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.
I do not recommend using social media for your main platform. Why not social media? It’s risky because you don’t control YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and other social media sites — they do. And they can change the rules at any time.
While following your passion is definitely the recommended option, sometimes the possibility of making money in a profitable niche trumps passion. So, you might not necessarily know much about your niche, but if it’s likely to make you money, you can always learn more about it, right? 
A way to communicate with people (like a blog, not social media). Sometimes this is called a platform. It might be a blog, a website, an email list or some other online presence where people listen to what you have to say.
Use effective calls to action & hone your copywriting skills. Learn how to do them well. Read How to Create a Great Call to Action: 6 Tips for tips. Make sure you create catchy titles to draw people in. Make it personal, not sales-y. What would you be more likely to read? “Here’s What I Use to Build My Sites” or “Bluehost Hosting“?
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.
Will my target audience realistically buy this product? Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they most likely to buy? If your blog is mainly about frugal living, your readers probably aren’t going to buy luxury products, so promoting high-end clothing might not work so well.
Ask around. In my experience, if you establish a good relationship with other content creators (and especially if you are giving more than you are taking in that relationship), over time, most are more than willing to share tips and hints about what has and has not worked for them. A mastermind group is also a great place to get ideas.
The final component that completes the affiliate relationship triangle is the consumer. The consumer is the one who actually sees the ad and then makes an action (either by clicking a link or by submitting their information via a form) that takes them from the publisher’s website to the advertiser’s to complete the action, which we call a conversion.
When I first started in affiliate marketing, all I wanted was to just make money. Off I ran in every direction, trying everything, with no real idea of the mistakes I was making that could very well affect my chances at long term success.
Remember: Purchasing generic content is NOT an effective method to build your site. While it may be tempting to populate your site this way, in the long run it won’t help you to position yourself as an expert in your niche (and ultimately means less traffic and fewer sales).
Courses you’ve taken & liked. Some of mine are Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income,  Self Publishing 101 and Page Strategies (for building your Facebook Page).
Great tips! Since I just started blogging in January I am still really just getting my toes wet in affiliates. However, I did notice that pictures and real life demonstrations of the product really help. For instance, I have several food posts where I talk about my favorite cook books and show what I have cooked out of them, and then included amazon links, sure enough I sold a few cook books.
Mistake #5: Promoting a lot of affiliate products instead of just a few. Once you start affiliate marketing, you realize how easy it is to share affiliate links. Instead of becoming an affiliate for a lot of different products and sharing them liberally, I recommend concentrating on just a few and sharing them intentionally. It doesn’t seem as spammy, plus you can be sure the products you do promote are closely aligned with your brand and message. Deep is better than wide.
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. 
Welcome! Chances are, you’ve landed here because you aren’t quite sure how this whole affiliate marketing thing works. Maybe you’ve discovered CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) while searching the web for online marketing solutions, or maybe you’ve heard of affiliate marketing but still don’t know: what is affiliate marketing? Thankfully, some good folks at CJ want to help you master the art of affiliate marketing and how to make more money online.
Always disclose. You must let your readers know when you are using affiliate links. Read my post, Are You Disclosing Properly? for more. An image disclosure or general disclosure at the bottom of your site is not sufficient.
Mistake #2: Using the “They must not be my people” excuse to be spammy. I’m not a fan of this common tactic. Here’s how it works: people send a huge number of sales/promotional emails to their list with no warning and with no easy way to opt out. When people complain or unsubscribe, they put it on them (“Oh well, they aren’t my type of subscriber anyway…”), instead of taking responsibility for the spam (let’s call it what it is). What ever happened to “treat others the way you want to be treated”?
Start with a blog, where your content is always available. By itself, an email list can be hard to start if there’s not a place (like your blog or website) where potential subscribers can get to know you first.
Some people remember the 1990’s as a tremendous period of growth for grunge music and Jim Carrey films. While this is true, most people will probably tell you the 90’s were responsible for this big, beautiful, technology called the World Wide Web (aka the internet, the web, the vast digital ocean of information at our finger tips). And with any new technology or media, companies quickly realized they had a new opportunity to market their products and services to consumers via the millions of websites they visit every day.
In my experience, most affiliate programs don’t work because the returns on them are so low that it’s not commercially viable. You need money, time and more importantly, the right knowledge to generate quality traffic that will buy your offers.
Very well written! Thanks for sharing these tips. Something as simple as adding your affiliate link to images is one I’ve overlooked sometimes lol. What has worked the best for me is adding bonuses to the affiliate offer.
Affiliate marketing is something I’ve been doing ever since 2009 on an architecture related website, promoting an exam software product that has since generated $200,000 in commissions over the years.
Pay per action. Sometimes affiliates are paid when a customer completes a specific action. For example, maybe a company will pay you for every time someone signs up to their email list. Or maybe you get paid every time someone prints a coupon via your link.
Audience fatigue. If multiple affiliates share the same audience, and all those affiliates are promoting the same thing at the same time, that audience can be deluged with promotions. This can be annoying for your audience. Hopefully you are not the affiliate that “breaks the camel’s back” and makes a customer check out altogether.

Why Most Affiliate Marketing Fail

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Brilliant write up there, at least beginning bloggers can get to know more about affiliate marketing and how profitable it is. On my blog I talked about way bloggers make money and affiliate marketing was one of them. Thanks for this post once again. Jude
That said, if you’re interested in building affiliate sites that sell, I also suggest checking out our AffiloBluePrint, which includes our custom AffiloTheme for websites and a bunch of other bonuses — and complete support so you can create a site that earns you commission with ease:
The best part of all this is that the way that I teach you how to do affiliate marketing makes it a win for everyone. A lot of people worry about getting involved with affiliate marketing because it might make them look slimy or too salesy.
Once you’ve decided on a niche, it’s time to find out what’s out there in terms of programs and products to promote. You’ve probably already done a bit of research for this while researching your niche — now you need to dig deeper. 
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.
You will vastly improve your chances of making a good income as an affiliate marketer if you use as many available communication vehicles as possible. Email is one of the most effective communication vehicles there is. Even more so than your blog or website.
In the world of affiliate marketing, an advertiser can be a company selling a product like electronics, airline tickets, clothing or car parts, or an advertiser could also be an insurance company selling policies. The most important thing to remember is that you are an advertiser if you are ready to pay other people to help you sell and promote your business.
Amazon operates a volume-based advertising fee structure. The more products that are shipped as a result of your affiliate links, the more you’ll make per sale. Once you have sold enough products to move up to a different advertising rate, all subsequent sales will give you commission at that rate, until and unless you reach the next fee level. Note that some products are exempt from this commission structure.
Ultimate Bundles. Every year a huge bundle of products are released at a significantly reduced rate. These sales can be quite lucrative for affiliates. Click the link to see if any of the upcoming bundles are in your niche.
Know when (and when not) to use Viglinks and Skimlinks. If you applied to an affiliate program but were denied, you might be able to still be an affiliate for that advertiser through a secondary affiliate program like VigLink or Skimlinks. Basically, they themselves are affiliates and will split their affiliate commission with you if you put their affiliate link in your content for an advertiser. Obviously, the commission rate is lower for you in this case, so if you ever are accepted into the advertiser’s affiliate program directly, immediately switch from using VigLink / Skimlinks affiliate links to your own.
Use your personal words & experience with the product. Your own content, or photos & videos of yourself using the product are always the most effective. For example, many affiliate programs provide swipe copy to their affiliates which is pre-written emails, post material or social media posts. These can be helpful as a guide, but they often scream swipe copy, aren’t written in your voice (the one your readers know!) and if a lot of affiliates are using it, are overdone.
Ask for VIP (sometimes called “tiered”) commissions. Many affiliate programs have different commission levels. Usually the standard commission level is made public, but higher commissions are offered to higher performing affiliates. Sometimes you may be bumped up to “VIP affiliate” status by the advertiser, but most times you have to ask if there’s a higher tier and how you can get there.
Along with that, Amazon is a complete SELLING MACHINE! What I mean by that, is they have drilled their conversion rates down to the last detail. Typically I can convert traffic I send to Amazon from my affiliate sites around 12%. The reason why it works so well is that the moment people land on Amazon, they are automatically switched into “buyer mode”. Meaning, they know the only thing left for them to do is BUY. What that means, is all you have to do is get people to Amazon’s site, and they literally do the selling for you.
Will my target audience realistically spend this amount for the product? Again, your reputation is on the line here. Is the product you are thinking of promoting priced reasonably for your audience? When I was writing my ebook, I was stuck on pricing. I asked around for opinions. A number of people suggested I price my ebook at $47! Their idea was to price according to value, not size. In my mind that was crazy. My network was composed of a lot of stay-at-home bloggers, and my collective audience was comprised mostly of people without a whole lot of disposable income. There was no way anyone was going to pay $47 for my 30-page ebook.
Starting your own home business has never been easier, thanks to the internet. With the help of the internet you have access to people from all over the world, right from your own home. While there are many types of businesses you can start, affiliate marketing is one of the best. It can give you an extremely large income and all you have to do is learn some new skills. If you can read and write you can have a very successful online business.
The wording of your disclosure matters. On Facebook, for example, people avoid using the word “affiliate” because it doesn’t get things seen. However, Amazon will kick you out if you use wording that isn’t clear.
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).
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.
You can put up banners on your site, to promote your affiliate offers. Most affiliate programs will usually provide their own creatives when you sign up for their offers. All you have to do is insert the banner on a highly trafficked page (your affiliate tracking is usually embedded within the code). Banner ads in the right locations can do a great job of driving sales.  
Sometimes you find out an advertiser uses an affiliate network when you are browsing the list of advertisers in your affiliate network. For example, I might be logged into ShareASale and do a search for “Merchants” (their term for advertisers) in the Home & Garden category. When I do, I see that Wayfair runs its affiliate program via ShareASale._
Building an engagement or following is mostly done through social media. The first step is having a Facebook page or a Twitter account of your website so you can share new posts and other relevant info to others.
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