It is very easy to fall foul of Google’s Terms of Service and have your AdSense account suspended. This means terminated, because the huge majority are terminated for life. Competitors can bomb your pages with clicks which Google will regard as suspicious clicking activity – this results in termination of your account. Almost nobody gets their account reinstated.
The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them. 
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
Many affiliate programs will often run promotions with good discounts or giveaways that might be attractive to your audience. For example, if you're an Amazon Associate and the site have a big Holiday Sale, it would be the perfect opportunity for you to promote discounts to your website visitors. This is a great way to promote your offers while also providing good value to your audience. 
I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like the 34 Facebook polls where they were rated #1. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many get 100+ visitors/day since great content = higher rankings.
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.
BTW, I am ranking for keyword phrases like “Beach Decor”, “Beach Theme Home Decor”, “Gecko Decor” etc, and would have thought that people looking for these things are looking to buy. But they are probably not specific enough yet, they are just browsing….. Could you supply us with a few of your site’s URL’s at all so we can see what your blogs really look like, or is that too much to ask? 😉 I would understand if not…

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
While I was doing WordPress speed optimization I noticed lots of people needed it, but very few people supplied it (there were a lack of services and tutorials when I researched Google). I also knew hosting was the #1 factor of website speed factor and these companies paid up to $200/sale. Hosting is a competitive space but the commissions and lack of supply enticed me.
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

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!


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.

Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
The products and services you will be promoting to your audience must be relevant and good quality. Make sure you believe in them and know everything about them, because this will be crucial to you delivering the sales pitch to your audience. You need to build trust with your audience so make sure the products and services you choose to promote are trustworthy enough. 
One of my websites is now i think 1,5 years old and my sales was 0,00 with the amazon programm, ok. I have to say i put this site on and didn t do anything for the popularity so i think i recept also only 5 visitors from google i think. So this tells us, if you try to earn a little money with your website you need to work very hard and if you also are a little bit lucky, you can earn a good amout of money with your site….
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
If you follow the proven methods I’ve used to build my affiliate marketing business, you’ll spend the vast majority of your time WRITING. My business is all about creating content, content, and more content. Are there other ways of succeeding at affiliate marketing? Certainly, but I find that content marketing is by far the single most profitable method of affiliate marketing.
Carly I’m so happy for you! And thankful for all you have done. Your series for the Computer Confused and Tech Troubled really helped me turn things around with getting my blog going. I still got a long way to go, but I’m making progress. It’s so inspiring to see your September income report and that you’re doing something that will allow you to realize your dreams of staying home with your child. I couldn’t be happier for you!

Giving away a free informational product such as an e-book, an email series or a mini-course is a popular tactic many affiliate marketers use. Usually, your readers will have to provide their email addresses to receive the product from you. You can then use this to sell to them via email marketing. Additionally, an informational product can generate interest in the actual product you're trying to sell. If your product is popular enough and brings enough traffic to your site, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways, such as AdSense.


iPage is another widely used web hosting company. There are many things to love about its affiliate program. Aside from the high commission rates that start at $105 per sale, you’d also get higher conversion rates since its plans are very affordable starting at $1.99 per month. It helps its affiliates make recommendations more easily with the use of promotional tools and banners.

*Affiliate Disclaimer: While we receive affiliate compensation for reviews/promotions on this page, we always offer an honest opinion, relevant experiences and genuine views related to the product or service itself. Our goal is to help you make the best purchasing decisions, however, the views and opinions expressed are ours only. As always you should do your own due diligence to verify any claims, results and statistics before making any kind of purchase. Clicking links or purchasing products recommended on this page may generate income for this website from affiliate commissions and you should assume we are compensated for any purchases you make.
Of course, you can place advertising links on your social networking pages, this will also be affiliate marketing. But in each case you will coordinate your actions with the advertiser. Whether such variant will arrange it. Some require only placing affiliate links on personal sites. Still, I advise you to create your own site. This is a good prospect for future earnings.
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
To become involved in affiliate marketing you should join a program – try ClickBank to begin with if you are new to affiliate marketing – then advertise products on your website or blog including your affiliate reference in the sales link. Your affiliate program explains how to do this, and most will provide graphics and promotional material to help you sell.
Another top paying affiliate program is the one run by WP Engine. This company provides a highly efficient web hosting platform with different packages. Its commission rates start at $200 per sale. And it has a multi-tiered rewarding system. For example, if you are able to make five sales, you earn $100 but if you generate 10 sales, you are given a bigger commission of $250. It also has a program in which you earn extra money from the referrals of people who you invited to sign up as affiliates. You’ll also be glad to know that its cookies last for up to 180 days. The only drawback you have to be aware of is the product’s expensive cost, which does have an effect on the conversion rate.
Petra, I’m in Perth, WA and have been feeling quite similar disappointment about Amazon’s associate program. 7 or 8 years into it and I still haven’t reached the $100 payment threshold! I’ve been selling books but believe big earners are selling items like plasma TV sets. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve made hundreds of thousands selling digital, software products via ClickBank and via HD Publishing so I’m experienced. Everything depends on 1. Targeted Traffic; and 2. Conversion. Whatever you focus on tends to enlarge and improve, with feedback, so I’ve just neglected the Amazon neck of the woods. But it must take immense traffic to do well there. Supermarket level traffic?

So pleased I came across your Website.I enjoyed reading your tutorial. A total comprehensive read which has motivated me to crack on with building my website (18 months young)with Siteground as my host. I have recently signed up to be an affiliate with Siteground as I am a happy customer.I am in the process of writing about my experience with such a great host. I haven’t paid much attention to my website but I have some content with a focus on Health and Wellbeing healthy eating and good nutrition, mind, body and wellness.I would love some guidance on how to target this market as an affiliate; promoting and reviewing products My target audience is women of Reproductive age.


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.
In this Amazon Niche Case Study, I’m trying to stay as transparent as I can. I share income numbers and traffic numbers. I also share my methods to get the shared results. You might have read some income reports on other blogs talking about the total income the site or the blogger makes. In this case, … Continue reading Case Study with Income Report
Never use AdSense on your affiliate marketing pages. You will potentially earn much more from a click on an affiliate link than on an advert. If you publish any clickable link on a page also containing a link to an affiliate pre sales or sales page, then you are diluting your potential income from that page. Why pass up the chance of a $47 sale to get a 20 cent click on an AdSense ad? That is not an exaggeration, yet some people do that!
Another top choice when it comes to email marketing solutions, AWeber is currently being used by millions of online users and online marketers all over the world. It started back in 1998, and is now one of the oldest and most effective email marketing companies. The affiliate program that it runs provides up to 30 percent recurring commissions. The higher the price plan is, the higher the recurring commission is. You’ll also be glad to know that its cookie lasts for 365 days. It means that if a user clicks anytime within the year, the sale will still be credited to you. This is one of the affiliate programs with the longest cookie durations.
Many affiliate marketers use paid advertising to generate additional traffic to their site and drive more sales. Paid advertising on social media is often a good place to start, as these networks tend to be more affordable.You may also want to consider taking out inexpensive banner ads on small niche sites. Depending on your niche, Google AdWords could also be a good option to drive some paid traffic to your site.

Great post and right on target. I found that if you blog and/or do videos that sharing little stories will help connect you to potential leads. I do how-to videos and posts and I always tell personal stories or my own experiences that relate to the subject. It works and I get personal messages from people about it. It makes you more real and down to earth in the viewer's eyes. Once they like you and trust you they will become a lead and hopefully a sale. They may very well become a regular buyer because you will be their go to person. For best results it's best to blog daily and do at least one video a day.


Find your passion. Think about what you are really great at doing. Maybe you are an artist by trade or by hobby. That is the niche you want to select. Why? Affiliate marketing niches work for YOU when you are able to create blog or website that you can actually write great content about. You should only select niches to market in that you have some expertise with. If you are not certain what you might have an expertise in, check out our blog post about finding your passions. It may help you choose one to four niches that are a match. And the third piece of if affiliate marketing can make your rich is persistence. Doing marketing in a niche that you have passion about will make you more persistent in going after this. That persistence will allow you to stay engaged. Affiliate marketing is a long game, with high possible pay off.
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.
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