You advertise a product on your blog and you get paid whenever somebody purchases. Affiliate commissions can be 50% and over of the sales price for electronically deliverable products (eBooks, software, etc) that have no replacement costs. Physical products can offer 2% commission upwards. It doesn’t sound a lot, but if you sell a $10,000 entertainment system from a click on your site…

Some of the opportunity in this niche is going to be referring people to luxury brands that have higher order values than we might see on Amazon. I can’t disclose the person or the site, but one of my colleagues is in one of these niches and reported significant revenue increases from testing other affiliate programs against Amazon–before Amazongeddon.
You can also have a website promoting multiple CPA and affiliate offers whereas with Google AdSense you are limited to 3 ads. There are better options than AdSense with some people testing Ezoic, media.net, and a few others – there are actually many alternatives to AdWords. There are different types of CPA offers from sites like maxbounty.com, peerfly.com and you can use offervault.com among others to find more offers. Some payout per 1 page submit, some pay per sale, and some pay per call. It depends on the offer. If you are working direct with a company and bypassing the middle man you can get higher payouts and even negotiate a hybrid model where they pay you for the lead as well as a commission on the back-end.
I have never used amazon for its affiliate program but I have heard from many that it’s credible and more rewarding than putting advertisements all over the place. Anyone who is in the affiliate program would certainly be happy to receive those payments from time to time, provided the program really works. I might even change my mind and join the program after reading these reviews. Thanks for the information.
If you’re in the WordPress industry like I am (whether it be design, development, or SEO) I have accumulated quite the list of WordPress affiliate programs. I excluded those I found unsuccessful or pay too little to make a profit from, specifically ThemeForest, Creative Market, and low quality theme stores like Template Monster. Hosting pays well and I wrote a tutorial for SiteGround’s affiliate program and StudioPress themes which are my 2 highest paying affiliates. Those tutorials have tons of screenshots/social proof especially for SiteGround.
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.
I would probably rely mostly on Amazon as an affiliate – talk about products you use while using an affiliate link. You don’t necessarily have to focus your entire content on reviewing products, just mention them in your articles and your experience with them – how they helped you. Amazon is good for obvious reasons – super high conversions and most products already have lots of reviews which is very valuable as an affiliate.
Thanks a million, if you have time, let me know if my 3 step plan is the right way for me to go about this. Or if I am missing anything. It just seems too easy like that….You could make 100 videos promoting 100 products. Would this not work to make a good living? It would not take long at all to do 100 videos and as long as you did all the editing before you upload it, going back to edit it would not be nessecary.
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
Finding a good niche within the hobbies category is a great idea because even though I don’t have many hobbies of my own, there are a lot of hobbies I would have liked to have gotten involved in. So I can sort of experience the hobby vicariously through being an affiliate in that area, learning everything there is to learn about it and sharing that knowledge with others. And if it turns out to be not very lucrative as an affiliate niche, well, at least I will have learned a lot about the hobby! 🙂

Man, Ive been pulling my hair out over not really getting much from my Amazon Affil. based site. Im grateful you put this up about your experience with it. As far as you thinking you aren’t getting much back because you only sell low priced items goes, Im pushing big ticket items and it really isnt much better. Consider how much traffic you need to sell the lower priced stuff and then double or triple it to get a sale on a big ticket item.


I have never used amazon for its affiliate program but I have heard from many that it’s credible and more rewarding than putting advertisements all over the place. Anyone who is in the affiliate program would certainly be happy to receive those payments from time to time, provided the program really works. I might even change my mind and join the program after reading these reviews. Thanks for the information.
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.
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

Thank you so much! You've been an inspiration throughout. The way you wrote about TIWIB, and how they drive insane traffic from social media is mind blowing. I am amazed that even going viral on a social site like pinterest for one day can build our brand identity huge. Am I correct? Now I need to get going with my first affiliate site, come up with a unique idea and learn how to drive traffic from each source. I feel Adsense is not so rewarding.
Hi Petra, I have to agree with the first Chris, Amazon is great when you target a niche where people want to “buy now”. Something like “last minute gifts for …” or similar. One person I know of that has a lot of success with his astore is Darren from “Digital Photography School”, his astore has even a page rank of 4 😉 Have a look at his site to see how he implements amazon products into his site content seamlessly. Another great example on to learn “how they do it” 😉 SY
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 Geoff, nice to hear from you! Sorry about the very late reply – I have not been keeping up with my sites and blogs. Life has become so busy there is hardly any time for what I would like to do any more… Anyway, how did you go with your Christmas toy sales? I headed over to your Squidoo lenses, very well done!! I hope they brought you in a little bit of cash for your efforts. I will try to be in contact via email, too. 🙂
This is an awesome post, and am very happy to have wandered across it – you really go into detail about your personal experience with Amazon’s program, and it is a hugely helpful story to hear. I’m thinking of monetizing through affiliate links at some point, and hearing about that generally in other blogs is kinda annoying. What I need to hear are specifics, even if the specifics won’t apply to my situation. What I need to hear is how real people actually go about doing something, and your post accomplished that. Bookmarked.
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)
Hi, Nice article. I am not sure about the process though. I can understand, finding a niche. But, when it comes to affiliate programs I get a little lost. Would I be promoting someone else's products? If so, no problem. I know I need to research high end products with gravity, are these products ones in certain stores, or companies, etc.?? If so, do I need to get permissions to be on an affiliate program with that company? Also, if it is products with a company, then how do I offer promotions on their products since they are not mine? Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich
This is a very common way to promote offers. For example, you will often see a blog post with links to certain products or services. If the reader clicks through and makes a purchase, the blog owner will make a commission. These in-text links blend in with other content on your site and are a great way of promoting an offer within your content, without being over-the-top salesy with banners. 
But let’s be totally honest for a minute here. There are millions of blogs out there, and a fraction (I dunno, less than 10%?) of bloggers are earning any money at all. And even fewer are earning full time income. The fact that I was able to join the ranks of “the full time income earning bloggers” just 7 months into blogging is sort of unbelievable. (Only, do believe it, because it happened!)
×