Cost per mille requires only that the publisher make the advertising available on his or her website and display it to the page visitors in order to receive a commission. Pay per click requires one additional step in the conversion process to generate revenue for the publisher: A visitor must not only be made aware of the advertisement but must also click on the advertisement to visit the advertiser's website.


One thing that I look for in an affiliate program is a good transparent analytics system. I want to be able to see the clicks and transactions, so that I can track my stats. Otherwise, I get a little nervous about the legitimacy of the program. Other things to look for is to see how transparent they are when answering questions and how the responsiveness of the affiliate manager.

Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.


Truth be told, many marketers don’t give affiliate marketing the respect and attention it deserves. This is partially because many marketers believe it’s synonymous with referral marketing, which is something they’re likely already doing. But the two terms are not interchangeable, and the differences are better understood once you learn how affiliate marketing programs work.
There is serious competition in the affiliate marketing sphere. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of any new trends to ensure you remain competitive. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to benefit from at least a few of the new marketing techniques that are constantly being created. Be sure you’re keeping up to date on all these new strategies to guarantee that your conversion rates, and therefore revenue, will be as high as possible.
LongTail Pro has proven to be an indispensable asset when it comes to keyword research for me and my colleagues.I personally have been using the service for a while now, and have found over time that the data it gives around keywords tend to be more accurate than the other keyword tools on the market. I also introduced the LongTailPro to my colleagues who previously had been using other solutions, and now they absolutely swear by it! It is the go-to tool for keyword research at our agency. I highly recommend it.
Affiliate networks offer you access to multiple (and by multiple, we mean hundreds if not thousands) of individual affiliate programs. They basically work by simplifying the signup process - instead of applying to become an affiliate for a each product you want to promote, you simply apply to join the network and instantly have access to hundreds of different affiliate offers.
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. 
Because 2Checkout exclusively sells software and digital products, it is best suited for established influencers whose target audience is interested in buying products in this niche. But while you won’t find any physical products for sale, 2Checkout is probably the market leader in selling software of every type, including very specific use case items (like software that can convert Microsoft Word documents to PDF, for instance).
Flexoffers.com is another well-known affiliate that we have included in our top best affiliate programs. This program is well-established affiliate marketer that has gained a lot of reputation because of offering big offers on digital products, keeping their affiliates relevant. When a company offers large offers, more clients are likely to purchase, meaning more money to the merchants and affiliates.
Leanne, that was great stuff. I saw some interesting delineators I’d never seen before, like how many subscribers you have making a difference in whether you should start with affiliates, at what level, etc. I appreciate the “ethical” angle you weaved throughout this, too, because affiliate marketing can/does have a bad reputation due to the way it’s been abused in the past. Your article will help educate current and future affiliate marketers, much appreciated!

From what I’ve observed, most of the “programs” you’ve listed are networks, and most of them support dozens, hundreds, even thousands of merchants – in a huge variety of niches. Amazon is not technically a network, unless you factor in the presence of about a dozen entities like Zappos, Woot, Endless and the like. With very few exceptions, networks are diversified. Performance-Based.com focuses on eco and green merchants. Some support a particular locale – European merchants, for example.
While we put a huge amount of effort into researching and compiling the Blue Book rankings, as with all such lists they should be taken only as an expression of our opinion. By developing and posting these rankings, mThink makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or factual basis of the rankings. We recommend that users should carry out their own research. Under no circumstances will mThink be held liable in any way for any ranking, any errors or omissions in any ranking/s, or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the ranking/s.
Honestly you just need to narrow down to a niche that you want to focus on and then move forward with something. I spent less than a few hundred bucks when I first got started. Now years and years later, I’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars starting or buying something if I want to. But that’s the fun part is that unless you have a big inheritance everyone starts from zero and then tries to grow from there.
I have started looking at affiliate networks and finding products to promote that way. Also going to try to utilize a Youtube channel with promotion, as well as some paid advertising. It all works with the right amount of patience. I do have an Amazon Affiliate account that I can link too, but diversifing and learning to branch out is key. Truthfully I do not think the Amazon associate program is all that newbie friendly.
Cost per mille requires only that the publisher make the advertising available on his or her website and display it to the page visitors in order to receive a commission. Pay per click requires one additional step in the conversion process to generate revenue for the publisher: A visitor must not only be made aware of the advertisement but must also click on the advertisement to visit the advertiser's website.
It’s no secret that Amazon is a pioneer in ebooks and expanding opportunities for indie authors. But Amazon also led the way in online affiliate marketing. In 1996, Amazon was a small online book retailer run from Jeff Bezos’ garage. With a limited marketing budget, Amazon decided to tap into readers’ love of books to help spread the word. Instead of having an initial outlay of money to buy advertising, Amazon paid people a commission when they referred buying customers to Amazon. This commission was paid after the customer bought, eliminating upfront marketing costs.
Matthew owns an internet marketing blog that has won many awards and has been featured on various big brand websites such as Entrepreneur and ProBlogger. Matt is known for producing outstanding high-quality content that sticks out from the competition. The blog specialises in producing high-quality tutorials and case studies that help with things like link building, social media and traffic generation.
You want to convince the reader to investigate their purchase options by the time they finish reading an article, which is why I’ll always include links to all of the products mentioned in a review at the end of the article. That way it’s an easy transition from learning about the product during your review and then at the end it’s time to make a purchase.

ClickBank allows you to join for free, and the approval process is virtually automatic, so it’s a great choice for people entering the affiliated game for the first time. ClickBank has a ton of information, including FAQs, walk-throughs, and videos available, so the barrier to entry is quite low. There’s also a (paid) program called ClickBank University with courses and assistance from experienced marketers.
I really wish I had found Affiliate Marketing by Noah Gray and Michael Fox before my first, very brief attempt at affiliate marketing through Amazon’s program. This book is thorough, relatively easy to understand, and, most importantly, contains virtually everything you could want to know about this money-making opportunity. From the definition of affiliate marketing and getting started to mistakes to avoid and details on specific programs and networks, Gray and Fox answer every question I had about affiliate marketing and more.

Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing – An easy to follow online course that teaches you the ins and outs of affiliate marketing. It’s written by Michelle Schroder who makes $100K+ a month from her blog. A genuine super affiliate that shares her success stories and affiliate marketing techniques with her community both on her private Facebook group and on her blog.
It’s rare for someone to work at one company for ten years or more, but the almost two-decades that Laurie DeSimone spent at Reebok gave her the experience and unique insights into brand marketing that makes her the ideal Key Account Director for our Acceleration Partners team. Her high level of customer dedication, team collaboration and commitment to brand growth and alignment fits well with Acceleration Partners’ focus on Principled Performance™.
Bookmarking this one so I can read more of your articles. You have given the best and most up-to-date information I have seen in a long time. Keep up the good work!! I know Amazon associates are looking for alternatives to Amazon since they have changed their fee schedule and have gone nuts with closing down associate sites,so I will pass this site on to those leaving Amazon, or simply are looking for alternatives.
ACCOUNT OPERATIONS - Manages the day-to-day operations of multiple affiliate programs, including managing affiliate application questions, deployment of creative assets, etc. while ensuring program details are accurate and up-to-date. Monitors affiliates’ marketing methods frequently to prevent fraud and ensure compliance with each program's terms and conditions (Brandverity, FTC, Fraud).
Be sure not to make your page or profile scammy, though. If you post these frequently, your Facebook reach can suffer, and you could risk losing followers who don’t prefer to see so many promotional posts. For the benefit of your Facebook followers and reach, it’s a good idea for you to post a variety of text and text plus image posts to your page or profile.
We reserve the right to cancel any orders placed for websites in illegal or offensive industries. Any illegal content, products, services or items hateful, objectionable or defamatory content aimed at any people group, race, gender, sexual orientation or otherwise attacks on any person, business, organisation, product or service; cruelty towards animals; or otherwise content found to be objectionable will be cancelled and refunded.
Who can tell me if “link masking or cloaking” is a violation of the Google TOS? I think it is and I see dozens of affiliate sites doing it. I also see quite a few sites not using “nofollow” on their affiliate links. Unless your masked link says something like “I bought product X used in this review at Amazon.com” it would be a violation. I think if reported, you’d be in for a manual spam action against your site. Thoughts?
If you’re primarily going to be promoting Amazon products it’s important to choose a set of products that has a relatively high price point. After all, it’s hard to make a solid income off of promoting $1-5 products, since the commission on Amazon is so low. Items that have a higher price point, like high end appliances, furniture, BBQs, blenders and juicers, or bikes can net you over $50 a sale at least. 

What are the terms of the program? Is there anything I need to be aware of that would make a program not worth it for me. For example, Amazon Associates does not allow you to put your affiliate links in emails. If your main method of communication with your audience is via email, Amazon might not be a good fit for you. Wayfair, for example, does not allow their affiliates to post affiliate links on Pinterest or any other social media site. If that’s a strategy you rely on, Wayfair might not be a good fit for you.
By 6 Months… You are strategically overseeing and executing the day-to-day operations of multiple affiliate programs.  You have formed solid relationships with key client contacts and are the main point of contact for clients’ strategic and account questions.  Challenging client situations are being managed with guidance from Associate Director.  Client data is regularly being analyzed and used strategically in optimization, activation and recruitment campaigns. Client accounts are being handled effectively and strategically, without dropping any balls, and clients are aware of and pleased with this outcome. Clients are being serviced profitably with target bill rates being met, and client Net Promoter Scores are 8+. 
By 6 months… you are able to execute the day-to-day operations of multiple affiliate programs, including managing affiliate applications, recruitment list building, and deployment of creative assets. Working closely with managers you are able to maximize the effectiveness of the program and are regularly developing new campaign ideas to present to managers. You are able to draft affiliate communications and newsletters and respond to affiliate inquiries and issues with little guidance from managers.  Accounts are being monitored regularly for fraud, with no issues being missed, to ensure compliance with each program’s terms and conditions.
Matthew owns an internet marketing blog that has won many awards and has been featured on various big brand websites such as Entrepreneur and ProBlogger. Matt is known for producing outstanding high-quality content that sticks out from the competition. The blog specialises in producing high-quality tutorials and case studies that help with things like link building, social media and traffic generation.
The report sounds awesome. I’ve been thinking about doing all my affiliate marketing via Amazon, because they offer amazing products and because they offer commissions on everything that “my” customers are buying. On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about focusing on a few products that I’m currently using. What I’m trying to say is that affiliate marketing is hard, and that finding the right products is actually harder than promoting them.

Hey Jan, glad it made you think. As you've found out it's not easy to rank #1 on Google especially when so few people will link to your product reviews. You need to tackle a specific niche with a focused target audience as a whole and build a community of like minded people around your site in order to make any significant income online sustainably and for the long term.

This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.
Matthew owns an internet marketing blog that has won many awards and has been featured on various big brand websites such as Entrepreneur and ProBlogger. Matt is known for producing outstanding high-quality content that sticks out from the competition. The blog specialises in producing high-quality tutorials and case studies that help with things like link building, social media and traffic generation.
Hi thanks for a great article. I have been shopabot to build my first amazon niche site. have you heard of it? If so what do you think? So far in a few weeks I have about 12k visitors and almost 100 product clicks, however none of that is being represented on my amazon reports page despit having the api set up correctly. What is your take on this software and those sort of numbers?
Just an FYI, it’s better to avoid phrases like “Get a great deal on Crest Whitestrips’ or any other qualifiers regarding the quality of the deal or price. You cannot guarantee that the deal is actually “great”, and Amazon is known to be picky about these things and treating them as misrepresentations of their brand / dishonest marketing. It’s best to keep calls to action neutral, things like “check price” or “see current price” etc.
LongTail Pro has proven to be an indispensable asset when it comes to keyword research for me and my colleagues.I personally have been using the service for a while now, and have found over time that the data it gives around keywords tend to be more accurate than the other keyword tools on the market. I also introduced the LongTailPro to my colleagues who previously had been using other solutions, and now they absolutely swear by it! It is the go-to tool for keyword research at our agency. I highly recommend it.

By using Thrive Leads (made by one of our favorite theme developers) we set up a multi-step pop-up box that starts by asking a question about a problem that we know many of our visitors have. If they say “yes” we then ask a couple more clarifying questions about their personal preferences, and then at the end we drop them on a landing page that delivers a personalized product recommendation (Amazon affiliate link) based on their answers.

LongTail Pro has proven to be an indispensable asset when it comes to keyword research for me and my colleagues.I personally have been using the service for a while now, and have found over time that the data it gives around keywords tend to be more accurate than the other keyword tools on the market. I also introduced the LongTailPro to my colleagues who previously had been using other solutions, and now they absolutely swear by it! It is the go-to tool for keyword research at our agency. I highly recommend it.


Click Bank is an affiliate website that is unique in the fact that it is the distributor for it’s products, meaning that you’re dealing with the supplier of the products you’re promoting directly, rather than dealing with third-party suppliers. This program, like the one mentioned above, also provides it’s affiliates with in-depth training on how to get started, only in the form of training tutorials, rather than training courses. This training will walk you through getting your account set up and getting started in the affiliate marketing world.
I love this piece of content because it’s not content as we think of it in any traditional sense, although seasoned link builders will probably recognize the angle here: creating a hyper useful tool that’s going to do very well in the context of a content marketing campaign. What makes this one of their top pieces of content, however, is that it also targets a very good keyword.
If you’re a blogger, start by going through your analytics and finding your most popular posts. In Google Analytics (GA) you can find these pages by going to your GA Dashboard > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Examine the ones at the top of the list that bring in the most traffic. Are there any affiliate products or services you can naturally include in them?
You can put up banners on your site, to promote your affiliate offers. Most affiliate programs will usually provide their own creatives when you sign up for their offers. All you have to do is insert the banner on a highly trafficked page (your affiliate tracking is usually embedded within the code). Banner ads in the right locations can do a great job of driving sales.  
LongTail Pro has proven to be an indispensable asset when it comes to keyword research for me and my colleagues.I personally have been using the service for a while now, and have found over time that the data it gives around keywords tend to be more accurate than the other keyword tools on the market. I also introduced the LongTailPro to my colleagues who previously had been using other solutions, and now they absolutely swear by it! It is the go-to tool for keyword research at our agency. I highly recommend it.
Hi Jamie! Thank you for the great information. I just learned about affiliate marketing last week. The source however, is an older couple who work for World Wide Dreams Builders (WWDB). So, basically Amway. After researching a bit. I have no interest in WWDB and. (It sounds like years of recruiting people with minimal payout) Though, I am highly intrigued by e-commerce and affiliate marketing. Before your post the company I recognized was Amazon. Can you please tell me if that will be the best 1st step. I am currently an unemployed student Veteran. So plan to fully emerge into this business regime and would greatly appreciate your advice on this!!!
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