Put bluntly, if you want to make big money through affiliate marketing (e.g. $500,000 per year like Super Affiliate author Rosalind Gardner), you will have to work hard. Hard work alone won’t cut it though. You need to either be educated in SEO and web design or you need to be smart enough, and simultaneously humble enough, to learn from mistakes and make the most of them. Here is some insight into how others have made good money with affiliate marketing as well as insight into how you can do the same.

Petra, I’m in Perth, WA and have been feeling quite similar disappointment about Amazon’s associate program. 7 or 8 years into it and I still haven’t reached the $100 payment threshold! I’ve been selling books but believe big earners are selling items like plasma TV sets. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve made hundreds of thousands selling digital, software products via ClickBank and via HD Publishing so I’m experienced. Everything depends on 1. Targeted Traffic; and 2. Conversion. Whatever you focus on tends to enlarge and improve, with feedback, so I’ve just neglected the Amazon neck of the woods. But it must take immense traffic to do well there. Supermarket level traffic?

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.

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.
There are so many high paying affiliate programs that can help you succeed as an affiliate marketer. But of course, it’s never wise to solely base your decision on the earnings you will make, you also have to consider other factors such as your own expertise and interest, and your target audience. You cannot recommend SEO programs if you know nothing about SEO and if your blog does not have anything to do about it. Remember that you need to set up your affiliate website for long-term success.  
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 higher commissions with SiteGround, but it paid off long-term.

Get specific. Just because a niche may seem very competitive, you can get more specific in any niche and discover gold minds. Let’s go back to the cat blog example. Instead of operating a “cat blog” you may instead have a “Bengal Cat” blog. This is more specific and would have less competition than a cat blog. Word to the wise, never go so specific that you have no one looking for that type of information. Find the right balance.
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!!

The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don't have enough content about a topic, you're not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it's unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you. 
Another top paying affiliate program is the one run by WP Engine. This company provides a highly efficient web hosting platform with different packages. Its commission rates start at $200 per sale. And it has a multi-tiered rewarding system. For example, if you are able to make five sales, you earn $100 but if you generate 10 sales, you are given a bigger commission of $250. It also has a program in which you earn extra money from the referrals of people who you invited to sign up as affiliates. You’ll also be glad to know that its cookies last for up to 180 days. The only drawback you have to be aware of is the product’s expensive cost, which does have an effect on the conversion rate.
Put bluntly, if you want to make big money through affiliate marketing (e.g. $500,000 per year like Super Affiliate author Rosalind Gardner), you will have to work hard. Hard work alone won’t cut it though. You need to either be educated in SEO and web design or you need to be smart enough, and simultaneously humble enough, to learn from mistakes and make the most of them. Here is some insight into how others have made good money with affiliate marketing as well as insight into how you can do the same.
Good review, Petra! One tip that I would add is that the Amazon Affiliate program (there’s another keyword repetition for you 😉 tends to work really well around Christmas time — even though Amazon’s commissions are small, people tend to be buying a lot of gifts at the same time, so if you can get them to click through your site you can end up getting credit for a lot of purchases!
Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.
Who doesn’t know about Expedia? This travel brand is known to have affiliates that get access to more than 250,000 hotels and accommodations. It runs 150 websites in more than 70 countries all over the world. It is also known to have one of the highest paying affiliate programs today. It only offers 6 percent commission rates but since the conversion rates are quite high you can expect big earnings when you become an affiliate for this company.
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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.
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.
If you follow the proven methods I’ve used to build my affiliate marketing business, you’ll spend the vast majority of your time WRITING. My business is all about creating content, content, and more content. Are there other ways of succeeding at affiliate marketing? Certainly, but I find that content marketing is by far the single most profitable method of affiliate marketing.
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!
P.S. This post has been optimized for the 3 word keyword phrase xxx – I hope you can guess it! It came up with flying colors when I checked it in Micro Niche Finder so hopefully whenever somebody searches for xxx this post might eventually come up on Page 1 or thereabouts… just to let you know that I always try to optimize my posts for a keyword, and so should you! 🙂
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 higher commissions with SiteGround, but it paid off long-term.
But the biggest factor that determines how much money you will make, is joining a training program that will help you success. It is very hard to expect success right away if you are a beginner and all alone. The best program that offers you the information, help, tools and support to succeed is Wealthy Affiliates. Some Wealthy Affiliate members are already making over $8000 a month after only 6 months of being a member.
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