If you’re planning on relying on SEO for traffic which most people do, it’s all about finding keywords where people would be interested in purchasing an affiliate product, and analyzing the competition of each of those keywords. Back when I was promoting Genesis themes, I saw hardly any articles about “Genesis eCommerce themes” (when I Googled it) which was a popular keyword. I got myself #1 for it. For SiteGround and StackPath, I saw opportunities to write articles on “settings” for each cache plugin (W3 Total Cache Settings, WP Fastest Cache Settings, WP Super Cache Settings, etc). After researching these keywords I was confident I could write better tutorials that the ones out there.

Start your affiliate marketing career by choosing a handful (maybe half a dozen) of products that you are interested in, that you feel you can learn about, and that you can market confidently. If you know a lot about microwave ovens, for instance, then you should look for an affiliate program in that niche and avoid, say, conventional ovens. Of course, that’s a silly example, but the point remains. Focus your efforts on a few great products and a few great websites to promote them.
*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.
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.

An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there's a lot of competition so you're not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.
If you’re asking, “how much do affiliate marketers make” – well, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner makes over $50,000 / month from affiliate marketing. She is her own boss, and lives the dream life (on the road) with her hubby. She’s recently released a course on affiliate marketing, right from the what-it-is to the how-to-do-it (legally) – and the results her students (like me) have seen so far have been incredible.
Who doesn’t know about Expedia? This travel brand is known to have affiliates that get access to more than 250,000 hotels and accommodations. It runs 150 websites in more than 70 countries all over the world. It is also known to have one of the highest paying affiliate programs today. It only offers 6 percent commission rates but since the conversion rates are quite high you can expect big earnings when you become an affiliate for this company.
Wow cool, I’m glad I found this article on your site. I’ve been wanting to get into some affiliate programs, especially a bigger named one like amazon or such. So it sounds like you have a bit of a mixed revue on it. Overall, how does it compare to other affiliate programs available? Personally I’ve always used eBay to buy my stuff. Does eBay have an affiliate program? If it does how would it compare against Amazon’s then? Overall I guess it would depend on what your selling and such. But thanks for the post, I live in the US so hopefully the check fee wouldn’t be a problem.

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. 
Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular of them all. I don’t participate myself (yet) but the majority of affiliate marketers I know use Amazon because… it’s Amazon. You can review products you have used or write tutorials (eg. how to connect computer to TV) and drop an affiliate link to an HDMI cable… just a couple examples. You may want to build relationships with the manufacturers so you can get products before they’re released – giving you time to create a review before the product is launched and capture sales during peak buying times.
Let’s ask you something, if affiliate marketing is not profitable then why so many people are digging their nose in this. Why the competition is so high these days? It’s simply because they see a lot of money in this business. As a matter of fact affiliate marketing is something in which you can make huge money and even without much investment. We know you may have three queries in your mind:-
I am a member of quit a few affiliate programs, and I must say the I find Amazon the easiest and most convent program to navigate. They give affiliates a lot of choose in how one uses their products. To promote the commission may be low in comparison to other affiliate programs but the name Amazon does sell when you stay with them. I am happy to be an affiliate for Amazon.
I do make a small commission on some of the products and services that I use and recommend through affiliate relationships with those merchants. Before making any purchase you should always rely on your own judgement and do your own due diligence. The results you get will be entirely based on your own experience and skill set. Never, EVER purchase anything that you cannot afford. Avoid purchasing products that do not have a clearly stated Guarantee, or that promise ridiculous results, like "Getting Rich Quick". There is no guarantee that you will have the same success with any of the products or services recommended. Most people don't do anything with the products they buy, and most of the time, their results are zero! My results aren't typical because I'm not typical ;-)
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.
Hi Oli, I think with Amazon you just have to pick products that have quite a high price from the start. Me with my beach decor site, most home decor items are fairly cheap to buy, so the commission is not that great. You either have to sell heaps of cheaper products (which is very hard) or some expensive products (which I am not sure will be easy, either).
If your domain is your address, hosting is like the actual house within which your site will live. It's your own little slice of the internet — the place where all your website files live. Hosting is very affordable these days, so don't unnecessarily scrimp on costs. Go with a reputable, reliable provider because your affiliate marketing business depends on it. 
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 ;-)
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.
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.
Many website builders also prefer to use SiteGround, which is known for its efficient system and user-friendliness. When you become a member of this affiliate program, you can earn anywhere from $50 to $125 from each sale. The amount depends on the number of referrals you are abel to make. A notable feature of its affiliate program is that it gives weekly payment. Most other programs have a monthly payment system. It also does not impose any payment threshold. This is a great way to generate earnings more quickly.
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.
The second reason that niche topics will bring you more money is because competition is less fierce. Rather than compete against dozens or even hundreds of other marketers, you’ll only have to compete with a handful. In fact, you may not even compete with the other marketers at all. They may become your friends because you share similar interests. Together you will tackle the market to make even more money.
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-
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.
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