When it comes to ranking well in Google, generally Google will give your site preferential treatment on certain topics, once it's figured out what your website is about. Sites that cover such a broad variety of topics don't tend to rank as well as sites that are niched down, unless you have an amazing backlink profile and a really big budget.  Since TheWireCutter is owned by New York Times, they have the budget to test new products, and have the authority to get linked to by any other web properties owned by the New York Times.  If you niche down to a specific audience, it's far more likely that Google will favor your content over a larger site when it comes to that audience.  OutdoorGearLab.com has done exactly that by only focusing on outdoor gear reviews.  I am guessing that they also have a large budget, and have built a very successful affiliate business as a result.  Plus it's a great looking site with lots of excellent information.  
Flexoffers is another huge affiliate marketing network. They pay you (the affiliate) a lot faster than others in the industry. It has more than 10 years of experience in the field. While they do not offer anything that is neither groundbreaking nor revolutionary, they do provide a solid array of tools and features that will surely aid you in your campaigns. In addition to the fast payouts, Flexoffers lets you choose from thousands of affiliate programs to promote, offers various content delivery formats, and more.
LinkConnector imposes a very rigorous and lengthy screening process, so you’ll need to prove that you have a high-quality website and established audience before being accepted. Despite its somewhat schizophrenic approach, LinkConnector does have some very happy long-term affiliates. And their “naked links” allow for direct connection to the merchant website without having to be rerouted via LinkConnector, which will give your website an SEO boost.
1. I recommend avoiding affiliate networks at first. Warrior Forum is a good place to start. Look for people running offers in your niche. Often, word of mouth from your top performers will be huge. You can also set up an Affiliate page, especially if you know you’re in a popular affiliate niche, because most affiliates will be actively looking for new offers. 

This is a review site that focuses on high end shaving equipment to have a nice mix of lower end and higher end shavers for a nice variety. It’s a simple/clean website design with lots of photos to help people understand the variety. Each review is decently long, but nothing to rave about. What is impressive is each review has a good amount of comments that are answered by the website owner. That tells me that the owner is monitoring this site and probably adding new content. A site like this wouldn’t be too hard to maintain. I’m thinking, maybe they add a new blog post once a month.
An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there's a lot of competition so you're not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.
This is a superb site, and I think well needed for those that are very interested in affiliate marketing to make money online. The site presented very professionally and laid out. I would venture to say though that if I were a beginner looking for how to do and be successful with an affiliate site. I think I would be a little overwhelmed. And while I understand if I were looking I would be searching all the details, so from the site, I would contact the author for a question. If this was the aim, then its well executed.
Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!
FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.
A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser. Some extensions are authored using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Most modern web browsers have a whole slew of third-party extensions available for download. In recent years, there has been a constant rise in the number of malicious browser extensions flooding the web. Malicious browser extensions will often appear to be legitimate as they seem to originate from vendor websites and come with glowing customer reviews.[28] In the case of affiliate marketing, these malicious extensions are often used to redirect a user’s browser to send fake clicks to websites that are supposedly part of legitimate affiliate marketing programs. Typically, users are completely unaware this is happening other than their browser performance slowing down. Websites end up paying for fake traffic number, and users are unwitting participants in these ad schemes. 

This book is badly organized. For starters much of it points to information in prior books of the author. The author also commits an entire chapter describing how the book is laid out. Also the author repeatedly states that he won't waste time trying to convince you that affiliate marketing is a good idea and then spends several pages arguing that it's a good idea. The examples given are also weak. The only reason I'm giving this 3 stars is because it did provide some useful information, though I had to wade through 3 chapters first before finding any. I finally gave up on this book and gave a cheaper one a try. It turned out to be much better. If you're in the market for a digital book on this topic try Affiliate Programs: How to Make Money Online with Other People's Products by Joel Comm instead. It gives you just enough info to get you going in the right direction and is a much better value.
Thank you for this post! I’ve been debating going the Amazon Affiliate route, but am kinda stuck on the privacy policy that needs to be included. I’m not exactly sure what needs to be put on that, and I don’t want to state something on the policy that isn’t accurate. I was kind of wondering what other bloggers do, and I’ve only seen the disclaimer on very few sites that links are affiliate links. I should look into Book Depository too!
Although it has a dynamic and well-designed website, PeerFly has a limited range of offers at any given time (around 8,000). On the upside, it does offer good commission/payout rates, lots of FAQs and educational information, and regular contests and reward programs that can substantially increase your bottom line. Based on online customer reviews, Peerfly enjoys a very high reputation amongst participating affiliates.
Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[18][19] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
Because 2Checkout exclusively sells software and digital products, it is best suited for established influencers whose target audience is interested in buying products in this niche. But while you won’t find any physical products for sale, 2Checkout is probably the market leader in selling software of every type, including very specific use case items (like software that can convert Microsoft Word documents to PDF, for instance).
Said to be the largest affiliate marketing network in North America (though it operates globally) and claiming the number-two spot in the 2012 Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks for being “the best at balancing the relationship between the merchants, the network, and the affiliates,” California-based Commission Junction, owned by ValueClick, Inc., offers affiliate, media, and tracking services and provides either a self-management or company-managed option for your affiliate relationships.
I see most successful affiliates are operaitng in advice and review space which is linked to affiliates. I haven’t seen much operators providing business / industry information content, business case studies, etc. I happen to have quite a bit of unique content, like quite a bit on such topics and am wondering what to do with it. Like what online / affiliate business I can start with it?
A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser. Some extensions are authored using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Most modern web browsers have a whole slew of third-party extensions available for download. In recent years, there has been a constant rise in the number of malicious browser extensions flooding the web. Malicious browser extensions will often appear to be legitimate as they seem to originate from vendor websites and come with glowing customer reviews.[28] In the case of affiliate marketing, these malicious extensions are often used to redirect a user’s browser to send fake clicks to websites that are supposedly part of legitimate affiliate marketing programs. Typically, users are completely unaware this is happening other than their browser performance slowing down. Websites end up paying for fake traffic number, and users are unwitting participants in these ad schemes.
If I'm building a site with the intention for it to become a brand, I will detail out a minimum of 60 flagship post ideas before I even get started. Flagship content is your amazing content. It's not your everyday posts. It's content targeted at the exact topics your potential user base is searching for and that goes above and beyond in delivering them information on it.
Deby Coles writes passionately in her sewing niche at So Sew Easy and also offers advice to small and new bloggers on how to earn money from blogging at Moms Make Money. She created two top 100 sites in her first year. Her monthly income reports make interesting reading and motivate those starting out to follow her suggestions for their own affiliate marketing success. Follow Deby on Twitter at @DebyAtSoSewEasy and  Google+.
Deciding on your niche is the most important part to any affiliate marketer. If you set up a website in the wrong niche, then you may get a lot of traffic, but you will never actually end up getting any sales as you might have chosen a keyword that people only want to get free information, for example “affiliate marketing free” rather than “affiliate marketing fast”
We’ve talked about building up your network and developing an email list. Another way to promote products is by contacting that email list directly with the products you’re selling. Perhaps that email contains a code that results in a discount or maybe it’s just a link to your latest product review. Either way, it lands your website and product straight into consumer inboxes. You could consider writing a how-to article that gives users an idea of how they can make use of your product.
There are some things that are confusing to a newbie such as "affiliate tracking" that isn't clearly explained, but (I'm old school) I have noticed that it is typical of writers in this day and age to assume that the readers understand most everything the author is talking about. Even when I took web design classes at a local college the instructors assume ALL students are millenials (I'm a gen X) and will not explain in more detail unless asked.
Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[18][19] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
MaxBounty works exclusively with digital products, usually about giving one’s email or signing up for a newsletter. MaxBounty has CPA, Pay-per-call, and CPL campaigns that you can choose from. MaxBounty is involved in a large number of verticals, including market research, real estate, social games, finance, dating, and diet, but is primarily designed for marketers seeking to acquire new leads.
Hi John! "Flow" refers to the way visitors move through a website. Assuming they don't hit the back button or close their browser, where do they go next? A skilled marketer guides them closer and closer to a sale--for example, from the helpful article they found on Google, to a review of an affiliate product, and finally to their affiliate link. Every part of your site should be designed to make new visitors flow closer and closer toward buying your affiliate products.
Hi Rae, I think the right niche is the most important step in affiliate marketing. If you choose the wrong niche, you can be doomed from the very beginning. Need a buying niche not just one where people are looking for information. Also you only mentioned it briefly at the end, I think promoting something you know about or is your passion makes the process a lot easier. Great post though, Tom.
In this example, a blogger might put this link on their blog to try to get their readers to click through to your “blue widget” page and hopefully buy something. If the visitor who clicks on this link actually buys something, affiliate tracking software will automatically (usually – depends on what system you are using) pay your affiliate a percentage of the sale.
Awesome Gravity Tip! I like the MMO niche, teaching it, creating video tutorials, etc. I am also interested in learning Mobile Marketing and doing the same with this, so what material do you suggest I sink my teeth into for this? Have "Explaindio 3" and Screencast O Matic...I generally (been neglected) try to keep my Blogger site with loads of Free Tools that work well!
The thing I like the most about the site is the way it feels.  All of the Amazon affiliate links are extremely well integrated, and they've done some custom design work to make some of their images feel interactive.  Another trend here is that the owners of this site, own similar sites in several other niches.  You can tell which sites are owned by the owners of this site when you look at the bottom of the site and notice that they link internally to their other web properties.  This is becoming a popular trend, with the folks over at DigitalMarketer.com doing the same thing with some of their projects, like SurvivalLife.com and DIYReady.com.  It's hard to estimate the total revenue for this site, but because the call-to-actions on the site are so good, it would not surprise me if this site was doing over 70K per month in Amazon Affiliate income every month.
Product promotion — Lastly, we come to what you’re really here for: the opportunity to partner with organizations in selling their products for a portion of the profits. A lot of what we’ve mentioned previously will come into play when deciding exactly how to promote products. You should continue to consider your niche, audience, and goals when choosing how to promote products. You could take the route of being a real product user who reviews items on your site. People tend to trust individuals more than they do brands, and using your site as a sort of product review resource could appeal to the masses.
SimilarWeb tells us that visitors go to over 3.75 pages per visit which is a lot. But “outdoor people” are obsessive and they love gear. I know this because I am one! If you start checking out one product, you’ll see another interesting product and so on… And, people spend a decent amount of time on the site. All that leads to a bounce rate under 50%.
This book is a new entrant in our top 10 book list. The book teaches you to learn making money with affiliate marketing and become a successful marketer from scratch. You’ll learn how to create content and drive traffic using free and paid methods. The new book is the No. 1 bestseller on the topic while I was updating this page. A recommended read!
I have far better luck when I incorporate affiliate links into the body of a post. For example, if I’m writing about editing tips, I’ll mention that I use Grammarly and include a link like this one so that readers can try it out for themselves. However, you don’t want to be too spammy about this, which is why I think it helps to focus on products that you know and use and think will be of value to your readers.
GOOD - A technique I've seen used quite a lot is the "Check Price On Amazon" link. Instead of displaying the product price, they display a hyperlink with anchor text of Check Price. This makes the buyer more curious to click the link and see how much the product is. And remember, Amazon have a 24 hour time limit before your affiliate cookie expires, meaning if the potential customer buys anything on Amazon within that 24 hour period of clicking your link, you're going to get a commission!
That’s our latest guide to help you find the most profitable niches to get involved in with affiliate marketing. By no means do we expect you to delve into all eleven businesses. However, if you are unsure which of these spaces would suit your personality and you’d find most fun to join – then we suggest that you have a go at each of them. Afterall, you will never know your favorite flavor until you have tasted the whole selection of ice creams, right?
FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.
Hi, Jamie! Very good list. I needed something like this for 2018 so that I know what to target in the future blogs I create. As for now, I’m comfortable using SiteGround affiliate network and it’s pretty good actually. Their hosting service is pretty much the best considered its price. I’ve tried others but SiteGround stands out. I’ll also try new affiliate networks, something from the list you have just provided. I think Amazon is too saturated at the moment, and I need a better network. 2018 will be interesting indeed.
Product promotion — Lastly, we come to what you’re really here for: the opportunity to partner with organizations in selling their products for a portion of the profits. A lot of what we’ve mentioned previously will come into play when deciding exactly how to promote products. You should continue to consider your niche, audience, and goals when choosing how to promote products. You could take the route of being a real product user who reviews items on your site. People tend to trust individuals more than they do brands, and using your site as a sort of product review resource could appeal to the masses.
Interesting anecdote: On one of our “authority sites”…right now, we’ve gone the way of NOT placing ads on the home page, actually. We have images/categories on the first page that people click through to get to the content. Because of this we have an EXTREMELY low bounce rate…everyone who comes to the site (via the primary or exact match KW) has to make another click to get to the area they really want, which will contain ads. I think eventually we’ll blend in just a FEW ad placements above the fold on the main page.
I have far better luck when I incorporate affiliate links into the body of a post. For example, if I’m writing about editing tips, I’ll mention that I use Grammarly and include a link like this one so that readers can try it out for themselves. However, you don’t want to be too spammy about this, which is why I think it helps to focus on products that you know and use and think will be of value to your readers.
If you use this link you'll get discounted pricing for just $2.95/mo. So click here to visit Bluehost.com. Bluehost is the #1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org. It also happens to be my top recommendation. Every account features 1-click WordPress installation. It is one of the most well known, mos popular, and affordable web hosting options. Bluehost is especially great for beginners due to their user friendly features and one-click WordPress installation.

It's easy! After you've registered as an Affiliate, you'll place code in the pages of your web site to display text or banner links (it's your choice!) to Booksamillion.com. The links will contain an account code unique to you to ensure that you get credit for sales that are generated by your site. When a visitor clicks a link and makes a purchase on our site, Commission Junction tracks your code and calculates your commission.
Some affiliate products won’t have their affiliate information so readily available. If you can’t find an affiliates link on the product page try to the ClickBank Marketplace, and you should be able to find the product you’re looking for. For example if we try the keyword "Muscle" we'll see all the usual suspects. If we scroll down the page a little we can see another of the affiliate's recommended products “Muscle Gaining Secrets” you can see that this affiliate is earning $38.53 on each sale he refers from his page which works out to be 50% of the list price of $77 - not bad.

A relative newcomer to the affiliate space, MaxBounty was founded in 2004 in Ottawa, Canada. MaxBounty claims to be the only affiliate network built specifically for affiliates. MaxBounty is exclusively a CPA (Cost Per Action/Acquisition) company that doesn’t deal with ad banners or the like, just customer links that the publisher (blogger) chooses where to place on their website.
This is the really fun part when it comes to finding your niche! You get to play around here, and search for niche ideas, which is super-easy with Google’s External Keyword Tool. This is a free tool that allows you to find out both local and global search volumes for certain keywords, related keywords, as well as the competitiveness of those keywords, too.
×