Urban Decay has always stood for the empowerment of women—from the products they create to the causes they support. When they launched in 1996, the prestige beauty market was a sea of pink, red and beige. Urban Decay gave women the alternative makeup colors they craved and challenged them to defy the stereotypical notions of beauty. But it doesn’t end with makeup.

His blog became wildly successful. At roughly the same time, V2 Cigs informed him of their affiliate program where they paid out 50% commissions. That was Henry's "aha" moment. Almost immediately after adding those affiliate links onto his blog, his income exploded. He was making over $30,000 per month and it was passive income. He was on top of the world.
What’s in a name, a look, a tagline? Are you cheerful, serious, powerful or playful? Your brand captures the spirit of your organization and is the impression you make with clients and prospects. Your style is expressed in your logo, business materials and all things you say and do. And, since your website and online marketing is the ceterpiece of every organization’s marketing, you’ll want our amazing designers to develop a website for you that will be a dazzling customer experience.
As search engines have become more prominent, some affiliate marketers have shifted from sending e-mail spam to creating automatically generated web pages that often contain product data feeds provided by merchants. The goal of such web pages is to manipulate the relevancy or prominence of resources indexed by a search engine, also known as spamdexing. Each page can be targeted to a different niche market through the use of specific keywords, with the result being a skewed form of search engine optimization.
How established is your site/blog/social media following?  Do you already have an audience of 1 million or are you just getting started?  Early on in your affiliate marketing journey you will probably want to have multiple options to make sure you can cover a broad field. You might want to become an Amazon Associate as well as joining one of the networks so you will have a product link to drop into any posts you do.  An easy place to start is to promote the services you are using if you are enjoying their product - web hosting or email management systems like Aweber.
Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks.[35] Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.
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?

Hey there, I’m Mahesh (@maheshone). I started learning and doing and experimenting web 2.0 stuff back in 2004 and eventually became a full-time computer nerd after graduation. Minterest is a digital marketing and technology journal that I founded in 2007 to feed my super curiosity (oh yeah, I’m a solo-blogger). I write about tech, marketing, and everything in between that excites me. And I love to work with small businesses to help them get the most out of the web. Outside of that, I'm equally passionate about the financial markets and I also spend a lot of time doing random things (see random facts about me). Say hi: @maheshone. Read More »
I have a consulting company that works exclusively with equipment leasing and finance companies. I have the expectation of always having qualified leads, and U.S. marketing Group never disappoints. I can confidently identify prospective vendors and lessees based on the criteria I provided to Jared, and Arash, and that makes my job a whole lot easier. If your looking for great leads at a great price, and the flexibility to work with a company that will listen to you, and make adjustments, U.S. Marketing Group is the best company I can possibly recommend, and I've worked with them all.
I have been using US Marketing Group for approx. 4 years for both Residential & Commercial Leads and it is mainly because of one of their Sale Representatives, Reggie, which is one of the most courteous, professional & hard working sales representatives that I have spoken to in quite some time as I am a long-time Manager of several previous Call Center Companies and have been dealing with the public on a regular basis as I was also an Advertising Director for a Computer Association and have worked with many SMB VARs (Value-added Resellers) as well as Business Service Providers like Avis...Distributors like CDW...and Manufacturers like IBM.

From what I’ve observed, most of the “programs” you’ve listed are networks, and most of them support dozens, hundreds, even thousands of merchants – in a huge variety of niches. Amazon is not technically a network, unless you factor in the presence of about a dozen entities like Zappos, Woot, Endless and the like. With very few exceptions, networks are diversified. Performance-Based.com focuses on eco and green merchants. Some support a particular locale – European merchants, for example.

The terms of an affiliate marketing program are set by the company wanting to advertise. Early on, companies were largely paying cost per click (traffic) or cost per mile (impressions) on banner advertisements. As the technology evolved, the focus turned to commissions on actual sales or qualified leads. The early affiliate marketing programs were vulnerable to fraud because clicks could be generated by software, as could impressions.
If you want to maintain a steady flow of traffic returning to your site, avoid posting spammy content. Now I know you might be thinking, “I would never do such a thing!” However, what gets labeled as spam goes beyond the usual “make money fast” kind of copywriting. So what else falls under this umbrella? Any content that is irrelevant to your audience, or that your audience isn’t expecting.
FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.
I know it’s part of Shareasale, but Wayfair might be worth mentioning. They’re a huge site (mainly home & garden and pets) and actually have a better selection than Amazon in a lot of categories. I used them successfully on an old home furnishings site I had since Amazon’s selection of products was lacking in this particular niche. 5% commission on everything with a 30-day cookie and easy to get approved from what I remember.
Upselling is a sales technique where the salesperson encourages a more expensive purchase by a customer by persuading them to get an upgraded version of an item or to purchase add-ons. Remember our food processor example? That food processor could probably be best used with a book of recipes, which also can be purchased at the same company’s website.
A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser. Some extensions are authored using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Most modern web browsers have a whole slew of third-party extensions available for download. In recent years, there has been a constant rise in the number of malicious browser extensions flooding the web. Malicious browser extensions will often appear to be legitimate as they seem to originate from vendor websites and come with glowing customer reviews.[28] In the case of affiliate marketing, these malicious extensions are often used to redirect a user’s browser to send fake clicks to websites that are supposedly part of legitimate affiliate marketing programs. Typically, users are completely unaware this is happening other than their browser performance slowing down. Websites end up paying for fake traffic number, and users are unwitting participants in these ad schemes.
Spicyoffers is a Swiss-made private affiliate network that’s open only to handpicked publishers. You can promote their affiliate offers via website, social media, email, search, or even pay-per-call. If you have expertise in certain marketing channels you can get direct access to exclusive merchants that match your traffic. They also propose their in-house e-Commerce offers in exclusivity on the network. New offers are added every week.
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.
Some of the opportunity in this niche is going to be referring people to luxury brands that have higher order values than we might seen on Amazon. I can’t disclose the person or the site, but one of my colleagues is in one of these niches and reported significant revenue increases from testing other affiliate programs against Amazon–before Amazongeddon.

Mistake #3: Giving your friend’s product a glowing review without actually being familiar with your friend’s product. This happens a lot in the affiliate marketing (and book marketing) world unfortunately. It’s a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” type of situation. By all means, give your friend a glowing review, but if you haven’t actually read their book or taken their course or tried their product, don’t talk about it as though you have. Readers deserve honest recommendations! (Here’s an example of me helping to announce the launch of my friend’s book while being clear I hadn’t read it.)

By quite a large margin Amazon has the largest affiliate marketing program out there, with products from more than 1.5 million sellers. Amazon has the most easy-to-use technology of all the affiliate programs I will be reviewing today. Beginners to affiliate marketing with even the most limited technical expertise will have no problems in getting up and running with the Amazon associates program, while more experienced marketers can create custom tools and websites with the APIs and advanced implementations available to them. The great thing about Amazon is that anything from kids toys to laptops can generate sales if they are purchased through any Amazon affiliate link.
Be transparent and create your story. What did you suffer through? Are you a reluctant leader or are you the hero leading the charge? Ensure you properly relay your story so that you can bridge the emotional bond between people who have no idea about who you are. Why should they listen to you? What "secrets" have you uncovered over the years? What failures did you suffer through or lessons did you learn along your journey?
This is the most popular payment offered by most of the affiliate programs. Under this program, the affiliate marketers earn commissions from the merchant each time they will send a client to the merchant website, and that client makes an actual purchase. Various affiliate programs offer a specific percentage of the sale as commission while others will pay you a fixed rate for every sale.
Now is your chance to team up with The Home Depot and share in the continued growth of the most successful nationally-known home improvement retailer. By joining our affiliate program, you can start earning a profit on every qualified sale you refer to homedepot.com. It is a simple process, and the more customers you have purchase - the more you earn!
We live in a visual world. People happily respond and react to photos, videos, GIFs, and graphics. By incorporating quality videos into your marketing, you’ll be creating content that will grab people’s attention. We’ll help you tell your businesses story in a way that make you stand out of the crowd, working with you, to come up with creative content that will drive people to your business and help you explain why you do what you do.
I have been using US Marketing Group for approx. 4 years for both Residential & Commercial Leads and it is mainly because of one of their Sale Representatives, Reggie, which is one of the most courteous, professional & hard working sales representatives that I have spoken to in quite some time as I am a long-time Manager of several previous Call Center Companies and have been dealing with the public on a regular basis as I was also an Advertising Director for a Computer Association and have worked with many SMB VARs (Value-added Resellers) as well as Business Service Providers like Avis...Distributors like CDW...and Manufacturers like IBM.
Watch them. How are other content creators in your niche utilizing advertising? What types of ads do they use? What are they promoting? What do they talk about repeatedly (if you keep seeing the same affiliate product show up again and again, there’s a good chance they’re making good money from it)? If you see a product or service they talk about that jogs your memory and you can ethically promote it too, find affiliate information by the methods described above.
The merchant’s cost for advertising a particular product is limited (largely) to the percentage paid to an affiliate, and the merchant only has to pay when a purchase is actually made. This is much better than banner advertising, where the merchant pays whether or not any purchase occurs. In fact, the amount paid to an affiliate for a purchase through an affiliate link is probably only 10% to 20% of the cost of that sale through banner advertising (which charges in cost per 1000 banner views, CPM).

The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.

Watch them. How are other content creators in your niche utilizing advertising? What types of ads do they use? What are they promoting? What do they talk about repeatedly (if you keep seeing the same affiliate product show up again and again, there’s a good chance they’re making good money from it)? If you see a product or service they talk about that jogs your memory and you can ethically promote it too, find affiliate information by the methods described above.
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 have been using us marketing group for about two years now. I run a call center and to be honest, I have not found data like the data they provide. They filter my data per my request and scrub against the DNC. Great communication, and very professional. I recommend them to plenty of people in the industry and will be using them for years to come!

“My beef with VigLink is that just because you’re accepted into VigLink does not mean you’re automatically accepted to promote all merchants affiliate with VigLink. You still need to apply individually to many merchants. This in my mind defeats the purpose and the main benefit of this type of affiliate service. Fortunately Skimlinks operates differently; once accepted into Skimlinks you can promote any merchant without further red tape.”
Affiliates decide within their affiliate programs which banners or ads they're going to place on their websites. This decision is based on their individual calculations of which company ads their website visitors are most likely to be interested in. They will also agree to affiliate programs based on which merchants have the best commission structure, although the structure is not usually considered very high-paying or profitable.
Then, came the dreaded Google algorithm updates. After ranking number one for "electronic cigarettes" and "electronic cigarette reviews," which were steadily driving massive amounts of traffic to his blog, his rankings fell off of a cliff. He tells me had made a huge mistake by solely relying on Google for traffic and not leveraging it to build an audience elsewhere.
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”?
“My beef with VigLink is that just because you’re accepted into VigLink does not mean you’re automatically accepted to promote all merchants affiliate with VigLink. You still need to apply individually to many merchants. This in my mind defeats the purpose and the main benefit of this type of affiliate service. Fortunately Skimlinks operates differently; once accepted into Skimlinks you can promote any merchant without further red tape.”
Then, came the dreaded Google algorithm updates. After ranking number one for "electronic cigarettes" and "electronic cigarette reviews," which were steadily driving massive amounts of traffic to his blog, his rankings fell off of a cliff. He tells me had made a huge mistake by solely relying on Google for traffic and not leveraging it to build an audience elsewhere.
Hey. Yes you can use just one website to promote multiple affiliate programs, but I’d say that your website should focus on just one niche. So you mention, SellHealth, that would lead me to believe your site is about health and fitness. I would then advise you to stick to that niche rather than promoting unrelated products like dog leashes and fashion accessories.

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.
CruiseDirect makes it easy to join and earn commissions for every CruiseDirect.com purchase generated from your site. Not only will you be earning 3% of gross sales, but CruiseDirect will provide the latest features and best deals for your customers. With a variety of travel content and traffic-driving banners that land on high converting pages, they can help you make even more money.
For those new to this powerful online merchandising concept, affiliate programs work as intermediaries between the affiliate marketers who will sell products and services and the merchant who provides those products and services as well as the affiliates programs.  Merchants work with affiliates to help get their products or services to their consumers.

Avantlink is all about data, customization, and better understanding the relationship between the products you promote, how you go about marketing them, and making adjustments so as to better reap the benefits of your work. The Avantlink network is connected with hundreds of merchant partners to work with across different fields, so many different kinds of affiliate marketers may find options there.
Laura Mercier, the pioneer of the “Flawless Face”, is a world-renowned makeup artist and creator of Laura Mercier Cosmetics, Skincare, Body & Bath and Fragrance. Laura is the innovative force behind the brand’s iconic products, French aesthetic and artistry techniques. She continues to teach and inspire through her philosophy; “What makes you unique makes you beautiful.”
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.

Writing product reviews are an excellent way to enhance your credibility as an affiliate marketer. This is especially easy with information products like e-books which are relatively inexpensive. After establishing some steady income it may even be worth buying higher-end products, provided you get in touch with the product creator to work out a strategic marketing plan that takes you to the next level.
Affiliates should try their best to make it easy for their readers to easily navigate to a brand’s site via an affiliate link. The more people click on that link, the better for everyone because 1) the more people you refer to a company, the more commissions you can potentially earn, and 2) those you’re referring will be able to improve their lives in some way thanks to the product you recommend.

LinkConnector is something of a mixed bag, so it’s probably best for experienced affiliates who have become disillusioned with other networks and are looking to expand. LinkConnector’s bizarre mix of high-quality products and a low-quality dashboard make it hard to truly assess its viability, but their exclusive deals with some vendors can make it a true home run for publishers working in certain niches.


MaxBounty pride themselves on the diversity of campaigns offered to their affiliates. They have over 1,500 programs ranging from gaming, to finance, and dieting, with options to receive your commissions as CPA (cost per action like making a sale), CPL (cost per lead), mobile, or PPC (pay per call.) Allowing you to structure your promotions in a way that works best for you.
I have been using us marketing group for about two years now. I run a call center and to be honest, I have not found data like the data they provide. They filter my data per my request and scrub against the DNC. Great communication, and very professional. I recommend them to plenty of people in the industry and will be using them for years to come!
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.
Despite its older origins, email lists are still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists they can use to promote the seller’s products. Others may leverage email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning a commission after the consumer purchases the product. Another method is for the affiliate to cultivate email lists over time. They use their various campaigns to collect emails en masse, then send out emails regarding the products they are promoting.
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