The internet offers boundless possibilities for earning a living online. Upwork and Freelancers Union found that 35% of the American workforce was doing some type of freelance work in 2016, and 73% said technology made it easier to find that work. One of the ways to harness the internet as an income source is pursuing affiliate marketing. It’s intended as a way to generate passive income, but does it really work? Let’s consider. 

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.


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.
Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.
The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.
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.
So, affiliate marketing vs. AdSense: which is more profitable? Both are profitable if applied correctly, but generally, affiliate marketing is best if you want to build a long-term business online. AdSense is good if you want to make some residual cash from your website or blog. It is not a full-time business model, and many who try to make it so went too far and lost their accounts forever.
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.
I am new to all this. I saw that Chris Guthrie posted quite a while back on here. Did you change any of your strategies based on his blog? How are your amazon sales going these days? So far, all I have on my site is amazon. I also was curious, I understand Google looks at load time and I had 2 amazon widgets on my sidebar that took a long time to load, I recently removed those, hoping it will help my rankings, which need alot of help! :o) Looking forward to hearing how things are working for you these days.
Sign up, the process is pretty straight forward. If you live in the US you can apply to the Amazon affiliate program, unless you are a resident of Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina or Rhode Island. Sorry if you are in one of these states, due to tax laws they have been “banned” from the program. If you happen to live in one of these states, don’t worry there are other programs that you can promote Wal-Mart is just one example. Click here to get general affiliate marketing training. 

Be sure to check what kind of customer support you can expect from your affiliate program once you have signed up. Do your research online and if possible, speak to other sellers using the program to get their thoughts. Can you speak to someone via phone or Skype or do you have to wait 72 hours for email responses? Be clear on this because trust me, you will need support at one point or another. 
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.
These ideas opened my mind. I am looking to try affiliate marketing for a long-time, but stuck on adsense. I am now looking to decide a niche for affiliate, I know how to SEO sites to rank high. I have a question; how do we decide the best niche/sub-niche based on competition? Because SEO is the only method I can rank my sites, and bring traffic, and if there is less competition on top, then only we can rank the sites. How do we know which site has less competition/good traffic? and could you suggest some niches which match this criterion?

WordPress powers up most of the blogs and websites that you’ll find online today. It’s one of the biggest and most popular content management systems so you really won’t have a hard time getting people to use this program. This makes it a wonderful choice for an affiliate program. This lets you earn up to $300 per each sale that you make. All you have to do is to sign up with its affiliate program, and start promoting WordPress as the top choice for CMS to budding bloggers and website builders.


The affiliate marketing industry is growing steadily. An independent survey commissioned by Rakuten Affiliate Network found that affiliate marketing is set to reach $6.8 billion by 2020. Ninety percent of advertisers included in the survey said that affiliate programs were important or very important to their overall marketing strategy, with the majority of publishers reporting that affiliate partnerships drove more than 20% of annual revenue.

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.

So, each year he spent as a corporate drone was getting harder and harder for him. Maybe it was the routine; maybe it was the fatigue caused by the constant pressure of overworking and chasing deadlines. The bottom line was that it was time to do something about it. Finally, he took a gap year that has now lasted two years already and is unlikely to end anytime soon.


At the time, I had a ton of people reaching out wanting to hire me (I ranked my self #1 in Google for WordPress SEO Consultant, WordPress SEO Expert, many other good keywords). Unfortunately I struggled with basic things you need to run a service-based business… keeping track of clients, time management, and making sure I was charging clients for my time (and getting them to create content which often seemed impossible).
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
To find a good program, start first with companies that are large and trusted. They generally offer lower commissions, but that is because they actually pay their commissions. Once you know which programs are interesting, scour the web to find out if they actually pay. You don’t want to put in the work, over months usually, just to find out that the company won’t pay. Finally, make sure that the program has a support system in place. The best programs should not only be in touch when you first sign up, they should also email you when you make sales, keep you up to date about earnings, and be available for problem-solving and troubleshooting.
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. 
John W. Newman is the founder of My Road to Financial Freedom.com and creator of The Residual Profit Secrets "Biz-In-A-Box" System. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, investor, online business mentor, #1 Amazon best-selling author and proud family man! The aim of his business is to empower, inspire and equip people with the money management, mindset and strategies for success. His goal is to help people to create BOTH time and financial freedom, to escape their comfort zones, and live a balanced life with their health, wealth and relationships. He believes this can best be achieved by building a successful online business that will create both the cash flow and the lifestyle, so people can FINALLY live their dream life, WITHOUT the money worries! Join him on your OWN road to financial freedom!  
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.
Сотрудничество с партнерами всегда приносит положительные результаты, особенно при продаже товаров с минимальными затратами.О партнерском маркетинге я впервые узнал в блоге Madcash.В котором в очень доступной и понятной форме дается подробная информация о том, как разместить рекламу на своем веб-сайте.Деньги всегда могут быть сделаны, если все усилия и инструменты для достижения этой цели.
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.”

That is the 1st car I have EVER purchased myself at age 29 (I was broke until then and leased from my parents). But the time committed to affiliate marketing and creating great tutorials and YouTube videos was worth it… I work for myself, there is virtually no limit on how much I can make, my schedule is flexible, and I collect enough passive income to live the life I want.


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
Step 3- Do this with many different products so that you have multiple income streams. Is it true that doing more products will make you more money? It wouldnt take long at all to upload the videos and it seems far easier than blogs which are confusing to me. I have never made a website. I think it would be easy but maybe I had a money curse which led to intimidation which always held me back. Now Ive been doing money meditations and raising my frequency and all kinds of new opportunities are coming, so this is one I know people are making a good living with so
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.
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. 
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I agree with you that the most important thing you can do at the start of your affiliate marketing career is to work out your WHY? Affiliate marketing is actually hard, hard work – especially in the beginning when you have no traffic and no followers. If you can’t figure out why you should be spending hour after hour on this “hobby” then it will never grow into a full-time income producing business. There is lots of great advice here for people getting started and people looking to get extra sales and give their career the extra boost they are searching for. Cheers
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.
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.
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.
Travelpayouts claims that they are the best travel affiliate program and many people agree. Not only do they offer a wide range of travel services, they also work with other travel affiliate programs such as AirBnb and Booking.com, among many others. And with this one, you can earn up to 80 percent commission. The average however for flights is only 1.6 percent and for hotel bookings 6 percent. Its cookie would remain in the system for up to 30 days.
One of the most well-known ecommerce platforms today is BigCommerce. It boasts of having more than 60,000 active merchants. Many prefer this platform because of its superior functionality and countless features. It also has an affiliate program that offers big commission rates of up to 200 percent of the plan. This lets you earn anywhere from $60 to $1,500 per each sale that you’re able to secure. Its cookies last for 30 days, and it provides you not only with text affiliate links but also with banners, content and SEO advice and so on.
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.
SEO: getting consistent traffic by writing AWESOME content about your keywords (there’s a phrase “length is strength” in SEO and this paid off big time for me). Maybe you’re doing videos or an eCourse, but I found blog posts WAY easier to update which means less maintenance. The biggest factor by FAR was the time I spent meticulously creating my tutorials… which eventually resulted in a sudden 3x increase in SEO traffic
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