Affiliate marketing is a fairly simple concept that can be implemented in a countless number of ways online. Though it’s not as familiar or easy to set up as display advertising strategies that dominate many publisher monetization strategies, there is the potential for a big payoff if a bit of work is done upfront.
That said, if you’re interested in building affiliate sites that sell, I also suggest checking out our AffiloBluePrint, which includes our custom AffiloTheme for websites and a bunch of other bonuses — and complete support so you can create a site that earns you commission with ease:
Note that merchants reaching out to establish direct relationships with affiliates will only focus on the “whales” who generate the most revenue. While it’s possible to run a few affiliate marketing relationships directly, opening up this benefit to everyone quickly becomes overwhelming.
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.
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.”
Don’t promote a product until you’ve subscribed to your affiliate partners’ email list and know exactly what your readers can expect in terms of follow-up marketing. Your potential partner may have a more aggressive style than your readers are used to, and that can reflect poorly on you. If there’s a big mismatch, don’t promote the product.
While doing some heat map tracking of where people were clicking on my reviews I learned that there was quite a bit of ‘click activity’ on images of the products, even when those images were not linked to anything.
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.
When a potential buyer clicks on the link to visit the merchant’s site, a cookie identifying the affiliate is placed on their computer. The cookie ensures that the publisher is credited with the referral sale even if it occurs days or even weeks later.
FlexOffers.com is a premiere affiliate network that builds mutually profitable relationships between strategic, skilled, and trustworthy online publishers and a robust portfolio of 5,000+ popular advertisers spanning all verticals. With over 10+ years of experience in the affiliate marketing industry, they offer unparalleled customer service, an array of optimized data delivery tools, and fast and dependable payments proving that flexibility is the key to affiliate success. FlexOffers.com was recently ranked the eighth overall affiliate network in the Revenue+Performance Top 20 Affiliate (CPS) Network 2015 Blue Book survey.
WOW!!! thank you SO MUCH – I was just starting to look into this and here appears a epic article (aka BOOK!). This is an article that I am keeping – as next year I am re-vamping my website, changing and growing and using this info and insight-laden post.
Focus on benefits not features. Don’t simply list the features of a product (“You’ll get this and this and this…). How will this product change their life? How has the product changed your life? What will their life look like if they use this product?
I’ve put together a free 7 day fast-start guide to earning your first dollar online. Go here to access it. You’ll discover why internet marketing is by far the funnest and easiest way to earn passive income each and every month. Please note that I did not use the word ‘job’. There’s plenty of work involved but it will never feel like a job to you.
If you want to build a sustainable, dependable, and long-term business, starting a product/category specific affiliate site that depends solely on Amazon commissions is the WORST piece of advice anyone can give you.
I didn’t realize there was a limit until a few years back when I hit the maximum. I wish Amazon would increase it! To be honest, I find their tracking system pretty messy and think it needs an overhaul however, it is great for testing what works and what doesn’t. Most of what I’ve written about in other tips in these articles was learned through tracking.
Your domain is the address for your website (e.g., www.affilorama.com) so this is the first thing you will need to do when setting up your site. Considering there are millions of websites on the internet, it’s possible that the domain name you want may already be taken by someone else. So make sure you have several options in mind. Be sure to read our advice on how to choose a good domain name. 
Nothing breaks a reader’s trust more than being led to a promotion that will blow up their inbox. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.
Personally I think affiliate marketing is one of the best business models out there at the moment. If you can cultivate an emotional connection with a target audience through product advertisement then you can make a heck of a lot of money.
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. 
We’re here to help show you how to learn affiliate marketing. I recommend working your way through our free lessons first: https://www.affilorama.com/lessons These will teach you the basics of site building, creating content, and perfecting your sales and marketing strategies.
Follow affiliate hashtags. Hashtags like #affiliate and #ad are commonly used on social media when someone is promoting an affiliate product. Follow or search those hashtags on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest (and sometimes Facebook) to see what others are promoting.
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Organic search remains an important source of traffic for any website, so it’s important that you optimize your website for search engines as well. When creating your content, you must always do so keeping the reader in mind first, but don’t forget to follow a few basic SEO principles as well.
This is where we put the “marketing” in affiliate marketing. It’s up to you as the affiliate marketer to make sure that your audience sees the affiliate links and offers you have on your site. You can’t simply throw them into the right sidebar and hope that your audience seeks them out and clicks on them. There’s a great deal that you can do to increase the likelihood that your visitors click on the links and get in front of the affiliate offer.
In my experience, most affiliate programs don’t work because the returns on them are so low that it’s not commercially viable. You need money, time and more importantly, the right knowledge to generate quality traffic that will buy your offers.
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.)
Here on ProBlogger I disclose Amazon affiliate links. That’s mainly because there are fewer of them and because my readers here are more savvy with the idea of affiliate programs (I don’t have to explain what an affiliate link is every time I mention one).
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.
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Affiliate Marketing Secrets
Great article, and so true. Amazon has built a monster brand that they have to protect and with their extensive T/C a site is going to be in violation at some point. Let’s be real, Amazon really does not need affiliate sites anyway, when I want something I usually go directly there anyway and read customer review.

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