Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
I am interested in doing something like this but I don’t have much life experience. I have Fibromyalgia and was denied disability, but am not able to work outside the home. Something like this would be perfect for me. However, I can’t afford to purchase items to try them out to give a review or write about them. I was really excited when your site said you would teach me step by step for free! Then really disappointed when it came down to costing money. Regardless of that, you seem like a nice guy. Do you have any advice for me?
I guess the only thing I’d say about this is if you are blogging in a competitive niche and working in what I’d call the “gray area” of link masking and not using “nofollow” as described here by google (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en) expect that competitors that are writing real reviews with real photos (not stuff grabbed from a manufacturers website) are going to report you to google as webspam. The thing I hate most is affiliate sites that have never held a product in their hand and then try to pass off something as a first person review for the sole sake of pushing you to Amazon.com.
It doesn’t pay much, but if you’re a healthy person and want to make a bit of extra money online, the AchieveMint app will reward you for doing things like walking, tracking your food, or taking health surveys. AchieveMint works by connecting to fitness apps you might already be using like Fitbit, RunKeeper, Healthkit, and MyFitnessPal and then giving you points for certain actions. For every 10,000 points, you earn $10 with no limit on your earnings.
I hear your concern. However, one reason I love affiliate marketing is because it tends to be the most affordable marketing channel. This is because you are only paying affiliates for people that converted on your site into an actual customer. It’s CPA — cost per acquisition. When you compare this to other paid marketing channels like Facebook or Adwords, you’re going to end up paying CPM — cost per impressions, or CPC — cost per click. In these cases you end up wasting a lot of money on people who do not become actual customers. This won’t happen with affiliate marketing. You do need to have some form of budget in order to be able to payout affiliates for the leads they send, but you’ll want it to be a percentage of the revenue you are making, so that your margins are high enough that you’re making money. I have seen affiliates make anywhere between 5%-40% of revenue. Keep in mind, the higher the commission rate, the harder affiliates will work to promote you and prioritize you as a partner.

The following are not direct affiliate programs but are representative of the monetization networks and techniques that have worked relatively well to date. I am adding this to show you other ad networks in addition to AdSense which will allow you to monetize your blog. One network which I have tried but have not profited from so far is Media.net, a network which is getting mix reviews.


For 17 years, we’ve partnered with digital marketers like you to sell our products to over 200 million customers around the globe. Our digital marketers stick with our Affiliate Network because of our ever-expanding catalog of quality digital products and unsurpassed reputation for reliability – we pay commissions on time, every time so you never have to worry about when you will get paid.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]
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