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.

If you’re planning on relying on SEO for traffic which most people do, it’s all about finding keywords where people would be interested in purchasing an affiliate product, and analyzing the competition of each of those keywords. Back when I was promoting Genesis themes, I saw hardly any articles about “Genesis eCommerce themes” (when I Googled it) which was a popular keyword. I got myself #1 for it. For SiteGround and StackPath, I saw opportunities to write articles on “settings” for each cache plugin (W3 Total Cache Settings, WP Fastest Cache Settings, WP Super Cache Settings, etc). After researching these keywords I was confident I could write better tutorials that the ones out there.
Hi Petra, I have to agree with the first Chris, Amazon is great when you target a niche where people want to “buy now”. Something like “last minute gifts for …” or similar. One person I know of that has a lot of success with his astore is Darren from “Digital Photography School”, his astore has even a page rank of 4 😉 Have a look at his site to see how he implements amazon products into his site content seamlessly. Another great example on to learn “how they do it” 😉 SY
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site. 
WordPress powers up most of the blogs and websites that you’ll find online today. It’s one of the biggest and most popular content management systems so you really won’t have a hard time getting people to use this program. This makes it a wonderful choice for an affiliate program. This lets you earn up to $300 per each sale that you make. All you have to do is to sign up with its affiliate program, and start promoting WordPress as the top choice for CMS to budding bloggers and website builders.
Wow cool, I’m glad I found this article on your site. I’ve been wanting to get into some affiliate programs, especially a bigger named one like amazon or such. So it sounds like you have a bit of a mixed revue on it. Overall, how does it compare to other affiliate programs available? Personally I’ve always used eBay to buy my stuff. Does eBay have an affiliate program? If it does how would it compare against Amazon’s then? Overall I guess it would depend on what your selling and such. But thanks for the post, I live in the US so hopefully the check fee wouldn’t be a problem.
Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another. 
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!!
BTW, I am ranking for keyword phrases like “Beach Decor”, “Beach Theme Home Decor”, “Gecko Decor” etc, and would have thought that people looking for these things are looking to buy. But they are probably not specific enough yet, they are just browsing….. Could you supply us with a few of your site’s URL’s at all so we can see what your blogs really look like, or is that too much to ask? 😉 I would understand if not…

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!

If you are building a site that has the potential for information that will never age and remain useful for your audience, you have the opportunity to create what is known as evergreen content. It's important to carry out extensive keyword research before planning any evergreen content for a site like this, as your site could hugely benefit from the proper usage of keywords within such content. 
Google Autocomplete – go to google.com, start typing a phrase and look at the dropdown autocomplete results. You can use the underscore character “_” to have Google fill-in-the-blank. Just make sure the last character you type is an underscore. Try using plurals and change the word ordering to see different results. This is how I find 90% of my keywords.

Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.
I absolutely LOVE affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can feel quite passive and it makes location independence and traveling full-time much more enjoyable. You can create just one blog post or social media post, and potentially earn money from it years down the line, as long as you maintain it and keep generating traffic to it. With affiliate marketing, I can enjoy life more and know that I am still able to earn a great living promoting products that I use and enjoy.

Thank you for the detailed article. For me personally is very inmportant the part that explains that is not a get rich quick scheme as many people expect tot get passive income in a week. You basically never start learning but how you said with the step just like building an email list you can get slowly there. How did you get into affiliate marketing for the first time?

For me, the best program at the moment has to be Google Adsense. I make the most money per month with it. Ebay used to be very good but they have done something to their earnings, quite a lot of Affiliates seem to have been hit, and my earnings have dropped considerably (by 2/3rds) in the last three months, compared to what it was towards the end of last year. I have signed up for an Affiliate Program through Art.com just recently, promoting posters and art prints through my Beach Decor website, and I am very happy with it right now – they offer 20% commission which is fantastic, and I have made a few sales already. But obviously this program will only suit certain niches.

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.
Anyway, to make a long story short….in my first 2 years I only made like $5 from Amazon, then I bought this software, used it to find what keywords I should actually be targeting for the topic I was writing about, and I’ve made $101.17 since buying the software 6 weeks ago. And I didn’t change any of the content on my pages, I only changed the titles, descriptions, and tags to match up with keyword phrases that had the least competition and most traffic for the topic/product my page was about.
Most of us would have heard of the Amazon Affiliate Program, maybe you have even joined it and are trying to make some money with it. That’s what we Affiliate Marketers are here for, after all! 😉 And the Amazon Affiliate Program is one of the biggest and most well known affiliate programs out there, next to EBay Partnernetwork, Clickbank, LinkShare and so on.
(Also, did you notice Michelle said you don’t even need to HAVE a blog to be a successful affiliate marketer?! I thought that part was pretty interesting. Meaning affiliate marketing would be a great side income option for anyone who was willing to learn to do it and put the effort into a social media account – like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.)
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