Cost per click was more common in the early days of affiliate marketing but has diminished in use over time due to click fraud issues very similar to the click fraud issues modern search engines are facing today. Contextual advertising programs are not considered in the statistic pertaining to the diminished use of cost per click, as it is uncertain if contextual advertising can be considered affiliate marketing.
You now have a fully functional WordPress website with a great hosting company! That wasn't so hard, was it!? From this point on, your main task is to publish as much content as possible. This site has tons of tutorials and articles on how to grow your affilaite marketing business, but in order for you to fully understand how to publish content and make money with your affiliate marketing blog, check out this article. Best of luck to you as you grow your business! :) Want even more help? Check out this incredible affiliate marketer training program and community of people growing an affiliate business just like you!
No matter how good your marketing skills are, you’ll make less money on a bad product than you will on a valuable one. Take the time to study the demand for a product before promoting it. Make sure to research the seller with care before teaming up. Your time is worth a lot, and you want to be sure you’re spending it on a product that is profitable and a seller you can believe in.
Affiliate marketing is also called "performance marketing", in reference to how sales employees are typically being compensated. Such employees are typically paid a commission for each sale they close, and sometimes are paid performance incentives for exceeding objectives.[21] Affiliates are not employed by the advertiser whose products or services they promote, but the compensation models applied to affiliate marketing are very similar to the ones used for people in the advertisers' internal sales department.
Now Tom's Hardware publishes their own reviews, and on top of their display ad revenue, they are making a significant portion of money from Amazon Affiliate links.  The site is already well known for reliable content about Personal Computing, so it made sense to turn up the content generation to attract more organic search volume.  It would be tough to estimate monthly revenue for this site, but it's highly likely that it generates 7 figures per month. 
One big difference between SkimLinks and VigLinks, however, is that once you’re approved by the company, you can choose to work with any merchant or program on its platform. SkimLinks has also published a white paper discussing its partnership with Buzzfeed, giving SkimLinks a lot of credibility. SkimLinks also has a higher tier of vetted merchants called “Preferred Partner” and “VIP” that both pay higher commissions than standard merchants.
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Because the site is ranking #1 in Google for this (and probably ranks very well for other related terms), they are probably making great money.  This is probably easily a $100 to $200 a day website.  That's right, I would not be surprised if this site was pulling in $3k to $6k or more each month.  In fact it could be more, but its hard to guess without knowing all the traffic they are receiving. 

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.

Perrin has blogged about his site on the AuthorityHacker.com blog, and he's also openly discussed the sale of this site, which was sold at over $200K as the final sales price.  The site still does very well in organic search rankings, and the monetization appears to have been diverted from display ads, over to an affiliate program with a pet food company.  This site is proof that with the right systems and content in place, profitable affiliate sites are still out there to be created – even by the solo entrepreneur or the person who loves SEO as a side-hustle.
I couldn’t agree more on the advice on providing long-form content. In fact, most of modules we created are probably still longer than the ones found on AuthorityHackers, and 8000-words is considered normal. With the difference being that since they are technical in nature, they probably take 1.5 more times to create than a regular post written in English. :)
The downside is that Shopify is only appealing for people who have physical or digital products to sell and have a need to set up a Shopify store, including site hosting, payment processing, and all the other services offered by Shopify. This can significantly narrow the appeal for this affiliate program. But if you can distinguish yourself by educating people on how to use Shopify, how it can benefit their business, and/or make them money, you could potentially big money via the affiliate program. Add in the 2 x monthly fee commission rate, and landing just a few sales of their mid-tier and top-tier products can result in significant earnings.

Thank you so much! You've been an inspiration throughout. The way you wrote about TIWIB, and how they drive insane traffic from social media is mind blowing. I am amazed that even going viral on a social site like pinterest for one day can build our brand identity huge. Am I correct? Now I need to get going with my first affiliate site, come up with a unique idea and learn how to drive traffic from each source. I feel Adsense is not so rewarding.
I couldn’t agree more on the advice on providing long-form content. In fact, most of modules we created are probably still longer than the ones found on AuthorityHackers, and 8000-words is considered normal. With the difference being that since they are technical in nature, they probably take 1.5 more times to create than a regular post written in English. :)
Over the course of 6 months I’ve made $1300 with Amazon Affiliates alone with the majority of that coming from about 15 different posts. Each month I am seeing a steady and slow increase in my affiliate earnings as I continue to create content that recommends helpful products, even when my traffic is lower. My DA is at 39 and I average about 100,000 page views every month.

Yaro Starak is the founder and writer of Entrepreneurs-Journey.com. Since 2005 through this blog, his email newsletter and in training programs under the EJ Insider Membership, Yaro has taught thousands of people how to make a full time income from blogging part time, how to buy and sell blogs and websites, and how to successfully launch an information product business. Follow Yaro on Twitter at @YaroStarak.


Find products that offer an affiliate program. Check companies that list product owners with affiliate programs such as Clickbank.com, Neverblue.com or Commission Junction. Amazon.com has an affiliate program as well. Service providers such as web hosts, autoresponder distribution firms and review sites of consumer, professional and business products are other alternatives.


Good point about reviewing online courses before you promote them to protect your reputation. However, I would like to point out that the level of attention the course creator gives you (the endorser) and what they give to a random customer might be very different. There are so called marketing gurus out there who are extremely skilled at making false promises and not delivering on them. Once they have the endorsement of a few reputed marketers and some ‘lucky’ customers, they can easily get away with ripping other people off with hyped up money making guarantees. I have had a personal experience with this as a customer, but lets not mention names! The point is, when we are promoting someone, we need to do an in-depth due diligence. Only going through their course is not enough. It would be great if there was some kind of a course review site -something like tripadvisor. This is something that the industry really needs – something to make people accountable. A lot of people are losing faith in these online courses. I am staying away from promoting people unless I am very certain of their integrity.
I started out with checking the potential of affiliate offers in affiliate networks. I checked search volumes and competition using Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google search results. If there wasn't a lot of competition, I'd set up my site. Most of my early niche affiliate sites were in the fashion market promoting physical products like women's winter boots for example.
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.
This Affiliate Marketing Website was built as a live case study within Wealthy Affiliate over a 4 week period.  Members were able to watch every single step I took while building the site. From keyword research to showing profits – every step was shown live and recorded. If you’re a member of Wealthy Affiliate, you can watch the entire case study from start to finish.  Here’s a post that outlines the entire case study.
SkimLinks is probably best for bloggers who want to write content around the affiliate link rather than add affiliate links to existing products. SkimLinks offers a lot of tools to compare commission rates and offers in order to customize your content to optimize your income. Once nice aspect of SkimLinks is that it offers lots of products for non-US creators, including popular UK brands like John Lewis and Tesco.
Fatherly is a website that tackles many different forms of content.  Based on a similarweb.com lookup, they get about 22% of their traffic from organic search.  Close to 25% of their traffic is direct, and almost 40% of it comes from social media (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.).  It's important to take note of that because even though they may not be getting a ton of google organic traffic based on their keyword spread – they are getting a ton of traffic from social media platforms which no doubt has an immense impact on revenue.
In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon.[41] The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
Creating a unique tracking ID for an Amazon link is easy. Simply log in to your Amazon affiliate dashboard, click “Account Settings” at the very top on the right, then click “Manage Tracking IDs”. From there you can make a new tracking ID so you can track which web page/campaign sold what.  You can learn more about using Amazon’s Tracking IDs here.
Affiliate marketing programs typically work by having the merchant handle all the logistics involved in selling products or services, processing customer orders and payments, and shipping merchandise—all while the affiliate sits back and collects a commission for each agreed-upon action completed by the visitors the affiliate sends to the merchant’s website via an affiliate link. As long as the affiliate has done her homework and chosen a trustworthy affiliate program, she needn’t worry about non-payment.

Also, do some research on the opportunities in this market. What is the existing scene? Who is the competition? What data is available to tell you how lucrative this market is? The ease of selling will vary from market to market, as will the percentage of profits. Some companies may offer you a higher cut of the profit because their products are more difficult to sell. Determine what kind of selling experience you’d like to have, as well as the type of profits you’d like to see. Use those factors to inspire niche.
Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks.[35] Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.
Fatherly is a website that tackles many different forms of content.  Based on a similarweb.com lookup, they get about 22% of their traffic from organic search.  Close to 25% of their traffic is direct, and almost 40% of it comes from social media (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.).  It's important to take note of that because even though they may not be getting a ton of google organic traffic based on their keyword spread – they are getting a ton of traffic from social media platforms which no doubt has an immense impact on revenue.
Russell Brunson teaches you how to turn leads into qualified subscribers. The strategy then goes into turning those subscribers into buyers and teaches you how to identify hyperactive buyers to build your business around them. This approach allows you to build a business as an affiliate rather than giving away your leads and customers to merchants.

SimilarWeb tells us that visitors go to less 2 pages per visit. So, you can see the difference in TWC versus Outdoor Gear Lab. The products are less targeted so maybe visitors are more interested in buying something specific, not window shopping. The reviews are generally long and visitors are skimming a lot because the average time on the site is about 90 seconds.


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.
You will notice that this site does try to make some money with Adsense, but the banner ad at the top is an affiliate ad (through Commission Junction) for Fastweb.  I just logged into CJ.com to see how much FastWeb pays – its looks like only $0.80 per lead – OUCH!  This is really low.  This website owner also trys to promote fastweb in the articles – but no Adsense.  I think they should be focusing more heavily on Adsense within the content of their articles to increase their income.  My guess is that this site earns almost $.80 on average per Adsense click (which is MUCH easier to get than a lead).
LearnHowToBecome.org is an education website that provides information to prospective students.  They have a lot of great content and cover just about every type of education field you can think of when it comes to finding out the best college path in a given profession.  A quick look at backlinks shows that they have tons of major educational institutions that they work with, which is a significant portion of their backlinking strategy.  The content is top notch, and the website is specifically designed to keep the users interacting with the comparison grids and searching through the best possible schools for their given topic.
affiliate 101 Amazon AM Days attribution BBJ Black Friday BlogHer Bonobos conferences CRM Customer Service Cyber Monday e-book Entrepreneur flex schedules Fraud Fremium FTC global Global Affiliate Google holidays incrementality Lending Bubble Mortage NDA Outsourcing Pacesetters Panda Pay Per Click Pinnacle Awards Rent the Runway Revenue Sales Strategy SEO ShareASale Shop.org small business Start-Up summer meeting trademark hijacking volunteering Wayfair webinar working parents
Paid traffic refers to media buyers who purchase traffic from an existing site or ad network and attempts more or less an arbitrage play. The value add for the media buyers in this equation is the initial creative and also any additional pre-sell landing pages that will increase the conversion rate. If the revenue generated is greater than what you paid in traffic costs, then you're ROI positive.

Sure, you’re not the brand itself, but you are employed by various brands, and I’m sure you want to see success in this industry. For that reason, it’s important you take control and learn about your audience while trying to form connections. Take cues from your competitors or other affiliates. What kind of advertisements are they utilizing, and do they seem to be working?
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[14] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[9] 

While the traffic estimates are lower than some of the other sites on this list, people in the baby gear niche are an important customer base because they definitely purchase products.  This is a big industry and I would guess that the conversion rate for this site is slightly higher than OutDoorGearLab.com.  Typically when someone researches a baby product, they are typically looking to buy that baby product.  If someone is researching a tent, they may just be looking around at different options that they can compare for their next camping trip – not necessarily to buy that tent.  Most of their traffic is organic, and continuing the trend of well ranked long form content, their top post is 8,800 words long (which is a beast of an article).  If I had to take a guess at revenue, it would probably be north of 30k per month for this site based on traffic.
Affiliate marketing allows its marketers, or “affiliates,” to take their income into their own hands. This strategy is, in some instances, referred to as a form of “passive income” for those who endorse products. By this, we mean affiliates aren’t always actively selling to make money. They put their strategies in motion and any sales that come through their site drive income.
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.
JVZoo’s strength is that it allows experienced marketers to gain access to product launches and a huge range of online courses while setting up sales funnels and customized landing pages. It’s definitely not for someone who wants to monetize a blog or earn money by having users click through and buy physical products. If you’ve carved out a strong presence online in the marketing space, JVZoo might be a perfect fit.
If you are building a site that has the potential for information that will never age and remain useful for your audience, you have the opportunity to create what is known as evergreen content. It's important to carry out extensive keyword research before planning any evergreen content for a site like this, as your site could hugely benefit from the proper usage of keywords within such content. 

Because the site is ranking #1 in Google for this (and probably ranks very well for other related terms), they are probably making great money.  This is probably easily a $100 to $200 a day website.  That's right, I would not be surprised if this site was pulling in $3k to $6k or more each month.  In fact it could be more, but its hard to guess without knowing all the traffic they are receiving.


With a well-known ‘An Hour a Day’ format, this book guides its readers step-by-step on how to practically research, promote, manage and optimize a successful affiliate marketing campaign. It also explains social media tools such as how to deal with coupons, widgets and other multimedia stuff. From determining payment schedules to communicating through appropriate means, this is a quality do-it-yourself guide for its readers.
The first things that pops out is the number of ads (which I circled).  This might be a bit ad heavy and I usually don't place this many ads above the fold.  However, I guarantee that they have an excellent CTR with this layout.  The ads are above the fold and within the content, in addition the use of the link unit at the top where a navigation bar would typically go is also very saavy.  I would be surprised if the CTR is not at least 10%.  However, I would caution against using this many ads.  My tweak would be to remove one of the medium square units, and then wrapping the text around the other one.
This site is an example of what many sites are doing these days.  They are “niched down” into brackets of certain products, and creating an online multimedia experience in the form of an online magazine style site.  There's lots of large pictures, some videos, and it looks like a true media property.  Chances are that you'd need to hire a designer to get a similar look and feel for your own website if you were to attempt it.  From a revenue perspective, this site is more than likely doing more than six figures in total revenue if I had to take a guess, just based on their organic traffic numbers.
Taking the financial analysis a stage further, think about the potential profits you can make from each affiliate sale. You’ll have to sell hundreds of low priced items to make a reasonable return, and it may be better to promote premium products where one sale could generate hundreds of dollars. For example, an ebook on cat breeding tips might generate five dollars in commission for each sale. An ebook detailing a profitable gambling system might sell for ten times more and net you much higher commissions.
Nick Loper is a veteran affiliate marketer, author, and a lifelong student in the game of business.  His latest role is as Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation.com, a growing community of part-time business owners. Need a leg-up in getting your biz off the ground but short on time? Grab Nick’s free "Cliff’s Notes"-style guide to the world’s best business books here. Follow Nick on Twitter at @nloper.
For example, we have Trip Advisor at the 140th spot. What you’d want to do is say, “What about travel? Is that a niche I might explore?” and then follow the next steps I’m going to show you. The next thing you want to do, once you have an idea, is head over to Quora.com, which is a crowdsource question/answer site. You want to put ‘travel’ into the search field. Then look at some of the top questions that come up in Quora search results. The reason you’re doing this is you’re taking the broad niche of travel and finding smaller niches that you can create sites around, and then monetize with affiliate offers. For example, we have this question here by Sameer: What are the best travel hacks? That’s a niche right there, travel hacks. Instead of covering all of travel, you can cover things like frequent flier miles, how to travel on the cheap, things like that. We also look at this question here: What are the most surreal places one can ever visit? You could focus on surreal destinations. Is India a good travel destination? You could have a blog or a site that covers traveling in India. These are just ways that you can brainstorm different niches under this greater niche.
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.
The first mistake a lot of affiliate marketers make is that they register with too many different affiliate programs and try to promote everything. Pursuing affiliate marketing down this path can become very overwhelming and you won’t be able to promote any product properly. All you need in order to be successful is a handful of good products to promote. Try to understand the market needs and look for products that align correctly with the topic of your site.

Finding an affiliate program does not have to be as difficult as it sounds. In just a little bit, we’re going to discuss a few of the best affiliate marketing programs as deemed by popular use. A few general ideas to remember, however, are to look at a multitude of options and read testimonials on other individuals’ experiences. As affiliate marketers, you’re all similarly motivated, and listening to what other affiliates have to say about a program or network can help deter you from an unsuccessful or even fraudulent situation.
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