A way to communicate with people (like a blog, not social media). Sometimes this is called a platform. It might be a blog, a website, an email list or some other online presence where people listen to what you have to say.
A company’s website. Think of a product or service you want to promote. Go to the website of said product.  Look for a link (often in the footer) that says “Affiliates,” “Affiliate Program,” “Referral Program” or something similar. Follow the links to sign up.
Affiliate marketing has become a massive online industry over the past several years, emerging as both an effective way for marketers to sell their products and services and for publishers to monetize their audiences. Despite the popularity of affiliate marketing, many publishers still aren’t aware of exactly what affiliate marketing is or how it works. In some cases, these publishers are gatekeepers to an audience that could be very effectively monetized through affiliate marketing, meaning that they’re passing up an attractive revenue stream.
I began to understand this in the early days of Digital Photography School. I looked at the growing traffic to the site but realised that my Amazon affiliate earnings weren’t keeping up with the traffic growth I was experiencing.
If your website doesn’t have much traffic to speak of, there’s probably not a big opportunity for you now in affiliate marketing. Focus on producing high quality content, building some links, and getting a recurring stream of visitors to your site. But if you have a website that is already attracting a significant number of visitors from referring sites, organic search, and direct visits, affiliate marketing could be a logical way to monetize.
Pierre, I am impressed with your post and that it is high quality with lots of valuable information. I am new to the affiliate marketing game and got it in my mind that I needed to add a high-commission paying offer to my mix to boost my sales. You gave me some really good ideas. You are a work smart kinda of guy! Thanks for your post!
I totally get where you’re coming from. I’ve had similar experiences and I’ve also learned the hard way. There are a whole lot of people who can do marketing and sales. There are much fewer truly excellent teachers. 😉
For example, The Wire Cutter is focused on writing reviews of several different kinds of products and helping their readers make the best decision about the product they want to buy. After reading a review on their site, if the user clicks through to the product/service using the affiliate link, The Wire Cutter will earn a commission from. 
Always disclose. You must let your readers know when you are using affiliate links. Read my post, Are You Disclosing Properly? for more. An image disclosure or general disclosure at the bottom of your site is not sufficient.
^ “What is the Amazon Associates program?”. https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/: amazon associates. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-20. Amazon Associates is one of the first online affiliate marketing programs and was launched in 1996.
Great, practical tips. I especially like #8. I went through much the same thing when pricing my ebook. It goes to show you that who you’re marketing to, their life style and values all have an impact.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users’ computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
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Some good tips. I fully agree that it’s all about trust and it is always good to recommend an affiliate product that you have actually used. Why risk your reputation on a product you don’t know if it’s any good or not? If people buy one dodgy product from your site, they will probably never make that mistake again. That it why my blog strongly advocates ethical affiliate marketing. It’s the best long term stragey for affiliate marketing success.
For example, last month I saw the sale of the Nikon D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (yes that IS an affiliate link). It sells for over $2700 and generated me a $111 commission.
The “reviews” are usually just made up and based on no personal experience in order to net an affiliate commission, which can actually get you sued as some mattress affiliate site owners found out recently.
Set up social media accounts for your blog or site. This is a great way to improve search engine ranking, stay in touch with your readers and increase the amount of links that you share. You can post Amazon links on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn when you want to make a recommendation.
I stumble upon a roadblock signing up as an affiliate for Amazon. On step 3 they ask for a number for verification. They are restricted from making calls to the Phils for verification. I thought of using a Google voice number (US based). Will that help? I don’t want to try until I am sure for fear of getting rejected even before I start. Or what do you suggest? I tried a live chat with Amazon and all the CS said was yeah no call verification for a Philippine number. appreciate your help. Thank you.
hi finch, looking to start in the affiliate marketing just as extra income for an engineer student who still has papers to clear, and time to invest. my comfort zone shouldnt be above 100, because i dont have any money to invest in this. So where should i start?
Reach out to the affiliate manager. Most programs have at least one person tasked with managing affiliates. Don’t spam, don’t whine and don’t badger them, but make a personal connection with them if you can.
Keep an eye out for these kinds of promotions because they can be well worth promoting (if relevant to your readership). In fact, last time Amazon had cameras on special, I promoted the sale to my newsletter readers and had readers emailing me to thank me for letting them know about it.
1. Study the arts of inbound marketing and online sales writing. This will take some time, but it will be mostly or entirely free—there are plenty of free online resources, not to mention books at your local library. Here’s a fantastic article to start with: https://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/writing-for-the-web.html
Affiliate networks that already have several advertisers typically also have a large pool of publishers. These publishers could be potentially recruited, and there is also an increased chance that publishers in the network apply to the program on their own, without the need for recruitment efforts by the advertiser.
How to start making money with Amazon’s affiliate program – beginner friendly tutorial. This is the Amazon Associates program that I’m using in this video, Amazon will pay you commissions for marketing them. You can do this without even having a website!
Formerly Buy.com, Rakuten.com has grown into a monster. Rakuten ranks among the top three e-commerce companies in the world with over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners and more than 18 million customers. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales.

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