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. 

I’ve just started my blog. I feel that I definitely stand out when it comes to promoting my blog posts on Pinterest because I create illustrated blog post images and don’t use stock photos. But I’m trying to own it. Like you said, there’s a lot of learning involved and there is no better way to improve in Blogging other than actually getting down and dirty with it, lol.
Always fill out the comment box to “sell” your platform. If you are given the opportunity to explain why you are interested in a program, do it! Use the space to highlight why you would be an asset to the program. Talk about how your audience is their audience. Talk about the size of your mailing list (if it’s significant). Talk about your success with similar programs. Talk about where and how you will promote (hopefully you’ve done a bit of research so you know what they’re hoping for). Don’t sound desperate and certainly don’t lie about anything, but be upfront and honest about how this will be a win for them. 

In the BigCommerce affiliate program, you receive a 200% bounty per referral and $1,500 per Enterprise referral, with no cap on commissions. Plus, the more referrals you drive through the program, the higher your commission tier will go. BigCommerce uses an industry leading 90-day cookie, so you will receive credit for up to three months for the referrals you generate. Also, there are no obligations or minimum commitments to join the program.

Thank you for posting this. In the last 2 weeks, I have started signing up for affiliate programs, however find it overwheleming. I did a few links in a post, however wasn’t sure how to do about it. I also didn’t think about linking in old posts (Really?! This is awesome!) I have a couple posts that get daily hits! My mouth hit the floor when I read people sign up for hundreds. Yeah, not all at once, however I would feel so unorganized. Is it that they just use particular ones possibly once or twice and never again?
Most successful affiliate marketers, however, do not have a large number of funds available so they tend to develop a website and use their website as the main advertising source for their business. Starting a website is very cheap (or even free), you don’t need to know any computer code, and it will attract FREE visitors that can be turned into paying customers relatively easily. This is the affiliate marketing business model that most people start with.
Awesome article! This is jam packed with great info. I am just starting a personal finance blog with my fiance and we were a little confused about how to start monetizing. We were initially thinking about using Google AdSense but between this post and another blog I read I am surely convinced that’s not the correct route. I’m really happy you have shared this information because it’s provided an excellent starting point for creating income.

My advice for beginners – especially beginner bloggers with new sites – focus on your site content and traffic for a while, then add your Amazon links once you have a little traffic. So many beginners focus on making money from their links and sacrifice their content building in the process. Without good content and traffic you won’t make much anyways.
In order to track the source of traffic, the merchant provides the affiliate with a coded link to the merchant's website. The merchant may also place a cookie -- a small text file -- on the customer's computer when he clicks the affiliate's link. The length of time this cookie is valid may vary from 24 hours to the lifetime of the cookie. The longer the cookie length, the more chance the affiliate has of being paid for future sales to the same customer. However some users regularly delete all cookies from their computer.
Leadpages claims that its affiliate program is not exclusively for affiliate marketers, which is true, but the narrow focus of this niche means that only professionals affiliate marketers will ever be able to earn significant income from the program. Leadpages’s affiliate program does offer quite a lot of different options (webinars, videos, blog posts, free marketing courses, etc.) to send referrals to, which can lead to higher conversion rates if done correctly.
In the context of social media and digital marketing, a ‘jab’ according to Gary is a gift of value to your audience, so creating content on your website or sharing relevant info or entertaining, funny, or heart-warming content is a jab. A ‘right hook’ is ‘the big ask,’ and you have to ask for business, or for the sale directly on social media and your website to fully capitalize on the other hard work you do on there to provide value.
A well-tracked affiliate marketing program will provide a constant flow of data, so it’s up to your team to analyze and interpret it. For instance, is your current payout structure still appropriate? Would bonuses make sense? What is your typical customer acquisition cost for those who came in through affiliates? How about those customers’ lifetime values? Who else could you bring on to increase your network and continue incentivizing affiliates without hurting your margins? Answer these questions regularly to stay ahead of the game.
Your website works for you 24/7 without a human manning your site and can pull earnings in around the clock. You have a never-ending list of products and services to promote. And, my personal favorite, you don’t even have to worry about inventory, storage, customer service, handling, shipping and other day-to-day operational issues faced by ecommerce stores.
Look internally rather than externally when trying to bring people on board with your affiliate approach. Marketing will obviously play a major role in keeping affiliates armed with content, but don’t stop there in setting up your internal support system. Identify key decision makers in your IT and financial departments to help move your affiliate program along. Bring in IT colleagues to assist with the tracking of affiliate codes and vetting of tech vendors, then direct the finance division to comb through monetary particulars such as structuring an appropriate commission payout schedule. 

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.
This doesn’t mean you only sell one product. This means you build out a brand by selling varying yet adjacent products. Over time, your consumer network might consider you a go-to for which type of vacuum they should buy. Additionally, some industries pay more than others. Especially if the product is a harder sell, affiliates may get a higher cut than they would for a product in higher demand.
Don’t let your imaginative ideas about how to get the word out about a product or service be limited simply by what everyone else is doing for marketing tactics. Give yourself permission to try out of the box strategies. Examples include; ‘green graffiti’ where brands have pressure washed their message into dirty sidewalks, and Unicef’s (who helps people in third world countries get clean water) idea to sell bottles of ‘dirty water’ from a vending machine. Whether you’re just looking for some examples to get your mind moving, or specific tactics, Guerilla Marketing may help you knock the dust off of your creative thinking hat.
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
Don’t go insane and join a million at once… think first about what would make sense for you to endorse. If you’re a travel blogger for instance, becoming an affiliate for hotels, tours and travel gear may be appropriate. Most companies will have an affiliate program, or be part of an affiliate network. Your best bet would be a quick Google: “company + affiliate program”.
Go Direst to Merchant Sites: Some merchants choose to handle its own affiliate sales and payments. For example, the Elegant themes affiliate program is run from their website. If you see a product that others are selling then the first place to visit is the merchants website. Most will have an affiliate link for more information on how to join their program.
Starting an affiliate business is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to make money from home over the Internet. An affiliate business gives you the flexibility to choose products you want to promote, and choose the specific ways you would like to promote them. With an affiliate business, you simply generate sales for other companies and you earn income in sales commissions.

Hosting – This is where your new website will be hosted. You can start with just the most-basic plans of popular hosting companies. For example, Bluehost’s Basic shared plan already has a free domain included, plus everything you need to begin your affiliate marketing journey. It’s priced normally around $8, but is often on sale at $4/month. Like all hosting providers, the longer subscription you pay upfront, the bigger your savings.
Okay, I’ll be honest, when I first started out, I found it surprisingly difficult to understand how to even generate links (and deep links). For a while, I legitimately thought I was stupid. In hindsight, stupidity may have been a small part of the cause, but the truth is the process is actually pretty confusing. SO, I’ve written some pretty boring (though helpful) step-by-steps on how to generate links on a few common programs and affiliate networks… So, for my fellow life-dummies, here’s:
The network is, again, contested by some as to whether it’s truly a part of the affiliate marketing conglomerate. But for good measure, we’ll discuss it. The network is essentially the middle man used to manage this exchange. The network helps accomplish such tasks as payment processing, tracking technology, reporting solutions, and can serve as a repository of available affiliates.
The advantages of the affiliate marketing business model for the affiliate are quite obvious to anyone. Having the opportunity to effectively ‘sell stock’ without having any of the costs or responsibilities of manufacturing, buying or storing it is very liberating. In addition to this, when working with a high-paying network like MoreNiche, the profit potential is enormous.
Robert Glazer, a leader in the affiliate marketing industry for over a decade, draws upon his experience and insights gathered from influential marketers to examine a rapidly changing field. Performance Partnerships is the first in-depth look at the performance (affiliate) marketing industry. Examining its roots and evolution, this book offers a better understanding of its impact as a vital form of direct-to-consumer digital marketing, and advice on how it can be used to change marketing and business development practices.
Great analysis of the environment Kyle. I have been following the closure of once was the large box stores that anchored a shopping mall and my view is exactly the same as what you stated. They did not keep up with how shoppers are using technology and the convenience of online shopping. Your experience in affiliate marketing and ecommerce is a big help to those of us (meaning me) who are neophytes in this world. Thank you for this.
Hi Melissa, I am really enjoying your Blog, and would like to get into Affiliate Marketing. The problem is I just can’t seem to get them on my Blog. I seem to be the only one to have this problem. I’ve searched for an answer, with no success. I must be the only one out there that can not figure this out. Could you possibly help? Please tell me how this is done. Thank so much, Donna
In the event of a severe economic decline, the demand for specialty online based advertising (especially for affiliate referred product sales) may decrease significantly, which may cause the advertising revenue generated by the business to level off or decline. However, the high margins associated with the Affiliate Marketing Website will ensure that the business will be able to remain profitable and cash flow positive at all times.
A well-tracked affiliate marketing program will provide a constant flow of data, so it’s up to your team to analyze and interpret it. For instance, is your current payout structure still appropriate? Would bonuses make sense? What is your typical customer acquisition cost for those who came in through affiliates? How about those customers’ lifetime values? Who else could you bring on to increase your network and continue incentivizing affiliates without hurting your margins? Answer these questions regularly to stay ahead of the game.
Well, how’d we do with our 2018 List of the 6 Best Affiliate Marketing Books For Beginners and lets not forget the 2 for helping your affiliate site rank. Let’s us know what you thought in the comments below, just try to keep it PG for the younger folks reading about Honest Online Money’s Best Books For Learning How To Do Affiliate Marketing In 2018.
I just LOVE your writing style, Christina! I recently purchased the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course, but have yet to really dig in. I had NO idea all of those crazy complications with Amazon! I’ve already been rejected once 😛 But luckily, though my ego was bruised, I pressed on and am now on round 2 (with no success so far..lol) Hopefully with this post and the course I will make something in the next 90 days!
I couldn’t agree more the relationship with your audience, and the trust that you build with them, is the single most important asset you could ever have. Trust is the basis of all good marketing, If viewers do not trust you and see you as the expert, that they need to turn to, then the chances that you will succeed with Affiliate marketing in the long-term, are very slim. Such a great content and a perfect key strategy for every business industry to prosper. These were awesome, looking forward for more valuable content of yours!
Here's what I've noticed, the older generations don't use computers and they either spend the day reading or watching television. When they not occupied with those activities they spend the day going to the stores either to window shop or buy, while I'd say about 25% of the baby boomer generation fall in that category 75% of that generation, the millennials, and generation z do their business online. As the older generations die off this trend will continue and that affects how business is done and how people work.

Affiliate Marketing Splash: How to Build Affiliate Sites that Rank (and bank): Internet Marketing through Search Engine Optimization, this book dives into both of the important categories of affiliate marketing. Learning the foundations of affiliate marketing; niche research, keyword research, website creation. You also get to learn the foundations of search engine optimization, which is essential for creating quality affiliate marketing opportunities. Great deal for only $4.99.

If you are interested in learning the process behind building a WordPress website then you should look at Learn how to Build High Quality Affiliate Websites. This will help you not just learn how to promote but also get you going with setting up the wordpress website and then promote relevant products. Andrew’s course is a Bestselling Course and we have no doubts why. The following pointers should help you make up your mind. Think of this program like going to affiliate marketing school.
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.
An affiliate marketing business can produce a few hundred dollars in commissions each month or tens of millions of ’s where the marketing happens. This can then be used to further your business, including the reassessment and modernization of your goals as time goes of the above are enough on their own to make a plan for your affiliate business worth it. An affiliate promotes one or multiple affiliate products and tries to attract and convince potential customers of the value of the merchant’s product so that they actually end up buying can be achieved by running a review blog of the merchant’s products.
ShareASale is another larger affiliate network that has more than 4000 merchants listed where a thousand of them are exclusive to ShareAsale. One of the features that may make you fall in love with this program is the ease of use. As a beginner either a seller or an affiliate marketer, this site is extremely easy to use. Additionally, the platform offers various features such as Average Commission, Reversal Rates, Average Sale Amount, and Earnings per Click. With these payments, it is possible for you to access a campaign and let you know where to put more efforts on.
This book has many similarities to Seth Godin’s books and also is like a deep dive into Malcolm Gladwell’s “stickiness factors.” Two key principles that stick out are that people will share your content if it makes them look good and that if you build your product or service around a ‘trigger,’ you’ll receive a bump in traffic and/or sales every time they encounter that trigger. A terribly effective reminder is Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” which gets a bump in traffic on a certain day of the week, every week years after its initial release.

You may have heard of ClickBank, one of the oldest and most popular affiliate networks. A billion-dollar company, ClickBank specializes in digital products like e-books and software, as well as membership sites. If you are comfortable selling information and don’t want the management and administration hassles of “real” businesses, this may be a good starting point. Its commissions can be anywhere from 10% all the way to 75%.

It was really a good post. Very detail information and described well. I have started my own with Amazon and also put there as shop for baby products from amazon. I am clear about my target customers but I don’t know how to reach them and from where to start. I have put my effort in the site and review but now need a through for my site. My site is about Barbie Dream House With Elevator usually kids like with and along with that all barbie products are also available and also baby products, health product are available in there program with Amazon. Anyone can visit and see that in https://www.barbiedollsdreamhouse.com

He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
A top contextual commerce company, Button connects mobile apps and sites from leading publishers -- Conde Nast, Huffington Post, Ibotta, and more -- to other apps, driving acquisition of valuable users. For example, readers of Conde Nast Traveler can peruse articles on destinations they want to visit, browse hotels on Hotels.com, and be sent directly to the Hotels.com app to fulfill their intent. Button makes affiliate spend more efficient by optimizing performance and rewards based on a customer's purchase history.
This is extremely helpful information for somebody who is a newbie blogger! I’ve been looking for an all inclusive “guide” to explain affiliate marketing and this is the best I’ve found. Quick question for you – when you talk about the cookie expiration date, is that from the date that you post your review/recommendation or from the date that the reader clicks on the link? For example, the affiliate links you posted in this post are well over 90 days old but if I click on one of them now and buy that product, do you still get paid? Just curious how that works.
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