Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.
I’ve slowly, but steadily, been building small niche websites that focus on products from Amazon and take advantage of Amazon aStore. Melissa and Doug Puppets is one such site, along with Popular Video Games and Small Bathroom Vanities. For this year alone, I’ve already made over $200 in affiliate commissions and adsense earnings at Small Bathroom Vanities – not bad for the cost of a domain name and hosting. And the cost of hosting becomes less of a cost burden with all of the additional sites you build!
“ShareASale is solid. Been using them since 2013. Biggest problems with them is the interface is a little dated / wonky. It’s also difficult to deal directly with the advertisers. You think you’re speaking to an advertiser rep, but it’s really just someone from SAS. You have to use a special (hard to find) contact form to contact the advertiser….and it’s rare you get a direct response from them.”
If you want to make real money with affiliate marketing, then set aside the idea that it is a get-rich-quick scheme. Affiliate marketing will only lead to immediate riches if you cheat and that, eventually, can lead to fines or jail time. If you want to make money at affiliate marketing and sustain that income over the years, then you have to do it right and that takes time.
People often make the mistake of thinking that they need to go big or go home. The truth is that you need to be good at whatever you choose to do and niche markets make it easier for you to focus and hone your skills. Don’t try to tackle all of sporting equipment, for instance. Focus instead on the one or two sports about which you are passionate. In short, pick a niche and develop a deep knowledge about it.

My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1, along with a few Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or Facebook polls, you NEED to include outside opinions – that’s why I don’t like collecting reviews on my website – they look biased. But you can use WP Review Pro to do this, allowing people to review the product/service on your site and get those review stars.
I agree with you that the most important thing you can do at the start of your affiliate marketing career is to work out your WHY? Affiliate marketing is actually hard, hard work – especially in the beginning when you have no traffic and no followers. If you can’t figure out why you should be spending hour after hour on this “hobby” then it will never grow into a full-time income producing business. There is lots of great advice here for people getting started and people looking to get extra sales and give their career the extra boost they are searching for. Cheers
 Anyone can become an affiliate marketer. It requires little or no start-up costs as you won’t be involved in the creation of the product. You will have nothing to do with the shipping or the customer service, don’t need to buy any inventory, and can instead focus on what you do best – selling the product or service. You may have to spend a little on the web hosting and domain name, but that’s not really much.
I would have one partner create a separate page/contact form specifically for the advertiser – so only people who see that contact form are people who were referred to by the advertiser. The advertiser would use that page as their outbound link. I know you can track outbound clicks in Google Analytics events and Contact Form conversions (usually through most contact form plugins) but that is the best way I think. Never done it, but this is how I see most affiliate programs like that work.
Yes is the short answer. Any time you are planing on generating money, you should have a plan. No plan means no real focus. There may be some 1/1000 percent of a chance you will succeed, but I haven't met them yet. If you have already started and have generated an income, record how. Doing so will give you material for use in expanding your business faster.
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
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