(Also, did you notice Michelle said you don’t even need to HAVE a blog to be a successful affiliate marketer?! I thought that part was pretty interesting. Meaning affiliate marketing would be a great side income option for anyone who was willing to learn to do it and put the effort into a social media account – like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.)
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.
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?

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.
There is forever a oppourtunity to earn capital through affiliate programs but evaluating the best product that blends our niche is the most complex part. I went through a few of your site and found it enormously delightful. I genuinely think, your blog has helped me a lot to identify the solution behind affiliate programs. I have bookmarked your blog and am following your feeds.
For me, the best program at the moment has to be Google Adsense. I make the most money per month with it. Ebay used to be very good but they have done something to their earnings, quite a lot of Affiliates seem to have been hit, and my earnings have dropped considerably (by 2/3rds) in the last three months, compared to what it was towards the end of last year. I have signed up for an Affiliate Program through Art.com just recently, promoting posters and art prints through my Beach Decor website, and I am very happy with it right now – they offer 20% commission which is fantastic, and I have made a few sales already. But obviously this program will only suit certain niches.
Travelpayouts claims that they are the best travel affiliate program and many people agree. Not only do they offer a wide range of travel services, they also work with other travel affiliate programs such as AirBnb and Booking.com, among many others. And with this one, you can earn up to 80 percent commission. The average however for flights is only 1.6 percent and for hotel bookings 6 percent. Its cookie would remain in the system for up to 30 days.
The key is to work very hard on your affiliate blog, or for that matter, on your podcast or YouTube channel. While the top 6% of affiliate marketers around the world earn a six-figure income from this business, as someone starting out, you should aim for anything from $10,000 to $25,000 in your first 1 or 2 years in this business. It gets better as you go along and learn precious skills on the job.
SEMrush runs an affiliate program called BeRush where you can get big commissions with every commission that you’re able to make. It provides up to 40 percent recurring commission for each sale. This means up to $120 commission. Since the commission is recurring, this means that you will continue to make money as long as the user stays active in the program. Plus, it has 10 years cookie duration. You will receive your payment twice a month via PayPal. There is a payment threshold of $50.
Otherwise, it’s as easy as adding a link to the video description and asking people to click on it. Coupon codes are a huge bonus (if your affiliate offers this) since often times, you can give people a discount using your custom code, while crediting you the sale, without them even having to click your affiliate link. This results in higher conversions. (Tyler Moore does this).
However, here is where many affiliate marketers fail. Just because you advertise a product or service for a company, it does not entice a blog or website visitor to purchase it. You have to usher people to affiliate marketing opportunities.  Not by throwing a random link on a website, but by helping a website visitor understand how a product or service will fulfill a need they have.
On the other hand: the main reason of bankruptcy for small businesses is bad financial management. Simply said: to forget to make invoices, not checking the payments and not following bad payers. 1 out of 3 is going bankrupt for this reason alone. I had to learn it myself. I spend at least 10% of my time with financial stuff. I don’t love it but the bills get payed ;-)
you can advertise via links & banners, widgets and even a so-called “a-store” which is a complete store you can develop to sell products. Have a look at the store I built for my Beach Decor website: Beach Decor Amazon Store You can either integrate the store into your website or you have a stand alone store. Their widgets are great, you can choose between many different ones to suit your site. I personally like the Carousel Widget very much (again, some samples on another site of mine: Mens Casio Watches)

To break down the question “Is affiliate marketing worth the effort?” take a look at the efforts I’ve laid out, and determine for yourself. In order to be successful in affiliate marketing you’ll need to choose a product category to focus on, learn about your audience, build a website or blog audiences can trust, create LOTS of content, and promote your content and your product, and with the right trial and error, you could be well on your way to receiving those commission checks from happy brands earned by referring happy customers. In terms of regular maintenance you will need to keep up with the latest online marketing trends, promote your content regularly, and continue learning about how your product category of choice is developing in today’s modern age in order to remain a trusted resource on your chosen topic.
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