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. 
Now you should have a pretty good idea of what niche you are going to get involved with. It is possible that you haven’t narrowed the list down to a single topic area, but you probably have found a few ideas that you feel real good about. Now at this point, it’s important to get an idea of how much money you can potentially make in your chosen niche. ClickBank is a great place to go to that search. First you browse top products in your category. If you don’t find any offers, that is not a good sign. It could mean that no one has been able to monetize that niche.
You’re obviously not going to be targeting broad keywords like ‘travel’ and ‘traveling’. Actually, it doesn’t even matter if you’re going to be doing SEO for this particular site. What you really want to see is whether or not there is a demand for that particular type of traffic. As you scroll down, you want to look for cost-per-clicks that really jump out at you. For example, we have ‘student travel’, which has a suggested bid of $4.10 for one click. That might be a niche right there. Under the broadness of ‘traveling’, if you decided to do something about student travel, you know that there are advertisers paying $4 for one visitor. I’ve found in my experience that the higher this cost-per-click, the more affiliate offers and affiliate options you have. This is something to pay attention to. In general, the cost-per-click in the whole travel niche is quite low. For this reason alone and the fact that the Clickbank marketplace didn’t really have so many great offers that you could promote, you might want to go back to the beginning in Quantcast and look at another niche and follow the same process.
On your path to become an affiliate marketer, it isn’t always going to be an easy job. A lot of time and hard work must be dedicated to promoting relevant offers and helping the targeted audience. Some of the pros, however, are never having to create products, just drive the traffic to someone else’s products and earn money while not worrying about any customer support.
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. 

This is real informatic information. I found this one real meaningful, wow! you truly showing the way affiliate works. I agree ad monetize can be passive income theme while affiliate can be our primary hope…I read so many articles but feels like something is hidden..but found this one real insidefull. This is showing us how our 100 bug can be harvested from from small sources. Because newbies might want to give up blogging as they are not going to earn because they thought it’s one shot income source. Thanks Sean it will really encourage every new entrepreneurs.
If your domain is your address, hosting is like the actual house within which your site will live. It's your own little slice of the internet — the place where all your website files live. Hosting is very affordable these days, so don't unnecessarily scrimp on costs. Go with a reputable, reliable provider because your affiliate marketing business depends on it. 
Luke Kling is Director of Marketing at PeerFly.com and have been working in affiliate management for about 9 years now. Luke is also a developer and blogger. You can find his blog at LukePeerFly.com, an affiliate news aggregate (great source for newbies) at  http://affposts.com, and his most recent product to help you build and grow Facebook Pages at http://fptraffic.com. Follow Luke on Twitter at @LukePeerFly.
Hi Rae, I think the right niche is the most important step in affiliate marketing. If you choose the wrong niche, you can be doomed from the very beginning. Need a buying niche not just one where people are looking for information. Also you only mentioned it briefly at the end, I think promoting something you know about or is your passion makes the process a lot easier. Great post though, Tom.
These are essentially media companies. They have big, significant staff – staff writers, editors, directors, HR departments – and they are big ass companies. With a budget, you could grow a smaller site into a big site fast. But as you’ll see in the examples, you’ll need to have the skills to hire and manage a team. The big sites were founded by people that worked in the media industry – they’re Professionals and know exactly what they are doing.

I have far better luck when I incorporate affiliate links into the body of a post. For example, if I’m writing about editing tips, I’ll mention that I use Grammarly and include a link like this one so that readers can try it out for themselves. However, you don’t want to be too spammy about this, which is why I think it helps to focus on products that you know and use and think will be of value to your readers.
Continuing with the recipe blog scenario, I'd be comfortable with that because it has tons of potential to market a variety of products: pots, pans, cooking utensils (like particular measuring spoons or spatulas), kitchen appliances (like handheld mixers or crockpots), specialty foods (recommend a specific oil that is hard to find – link to it at Amazon), aprons, cookbooks, cutlery sets, bakeware – this list goes on and on. I love niches like this that have few limitations on what you can market and tons of potential merchants to partner with. I've already discussed how to make money from a blog once you can confirm there are things you can market.
Shopify is a very popular site building platform for people interested in building eCommerce stores. It has been around for the past few years and seen significant growth in its user base over this time. You can earn a staggering 200% per sale for every new customer you refer to them, which means that there is up to $2400 per new customer on offer.
AWIN is probably best for experienced affiliates who can hit the ground running without a lot of guidance or feedback from the network. There is a $5 fee charged to apply to become an affiliate, but if you’re approved, the $5 will be added to your account. If your application is denied, however, you will lose the $5 fee. AWIN operates globally, but it is most heavily concentrated on British and EU merchants.
This book is badly organized. For starters much of it points to information in prior books of the author. The author also commits an entire chapter describing how the book is laid out. Also the author repeatedly states that he won't waste time trying to convince you that affiliate marketing is a good idea and then spends several pages arguing that it's a good idea. The examples given are also weak. The only reason I'm giving this 3 stars is because it did provide some useful information, though I had to wade through 3 chapters first before finding any. I finally gave up on this book and gave a cheaper one a try. It turned out to be much better. If you're in the market for a digital book on this topic try Affiliate Programs: How to Make Money Online with Other People's Products by Joel Comm instead. It gives you just enough info to get you going in the right direction and is a much better value.
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.
It is great to meet you Doug. I like your style. Doug I am a very simple person. I am not looking to make a great deal of money, just some to supplement my retirement income. I have become involved with Wealthy Affiliate which I feel is a very good training site. But I find any training they provide I can also find on google. My major problem is that I get wrapped up in the social network where I have done very well with ranking, but there is no monetary advantage to this. I have begun to dig into your training and I am wondering this. We use WP at WA. I am only interested in building a decent amazon business. I spend $49 dollars a month for WA with the training. This includes being able to produce 25 website. Would I be better off hosting elsewhere and build my sites? I know I can make this work. I just need to find the right formula. I know you are a busy person so I am hoping that you will take the time to point me in the right direction.
Definitely, you are going to want to do your due your diligence in selecting a viable niche for your business. But it will actually be better to get up and running sooner than later. This way, it enables you to enter the market sooner, test out your ideas, and learn from your successes and/or failures. Also, if your first business isn’t successful, you can take what you have learned from those first attempts move forward with new and improved ideas.
You now have a fully functional WordPress website with a great hosting company! That wasn't so hard, was it!? From this point on, your main task is to publish as much content as possible. This site has tons of tutorials and articles on how to grow your affilaite marketing business, but in order for you to fully understand how to publish content and make money with your affiliate marketing blog, check out this article. Best of luck to you as you grow your business! :) Want even more help? Check out this incredible affiliate marketer training program and community of people growing an affiliate business just like you!
So combine a review site and something people everyone loves, like babies. Imagine all the confusion new parents have when they bring a new baby into the world. What do they do, what do they need, what is the best? BabyGearLab solves that by reviewing baby stuff and helping parents understand it and buy it. This site has been around since 2011 helping parents through the impossible decisions of what is best for your baby.
If this were 2002, I'd have laughed at that advice. I've always joked that I can learn to love anything that makes me money. The first niches I competed in were telecom, weight loss and satellite TV – and they certainly weren't “hobbies” I was passionate about, LOL. But that was before the “blog era” when an affiliate site could easily survive as an anonymous presence without a face behind it on the web – and in Google.
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.
This site will not get penalized because they are within Google Adsense guidelines for number of ads. You are allowed 3 block ad units (this site has 2 at the top and one in the sidebar). You are ALSO allowed 2 link units (in addition to the 3 ad units) – for a total of 5 adsense units total. The link unit on this site is at the top where a regular navigation bar goes. So in reality, this site could actually have 1 more link unit on their site that is not shown in this screenshot. Hope that helps.

In this example, a blogger might put this link on their blog to try to get their readers to click through to your “blue widget” page and hopefully buy something. If the visitor who clicks on this link actually buys something, affiliate tracking software will automatically (usually – depends on what system you are using) pay your affiliate a percentage of the sale.
Affiliate marketing is actually really simple; you promote, or even just mention someone else’s product. Then someone comes along, clicks the link you provide, buys the product, and you get a commission on the sale, which is sometimes as high as 75% of the price of the product! Affiliate marketing can be a powerful tool to make large amounts of money, without doing a lot of work. However, while affiliate marketing is an easy concept, you need to know what you are doing. There are specific, proven strategies and steps that you must follow in order to build a successful affiliate marketing business online. Lots of people try affiliate marketing for the first time and fail, because they don’t have the roadmap to follow.
I’ve just got to hear about affiliate marketing and am really a newbie to this matter. The post above was so great and helpful for a person like me. I also took a look at locationrebel which seemed very exciting to me. I wonder if those courses and blueprints are still applicable because as far as I’ve seen, the reviews and testimonials all refer to the year 2013. It was the only reason that hold me back from joining the Locationrebel. I would be very thankful if you help me with this matter.
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.

JVZoo lets you both host and create landing pages on their own website, so it’s far better suited for professional marketers who want to flood the internet with offers, many of them for courses to make money. You don’t need your own website to participate in JVZoo, but you will need to know how to drive traffic to a landing or squeeze page in order to profit from being a JVZoo affiliate.


The second reason – and one that’s just as important – is that finding good niches for affiliate marketing lets you build your brand identity. If you become an affiliate marketer that tries to market everything from guitars to basketballs to barbecue sauce, you have no real identity. Finding a niche and focusing on it lets you become ‘the guitar girl’ or ‘the grilling guy’. It allows you to build a brand, a reputation, and a following. This in turn helps you get the most from your efforts at affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money on the Internet. You don’t need any great technical skills to make a start, and it’s a business you can scale over time. Initially you’ll be selling other peoples’ products, but eventually you can develop your own ebooks and training courses for even greater profits. One of the questions I get asked all the time about affiliate marketing is what are the best niches to work in. Before I can answer that I have to clarify what exactly I mean by a niche in Internet marketing.
The thing I like the most about the site is the way it feels.  All of the Amazon affiliate links are extremely well integrated, and they've done some custom design work to make some of their images feel interactive.  Another trend here is that the owners of this site, own similar sites in several other niches.  You can tell which sites are owned by the owners of this site when you look at the bottom of the site and notice that they link internally to their other web properties.  This is becoming a popular trend, with the folks over at DigitalMarketer.com doing the same thing with some of their projects, like SurvivalLife.com and DIYReady.com.  It's hard to estimate the total revenue for this site, but because the call-to-actions on the site are so good, it would not surprise me if this site was doing over 70K per month in Amazon Affiliate income every month.

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.
I just got finished reading Affiliate Marketing on the Web. Having been in the Internet Marketing business for almost 10 years, I must say that this was one of the best books I've read on Affiliate Marketing from both the merchant's and publisher's side. If you are looking for a book that gives you specific recommendations and pros and cons on which type of affiliate program you are seeking to deploy or participate in, this is the book for you!
In effect, VigLink works as the middleman between a publisher (blogger) and merchants by scanning the publisher’s content and automatically creating links to publishers that are chosen “in real time” based on their payout/conversation rates. This makes VigLink a very hands-off affiliate program for publishers who prefer to focus on content instead of managing their affiliate links.
When you join the Content Marketing Institute Affiliate Program, you will gain access to text links and creative banners that you can share online. Every time a user clicks on your links or banners, they will be taken to the corresponding CMI landing page – for Content Marketing World, Intelligent Content Conference or Content Marketing Institute, and we can track that traffic. If a user makes a purchase, such as registering for a Content Marketing Institute event, you will earn a commission on that sale.
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?
Which affiliate marketing program or network you sign up for, whether as a merchant or an affiliate, will have a huge impact on the success of your sales. Some programs are niche and cater largely to a certain industry, such as technology/software or retail sales. Some programs don’t pay as well as others and will, consequently, result in lower income for affiliates over time. Some programs take a larger cut of profit than others, leaving affiliates with less income. Some networks just don’t have the same features as others and can leave merchants and affiliates with fewer resources.
This is a great example of a top notch review site. They start at the homepage notifying that they make affiliate commissions, but provide top end reviews from independent reviewers. This is great to be honest up front. In addition to being transparent, they also take the content is king strategy. I randomly clicked on their “Top Home Projector” post where they reviewed (and linked) to several high end home theater projectors. Keep in mind that these high priced items produce high commissions. That may explain why they spent the time to write a 5,000 word post on it. This site seems to do everything right in being a prime example of an Amazon Affiliate Website. This site now has over 60 staff members working for it.
“All of them, we found, have some flaws in fit, functionality, or convenience. Because this is the first generation of the technology, manufacturers are still working out the kinks. As a result, we can’t make an overall pick that we think would work for most people. What will work for you depends on what mobile device you have and how willing you are to put up with performance glitches in order to take advantage of a cutting-edge (but still clearly work-in-progress) convenience feature.”
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]
Because 2Checkout exclusively sells software and digital products, it is best suited for established influencers whose target audience is interested in buying products in this niche. But while you won’t find any physical products for sale, 2Checkout is probably the market leader in selling software of every type, including very specific use case items (like software that can convert Microsoft Word documents to PDF, for instance).
Google Adwords can be used to drive targeted traffic to a sales page. You simply make an ad in your adwords account then use your affiliate link in the target page URL of the ad. Obviously, you will have to continuously measure the conversions and see if the campaign cost is less than the campaign profit in order to keep the campaign running but I am sure you get the idea.
While any “regular” job requires you to be at work to make money, affiliate marketing offers you the ability to make money while you sleep. By investing an initial amount of time into a campaign, you will see continuous returns on that time as consumers purchase the product over the following days and weeks. You receive money for your work long after you’ve finished it. Even when you’re not in front of your computer, your marketing skills will be earning you a steady flow of income.
There are two ways to approach affiliate marketing: You can offer an affiliate program to others or you can sign up to be another business's affiliate. As the business driving an affiliate program, you'll pay your affiliates a commission fee for every lead or sale they drive to your website. Your main goal should be to find affiliates who'll reach untapped markets. For example, a company with an e-zine may make a good affiliate because its subscribers are hungry for resources. So introducing your offer through a "trusted" company can grab the attention of prospects you might not have otherwise reached.
7. Using above methods, create a spreadsheet - or have a list somewhere you can track the communication between you and potential affiliates. This way if you never get a response after the first time, you can try to contact them again after a few weeks. Generally, this process may take a couple of months to get a response because many contacts are busy and they will not see your emails the first couple of times.
Back in these early days, the site was still called “Tom’s Hardware and Performance Guide” and its domain was sysdoc.pair.com — pair.com being a Pittsburgh-based hosting company. Today’s domain, tomshardware.com, was added on September 11, 1997, followed by additional language versions over time, including German, Japanese, Polish, French, Chinese, Italian, Turkish and others — some operated by Tom’s Guides Publishing, Inc., and others based on franchise agreements.
 The idea behind the book is to build a lifestyle business by using the right strategies. You'll learn how to identify the parts in your business that generate the most results, automate almost every aspect of your business, and how to outsource almost every task. It will give you a unique perspective on how to approach your online business by working smarter, not harder.
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!

Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
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