When one of our readers at The Write Life buys Chris Guillebeau’s $58 Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing through our link, for example, we earn $29. When James Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words course sells for $1,599 through our site, we earn $200. Lots of creators offer affiliate programs for their products; the key is finding products that appeal to your audience, so you readers want to purchase them.

What do you want to earn? Is this just a little bit of side income on your hobby blog or are you trying to replace your full time income? If you’re trying to go big then you’re going to want to focus on more high-quality products with big commissions.  Maybe you will be building your site or blog around the specific product you want to promote, like a product review or comparison site.
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Amazon Mechanical Turk is a service that lets you make money online through doing paid microtasks. Each task is something simple that requires human interaction like rating search results, checking for the right spelling on search terms, categorizing the tone of an article, or even basic translating. You can do these tasks from anywhere you want and make money online from the world’s largest e-retailer.
Offering specific online SEO services is also another online freelancer role that businesses are crying out for. If you know how to improve a website’s SEO by doing keyword research, creating content that can rank in search engines, adding metadata/schema to posts and pages, and building backlinks to a domain, to name a few tasks, then this could be a great line of work for you.
Nearly $5,000 in affiliate sales is awesome, and I see this as a turning point for bringing in a respectable income from the site. (I’ve written more in this post about how we’re monetizing The Write Life.) But before we dive into how we accomplished this, I want to put that income in perspective for you. It’s still a drop in the bucket for our company, for three reasons:
I’ll admit that even on my own blog, AlexisGrant.com, I’m sometimes lazy about taking an extra minute or two to pull an affiliate link when I see an opportunity to use one in a post. But if you want to benefit as your traffic grows, you have to be consistent about adding those affiliate links every time, even if you don’t expect the post to take off. This is something we’re religious about on The Write Life (thank you, editor @Heathervdh!), so when we get unexpected traffic to a post, we earn.

I’m not sure of the exact reasons why I started to rank, but I have a few theories. It was a very long, honest, and informative post on the subject. I believe this made it stand out from all the other reviews in which the author just wrote up a basic summary of what it’s about. It also is one of the latest reviews on the book, so perhaps google freshness has something to do with it. I haven’t done any linkbuilding on this page and it currently sits at #2.
Hey Doug great stufF! I have just started my own niche sites and am hoping to replicate even a fraction of your success. Are you considering selling the site? Was this your first build and you just hit it out of the park, or you’ve done this before? How was competition for the niche? Was there something about the keyword that you also really liked aside from the hard numbers ?

Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to gain control of their own income by focusing on performance-based revenue options. Working in tandem with a seller, a motivated affiliate marketer will be able to achieve a passive income from the comfort of their home without worrying about producing their own product or service. Although the success of the job does depend on the affiliate’s marketing skills, it can prove to be an effective way to meet your income goals as either a primary career or a profitable second job.


I tried affiliate marketing years ago. Back then I was just randomly posting ads online hoping to get sales. After about 4 months I had one sale and commission was $100. Well, I gave up on it. I went to eBay, ran a successful store on there for the last 8 months, sales totaled over $2,000 and my last month I had my biggest sales in a single month at $500, then BAM, eBay killed my account. Now, today, I’m back at looking into affiliate marketing and I need help with the fine details. I think I understand the big picture, but it’s the details I need help with. So, I make a website? Specifically, do I use some free service like Wix or should I use GoDaddy, and sign up for a domain name and build a website? What do you think of, or rather, what do customers think of being on subdomains? You know websites like mystorename.majorbrand.com? I also see you mentioned writing articles, and getting ranked on Google. I’m not familiar at all with getting ranked nor do I really understand what that means. So, am I writing articles and posting them on my new website or am I writing articles, putting them somewhere online then link them to my website in hopes of generating traffic? If you could help with these concepts, I would greatly appreciate it.
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
The link building was a critical step.  It was time consuming.  I followed the standard plan you see in several other blogs (like Niche Pursuits) with tiered linking structures. In general, you could categorize the links as social profiles, web 2.0 free blogs, and article directories.  I also purchased a few fiverr gigs to point to the first tier of links, not the niche site (the money site).
Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

Designed to create a huge amount of traffic at all times, these sites focus on building an audience of millions. These websites promote products to their massive audience through the use of banners and contextual affiliate links. This method offers superior exposure and improves conversion rates, resulting in a top-notch revenue for both the seller and the affiliate.
In the case of cost per mille/click, the publisher is not concerned about whether a visitor is a member of the audience that the advertiser tries to attract and is able to convert, because at this point the publisher has already earned his commission. This leaves the greater, and, in case of cost per mille, the full risk and loss (if the visitor cannot be converted) to the advertiser.
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