"I have followed Michelle’s blog for years. Her blog posts are incredibly informative and never disappoint. Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing is no different. The detailed strategies she shares in her course can help any blogger implement affiliate marketing. Within two days I received my first ever affiliate sale! From then I was hooked. The Mastermind alone is worth the cost of the course and the immediate access to an affiliate marketing expert is priceless! I highly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing." - McKinzie Bean, Momsmakecents.com
I do recommend brushing up on a few skills, though. Namely, I suggest teaching yourself a little bit about design and how to make a web page look attractive. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it does have to look professional. Wix, Weebly, WordPress, and most other website builders have templates to choose from that will make it attractive and you just have to tweak a few details. Knowing the basics and choosing an easy-to-use website builder will save you the costs of having to hire a designer. Apps like Canva and Fotor can also help you create beautiful images with text and decorative elements, and they're inexpensive, if not free.

Recent corporate changes and folding 2Checkout into a larger company that is involved in payment processing and e-commerce means that the affiliate program can sometimes feel somewhat neglected. But the ability to generate custom coupon codes and the comprehensive knowledge base make 2Checkout a good option for experienced affiliates with an established user base. But if you’re just entering the affiliate field for the first time, 2Checkout might not be where you want to start.
Unlike the other companies mentioned, CJ, provides an advertising platform rather than having involvement with product distribution and customer service. You’ll get your experience instead by dealing directly with the company who’s product you’re promoting, which can be both good and bad. Bad because you may feel overwhelmed with having to deal with the larger companies when issues arise, but good because you also will gain experience with larger corporation affiliate practices, and help you branch out if you choose to do so in the future.
LinkConnector has struggled to stand out from the pack but nonetheless has managed to sign some exclusive deals with big name brands, including Writer’s Digest, the Disney Store, Ironman, Hats.com, and Everly. Their strictly controlled screening process for both merchants/advertisers and affiliates/publishers means that you can always rely on the quality of products on offer.
“I can’t recommend this event more. I came to Affiliate Summit 8 years ago and met somebody who sold their company for $5million. I also met somebody 6 years ago, who I ended doing literally millions of dollars of business with. This event has certainly impacted my life financially plus I've made so many friends and it’s an amazing experience. For those who have never come, you have to come!”
CPA marketing programs pay affiliates when a specific action is taken by the referral or lead. Common actions include clicks, impressions, form submits, sign-ups, registrations, or opt-ins. Since Cost-Per-Action models don’t necessarily involve a direct sale (and involve more risk taking) the payout percentages are far smaller than they are in Cost-Per-Sale.
The terms of agreement. An affiliate website is a valuable property that can be bought and sold. If you decide to sell your business, you need to determine whether or not the terms of agreement are transferable to a new owner. If not, this will affect your valuation. Isabel Isidro, co-founder of PowerHomeBiz, also notes that commission structures may can be changed by advertisers, sometimes without notice. So, finding a reliable program should be a priority.
"Having built a flexible, location independent business that generates massive revenue through affiliate sales, Michelle is a model for having it all. Not only do I follow along for tactical strategies to improve my own affiliate business model, but for inspiration from the fabulous adventure-filled lifestyle her thriving business supports." - Stefanie O'Connell, Millennial Personal Finance Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur, Stefanieoconnell.com

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If your audience is looking to launch an online business, migrate their ecommerce platform, or simply interested in ecommerce content, we encourage you to apply for the BigCommerce affiliate program. Our team will carefully review your application. Once approved, you will receive access to support, tracking, reporting, payments, and have your own unique affiliate link to track every referral you generate. BigCommerce is committed to the success of our affiliate partners.

In 2007, life was pretty good for Pat Flynn. He was a senior drafter in a Bay Area architecture firm, a job that he loved. When the economy slowed in 2008, Pat was laid off and forced to think of another way to make a living. He took his experience of studying for the LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – and launched a blog (GreenExamAcademy.com) that shared his study notes. This lead Pat to publish his first e-book, which resulted in $8,000 of income during its first month. Since then Pat has launched the Smart Passive Income Blog and the popular Smart Passive Podcast.
This is a VERY high quality course with an Instructor who really cares about his students. I learned so much in such a short amount of time and loved that KC covered all bases throughout this course!! I will be giving this oh-so-simple system a go tomorrow and highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an easy way to get in the affiliate game." – Jamie Briggs
And what about joining another company's affiliate program? It's all about extra revenue. Think about your customers' needs: What other products or services would interest your site visitors? Join those affiliate programs. Affiliate programs can increase your sales with no upfront cost to you. It just takes a little time to plan your strategy and select the partners that will have the greatest impact on your business.
You're in the right place. I strongly recommend that you go through our free training courses. While, as this lesson points out, you can market without a website, it's a lot easier to be an affiliate with a great web presence and a website at its heart. Fortunately, the costs for that are minimal. You need a domain (which you can purchase for several years at a time) and hosting (which you can pay yearly or month to month in a lot of cases).
In general, I am more concerned with low competition than traffic volume.  In fact, I set no minimum limit for monthly search volume for the keywords that I found.  So, if the keyword only had a KC score of 25 and was searched for 1,000 times a month…great!  Or if a keyword had a KC of 20 and was only searched for 50 times a month…that's great too!
"Reading Michelle's income reports each month made me realize the huge potential there is to make more money online. Even as a blogger with an established site over 8 years old, I knew that there was so much that I could learn from Michelle because she's had such incredible success! Watching her income climb each month has really motivated me to change up my affiliate strategy and be more intentional with my efforts." - Jessica Bishop, TheBudgetSavvyBride.com
His blog became wildly successful. At roughly the same time, V2 Cigs informed him of their affiliate program where they paid out 50% commissions. That was Henry's "aha" moment. Almost immediately after adding those affiliate links onto his blog, his income exploded. He was making over $30,000 per month and it was passive income. He was on top of the world.
Before you can even think about starting your first affiliate marketing website, you need to know what your website is going to be about in the first place. What topic(s) are you going to cover? What services will you promote and sell on your site? For those looking for advanced training on this, you can sign up for a high-quality training course like this one. Otherwise, here is a good video explaining how to find a good affiliate marketing niche:
Ask for VIP (sometimes called “tiered”) commissions. Many affiliate programs have different commission levels. Usually the standard commission level is made public, but higher commissions are offered to higher performing affiliates. Sometimes you may be bumped up to “VIP affiliate” status by the advertiser, but most times you have to ask if there’s a higher tier and how you can get there.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products. This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the amount of commissions you make and create a steadier revenue stream for your website. 
If you have built up an email list, you could also promote your affiliate offers via email promotions. Just make sure you build up a relationship with your audience first instead of going for the hard sell straightaway. The emails you send out must contain your affiliate links to products so when your audience click through. the sale is attributed to you. 
We have “Carefully” scoured through ALOT of the “Affiliate Networks” in hopes of adding the right content for our visitors. The trueth is; whether it be the least popular networks OR the top notch programs, they each have various conditions which will screw you from generating revenue. Adding their links and promoting their advertisers is nothing more than a waste of YOUR time and YOUR webspace if you don’t get paid to have them there sooo, don’t get in a hurry to join any affiliate programs until you read through their “Terms & Conditions” thoroughly and completely!

Thank you for a very straightforward introduction to the world of Affiliate Marketing. I’m looking forward to the journey and just starting out. For me, I’m just as enthusiastic about the challenge of gaining success for its own sake, as the financial rewards it may hopefully bestow on me. There are so many variables involved and putting the whole thing together feels like attempting a 40,000-piece jigsaw puzzle with a hangover.
Know when to wait. Some affiliate programs require a certain level of traffic, subscribers, etc. If that’s the case, I say it’s better to wait to apply for that program instead of applying and hoping for the best. You risk being labelled the person who can’t follow guidelines and you might also risk not be allowed into the program when you do meet the qualifications.
Affiliate marketing is one way to make money online for those who want to derive an income from their web use. An affiliate marketer promotes specific products or websites in exchange for a cut of the profits or commissions from the web traffic she generates. Any time the recommendation/web traffic from an internet affiliate leads to a sale, the affiliate earns money. In other words, the products or services are provided by others, while you provide a sales or marketing outlet. While there are no successful get-rich-quick schemes, many people have found success doing internet marketing as an affiliate. Learning how to work as a successful affiliate marketer can help you determine whether a career in this potentially lucrative field might be right for you.

Take advantage of affiliate program freebies when available. Many affiliate programs provide free printables, guides, webinars or other lead magnets designed to get potential customers in their sales funnel. As an affiliate, you can share these freebies with your audience using your affiliate link so if they eventually make a purchase, you’ll earn a commission, but if they don’t they still get value upfront.
Education occurs most often in "real life" by becoming involved and learning the details as time progresses. Although there are several books on the topic, some so-called "how-to" or "silver bullet" books instruct readers to manipulate holes in the Google algorithm, which can quickly become out of date,[37] or suggest strategies no longer endorsed or permitted by advertisers.[38]
In short, you must create excellent content, which will drive high quality traffic to your site from free search engines, at which point you can “pre-sell” those visitors by giving them so much awesome information that when you make a product or service recommendation, they are happy to buy. THAT is when you can monetize. I highly recommend you read this full article on the CTPM process as I use this process for ALL of my affiliate marketing websites.
Affiliate marketing is an area that even the most seasoned bloggers can improve upon. Plus, most bloggers aren't making anywhere near the amount of affiliate income that they should be and are leaving money on the table. If you want to grow your affiliate income, there are numerous tips and strategies that I share in Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them. 
If you’re primarily going to be promoting Amazon products it’s important to choose a set of products that has a relatively high price point. After all, it’s hard to make a solid income off of promoting $1-5 products, since the commission on Amazon is so low. Items that have a higher price point, like high end appliances, furniture, BBQs, blenders and juicers, or bikes can net you over $50 a sale at least.
This is an older site (2003) with some heavy domain authority. That explains the crazy amount of content this site contains. It’s helpful though when you have 350+ employees. This isn’t a small enterprise, and they still utilize the Amazon Affiliate network to monetize their site. They use long and wordy articles to review products, maximizing the SEO of each page. The biggest difference from this site and others, is the amount of digital content these guys review. Their digital content ranges from Antivirus Software to Credit Card processing. This isn’t a typical Amazon product, but digital content can earn affiliate commissions through other sources than Amazon. Amazon is a great resource to monetize your site, but it’s definitely not the only way.
Always make affiliate links nofollow. Google’s goal is to provide its users with the best possible search results to their search queries. One of the main ways they figure out which webpages are the best is through links. The Google bots crawl the web, reading text. When they come to a link, it’s like an open door. They follow the link (walk through the door) and explore the site you linked to.
Hi Jamie! Thank you for the great information. I just learned about affiliate marketing last week. The source however, is an older couple who work for World Wide Dreams Builders (WWDB). So, basically Amway. After researching a bit. I have no interest in WWDB and. (It sounds like years of recruiting people with minimal payout) Though, I am highly intrigued by e-commerce and affiliate marketing. Before your post the company I recognized was Amazon. Can you please tell me if that will be the best 1st step. I am currently an unemployed student Veteran. So plan to fully emerge into this business regime and would greatly appreciate your advice on this!!!
Just have one link in the description, and possibly one over the video if it’s extremely relevant (such as a product review video). If you want to be especially careful, note somewhere that you’re an affiliate or that the link is an affiliate link, and contact YouTube to check that you’ll be in the clear. If your videos have value for the viewer, and that stands out more than your money making efforts, this shouldn’t be a problem. 
FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.

Will my target audience realistically buy this now, or at a different time? Be sensitive to sales cycles and seasons. Maybe you should avoid holidays (when people are away from their computers, like July 4 in the U.S.) or maybe you should target holidays (like the day after Thanksgiving), but know the difference. Again, know your audience. Plan your content accordingly.


Internet Retailer Top 500 merchant, JanSport, partnered with Rakuten Marketing on a series of cross-channel marketing campaigns promoting the launch of its Disney Collection, which features popular Disney characters on JanSport apparel and accessories. The campaigns, executed across search, display and affiliate strategies, leveraged valuable consumer data and insights to focus on shoppers who expressed the most interest in Disney themed products.
This is an interesting style review website that reads more like a magazine than a review site. This definitely helps give it some more credit than throwing a up a bunch of products and hoping people read them. It’s interesting that it takes a different approach, rather than writing long content, it focuses on a clean layout and video reviews to show people the product they’re testing, racking in 2.3 million monthly viewers. This is incredibly valuable for people willing to buy, but want to see the product in a video demo before purchasing. Now compare this site to what the site looked like in 2008 (here).
When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.
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