The key things you want to look for are ease-of-use (especially if you don’t know how to run a web server), good customer service (you’ll need it at some point), and simple WordPress installation. You should also consider price. When you set up your first affiliate marketing website, you don’t need some crazy hosting plan. You just need something basic and cheap until you start making some money, then you can upgrade if needed.
As search engines have become more prominent, some affiliate marketers have shifted from sending e-mail spam to creating automatically generated web pages that often contain product data feeds provided by merchants. The goal of such web pages is to manipulate the relevancy or prominence of resources indexed by a search engine, also known as spamdexing. Each page can be targeted to a different niche market through the use of specific keywords, with the result being a skewed form of search engine optimization.
I offer a ton of free resources, tips, guides and tutorials here on my website that can help you get started in affiliate marketing – and help you find success with it. While there are plenty of paid training programs out there, you need to be careful. Some of the people who create these programs make their money by selling the dream and not through doing true affiliate marketing for products or services outside of selling you the dream. That's not to say there are not some good training programs out there - but buyer beware. For now, I'd recommend you start with my free information here on my website – and to sign up for my free weekly newsletter here.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005.[15] MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.[16]
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is a set of regulations governing the use of personal data across the EU. This is forcing some affiliates to obtain user data through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even if they are not located in the European Union. This new regulation should also remind you to follow FTC guidelines and clearly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your recommendations. 
They also have forums available for you, whether you’re a new-comer or have been with them for years, to speak with and get feedback and advice from other affiliates just like you. After all, it can be easy to feel like you’re the only one struggling when you make your money online, and talking to like-minded people who have found success can put a spring back into your step, and help you find a way to get yourself out of that rut and back in the game.
In the case of cost per mille/click, the publisher is not concerned about whether a visitor is a member of the audience that the advertiser tries to attract and is able to convert, because at this point the publisher has already earned his commission. This leaves the greater, and, in case of cost per mille, the full risk and loss (if the visitor cannot be converted) to the advertiser.
I see most successful affiliates are operaitng in advice and review space which is linked to affiliates. I haven't seen much operators providing business / industry information content, business case studies, etc. I happen to have quite a bit of unique content, like quite a bit on such topics and am wondering what to do with it. Like what online / affiliate business I can start with it?
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. 
12. Avangate Avangate is a player in digital commerce that you may not be familiar with. Avangate, backed by a cloud platform, focuses on online commerce, subscription billing, and global payments for Software, SaaS and Online Services companies. More than 4000 digital businesses in over 180 countries trust Avangate including Absolute Software, Bitdefender, Brocade, FICO, HP Software, Kaspersky Lab, Telestream, Spyrix and CleverControl.
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[14] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[9]
Look for a gravity score of 30 or more, because these products have a proven track record of selling well for a number of different affiliates. Products, especially new products, with gravity scores under 30 may work but are more risky. Gravity scores of greater than 100 mean the product’s popular. You could have competition, but don’t worry about that. The important thing is that there’s lots of demand.

Long-tail keywords are search phrases, rather than one or two words. If you are planning to promote an online poker course for example, you might do some keyword research and decide that the term "online poker course" has too much competition from existing websites, but articles based on things like "When to push during a sit-n-go" don't have as much competition and may yield more traffic.

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.
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
As Target is the second-largest general retailer in the United States, their affiliate program is primarily for American bloggers or publishers who can route visitors to relevant products. Overall, the program works much like Amazon’s does in that publishers (bloggers) get a small commission on sales, but Target’s gigantic product base (over one million items) and high brand recognition make their affiliate program a great option for influencers.
This is a little delayed on the uptake but I recently created an affiliate marketing site with a service model (personal stylist kind of like Stitch Fix but only using Amazon items so I don’t have any inventory). Right now it’s free(!) and ultimately will be significantly under the price point of Stitch Fix, Le Tote, others in terms of both fees plus there won’t be any apparel markup. It will be smaller scale as well and without a lot of the overhead. The operations have been a little tough but I’m starting to make money. I haven’t done much marketing yet but am learning as I go (I’m a data scientist by trade). Check it out! http://www.dressjungle.com . And I’d definitely love a callout 🙂
It is also better to view ClickBank as a tool for generating leads, instead of hoping to sell 100,000 copies of your e-book immediately. Use ClickBank to drive visitors to your website, then get them on a newsletter list and market to them repeatedly. You may want to offer a contest or freebie along with the newsletter to encourage people to sign up with you.
So this is a niche I guess. This is an interesting example of a site built around a high price item that I could see people willing to buy online rather than a store. This doesn’t leave a lot of room to expand into other hot tub areas, but if your focus is “inflatable hot tubs” then go for it. I can’t imagine they update it too often, the last time seems to be August 2015, but what’s new in the world of inflatable hot tubs?
Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics,[31] LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum,[32] and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers.[33] Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.[34]
completely free to start out, and they provide training sections to help you get started, and are the no-nonsense type of business, in that they are up-front and honest with you from the start about how much time and effort you have to put in to make money online. Like WA, again, once you’ve gotten a feel for how the industry works and what working with
You can make your own decision about which hosting plan to sign up for, but I highly recommend just going with the BASIC plan. If this is your first affiliate marketing website, the basic plan gives you everything you need and you can always upgrade this plan later on. However, if you feel more comfortable with a higher plan, by all means, feel free.
The frequency and method of payment vary as well. Most programs pay their affiliates monthly, although a few pay more frequently. Some require that affiliate earnings reach a specific threshold, which can be as low as $25 or as high as $100. Some programs don't have a threshold. There are programs that pay through direct deposit into your bank, but a vast number pay through PayPal.

Wealthy Affiliate is my top suggestion for two reasons: They offer in-depth training on how to be a successful affiliate marketer, and they offer round the clock support from other affiliates, both old and new, so it’s essentially a huge community of people working together to help each other be as successful as possible. It’s free to sign up, and once you get used to the way everything works, you can either upgrade to a premium membership or stick to the free one if you want to.
Good point about reviewing online courses before you promote them to protect your reputation. However, I would like to point out that the level of attention the course creator gives you (the endorser) and what they give to a random customer might be very different. There are so called marketing gurus out there who are extremely skilled at making false promises and not delivering on them. Once they have the endorsement of a few reputed marketers and some ‘lucky’ customers, they can easily get away with ripping other people off with hyped up money making guarantees. I have had a personal experience with this as a customer, but lets not mention names! The point is, when we are promoting someone, we need to do an in-depth due diligence. Only going through their course is not enough. It would be great if there was some kind of a course review site -something like tripadvisor. This is something that the industry really needs – something to make people accountable. A lot of people are losing faith in these online courses. I am staying away from promoting people unless I am very certain of their integrity.
I offer a ton of free resources, tips, guides and tutorials here on my website that can help you get started in affiliate marketing – and help you find success with it. While there are plenty of paid training programs out there, you need to be careful. Some of the people who create these programs make their money by selling the dream and not through doing true affiliate marketing for products or services outside of selling you the dream. That's not to say there are not some good training programs out there - but buyer beware. For now, I'd recommend you start with my free information here on my website – and to sign up for my free weekly newsletter here.
Put your favorite products front and center. The Points Guy as a “Top Cards” section in the main navigational menu that simply lists the top travel credit cards. It doesn’t bring in as much traffic as some of the other content, but it does okay, it’s an easy place for people to find the most important products for people interested in this sort of thing.
Hi, Jamie! Very good list. I needed something like this for 2018 so that I know what to target in the future blogs I create. As for now, I’m comfortable using SiteGround affiliate network and it’s pretty good actually. Their hosting service is pretty much the best considered its price. I’ve tried others but SiteGround stands out. I’ll also try new affiliate networks, something from the list you have just provided. I think Amazon is too saturated at the moment, and I need a better network. 2018 will be interesting indeed.
Once you’re signed up, complete your personal consultation interview. You’ll then get access to your own affiliate mentor plus our Academy training course. Here you can learn everything from how to build your first website through to optimising it for greater conversion rates, plus everything in-between. Written by our affiliate management team, the guides are in-depth and super helpful.
Our affiliate websites sell products using Amazon Associates program. They will also process the payment, ship the order, and handle customer service, so you don’t need to do anything when an order is made through your affiliate website! In addition, our affiliate websites display advertising by Google AdSense. When a visitor clicks on one of the ads, you will get paid from Google Adsense for that click. Everything is taken care of and you can work from home promoting your site. Yes, it’s that simple!
Leanne, that was great stuff. I saw some interesting delineators I’d never seen before, like how many subscribers you have making a difference in whether you should start with affiliates, at what level, etc. I appreciate the “ethical” angle you weaved throughout this, too, because affiliate marketing can/does have a bad reputation due to the way it’s been abused in the past. Your article will help educate current and future affiliate marketers, much appreciated!
If you get THAT clear and believe in some product, go ahead. Your audience trusts your word. But most folks need to use or experience before they can get clear, because they have a fear: the fear of using trust. I am slowly losing that fear but still use what I promote, before I promote it. I also just sell my stuff mainly. Since I have quite a few products and eBooks and services to sell.
Now as to your comment on traffic it is true, traffic is important. But the truth is, acquiring traffic is easier than converting it. Plus we have many posts dedicated to traffic generation on this blog. Simply check this post, this post or this post. But must importantly, the reason why people struggle with traffic is that they try to promote a sales page or a heavily biased piece of content. Nobody wants to share that, nobody wants to link to that, and as a result you don't get traffic and blame your lack of success on traffic (like you did in your comment above).
It is one successful online marketer and training program of Chris Farrell Membership is voted as number one training program by the IMReport Card. CFM is the introductory course, which teaches the beginners to earn money on the internet through the affiliate marketing. This program consists of 21 days of training lesson, which breaks down in simple-to-follow steps to follow. There’re many things that you will learn from this program, like setting up the email marketing campaign, making your own website right from the scratch, understanding more about SEO, using YouTube and social media, and lots more in one training course. Basic membership will cost around $37 every month and, like other training programs, there’s the higher membership level where you will get the direct training from Chris if you choose to learn a bit more.
Click Bank is an affiliate website that is unique in the fact that it is the distributor for it’s products, meaning that you’re dealing with the supplier of the products you’re promoting directly, rather than dealing with third-party suppliers. This program, like the one mentioned above, also provides it’s affiliates with in-depth training on how to get started, only in the form of training tutorials, rather than training courses. This training will walk you through getting your account set up and getting started in the affiliate marketing world.
This is the best course on how to make money on CB I've seen so far. It takes you from the most basic things that you need to know to the best ways to really make money from CB. Kc Tan knows his stuff really well because he practices what he teaches and gives us real examples. I really like this course and will definitely recommend it to anyone who wanted to start making real money from CB affiliate program. 5 stars!" – Frederic Talis

StudioPress itself is somewhat of a niche product as it is targeted to existing WordPress users who found setting up and managing a WordPress site too difficult or time-consuming. StudioPress prides itself on being easy to use, but their main claim to fame is that their hosted websites are “faster and more secure” than other WordPress hosting companies as well as using the “Genesis framework” which is supposedly more SEO friendly than other WordPress builds.
These two services are requirements for a successful affiliate marketing website. While there are free options available, I never recommend setting up your first affiliate marketing website on a free platform. For more information about why I do not recommend setting up a free affiliate marketing website, you can read my article about why free affiliate marketing websites are a waste of time.
Understand where people are at in the buying cycle and promote accordingly. Spend the most time sharing affiliate links where people are ready to buy. For example, you can share affiliate links on Pinterest, but most people are not on Pinterest to buy but to look. As such, focusing your affiliate marketing strategy on Pinterest might not be the best use of your time. Review posts, for example, might be better at tipping people over the line into buying.
I relay the story of Dan Henry because it exemplifies the power of this thing called the internet that binds us all. And while Henry has succeeded on a massive scale, so many others have hit roadblocks, stumbled, fallen and failed. The large rate of failure helps to mystify and obfuscate this world of affiliate marketing because so many are trying to penetrate this market but so few are able to succeed on a large scale.

I’ve put together a free 7 day fast-start guide to earning your first dollar online. Go access this free affiliate marketing training. You’ll discover why internet marketing is by far the funnest and easiest way to earn passive income each and every month. Please note that I did not use the word ‘job’. There’s plenty of work involved but it will never feel like a job to you.


While affiliate marketers are generally able to join affiliate networks for free, merchants usually have to pay a fee to participate in the network. Affiliate networks usually charge an initial setup fee for each merchant and often a recurring membership fee. It’s also common practice for affiliate networks to charge merchants a percentage of the commissions paid to affiliates. This percentage is known as an ‘over-ride’ and is payable on top of the affiliates commissions. But make no mistake about it, despite these fees, the benefits to the merchant for joining these networks is well worth the price. Here’s why…
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

I can answer this as I help manage this site with Spencer – we currently use the table element inside of Thrive Content Builder (part of the Thrive Themes suite of products). To your Adsense question, we typically use a plug-in called “Ad Inserter” to quickly manage where the ads go on all posts. We have one near the top, below the first or second paragraph, and then one right at the end of the article to try to catch people’s eye as they finish reading and are thinking about where to go next…
I read this title and expected an awesome community of runners sharing their glory stories of braving the snow and rain to log in miles. Instead I’m directed to a boring treadmill site. This site is about 5 pages and a couple of additional pages for reviews for treadmills. The reviews are the only pages with any kind of lengthy content and those are still only around 800 words. The main redeeming quality about this site, is they are focusing on high price items so even a single sale of a treadmill is a nice commission. This is another example of a website you could make in a weekend. It’s motivating though because you know you can do better, right?

Another one of the highest paying and most popular dating affiliate programs is eHarmony, which is based on the actual earnings that can be made from each referred sale. Up to $188 can be made from a single sale. In general, the members at eHarmony are typically looking to find serious long term relationships, so many of them are willing to pay extra to find similar people.

Cost per action/sale methods require that referred visitors do more than visit the advertiser's website before the affiliate receives a commission. The advertiser must convert that visitor first. It is in the best interest of the affiliate to send the most closely targeted traffic to the advertiser as possible to increase the chance of a conversion. The risk and loss are shared between the affiliate and the advertiser.
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