Do I have legitimate experience with this product? If you don’t, pass. Being unfamiliar with a product you promote is risky for two reasons. First, if it turns out to be a dud, the trust you’ve built with your audience is damaged. Second, if your audience has questions about it, you won’t know how to answer.
Learn SEO yourself or hire a good SEO marketer to help you maximize on-page and off-page SEO opportunities for your site. If your site starts to appear in search results for terms relevant to your niche, it will be a huge boost towards building your audience (and your sales)!
Now that your site is set up and you’ve joined an affiliate program, you’re ready to begin perhaps the most time-consuming (but potentially rewarding) part of the affiliate business: Producing content.
A really cool WordPress plugin you can try out is the new Amazon Related Products plugin ( I don’t have any affiliation with the plugin or author). It’s a seriously cool plugin to have if you don’t have time to manually link to Amazon products.
Uncontrolled affiliate programs aid rogue affiliates, who use spamming,[23] trademark infringement, false advertising, cookie stuffing, typosquatting,[24] and other unethical methods that have given affiliate marketing a negative reputation.
At this point I started to experiment with a link at the top and tail of the review. I did some heat map tracking to see which links were the most clickable and also used Amazon’s tracking codes to see which one would ‘convert’ to a sale more often.
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However look at the next most popular item (the Tiffen 52mm UV filter). You can see in the ‘Product Link Clicks’ column that there is a ‘0’ figure. I never promoted this product directly on DPS – yet 44 people bought it.
2nd tier.  If you are an affiliate for a particular program and you refer others to sign up for that affiliate program, a 2nd tier program will pay you when the affiliates you referred make sales. For example, I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles. If you join their affiliate program via my 2nd tier affiliate link here. I will get a small percentage of any sales you make going forward.
You don’t necessarily have to have a huge site or lots of traffic. Consider emailing an affiliate program’s contact person (look for contact info on the site or in affiliate newsletters) if you send a lot of leads their way, rank well in the search engines for a related keyword or have a high conversion rate. Make your email compelling. Read my tips here. You just have to be a good fit and provide excellent value to the merchant. Another good resource for this is here.
​The products and services you will be promoting to your audience must be relevant and good quality. Make sure you believe in them and know everything about them, because this will be crucial to you delivering the sales pitch to your audience. You need to build trust with your audience so make sure the products and services you choose to promote are trustworthy enough. 
Do they have a lot of products I could promote? Note that you can become an affiliate for large companies once, and then promote any of their products. For example, you can become an affiliate with Amazon (“Amazon Associate”) once and promote any of their products.
Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as “thin affiliates”.[30] Such websites were either removed from Google’s index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions to affiliate program managers. Be proactive in offering advice or expertise to companies you work with if you know of ways to improve their sales page etc. After all, it’s a win for you and them.
What kind of commission do they offer? One-time commissions or recurring commissions? For example, many programs pay you one time for sending a customer. On the other hand, some programs like membership sites or SaaS (software as a service) programs will pay you a commission as long as the person you referred is a paying customer. Recurring commissions are great when you can find them!
Starting your own home business has never been easier, thanks to the internet. With the help of the internet you have access to people from all over the world, right from your own home. While there are many types of businesses you can start, affiliate marketing is one of the best. It can give you an extremely large income and all you have to do is learn some new skills. If you can read and write you can have a very successful online business.
There is a reason why many major merchants prefer to utilize affiliate marketing networks instead of setting up their own infrastructure. Just as the administrative burden can become overwhelming for publishers with multiple relationships in place, it can be too time consuming for merchants as well. Maintaining direct affiliate relationships involves building out an infrastructure to track referrals, calculate commissions, and process payments. While that may sound like a relatively straightforward process, it can become a major investment with plenty of potential complications and liability issues.
Affiliate marketing is facilitated by “affiliate links” that allow merchants to track where their customers originate. In other words, it’s possible (and actually very simple) to know which revenue came from a specific affiliate and to compensate that affiliate accordingly.
The problem with hype is that you set readers up with expectations that are beyond what the product you’re recommending can deliver. This might lead to a sale but it also leads to disappointment and anger – the loss of readers – damaged reputation etc.
“Working with the Rakuten Marketing Search team has enabled us to collaborate with industry experts and Kenshoo to test the latest developments and product features. This has been a key partner in our e-commerce program and we look forward to continued success in 2017.”
As the head of an affiliate program, one of the most difficult decisions you’ll make is how to determine suitable commission rates. For some, this may be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are not familiar with the steps involved.
In some ways, trying to establish a direct affiliate marketing relationship with a merchant is a lot like trying to get an advertiser to run a campaign on your site. But there is a major difference here that you should consider when reaching out to establish direct relationships: the biggest hurdle to overcome from the perspective of the merchant isn’t a cash payment (as it is with advertising) but rather an administrative burden.
Amazon is one of the hottest markets online for affiliate marketers. Amazon is the giant online with a seemingly limitless product range, which is great for us, you can pretty much type in anything and you’ll find the product your looking for…usually cheaper than anywhere else. This book will teach you everything you need to know to get up and running quickly and how to fully tweak your Amazon affiliate business to it’s fullest potential.
2. Watch for Opportunities – earlier in this guide I mentioned that you could tap into a number of promotions Amazon on their site. Some of these are promote directly to their affiliates. For example, they send out emails to affiliates semi-regularly, promoting their latest promotions. They also have a blog where they do likewise.
You’re right, Javier – the Smart Blogger audience is mostly beginning and intermediate bloggers and online businesses. The merchant side is more of an advanced topic. But good suggestion. Maybe they’ll address the merchant side in the future.
Great post , I do read a lot of the Nichehacks articles and this one is so true. At the moment I am in a niche I’m passionate about and yes although I am primarily using Amazon to monetize my site, I will be branching out to use other methods very soon. It frightens me to think the plug can be pulled at any time! I intent to use other affiliate programs as well as Amazon, maybe Google Adsense, I’m not sure yet, some digital products and also to build an email list.
However, you can still make money as an affiliate even if you don’t have tons of traffic. I have a fraction of the traffic many fellow affiliate marketers have and yet my income rivals and in some cases exceeds theirs.
Amazon Affiliates rewards advertising fees, or commissions, that vary depending upon the type of product. Your advertising fees can also increase after you start to refer more than 6 purchases every month.
SID (shopper ID) enables publisher to track where their referred actions originated so they can target and/or reward their unique shoppers. When the visitor makes a purchase or completes a lead form, that transaction is tracked and recorded by Commission Junction.
They offer standard and Managed WordPress hosting. If your audience can’t afford WPEngine as Managed Host, they can move to SiteGround. This is one of the rare web hosts with high review rate among customers.
Attach your affiliate link to images. In the age of sites like Instagram and Pinterest, users are accustomed to clicking images. Make sure any post images highlighting the product have your affiliate link attached. Here’s how to make an image clickable.
Start with a blog, where your content is always available. By itself, an email list can be hard to start if there’s not a place (like your blog or website) where potential subscribers can get to know you first.
You know, you’ll probably learn a lot about the merchant side of things if you just pay attention to what the merchants you represent are doing. What kinds of support they give you, how they follow up, what software they use, etc.
Will my target audience realistically buy this product? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they most likely to buy? If your blog is mainly about frugal living, your readers probably aren’t going to buy luxury products, so promoting high-end clothing might not work so well.

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