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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.
The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network. Many affiliate networks exist, some which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
After my first son was born, followed by two more, I started a freelance writing business that included (among several others) such clients as Advocate Health Care and Coldwell-Banker Realty. Clients in the education arena included DeVry University’s Becker CPA and Stalla CFA Reviews, DePaul University, and Naperville School District 203, for which I won two state public relations awards.
Nowhere is the expression “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” more applicable than to a company’s website. Your website, particularly the home page, is literally your doorway to success. IVY’s custom web design capabilities encompass not only extraordinary artistic talent and computer graphics savvy, supported by engaging copy, but skilled knowledge of optimal navigation, call-to-action opportunities, search engine optimization, technical nuance, and vanguard digital marketing strategies.
We have “Carefully” scoured through ALOT of the “Affiliate Networks” in hopes of adding the right content for our visitors. The trueth is; whether it be the least popular networks OR the top notch programs, they each have various conditions which will screw you from generating revenue. Adding their links and promoting their advertisers is nothing more than a waste of YOUR time and YOUR webspace if you don’t get paid to have them there sooo, don’t get in a hurry to join any affiliate programs until you read through their “Terms & Conditions” thoroughly and completely!
It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from and the demographics of your audience. This will allow you to customize your messaging so that you can provide the best affiliate product recommendations. You shouldn’t just focus on the vertical you’re in, but on the traffic sources and audience that’s visiting your site. Traffic sources may include organic, paid, social media, referral, display, email, or direct traffic. You can view traffic source data in Google Analytics to view things such as time on page, bounce rate, geo location, age, gender, time of day, devices (mobile vs. desktop), and more so that you can focus your effort on the highest converting traffic. This analytics data is crucial to making informed decisions, increasing your conversion rates, and making more affiliate sales. 
Thank you for a very straightforward introduction to the world of Affiliate Marketing. I’m looking forward to the journey and just starting out. For me, I’m just as enthusiastic about the challenge of gaining success for its own sake, as the financial rewards it may hopefully bestow on me. There are so many variables involved and putting the whole thing together feels like attempting a 40,000-piece jigsaw puzzle with a hangover.
A sound product strategy is a must for new affiliate marketers. Ideally, you should choose a niche that you can make money online with and has a lot of product vendors. This will give you a wide selection of products to offer your online community. However, limit yourself to two or three products at a time, so that you become the expert others turn to and trust when reaching for their wallet.
An influencer is an individual who holds the power to impact the purchasing decisions of a large segment of the population. This person is in a great position to benefit from affiliate marketing. They already boast an impressive following, so it’s easy for them to direct consumers to the seller’s products through social media posts, blogs, and other interactions with their followers. The influencers then receive a share of the profits they helped to create.
When do you want to get started?  If you are just starting and have no audience then some of the programs may not accept your application to become an affiliate, while others will let you get set up in minutes.  If you want to get started straight away then make sure you’re applying for programs that are less restrictive. Generally the larger, network style places will enable you to get going quickly while specific niche programs may require you to have a certain audience size or characteristics.
Good point about reviewing online courses before you promote them to protect your reputation. However, I would like to point out that the level of attention the course creator gives you (the endorser) and what they give to a random customer might be very different. There are so called marketing gurus out there who are extremely skilled at making false promises and not delivering on them. Once they have the endorsement of a few reputed marketers and some ‘lucky’ customers, they can easily get away with ripping other people off with hyped up money making guarantees. I have had a personal experience with this as a customer, but lets not mention names! The point is, when we are promoting someone, we need to do an in-depth due diligence. Only going through their course is not enough. It would be great if there was some kind of a course review site -something like tripadvisor. This is something that the industry really needs – something to make people accountable. A lot of people are losing faith in these online courses. I am staying away from promoting people unless I am very certain of their integrity.

Another one of the highest paying and most popular dating affiliate programs is eHarmony, which is based on the actual earnings that can be made from each referred sale. Up to $188 can be made from a single sale. In general, the members at eHarmony are typically looking to find serious long term relationships, so many of them are willing to pay extra to find similar people.

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.


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?
When you team up with Adidas, it’s not just about earning commission. It’s about the commitment to the craft. They inspire the athletic lifestyle. They focus on sport as the center to a person’s health and happiness. They team up with people who share a deep, genuine respect for the effort, dedication and hunger required of athletic creators and their personal commitment to bettering themselves.

I’ve put together a free 7 day fast-start guide to earning your first dollar online. Go access this free affiliate marketing training. You’ll discover why internet marketing is by far the funnest and easiest way to earn passive income each and every month. Please note that I did not use the word ‘job’. There’s plenty of work involved but it will never feel like a job to you.

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.
I would personally agree with linkshare.com as a great affiliate marketing platform to join as a publisher. Here’s why. Back in 2005 when I knew nothing about affiliate marketing and was using blogger.com as a free blogging platform without any experience whatsoever and joining Walmart.com as my first official affiliate program, I was able to insert Walmart affiliate in its in my blogger blog and earn a $72 commission. I was onto affiliate marketing for life from there.
These days, it's remarkably easy to set up your own Web site. If you have a computer connected to the Internet, you can simply go to a site such as GeoCities or AOL and use their ready-made Web design templates to construct a simple personal page. These sites will give you a URL, store the content of your page and slap on some advertisements. Just like that, in an hour or two, your page is on the Web! ­
IVY was established in 1990 with a basic premise to offer professional, ethical and highly creative marketing, advertising and public relations services. We have successfully maintained our core values and have been part of many amazing projects, client growth and changes in the world of marketing that continue to happen at lightening speed. Most of our clients serve older adults in some capacity so we keep abreast of the opportunities and challenges they face.   Each day, we keep it real and fun and consistently deliver positive results to our clients and their markets.
Just fill out their online registration form and you will be off and running. Approval usually takes two business days once you’ve completed your registration. Canon will first review and approve your application before you can participate in the Program. This approval usually takes two business days from the time you complete your application. Upon approval, you will be notified of your username and password which you can then use to have access to their banners.
Thanks for all the information I am slowly working my way through your list of do’s and donts! ! I’ve been approached by a website that wants to develop editorial content for my blog featuring home improvement tips from their”national client” and pay me $40 a year for reviewing and publishing their content. Boy, I am just not sure how this all works? Any words for when we are approached by others to write for our blogs?
“ShareASale is solid. Been using them since 2013. Biggest problems with them is the interface is a little dated / wonky. It’s also difficult to deal directly with the advertisers. You think you’re speaking to an advertiser rep, but it’s really just someone from SAS. You have to use a special (hard to find) contact form to contact the advertiser….and it’s rare you get a direct response from them.”
It's refreshing and comforting to have a partner that shares in my love for my business. Vovéo is always acting in my best interest – and I trust the team implicitly. They put our value proposition into compelling words and visuals that convey our own commitment to our customers. Vovéo’s thought leadership in marketing and social media has enabled me to become a recognized thought leader in my own industry.– Charles Boinske, President, Independence Advisors, LLC.
This is how you turn visitors into buyers into raving fans. If anyone is serious about "making it" in affiliate marketing, or simply making any semblance of money online, they have to adhere to this single principle. The better you get at creating an emotional attachment during each stage of your funnel, the more likely you'll be to succeed and even to get rich through your efforts.
When the visitor clicks on this link, the Amazon.com web server is programmed so that the visitor will be sent to the webpage for the book with that ISBN number. At the same time my Associate’s ID will be recorded with the visitor’s session ID (an arbitrary number assigned to each visitor every time he enters the site), so that if the visitor makes any purchases on that session, I will be credited with their purchase.
You don’t necessarily have to have a huge site or lots of traffic. Consider emailing an affiliate program’s contact person (look for contact info on the site or in affiliate newsletters) if you send a lot of leads their way, rank well in the search engines for a related keyword or have a high conversion rate. Make your email compelling. Read my tips here. You just have to be a good fit and provide excellent value to the merchant. Another good resource for this is here.
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.
One big difference between SkimLinks and VigLinks, however, is that once you’re approved by the company, you can choose to work with any merchant or program on its platform. SkimLinks has also published a white paper discussing its partnership with Buzzfeed, giving SkimLinks a lot of credibility. SkimLinks also has a higher tier of vetted merchants called “Preferred Partner” and “VIP” that both pay higher commissions than standard merchants.
However, when you are ready, search for the right product or company that's relevant to your audience. When Henry quit smoking, his story was part and parcel to the bigger picture of selling electronic cigarettes as an affiliate. Although his blog's success was short-lived at the time, at it's apex, it was generating over $30,000 because he nurtured his audience and built that emotional bond before ever trying to sell them anything as an affiliate.
Said to be the largest affiliate marketing network in North America (though it operates globally) and claiming the number-two spot in the 2012 Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks for being “the best at balancing the relationship between the merchants, the network, and the affiliates,” California-based Commission Junction, owned by ValueClick, Inc., offers affiliate, media, and tracking services and provides either a self-management or company-managed option for your affiliate relationships.
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.

Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand and is committed to ending animal testing. They do not test their products on animals, nor do they allow others to test on their behalf. Additionally, Urban Decay requires their suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of their products are not tested on animals. Urban Decay’s Brand is certified by PETA as cruelty-free.

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.
Websites consisting mostly of affiliate links have previously held a negative reputation for underdelivering quality content. In 2005 there were active changes made by Google, where certain websites were labeled as "thin affiliates".[30] Such websites were either removed from Google's index or were relocated within the results page (i.e., moved from the top-most results to a lower position). To avoid this categorization, affiliate marketer webmasters must create quality content on their websites that distinguishes their work from the work of spammers or banner farms, which only contain links leading to merchant sites.
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