it will become your greatest asset.
John W. Newman is the founder of My Road to Financial Freedom.com and creator of The Residual Profit Secrets "Biz-In-A-Box" System. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, investor, online business mentor, #1 Amazon best-selling author and proud family man! The aim of his business is to empower, inspire and equip people with the money management, mindset and strategies for success. His goal is to help people to create BOTH time and financial freedom, to escape their comfort zones, and live a balanced life with their health, wealth and relationships. He believes this can best be achieved by building a successful online business that will create both the cash flow and the lifestyle, so people can FINALLY live their dream life, WITHOUT the money worries! Join him on your OWN road to financial freedom!  
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ad will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
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