Some affiliate programs may allow you instant access to their program so that you can start posting and earning money. But there are others require a certain amount of readers, followers, or viewers before you can gain full access.
Thanks for the great tips. Sometimes, I have a big image of a product at the top of a post and a smaller image elsewhere. These products perhaps are offered at more than one merchant that I have affiliate status with, so I may link one image to one merchant and the other to another merchant.
Determining commission rates is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as an affiliate program manager. Fortunately, the process can be straightforward, and there are a number of things you can do to ensure you offer competitive rates to your affiliates.
An Intermediate affiliate may drop a level after losing his best campaign, while the Affiliate Apprentice can turn Top Doggy Baller overnight if he stumbles in to an unsaturated niche and makes it pay (a daily occurrence in 2009, rare in 2013).
Most blogs won’t allow the author to include their own affiliate links (but it’s worth checking). The next best thing is to link to the definitive content on your own blog, either naturally within the body of your post or in your author’s bio.
I had a chance of looking at how much some CPA marketers are earning. My jaws hit the floor. How can anyone make 32k in a day? It is not some Photoshop screenshot but the CPA company interface allows earning shouts which is drawn live from the system and displayed on a live chat. That’s where I saw those big figures. Remember I said 32k in a day not in a month. Now that is insane. This gives you some idea how: http://x.co/9RnqK
But there will be instances where an ideal merchant isn’t active on an affiliate marketing network and doesn’t have their own platform in action. There may be instances where a potential merchant partner doesn’t even know what affiliate marketing is.
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.)
Do they have a good reputation among other affiliates? This is one reason why being involved with other affiliate marketers is valuable. If you haven’t heard of an affiliate program before, ask around.
webservices.cj.com
Blogger Gardening Jones is upfront about how she has partnered with several companies as an affiliate. She lets her readers know that if they purchase any of the products she recommends using her links, she’ll make a little money from the sale.
This is a short book, a VERY short book. I read it all in 15 minutes! It covers the various types of internet marketing, and gives an overview of ways to expand your audience. Basically, this book IS an overview of it all.
Similarly, if we’re writing about Photoshop or another photography post-production software we’ll usually include a link to the software. Again it’s not a review link but rather an informational/contextual type link.
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.
This is another big mistake I made when starting out — joining any and every affiliate program I came across. While I absolutely do believe in cultivating multiple streams of income when working online, there is a point where you have too much to deal with and it becomes unmanageable.
Will my target audience realistically buy this now, or at a different time? Be sensitive to sales cycles and seasons. Maybe you should avoid holidays (when people are away from their computers, like July 4 in the U.S.) or maybe you should target holidays (like the day after Thanksgiving), but know the difference. Again, know your audience. Plan your content accordingly.
For the purposes of full disclosure, I downloaded this book while it was being offered one day, free. It’s a great book for a beginner to affiliate marketing and it would also be useful to someone who may have worked with another affiliate program but not with Amazon’s. The book lays out the basics of the Amazon program, finding a niche, building a website, loading it with Amazon affiliate products and a few ways to feature them on the site as well as some basic ways to promote them/your site. If you’re starting from “zero” or if you have a blog but you don’t know how to monetize it, this book will help.
It can feel overwhelming to do all the necessary work involved in setting up your site and building your reputation. But trust me, once you’ve made that first sale, all the hard work will be worth it!
The first point is straightforward enough; affiliates need to identify offers that include ads that will fit easily into their site. For example, if your site has only 300×250 ad units you’ll want to stick only to offers that have a 300×250 ad.
There’s something about an image that people are drawn to and that makes them click. I began to experiment with linking images to Amazon with my affiliate links, setting up a tracking code to test whether they converted. While they didn’t convert as well as text links, they did convert in some instances and to this day I still use this technique most of the time.
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.
This is so good it could be published as a book. Easily the best post on affiliate marketing I have ever seen. I will need to take some time off one weekend and go through this and implement properly.
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.
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Note: the key with these ‘best seller’ lists is to drive traffic to them. Two ways to do this is to prominently link to these pages from within your blog plus linking to them from within other posts. This second method means your post doesn’t just convert for a day or two.
You cannot build your business around another businesses platform because if you get banned from the platform, the commission payouts get lowered AGAIN, or the affiliate program gets cut then you’re out of business instantly.
Thanks for all the information I am slowly working my way through your list of do’s and donts! ! I’ve been approached by a website that wants to develop editorial content for my blog featuring home improvement tips from their”national client” and pay me $40 a year for reviewing and publishing their content. Boy, I am just not sure how this all works? Any words for when we are approached by others to write for our blogs?
Allowing for bonuses and incentives will provide you with wiggle room in your regular rates (i.e. you can set them a little lower depending on how generous you are). This means you can offer bonuses while ultimately protecting your profits.
All CPA marketers put their eggs in one basket. I’ve seen plenty of the greats go from zero to hero and vice versa several time in their careers. The smart ones learn to build their own business in the process and pimp their products to CPA newbies (where the real money is). So if your only focus is to make the most money you can I would advise you not to spend it all because that business model won’t last.
While a ‘get people in the door’ strategy might seem to grate a little with my ‘Relevancy’ tip above – the key is to get people in the door in a relevant way.  In my case, I was getting my photography readers to go window-shopping on Amazon, for cameras.
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Courses you’ve taken & liked. Some of mine are Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income,  Self Publishing 101 and Page Strategies (for building your Facebook Page).

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