Find your passion. Think about what you are really great at doing. Maybe you are an artist by trade or by hobby. That is the niche you want to select. Why? Affiliate marketing niches work for YOU when you are able to create blog or website that you can actually write great content about. You should only select niches to market in that you have some expertise with. If you are not certain what you might have an expertise in, check out our blog post about finding your passions. It may help you choose one to four niches that are a match. And the third piece of if affiliate marketing can make your rich is persistence. Doing marketing in a niche that you have passion about will make you more persistent in going after this. That persistence will allow you to stay engaged. Affiliate marketing is a long game, with high possible pay off.

Seb, ebay is definitely worth a look. I am also with ShareASale which has lots of programs with a good commission. This has earned me around $74 last month, and already $10 for this month. An Affiliate Program that has also proven well for me (this one depends on what you are trying to sell though) is Art.com. It has been making me a steady commission since I have joined, on average close to $40 a month. They offer 20% commission on every sale! See whether you can do anything with them…


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 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.
Thank you – Danke! Yes, it takes a lot of hard work and patience to be successful. You need to put in all the ground work to get your site on page 1 of Google for your keywords to get a fair amount of visitors. Once you are there, you can earn a regular stream of income. But you also have to keep at it, don’t relax for too long, because Google might just take you off page 1 again, and then you are back to square one.

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.


Diane, leave valuable comments on other blogs (preferably dofollow and commentluv blogs), become active in forums where you can leave your websites link in your signature, maybe try http://www.linkreferral.com for a while, to get your visitors up. Just keep link building and interacting, and you will get there. But you need to be patient. I wouldn’t buy traffic.
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.
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.
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?
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
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. 
Thank you for the detailed article. For me personally is very inmportant the part that explains that is not a get rich quick scheme as many people expect tot get passive income in a week. You basically never start learning but how you said with the step just like building an email list you can get slowly there. How did you get into affiliate marketing for the first time?
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.
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 this Amazon Niche Case Study, I’m trying to stay as transparent as I can. I share income numbers and traffic numbers. I also share my methods to get the shared results. You might have read some income reports on other blogs talking about the total income the site or the blogger makes. In this case, … Continue reading Case Study with Income Report
I have similar experience like most of you do in the beginning for being an Amazon affiliate. However, things have been totally changed in Christmas of 2011. Starting from October, people starting to visit my website and I didn’t know where they came from. Before that , I only got about 6000 visitors in my website but by November and December, people just came to my website like a wave and nothing could stop them. Every day I have 20-30 sells and I have sold more than 200 items in month and some of them were high commission stuffs as well and many people also wanted to rent my website to post a link in there as well. By the end of December, I have more than 120,000 visitors to my website and I have a great year with Amazon and made $128 in November and $613 in December alone. Plus some traffic income from my website, I feel happy with that. Although traffic has been totally drop down after Christmas, but I feel happy with Amazon since it is easy to operate and no headache at all.I am still waiting for my first check to come (60days holding period) but I think it is already a small happy success for me already. I hope I will do better in 2012 Christmas. I didn’t put any effort in the last two years for being an Amazon affiliate but this year, I will do my best. However, it would be nice to have some other affiliate program that will pay much more but with good links and html for their products to paste on the website as well. But good program with all these are not easy to find. Commission Junction, I tried it before but it didn’t work for me but maybe I can try it all over again. As long as you have target traffic for your website, you can try to promote more and different things. The best of all, my website is free and they will pay you for traffic when people just clicked their ads as well. I have a new website on Valentine gift ideas just published with this free website program, you can feel free to take a look if you want to. Anyway, May God bless everyone in 2012.
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. 
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!!
In the past, every affiliate marketing program was a good one. Today, there are a lot of scams and schemes being touted as affiliate marketing. Many times you can make money with these risky programs, but they make it hard by taking large percentages, paying small commissions, and asking for an investment upfront. Ironically, the best affiliate programs that are most likely to make you wealthy are the programs that don’t claim to be able to make you rich.
If that’s all you’re aiming for, then you shouldn’t have any problems. As long as you choose a market with enough consumer interest. The poll represents mostly CPA arbitrage affiliates. To earn the big money, paid traffic is your best friend. But yes, $1000/day is a pretty standard target for CPA affs. You have to set your targets high because the business is so volatile.
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