Maybe you have a hobby you’d like to earn money from, such as RC airplanes, playing an instrument, star gazing or teaching people how to develop a better golf swing? Or maybe you’d rather teach people a professional skill such as how to invest in the stock market, become an actor or actress, start a self-storage company or how to create a kick-butt resume that will “WOW” any employer.
Affiliate marketing is a commission-based income model, in which merchants reward affiliates for sending them customers. The term usually applies to online transactions, and affiliates are paid when the customer takes an action on the merchant's site. It's often suggested as a business plan for new Internet marketers, because it requires a very low capital outlay to get started. Affiliate marketing can provide a useful side income, but its weaknesses make it unsuitable as a core business model.
Shawn’s Affiliate Marketing Blog provides the latest industry news and advice on how to make money online. Like many other bloggers on this list, Shawn is honest in saying that you won’t get rich through affiliate marketing, but you can make a little extra cash on the side. He also only endorses the products and services that he uses himself, so you can rest assured that these are quality products/services.
I have been using LongTailPro for more than a year and have just started using the cloud version. It’s very fast and easy to use! Since I have been using LongTailPro, I have saved a lot of money not having to build that many links. Most of the keywords revealed by LongTailPro rank without building links. There are lots of very well written tutorials and videos that guide you. The training is all white hat! It’s helped me a lot with my SEO business. Keep up the good work guys!
Asif Razzaq is a Digital Health Business Strategist with robust medical device and biotech industry experience and an enviable portfolio in development of Health Apps, AI, and Digital Marketing. An astute entrepreneur, Asif has distinguished himself as a startup management professional by successfully growing startups from launch phase into profitable businesses. This has earned him awards including, the SGPGI NCBL Young Biotechnology Entrepreneurs Award.
SellHealth — SellHealth is a health affiliate network. It’s free for affiliates to join, should their applications be accepted. All of SellHealth’s sales are made through company-owned websites, meaning affiliates don’t need to facilitate sales on their own sites. This eliminates the possibility of error and increases consumer trust, as they are sent to a legitimate brand site to complete their purchases.
Hi, Nice article. I am not sure about the process though. I can understand, finding a niche. But, when it comes to affiliate programs I get a little lost. Would I be promoting someone else's products? If so, no problem. I know I need to research high end products with gravity, are these products ones in certain stores, or companies, etc.?? If so, do I need to get permissions to be on an affiliate program with that company? Also, if it is products with a company, then how do I offer promotions on their products since they are not mine? Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich
It’s quite amazing how I keep stumbling on fresh information every day even with my expertise. This is indeed a great piece! Unfortunately, it would have been a lot more useful to me when I was starting out a few years ago. I should probably check out some of these Affiliate programs that I’m yet to join. It could add a few extra bucks to my earnings, who knows? Coincidentally, I actually just published a comprehensive tutorial on this a few days ago……
It’s quite amazing how I keep stumbling on fresh information every day even with my expertise. This is indeed a great piece! Unfortunately, it would have been a lot more useful to me when I was starting out a few years ago. I should probably check out some of these Affiliate programs that I’m yet to join. It could add a few extra bucks to my earnings, who knows? Coincidentally, I actually just published a comprehensive tutorial on this a few days ago……
Why should you read this book? This book sheds light on how to stay top of mind with your audience and lead your industry. The author explains how he built both his brand and his business relationships through helpful and engaging content. The book provides tips on how to earn trust with your audience with digital marketing so that you become the first choice for your audience. Successful businesses and leaders have one thing in common: their names come top of mind when people think about their particular industries.
As Todd Crawford of Impact Radius puts it: “Marketers will need to monitor their vendors and partners for compliance with the GDPR. Vetting relationships will be extremely important, as well as ensuring that each party and your company have the appropriate consents and disclosures concerning collection, tracking, and processing personal data of your customers. Intelligent tools will be key for monitoring the types and treatment of covered data. As 2018 nears, it is essential to ask your vendors and partners whether they are or will be compliant by the May deadline, and to provide supporting details concerning their compliance efforts.”
SellHealth — SellHealth is a health affiliate network. It’s free for affiliates to join, should their applications be accepted. All of SellHealth’s sales are made through company-owned websites, meaning affiliates don’t need to facilitate sales on their own sites. This eliminates the possibility of error and increases consumer trust, as they are sent to a legitimate brand site to complete their purchases.

You can try to build our business on free Web hosting or blogging platforms, but I never recommend it. If you are serious about affiliate marketing and building a website that can actually make money, you need to buy your place on the Internet. Sure you can get your nerdy neighbour to host your website on his home-made server, but trust me, this only leads to trouble.


Determine your interests. Do you blog about green products, baby stuff, travel? But don’t just think about your blog’s overall theme. For example, if you wrote a post about green living but don’t typically do so, sign up for affiliates related to that subject and add them to that post. I asked the panelists how many affiliates they were a part of and the answer was HUNDREDS. Yes, hundreds. While that sounds daunting, you aren’t going to do all of these at once. You’ll build this up over time.


This will help you in checking the reporting and tracking the sales for any program you decide to promote. You also have the option of choosing from different companies that offer different products and services. These include things such as fashion accessories, health and beauty products, electronics and online services such as web hosting and much more.
For example, the content on Super Weddings is useful whether you're organizing a wedding today or next year. All the content on the site is created accordingly. To make things easier for the audience, it is separated into categories to make it very convenient for the reader to find what they're looking for. This, of course, is also very good for SEO.  

There are tons of typographic and grammatical errors which tend to slow the reader down just a bit. That usually annoys me to no end distracting me, and I tend not to finish a less-than-sound writing. But the wealth of information in this eBook forced me to finish it. It would be great, however, if the author could have any future writings proofread prior to uploading and selling since he doesn't enjoy writing. The errors are/can be extremely distracting.
Well, in my personal experience, affiliate marketing makes up the largest chunk of my blog income. Since getting started back in October, I’ve made a few thousand dollars from affiliate marketing (including $1500 in the first 30 days!). The road to get there wasn’t easy though… affiliate marketing isn’t just about dropping links and hoping people will buy things. There is, in fact, a lot more strategic thinking involved, which brings us to the next major question:
Why should you read this book? People believe they have greater control over their decision making than they actually do. However, the reality is that we are all subject to the power of social influence. From the bestselling author of the book Contagious, the author explores the secret influences that impact our decisions. From what we buy to what careers we choose to what we eat, this book uncovers the forces that subtly shape our behavior. After reading this book, you will understand how social influence works and how this knowledge can help you exert more control over your behavior.
As you begin the process of writing high-value content for your website visitors, you also need to keep in mind that you’re also writing for internet robots (actually, we call them spiders). Search engines need to know exactly what your page or post is about. We can help our websites rank well in search engines for our keywords by following some steps called “on-page SEO” where SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
For a slightly different take on the subject and figuring out how to get targeted traffic onto your promoted links, you must have a look at Affiliate Marketing: Instant Traffic to Affiliate Links. A quick look at the reviews will help you decide if this is the exact course you are looking for. Sometimes the right approach is what is required to make a campaign work, this one might just work for you.
This book is a new entrant in our top 10 book list. The book teaches you to learn making money with affiliate marketing and become a successful marketer from scratch. You’ll learn how to create content and drive traffic using free and paid methods. The new book is the No. 1 bestseller on the topic while I was updating this page. A recommended read!
This book is perfect for a complete beginner. It shows you all the methods needed to get you started. Keep in mind that if you are an experienced affiliate marketer, this book probably won't provide you with a whole lot of information you didn't already know. However, if you're like me, and you're ready to start slowly dipping into the world of affiliate marketing, then this book is absolutely for you!
Hello, Dawn, Your blog is beautiful! I started my beauty & lifestyle blog in March of this year so it’s going on8 months old now and I am really struggling to get traffic. I devote all my time to writing content and posting on Social Media but I just fell like I am doing something wrong.How long were you blogging before you started seeing your viewers go up and do you recommend any programs that you have or that you suggest are a must have. I can’t afford any $997 courses as of now but at tax time I would be willing to pay about $197if I know it’s gonna truly help me. Congrats on your success!

"If an individual is looking to monetize their blog, I would make a strong case for affiliate marketing as the best avenue for doing so," says Josh Waldron, founder of creative design firm Studio JWAL LLC. "Blogs with quality content attract loyal readers. Since readers benefit from the content offered, they grow to trust the authors of that content over time. Consequently, an author's blog posts are a logical place to promote relevant products and services without compromising the integrity of the content."


Take advantage of marketing tools whenever possible. Many affiliate programs offer useful resources to their affiliates aimed at helping affiliates make more sales. These range from monthly newsletters highlighting upcoming sales, tips or affiliate case studies, Facebook Groups just for affiliates, private webinars explaining marketing strategies in depth and more. Ultimate Bundles does this exceptionally well.
What people don’t realise is that Affiliation is now expanding in some areas to become fully fledged Partnerships, where it is more than just an affiliate tracking link. They are now becoming full integrations, product mergers or brand collaborations. So I highly recommend this topic to get a broader view of what can be done with all affiliate partners.

Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.


Thank you Kim for your wonderfully helpful posts! I have learned so much from you in just a short amount of time since just recently discovering your site. I just started this process with affiliates a couple weeks ago and have a blog on wordpress.com. After some research I discovered that WordPress will not allow you to post banners on your blog unless you have a substantial amount of traffic to your blog (which is my situation). Links are okay as long as they are pertinent to your content like a book your are reading, etc. In light of this, I was curious to know if there is a big difference in response to banners vs. links? Thank you! Blessings~ Jan
@ Melissa. Regarding being dropped by Pepperjam in the state of IL…yes I was dropped by all of the merchants that I was using. I still have a Pepperjam account but took down all my links because I received notification from each merchant saying I was dropped. Maybe there are some merchants within the network that allow it??? I don’t have time to figure out which ones out of thousands will accept my link.

Niche — Unless you’re Amazon, people don’t come to your site looking to buy both weed-wackers and moisturizing cream. Most websites have their products narrowed down to a specific genre, such as fashion, health, petcare, etc. If you’re wanting to go into affiliate marketing, your first plan of action is to determine what you’re selling. This step comes first because so many subsequent decisions depend on this answer. The type of website you make, the type of audience with which you engage, all of these are heavily influenced by your niche. If you’re having trouble deciding where to focus, do some introspective thinking to determine what you’re passionate about.
Affiliate marketing has a very low barrier to entry; many merchants accept everyone who applies for affiliation. Some forms of affiliate marketing don't even require the affiliate to have a website. This creates a very high level of competition, especially for particularly profitable offers. In forums where affiliates participate, there are frequent claims of commission theft or hijacking by other affiliates and even by merchants. A cookie system that credits the sale to the last link clicked makes these actions more likely.
But I think you have missed one point “Adding offers from cpa networks related to your niche. They have higher payouts and works pretty well with banner ads.”. Once I had a finance related site and one of the post ranking well was on credit score. So i added credit score checking offer on that post and surprisingly making 10-15 folds what i was making from google adsense every day.
Some very useful information for those starting out. Many would-be affiliate marketers give up after a couple of months; they soon realise it’s not as easy as some report. You have to spend money to make money (in most cases). I use a combination of AdWords, Facebook Ads and the little know Bucksme.com. The latter is a great way to promote discounted products and they offer a free version; it’s a great way to get started without cost.
Hey, thanks for the great post. I’ve been following Pat Flynn and love his “give and it shall be given unto you” attitude..my perception anyway. At 50, with a high school education, I’m trying to learn affiliate marketing from information online. What I’ve gleened so far is to focus on giving the best, most honest information, like your Parents would give you. In exchange for your efforts rewards will come.
Establish a vibrant affiliate program that pinpoints which personas your goods or services will want most. Perhaps you want your affiliate team to have an air of exclusivity; in this case, you’ll need to reach out to thought leaders who fit certain niches. On the other hand, you may want to initiate an internetwide affiliate program like Amazon, which has paid off beautifully for the online retail giant. With more than 900,000 affiliates representing 1.2 percent of available websites, Amazon has solidified itself as a large-scale affiliate leader.

The actual process of ensuring that affiliate links are being implemented by the publishers alongside adequate tracking methods is crucial to an affiliate marketing campaign. We investigate how much effort is placed into the process of acquiring affiliates and advertisers. In addition, we find it important to understand how much time is spent by the affiliate marketing company in creating strategic campaigns for their affiliates.
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
The tips mentioned above covers the bulk about how profitable affiliate sites are set up nowadays. If you’re familiar with building sites and a bit of SEO, then this affiliate marketing guide should put you on the right path. However, if you want a more comprehensive guide to affiliate marketing, then you will need more than just free resources online to get a website up and running.
Although it has a dynamic and well-designed website, PeerFly has a limited range of offers at any given time (around 8,000). On the upside, it does offer good commission/payout rates, lots of FAQs and educational information, and regular contests and reward programs that can substantially increase your bottom line. Based on online customer reviews, Peerfly enjoys a very high reputation amongst participating affiliates.
I’ve learned so much with this course! KC Tan is an excellent instructor. He covers all the bases. Also, his facebook group and email list have both been a great value for me. I’ve made money using this method, and I’m hoping to start making even more by learning list building details in another of his courses that I just started. So glad I came across his courses. – Maya Brown

I have been using LongTailPro for more than a year and have just started using the cloud version. It’s very fast and easy to use! Since I have been using LongTailPro, I have saved a lot of money not having to build that many links. Most of the keywords revealed by LongTailPro rank without building links. There are lots of very well written tutorials and videos that guide you. The training is all white hat! It’s helped me a lot with my SEO business. Keep up the good work guys!

If you take a $15 clock like the one above, you sell it for $30, you double your money. This is a logic that has been in place, but where the "brand" isn't as sensitive (like a generic clock), you are going to see more opportunities in this space. There is much more administration and costs associated with accepting payment, dealing with returns, and managing product support. But accepting payment and hosting a store on your website through plugins like WooCommerce can be a great opportunity.

Trends that I have noticed in my niche (scuba diving)... well, good question. I'm finding more people want to go on holidays, most can't afford to do the holidays and many that don't have the time because they have family. Many who are afraid to dive. I'm also finding the trend in dive gear purchase has to done thru Amazon.com and not thru Amazon.ca. The only problem is they will not ship to Canada and even Amazon.ca doesn't really carry it. Best to go with Canadian affiliates outside Amazon.
It is important to note, however, that StudioPress is now a subsidiary of WPEngine which is the company that actually does the web hosting on which StudioPress’s Genesis framework runs. The affiliate program only works with choosing the StudioPress framework and themes, not the actual hosting on WPEngine. WPEngine has a separate affiliate program for its hosting services, which yes, is a bit confusing.

Ooh that makes sense! Yeah, surname would probably be a big one. I’ve also heard that they keep tabs on any old addresses you’ve registered and if the address is the same as someone buying from you, then that doesn’t count either. I can’t imagine they’d be able to know who ALL your friends are, but a good thing to be mindful of! When I first started I thought, hey, why not just make a FB post and tell everyone to buy off me? haha then I realized maybe it’s not that simple.


The basic concept is signing up for an affiliate marketing network and finding products that are within your niche. Once you find the product that is within your niche, you click on the hoplink to add your affiliate ID to the product link. When a reader clicks on your hoplink and buys the item, you get a commission for the sale. Although this sounds simple, there are a few things that you need to know before you get started.
Flexoffers.com is another well-known affiliate that we have included in our top best affiliate programs. This program is well-established affiliate marketer that has gained a lot of reputation because of offering big offers on digital products, keeping their affiliates relevant. When a company offers large offers, more clients are likely to purchase, meaning more money to the merchants and affiliates.
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. 
Hello, Dawn, Your blog is beautiful! I started my beauty & lifestyle blog in March of this year so it’s going on8 months old now and I am really struggling to get traffic. I devote all my time to writing content and posting on Social Media but I just fell like I am doing something wrong.How long were you blogging before you started seeing your viewers go up and do you recommend any programs that you have or that you suggest are a must have. I can’t afford any $997 courses as of now but at tax time I would be willing to pay about $197if I know it’s gonna truly help me. Congrats on your success!

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.
So glad you wrote this up. After going to Type A i decided to have some paid advertising in some form on my blog after always having zero, and decided affiliate links were the way to go but i had no idea what to do with them. Thanks for summing up the session. I already starting signing up for some by looking at the places i purchase most of my stuff from and many use a affiliate provider that covers many. I never even though about banners and graphics. I read almost every blog in a reader so links seems like the only way to go.
It is important to note, however, that StudioPress is now a subsidiary of WPEngine which is the company that actually does the web hosting on which StudioPress’s Genesis framework runs. The affiliate program only works with choosing the StudioPress framework and themes, not the actual hosting on WPEngine. WPEngine has a separate affiliate program for its hosting services, which yes, is a bit confusing.

But I think the biggest deciding factor in this, goes back to the site as a whole and all of the other posts. Are the genuine? Is the blogger constantly trying to push products? I’d like to think I’ve been doing this long enough that my audience knows I’m not out to make a quick buck – and I think even relatively new bloggers can prove this based on their other content. 

An influencer is an individual who holds the power to impact the purchasing decisions of a large segment of the population. This person is in a great position to benefit from affiliate marketing. They already boast an impressive following, so it’s easy for them to direct consumers to the seller’s products through social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with their followers. The influencers then receive a share of the profits they helped to create.
The New York Times bestseller that explains why certain products and ideas become popular. Jonah Berger knows more about what makes information go viral than anyone in the world (Daniel Gilbert, author of the bestseller Stumbling on Happiness ). What makes things popular? If you said advertising, think again. People dont listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers. But why do people talk about certain products and ideas more than others? Why are some stories and rumors more infectious? And what makes online content go viral? Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. Hes studied why New York Times articles make the papers own Most E-mailed list, why products get word of mouth, and how social influence shapes everything from the cars we buy to the clothes we wear to the names we give our children. In Contagious , Berger reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission.
That’s a great tip Sean, thanks! I was thinking about what you said in your post about some companies not putting that they have affiliate links and you having to do some digging and there are couple of companies/authors who made products I love and keep using, but I’m not sure how to go ahead and ask about the affiliate link. I read the post you linked below about asking for guest blogging, which I thought was a must-read, and so, if you think of doing a follow-up on this one, would love to read some of your tips and do’s and don’t about this. Thanks again, Sean, you’re doing some very inspiring work here!
The old world of marketing was dominated by interruption, like ads thrown at you in the middle of your T.V. show. That whole approach is being totally disrupted by the ideal of giving away value and wrapping your product up in the middle of it. Things like content marketing through valuable articles related to your niche, YouTube shows, and podcasts allow your product to be featured at the heart of valuable content. When you don’t interrupt, but are invited into people’s lives through this kind of content the advertising is seen in a different way and can reach the eyes and ears of customers or clients in a much more positive light and more easily be seen as a solution rather than an interruption.
Cookie life (the time in which you get credit for an affiliate commission) are typically better than Amazon as well through other affiliate programs and networks. Some like Wealthy Affiliate, offer affiliates LIFETIME cookies, meaning you get a commission if someone goes through your affiliate link and joins at any time, forever. Compare this to shorter cycle cookies like Amazon (which are only 24 hours).

This is a must-read for anyone who’s ever used affiliate marketing or is planning to do so. Robert Glazer charts the history of affiliate marketing and shows how it’s moving away from shady marketing practices. Instead, it’s becoming a digital marketing technique focused on creating transparent partnerships and relationships that improve brand reach and revenue.


Thanks Kyle for such an enlightening post; We in the developing world are still struggling with the USA rule of having to have a US billing address for your credit card inorder to shop online; we have been creative with the problem but I have not seen my local credit card statement for 3 months. I wrote to the Miami chamber of commerce 2 years ago but never received a reply.
×