Start your affiliate marketing career by choosing a handful (maybe half a dozen) of products that you are interested in, that you feel you can learn about, and that you can market confidently. If you know a lot about microwave ovens, for instance, then you should look for an affiliate program in that niche and avoid, say, conventional ovens. Of course, that’s a silly example, but the point remains. Focus your efforts on a few great products and a few great websites to promote them.
This is an awesome post, and am very happy to have wandered across it – you really go into detail about your personal experience with Amazon’s program, and it is a hugely helpful story to hear. I’m thinking of monetizing through affiliate links at some point, and hearing about that generally in other blogs is kinda annoying. What I need to hear are specifics, even if the specifics won’t apply to my situation. What I need to hear is how real people actually go about doing something, and your post accomplished that. Bookmarked.
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.
2. Of course, nearly all my readers are using WP so I’m biased. But even so, most successful affiliates use WordPress. There are less restrictions in terms of hosting (site speed), design customizations, plugins, cloaking affiliate links, lots of things. I would setup a free wordpress.com site just so you can play with the dashboard and see how you like it. Who knows, you might find a theme you really like (eg. StudioPress) and want to make the transition. I would at least test it out…it’s better to make the transition earlier than later.
You can research what affiliate programs are already out there and try to compete with their commission rate. Try to get listed in affiliate marketplaces like ShareASale or CJ. I don’t have experience actually running an affiliate program but I personally look for good commissions and a company with a solid reputation with products that can actually help my readers. Make a list of relevant websites/influences that fall within that criteria and reach out to them about your affiliate program. I know it’s broad advice but that’s why I see other companies do – they often have affiliate managers that are constantly working on business development.

If you have built up an email list, you could also promote your affiliate offers via email promotions. Just make sure you build up a relationship with your audience first instead of going for the hard sell straightaway. The emails you send out must contain your affiliate links to products so when your audience click through. the sale is attributed to you. 

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.
Step 3- Do this with many different products so that you have multiple income streams. Is it true that doing more products will make you more money? It wouldnt take long at all to upload the videos and it seems far easier than blogs which are confusing to me. I have never made a website. I think it would be easy but maybe I had a money curse which led to intimidation which always held me back. Now Ive been doing money meditations and raising my frequency and all kinds of new opportunities are coming, so this is one I know people are making a good living with so

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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.
P.S. This post has been optimized for the 3 word keyword phrase xxx – I hope you can guess it! It came up with flying colors when I checked it in Micro Niche Finder so hopefully whenever somebody searches for xxx this post might eventually come up on Page 1 or thereabouts… just to let you know that I always try to optimize my posts for a keyword, and so should you! 🙂
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.
I started out with my Beach Website in February 2008. The site is built around an Amazon Store. The major goal of any website, and especially an affiliate site, is always to get traffic, because the more traffic the more sales, right? So it took quite a few months to get my site up and getting a few customers every day. Which means my earnings weren’t great at all at the beginning. I had months were I earned nothing at all, and others where I made $3, or $6. This started increasing over time, but it fluctuated greatly.
Let’s ask you something, if affiliate marketing is not profitable then why so many people are digging their nose in this. Why the competition is so high these days? It’s simply because they see a lot of money in this business. As a matter of fact affiliate marketing is something in which you can make huge money and even without much investment. We know you may have three queries in your mind:-
Most new affiliate marketers have no problem creating content…. at first. But 6 months in? Hardly anyone makes it that far. The reason is because most people simply don’t like to write as much as they think they do. Once writing becomes a job instead of a hobby, motivation to keep going can easily waver. As an affiliate marketer, you’ll essentially become a full time content creator, and most of that will be in the written form. Can you handle writing 1,000 word articles every single day?
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.
When you check out a Google search engine results page, you will see the organic search results on the left and adverts to the right. Google adverts also appear immediately above the search results, labeled ‘Sponsored’. These adverts are what Google refers to as its AdWords program: pay-per-click (PPC) adverts, where advertisers pay for every click made on the advert. They are listed in order of how much the advertiser offers to pay Google for the click – the more you are willing to pay, the closer to the top of Page #1 of the SERPs your ad will appear.
P.S. This post has been optimized for the 3 word keyword phrase xxx – I hope you can guess it! It came up with flying colors when I checked it in Micro Niche Finder so hopefully whenever somebody searches for xxx this post might eventually come up on Page 1 or thereabouts… just to let you know that I always try to optimize my posts for a keyword, and so should you! 🙂
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
Create custom alerts on your phone for affiliate sales – if you use GMail, go to your settings and create a filter so all emails with “SiteGround Affiliate Sale Generated” in the subject line go into their own folder (tweak the subject line to match whatever email notification your affiliate sends you). Then setup a custom alert on your phone using the GMail app so anytime you generate a sale, you get a custom alert (here’s a tutorial for Android and here’s one for Apple). I have different notifications for SiteGround, StudioPress Themes, etc. Makes your day better :)
To add to what safety flooring put, Amazon affiliate window provides many inexperienced / cash poor entrepreneurs with the chance to get the ball rolling on ecommerce. If you have no money to invest in stock yet you want to develop SEO / website skills, this would be a good place to start. Using Amazon affiliate will enable you to look at things like targetting searches, attaining and converting traffic – the fundamental principles of ecommerce planning, creation & implementation.
Man, Ive been pulling my hair out over not really getting much from my Amazon Affil. based site. Im grateful you put this up about your experience with it. As far as you thinking you aren’t getting much back because you only sell low priced items goes, Im pushing big ticket items and it really isnt much better. Consider how much traffic you need to sell the lower priced stuff and then double or triple it to get a sale on a big ticket item.
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don't be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you. 
With the Cloudways affiliate program, you can get commissions starting at $200 per sale. This popular cloud hosting platform also offers a multi-tiered system. With more affiliates you invite to join the program, the more money you will earn. You will also be given the choice between hybrid commission model and performance based commission model. You need to study the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.
John W. Newman is the founder of My Road to Financial Freedom.com and creator of The Residual Profit Secrets "Biz-In-A-Box" System. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, investor, online business mentor, #1 Amazon best-selling author and proud family man! The aim of his business is to empower, inspire and equip people with the money management, mindset and strategies for success. His goal is to help people to create BOTH time and financial freedom, to escape their comfort zones, and live a balanced life with their health, wealth and relationships. He believes this can best be achieved by building a successful online business that will create both the cash flow and the lifestyle, so people can FINALLY live their dream life, WITHOUT the money worries! Join him on your OWN road to financial freedom!  
There are lots of Amazon affiliates in this space, mostly because it’s a strong hobby (i.e. passion) niche with tons of products. Which is good, since tons of these big stores are very general in nature, making it possible for big outdoors sites to possibly even pick one or two stores to recommend (this, in turn, might have other advantages, too, like negotiating better rates with those brands).
Some people say that getting rich through affiliate marketing is a fantasy. The reality is subtler than that. You won’t get rich if you plan to do next to nothing. If you could do nothing and get rich, everyone would already be wealthy. To make money with affiliate marketing you have to be motivated to work hard. After you establish yourself, which may take years, then you can start to sit back and enjoy the passive income as it flows to your bank account.
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.
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
However, here is where many affiliate marketers fail. Just because you advertise a product or service for a company, it does not entice a blog or website visitor to purchase it. You have to usher people to affiliate marketing opportunities.  Not by throwing a random link on a website, but by helping a website visitor understand how a product or service will fulfill a need they have.
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
Higher plans include more server resources (#1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide). Here’s the full comparison chart, but GrowBig gives you about 2x more server resources than StartUp, and GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting which gives you even more. GrowBig and up comes with a free migration, staging, advanced caching, and ability to host multiple websites. GoGeek comes with priority support. Their cloud hosting is quite the price jump at $80/month.
The affiliate marketing industry is growing steadily. An independent survey commissioned by Rakuten Affiliate Network found that affiliate marketing is set to reach $6.8 billion by 2020. Ninety percent of advertisers included in the survey said that affiliate programs were important or very important to their overall marketing strategy, with the majority of publishers reporting that affiliate partnerships drove more than 20% of annual revenue.
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