Of course you want affiliates with high commissions, but they should also have a solid reputation with high conversions and low reversal rates (you get $0 if people cancel after signing up). If they’re part of an affiliate marketplace like ShareASale or ClickBank you can see some numbers there. Companies likes Amazon/SiteGround are safe bets, otherwise do your research (or track your affiliate links so you can monitor their performance). Avoid affiliates offering huge commissions since this probably means they’re struggling to acquire/retain customers naturally. This will hurt your numbers (specifically your conversions/reversal rates).
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.
Good blog Petra. Internet marketing is hard work and this opportunity is no different. I am generally not keen on joining affiliate programs that don’t pay a minimum of 15% commission. However, like all programs you have to master the different aspects of making money online and that will take more time for some and less time for others. The nice thing is everything is already put together for you. You just have to master all of the different marketing methods and you will make more money as you have done. I am joining the Amazon programme, however it won’t be my main focus of attention because of the low payout and I have other spokes in the fire as an affiliate marketer. I can say what I have learnt in the last 2 months with one of these programs has been incredible to say the least.
when Chris Guthrie posted on here, I actually didn’t know him, if I would have I would have been awed!! 🙂 I have not put any more effort into my Amazon program, so for me nothing has changed, still very low sales and commissions. But there have been so many good tutorials and plugins for WordPress out lately that I am very tempted to have another good go at it, with a different approach this time. Will let you know if I succeed! 😉
This was a wealth of helpful information, thanks. In the first section you described how you found your niche. Any more suggestions on how I would find a niche that would be profitable? I understand you probably want to find something that you can write good content on, but what steps would you take to make sure to validate that it will be a good niche to work on? Thanks for any help Tom.
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.

Put bluntly, if you want to make big money through affiliate marketing (e.g. $500,000 per year like Super Affiliate author Rosalind Gardner), you will have to work hard. Hard work alone won’t cut it though. You need to either be educated in SEO and web design or you need to be smart enough, and simultaneously humble enough, to learn from mistakes and make the most of them. Here is some insight into how others have made good money with affiliate marketing as well as insight into how you can do the same.
Hi there! Thanks so much for this site. I heard about affiliate marketing many years ago but was always intimidated to get started as I did not know where to start. I thought it would be super complicated but after reading yuor blog, you make it sound so easy! I was just wondering if you could tell me if I am correct with my assumption and understanding on how to do this successfully-
Affiliate marketing is most profitable if you generate your own emailing list using an autoresponder. This involves some initial expenditure, but the rewards of creating a list can make the work well worthwhile. By communicating with your list and providing useful information on your niche you can gain their trust. List members will then be more likely to listen when you recommend certain products to them.
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.

Español: iniciar un negocio de marketing de afiliados, Italiano: Iniziare un Business di Affiliato Marketing, Русский: зарабатывать на партнерском маркетинге, Deutsch: Ein Affiliate Marketing Geschäft beginnen, Français: se lancer dans le markéting d'affiliation, Bahasa Indonesia: Memulai Bisnis Pemasaran Afiliasi, Nederlands: Een affiliate marketing bedrijf beginnen, العربية: إنشاء شركة تسويق بالعمولة

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).

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.
The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don't have enough content about a topic, you're not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it's unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you. 
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.

A2 Hosting + HostGator – these affiliates let you create custom coupon codes which is a huge bonus if you’re doing YouTube videos. Tyler’s Moore’s video on how to make a WordPress site has 4.5M+ views and he refers people to HostGator using his coupon code. This means he gets credited for the sale if they use the code (even if they don’t click his affiliate link). If you’re doing YouTube videos, coupon codes can result in a lot more sales than dropping links in video descriptions and hoping people click on it. He’s made a fortune.
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.
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.
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.

You can put up banners on your site, to promote your affiliate offers. Most affiliate programs will usually provide their own creatives when you sign up for their offers. All you have to do is insert the banner on a highly trafficked page (your affiliate tracking is usually embedded within the code). Banner ads in the right locations can do a great job of driving sales.  
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
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.
Affiliate marketing is most profitable if you generate your own emailing list using an autoresponder. This involves some initial expenditure, but the rewards of creating a list can make the work well worthwhile. By communicating with your list and providing useful information on your niche you can gain their trust. List members will then be more likely to listen when you recommend certain products to them.

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
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. 
Yes, affiliate marketing can make you rich. However, most affiliate marketers fails because of one of three reasons: persistence, quality, and ushering. Affiliate marketing can be highly lucrative if done correctly. And the correct way is providing valuable content and information to those you are marketing to. Let’s take a deeper look at what affiliate marketing is and how you can be successful doing it.
I have one affiliate website that I recently launched. SEO hasn't been done yet other than basic stuff. What I need is an expert to look at it and tell me whether I'm on track or need major changes. I don't know if you guys do that here or know of someone who does. (free or for a fee) The site is http://saveongolf.net . It's a site using datafeeds for golf equipment.
If an affiliate changes the terms of its program, your revenues could be directly affected. Choosing the wrong affiliates can also be problematic if your blog or website audience doesn't feel compelled to buy their products or services. With the affiliate-marketing industry experiencing a boom, you’ll also have to contend with competition from other marketers shilling the same affiliate products.
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