Affiliates are most successful when the products they promote match the interests of their followers and subscribers. In addition, many successful affiliate marketers advise recommending and promoting only products that the affiliate is personally familiar with. That’s because familiarity with the product, program, or service helps build trust between the affiliate and end-user.
Adam Enfroy is the Affiliate Partnerships Manager at BigCommerce. With 10+ years of experience in digital marketing, ecommerce, SEO, web development, and selling online courses, he is passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth. Adam lives in Austin, TX and writes about building your online influence by scaling your content and affiliate marketing strategies on his blog.
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
1. New vs. existing customers. New customers traditionally have higher lifetime value than existing ones. This is because every new customer grows your customer base. And once you own the customers, you pay less to convert them on future purchases. Customers who have purchased from you already know your product, value your service, and presumably trust you. It costs more to acquire a new customer because you have to build that credibility and trust.

Of course, this is a generalization, and there are some programs that have made themselves exceptions to the rule. For example, I’ve seen many affiliate programs that offer low commission rates on products that are worth very little. I’ve also seen a few programs with items priced into the hundreds or thousands of dollars that offer commission rates of 20-30%.

“It took me about six months to make my first affiliate sale, and my first affiliate sale was worth about $35,” Miki says. This blogger went on to say, “I didn’t make my first dollar until I decided to invest in the “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” course. Taking an affiliate marketing course was the best decision I ever made because I had no idea how much money I was leaving on the table. This course taught me the exact strategies to make money with affiliate marketing.”
Without hesitation (after some research), I bought her course. As an aside, I’m not one of those people who buys any and every thing that comes down the pike. I’ve bought enough online products that DIDN’T work that it takes a lot for me to shell out money. I’m pretty good at figuring out stuff, but the more I researched Michelle, the more impressed I was by her and her course.
Affiliate networks offer you access to multiple (and by multiple, we mean hundreds if not thousands) of individual affiliate programs. They basically work by simplifying the signup process - instead of applying to become an affiliate for a each product you want to promote, you simply apply to join the network and instantly have access to hundreds of different affiliate offers.
Another industry that has seen better commissions recently is the “making money” vertical. Along the same lines of Forex trading platforms, products or programs that help people earn money at home are also giving out average (or better than average!) affiliate commission rates. Products such as website hosting, WordPress themes and plugins, marketing products and other related items are all offering great commission rates.
We’ll look at that and say, on average in this funnel we’re spending a dollar on ads on Facebook or Youtube, or wherever you’re buying your ads from. But by day 8 I’ve made my buck back, it’s breakeven. Then guess what happens after day 8? Day 9 and beyond? Day 9 is magic because anything you make from day 9 and beyond is pure profit in your pocket. And that’s the magic in affiliate marketing.
“I literally screamed so loud that I shocked even myself! … It is hard to describe the feeling one gets when one makes the first money from blogging. … I have felt that feeling several times since then, but nothing compares to the first time when I actually did make some money from my blog. And this sale came less than one year after starting my blog!”

You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities on behalf of us or our affiliates, or in connection with an Amazon Site or the Associates Program, that are not expressly permitted under the Agreement. You will not engage in any promotional, marketing, or other advertising activities in any offline manner, including by using any of our or our affiliates’ trademarks or logos (including any Amazon Mark), any Program Content, or any Special Link in connection with email, offline promotion or in any offline manner (e.g., in any printed material, ebook, mailing, or attachment to email, or other document, or any oral solicitation).


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.
However, if you are selling a niche product (with a smaller market potential – for example: commemorative and collectable plates) you may need to offer a higher commission rate to entice affiliates to join the program. You’ll have fewer affiliates but they will be highly motivated. This can result in more sales for your and ultimately more revenue.

My first affiliate sale was somewhat of a family affair and it only took a few days at most. It was in December 2008. One of my sisters wrote a book on foreclosure cleaning. If you remember, foreclosures were big in the news from 2007 to about 2011/2012. The collapse of the financial — and hence, housing — industry flooded the market with foreclosures.
Hey. Yes you can use just one website to promote multiple affiliate programs, but I’d say that your website should focus on just one niche. So you mention, SellHealth, that would lead me to believe your site is about health and fitness. I would then advise you to stick to that niche rather than promoting unrelated products like dog leashes and fashion accessories.
On the other hand, many affiliate marketers choose a small niche topic and become the “authority” website for that specific niche. For example, you might not want to start a website about “cars” because that’s too broad. But starting a website and becoming the “authority” for the 1992 Saturn SL probably won’t attract enough interest, even though there is virtually no competition. But what about starting a website and becoming the authority for the “muscle car” niche like MuscleVehicles.com did?
In time I would like to branch out into multiple niches, but am unsure whether I can do this using one company name. If I am effectively emailing various lists (who have bought different niche products and are categorised into separate email lists), would it be best to use different email addresses and company names for each niche? I am unsure what to do, as I do not wish to appear to deceive anyone, but do not want to be protrayed as an expert in every area.
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