In August of 2011, I started my personal finance blog with the hopes of teaching people how to save money after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. Due to that website, I became extremely interested in personal finance blogs, and my interest in blogging just grew from there. Before August of 2011, I didn’t even know that blogs existed. I didn’t know what they were, I didn’t know that they could make money, or anything like that.


It is very easy to fall foul of Google’s Terms of Service and have your AdSense account suspended. This means terminated, because the huge majority are terminated for life. Competitors can bomb your pages with clicks which Google will regard as suspicious clicking activity – this results in termination of your account. Almost nobody gets their account reinstated.
I’m actually going through setting up a few different sites that are only going to be monetized with Amazon. There are certain benefits to Amazon such as a well-known website and added items on purchases and then there are negatives as well such as low commission and short cookie span. I definitely think you have to choose higher priced items if you want to make decent money from Amazon.

Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks

I had a chance of looking at how much some CPA marketers are earning. My jaws hit the floor. How can anyone make 32k in a day? It is not some Photoshop screenshot but the CPA company interface allows earning shouts which is drawn live from the system and displayed on a live chat. That’s where I saw those big figures. Remember I said 32k in a day not in a month. Now that is insane. This gives you some idea how: http://x.co/9RnqK
So, each year he spent as a corporate drone was getting harder and harder for him. Maybe it was the routine; maybe it was the fatigue caused by the constant pressure of overworking and chasing deadlines. The bottom line was that it was time to do something about it. Finally, he took a gap year that has now lasted two years already and is unlikely to end anytime soon.

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.


These ideas opened my mind. I am looking to try affiliate marketing for a long-time, but stuck on adsense. I am now looking to decide a niche for affiliate, I know how to SEO sites to rank high. I have a question; how do we decide the best niche/sub-niche based on competition? Because SEO is the only method I can rank my sites, and bring traffic, and if there is less competition on top, then only we can rank the sites. How do we know which site has less competition/good traffic? and could you suggest some niches which match this criterion?
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!
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.
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Good blog Petra. Internet marketing is hard work and this opportunity is no different. I am generally not keen on joining affiliate programs that don’t pay a minimum of 15% commission. However, like all programs you have to master the different aspects of making money online and that will take more time for some and less time for others. The nice thing is everything is already put together for you. You just have to master all of the different marketing methods and you will make more money as you have done. I am joining the Amazon programme, however it won’t be my main focus of attention because of the low payout and I have other spokes in the fire as an affiliate marketer. I can say what I have learnt in the last 2 months with one of these programs has been incredible to say the least.

Target 1-2 Keywords Per Article – until you can successfully rank for 1 keyword for an article, don’t try targeting 2. Once you get the hang of it and are ready to write an article around 2, choose a secondary keyword that is a synonym of your primary keyword. An example would be “Slow WordPress Site” and “Why Is WordPress Slow.” Then craft your article title/SEO title/meta description to mention individual words of each – while making them read nicely.
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.

Travelpayouts claims that they are the best travel affiliate program and many people agree. Not only do they offer a wide range of travel services, they also work with other travel affiliate programs such as AirBnb and Booking.com, among many others. And with this one, you can earn up to 80 percent commission. The average however for flights is only 1.6 percent and for hotel bookings 6 percent. Its cookie would remain in the system for up to 30 days.

If you love to travel, it’d be a good idea to set up a travel blog or website where you can promote travel agencies and other travel websites such as the TripAdvisor. This world famous travel website is primarily known for its online reviews, but it is also a platform that can be used for booking hotels, restaurants and tour packages. If you become an affiliate for this website, you can earn up to 50 percent of the sale. Cookie duration, however, lasts only for 14 days. Nevertheless, it is the top option for affiliates in the travel niche.


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.

If your domain is your address, hosting is like the actual house within which your site will live. It's your own little slice of the internet — the place where all your website files live. Hosting is very affordable these days, so don't unnecessarily scrimp on costs. Go with a reputable, reliable provider because your affiliate marketing business depends on it. 


Hi there! Thanks so much for this site. I heard about affiliate marketing many years ago but was always intimidated to get started as I did not know where to start. I thought it would be super complicated but after reading yuor blog, you make it sound so easy! I was just wondering if you could tell me if I am correct with my assumption and understanding on how to do this successfully-
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.
So, affiliate marketing vs. AdSense: which is more profitable? Both are profitable if applied correctly, but generally, affiliate marketing is best if you want to build a long-term business online. AdSense is good if you want to make some residual cash from your website or blog. It is not a full-time business model, and many who try to make it so went too far and lost their accounts forever.
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.
Another simple but effective website builder that you should consider becoming an affiliate for is Weebly. This website builder is now being used by more than 40 million people worldwide. This is true even though it’s not as advanced as other website builders. What people love about this one is that its drag and drop interface is very easy to use that even if you have zero knowledge in this field, you will not have a hard time figuring out how this one works. Its affiliate program, which you can find on ShareASale provides 30 percent recurring commissions as long as your referral remains active. Its cookie meanwhile remains for up to 120 days.
I have never used amazon for its affiliate program but I have heard from many that it’s credible and more rewarding than putting advertisements all over the place. Anyone who is in the affiliate program would certainly be happy to receive those payments from time to time, provided the program really works. I might even change my mind and join the program after reading these reviews. Thanks for the information.
I have had two Amazon stores (on two separate sites) since early 2008 and to date I have not made enough for a payout – I’m about half way there. The referral fee is so low, it drives me crazy. I get a lot of traffic and my sites have the potential for high-end items, but the items offered through Amazon in my niche are lower end and therefore lower priced. I utilize a few widgets on other websites, but again the same issue. Amazon is my least favorite affiliate program due to their low referral fees, but still worth it. After all, any earning in excess of my expenses is worth it.
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.
StackPath – CDN with 31 additional data centers (Cloudflare has 150+ data centers, but more data centers = faster content delivery). I get around $1,000/month by referring people to StackPath in my cache plugin tutorials. StackPath recently bought MaxCDN and their affiliate acceptance rate is much lower (depends on your potential volume) but most cache plugins converted to StackPath as their recommended CDN

Without doubt that was by far the best summary of “Greatest Tips” I have read to date. It is so confusing out there…I want to help my son who struggles with cranky bossy managers to empowering him and havening him live life on his terms. I know affiliate marketing is the way out but where to start?? Do we set up on Shopify and offer other people’s products? Do we set up a blog with a few good links? Do you go to clickbank and peddle the China trinkets etc? Its a tough one to sort but this tutorial was an easy to understand read and you have my word that any of the hosting or other services offered I will use your affiliate link to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your mistakes. Sincerest thanks Tom!
First I want to just say well done with what you have accomplished. You have done an amazing job. I’m not really one to post a comment on blogs as I’m sure everyone says. But the thing that struck me the most about you is I can tell your a great individual. You love cats, as my wife and I do. We also have rescue cats. You are a very generous and honest person and that is most likely why you also have done well. Very authentic and honest. I’m in the process of building an affiliate amazon site. So I can relate to the content side of things. I’m already a customer of siteground but If I wasn’t I’d happily sign up through you. I have bookmarked your site as I’d like to come back and read a little more and keep an eye on your progress. Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It’s one of the best blog posts I’ve read. Take care Tom

If you love to travel, it’d be a good idea to set up a travel blog or website where you can promote travel agencies and other travel websites such as the TripAdvisor. This world famous travel website is primarily known for its online reviews, but it is also a platform that can be used for booking hotels, restaurants and tour packages. If you become an affiliate for this website, you can earn up to 50 percent of the sale. Cookie duration, however, lasts only for 14 days. Nevertheless, it is the top option for affiliates in the travel niche.


Of course you want affiliates with high commissions, but they should also have a solid reputation with high conversions and low reversal rates (you get $0 if people cancel after signing up). If they’re part of an affiliate marketplace like ShareASale or ClickBank you can see some numbers there. Companies likes Amazon/SiteGround are safe bets, otherwise do your research (or track your affiliate links so you can monitor their performance). Avoid affiliates offering huge commissions since this probably means they’re struggling to acquire/retain customers naturally. This will hurt your numbers (specifically your conversions/reversal rates).
(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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