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?

Creating blog content is a very useful and effective way of consistently building content on a site. When creating blog posts, it's a good idea to do some keyword research to figure out what it is that your audience is interested in and searching for online. Also, be sure to research competitors, forums and social media to narrow down on topics for your blog. 
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.
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!
Tiptopcat, I am very grateful for your insight and constructive criticism on my niche sites, and I will gladly take them on board. I actually am not too happy with my Mens Wrist Watches site, I too think it’s somewhat all over the place. I am also thinking about revamping my Beach Decor site. But that is a major project for me, so it might take time. Thanks again though for letting me know what I can improve on.

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.

Petra- your keyword phrase “Beach Decor” can expect to get 374 hits per day for the number 1 spot on Google, but there are 189,000 websites in competition with you (hard to get to #1). But you can get to #1 easier with the keyword phrase “Sea Decorations” and if at #1 you can expect 50 hits/day and only competing with 12,600 other websites. Also “Beach Party Decorations”, #1 Google spot can expect 40 hits/day and competes with 16.200 other websites.
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site. 

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
Once your hosting is set up, you need to install a content management system (CMS) for your site. We recommend WordPress because it is easy to use and a beginner (like you!) can quite quickly figure out how it works. Most good hosting providers will have a one-click install option for WordPress, which means it will only take you a couple of minutes and you will have WordPress installed on your site. 
I joined Amazon affiliate program a few years ago and put links on my blogs and webpages with NO LUCK until I read a few blog posts about how to use a software program called Market Samurari (link above) to determine which keyword phrases have the most traffic and the least competition. They explained that if you are selling something like dog supplies, the #1 listing in google for the search term “pink dog collars” will only get “20” hits per day, while the search term “dog clothes for big dogs” will get “250” hits per day. (just made up examples, not real numbers). While the general term “dog supplies” has WAY TOO MUCH competition for you to even think about getting to the #1 spot on Google (where all the traffic goes). So the software can tell you exactly what keyword phrases you should target to get the most traffic for the niche you are in.

To find a good program, start first with companies that are large and trusted. They generally offer lower commissions, but that is because they actually pay their commissions. Once you know which programs are interesting, scour the web to find out if they actually pay. You don’t want to put in the work, over months usually, just to find out that the company won’t pay. Finally, make sure that the program has a support system in place. The best programs should not only be in touch when you first sign up, they should also email you when you make sales, keep you up to date about earnings, and be available for problem-solving and troubleshooting.
In the past, every affiliate marketing program was a good one. Today, there are a lot of scams and schemes being touted as affiliate marketing. Many times you can make money with these risky programs, but they make it hard by taking large percentages, paying small commissions, and asking for an investment upfront. Ironically, the best affiliate programs that are most likely to make you wealthy are the programs that don’t claim to be able to make you rich.
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.
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.
Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no cost to you. Each year I donate $3,000 to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, 2017 was to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. I try to make my reviews unbiased and backed by evidence in the form of Facebook polls, tweets, and real conversations. If you don’t want to use it, here’s a non-affiliate link to SiteGround. Either way, I suggest doing your research, see who Yoast uses, and results of people who migrated.
Yes, there is an affiliate program for affiliate marketing! One of the best that you’ll find in the market today is Affiliorama. This is a membership site offering premium content about affiliate marketing. When you become an affiliate for this, you can get 50 percent commission for every membership that you’re able to secure. The commission is recurring for as long as the member stays active with the program. Cookie duration is 60 days. You will get paid via PayPal each month.
 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.
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