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.
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.

Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.
A2 Hosting + HostGator – these affiliates let you create custom coupon codes which is a huge bonus if you’re doing YouTube videos. Tyler’s Moore’s video on how to make a WordPress site has 4.5M+ views and he refers people to HostGator using his coupon code. This means he gets credited for the sale if they use the code (even if they don’t click his affiliate link). If you’re doing YouTube videos, coupon codes can result in a lot more sales than dropping links in video descriptions and hoping people click on it. He’s made a fortune.

The products and services you will be promoting to your audience must be relevant and good quality. Make sure you believe in them and know everything about them, because this will be crucial to you delivering the sales pitch to your audience. You need to build trust with your audience so make sure the products and services you choose to promote are trustworthy enough. 

Thank you so much! You've been an inspiration throughout. The way you wrote about TIWIB, and how they drive insane traffic from social media is mind blowing. I am amazed that even going viral on a social site like pinterest for one day can build our brand identity huge. Am I correct? Now I need to get going with my first affiliate site, come up with a unique idea and learn how to drive traffic from each source. I feel Adsense is not so rewarding.
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.

SEO: getting consistent traffic by writing AWESOME content about your keywords (there’s a phrase “length is strength” in SEO and this paid off big time for me). Maybe you’re doing videos or an eCourse, but I found blog posts WAY easier to update which means less maintenance. The biggest factor by FAR was the time I spent meticulously creating my tutorials… which eventually resulted in a sudden 3x increase in SEO traffic


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Next, you’ll want to target that audience and figure out what type of information they are searching for in the search engines. In order to attract the audiences most likely to be interested in your information and buy the products you’re marketing, you’ll want to entice and interest them, and figure out what type of content is best for doing just that. The single best method of attracting highly targeted and ready-to-buy visitors to your website is using the C–>T–>P–>M strategy I outline here.


To break down the question “Is affiliate marketing worth the effort?” take a look at the efforts I’ve laid out, and determine for yourself. In order to be successful in affiliate marketing you’ll need to choose a product category to focus on, learn about your audience, build a website or blog audiences can trust, create LOTS of content, and promote your content and your product, and with the right trial and error, you could be well on your way to receiving those commission checks from happy brands earned by referring happy customers. In terms of regular maintenance you will need to keep up with the latest online marketing trends, promote your content regularly, and continue learning about how your product category of choice is developing in today’s modern age in order to remain a trusted resource on your chosen topic.
Next, research individual affiliate programs to compare their structure. You want to consider factors such as how much the commission is and how often the affiliate pays. Also, make sure you understand what rules, if any, a company imposes for being a part of its affiliate program. Additionally, you're likely to make more money with affiliate marketing content that is similar to your own.
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.
You will make an excellent passive income for as long as you want in this line of work. In fact, you will even make money on your old blog posts written years ago, depending on the quality and relevance of your content. Your business will always stay open, and you will have cash flowing into your bank account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even when you’re asleep or off on a vacation.
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