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.


As of October 2018 almost 4.2 billion people were active internet users and 3.4 billion were social media users (Statista). China, India and the United States rank ahead all other countries in terms of internet users. This gives a marketer an unprecedented number of customers to reach with product and service offerings, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The interactive nature of the internet facilitates immediate communication between businesses and consumers, allowing businesses to respond quickly to the needs of consumers and changes in the marketplace.

Affiliate marketing currently lacks industry standards for training and certification. There are some training courses and seminars that result in certifications; however, the acceptance of such certifications is mostly due to the reputation of the individual or company issuing the certification. Affiliate marketing is not commonly taught in universities, and only a few college instructors work with Internet marketers to introduce the subject to students majoring in marketing.[41]
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]
SkimLinks is probably best for bloggers who want to write content around the affiliate link rather than add affiliate links to existing products. SkimLinks offers a lot of tools to compare commission rates and offers in order to customize your content to optimize your income. Once nice aspect of SkimLinks is that it offers lots of products for non-US creators, including popular UK brands like John Lewis and Tesco.
Great post, Sean! I have been using Adsense for the most part for two years now and each year, due to great content, my income has doubled. Thanks for all the great content, and this is sure to open my eyes a bit more to the likes of Amazon, which, I will admit, I have been ignoring due to the way they treat their affiliates. But, maybe it’s just me being a turd….
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together. For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click. 

Awesome article! This is jam packed with great info. I am just starting a personal finance blog with my fiance and we were a little confused about how to start monetizing. We were initially thinking about using Google AdSense but between this post and another blog I read I am surely convinced that’s not the correct route. I’m really happy you have shared this information because it’s provided an excellent starting point for creating income.
You never know when the breakthrough will come, it could be next week, it might even be tomorrow, or it could take six more months. If things are getting on top of you then take a step back from your business and re-think your strategy. Ask yourself, “Am I focusing my energy, time and investment on areas conducive to leading me to my goal?” “Are there things I am avoiding, ignoring or only doing half heartedly that could better position me for success?”
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The more content on your site, the more opportunities there are for search engines to pick it up. Blogging can be a great (and free!) way to generate leads and links into your site. But don’t just be producing content to produce content. Write quality blog posts that will engage the readers. Guest blogging on more established blogs is another way to get more traffic to your own site.

It doesn’t let the link influence its decision of whether to include or omit anything it deems worthy of inclusion, as to do so would damage its trust rating. There’s a lot you can learn from taking this stance. Remember, your site should be built with your visitors in mind, not profit. Take care of your visitors and the profits will take care of themselves!
Provide the most accurate information about the products you promote. Never exaggerate to quickly make a sale. Your audience will see through it and they will turn their backs on you. Instead, if the product you are promoting isn’t perfect, say so! It never hurts to explain the downsides to a product because this just proves to your audience that you are being completely honest with them. Also–this is very important–be transparent about your relationship with the merchant! It is legally required that you disclose your affiliate relationship, so any time you share an affiliate link you need to let your audience know.  Make sure you are following the latest FTC  guidelines here.
Backlinks can make a huge difference for your website’s SEO. A backlink is when another website links to a page on your site. When you get a backlink from a site that has a higher domain authority than you do, it sends a signal to Google that your site is credible which can improve your rankings. Think of it like one of your superiors at a previous job writing a recommendation letter for you. That’s how the search engines see it. The more recommendations or backlinks you have, the more likely you are to move up in search rankings!
Despite its older origins, email marketing is 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.
If you’re new to internet marketing and wish to get online as quickly and inexpensively as possible you can start with a social media platform like Facebook - you can create a business Facebook page in less than an hour. However, if you want more control over your online presence, a customized website is more appropriate. Ideally you should have both a website and a social media presence, with each linking to the other.
Top 40 internet marketing blogs you should start reading in 2018. When you’re starting out in the internet marketing realm, there is A LOT to learn and marketing courses can take weeks, months or even YEARS to complete and can get to be upwards of $1,000. But now, in the age of all things internet, you can save all that time and money, by simply reading a blog on the subject you’re interested in.

Your marketing strategy will never be successful if you do not have a clearly defined audience. Before you spend a dime on marketing, figure out your target market first. There’s no need to pay top dollar to hire a fancy market research firm. If you know your product, you should be able to figure out your market yourself. For example, who will be most interested in your product? Men or women? What is their age group? What are your customer’s interests? What is their likely financial situation?
Another year has gone by, and the world of digital marketing has changed and grown as quickly and diverse as ever. From the rise of interactive chatbots in social messaging platforms and the rapid advancements being made in visual search, to the increasing implementation of AI and machine learning technologies in the marketing function across industries

This is one of those online marketing tips that should be a given but some businesses still don’t have a Google My Business account. When you search for your favorite restaurant on Google there’s a bunch of information that comes up on the right hand side of the search results page. It displays the businesses’ address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, questions and answers, and even customer reviews.

Influencer marketing: Important nodes are identified within related communities, known as influencers. This is becoming an important concept in digital targeting. It is possible to reach influencers via paid advertising, such as Facebook Advertising or Google Adwords campaigns, or through sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) software, such as SAP C4C, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage CRM and Salesforce CRM. Many universities now focus, at Masters level, on engagement strategies for influencers.
Your customer base may know who you are, but do they think of you FIRST when they need your type of product? If not… keep your business in the minds of anyone who has been to your site or business through email marketing.  I know you think no one wants junk email… they don’t.  They want relevant information and great tips and will welcome your emails if they are fun, creative and informative.  Offer a sign-up on your site so they can be the first to find out about your new products. Offer “weekly tips”, or send out monthly coupons. Make sure you only send email to those you’ve requested it through your site. And, make sure the email has a BENEFIT for the customer… not just free publicity for you.
Top 40 internet marketing blogs you should start reading in 2018. When you’re starting out in the internet marketing realm, there is A LOT to learn and marketing courses can take weeks, months or even YEARS to complete and can get to be upwards of $1,000. But now, in the age of all things internet, you can save all that time and money, by simply reading a blog on the subject you’re interested in.
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