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.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
I basically write tutorials on how to make your website load faster while saying “hosting is the #1 factor of website speed and SiteGround was rated the #1 host in 34 Facebook polls. They’re also used by Yoast, recommended by WordPress, and they will migrate you for free. Many people have already migrated to SiteGround and posted faster load times on Twitter.”
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.
While affiliate marketing does take a lot of effort, the basic skills required are really simple to catch on to, and by learning them, you could start earning real money in a fairly short period of time. If you find a product niche you’re passionate about, you could even earn money by simply expressing your genuine love for a product you believe in, and feel good knowing you’re sharing your experience with others who will love the product as well.
When it comes to email marketing, experts almost always recommend the use of GetResponse. This email marketing automation tool also runs a high paying affiliate program that provides recurring commissions. It provides up to 33 percent of recurring commission for each plan. This means that you get to earn monthly as long as the user remains active using this tool. If you are able to secure the Enterprise plan sale, you earn up to $400. Cookie duration is 120 days, and you will receive your payments via PayPal.
When promoting affiliate offers, just make sure you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions attached to your affiliate program. Some programs can be strict about how they allow you to promote their products. For example, some may limit you to banner ads and links only, while others will allow you to use paid advertising, but won't allow email marketing. 
Next, you’ll want to target that audience and figure out what type of information they are searching for in the search engines. In order to attract the audiences most likely to be interested in your information and buy the products you’re marketing, you’ll want to entice and interest them, and figure out what type of content is best for doing just that. The single best method of attracting highly targeted and ready-to-buy visitors to your website is using the C–>T–>P–>M strategy I outline here.
Without doubt that was by far the best summary of “Greatest Tips” I have read to date. It is so confusing out there…I want to help my son who struggles with cranky bossy managers to empowering him and havening him live life on his terms. I know affiliate marketing is the way out but where to start?? Do we set up on Shopify and offer other people’s products? Do we set up a blog with a few good links? Do you go to clickbank and peddle the China trinkets etc? Its a tough one to sort but this tutorial was an easy to understand read and you have my word that any of the hosting or other services offered I will use your affiliate link to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your mistakes. Sincerest thanks Tom!

SEMrush runs an affiliate program called BeRush where you can get big commissions with every commission that you’re able to make. It provides up to 40 percent recurring commission for each sale. This means up to $120 commission. Since the commission is recurring, this means that you will continue to make money as long as the user stays active in the program. Plus, it has 10 years cookie duration. You will receive your payment twice a month via PayPal. There is a payment threshold of $50.

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)
Good review, Petra! One tip that I would add is that the Amazon Affiliate program (there’s another keyword repetition for you 😉 tends to work really well around Christmas time — even though Amazon’s commissions are small, people tend to be buying a lot of gifts at the same time, so if you can get them to click through your site you can end up getting credit for a lot of purchases!

The area that really breathes life into the “Is affiliate marketing worth the effort?” question is trial and error. Successful affiliate marketing will take quite a bit of it, and you shouldn’t expect to build your website one day, and be flooded with commissions from sales the next. This is where many people give up on affiliate marketing, and get the wrong impression that just because success isn’t instant, it must not be for them. You’re not going to hit every mark from the get-go, and you’re going to need to look at your statistics to see what’s working and what’s not in terms of attracting audiences and turning their visits into new sales.
One of my websites is now i think 1,5 years old and my sales was 0,00 with the amazon programm, ok. I have to say i put this site on and didn t do anything for the popularity so i think i recept also only 5 visitors from google i think. So this tells us, if you try to earn a little money with your website you need to work very hard and if you also are a little bit lucky, you can earn a good amout of money with your site….
All CPA marketers put their eggs in one basket. I’ve seen plenty of the greats go from zero to hero and vice versa several time in their careers. The smart ones learn to build their own business in the process and pimp their products to CPA newbies (where the real money is). So if your only focus is to make the most money you can I would advise you not to spend it all because that business model won’t last.
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