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
Another simple but effective website builder that you should consider becoming an affiliate for is Weebly. This website builder is now being used by more than 40 million people worldwide. This is true even though it’s not as advanced as other website builders. What people love about this one is that its drag and drop interface is very easy to use that even if you have zero knowledge in this field, you will not have a hard time figuring out how this one works. Its affiliate program, which you can find on ShareASale provides 30 percent recurring commissions as long as your referral remains active. Its cookie meanwhile remains for up to 120 days.
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.
Long-Tail Keywords – specific keywords usually with 3-7 individual words in a phrase. They are highly targeted and MUCH easier to rank for than broad keywords (all mine are long-tail). The lower your domain authority (check using OSE), the less competitive (more long-tail) your keywords should be. If you can get more specific and the keyword still shows up in Google Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer and other keyword tools… choose the SPECIFIC one.
I really enjoyed your peek into the affiliate marketing career. You covered areas that a lot of people fail to cover and that was refreshing. I loved that you broke it down into easy to follow steps, so that I the reader could not get lost or confused. The social media and email ideas were different that what I have been seeing and gave me some fresh ideas for my own marketing campaigns. You explained in great detail how the money actually comes which is another thing often skipped when people are new to this. Overall it helped me and gave me great ideas. Some questions, If you had to choose one social media platform to start with what would you recommend? As far as content goes what is a good weekly goal to set that allows you to add content regularly, and gain trust with your readers, but not feel overwhelmed with the writing process? Overall great article and very informative and helpful, I will be checking in for more tips in the future!
Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.
Hi Rob, ebay has an affiliate program, it’s called ebaypartnernetwork and I use it a lot on my two sites. It is making me constant sales, even though it does not amount to all that much, around $50/month. But again it depends on the items you are selling. Mine are in general not that expensive, so I earn less. I find ebaypartnernetwork works better for me than Amazon.
Google Autocomplete – go to google.com, start typing a phrase and look at the dropdown autocomplete results. You can use the underscore character “_” to have Google fill-in-the-blank. Just make sure the last character you type is an underscore. Try using plurals and change the word ordering to see different results. This is how I find 90% of my keywords.

If you are building a site that has the potential for information that will never age and remain useful for your audience, you have the opportunity to create what is known as evergreen content. It's important to carry out extensive keyword research before planning any evergreen content for a site like this, as your site could hugely benefit from the proper usage of keywords within such content. 


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.
Thank you for the detailed article. For me personally is very inmportant the part that explains that is not a get rich quick scheme as many people expect tot get passive income in a week. You basically never start learning but how you said with the step just like building an email list you can get slowly there. How did you get into affiliate marketing for the first time?
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.
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.
Hi. I am a UK resident. I have been trying to find out advice about whether you should register a company for payments through affiliate marketing and if so is it better to set up a as a sole trader or limited company (or equivalent in US). Please could you advise as I can't seem to find out anything about this but when you complete affiliate network profiles they ask for tax details and company names etc. Many thanks

In simple terms, affiliate marketing means selling another person’s or company’s products and services. It’s like a referral service. You set up a website or blog and join affiliate programs that are relevant to your audience. You can connect to these programs through affiliate networks that provide you with a link that you include on your site. When someone clicks the link and purchases the product or service you’re marketing, you receive a percentage of the sale proceeds as a commission. 

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.

First I want to just say well done with what you have accomplished. You have done an amazing job. I’m not really one to post a comment on blogs as I’m sure everyone says. But the thing that struck me the most about you is I can tell your a great individual. You love cats, as my wife and I do. We also have rescue cats. You are a very generous and honest person and that is most likely why you also have done well. Very authentic and honest. I’m in the process of building an affiliate amazon site. So I can relate to the content side of things. I’m already a customer of siteground but If I wasn’t I’d happily sign up through you. I have bookmarked your site as I’d like to come back and read a little more and keep an eye on your progress. Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It’s one of the best blog posts I’ve read. Take care Tom
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
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.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.
In addition would like to share that since 2010 doing affiliate marketing with ClickBank, JVZoo, Warrior Plus and some other networks and have very good experience in the field of Affiliate Marketing. I wrote a post on my blog which topic is “Where To Find The Best Affiliate Programs” which will really help to all readers to more clear this amazing online source of income.
The best affiliate marketers don’t do everything on their own. In fact, it is impossible to make good money doing absolutely everything from web design to content creation. You can choose to do one or two things, but remember that your main job is not unlike that of a CEO. You are in charge of coordinating the entire marketing scheme. You need to know and understand the details, but you don’t necessarily have to have your hands on every aspect. Learn how to delegate well because it will become your greatest asset.
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. 

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. 
The internet offers boundless possibilities for earning a living online. Upwork and Freelancers Union found that 35% of the American workforce was doing some type of freelance work in 2016, and 73% said technology made it easier to find that work. One of the ways to harness the internet as an income source is pursuing affiliate marketing. It’s intended as a way to generate passive income, but does it really work? Let’s consider. 
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