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.
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.
But let’s be totally honest for a minute here. There are millions of blogs out there, and a fraction (I dunno, less than 10%?) of bloggers are earning any money at all. And even fewer are earning full time income. The fact that I was able to join the ranks of “the full time income earning bloggers” just 7 months into blogging is sort of unbelievable. (Only, do believe it, because it happened!)
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).

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.


The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.

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.

Hi Petra, I am writing to thank you for this article which I read a while back. So far I have been at affiliate marketing and trying to find niche markets etc. for more than three months now. It is a struggle but I am enjoying the challenge. Anyway I finally made some money. $11.85 to be precise on Amazon. I couldn’t believe it, I had pretty well given up expecting to make even $1.00. The one disappointment with them is that they charge $15.00 if I want a cheque because I live in Canada. If I want a gift certificate, no problem, no charge. By the way I seem to remember reading in one of your posts about backlinks for .14 cents a link minimum $5.00 I think. I have hunted for the post but it eludes me. Can you give me that posts URL please, if it’s not too much trouble? Thanks again
Rebecca, it’s really up to you. The problem with NOT waiting is that some programs can kick you out if you aren’t making sales, so double-check the company you are an affiliate for. It’s probably better to focus your time on what is going to give you the best ROI. Newer bloggers try to do allthethings which sometimes backfires because you spread yourself too thin. Basically, there is not cut and dry answer regarding whether you should wait. It’s going to be dependent on individual factors related to YOUR blog. Good luck!!
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.
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!
I have had two Amazon stores (on two separate sites) since early 2008 and to date I have not made enough for a payout – I’m about half way there. The referral fee is so low, it drives me crazy. I get a lot of traffic and my sites have the potential for high-end items, but the items offered through Amazon in my niche are lower end and therefore lower priced. I utilize a few widgets on other websites, but again the same issue. Amazon is my least favorite affiliate program due to their low referral fees, but still worth it. After all, any earning in excess of my expenses is worth it.

Hi Petra, Perth calling! I joined Howie’s Apprentice 6 affil.training course and lo & behold our task is to sell a child’s Christmas toy using Amazon affiliate program! I now think there’s a lot in there.. tons of resources and tools. I also made web pages for iPod Touch and iPad mobile devices via Amazon becoz you need: 1. high demand, 2. higher price ticket, so as to get a reasonable payout from Amazon. So I’m positive about the program. Still yet to reach their payment threshold but it’s worth persevering eh? GD. Perth
I have had two Amazon stores (on two separate sites) since early 2008 and to date I have not made enough for a payout – I’m about half way there. The referral fee is so low, it drives me crazy. I get a lot of traffic and my sites have the potential for high-end items, but the items offered through Amazon in my niche are lower end and therefore lower priced. I utilize a few widgets on other websites, but again the same issue. Amazon is my least favorite affiliate program due to their low referral fees, but still worth it. After all, any earning in excess of my expenses is worth it.
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
This is such an important post. I used Amazon Affiliate program and find it really works. I’ve been doing this stuff for years and I do things in a certain way to get best results. And i believe this is indeed a topic which has been ignored by many experts & professionals. You have done a great job by bringing this topic into light. I hope quality discussions follow this post. Great job.
hello Stuart, i must confess that you've been fantastic here with all your posts and i want to say here and now that I've learned a lot, but my problem is that i don't know the one to go for now, I'm confused i want to make my full time living online but i don't know were to start from. pls i need an online business model that will make money and last forever with a low start up budget. your advice is highly needed please.
I had a chance of looking at how much some CPA marketers are earning. My jaws hit the floor. How can anyone make 32k in a day? It is not some Photoshop screenshot but the CPA company interface allows earning shouts which is drawn live from the system and displayed on a live chat. That’s where I saw those big figures. Remember I said 32k in a day not in a month. Now that is insane. This gives you some idea how: http://x.co/9RnqK
×