One last note. I’ve been asked what I think of other affiliate marketing resources, both free and paid. I’m familiar with some of them, not all. I’ve read ebooks, watch videos, bought courses and more. So far, the only paid-for course that has impressed me enough to recommend is Kayla Aimee’s Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income.
To sum it all up, making your first affiliate commission requires a bit of work but if you break it all down and follow it step by step, it won’t seem so overwhelming at all. Here’s a quick recap of what you need to do:
Pick a niche you are passionate about, and confirm other people are passionate about it. the best way to do this is to type the main keyword of your niche into Amazon’s search box. If you see dozens and hundreds of products related to your niche (with lots of product reviews) it’s typically a good niche to get into.
You don’t control the experience. Once you make a referral, you are ultimately not in control of your audience’s experience. If they have a bad experience with an advertiser, it can reflect poorly on you.
In affiliate marketing, one task that cookies manage is to remember the link or ad the visitor to a website clicks on. Cookies can also store the date and time of the click, they can even be used to remember what kind of websites or content you like most. There are many different types of web cookies and uses, but the kind of cookie affiliate marketing relies on is called a first-party cookie.
Yes, the word “marketing” is part of the phrase affiliate marketing, but for the most part, our job as an affiliate is not to sell — that is the job of the sales page our affiliate links lead the reader to.
With the emergence of search engines in the mid-1990’s, the internet ballooned into a massive e-commerce and information machine. Website owners were creating valuable content and providing tremendous benefits to their visitors, and these website owners wanted to be compensated for their hard work. Early forms of online advertising like CPM or fixed placement started seeing competition from emerging, more accountable forms of online advertising, like affiliate marketing. So, what is affiliate marketing?
If you purchase your domain and hosting from different companies, you will need to link the two together. Don’t panic, it’s a simple process. Check out our lesson: Linking your Domain with Your Hosting.
I routinely turn down offers for free product or free trials by advertisers. I buy products with my own money and try them out as a paying customer. After all, if I’m part of my target audience and the advertiser can’t convince me to buy, it’s unlikely my audience will be convinced to buy either.
In this video, I explain why Amazon Affiliate Marketing is best for beginners, and how to get into the industry. The reason why I love this program so much is because it has much lower competition overall, and you don’t have to “sell” people on things. Amazon’s powerhouse strategy does all the lifting for you. I also reveal some tips you can use to increase your conversion rates with your affiliate websites.
This is obviously a crucial factor to consider. You might come up with an idea for a niche you know a lot about, but are there affiliate programs for the niche? No affiliate program = no sales. Time to look for a different niche. 
When I first started, my overwhelming (and totally naive) impulse was to fill my pages with words and links that screamed “BUY THIS NOW!”. I didn’t help the reader learn why they should have this product. I only wanted them to click a link which would hopefully lead to a commission for me.
Don’t be afraid to appeal or apply again. If you apply to a program but you don’t get accepted, see if there is an indication of when you can reapply. If you don’t see anything, email the affiliate manager and ask if you can apply again and if so, when would be the right time. Be respectful and kind in your email, not defensive.
It takes time to build trust. Even though it’s easy to become an affiliate marketer, you won’t make money without an audience that trusts you first. Building trust takes time. In that way, it takes a lot of patience up front.
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It can feel overwhelming to do all the necessary work involved in setting up your site and building your reputation. But trust me, once you’ve made that first sale, all the hard work will be worth it!
I absolutely love your post about Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: How to Make Your First Affiliate Marketing Sale in 7 Steps. Over the years I have found that people put too much emphasis on “how to make more sales” versus teaching techniques as to how a beginner can make their first sale . Understanding how to make that first sale is key.
For example, The Wire Cutter is focused on writing reviews of several different kinds of products and helping their readers make the best decision about the product they want to buy. After reading a review on their site, if the user clicks through to the product/service using the affiliate link, The Wire Cutter will earn a commission from. 
For more details on how to choose a reliable host, make sure to read our free lesson on What to Look for in a Hosting Provider. Some affordable and reliable hosting providers we recommend are GoDaddy, HostGator and BlueHost. 
I only recommend products as an affiliate that I’m extremely very familiar with—preferably products that I’ve used before and have helped me achieve something. If I’m not confident in the product and I don’t feel it will positively help people, I will not promote it.
Freedom & flexibility. Because the seller is doing the heavy lifting of creating, customer service, etc., affiliates have more time to focus on what they want to do, while still making money in the background.
Affiliate links to share. Once you have proven yourself to be a trustworthy source of information on topics important to your audience, you can begin to recommend affiliate products or services to them. This entails applying to affiliate programs and sharing your unique affiliate links for products you promote (more below).
When you link to another site in a blog post, Google generally assumes you’re giving that site a thumbs up if you link to it (why would you link to something you don’t like, right?). If enough people give a site a “thumb’s up” by linking to it, that webpage might rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Be honest. Talk about what you like and don’t like. Be fair and build trust. It will serve you well later. For examples, check out my review posts about Elite Blog Academy and Self Publishing 101. I get emails frequently from people who tell me they decided to purchase one of those courses through my affiliate link because it was the most balanced review they found.
Promote products relevant to your niche. Be a student of your niche. Listen to what others talk about. Note problems people have or holes that need filling. Find products that will help. Buy them. Use them. Recommend the best.
It’s much easier to work on something if you’re passionate about it. Plus, when you have a passion, you’re usually quite knowledgeable about it too, so that definitely helps. For example if you have a passion about about makeup, your niche of choice might be makeup related, too. 
Nothing breaks a reader’s trust more than being led to a promotion that will blow up their inbox. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer and see what will happen if they follow your advice.
The bottom line is that you’ll need to be flexible, understand the motivations of different affiliate types and weigh all of these factors against your own business goals and needs. You’ll need to make a profit and you don’t want a commission structure that dilutes that.  
When a user visits a publisher’s website and clicks an advertiser’s creative ad, the visitor’s browser receives the CJ tracking cookie that identifies the advertiser, the publisher, the specific creative and commission amount. This data is stored within the link information in what are called “parameters” and can include even more anonymous data used for attribution.
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don’t be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you. 
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