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.
Technically no, although in my opinion, it’s the most convenient vehicle for affiliate marketing. Why? Because it’s a perfect spot to keep all your content and it’s not subject to the whims of social media algorithms. Plus, it’s available 24/7 so anyone can find it at any time.
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.
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.
The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don’t have enough content about a topic, you’re not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it’s unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you. 
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Will my target audience realistically buy this now, or at a different time? Be sensitive to sales cycles and seasons. Maybe you should avoid holidays (when people are away from their computers, like July 4 in the U.S.) or maybe you should target holidays (like the day after Thanksgiving), but know the difference. Again, know your audience. Plan your content accordingly.
Do they have a lot of products I could promote? Note that you can become an affiliate for large companies once, and then promote any of their products. For example, you can become an affiliate with Amazon (“Amazon Associate”) once and promote any of their products.
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. 
The easiest and most common way to start building an audience for a website is via social media. Depending on your niche and industry, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and several other niche and location-specific networks. Building up an engaged and interested following on social media is a great opportunity to build relationships and once you have their trust, promote your products and services to them. 
Your ongoing work as an affiliate marketer will be to repeat steps 4 – 6 on a continual basis. Building a site up to a point where it can make you consistent income takes a bit of work and you must be willing to constantly create, promote, market, innovate and of course, sell. 
Some good tips. I fully agree that it’s all about trust and it is always good to recommend an affiliate product that you have actually used. Why risk your reputation on a product you don’t know if it’s any good or not? If people buy one dodgy product from your site, they will probably never make that mistake again. That it why my blog strongly advocates ethical affiliate marketing. It’s the best long term stragey for affiliate marketing success.
Focus on benefits not features. Don’t simply list the features of a product (“You’ll get this and this and this…). How will this product change their life? How has the product changed your life? What will their life look like if they use this product?
When recommending an affiliate product, everything hinges on your affiliate link. If you don’t use your affiliate link, or you use the wrong one, you won’t be properly credited for any resulting sales and therefore won’t get paid.
Amazon Associates is an affiliate marketing program run by Amazon which allows you to sell its products on your own website in exchange for a cut of the profits. This enables you to boost your product range, test new types of products on your audience or even build a full business around this and perhaps other affiliate programs. For small businesses that currently sell products online, this could represent a great source of added revenue, if you sell additional products through Amazon, without worrying about getting the products yourself. Amazon conducts the sales and ships them directly to the client.
SID (shopper ID) enables publisher to track where their referred actions originated so they can target and/or reward their unique shoppers. When the visitor makes a purchase or completes a lead form, that transaction is tracked and recorded by Commission Junction.
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.
A publisher is an individual or company that promotes an advertiser’s product or service in exchange for earning a commission. Advertisers contractually agree to work with a publisher, then provide the publisher with creative – in the form of links, banner or text ads or even unique phone numbers – that the publisher incorporates into their website.
A WordPress theme provides all the styling of a site that you (and your audience) see on the front end. There are thousands of themes available, so choosing one might seem daunting at start. Our advice: go with something simple and easy to customize. You can always change it later. 
Win-win-win. The advertiser wins because they only pay when a purchase is made (as opposed to the shotgun approach of paying to advertise to the masses and waiting for a small percentage to actually buy). The affiliate wins because they make money while providing helpful advice. The customer wins because they get a trusted recommendation for something they might not otherwise have known about.
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.
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!
​The products and services you will be promoting to your audience must be relevant and good quality. Make sure you believe in them and know everything about them, because this will be crucial to you delivering the sales pitch to your audience. You need to build trust with your audience so make sure the products and services you choose to promote are trustworthy enough. 
Perhaps you’ve seen this before. You’re in a “learn online marketing” type forum. A person publishes a post complaining that they can’t make a dime online. But in their signature line they have something along the lines of “I Made 50 Million Dollars with This” followed by their affiliate link.
Always fill out the comment box to “sell” your platform. If you are given the opportunity to explain why you are interested in a program, do it! Use the space to highlight why you would be an asset to the program. Talk about how your audience is their audience. Talk about the size of your mailing list (if it’s significant). Talk about your success with similar programs. Talk about where and how you will promote (hopefully you’ve done a bit of research so you know what they’re hoping for). Don’t sound desperate and certainly don’t lie about anything, but be upfront and honest about how this will be a win for them.
PID (publisher website ID) is used to identify the publisher’s website. A CJ publisher may have multiple PIDs under one single CJ account (e.g. if you maintain multiple websites, you will have multiple PIDs).
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.

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What are the terms of the program? Is there anything I need to be aware of that would make a program not worth it for me. For example, Amazon Associates does not allow you to put your affiliate links in emails. If your main method of communication with your audience is via email, Amazon might not be a good fit for you. Wayfair, for example, does not allow their affiliates to post affiliate links on Pinterest or any other social media site. If that’s a strategy you rely on, Wayfair might not be a good fit for you.
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