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.

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. 

iPage is another widely used web hosting company. There are many things to love about its affiliate program. Aside from the high commission rates that start at $105 per sale, you’d also get higher conversion rates since its plans are very affordable starting at $1.99 per month. It helps its affiliates make recommendations more easily with the use of promotional tools and banners.
Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don't be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you. 
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of making money in today’s internet connected world. Affiliate marketing is far easier than what a beginner may think. It’s simply a partnership, where you and the business you’re promoting mutually profit one another. In fact, you can earn an extra money and even a full-time income from home.
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!!
Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.
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.
Amazon won’t approve unless you already have 500+ visitors a month on your blog/site? Does that sound right? And it seems they don’t much like competition on your blog/site either. But you can’t get traffic unless you monetize it with adsense or other affiliate programs. The blogger blogs are niche specific and made for getting Amazon products on board… but they aren’t approving because of low traffic, which is counterproductive.
Yes is the short answer. Any time you are planing on generating money, you should have a plan. No plan means no real focus. There may be some 1/1000 percent of a chance you will succeed, but I haven't met them yet. If you have already started and have generated an income, record how. Doing so will give you material for use in expanding your business faster.
Your domain is the address for your website (e.g., www.affilorama.com) so this is the first thing you will need to do when setting up your site. Considering there are millions of websites on the internet, it's possible that the domain name you want may already be taken by someone else. So make sure you have several options in mind. Be sure to read our advice on how to choose a good domain name. 
 Anyone can become an affiliate marketer. It requires little or no start-up costs as you won’t be involved in the creation of the product. You will have nothing to do with the shipping or the customer service, don’t need to buy any inventory, and can instead focus on what you do best – selling the product or service. You may have to spend a little on the web hosting and domain name, but that’s not really much.
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