Affiliate marketing is a gigantic industry that is all set to spend $8.2 billion by 2022 in the US only. The global affiliate marketing spend is 3x higher than $8.2 billion. Affiliate marketing is the most popular, most used, and one of the most profitable ways to earn money online (especially in third-world countries like Pakistan).
If you are new to affiliate marketing and want to know how to make money from affiliate marketing, this affiliate marketing guide is for you.
It covers everything you need to know about affiliate marketing, how it works, how to make money from it, and how to get started even if you have no experience.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing where the business rewards (monetary) its affiliate for every sale. It is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s products.
For instance, you purchased a fish finder from Amazon and liked it. You told your friend about it and its features. Your friend was convinced and he visited Amazon and purchased a fish finder from the same seller. This is what we call ‘word of mouth’ marketing. You convinced your friend (and did all the marketing, unintentionally) but you were not paid for your efforts.
Alternatively, if you share a unique link with your friend and tell him/her to purchase a fish finder from your (affiliate) link, you will be paid for your efforts because all the sales that are recorded through your unique link are tracked by Amazon. This is known as affiliate marketing.
It is just like the traditional affiliation or licensing business model. The business owner gives the legal right to its affiliates to market and sell the product(s).
With online affiliate marketing, affiliates don’t have to create anything, rather they get the product and marketing material from the merchant.
So, affiliate marketing is not much different from any other type of marketing. It is a simple 3-step process:
- You sign up as an affiliate with a business
- You promote its products
- And get paid for sales you make.
Simple, isn’t it?
Affiliate Marketing Types
Affiliate marketing has different types but the two most famous ones are:
- Pay Per Sale
- Cost Per Action
1. Pay Per Sale (PPS)
PPS is also known as the revenue-sharing affiliate model. You are paid per sale in this type of affiliate marketing. It doesn’t matter how much you invest in marketing and how many visitors you send to the sales page, all that matters is the number of sales.
The majority of the affiliate programs use the PPS model making it the most used affiliate marketing model.
2. Cost Per Action (CPA)
Affiliates earn a commission when their referred customers complete a specific action such as submitting a form, downloading an eBook, etc. This means you don’t have to generate sales in CPA affiliate marketing. And it makes your marketing and selling job easier.
It is easier to convince someone to download a free eBook than to buy a product, right?
And this is a reason why CPA affiliate products have a significantly low commission rate as compared to PPS affiliate offers.
PPS Vs CPA
PPS affiliate programs pay you more while CPA programs pay less.
It is obvious since, in the case of PPS, you have to make a sale while in the case of CPA, you don’t have to make a sale.
When you make a sale, you get the commission based on the price of the product. Expensive products will pay you more while low-priced products pay less.
On the other hand, CPA affiliate marketing pays you a few bucks (in most cases) as you generate leads. However, some merchants pay you $100 or as high as $200 for generating leads only. That is, if the visitor fills the form and submits his/her information, you get paid as high as $200 or even more:
Generally, CPA offers pay you no more than a few bucks (under $10).
Affiliate Marketing Process
There are four players in the affiliate marketing process:
- Merchant (the company that owns the affiliate product)
- Affiliates (this is you, the affiliate marketer)
- Affiliate network (a third party that connects merchants with affiliate marketers)
Merchants are the businesses that own the affiliate product. Instead of investing in marketing and promoting their products themselves, they recruit affiliates who do all the marketing for them.
For merchants, affiliate marketing happens to be an easy route since they just have to sit back and pay their affiliates on the number of sales generated. No sales, no commission. This is what makes affiliate marketing ideal for businesses.
2. Affiliate Marketers
An affiliate is someone who promotes an affiliate product offered by the merchant to earn a commission.
Affiliates choose affiliate products from the affiliate network. For instance, being an Amazon affiliate, you can choose any product from the Amazon marketplace and promote it.
You don’t have to necessarily join an affiliate network to find affiliate products. You can work directly with merchants if they haven’t partnered with any affiliate network.
3. Affiliate Network
An affiliate network connects merchants to affiliate marketers. All the transactions are handled by the network, it manages payments, creates and manages affiliate links, ensures transparency, and is responsible for all the affiliate-related backend activities.
Not every merchant runs and manages its affiliate program as it tends to be an expensive and technical task. Most of the merchants sign up with affiliate networks where they list relevant products in the marketplace.
The leading affiliate networks include: ClickBank, Amazon Associates, and Commission Junction.
Buyers are your customers who purchase affiliate products via your affiliate link.
How Affiliate Marketing Works
Here is how affiliate marketing works:
- Merchants sign up with the affiliate network and list their products in the marketplace
- You, as an affiliate, register with an affiliate network to find and choose the right affiliate products
- An affiliate selects an affiliate product
- The affiliate network creates a unique URL (link) for the affiliate. It is used to track visitors and sales
- The affiliate promotes the link on the internet through different marketing methods such as social media marketing, blogging, etc.
- People clicking on the affiliate link land on the official website (or sales page) of the merchant
- Visitors and sales are recorded by the affiliate network
- When a visitor buys the product via your affiliate link, the affiliate network verifies the sale
- In case of a successful sale, the affiliate network disburses the payment. Merchant and affiliate both get their due share
- Affiliates can withdraw commission after a certain time.
Affiliate networks play the central role in the affiliate marketing process. This is the reason you have to be very careful when choosing an affiliate network. Join an unreliable affiliate network, and you might struggle to get your sales verified and withdrawing commission will become a headache.
As an affiliate, your job is to choose an affiliate product, promote it by sharing the link with people via your blog, website, social media account, or other ways, and get your share. Everything else is handled by the affiliate network (and the merchant). You get everything readymade on a plate, all you have to do is promote the product.
Your affiliate link uses a browser cookie that tracks and monitors user activity. Even if the user doesn’t buy the product on the first visit, you will still get paid if the purchase is completed before cookie expiration.
Based on the life of the cookie (which could be 30 days, 60 days, or a year), if the user visits the website again within this duration and purchases the product, you get your commission.
The good news is that you don’t have to do any of this technical stuff. You just have to do marketing and that’s all.
Affiliate Marketing Terminologies
You’ll come across affiliate marketing terminologies, definitions, and jargon that are alien to you. To be a successful affiliate marketer and to make money from affiliate marketing, you should understand all the basic terms that are used in the industry.
Here is a list of the most common yet necessary affiliate marketing terminologies:
Above the Fold
The portion of the website that is viewable without scrolling. It refers to the portion that’s instantly visible to a website visitor. Here is an example of above the fold:
The content above the fold should be catchy and must grab the attention of the reader. The size of above the fold portion depends on the user’s device resolution.
The affiliate marketer who gets a commission for generating sales, leads, or in some cases clicks to a merchant’s product.
The terms that define the affiliate agreement and covers details such as commission rate, promotion rules, advertising restrictions, and other legal aspects.
Affiliate Information Page
It is a page that explains the terms and includes affiliate agreement, commission rates, advertising material, contest details, product launch details, product details, and any other details about the product or the merchant.
The unique link that is used for tracking traffic, conversions, and sales. The affiliate link is generated by the affiliate network.
The person in charge of managing the affiliate program of a merchant. He/she manages affiliates, incentive programs, creates affiliate media, manages reports, payments, and more.
The program that merchants use to recruit affiliates. When a merchant is involved in affiliate marketing and offers its products for affiliates to promote, the entire process is known as an affiliate program.
Affiliate Program Directory
The directory contains the list of all the affiliate programs that are categorized. Affiliates can search programs of their choice easily from the directory.
Average Order Value (AOV)
A metric that shows the average value of a purchase, which is calculated by dividing the number of orders by the total cost of orders at a specific time.
It is an electronic billboard or advertisement that is used to promote a product or service.
A worthless sale with zero commission. In all those cases where the affiliate product is returned or if the customer requests a refund, the merchant (or the affiliate network) will deduct the amount of (already paid) commission paid for the sale (or lead). This deduction of funds is known as a chargeback.
The action performed by a user by clicking on a link and following it all the way to the merchant’s website. Generally, click-through refers to clicking on the link.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The number of visitors who click-through a link as compared to the number of people who viewed your link. CTR is the difference between the impressions your link received to the clicks it generated. It is a percentage and is obtained by dividing the number of clicks by the total number of impressions. The result is converted into a percentage.
Some merchants create special landing pages for special affiliates where the merchant and affiliate both add their brand names (logo and design). This is used to increase sales.
The amount of money an affiliate makes by generating a lead or sale. It is also known as a bounty or referral fee.
The percentage of the clicks that lead to a commissionable action. The conversion rate is obtained by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of completed tasks (such as submitting a form). The result is multiplied by 100 to obtain the conversion rate.
Cookies have different expiration dates. A cookie having a 30-day life means that you’ll get credit for the sale if the user completes the purchase within 30 days of the first click. A cookie assigns a unique ID to every user as soon as he clicks an affiliate link for the very first time. This ID is used to track the user’s activity and to credit sales to the right affiliate.
CPA (Cost per Action)
It refers to an affiliate model where affiliates are paid when users complete a specific action such as downloading a free eBook.
CPC (Cost per Click)
The rate of a single click paid by the affiliate or the merchant.
CPM (Cost per Mile)
The rate of one thousand miles or impressions.
Another name of the commission. It is the fees paid to the affiliate for referring new customers.
When an affiliate sends all the traffic directly to the merchant’s website instead of his/her website, it is known as direct linking. Most of the affiliates send traffic to their landing page while others direct link to the merchant’s landing page.
EPC (Earnings per Click)
A metric that measures the average earnings per hundred clicks. A relative way of rating that explains the ability to convert clicks into commission.
The number of times a banner or a link or promotional material is viewed.
A marketing page that is specifically used for marketing campaigns and/or to capture leads. It is a standalone page that is used as a single page.
It refers to a model where affiliates are paid to recruit new affiliates. You get paid for people you recruit (as affiliates).
The process of manually reviewing affiliate applications before approval. Merchants and affiliate networks manually review and approve affiliate applications based on their track record (and several other factors). When you apply to become an affiliate, don’t expect instant approval.
The person or the business selling the services or the products is the merchant. The merchant pays the commission to the affiliates for generating sales.
A type of marketing where you get paid for measurable results. The earnings are based on performance. Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing as affiliates are paid for generating leads or sales (measurable outcomes).
The commission that’s paid to the affiliate on all the future purchases of the customers he has referred.
A type of landing page that is specifically used to collect the email address of the visitors. It is used for generating leads specifically.
A type of link that has no graphical images included.
Reasons to Become an Affiliate Marketer
So, why become an affiliate marketer?
Why not do something else? What’s in it for you?
Here are the top reasons to become an affiliate marketer:
1. Free to Start
Becoming an affiliate marketer is free.
Yes, it is.
This is because you don’t have to create a product from scratch. You’ll be promoting other people’s products. And this saves you from the complex and costly product development process.
Needless to say, you can become an affiliate marketer with an empty pocket.
Sign up with an affiliate network, grab your affiliate links, and start marketing them. When it comes to marketing, you have two options to choose from:
- Free marketing methods
- Paid marketing channels.
Both are covered in this guide in detail, stick around.
The thing is: You don’t need money to become an affiliate marketer but at some point, you’ll need money to scale your affiliate business.
However, stepping in is absolutely free.
2. You Don’t Have to Own a Product
Not just own, but you don’t have to create one either.
Creating your own product (digital or physical) is expensive, needs experience, needs a team, and tons of resources. Product development is not an easy thing to do.
Think of any product: SaaS, a mobile app, herbal shampoo, or even handmade bags. You need tons of resources to create a prototype. Here is a how a product development process looks like:
Owning and managing a product is a different story altogether.
Thanks to affiliate marketing, you don’t have to go through this process.
3. Easy to Market
Affiliate products are easy to promote, generally. It depends on the product manufacturer, though.
For example, if you are promoting a Samsung laptop, that’d be easy to sell because everyone knows the brand and it will not be a pain to convince someone to go for it. If, however, you are promoting a new product from a Chinese company that has an awkward brand name, things will get tough.
If you are promoting affiliate products of famous brands, your life will become easy.
4. No Experience Needed
This is one of my favorite reasons to become an affiliate marketer. Anyone can register as an affiliate on ClickBank or Amazon or any other affiliate network. They do not ask about your experience, skills, qualification, or anything else.
You will make money if you have the guts. The rule is simple.
However, having experience in marketing and selling greatly helps.
5. Product Variety
There are hundreds of affiliate networks having thousands of affiliate products available to choose from. You have the option to choose any product from any industry and get started with it.
Consider Amazon. Once you join the Amazon Associates Program, you can promote any product that’s listed on Amazon.com. Pretty cool, right?
If one doesn’t work, move to another one. If that doesn’t work, move to the next.
It is like having a massive list of affiliate products right at your fingertips.
6. Reliable Business Model
Affiliate marketing is a robust and reliable business model. It has been there for ages – even before the internet. Licensing works similarly so affiliate marketing is not new.
Some of the big names like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, McDonald’s, KFC, and many others are using the same business model to earn massive revenue each month. And some of the richest affiliate marketers easily make six figures from their homes every month.
It isn’t one of those shady business models that people are reluctant to use. No, it is globally accepted and a legal business model.
7. Switch Products Whenever You Want
Affiliates have the option to switch products whenever they want. There is no legal binding between the affiliate and the merchant (if operating through an affiliate network), so affiliates can promote one product for a week and another for the next week.
This is the real beauty of affiliate marketing. You do not have to stick to one product for your entire life. Choose what works best for you.
8. High Profitability
The earning potential is significantly high. Affiliates can earn as high as $10K+ a month or they can earn $200 a month, it depends on the effort, consistency, and several other variables.
Mark Ling, for example, is an affiliate marketer who makes $80K a month from affiliate marketing.
There is no second opinion about the extremely high-income potential of affiliate marketing. This is one solid reason to become an affiliate marketer.
9. Choose Your Own Working Hours
No one likes waking up early every morning and marching to the office. Affiliates choose their own working hours.
You can work from your home, office, from a boat, from your friend’s home, or from any place you wish. You can even work from Mars if Elon Musk takes you there one day.
You just need an internet-enabled device and that’s it. There is nothing better than setting your own working hours.
10. Low Risk
Since you do not invest a lot of money in affiliate business, the risk is significantly low. The worst that can happen is that you will end up making no sales, so what? You can move to another product.
You do not lose anything in the process except your time which makes affiliate marketing a pretty much low-risk business opportunity.
How Much Do Affiliate Marketers Make
One of the most common questions that affiliates have in their minds is none other than how much do affiliate marketers make.
The reason why affiliates ask this question is that they just want to make sure where they stand or what chances they have. I mean if you are sick of your job and want to become an affiliate marketer, you will be interested in getting an estimate of the average earnings of an affiliate marketer.
Just to give you an idea: John Chow made $7500 last month from a single affiliate program. Jody Heath made $15K in March from the same affiliate program.
Unfortunately, nobody can tell you how much affiliate marketers make. This is a piece of information that is not (generally) disclosed by affiliates. Some affiliates do disclose their earnings such as the guys above.
And they just tell you that they have made this much money in a month, a day, or a week, and that’s it. They are not bound to show you proof or a screenshot. You have to trust them (and your own gut).
But what’s important is that these earnings depend on several factors. Just like there is no average earning of businesses as some make billions a year while other small businesses make a few thousand dollars a year. Similarly, there are no exact average affiliate earnings.
Some top affiliates cross $10K a month easily and there are small affiliate marketers who hardly reach $1000 a month.
The affiliate marketer’s earnings depend on several factors such as:
- Affiliate product
- Affiliate network
- Marketing budget
The list continues………
To find out how much affiliate marketers earn and how much you can make from affiliate marketing, it is crucial to segment affiliates into different categories.
Affiliate marketers can be divided into four categories based on their earnings. These categories, earnings, and time-spans are based on data collected and analyzed from multiple sources such as Warrior Forum, Finch Sells, CB Engine, Business Insider, Digital Guide, The Guardian, Pro Blogger, Stream SEO, Money Home Blog, product launches, affiliate contests, and earnings disclosed by affiliates (like John Chow, Shout Me Loud and others):
- Starters ($0 to $300 a month)
- Medium Earners ($300 to $5,000 a month)
- High Earners ($5,000 to $10,000 a month)
- Super-High Earners (Anything above $10K a month).
These are the new affiliates who either lose money or make little money. The majority of affiliate marketers fall into this category.
These are the affiliates who make anywhere from $0 to $300 a month. In most cases, these affiliates lose money every month as they have to pay for website hosting, etc.
Most of the beginners fall into this category. So, if you are just starting, you will start from here. Initially, you will lose money and gradually, you will start earning money.
2. Medium Earners
After spending a few months in the starter category, most of the affiliates move up to medium earners where the average earnings range from $300 to $5,000 a month.
Most of the affiliates in this category make $1,000+ a month.
Now it is not necessary that your earnings will increase, there is no guarantee (I hate guarantees!).
Here is the fact: Only a few, less than 10%, affiliates reach this category. The remaining 90% leave affiliate marketing and never make it to this level.
Most of the affiliates do not move to the next category (High Earners) rather they keep earning $300 to $5000 a month from affiliate marketing for their lifetime. So, there is no exact period after which you’ll start making more money from affiliate marketing.
It is highly relative.
The number of affiliates who make it to the next category is very low.
3. High Earners
Some of the lucky affiliate marketers make it to this category where they earn anywhere from $5K to $10K+ a month. These are the affiliate marketers who make a lot of money in the true sense.
Normally, affiliates reach this category after spending a few good years and some of them even have to spend even a decade to earn this much. Those who are consistent and stay hooked to their affiliate business see a significant increase in yearly revenue.
4. Super-High Earners
Only a few affiliate marketers (less than 1%) earn $10K+ a month. It could be $15K a month or $50K a month. The earnings vary from month to month at this stage as affiliates in this category mostly depend on partnerships so in one month, they will make $50K and in the next month, they might earn $25K.
After spending a few good years in the affiliate business, only a few affiliates reach this category. These are the top affiliates who are in the business for years.
How Much You Can Earn from Affiliate Marketing
Hard truth: The majority of affiliate marketers do not make anything more than $100 a month.
They are not serious.
They lose hope.
They need a get rich method kind of stuff.
If you want to get rich quickly and are not ready to invest your time and effort, you might end up making nothing from affiliate marketing.
The affiliate marketers you see and get inspiration from have done some really hard work for years. You can’t be there overnight.
That won’t happen.
Here is good news: If you are consistent and follow a plan (as discussed in this guide), you’ll be all set to earn from affiliate marketing.
How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
So, how to make money from affiliate marketing?
There are several proven ways to make money with affiliate marketing. The following methods are the best ones to get started with:
1. Direct Linking
One of the easiest ways to make money online with affiliate marketing is to directly link to the affiliate offer. This is the best technique for beginners who have just started.
You have to share the affiliate link with your target audience. There is no need to create a website or a blog. You can share the affiliate link via blog comments, social media marketing, forum posting, guest blogging, or any other marketing method you find feasible.
Here is how direct linking works:
- Take affiliate link
- Share it with your target audience
- Visitors click your affiliate link and land on the merchant’s website
- Completes a purchase
- You get your commission.
There is no need to have your website.
However, having a website and not linking directly to the merchant’s website is recommended but if you are a beginner and don’t want to spend money on creating a website, you can link directly.
Here are proven techniques to direct linking and making money with affiliate marketing without a website:
1. Free eBook
This happens to be the best tactic to make money with affiliate marketing without a website.
You have to create a high quality eBook (or outsource it), add affiliate links, share it for free with people, and enjoy sales and commission.
Looks interesting, right?
Let’s get into details:
Create a high quality eBook on a topic that is related to the affiliate product. You can choose one or more affiliate products to promote.
For instance, you can write a how-to guide on losing weight without exercise in 30 days. You can explain a step-by-step weight loss procedure. You can add links to multiple weight loss products, supplements, or guides.
The purpose of the eBook is to help readers. It has to be informative and high quality and must stick to the promise. It shouldn’t promote or try to sell the products directly, rather just naturally recommend products.
Use Bitly to shorten and cloak the affiliate links. This doesn’t just make them professional but you can track and monitor traffic.
Write a simple eBook in MS Word and save it as a PDF. You can write 5 pages or 50 pages, it doesn’t matter as long as it delivers the message.
You can write the eBook yourself or you can hire someone to write it for you. It depends on how good you are at writing.
Make sure your eBook is properly formatted and has a nice cover. If you don’t know how to create an eBook cover, look for gigs on Fiverr.
Once your eBook is ready, it is time to upload it.
Upload is on PDF sharing websites, document sharing platforms, and file-sharing networks so people can download it free of cost. It has to be free.
Before you upload the eBook make sure all the affiliate links work. Here are the top websites where you can upload and publish your free eBook:
If this technique works, write more eBooks.
2. Social Media
There is nothing easier than social media to make money with affiliate marketing without a website. You don’t have to be a social media marketing expert to use social networking sites to generate sales.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the three best networks that you should start with:
Facebook is the most used social media network in the world with 2.8 billion active users globally as of July 2021. It should be a part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
Create a Facebook page about affiliate products and the niche you want to pursue. The page must be informative and not promotional.
For example, if you are interested in promoting investment-related products, you should create a page about investment tips, investment ideas, investment opportunities, or anything similar. The Facebook page has to be non-promotional and it must be a general page.
Once you have the page ready, find recent investment news, articles, videos, and any content that you find interesting and helpful. Post it on your page. You can share anybody’s content, it doesn’t matter.
Share the page with your friends and ask them to like it.
Like other similar pages, comment on other pages, join a few related groups, and use your page actively.
Keep posting 3 to 5 times a day on your page. Use Buffer to schedule posts.
Once you will start getting likes, comments, and shares, you can then share affiliate links. Always use Bitly to cloak links and write a few lines about the product and its benefits with the post.
Don’t overdo it, keep it natural. Don’t spam your page with affiliate links, nobody will respond if you don’t deliver value. Here is an example of how to promote affiliate products on Facebook:
With 1.3 billion active users worldwide and the 4th most used social media platform in the world, Instagram is ideal for marketing.
Create an Instagram account here (if you don’t have one already). Again, your account must be related to the affiliate products you are interested in promoting. So, before you head to Instagram for account creation, choose a niche (more on this coming shortly).
Update your bio and add a link to the affiliate product in your bio. Use relevant hashtags in your bio to help your audience find you easily. Here is an example:
Start posting informative photos on Instagram to educate and provide information to your target audience. Use design tools such as Canva to create professional Instagram images.
You can create a Twitter account for the same product in the same way.
Follow other people in your niche, retweet their tweets, tag them in your tweets, and so on. Be an active user.
You must tweet 5 to 8 times every day. You can share quotes, articles, news stories, etc. The idea is to be active and grow your audience and followers.
Always use relevant hashtags in your tweets. These hashtags help people find you and your tweets.
Share cloaked affiliate links backed by a useful and informative tweet or maybe an image or a video. Here is an example:
Forums are one of the best sources of earning money from affiliate marketing without a website.
Not all niche forums will allow you to add affiliate links in posts while others will only allow links in signatures. It doesn’t matter as long as you are adding value and developing connections. What you need to do is use forums to build your authority and grow your network.
This means you must choose an affiliate niche you are an expert in or you must be ready to learn. How to do it? Follow these steps to start generating sales from forums:
- Search and join authority niche forums in your industry. Quality is more important than quantity. Instead of joining multiple forums, I’d recommend sticking with 3-5 top forums
- Create profiles, add a bio, and be an active part of the community
- Reply posts. Add value. Be helpful
- Once you are allowed, add the affiliate link in the signature. Most forums allow affiliate links in signatures so it won’t be an issue
- Forum members will only click the link in your signature if they find your content extremely valuable and they want to know more about you. Stick with informative and valuable content
- If you have created a free affiliate eBook, the best idea is to give it away for free via signature. This works best.
Here is an example of a reply in a thread with a signature link:
Imagine you create 5 threads in 5 forums per week. You’ll have a lot of content in a few weeks. You have to post multiple informative and high quality threads. If you give away a free eBook, things will get a lot easier.
The easiest way to make money with affiliate marketing without a website is to head to YouTube. It is the second most popular social network in the world and the most famous streaming platform in the world with 2.9 billion active users as of July 2021.
Video content is loved by consumers. A whopping 69% of people say that they’d prefer watching a video to learn about a product or a service. According to Google, product review videos on YouTube are the most watched video type. People have watched more than 50K years of product review videos on YouTube mobile in two years (2015-17).
This makes YouTube an ideal place to promote an affiliate product. Create a review video and post it on YouTube. Easy, right?
There is a catch.
YouTube is very strict when it comes to affiliate links and promotional content. Here is what YouTube says about promotional content:
So, if you are using affiliate links blatantly in video descriptions, your YouTube account might be blocked. Affiliate links are allowed on YouTube but doing so blatantly isn’t allowed as mentioned here:
Affiliate links are allowed but don’t overdo it. You don’t have to add affiliate links to every YouTube video.
Again, use it to deliver value by creating a review, instructional, informational, how-to, or pretty much any type of video for your target audience. You have to put the link in the description and that’s how you will be sending traffic to the affiliate offer without a website.
The video content needs to be informative. Don’t blatantly sell affiliate products in the video. Here is an example of how to do it:
There are a lot of affiliate links in the video description but the video is informative. It is a review video that compares the features of different handbags without selling them.
That’s what you are supposed to do.
How to create videos for YouTube?
The easiest way to create videos is to use your smartphone’s camera. This is perfect for detailed review videos. Don’t worry about editing or professional feel. Initially, go with simple videos.
Once you start generating income, you can use a decent camera with a tripod and an editing tool.
Again, the best idea is to send traffic to your free eBook that you have uploaded to PDF platforms (as discussed above). I’m not a big fan of adding affiliate links directly in the description (as in the above video) as it might lead to a ban (sooner or later). It is allowed but why take the risk.
So, it’s better to add a link to your free eBook in the video description.
5. Miscellaneous Tactics
There are other sources that can help you make money with affiliate marketing without a website. You can either directly link to the affiliate offer (by cloaking the link with Bitly) or you can link to your free eBook.
Some of the best techniques are discussed below:
Start helping people by answering their questions on Quora.
I love Quora. It is the most popular question-answer platform that receives 300 million monthly visitors. The best thing about Quora is that a lot of questions rank on Google’s first page, I’m sure you must have seen Quora in SERPs.
You can use Quora to generate sales but don’t add affiliate links in answers. You’ll get your account banned. Instead, add your affiliate link in the bio and/or profile.
Reddit is an awesome community that you can use to promote any type of affiliate link as long as you are adding value. You have to be a reputable member before you can start adding links.
Spend a few days on the platform. Build connections. Comment, upvote, and connect with other members. Once your karma reaches 200, you can then start promoting affiliate products.
Better do it smartly and carefully.
You can post ads or even reviews of affiliate products on classified websites such as Craigslist, Classified Ads, and others. In order to get clicks and sales, you have to post hundreds of ads and reviews with your affiliate links.
A few ads won’t make much of a difference.
If nothing else works, don’t forget that intensive blog commenting can do the trick.
High authority websites do not allow affiliate links but new and niche blogs usually don’t mind approving affiliate links.
Again, you have to post hundreds of high quality blog comments and links to drive a good number of visitors.
If you have the eBook, you can send all the traffic to the eBook and it will work awesome because people love getting free stuff.
2. Affiliate Blog
You can create an affiliate blog to promote a whole bunch of different affiliate products. Creating an affiliate blog is a more reliable route to making money online with affiliate marketing. You can promote multiple products, you can create an email list, you can do whatever you like on your blog, and this is what makes it such a lucrative business model.
However, creating an affiliate blog needs investment.
You have to purchase a domain name and web hosting. The domain name will cost you $10-15 per year and hosting will cost you $10-12 per month (depending on your hosting plan). This is the main cost of starting an affiliate blog. For as low as $120-125 per year, you can start a full-fledged affiliate blog.
It is a much better business model that will pay you for an extended period. You will own the blog, and you can create your brand out of it.
You can create a niche blog, a review blog, or a general affiliate blog. There are a lot of choices.
Besides, a blog lets you promote different related or unrelated affiliate products. You can monetize it via different methods. In the long run, creating an affiliate blog to make money online is one of the best ideas.
An affiliate blog is where you have to publish blog posts regularly to add fresh content to enjoy better search engine rankings and to build followers and subscribers.
Affiliate blogs are best for building a brand, authority, and trust. Look at CNET and Trusted Reviews. These are affiliate review blogs that have a lot of trust and authority.
Not only do you have to create a blog but you have to keep adding content. You can either do it yourself (if you are a good writer) or you can hire a writer. The actual cost of writing will depend on the number of blog posts that you wish to publish every week. You can start by publishing 4 blog posts a week and can later switch to 2 posts a week.
The cost of marketing and promoting your affiliate blog depends on how you intend to promote it. You can choose free marketing strategies or you can go for paid strategies.
Here are the key benefits of creating an affiliate blog:
- Affiliate blogs look professional and they are best for building a brand and authority
- You can scale up and promote as many products on a single affiliate blog as you want. The growth potential is unlimited
- Search engines love blogs as crawlers find fresh content every time they visit your blog. You enjoy better rankings
- The readers love blogs too as they find useful fresh content every time they visit
- You can build an email list. This eventually helps you in building trust and making money by promoting affiliate products
- The revenue potential is extremely high.
Here are a few things that you might not like about an affiliate blog:
- It needs investment
- You cannot earn money from a blog quickly (and in the short run). It is a long-term business model that requires patience and consistency
- You have to consistently publish fresh content on your blog even if you don’t get any visitors or sales
- Running and managing an affiliate blog is not easy. If you are not serious and committed, you’ll get frustrated.
How to Create a WordPress Blog
Let’s get to the technical stuff of creating your affiliate blog.
Before we move towards the guide, let’s see what WordPress is and why you must create your affiliate blog in WordPress.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is an open-source and free content management system (CMS). It is the most used CMS in the world that powers a whopping 42.5% of all websites in the world. You can find thousands of plugins, themes, and add-ons to supercharge your blog.
And this is what makes it the world’s leading content management system.
WordPress.org isn’t the same as WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a website builder that hosts your blog. You don’t own the website and it isn’t open-source.
You need to use WordPress.org to create your blog.
Let’s find out.
Step to Creating a WordPress Affiliate Blog
What makes WordPress best is that you don’t need coding skills. No prior experience is needed. Even if you don’t know what WordPress is, you can still create your website in 30 minutes.
Here is a step-by-step guide on creating a WordPress blog:
Step #1: Choose a Domain Name
Let’s find a domain name for your website.
The domain name is an identification string that is used to identify your website on the internet.
‘yourdomainname’ in the above URL is the domain name. This domain name is what you have to search for.
To begin with, head to Name Mesh. It will generate domain name ideas based on any keyword. You must enter a word or phrase about the niche or you can directly enter the main keyword.
Let’s suppose, you are creating an affiliate blog about travel bags. You can simply insert travel bags in Name Mesh and it will generate a list of domain names:
Hide registered domain names to only get unregistered domain names.
When choosing a domain name, keep the following things in mind.
- Buy a COM domain name.
- The maximum length of a domain name should not exceed 10 characters. You can limit the max length in Name Mesh.
- Make sure that your domain name does not have any dashes.
- It must be short and catchy.
- The domain name must be easy to remember.
You can also use Nameboy to find domain names.
Step #2: Buy Domain Name and Hosting Plan
After you have selected a domain name suitable for your website, it is time to register it.
It is strongly recommended to register the domain name as soon as possible after you have identified a good name as most of the decent domain names do not stay unregistered for a long time.
Besides, it is also recommended not to share your domain name with anyone unless you have purchased it. Sharing a decent domain name with others or asking for suggestions on a forum will give others a chance to buy it before you.
Visit HostGator to register a free domain.
These guys offer you a free domain name when you buy hosting from them. Instead of buying your domain name elsewhere, it is a great idea to grab a free domain name from them as you will not have to point DNS (which is technical):
Follow these steps to buy a hosting plan and get your free domain from HostGator:
1. Click here to visit HostGator.
2. You can choose shared hosting or WordPress hosting. Shared hosting is cheapest (starting from $2.75 per month) but insecure while WordPress hosting is a little expensive ($5.95 per month). I’d recommend shared hosting to begin with as it is cheap and you can always upgrade your hosting plan later when things start moving in the right direction.
Click Shared Hosting under the Hosting menu:
3. There are three shared hosting plans: Starter, Standard, and Business. Pick Starter as it is more than enough for new sites. Click Buy Now to proceed with the purchase:
4. Select Register a New WordPress Domain tab and enter your domain name in the search bar:
5. Select the number of blogs/sites you want to create. The Starter plan only supports a single website so select Starter – 1 site. In the second dropdown, select your billing cycle, you can choose to pay monthly or pay in advance to get a discount. If you can afford it, go with 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months billing cycle as you’ll get massive discounts:
6. Create HostGator customer account by filling in details such as email address, password, and security pin:
7. Add billing details. You can use debit cards, credit cards, prepaid credit cards, and PayPal for payment. Fill all the details and add complete billing details including your name, phone number, and complete address:
8. Skip the next two sections. You don’t need to buy any additional services as of now and let the coupon code as-is:
9. Finally review your order, accept terms and conditions, and click Checkout Now:
You now have your domain name registered on your name and you have a hosting plan, congrats. You’ll receive a confirmation email from HostGator for account setup and payment confirmation.
Step #3: WordPress Installation
Once you have received the confirmation email from HostGator, you can proceed with the WordPress installation process that only takes a few minutes.
Follow these steps to install WordPress on your affiliate blog:
1. Log in to your HostGator portal by clicking here. Add your email address (that you used in the previous step to create your HostGator account) and click Next:
Add your password and click Login:
2. This is how your HostGator customer portal looks like:
Click Install WordPress under the Control Panel to begin the installation process. You’ll see WordPress details on the next page with two installation options: Quick Install and Custom Install:
Select Quick Install as it is straightforward and doesn’t require any technicalities.
3. Select your domain name and keep the directory empty. Do not write anything in the directory. Select the latest WordPress version from the dropdown:
4. Select admin account details. These are the details that you’ll use to sign in to your affiliate blog. The details include username, password, and email address:
Keep the Select Plugin(s) section as is. No need to check any plugin as of now. You can install them later.
5. Skip the Select Theme section and click Install:
6. Wait for 2 minutes:
7. Click on View Credentials after installation is completed:
8. Scroll down and click on View where it says your WordPress install is finished:
9. Note the following information: Admin URL, username, and password:
You’ll receive these details via email too. You have successfully installed WordPress on your domain, congratulations.
Step #4: Using WordPress
Once WordPress is installed on your domain, wait for 12-24 hours to update DNS records. You’ll need to check the admin URL to see if your website is ready or not.
Visit the admin URL you copied from the previous step. You’ll also receive this at your email address. Here is how it looks like this:
When you see this, it means your affiliate blog is ready to rock:
If you don’t see this, wait. It will be automatically updated after the DNS records update.
Enter username/email and password and click Log In to enter the WordPress dashboard that looks like this:
Yours might be simple as you don’t have any plugins installed. Let’s see how to get started with the WordPress:
From the left sidebar in your dashboard, click Appearance and click on Themes:
You will see already installed themes. You can choose any theme from the installed themes or you can click on Add New to find and install new themes:
There are hundreds of free themes available to choose from:
You can preview the theme to see how it looks in real. If you like it, click Install to add it to your theme’s library.
Install and try different themes and activate the one that you like.
Your First Page
A WordPress page is a static page that isn’t timely such as about and contact pages. Here is how to create a WordPress page:
Click Pages in the left sidebar and click on Add New:
Give a title to your page, write the content in the text area, and click on Publish:
This is how the page looks like:
The actual page on your website might look different based on the theme you have selected. You can edit the page by clicking on the Edit Page link at the top:
Your First Post
A blog post or post is different from a page and is created differently. A blog post is a timely content piece that you can update regularly.
If you intend to create an affiliate blog, you must write and publish blog posts frequently. However, if you are interested in creating an affiliate website, you have to create a few static pages.
A blog is updated often by adding new posts while a niche website doesn’t need to be updated (as frequently). If you have added 5 pages to a website, you don’t have to add new pages for months or maybe for years.
Since Google and other search engines love fresh content, publishing new posts on the blog seems to be a good idea, and this is the reason why most webmasters prefer creating blogs.
Here is how you can create a blog post in WordPress.
Click Add New in the Posts from the left sidebar in your WordPress dashboard:
Add a title, add content, and click Publish:
This is how you add new posts. Easy, right?
Niche Affiliate Website Vs Affiliate Blog
A niche website isn’t the same as a blog.
An affiliate niche site (or website) is a static website with a few pages that promote one or more affiliate products. You can promote related products on an affiliate website.
For example, if you have a website in the toys niche, you can promote affiliate products that are somehow related to toys. You can promote toys from different brands, but you cannot promote a laptop on your niche website.
Got the point?
The best thing about a niche affiliate website is that it doesn’t need to be updated now and then. You just have to create a niche website once and then keep promoting it. No need to add new pages.
For example, you can create 5 pages where each page will target a specific keyword and promote one or more affiliate products on every page.
Once you have set up a website, you have to promote it. Nothing else needs to be done.
So, should you be creating a niche affiliate website or an affiliate blog? How to decide what’s right for you?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do you want to spend on affiliate marketing?
- Are you serious, consistent, and committed to affiliate marketing?
- Do you prefer short-term profits or long-term success?
- Do you have the time to regularly update the blog?
- Do you wish to create multiple earning streams?
- Are you looking for an affiliate business model that needs minimal supervision and maintenance?
Find answers to these questions to make things clear.
I’d go with an affiliate blog any day…
3. Solo Ads
Solo ads are no less than a goldmine when it comes to affiliate marketing. It is not a beginner-friendly technique to make money online with affiliate marketing but you shouldn’t hesitate to try it.
You have to find solo ad sellers to promote an affiliate product of your choice. An email with your link will be sent to the subscribers. You do not get access to the email list rather the list owner sends the email.
It is like contacting a group of extremely targeted audiences and putting your offer in front of them. Solo ads need ample testing and tweaking. Additionally, you will have to invest money to buy clicks.
What is a Solo Ad?
A solo ad is an email advertisement where your email is sent to an email list by the owner for a price. Your email with your links and message is sent to the email list that is not owned by you. In other words, you rent someone else’s email list.
Assume you are promoting a weight loss affiliate product and you contact a blogger who owns a massive list in the weight loss niche. He agrees to send your email to his list for a fixed price per click. This is what a solo ad is.
The list owner gets paid and you receive highly targeted traffic to your landing page.
You can’t send traffic directly to an affiliate product (unless the list owner approves your affiliate link). Sending traffic to your squeeze page is recommended since you’ll be building your list (that you can contact later) instead of sending one-off traffic to the affiliate product. Using solo ads for list building is a very lucrative business model.
So how can you do it?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how solo ads for affiliate marketing work:
1. Choose an Affiliate Product
Start by selecting an affiliate product that you’ll promote.
This has to be a product with upsells and the actual price of the product should be fairly low. For instance, you can choose a product with a base price of $10 or less (you get a 50% commission). Such a low priced product is easier to sell.
The idea is to make people buy a low-cost affiliate product and then later convince them to upgrade and purchase the upsell.
Since you will be pitching the affiliate product to people who do not know you, it will never be easy to sell a high-end affiliate product. Cheap products work best.
Make sure there should not be an opt-in form on the sales page. Stay away from affiliate products with opt-in forms.
2. Find a Solo Ad Seller
This is the real task.
A solo ad seller (or solo ad vendor) is the person whose email list you rent. The seller will send your email to his list for an agreed amount. You pay the seller a fee for using his list.
Finding a high quality, honest, and affordable solo ad seller is not easy.
The best technique to find quality solo ad sellers is to look for solo ad directories. There are several solo ad directories (including niche solo ad directories) where you can find all types of people with all types of lists.
The best solo ad directory is none other than Udimi. It is transparent, user-friendly, and has a huge list of global sellers across several niches. You can create a free account here and check out how it works:
SoloAdsx is another directory that handpicks solo ad sellers for you. The number of sellers is limited but expect some high-quality sellers here:
I have used Udimi and it works great.
You can search sellers in your niche, check reviews, and see traffic geography. Here is a screenshot of a seller’s traffic geography:
The best thing about Udimi is that the seller identity is verified that keeps their network transparent:
The traffic is also monitored and filtered by Udimi so you don’t get low-quality traffic from third-world countries. Its review system helps you find the perfect seller based on review and rating.
You should give Udimi a try and explore their sellers.
Solo ad directories aren’t the only way to hunt for vendors. You can find sellers directly by a simple Google search. Use your main keyword + solo ad seller to find solo ad sellers in your niche. Here is an example:
You can also contact bloggers and website owners directly. Find relevant blogs in your niche and see how good they are doing. The blogs with a good number of comments and followers on social networks can help you. Send them an email and ask if they are willing to do a solo ad.
Pitch your idea and see how they respond.
However, when you do a solo ad with a vendor directly without any third party (like a solo ad directory), you have to scrutinize the seller and check reviews. It is risky to work with sellers directly because you never know anything about their list quality. And, you have to use a high-quality tracking tool.
At the end of the day, working with solo ad vendors directly is risky.
When you work via a solo ad directory, you are in safe hands because it is the responsibility of the directory to filter sellers and ensure traffic quality.
3. Review Solo Ad Seller
If you choose a solo ad vendor from a solo ad directory, reviewing is easy. You can check reviews from past buyers. Here is an example from Udimi:
You can see positive vs. negative ratings from buyers. You can also check detailed reviews:
This makes your life easy, right?
If you decide to work with a seller directly, it is crucial to make sure you are spending your money in the right place. There are solo ad vendors who will send fake clicks and there are others who will deliver low-quality clicks. The only way to ensure you are buying clicks from the best in the game is to read reviews.
In most cases, you will find reviews.
Before you choose to buy a solo ad directly, here are a few things you have to do:
- Join the email list of the seller. This is a must
- Monitor the emails that you receive, the number of emails you receive per week, the quality of emails, the quality of products, and so on. Monitor and analyze everything
- Follow the seller on social media and read the latest blog posts to get an idea of his/her primary target audience.
This will give you a fair idea of the quality of clicks that you will receive.
For example, if a seller sends 2 to 3 emails a day to his list, there is no need to buy because he is using his list for solo ads and your email will be ignored by his subscribers.
Choose a solo ad seller who sends no more than 7 emails a week. Lesser is better, though.
4. Squeeze Page
I recommend you send traffic from the email to a squeeze page. This helps you build your list instead of sending traffic directly to the affiliate product.
Most of the solo ad vendors, however, don’t allow direct linking to an affiliate product. If you are using a solo ad directory, there is no way you can send traffic to an affiliate product. If you work directly with sellers, the majority do not allow direct linking to affiliate offers.
In any case, you have two options.
First, you can send traffic to the affiliate offer (if the seller allows it). In this case, you will not build your email list. Things will be easy. Just create a short and cheesy email promoting the affiliate product, insert your affiliate link a few times in the email, and you are ready to blast your email to the list.
Second, you can send traffic to your squeeze page, capture the email address of the visitors, and send them to the affiliate offer.
Using a squeeze page is a better and professional approach. It is a little expensive, but it pays off in the long run.
How to Create a Squeeze Page
A squeeze page is a marketing page that is used to build an email list. It is a simple and short page that offers something free but valuable to visitors, so they do not hesitate to share email addresses to get the freebie.
This is how a squeeze page looks like:
A squeeze page has the following elements:
- Headline (and a sub-headline)
- Offer (also known as a lead magnet). It is a highly valuable resource that you give away free of cost in exchange for a visitor’s email address
- Offer description (usually bullet points)
- Optin form
- Call to action.
Squeeze page visitors enter their email address to get the freebie and then they are directed to the affiliate offer.
This is a perfect way to build your email list and generate sales through a solo ad campaign.
Sounds awesome, right?
So how do you create a professional squeeze page?
It’s simple. There are several drag-and-drop page builders that you can use. Here is a list of free and paid squeeze page builders:
- Landing Page Builder (Free WordPress plugin)
- WordPress Landing Page (Free WordPress plugin)
- Elementor Page Builder (Free WordPress plugin)
- ClickFunnels (Premium page builder and funnel development tool)
- LeadPages (Landing page development tool)
- Funnelify (Funnel and page builder)
Choose a page builder, create your squeeze page and funnel (recommended), and you are done. All the traffic from the email should be sent to the squeeze page and when the visitors enter their email address, send them to the affiliate offer.
5. Tracking and Monitoring
Solo ad sellers send a complete completion report to the buyers. But you have to track clicks and conversions at your end too. Use a tracking tool for it.
Here is a list of the leading email tracking tools:
Carefully monitor traffic, clicks, opt-ins, sales, demographics, and other traffic statistics. You need to find the solo ad sellers that send high-quality traffic that convert and buy. Purchase from them again.
The idea is to find the best sellers and then repurchase more clicks from them. That’s how you’ll build your list and generate sales simultaneously.
Tips for Using Solo Ads for Affiliate Marketing
Here are the best tips and techniques for using solo ads for affiliate marketing that will help you build your list quickly without burning too much money:
- Always buy a small number of clicks from a solo ad seller (50 or 100). If it converts well, buy again. If the conversion rate is low, stay away
- If you choose to work directly with a solo ad vendor, read reviews and subscribe to the email list
- It is recommended to work with a solo ad directory (e.g., Udimi). You’ll save yourself from getting scammed
- Run one solo ad campaign at a time. Avoid running multiple campaigns simultaneously as it will get hard to monitor traffic and clicks
- Invest in a tracking tool. It is something you’ll never regret
- A solo ad is all about testing and tweaking. You have to try different email swipes, affiliate products, squeeze pages, solo ad sellers, and different lead magnets to come up with the best combo
- Make sure everything is working perfectly fine at your end before you place an order for a solo ad. The squeeze page, opt-in form, links, and your funnel should be in working condition.
If you think you can use solo ads to promote affiliate products and it is something for you, step ahead and get straight to work. Using solo ads for affiliate marketing isn’t something new. Affiliates have been doing it for years.
But the way you set up your solo ad campaign is critical.
How to Create Your First Affiliate Marketing Campaign
An affiliate marketing campaign, by definition, is a set of processes and activities that you take to promote the affiliate product.
How can you create your very first affiliate marketing campaign? Let’s find out…
Affiliate Network and the Product
The first step is to choose an affiliate network.
I am assuming you have already selected an affiliate network as you are in the process of creating an affiliate marketing campaign.
However, if you haven’t selected a network, better choose it now from the list below:
The real challenge is choosing the right affiliate product.
If you are a beginner, I’ll recommend selecting a product that’s not too competitive. It has to be relatively unknown but the commission percentage per sale should be significant enough so you can get a decent return on your investment.
It is a good idea to use the product before you start promoting it.
Request a review copy from the product author. Or purchase it.
Make sure it is a product that’s worth promoting. It should be a problem-solver. If it doesn’t please you, it will not please potential buyers.
It is time to set the target audience for your affiliate marketing campaign.
Target audience refers to the group of people you will pitch your affiliate product to. And it depends on the affiliate product you are promoting.
If you are promoting a weight loss supplement, you’d be targeting obese people. Similarly, if you are promoting an android app, you will target android smartphone users.
Looks simple, right?
This is just the basic information. And not enough.
Once you have finalized the target audience, you need to do market research. Find more about the interests of your target audience, places they visit, websites they visit, social networks they prefer using, where they hang out, their demographics, and much more.
You need to develop buyer personas. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It is a document that consists of all the information about your ideal customer such as interests, pain points, challenges, life goals, etc.
Here is how a buyer persona looks like:
You can use this free buyer persona tool. Simply fill in relevant details and you’ll have it ready.
The issue is collecting data and market research.
Normally, these details are not hidden and can be found easily. Most of the product authors will share all the details of the appropriate target audience with you but you have to take a step forward.
If you want to earn more than an average affiliate, you should do more than an average affiliate.
You should find as many details as possible about the target audience as this will help you in promoting the affiliate product.
Here are a few techniques for market research:
- Keyword research
- Competitor spying using tools such as SpyFu
- Online surveys
- Interviews and focus groups.
Primary data collected through surveys and interviews are best for creating highly targeted buyer personas.
The next step is to decide on the medium that you will use for marketing.
The best medium is your affiliate website or blog. I’d recommend sending all the traffic to your affiliate website, pre-sell the affiliate product, and then send traffic to the sales page. You need to capture the email address of the visitors and then send them to the product landing page:
You’ll need a squeeze page, a free report (known as a lead magnet), and email marketing software.
Imagine you will be building your email list of potential buyers. You can pitch them more affiliate products in the future and can convert them into repeat buyers.
It is OK if you do not have the resources and time to create a squeeze page since most of the new affiliates don’t have enough capital or they don’t want to spend money on affiliate marketing.
It is absolutely fine.
You can send traffic directly from your website or blog to the sales page via banners, adding text links, writing product reviews, etc.
The idea is to convince visitors to click on the link and buy the affiliate product.
The question is how to choose the right marketing method?
Yes, buyer persona tells you what marketing method to use.
If you are promoting a weight loss supplement, find out which websites and blogs your audience visits a lot. You can then publish a guest post on that blog to send targeted traffic to your blog.
I’m a big fan of content marketing.
And I’d recommend using content to reach your target audience. Write and publish awesome content on your blog, optimize it, and let your target audience find you via search engines.
Monitoring and Tweaking
Once everything has been set up and things are moving, you have to keep a close eye on the proceedings. You cannot sit back and relax rather you have to monitor your affiliate marketing campaign and make necessary adjustments.
Not every affiliate marketing campaign gives results right away. You have to do a lot of testing and tweaking to finally arrive at a winning campaign.
For instance, you might not be generating enough sales even after sending hundreds of visitors to the sales page every single day. In such a case, you have to see what’s going wrong. Is it an issue with the target audience, squeeze page, affiliate product, or something else?
Monitoring, testing, and tweaking are the only ways to scale your affiliate marketing campaign.
15 Most Profitable Niches for an Affiliate Blog
So, what are some of the most profitable niches that will help you jumpstart your affiliate marketing career?
Your online presence begins with choosing the right niche which has to be profitable. The issue, however, is the definition of profitability.
For me, a profitable niche is one that gives me 100% ROI. If I invest $100, and it returns me $100, I will be happy.
For someone else, a profitable niche will be one that generates up to $1000 a month in pure profit.
For a beginner, a profitable niche will be one that generates $300 a month.
The second issue is more serious. Pursuing a profitable niche doesn’t ensure or guarantee that it will turn out to be profitable for you.
A niche that’s profitable and is working cool for me might not work for you due to differences in the capital, marketing strategy, target market, target audience, and so on.
Keeping these two issues (or I must say variables) in mind, let’s move ahead and have a look at the 15 most profitable niches for your affiliate blog:
1. Health and Fitness
Health and fitness are the two markets that are evergreen and are no less than gems. Global healthcare spending is expected to cross $10 trillion by 2022.
Diet, weight loss, medical issues, rare diseases, home remedies, herbal medicines, recipes, etc. are some of the most profitable and most searched niches in the health market.
Digital health is a rapidly growing subset of the health market that has a lot of potential. The digital health market is expected to reach $504 billion by 2025:
The digital health market includes niches such as:
- Health apps
- Smart health devices
- Data and analytics.
The fitness market is not as broad as the health market but it is extremely profitable. It is a $97 billion global market that’s growing fast:
Fitness includes niches such as:
- Weight loss supplements
- Body mass supplements
- OTC pills
- Fitness programs.
The best thing about choosing a niche from the health and fitness market is that you will be able to make money throughout the year as this is not a seasonal market. Additionally, the target audience is desperate.
Think of a woman who wants to lose weight because she is fat. She has tried everything and nothing seems to work. She just needs a solution to weight loss that works.
Put yourself in her shoes. Offer her a solution to her problem and you will have a customer for life.
Think of a dating website, a relationship eBook, a how-to guide on looking attractive, and tips on choosing the outfit for your first date.
Not just that romance is a market for singles but it works equally well for married, committed, and divorced. I mean who doesn’t want to be loved?
Romance is a huge and profitable market. Any niche that you choose will have severe competition but you will see more than enough return.
Wealth is one of the fastest-growing markets that includes several hundred (or maybe thousand) niches. Whether it be online money making opportunities or something related to traditional businesses, it covers everything.
It includes niches such as:
- Internet businesses
- Affiliate marketing
- Website flipping
- Online money opportunities
- Work from home.
The basic idea is that everyone wants to earn money and want to be rich. This is something basic, right? So, selling anything that helps the general public in earning money will work under all types of conditions.
Travel is a seasonal market and thus, most of the niches in this market are seasonal. If you are targeting a specific geographic region, you will have to find innovative ideas to keep your audience busy in the offseason.
Normally, it doesn’t happen because you can switch to other travel destinations and products. For example, if you are promoting Chicago, its food, places to visit, etc. you can switch to another state when Chicago is covered with snow.
Travel includes pretty much anything ranging from airfares to travel bags to maps to GPS devices to guides to digital cameras and more. Everything related to a traveler and can be of any help, you can promote it as an affiliate marketer.
5. Financial Products, Services, and Software
Finance is massive and a profitable market and every niche within this sector is profitable.
The best thing about promoting financial products and services is that the average commission per sale is exceptionally high. A few sales a month will be more than enough for you.
Yes, it is highly competitive. The competition is fierce. And, promoting financial products isn’t easy. For example, all the leading ad networks won’t let you run ads for financial products such as forex, loans, investments, etc.
If you are interested in financial products, make sure you have a list of potential buyers who are ready to buy. Else, it can get tough.
Fintech, however, is a perfect sub-market that consists of several niches. Fintech is expected to be a $190 billion market by 2028 making it a perfect market for affiliate marketers. With more than 10K fintech startups in the world, you have a lot of options to choose from:
The top niches in the fintech market are:
- Digital payments
- Personal finance
- Alternative lending
- Alternative financing.
You can promote digital payment processors and apps easily as an affiliate marketer. Think of Payoneer, Skrill, and several others.
6. Departmental Stores
Need quick sales?
Go with departmental stores such as Walmart, Macy’s, Halls, Barney’s, and others. Everyone wants to shop from these stores, every other person is looking for discount cards, and a lot of us are looking for gift vouchers.
The issue is promoting these departmental stores and their offers. You can join a few of them as an affiliate and can send traffic to their online store but for others, you have to come up with an alternate business model.
7. Home and Garden
Home and garden is not a massive market and the niches are not too many but they are for sure profitable. Home improvement, home remodeling, home furniture, and anything related to the home fall into this market and make it a decent enough market.
Clothing is not related to fashion; rather it is related to clothes such as shirts, jeans, men’s wear, kid’s wear, and women’s wear. Everything that’s included in these categories will sell throughout the year.
Clothing is the basic need and even if you have a lot of clothes hanging in your cupboard, there is always room for more. This is why this is such a lucrative niche.
There is a whole bunch of people who love to follow new trends. They want to stay updated and current. This need of millions of people makes fashion one of the most lucrative niches.
Fashion products are expensive, especially the new ones that provide you with a decent commission per sale. However, as a marketer who promotes fashion products, you have to stay updated. You must be the first one to analyze and forecast new trends and respond in time.
When you are the first mover in the fashion industry, you will make big bucks.
10. Computer and Electronics
Something very obvious. Computers and electronics are the need of the current era.
Electrical appliances, gadgets, gaming consoles, tablets, phones, and related products have huge demand.
If you are in the computer and electronics niche, you will not only have a chance to earn a massive commission but you will love all those repeat customers. Technical advancements result in new and updated products very often and this provides you with a great chance to sell updated and new models of the same product to the same list of customers over and over again.
It is a professional market and the niches within the business market are professional. You will be promoting products to the businesses which is not an easy thing to do.
Niches include investing, tools, templates, business ideas, customer services, digital marketing, and others. Most of these niches are evergreen but you have to convince business owners to buy and this is a bit hard.
Hulu Plus, Netflix, online streaming websites, movie websites, proxies, etc. are all some of the top niches in the entertainment market that will prove to be extremely profitable for you.
Entertainment products and services are not expensive but they have demand and this is why a lot of affiliates prefer starting their career from the entertainment niche.
Sports happen to be a famous, lucrative, and evergreen niche. There are hundreds of sports and each sport has several niches. For instance, golf training is one niche, golf devices is another niche, golf equipment is another, golf swing is another, and so on.
Finding and targeting the right audience for the sports niche is fairly easy. You normally know where you will find your target audience and this makes it one of the best niches for beginners.
Hobbies niche is related to sports but it includes a whole lot of niches that are not available in the sports market. For example, metal detection, gardening, fishing, painting, etc. are some of the hobbies that are not sports.
To be successful in a hobby niche, you have to be an expert at the hobby because you will be dealing with experts. For example, if you have started a blog about fishfinders, and you don’t have firsthand experience with fishing and using some of the best fishfinders, you will not be able to help the hobbyists in the truest sense.
An evergreen niche that has the potential to make you rich. The gamers do not care about money, rather they are interested in the game, so making money with the gaming niche is not a big deal.
However, it is a competitive market and you must choose a specific niche to make decent money from your efforts.
Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
There are quite a few critical affiliate marketing mistakes that cause affiliate marketers lots of cash. When you make such a critical mistake, you lose sales and customers.
Nobody likes losing customers.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the most critical affiliate marketing mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. Losing Hope
You don’t have to lose hope. At times, it gets really hard and there seems to be no solution – but you have to keep moving.
Perhaps the biggest mistake an affiliate marketer makes is none other than losing hope.
As a new affiliate marketer, you won’t make much. In fact, there will be times when you will not earn a penny.
Be consistent. And keep doing what you are doing.
Affiliate marketing doesn’t work overnight. It takes an average of 3 years to reach Google top 10 results:
If you can’t wait, affiliate marketing isn’t for you. And if you expect to see your blog posts ranking in Google after a month, you are making a serious mistake.
Give it time and stick with the plan.
2. Doing Too Much All at Once
When you do too much at a single time, you create problems for yourself that aren’t easy to handle.
For example, signing up with multiple affiliate networks, promoting multiple affiliate products in different niches, promoting multiple affiliate products in the same niche, using multiple marketing methods, etc.
If you keep on changing trains, you will reach nowhere even if you spend your entire life traveling.
Trying to do too much with affiliate marketing that too, at an initial stage, is a mistake that has to be avoided.
The rule is simple – stick with one thing at a time.
Whether it is affiliate network, affiliate product, niche, blog, marketing technique, affiliate marketing campaign, or anything else.
The idea is to stay focused.
3. Not Promoting Your Affiliate Blog
There is a general misconception among bloggers and affiliate marketers that publishing new and fresh content on their blogs will result in higher search engine rankings and bring organic traffic.
This is not how it works.
Research shows that a whopping 91% of pages don’t get any organic traffic from Google:
Due to lack of marketing.
No matter how high quality blog posts you are publishing on your affiliate blog, if you are not promoting your blog, you will never get any traffic.
You have to tell people about your blog. You have to reach out to fellow bloggers. You have to find and reach your target audience. You have to market your blog.
The competition is fierce. You have to do two things to stand out from the crowd.
First, publish original, awesome, and valuable content using techniques like 10x and skyscraper.
Second, put your content in front of your target audience by marketing it.
Get serious about marketing.
4. Not Making Connections
You have to make connections with other affiliate marketers, bloggers, and people who share the same interest or are in the same business line.
These connections and networks are of immense importance for affiliate marketers but unfortunately, only a few affiliates practically make these connections.
So, what do these connections do, and how can you make them?
Your connections help you in different ways such as sending traffic, guest posting opportunities, joint ventures, and more.
Making connections is easy. You have to find affiliate marketers, bloggers, and webmasters who are in the same industry. Follow them on social networks. Comment on their recent blog posts. Engage.
Do it consistently.
It is just like building relationships. Making friends on the internet.
Once you have connections, you will not find it hard to make money with affiliate marketing.
5. Not Being Helpful
Don’t sell, help.
You aren’t a seller. Don’t try to be one.
As an affiliate, your job is to sell the product but don’t make it look so obvious. Let the merchant do the selling. You should help people in making the right choice. You should help people by telling them if they need the product.
For instance, you have a blog where you promote quadcopters. You can compare different quadcopters and finally recommend the best quad.
This is how you help your audience by guiding them as to which product they should go for.
6. Not Using the Affiliate Product
This is such a common affiliate marketing mistake. I have seen professional affiliates who promote any product that they are asked to without even looking at it.
The biggest issue here is that you might end up promoting a bad product and this is where you start losing customers. People lose their trust if you throw a bad product at them.
The rule is straightforward. Do not promote it if you haven’t used it.
You can ask for a review copy. In case, if you don’t get one, purchase the product. When you promote a product after using it, you will see that people believe and trust you.
Affiliate Marketing is Awesome, Are You?
Are you ready to get started?
Affiliate marketing is a perfect way to make money online from your home without any capital, experience, or technical knowledge. You can get started right now.
Register with your favorite affiliate marketing network today and start your affiliate marketing career.