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.
While your site is still new, it's a good idea to start capitalizing on someone else's audience. Continue focusing on building your own content, but also considering writing content for a few big, high-traffic blogs that are relevant for your niche. By writing content for a bigger site, you are able to get in front of another audience and showcase your expertise on a particular topic. This will eventually lead to more traffic to your site, as well. 
Affiliate marketing allows you to make money online, even if you don’t have a blog, website, or any products of your own. Following a few simple steps can get you up and running within hours and earning your first commissions right away. Affiliate marketing really is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money online and should be a part of every online business owner's portfolio.
Affiliate marketing is one of the primary methods website and blog owners use to generate revenue. In case you’re not familiar with  what affiliate marketing is, here’s the skinny: When you sign up with an affiliate program (perhaps the most well-known program is Amazon’s), you receive special links you can cut and paste onto your blog. Every time someone clicks on one of these links and then purchases a product, you receive a percentage of the sale; commonly referred to as a commission.
Once you understand how everything works, and your expectations are set the right way, decide what you want to do. Do you want to become an affiliate marketer? Do you want to be a network marketer? Do you want to become a blogger and sell your own products? Squeeze pages, which are glorified sales pages that attract people and direct their attention towards a single action of providing their email address, are created in a variety of methods. The better they are, the more likely they'll convert. 

It’s not easy to convert a prospect into a customer. It is, however, relatively easy to convert your prospects into list subscribers. For many businesses, the email list – which prospects land on by volunteering their contact info in exchange for content – is the best asset they have. By sending a single email, you could make thousands of dollars in one day.
When deciding on your niche, you have to actually start a blog or a website that's going to be your online hub. This is where your anchor content is going to live. Everything else will link to here. All the ads you run and traffic you drive through social media or SEO or anything else will all come here. You need a custom domain and a professional looking site if you want anyone to take you seriously.
Merchants receiving a large percentage of their revenue from the affiliate channel can become reliant on their affiliate partners. This can lead to affiliate marketers leveraging their important status to receive higher commissions and better deals with their advertisers. Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are a lot of high paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are in the driver’s seat.
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….
Wow, great ideas! I never thought to link to a candle! My blog is about diabetes so I’ve never thought to link to common things I use daily but that’s genius! I love how she added the candle at the end as a side note almost. I guess I’ve never thought to look on Amazon for candles because I go to Bath and Body Works for those. I’m updating my best posts today! Plus I’m going to do some Pinterest posts for my affiliate number for your book which is a GREAT book!
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Promotional– Every once in awhile you want to mix in something about your own business and how it can help them. After all, you’re providing them with all this great content, so why not let them know what else they can get from you? Posting about a promotion you are doing or if you have a new class coming up gives your audience opportunities to deepen their engagement with you, and perhaps move down their path to becoming a customer.
Some commentators originally suggested that affiliate links work best in the context of the information contained within the website itself. For instance, if a website contains information pertaining to publishing a website, an affiliate link leading to a merchant's internet service provider (ISP) within that website's content would be appropriate. If a website contains information pertaining to sports, an affiliate link leading to a sporting goods website may work well within the context of the articles and information about sports. The goal, in this case, is to publish quality information on the website and provide context-oriented links to related merchant's websites.
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