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?

According to HowStuffWorks, “Affiliate programs, also called associate programs, are arrangements in which an online merchant website pays affiliate websites a commission to send it traffic. These affiliate websites post links to the merchant site and are paid according to a particular agreement. This agreement is usually based on the number of people the affiliate sends to the merchant's site or the number of people they send who buy something or perform some other action.

The easiest thing to do is to sign up for an affiliate marketing network like Commission Junction. They provide a marketplace where your affiliate program will be advertised to other affiliate marketers. They also provide the tracking software for your affiliates so you don’t have to build your own tracking system. In some ways this is better because it takes care of the trust issues. Affiliates are always suspicious of whether or not they’re getting credited for the sales they generate. By having an intermediary take care of transaction tracking and payments, the fear of being cheated is alleviated. 


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.

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.
ClickBank allows you to join for free, and the approval process is virtually automatic, so it’s a great choice for people entering the affiliated game for the first time. ClickBank has a ton of information, including FAQs, walk-throughs, and videos available, so the barrier to entry is quite low. There’s also a (paid) program called ClickBank University with courses and assistance from experienced marketers.

That being said, LinkConnector’s platform looks and feels outdated and is rather clumsily designed. Their dashboard also makes it difficult to find “hot” products or compare conversion rates, leaving affiliates somewhat in the dark about which products to choose. Ironically, despite their low-quality website, they offer some of the best customer service in the affiliate space.


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.
Affiliate marketing is very appealing to some publishers as well, because it can allow them to make considerably more money than they would under an alternative monetization strategy. Though the specifics of payout arrangements can vary a bit, in general affiliate payments will be significantly larger than the revenue generated from a click under a CPC pricing arrangement (or the effective CPC under a CPM arrangement). For high margin products such as e-books, for which there are no material costs, affiliate margins can be as 50% of the total purchase price. So it’s not unheard of for affiliates to generate $100 or much more from each referral.
Miles, Great tutorial!! I absolutely need to change my mindset. Question: If I wanted to promote an offer, would it be ok to use a contest or giveaway, then add the affiliate link to the thank you page after they have given their email address? like " thanks so much for entering the contest, BTW, do you have a XXX issue? if so check out the button below.
Let’s say that you’re running a company that specializes in shoes. Your customer base knows that you’re a shoe expert but also values your input on other high quality products — like handbags. Maybe your customers have asked you about handbags, and you find yourself recommending the same options over and over again. As a shoe vendor, you’re acting as a marketer for the handbag company.
Some advertisers offer multi-tier programs that distribute commission into a hierarchical referral network of sign-ups and sub-partners. In practical terms, publisher "A" signs up to the program with an advertiser and gets rewarded for the agreed activity conducted by a referred visitor. If publisher "A" attracts publishers "B" and "C" to sign up for the same program using his sign-up code, all future activities performed by publishers "B" and "C" will result in additional commission (at a lower rate) for publisher "A".
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. Utilizing one of the common website correlation methods may provide clues about the affiliate network. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly if a contact method can be located.
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.

By quite a large margin Amazon has the largest affiliate marketing program out there, with products from more than 1.5 million sellers. Amazon has the most easy-to-use technology of all the affiliate programs I will be reviewing today. Beginners to affiliate marketing with even the most limited technical expertise will have no problems in getting up and running with the Amazon associates program, while more experienced marketers can create custom tools and websites with the APIs and advanced implementations available to them. The great thing about Amazon is that anything from kids toys to laptops can generate sales if they are purchased through any Amazon affiliate link.
VigLink is an intermediary platform, so it can serve as a backdoor for affiliates who have previously been banned/suspended from working with other affiliate programs like Amazon. And while you can choose specific merchants or offers, VigLink can be set up to work automatically by scanning your published content and dynamically generating affiliate links, making it a great choice for established content producers who are looking for a simpler way to generate revenue via an affiliate program.

(b) Obtaining Product Advertising Content. You may obtain Product Advertising Content by making calls to PA API. If we provide express prior written approval, you may also obtain Product Advertising Content through a data feed (“Data Feeds”) that we make available via file transfer protocol. To request our approval for access to Product Advertising Content through Data Feeds, contact us via this link. If you obtain Product Advertising Content through Data Feeds, your access to and use of Data Feeds is subject to this License. You acknowledge that we may change, deprecate, or republish PA API or Data Feeds, or any features of PA API or Data Feeds, at any time and from time to time, and you agree that it is your responsibility to ensure that your access to and use of PA API or Data Feeds is compatible with the then-current requirements (including this License and all Program Policies).
Affiliate networks usually act as the intermediaries between publishers “who are also known as affiliate marketers” who sell services and products and merchants who create the products, services as well as the affiliate programs. For the merchants, the types of affiliate network services provided mostly include tracking, reporting, refund processing and payment, affiliate management, and important of all, the access to a huge base of publishers. And for the affiliate marketers, the network services usually include a specific database of numerous affiliate programs which are usually organized by popularity and category to select from, a simplified registration platform for the programs analytics, reporting tools, and payment processing.
A challenge with a lead-based commission structure is fraud prevention. If the form is easy to complete and the payout high enough, a dishonest affiliate can determine ways to auto-fill that form and collect commission on bogus leads. To prevent this, you would need a dedicated affiliate manager to police the quality of inbound leads. Warning signs include multiple leads originating from the same IP address, or patterns in data entry such as spelling variations on a single name — such as “Jonathan Smith,” “Jon Smith,” and “J. E. Smith.” When you detect fraud, boot the affiliate from the program immediately, and inform the network. And don’t forget to reverse any recorded leads associated with the bad affiliate.
In effect, VigLink works as the middleman between a publisher (blogger) and merchants by scanning the publisher’s content and automatically creating links to publishers that are chosen “in real time” based on their payout/conversation rates. This makes VigLink a very hands-off affiliate program for publishers who prefer to focus on content instead of managing their affiliate links.
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.[45] 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.

First things first, choose a niche. You should choose something which interests you, you don’t mind learning about, or have the ability to pay someone else to write about. Consider the potential costs carefully before delving into something which you know absolutely nothing about. Another important aspect is to be confident that it will be a lucrative niche to work in. There needs to be an abundance of products to promote, and the commission levels need to be significant enough to give you a good profit each time a sale is made.
(a) Promotional Materials. Amazon may from time to time provide you with a standard form template and other marketing assets for use in promotional marketing materials (“Promotional Materials”), subject to the limited license in Section 4(b) of this policy. Amazon reserves the right to review your Promotional Materials at any time for compliance with this Local Associates Policy. Any failure by you to provide the Promotional Materials in accordance with our request will constitute a material breach of this Local Associates Policy.

“Through our global affiliate network, we empower marketers to engage shoppers across the entire consumer journey. Affiliate success comes down to partnerships — we connect advertisers with publishers to reach new audiences and influence repeat purchases. Our solutions create a holistic strategy that delivers proven incremental revenue and is continually optimized for performance,” its website reads.
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.
There’s no limits to the number of affiliate programs you sign up for so applying for one today will not prevent you from picking another one later on.  In fact, being a member of more affiliate programs simply gives you more options in terms of products to promote plus they’re pretty much all free to join.  You can always leave a program if it’s not working out for you or there are no products you want to promote.

Many affiliates struggle to make enough profit from the sales they make to allow them to reinvest that money into more content or marketing. Once you do find a product that people can and will buy online, make sure it offers enough commission per sale to make it worth your while. There’s little sense in promoting light bulbs for 1% profit per sale.

A good example is the YouTube channel Suspicious0bservers. That guy posts a video about space weather every single morning. When he first started, nobody was following him. But over time, people started to subscribe. Then they started to tell their friends, who told their friends, and it became a total avalanche. He now has a paid subscription so people can receive his evening news videos and is making a full-time living doing it.
So I was at Affiliate Summit yesterday, which some of you guys were there. Which is kind of fun, I met some of you guys there. Affiliate Summit is a really strange event. It’s an event, it’s not even an event, I don’t even know. The events I go to, that we put on, Funnel Hacking Live, for those of you coming to Funnel Hacking Live, it’s like a rock concert. Tons of energy and emotion and it’s a really, really fun thing.
Darlene, you are 100% correct that you need to nurture the relationship once they're on your email list. It's important to mail more than once a week... You gotta think of subscribers as your best friends, you gotta keep them up-to-date on all the little things that are going on, sharing fun stories, sharing the ups and the downs... Being a real human being!
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