How many email newsletters are you bombarded with every single day? There’s a reason for that. Marketing to an actively interested group of email subscribers is one of the best ways to make money online. There have even been million-dollar businesses built from simple email newsletters like TheSkimm, or Mister Spoils. Each newsletter targets a specific type of user with interesting, daily content, while also partnering with relevant companies and affiliates to bring in extra money. If this seems daunting, it’s not. Tools like MailChimp, Seva (formerly ConvertKit), AWeber, and ActiveCampaign, make it easier than ever to get started with email marketing.
Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
Beyond your time and patience, affiliate marketing implementation requires resources. Having a fully developed program dictates that you design creative and sales materials to provide to your affiliates, write guidelines and tip sheets, help those who may be less tech-savvy, alert affiliates to new products and promotions, etc. Once your program grows, you’ll also probably find it necessary to hire an actual program manager to run it. This, of course, doesn’t include the cost of commission to both the network/platform and the affiliates, which needs to be high enough to incentivize publishers to sign up for your program and promote your products.
It may take time to build that audience that turns views into dollars. The average revenue per 1,000 YouTube views is just over $6. But with enough videos for fans to scroll through, those views can add up over time. While you're building an audience, you could also join an affiliate program related to your channel and make money through affiliate links in your video descriptions.
Need more ideas on how to make money online? Another strategy is using webinars to market your product, service, or course. I’ve done webinars to promote my financial planning practice and to drum up interest in my online course for financial advisors. With a webinar, you’re basically offering a lot of tips and advice for free — usually in a live format. At the end though, you pitch your paid product or service with the goal of securing a few deals.
ShareASale is another larger affiliate network that has more than 4000 merchants listed where a thousand of them are exclusive to ShareAsale. One of the features that may make you fall in love with this program is the ease of use. As a beginner either a seller or an affiliate marketer, this site is extremely easy to use. Additionally, the platform offers various features such as Average Commission, Reversal Rates, Average Sale Amount, and Earnings per Click. With these payments, it is possible for you to access a campaign and let you know where to put more efforts on.
The difference between Amazon and EBay is that EBay (though still filled with new items) is seen as a used marketplace between individual parties, whereas Amazon (which is filled with offers for new and used merchandise from the 3rd parties) is viewed as a Wal-Mart-type superstore. As a consumer, this difference leads me to use Amazon, so it only makes sense to target on my own demographic.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
Don’t exhaust all the information about the product with your link. Offer enough information to your readers so they know what the link is, but I don’t recommend giving too much detail on your own site for a two reasons. First, product information, like price, often changes. If you mention the price on your site and someone clicks over and finds a different price, it’s confusing. Second, many times, the product details and features are better explained by the makers of the product. It’s best to stick to your own experience on your site.
Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.
To those on the outside, affiliate marketing can seem like a black box. It’s inner workings are mysterious to most marketers and in many companies it’s not treated with the same seriousness as other channels. Some marketers, only familiar with the bad reputation acquired by some industry players in the 2000s, deride it as a source of spam and little more.
Of the many key reasons these sites are so massively successful, one stands out in particular: they are genuinely helpful to their visitors. When you need to renew your car insurance, do you seriously go filling in forms on every individual provider’s website, or do you instead just fill in the one form on a site like Comparethemarket to get all the quotes you need at once? If you think about the answer honestly, you’ll realise exactly why comparison websites like this are so genuinely useful to a visitor.
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re selling your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
One of the main reasons why most newbie affiliate marketers give up after 3 months is the fact that they can’t build up traffic to their affiliate website. It’s a thorn in most marketers’ sides, but one that can be easily resolved if you put the effort in. Below I have covered a few areas that will get you good targeted traffic to your affiliate deals.
In the past, large affiliates were the mainstay, as catch-all coupon and media sites gave traffic to hundreds or thousands of advertisers. This is not so much the case anymore. With consumers using long-tail keywords and searching for very specific products and services, influencers can leverage their hyper-focused niche for affiliate marketing success. Influencers may not send advertisers huge amounts of traffic, but the audience they do send is credible, targeted, and has higher conversion rates.
I just started doing affiliate marketing for Amazon and other sites like CJ and Rakuten. Am still a newbie and currently learning about AM and I must admit that your post did open my eyes especially on things like cookie duration, conversion rate, refund rate. I also did take note of Skimlinks and will definitely be checking out AffiloBlueprint. Thanks Ana!
There are some really good tips on affiliate marketing in this article and comments. I’d like to earn some income through affiliate marketing as I found a product subcription I like and found out it is an affiliate marketing product. I’ve started to search for other affiliate marketing opportunities because I like the concept and need to learn more how to startup. I appreciate all the comments on what to look for.
Some merchants run their own (in-house) affiliate programs using dedicated software, while others use third-party intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. There are two different types of affiliate management methods used by merchants: standalone software or hosted services, typically called affiliate networks. Payouts to affiliates or publishers can be made by the networks on behalf of the merchant, by the network, consolidated across all merchants where the publisher has a relationship with and earned commissions or directly by the merchant itself.
The more online clout you have as a business, the more money you’ll make. If you’re known for making lasting connections (as is the case with GetVoiP above), then you’ll have no issues building your online brand. You’ll be recognized in your community and begin to build a buzz in your industry. Tracking your numbers (how many people view your site, click each ad, and make a purchase from that click) gives you the leverage to expand this part of your business, enabling you to continue building your online rep.
"I started my blog in March 2015 and didn't even know what affiliate marketing meant. And....I didn't do much about it. I think my largest month was around $500 last year and then died down to sometimes only a few bucks per month. It wasn't my focus, but I didn't realize I was leaving money on the table, meaning I was losing money every month! I decided to enroll in Michelle's course, and I quickly noticed I didn't know a thing when it came to true Affiliate Marketing! No wonder it just 'wasn't working for me'...
CashCrate sends out literally thousands of payments a month to users just like you who spend time completing surveys and offers on CashCrate.com. How do they do it? Well, they do surveys and offers regularly. It really adds up! Your initial goal should be to meet minimum payout, which is $20.00. Making $20.00 in free cash is actually quite easy considering there are hundreds of surveys and offers available, but here are a few tips to get you to your goal faster:
Are you a professional in a field that can help answer questions for people looking for your expertise? Websites like JustAnswer and LivePerson match you up with people looking for answers to technical or professional questions. You can make money online by simply answering these questions and providing the right information to people based on their individualistic circumstances.
If you have anything you want to sell, then EBay is the place you need to seriously consider doing it first. Personally I’m not a fan of the site because of the work it takes to build up a reputation. If you’re willing to grind through that process, you’ll be rewarded with many privileges – people have gotten rich selling books about how they got rich selling everything on EBay: Click here for a few tips from the pros.
Many affiliate programs will often run promotions with good discounts or giveaways that might be attractive to your audience. For example, if you're an Amazon Associate and the site have a big Holiday Sale, it would be the perfect opportunity for you to promote discounts to your website visitors. This is a great way to promote your offers while also providing good value to your audience.
First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.
Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.
A lifestyle blogger writes about their everyday life, hobbies, and interests. From fashion, beauty tips, and male grooming, to food, restaurants, and travel, anything that you experience can be blogged about. And famous lifestyle bloggers can make big bucks. Once you have built up a following, there are many ways to make a profit. Add affiliate links to your website, promote sponsored services, create your own product range, and much more.
Established in 2000, this company has since grown into one of the most well regarded affiliate networks in the UK, as well as the world. Currently, it boasts of over 1,600 brands across 77 sectors in 11 territories worldwide. They also provide a simple, user friendly dashboard, as well as an array of useful tools that can definitely help you boost your affiliate marketing campaigns.
If you have built up an email list, you could also promote your affiliate offers via email promotions. Just make sure you build up a relationship with your audience first instead of going for the hard sell straightaway. The emails you send out must contain your affiliate links to products so when your audience click through. the sale is attributed to you.
Amazon and Google are far from your only options for online advertising. Rakuten Linkshare is a great place to search for other affiliates for your ads. Through their program, you can get customized ad links, email links, and banner ads for Starbucks, Walmart, iTunes, and a slew of other popular brands. With this program, you can also find smaller companies, regional or specialized brands, and more. I run a combination of Google, Amazon, and Rakuten’s programs, and my monthly income is approximately $150 from these programs. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s also not a lot of work for residual (it means recurring…since the ads are permanent…) income.
Find your niche partners, collaborators, and champions: As you’re creating your course, look for notable people who are also creating content in the space. Look at how their businesses operate and incorporate that into your own plan. You can also reach out to any influencers and make them affiliates for your own course. This way, they’ll be incentivized to share your content with their own audiences (which can be a major way to generate your first sales and start building your own community!)
An e-commerce merchant that wants to be able to reach a wider base of internet users and shoppers may hire an affiliate. An affiliate could be the owner of multiple websites or email marketing lists; therefore, the more websites or email lists that an affiliate has, the wider his network. The affiliate that has been hired would then communicate and promote the products offered on the ecommerce platform to his network. The affiliate does this by implementing banner ads, text ads and/or links on their multiple owned websites or via email to their clientele. Advertisement could be in the form of articles, videos, images, etc., which are used to draw an audience’s attention to a service or product.
There are several websites offering money to undergo online surveys, carry out online searches, and write reviews on products. To get the credit, one needs to disclose certain information to them including one's banking details. This is why you should use this route with utmost care. Some of them may even ask you to register with them before working on projects. The most important watch out in such projects is to stay away from websites offering money that appears too good to be true. Be careful while evaluating the reputation of the website as many of them could be a scam. Most sites promote businesses showing copies of cheque payments which may have been given to the middlemen only.
Agreed Anna. Way too many people unfortunately get swayed too easily by the grand promises of many affiliate marketers that claim they make millions easily and how easy it is. In reality, it is not at all easy and definitely requires a good deal of work, correct decisions every step of the way and some luck also, to make good money. It is important for each person to find what methods work best for them and go at it that way.
While Etsy is fantastic for handmade goods that you’ve already created, if you’ve got killer designs that would look good on phone cases, t-shirts, or even wall hangings, pillows, and duvets, you can sell them on Society6 without paying anything to start. Society6 lets artists upload their designs and create their own shops where they choose what products their designs can be used on. That means one design can be used to make a whole range of awesome products that are printed and shipped on demand whenever someone buys from you. With top creators making thousands every month just from selling their designs.
Not necessarily, but a blog is really the best promotional tool. With that said, you can always use methods such as PPC or advertising to promote a product. This is more like hit-and-run affiliate marketing, however. The best way to make the most out of your affiliate marketing opportunities is to have a blog and use it for hard and soft promotion.
Thank you Ana for this informative post about affiliate marketing. Internet is about trust and there are so many affiliate programs out there. Seldom do we find an affiliate product that we can trust to help us monetize our blog and your tips are something I should read on again when looking for the best affiliate marketing programs out there. I know every internet marketer has affiliate programs and this post will best help us to scrutinize the programs better.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Alibaba is a Chinese eCommerce store that matches Chinese suppliers with buyers all over the world. Prices are extremely cheap, providing the possibility of large profits. However, with the potential profits comes more risk. As you are dealing with suppliers in China, if the quality of the product that arrives isn’t up to standard there is little that you can do about it.
Giving away a free informational product such as an e-book, an email series or a mini course is a popular tactic many affiliate marketers use. Usually, your readers will have to provide their email addresses to receive the product from you. You can then use this to sell to them via email marketing. Additionally, an informational product can generate interest in the actual product you're trying to sell. If your product is popular enough and brings enough traffic to your site, you could also monetize the traffic in other ways, such as AdSense.
Active income requires your time and you can only produce as much money as your time allows. For example, a doctor or a lawyer who charge high per-hour or per-consultation fees and make exorbitant amounts of cash are stifled by the amount of time they have in a day. We all have the same 24 hours. Not one person on this earth gets more time than the next. It’s the greatest equalizer in life. When the time you work directly correlates to your income, it’s called active income.
Insurance comparison sites are fulfilling a need. People don’t want to spend hours looking for insurance, and they don’t find it fun. If you’ve ever found anyone who enjoys this kind of activity, they could possibly be a little crazy. Both Compare The Market and Gocompare.com have not only made the tedious process of finding a policy infinitely faster, they’ve also made it fun. (Think of the free meerkats and the Gocompare man you love to hate.)
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.