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.
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.
So, use Google Autocomplete and other keyword research tools to find opportunities to sell affiliate products (or more so, help people find a solution), and see what’s out there. Analyze the top results and learn your competition. I spend many hours searching for “good” keywords so I can write articles that would not only rank well, but also convert since these people are looking for solutions on making their website faster.

Affiliate marketing will give the better opportunity to make the most money. AdSense will make you smaller amounts of cash regularly with very little maintenance. However, it needs a fair amount of traffic to be really profitable, while you can use a mailing list to sell your affiliate products. You can build up a large list over time, even with a small amount of daily traffic.


(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.)
Diane, leave valuable comments on other blogs (preferably dofollow and commentluv blogs), become active in forums where you can leave your websites link in your signature, maybe try http://www.linkreferral.com for a while, to get your visitors up. Just keep link building and interacting, and you will get there. But you need to be patient. I wouldn’t buy traffic.
If you’re asking, “how much do affiliate marketers make” – well, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner makes over $50,000 / month from affiliate marketing. She is her own boss, and lives the dream life (on the road) with her hubby. She’s recently released a course on affiliate marketing, right from the what-it-is to the how-to-do-it (legally) – and the results her students (like me) have seen so far have been incredible.

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!
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-
In Amazons defence, they offer you a near unlimited choice of products to advertise, if you have targeted traffic I think it would be well woth incesting some time in to doing some A/B testing on the products you are advertising, and how you are advertising them. The fact that you are making low sales if you have traffic will be more down to what you are doing than Amazon.
Hi TOM, I have really enjoyed your shared nice piece of content with us. ..Actually, I am thinking to design and develop a mobile comparison website but you know, it’s not an easy job to collect mobiles data. A lot of time and cost is required to build such a website and I don’t want to spend a lot of money as I am new in this field. My colleague has recommended me RevGlue for this purpose as this a UK based registered company and are providing mobiles and its deals data for the UK only with the name of RevEmbed technology as I have read its blog revglue.com/blog-detail/13-setup-free-uk-mobile-comparison-website but I am the little bit confused as its a newborn company. Anyone, have experience with RevGlue. Guide me in this respect. Waiting for your kind response. Thanks in advance.
Long-Tail Keywords – specific keywords usually with 3-7 individual words in a phrase. They are highly targeted and MUCH easier to rank for than broad keywords (all mine are long-tail). The lower your domain authority (check using OSE), the less competitive (more long-tail) your keywords should be. If you can get more specific and the keyword still shows up in Google Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer and other keyword tools… choose the SPECIFIC one.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.
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.
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
While your site is still new, it's a good idea to start capitalizing on someone else's audience. Continue focusing on building your own content, but also considering writing content for a few big, high-traffic blogs that are relevant for your niche. By writing content for a bigger site, you are able to get in front of another audience and showcase your expertise on a particular topic. This will eventually lead to more traffic to your site, as well. 
I agree with it- sort of. I believe that in order to become a successful blogger, that you need to be passionate about your blog. Whether that means that you are passionate about what you’re writing about, you’re passionate about helping people, that you just love blogging, etc., I believe that blogging is a business that needs to be enjoyed. I believe this because there is a LOT that goes into blogging, and it’s not always easy. It’s a continually growing process and a person needs to always be on their toes in order to succeed.
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