Well, people are often a little skeptical of the information they find about a product on the merchant’s own site, assuming it’ll always paint a glowing picture. This means you have an opportunity for your blog to become the go-to destination for more even-handed information about the product, describing its positive and negative points.
Also, in several of your example sites, note that many provide monthly income reports. Makingsenseofcents is one that comes to mind. These reports are a treasure trove. Every month Michele publishes a complete list of her affiliate income and who is paying her. Pat Flynn is another who is very regular and consistent with this practice.
Know when to wait. Some affiliate programs require a certain level of traffic, subscribers, etc. If that’s the case, I say it’s better to wait to apply for that program instead of applying and hoping for the best. You risk being labelled the person who can’t follow guidelines and you might also risk not be allowed into the program when you do meet the qualifications.
It’s easy to implement. You share a link with your readers and that’s it. You don’t have to worry about tracking sales, providing customer service, setting up payments, or anything else. All that support is handled by the merchant.
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. 
I have started looking at affiliate networks and finding products to promote that way. Also going to try to utilize a Youtube channel with promotion, as well as some paid advertising. It all works with the right amount of patience. I do have an Amazon Affiliate account that I can link too, but diversifing and learning to branch out is key. Truthfully I do not think the Amazon associate program is all that newbie friendly.
“It wasn’t until we started working with Rakuten Marketing that we understood how much incremental revenue retargeting could drive. The ability to quantify the specific value of our retargeting campaigns made Rakuten Marketing the obvious choice as a retargeting partner.”
When you do, you’ll see they run their affiliate program via ShareASale (a popular affiliate network). So, in order to be able to recommend Genesis to your audience, you’ll sign up with ShareASale first. Then you can apply for the StudioPress affiliate program within your ShareASale dashboard.
The other good thing about starting early is that you’ll learn a lot about affiliate marketing. Most of the lessons and tips that I’ve shared in this series of posts have come directly from my own experimenting with Amazon’s Affiliate program.
Be honest. Talk about what you like and don’t like. Be fair and build trust. It will serve you well later. For examples, check out my review posts about Elite Blog Academy and Self Publishing 101. I get emails frequently from people who tell me they decided to purchase one of those courses through my affiliate link because it was the most balanced review they found.
I’m Big Fan of Affiliate marketing. Currently, I’m using CJ and Maxbounty That is my all time favourite affiliate marketing income source. Also, I’m trying to build Shopify which is now on Fire. Thanks! for such great Insight.
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In 1994, Tobin launched a beta version of PC Flowers & Gifts on the Internet in cooperation with IBM, who owned half of Prodigy.[6] By 1995 PC Flowers & Gifts had launched a commercial version of the website and had 2,600 affiliate marketing partners on the World Wide Web. Tobin applied for a patent on tracking and affiliate marketing on January 22, 1996, and was issued U.S. Patent number 6,141,666 on Oct 31, 2000. Tobin also received Japanese Patent number 4021941 on Oct 5, 2007, and U.S. Patent number 7,505,913 on Mar 17, 2009, for affiliate marketing and tracking.[7] In July 1998 PC Flowers and Gifts merged with Fingerhut and Federated Department Stores.[8]
For example, my audience is made up of people who want to start a blog and make money online but have limited time, budget and technical know-how. I can speak to this audience because that was me when I started 14 years ago!
All of these sites last for a few months or a few years at best (this is so rare!) before they get hit by a Google penalty, stop ranking, or get abandoned because they aren’t making enough money to be worth continuing with.
These posts act as a doorway to the Amazon site. As the number of posts has increased, my blogs have begun to rank higher in Google and my loyal reader numbers have grown, the number of people going through these ‘doorways’ has increase– hence the escalation in earnings.
It really depends on your niche and your readers. I’ve learned the most by watching others in my niche and seeing what they seem to promote frequently. For me personally (and from what I’ve heard others say), creating your own product is so much better than most affiliate marketing.
Thanks for the tips! I think it is very easy to side track these days with so much marketing noise about Affiliate Marketing especially if there’s too much focus on selling the product instead of promoting a second opinion or solid content.
There are many affiliate programs available. But some important considerations are to join a program that you trust. One that accepts and uses several modes of payment for payouts. And also one that has high commission rates.
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.
And on top of that, I want you to build something you’re proud of and make a difference in the world with a genuine problem-solving business that makes peoples lives better not just tricks them into buying products from your fake “reviews” of products you’ve never used.
Know when (and when not) to use Viglinks and Skimlinks. If you applied to an affiliate program but were denied, you might be able to still be an affiliate for that advertiser through a secondary affiliate program like VigLink or Skimlinks. Basically, they themselves are affiliates and will split their affiliate commission with you if you put their affiliate link in your content for an advertiser. Obviously, the commission rate is lower for you in this case, so if you ever are accepted into the advertiser’s affiliate program directly, immediately switch from using VigLink / Skimlinks affiliate links to your own.
Make sure you make all your affiliate links (text or images) have the nofollow tag. Here’s how to add the nofollow tag to your links. (There are plugins that do this, but given my general aversion to plugins, I prefer to add the tag manually. It’s easy.)
Because there’s a 100 tracking code limit, I suggest creating a few general tracking codes, one for each blog and perhaps one for each category on your blog. Then use other codes for major promotions that you’re doing. This way not every Amazon link will be tracked but important ones will.
Ignore the “butterflies” that are sure to fly by on a constant basis. They will just distract you from your project/campaign at hand. One completed and profitable campaign is worth so much more than 50 almost half-finished campaigns or projects.
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.
Let’s face it: technology, especially the internet, can be pretty daunting to try to grasp, and with terms like malware, cursor and spam, it also seems pretty dangerous. So kudos to the guys who decided e-commerce and affiliate marketing should rely on an innocuous technology called a “cookie.”
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.

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