Affiliate marketing is one of the most known (and most lucrative) ways to earn money online.
However, not every blogger can generate a good income from affiliate commissions.
I tell you more, with almost 2 billion websites out there (source “internet live stats“), many will not even be able to generate a single sale.
But let’s look at the glass as half full.
Indeed, many bloggers have taken affiliate marketing a step further and have devoted their entire professional lives to working online.
I’m sure it’s the dream of many of you.
But what turns a good affiliate into a great affiliate?
In truth, there is no easy answer, as the range of potential products and services that can be promoted through affiliate marketing means that there has been an equally diverse range of practices and methods used to exploit it.
If you’re completely in the dark about this whole affiliate marketing, though, let me fill you in.
You need to consider some points when choosing the path of making money online with affiliate marketing (this post contains circa 1500 words and takes around 7 minutes to read).
What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
It’s a relatively modern form of marketing with its roots in the early nineties when companies would hire members of the general public to direct people to their stores.
The reasoning is that people are more likely to trust ‘one of their own than a company drone.
The affiliate marketing of today is essentially the same practice, only online.
Essentially everything boils down to uploading links that direct your viewers to your affiliate partner’s site.
If some of them are going to purchase that product or service, you’ll get a commission out of it.
Generally, the standard is 10-20%, but the commission can be up to 50% or even 70% for specific products.
So basically, the commission amount can fluctuate from as low as $1 up to greater sums, like $1.000, $2.000, or even $10.000, depending on what product or service you are recommending.
4-Step Plan You Need to Make $2,000/Month with High-Ticket Offers
Now, when you register for affiliate programs, you will get a unique affiliate link that you will use when promoting that specific product.
This is a tracking URL, which companies (or affiliate networks) use to record if your referral generated the sale.
Every affiliate program you are going to register to has its own terms of service, like, for example, the cookie period.
If this time is set to 30 days, if your visitor uses your affiliate link to check a product web page but decides to buy it within the next 30 days, you will still receive the affiliate commission.
Here are some important affiliate marketing terms you should read about.
- Affiliates: people (webmasters, bloggers) who will use affiliate programs to generate income.
- Affiliate Marketplace: You can sign in to find different affiliate programs in a specific niche (for example, ShareASale, ClickBank, Amazon, etc.).
- Affiliate Link: the unique tracking link you will receive when signing up for an affiliate program.
- Commission: it’s the amount of money you will get for each sale of the specific product or service you promote. Basically, if you recommend registering to an affiliate program and some of your readers will do, you will get a percentage of the commissions this user will generate (for a certain amount of time – generally one year). Some examples? SeedingUp, ValuedVoice.
The above-mentioned are just the basic terms you need to know to start your journey in affiliate marketing.
Soon, you will learn about coupons code, URL shorteners, landing pages, and so on.
Study and Research
Getting the right information is crucial for affiliate marketing, like any other online business.
First of all, it’s about learning SEO and copywriting. Select a niche, make keyword research, target specific terms and write relevant, useful, informing content for your users.
There are tons of courses available on the internet and you should make your research before choosing one. I suggest this one, hosted by The Second Wallet and presented by Vick Strizheus, 8-figure internet entrepreneur and digital consultant.
Choose the Right Partners
Obviously, if your blog adheres to a specific niche, you’ll want to use partners whose products reflect that market.
For example, if you’re running a blog that deals with health and fitness, you should be looking for affiliates that deal with products such as health supplements and gym equipment and services such as personal training. Maybe you even love skincare and have a routine you want to share with millions of people. Direct sales for organic skincare companies have been increasing recently with the trends toward organic healthcare products. If you already know about skincare, then it makes selling much easier.
If your blog is less focused, of course, you’ll have potential options, but it’s always best to have a clear, defined focus.
Also, try not to focus on affiliates that only sell small ticket (inexpensive) items and services.
For bloggers who write about WordPress or websites creation, the BlueHost affiliate program gives a $60 commission for each sale.
And when you receive an email in your inbox announcing that you made a sale, you can party!
Find a Balance
As a blogger, affiliate marketing can potentially create an enormous amount of revenue for you and whomever it is you’re partnering with. Still, if you’re too heavy-handed with it, your blog could lose its credibility.
As your blog loses credibility, it will lose viewers, and that will send it spiraling down the search engine results ranking, leading your partners feeling like they’ve backed a lame horse.
Be sure to keep your blog stocked with content that isn’t affiliate marketing based, or people will soon see through you, and you’ll lose not only your blog but also any potential revenue you could earn through it.
If your content is not worth reading, then nobody will read it; it really is that simple.
Research Affiliate Companies
Unfortunately, as an affiliate, there’s very little chance you’ll be going it alone.
If you really want to make a decent amount of revenue, you’ll need to use an affiliate program.
The company that runs the program will be the ones paying you, so make sure that you do as much research as possible into the companies rates compared to their competitors and ask around to see if the company you’re considering has a good track record with their users.
Most affiliate programs will operate on a ‘pay per click’ or ‘pay per sale’ basis.
With PPC, you’ll get a commission for every person who visits your site and is referred to your affiliate partners’ site through your links. With PPS, you’ll only get your commission if the visitor eventually purchases an item or service from your partner’s site.
Obviously, you’ll generally gain more commission from a PPS system, but the commission will be far more infrequent.
Whether you decide you prefer PPC or PPS depends very much on your own personal preferences but make sure that the company you choose to work for uses the payment arrangement you’re most comfortable with.
Produce HIGH-QUALITY Content
Do you know your audience?
Be sure to promote just those specific products or services relevant to your users and strive to create content that solves their problems or needs.
This is a good article from MarketingLand, that explains 7 big mistakes that new affiliate marketers make.
The first mistake is “Selling rather than helping.”
Be sure to write genuine posts to help your audience solving one of their needs or issues, and you will be right on your way to finally generate an income with affiliate marketing.
Use the Right Tools
When it comes to affiliate marketing, like any other task online, if you are going to use the right tools, everything becomes much simpler.
First of all, you want to have a blog.
Do you need a completely FREE guide to help you create your first blog and make money with it?
How to Start a Blog (And Make Money With It) – Step by Step Guide
If you use WordPress, I have a tool to suggest to you.
It’s called the Pretty Links plugin, which will make your affiliate marketing work much easier.
Basically, it helps manage all your affiliate links under one dashboard, making it easy to add them every time you create new content.
Also, you can create groups for your links, cloak, and customize them.
I hope this small guide to affiliate marketing is going to help you to get started.
There are many possibilities to earn money on the web. Most of them have in common that you need high-quality content. In fact, check these residual income business opportunities.
To generate truly high-class journalistic content, education is the best way. Open School of Journalism offers a distance education program in journalism with many electives, including online journalism, content marketing, etc.
And you, are you making money with affiliate marketing?
Do you have any other suggestions to add?
Please share your experience in the comments below. Thanks!
Arpit Roy says
Another great post. For full time bloggers, a large part of the earning comes from affiliate marketing. It is very important that you choose to market the right product according to your niche, as you have mentioned in the post. Marketing a wrong product will not generate any revenue as it will not cater to the needs of your target audience.
You might want to change the typo in the title Erik, I suppose ‘With’ is mistakenly written as ‘Wih’ 🙂
This was an informative post. Have a good week ahead.
Brian ( says
These are some great tips on Affiliate Marketing. The best way to promote a product is to write an honest review. You would also need a big subscriber list. Most of the people now a days don’t open all their emails. So, you’ll have a low open rate. Sending newsletters is the best way of affiliate marketing because you’re targeting specific audience and you have a higher chance of selling.
Thanks for sharing these great tips.
George Meszaros says
I think affiliate revenue should be part of most bloggers income. I like it because it requires less traffic than advertising.
Good point about balance.I think many bloggers start to think about monetization too late.
Thank you for the MBP Ninja recommendation. I am looking into it.
Ryan Biddulph says
I am huge on churning out the big, in-depth posts that really gain the trust of your readers. Once you have that trust, you’re golden on the affiliate side of things. Excellent points Erik, because if you create helpful content, and in-depth stuff at that, and if you give it away for free, you’ll generate affiliate sales or product sales, no problems.
Erik, well done buddy.
Keep on inspiring!
sherman smith says
I wish I had this guide a couple of years ago when I was trying my hand on affiliate marketing. I was successful in using PPC and generating leads, but you know what? I wasn’t getting a lot of sales! But I didn’t have a strong, basic foundation on affiliate marketing and I believe this post would’ve directing me in the right direction. Now I know I’m heading in the right direction. The only thing that sucked is that it took me a couple of years to realize this LOL…
Thanks for sharing Erik! Have a great rest of the week!
That is a wonderful post with lots of tips. I see the “produce high quality content” in all caps – that’s very important.
For affiliate marketing to work, it is essential that we first build the trust. It is not about one off sales and commissions. It is about a long term relationship.
If we can prove to people that we are being genuine (in our recommendations) and helpful (in the reviews and tutorials), it is easy to earn that trust.
Once the trust is built it will not be hard to make those sales 🙂
Thanks for putting this up!
Nikhil Ganotra says
Great affiliate marketing tips Erik!
I am too a affiliate marketer but sometimes I too make couple of mistakes. I also read the post that was pointing to marketing land.
And Now I hope I would be able to increase my long term profits.
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Md. Hamim Mondal says
Great affiliate marketing tips Erik Sir.
According to me, choosing right partner and produce high quality article is the main point.
But sometimes affiliate sale depends on trust value. If we build trust in our readers. We can make affiliate sale easily.
BTW thanks for your tips.
Hope you have a great weekend. 🙂
Again a useful post by you for bloggers to help newbies to make money from blogging.
Affiliate marketing is the best way to make money online, one can make huge income from affiliate commissions. Sky is the limit.
Atish Ranjan says
Simply nice post. Affiliate marketing is one of the finest ways to earn money online through your blog but doing it right way can only work. Just adding few affiliate links in your posts don’t work mostly.
Hosting companies pay well. I am using CJ and planning to start using ShareAsale too.
My experience with Hostgator was not good. They cancelled my commission when I made few sales on cyber Monday deals.
Good post mate.
Thanks for sharing
Rahul Yadav says
I like the way you explained How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing.
Very useful. Thanks for sharing.
Wonderful post about affiliate marketing. Its really great to know new tips and strategies of course.
Rahul Choudhary says
That is an eminent post with loads of tips. I see the “produce brilliant substance” in all tops – that is imperative.
For associate promoting to work, it is fundamental that we first form the trust. It is not around one off deals and commissions. It is around a long haul relationship.
In the event that we can demonstrate to individuals that we are being certified (in our proposals) and accommodating (in the surveys and excercises), it is anything but difficult to procure that trust.
When the trust is manufactured it won’t be tricky to make those deals 🙂
Much obliged concerning putting this up!
Here’s to you,
Affiliate Marketing is really awesome and one of the best way to make money online. I also make some money per month from Amazon Affiliate and MyThemeShop affiliate. I’m going to make money money with MyThemeShop and it’s really awesome.
Thanks for the nice post.
Erik, excellent stuff releaved again. First foremost thing is have your audience , with out them n doing something is useless. We should have our loyalty to the audience , our readers or if we do videos, we should precisely know our viewers or our listeners, and create something fantastic stuff, that talks about different ascepts of a well-defined topic and that, gives you a lots of flexibility so you can talk about different kinds of products on an affiliate basis. The next important thing is the content creation magic which always serves as key profitable to affiliate marketing. If you deliver good content means that you’re giving value to your reader.
You’ve well statement your experiments on various products, you’re good marketer from your post I can see that you gives words and understanding how you use it, telling about choose right partners, find balance , care about, right tools that helps better understand about affiliates products as well.
I got to your website from some source,but in the very first visit to your blog,I was totally amazed with your awesomeness! of the post,Your catchy titles really makes me of course others too click on it,The Post seems really great,you’ve explained everything from the scratch and that’s a cool stuff! 🙂 😉
This article helped me so much in affiliate marketing
Thanks for the share
Earning money from affiliate marketing very hard for me, I started my affiliate program through ShareASale last 2 months back, till now I didn’t make any sale.
Sometimes I feel I am dumb at affiliate marketing, after reading this article, I got a little hope of earning money from affiliate, let us hope for the best, thank you very much for sharing this information.
Nitin Singh says
In the very first visit to your blog,I was totally amazed with your awesomeness! of the post,Your catchy titles really makes me of course others too click on it,The Post seems really great,you’ve explained everything from the scratch and that’s a cool stuff!
Chetan Gupta says
Affiliate marketing is the most profitable method to earn money online but It also bit difficult if we will not promote the product correctly. Right?
As I have seen in the above article that You have exlain a little bit about HostGator affiliate program. I have a question that when HostGator pays to their affiliates?
Chetan Gupta says
I had completed 2 sales for which the commission should be 100$ but I was asking on which date HostGator pays to their affiliates?
Erik I want a article on How to Earn Money Through App using Affiliate.Please Write on this.
I am Waiting .. thanks in advance
Rekhilesh Adiyeri says
Thanks for the new idea Erik, I would like to try hostgator once more as an affiliate. By the way what is the best way to sell hosting offers?
Rekhilesh Adiyeri says
That’s great, let me try. 🙂
Bhumi Pednekar says
great post about affiliate marketing here.
Definitely, it’s one of the most lucrative ways to generate a passive income online.
However, not every blogger are able to get good money out of it.
Using the right tools, producing great content, solving your audience needs and problems, choosing relevant products or services to promote are some tips to reach success with affiliate marketing.
Thanks for sharing!
being a affiliate marketer i really loved those tips which will helps me alot thanks for sharing
This looks to be the best affiliate marketing Tip, hopefully will help many bloggers to generate more affiliate sales.
Nice Affiliate Marketing Guide , i love it, thanks for sharing this Erik.
Very nice guide, thanks for sharing 🙂
Last time when I joined Hostgator affiliate platform I didn’t got any cashout as my sales were showing invalid so I was very disappointed.
Akshay Thakur says
I have started a affiliate marketing few days before but I am not able to get more sales from my blog. Now today I got a quick guide regarding affiliate marketing and Now I will use the Plugin in my blog especially WP Product Review.
Thank you for adding the valuable information and sharing the Tips of affiliate Marketing.. 🙂
CANDI ELM says
Hi Erik, Thanks for writing outstanding article. My blog is two months old with 3000 Visitors per month. Suggest a right time to start Affiliate Marketing.
siddhartha sinha says
This is the true which is presented in the blog regarding the number of websites: 1217253303 and the way one could earn money through Hostgator is also great. Blog post was really superb and inspiring one. hats off to you.
Olili Bob says
I must say this post is very resourceful as many people find it hard getting started with affiliate marketing but this is a very good guide
Rahul digital says
I use a few affiliate programs. But i’m novice at this one. Your advices are really helpful. Now i can go on next level. I will follow up your articles. Thank you so much for your tips!
Saksham Kumar says
This article is great for new people in this industry. Thank you for writing this article for us.
And I am really trying not to make this mistake of “Selling, rather than helping”.
By the way, thank you again for these tips.
Still till this day, good information. Erik, a lot of beginners don’t know this and can save a lot of time by not making these basic mistakes.
Affiliate marketing is good, and profitable, but only if it’s done the right way.
Thanks for sharing!
Great informative post, my advice is to start affiliate makreting as a side job, give value/top notch content to your audience, establish yourself as an authority then the reward will come.
Eniola @ Top Blogs says
What a wonderful guide, I love reading your blog.
Nice blog post. One of the best I read recently. I’m new into blogging and feel I would love share some contents here.
So what I would do briefly is talk about Affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is promoting products and getting commission from it…
You don’t have to own a Product before you can sell. It’s simple, join an affiliate program with your desired niche and then choose an offer to promote. A lot of people are having success with this while a lot too haven’t made even a sale… As I will still tell you making money online is not easy if you are just starting… It will take some time for you to start getting persistent income… Maybe some months but depending on how serious you are… But I can still oppose that statement… You want to know why? If you want to succeed in a business, you must have money and if you don’t, you should be ready to put in time… You can’t start a free business and start making tons of money immediately. There’s no magic here If you go for courses and then learn from top affiliates, you will earn faster… That’s why I always recommend people to go for courses… The truth about it is that there’s no vital information free… So if you feel you have where to get free information to start getting successful then seriously you are only deceiving yourself… Schools are not free and even some are free, money must still be involved in something or another. That’s to show the value of knowledge. I’m promoting a course it’s very vital check this link out if you want to gain more knowledge.
Steps to take when starting affiliate marketing.
1. Finding a niche (it can be health or fitness or e-commerce etc…) but I’m into weight-loss which is under health and also run e commerce niche too… It’s cool promoting a weight-loss products there are lot of people that need it… Ecommerce too… You need it that’s why you are reading this and also lot of people too out there want to make money this.
2. Finding method to promote and scaling your traffic. The most important thing is your traffic. That’s where money is from. The customers, people who will buy the product or perform some action like leads… Some affiliate network pay per lead… Those are called cap meaning cost per action… But the one I deal on is cps which is called cost per sale… Money is much here… I always choose the one with more money.
3. finding the right audience: now after you’ve got the right product to you promote, you will need to find the right people to promote the products to. There are mainly two ways marketers do it.;
I talked more about this in my blog.
Great information. no doubt it has been helpful since I started working in the web. It takes a lot of time doing just a little of all that work that you’ve mentioned, however I think that practicing on everyday I could turn myself in a great blogger in a short time (I hope)! thanks for the advices
Sam Hood says
These tips will surely help us in getting better for money.
Keep updating awesome content.
Saurabh Garg says
thanks for the kind comment,
and I really appreciate you making me aware of the typo (a big one, actually).
I should have been “blind”, this morning! 😉
What a wonderful guide, I love reading your blog.
Salinder Singh says
Thanks for getting in touch and making us inform regarding affiliate marketing.
Looking forward to having more from you.
Sam Hood says
I will surely work on these and get some extra income for myself.
Danman Smith says
I am very sure that these tips you’ve given are really worth the try. So I am surely going to give it a check and try my luck in affiliate marketing. Thank you very much!
james davis says
Affiliate marketing seeks to make money by advertising goods and services from other companies , thanks for sharing such information.