There are two ways to approach affiliate marketing: You can offer an affiliate program to others or you can sign up to be another business's affiliate. As the business driving an affiliate program, you'll pay your affiliates a commission fee for every lead or sale they drive to your website. Your main goal should be to find affiliates who'll reach untapped markets. For example, a company with an e-zine may make a good affiliate because its subscribers are hungry for resources. So introducing your offer through a "trusted" company can grab the attention of prospects you might not have otherwise reached.
It can be published as a book, and other people have already suggested what to include into ‘part 2’. As someone who has been asked by other people wanting to promote my products/serviced, I’d love to read about the merchant’s side of AM, e.g. various software that can be used, how to choose affiliate partners, what to include in the agreement, etc.
Sometimes, individual entrepreneurs with great products are worth a look, although you should check them out first and do some research. Entrepreneurs or companies may run their own affiliate program and you can apply directly to them to promote their products and services. Finally, Amazon is always an option as you can be an affiliate for just about any type of physical product on their network.
“In our 13 years of market analysis and branch network forecasting with Weber Marketing, we’ve learned that making data-driven market decisions and growth forecast planning, combined with understanding our target member’s preferences and behaviors, has led us to make more intelligent and far more accurate real estate network decisions that have helped increase Logix’s bottom line performance and deliver rich and distinctive member brand experiences.”
Always make affiliate links nofollow. Google’s goal is to provide its users with the best possible search results to their search queries. One of the main ways they figure out which webpages are the best is through links. The Google bots crawl the web, reading text. When they come to a link, it’s like an open door. They follow the link (walk through the door) and explore the site you linked to.
Leadpages also offers an option for affiliates to send referrals to attend a Leadpages webinar with standard commissions paid for any sale generated from the webinar. However, Leadpages requires you to get at least 150 people to sign up (but not necessarily attend) each webinar. Leadpages also offers affiliates the ability to view blog posts and videos on Leadpages’s site, again with the standard commission paid for any sales.
E.l.f. prides themselves at being able to offer top quality, professional makeup products at prices that will impress you. Choose from their range of concealers, lip liners, eyeliners, lipsticks, mascaras, and beauty tools all available for just $1. Their cosmetics are enriched with minerals and are especially designed to leave a long lasting, healthy glow on your skin.
This is important in the framework of not just affiliate marketing, but in marketing anything online, especially when the products are your own products and you're not just receiving a commission for selling them. Clearly, you need to build emotion around the entire process. In another words, you need to create an emotional attachment to every stage of the sales funnel.

There are lots of Amazon affiliates in this space, mostly because it’s a strong hobby (i.e. passion) niche with tons of products. Which is good, since tons of these big stores are very general in nature, making it possible for big outdoors sites to possibly even pick one or two stores to recommend (this, in turn, might have other advantages, too, like negotiating better rates with those brands).
Take advantage of affiliate program freebies when available. Many affiliate programs provide free printables, guides, webinars or other lead magnets designed to get potential customers in their sales funnel. As an affiliate, you can share these freebies with your audience using your affiliate link so if they eventually make a purchase, you’ll earn a commission, but if they don’t they still get value upfront.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products. This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the amount of commissions you make and create a steadier revenue stream for your website. 

Now most affiliate programs have strict terms and conditions on how the lead is to be generated. There are also certain methods that are outright banned, such as installing adware or spyware that redirect all search queries for a product to an affiliate's page. Some affiliate marketing programs go as far as to lay out how a product or service is to be discussed in the content before an affiliate link can be validated.
Hi, Jamie! Very good list. I needed something like this for 2018 so that I know what to target in the future blogs I create. As for now, I’m comfortable using SiteGround affiliate network and it’s pretty good actually. Their hosting service is pretty much the best considered its price. I’ve tried others but SiteGround stands out. I’ll also try new affiliate networks, something from the list you have just provided. I think Amazon is too saturated at the moment, and I need a better network. 2018 will be interesting indeed.

Affiliate Platform Description: Since 2006, WarriorPlus has brought together the leaders in online digital product creation and marketing. We’ve established a thriving and dynamic community where great minds share great products for greater success. We are committed to serving you and being a part of your journey to help others build their own profitable online business. 


Hi Tommy. I vet the programs listed on my site and eliminate the ones that people make complaints about. But its important for you to also use your due diligence when you choose a program. Google the name of the company followed by queries such as “complaints” and “fraud” and “scam” to see if people are making accusations. You can also contact their affiliate manager directly to ask questions. If you can’t locate an affiliate manager that is definitely a red flag. Finally, diversify into a few different companies so you can compare them. Hope this helps. Sincerely – Bill
LinkConnector has struggled to stand out from the pack but nonetheless has managed to sign some exclusive deals with big name brands, including Writer’s Digest, the Disney Store, Ironman, Hats.com, and Everly. Their strictly controlled screening process for both merchants/advertisers and affiliates/publishers means that you can always rely on the quality of products on offer.
When we build your website, we’ll design it to be mobile responsive. No matter what device your audience is using — be it mobile, tablet, or desktop — they’ll be able to access and view your site with ease. You’ll have one website that is easily viewed for everyone. On a desktop or laptop and not sure what we mean? Try it now. Simply grab the right corner of your web browser and push it to the left.
The name Elysium means "A State or Place of Perfect Bliss." That is the goal we are always striving to attain for our clients. We know owning a business or running a marketing department can be stressful, so we see it as our responsibility to alleviate the marketing burden and turn marketing into a positive - with positive results and a positive team making it all happen. We don't view ourselves as a marketing company but rather as marketing partners who work side-by-side with clients to ensure all are presenting themselves in the best light with a strong brand and an effective strategy.
Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.
10. Commission FactoryThe purpose of Commission Factory was to make performance-based marketing available to everyone and not require a steep learning curve in order to get involved and be successful. The platform has been designed to foster a spirit of collaboration between Merchants, Affiliates and Agencies in order to grow mutually beneficial and prosperous relationships. Because they have little to no barriers to entry Commission Factory has an enormously fast growing user base that enables companies of all sizes to discover the power of performance marketing.

Most businesses require startup fees as well as a cash flow to finance the products being sold. However, affiliate marketing can be done at a low cost, meaning you can get started quickly and without much hassle. There are no affiliate program fees to worry about and no need to create a product. Beginning this line of work is relatively straightforward.

From finding beauty solutions and quick fixes to simplifying makeup application for the fast pace of a photo shoot, Smashbox is inspired daily to create high performance products for their studio makeup artists and everyday women. Smashbox.com is a compete beauty destination, complete with  full line of best-selling products, Get the Look gallery and videos, makeup artist tips and tricks, Fashion Week Runway Report and more, all to educate, engage and entice their customers. 
Vovéo’s passion for our business is unrivaled. They continue to perform as an extension of our team and are a valued partner. They know our business, and are visionaries who continually bring new ideas to the table. Vovéo always anticipates the next move and drives the process forward from ideation to implementation. Where most agencies offer trade-offs between creativity and strategy, Vovéo leads the pack in both.– Heather Hunter, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.

With possibly the most transparent affiliate network online, we give affiliates access to stats no other program dare, including earning data, conversion stats, demographic information and seasonality trends. With ethics and consumer protection being high on the agenda, you can rest assured when working with MoreNiche you are working with an honest, trustworthy and transparent company.
StudioPress is a WordPress hosting service and framework that is designed to make setting up and running a WordPress site much simpler and easier. StudioPress comes with its own unique themes and SEO tools, collectively known as the “Genesis framework.”. Their affiliate program is solely for referrals to pay for a StudioPress framework account or buying a StudioPress theme. Previously, the affiliate program also included web hosting, but this is now managed separately by StudioPress’s owner, WPEngine.

CWS Asset Management and Sales (CWSAMS) is a nationwide company with expertise in the management, marketing and sales of a wide range of assets, specializing in web-based and live auctions. CWSAMS has provided continuous support to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, its legacy agencies, and other public & private entities for the marketing and sale of real and personal property for the past 26 years. An abbreviated list of clients are:
For me I would choose a program with Recurring commission. You can build a real passive income. Its the best way to go! One suggestion is contact companies who sell services and ask if you can sell their service for them. Sometimes popular affiliate programs like these have just way too many people trying to sell their service. I personally went to sitecare.ca and asked them if I could sell their service and I couldn’t be happier! So find a service you believe in and go for it!
Although it has a dynamic and well-designed website, PeerFly has a limited range of offers at any given time (around 8,000). On the upside, it does offer good commission/payout rates, lots of FAQs and educational information, and regular contests and reward programs that can substantially increase your bottom line. Based on online customer reviews, Peerfly enjoys a very high reputation amongst participating affiliates.
Flexoffers.com is another well-known affiliate that we have included in our top best affiliate programs. This program is well-established affiliate marketer that has gained a lot of reputation because of offering big offers on digital products, keeping their affiliates relevant. When a company offers large offers, more clients are likely to purchase, meaning more money to the merchants and affiliates.
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.
If you actually use the product and get results with it, then sharing a case study or your personal experience can be one of the most effective ways of selling those products to your audience. As you build a more responsive list of email subscribers and buyers and your reputation, merchants may offer you “free” samples of e-books or other products.
An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there's a lot of competition so you're not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.
I’d stick with Amazon if I were you. All of my Amazon sites only have Amazon affiliate links. If you use Google Adsense display ads on your site, you’re literally taking people away from your site for the sake of just a few cents with these type of ads. If you direct them just to Amazon, then you have a greater chance of earning more money from that click.
Great article, Zach. The one question I have is about hyperlinking the brand name with your affiliate link. Isn’t it a little annoying for the reader if the brand name is hyperlinked throughout the article? It may even seem obvious to the reader that the blog is promoting an affiliate product. In an article with 1000+ words, a brand name may be mentioned at least 10-15 times. Do you suggest hyperlinking the brand every time?
At our very first encounter, Vovéo patiently listened and quickly grasped the fullness of our needs. We were astounded by Vovéo's creative output and even more by their ability to develop a comprehensive end-to-end solution that solved our businesses challenges and exceeded our expectations. They really anticipated the requirements of our target audiences, and the end product proves it.– Maeve McKenna Duska, Vice President of Marketing, USA Technologies
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[17]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[17] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[17]:149–150
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