Amazing and thorough breakdown of how it all works! Thank you so much for sharing! a group of 3 friends myself + 2 are about to start affiliate marketing together. Since many advertising rules have changed with affiliate marketing (facebook ads etc.) and many articles have not been updated since, weʻd love any advice or suggestions you have for 2018!

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!

An affiliate program refers to the arrangement in which a merchant or owner of a product pays a certain amount of commission for the sale generated by an affiliate. The affiliate sets up a website where he/she will post affiliate links that will direct visitors to the merchant’s site so they can make a purchase. Information on commission rates are provided in the program.


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.
The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don't have enough content about a topic, you're not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it's unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you. 
There is a saying across the internet that content is king. At the core of how affiliate marketing works is you providing excellent content that people want and need to read that has attached purchase opportunities to it. It is that simple in theory. Please read our post about how to earn money through affiliate marketing. It will give you information about how to get started.
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!
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.

Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ad will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.

×