So you are ready to take the affiliate world by storm. The first big hurdle is to decide what you are going to pay your affiliates. Affiliates who refer sales to you get a commission once a sale (or a different conversion action) is completed. Payments can be either (a) a flat amount (in whatever currency you operate) or (b) a percentage of the total sale (exclusive of taxes and shipping). So, how do you determine what your affiliate program commission rate should be?

Affiliate marketing has become a massive online industry over the past several years, emerging as both an effective way for marketers to sell their products and services and for publishers to monetize their audiences. Despite the popularity of affiliate marketing, many publishers still aren’t aware of exactly what affiliate marketing is or how it works. In some cases, these publishers are gatekeepers to an audience that could be very effectively monetized through affiliate marketing, meaning that they’re passing up an attractive revenue stream.


There’s a good reason why ClickBank is still a strong contender, however it does tend to focus more on digital products which may be of questionable quality. Yes, the review process is more professional these days, but it’s still primarily focused on selling digital products, especially “how to make money” courses and the like. That being said, there are some genuinely high-quality products on offer, and few affiliate programs are bigger than ClickBank, especially in selling (primarily digital) books.

The advantages of the affiliate marketing business model for the affiliate are quite obvious to anyone. Having the opportunity to effectively ‘sell stock’ without having any of the costs or responsibilities of manufacturing, buying or storing it is very liberating. In addition to this, when working with a high-paying network like MoreNiche, the profit potential is enormous.
Cross-platform measurement: The number of marketing channels continues to expand, as measurement practices are growing in complexity. A cross-platform view must be used to unify audience measurement and media planning. Market researchers need to understand how the Omni-channel affects consumer's behaviour, although when advertisements are on a consumer's device this does not get measured. Significant aspects to cross-platform measurement involves de-duplication and understanding that you have reached an incremental level with another platform, rather than delivering more impressions against people that have previously been reached (Whiteside, 2016).[42] An example is ‘ESPN and comScore partnered on Project Blueprint discovering the sports broadcaster achieved a 21% increase in unduplicated daily reach thanks to digital advertising’ (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Television and radio industries are the electronic media, which competes with digital and other technological advertising. Yet television advertising is not directly competing with online digital advertising due to being able to cross platform with digital technology. Radio also gains power through cross platforms, in online streaming content. Television and radio continue to persuade and affect the audience, across multiple platforms (Fill, Hughes, & De Franceso, 2013).[45]
An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[24]

The last thing I would say to new affiliate marketers is that self awareness is SO important. It’s easy to get caught in the routine of doing what you think is working, when it’s actually not working. Always be looking at what others are doing in your niche; always be re-evaluating your game plan; and always be thinking about new ways to hit your audience.


Bonuses: Some merchants will offer bonuses for reaching certain sales thresholds, creating another opportunity to generate revenue for major affiliates. For example, a company may offer a $500 bonus to affiliates that generate $25,000 in sales in any given month. While only a very small percentage of affiliates will ever hit this target, it can translate to a higher effective commission rate (the extra $500 on $25,000 in sales is effectively an additional 2% commission). Here’s an example of a bonus commission offer (in this case, $625 for hitting the $25,000 mark and $1,250 for generating $50,000 in monthly sales):
Another one of the highest paying and most popular dating affiliate programs is eHarmony, which is based on the actual earnings that can be made from each referred sale. Up to $188 can be made from a single sale. In general, the members at eHarmony are typically looking to find serious long term relationships, so many of them are willing to pay extra to find similar people.
It is increasingly advantageous for companies to use social media platforms to connect with their customers and create these dialogues and discussions. The potential reach of social media is indicated by the fact that in 2015, each month the Facebook app had more than 126 million average unique users and YouTube had over 97 million average unique users.[27]
We show Affiliate Marketers how to grow their businesses leveraging the most cutting edge digital marketing tactics and strategies available! We help our students through strategic education, ongoing mentorship, and personal hands on help. Our services include top of the line information products, one-on-one coaching, and in person hands on training.
Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.
In some cases, the purchaser arrives at a page where the affiliate cookie gets set, then leaves and makes a purchase via the PPC channel sometime before the affiliate cookie expires. Other times, the purchaser may click a PPC link, fail to make a purchase, but later purchase via an affiliate link. In both scenarios, the affiliate marketing channel played a part in the sale, but the role was different.
According to the sales page this is a new take on affiliate marketing that will show you how to make huge commissions easily and without any experience. The problem is that this is basically a regurgitated version of some older programs that Michael created. For proper affiliate marketing you'd be far better off trying my top recommendation instead. 
For a while I was fine with it, as in the industry you’re taught to make the sale no matter what, and then let your buyer find there way down the road to success. You’re taught that everyone will do things differently, and that the only job you have is to sell them into the business, thus getting their skin in the game in order to put them in a position to make something happen.
Despite its older origins, email marketing is still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists they can use to promote the seller’s products. Others may leverage email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning a commission after the consumer purchases the product. Another method is for the affiliate to cultivate email lists over time. They use their various campaigns to collect emails en masse, then send out emails regarding the products they are promoting.
Have a look at what the advertiser is offering in terms of tracking and reporting tools for affiliates. Good programs will provide you with a way to access real-time automated statistics to view conversions, sales and commissions. Be sure you have ad and product display options to integrate the advertising into your Web site. Can you change the colors, themes and choose from a selection of different sized banners and buttons?  With this type of service it means a little less work for you, the affiliate, and it also means your affiliate program meshes with your site.  Some higher-pay programs may look attractive, but may offer a higher commission because they might not provide support and tools to their affiliates. If this is the case, make sure you determine if this program will be too high-maintenance for you before joining.
Previously known as Affiliate Window but now officially referred to as “AWIN” after acquiring Zanox a few years ago, this network claims to work with over 13,000 active advertisers and 100,000 publishers (affiliates). Founded in Germany, AWIN’s merchants primarily hail from Europe (especially Great Britain) although the U.S. network is growing rapidly. AWIN is currently active in 11 countries.

Finding what others pay is pretty easy. One way is to go directly to your competitors’ websites and look for an affiliate program landing page there. If they do have one on their site, their base commission payments should be listed. If you cannot find it on their website, try the second way: log into whichever affiliate network they use and search for their program as an affiliate. By doing this, you will be able to find out all of the information that you need for that competitor.


Let’s start with the first scenario above. Suppose an affiliate is generating $100,000 in monthly revenue for a merchant, and getting $25,000 in monthly commissions. In this case, the network between the two may be taking $10,000 a month for its part in the process. In this case, the merchant may attempt to go around the network and set up a direct relationship with the affiliate–perhaps with a 30% commission.
While this course is comperhensive and will teach you proven methods to make passive income, this is not a "get rich quick" course. I'm not going to say things like "buy this today and make money tomorrow" or "people have made money an hour after purchasing this!". You CANNOT get rich overnight (unless you win the lottery). Moreover, I'd recommend staying away from anything and anyone that can guarantee overnight wealth. Consider this a slow-and-steady path to making money online. And of course... if you don't implement these methods and stick with them, nothing is going to change!

VigLink works a bit differently than other affiliate programs in that it is specifically designed for bloggers. Instead of affiliates picking and choosing which merchants to work with, VigLink uses dynamic links that automatically change to work with merchants that VigLink has determined are offering the highest conversation rates and/or commissions at any given moment.
SAN is usually promoted as a done for you system where most of the things are automated and all you have to do is put them together and create a profitable sales funnel. And that you can, of course, develop a six-figure affiliate marketing business. I want to be clear about that. The only way to do that with SAN is if you are already earning 6 figures. It is not just the training that will cost you a small fortune. Their training will primarily teach how to generate traffic using paid methods. And that means you will have to spend more money. So, you must have an extra budget for that too.

Comply with laws regulating SPAM. Familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) CAN-SPAM Act. This act specifies requirements for commercial emails, gives customers the option to opt out of receiving emails from you and imposes tough penalties for violations. It applies to all commercial email, including bulk email, individual commercial messages, business-to-business (B2B) commercial messages and emails sent to consumers.[23]
Advertising directed to children raises special issues. That's because children may have greater difficulty evaluating advertising claims and understanding the nature of the information you provide. Sellers should take special care not to misrepresent a product or its performance when advertising to children. The Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has published specific guidelines for children's advertising that you may find helpful.
(g) You will not, and will not attempt to (i) modify, alter, tamper with, repair, or otherwise create derivative works of the Specifications or any software included in Product Advertising Content; or (ii) reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile (except to the extent such right cannot be excluded or limited by law and then only when our express permission has been sought and refused), or otherwise derive any source code of or relating to PA API, Data Feeds, or any software included in Product Advertising Content.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Qualifying Purchases are disqualified whenever they occur in connection with a violation of this Associates Program Fee Statement or any other terms, conditions, specifications, statements, and policies that we may issue from time to time that apply to the Associates Program, including the most up-to-date version of the Agreement (collectively, the “Program Documents”).
Another survey from VigLink offers a closer look at just how much income affiliate marketers are bringing in. According to the survey, 9% generated more than $50,000 in affiliate income in 2016. The majority, 65%, said they were making between 5% and 20% of their annual revenue from affiliate programs. The survey also showed a link between timeframe and revenues. Among the publishers with the largest revenues, 60% had been utilizing affiliate-marketing strategies for five years or more. 

Focus on reviewing products that fall within your niche. Then, leveraging the rapport you have created with your audience and your stance as an expert, tell your readers why they would benefit from purchasing the product you are promoting. It is especially effective to compare this product to others in the same category. Most importantly, make sure you are generating detailed, articulate content to improve conversions.


Amazing and thorough breakdown of how it all works! Thank you so much for sharing! a group of 3 friends myself + 2 are about to start affiliate marketing together. Since many advertising rules have changed with affiliate marketing (facebook ads etc.) and many articles have not been updated since, weʻd love any advice or suggestions you have for 2018!
You may add or delete Products (and related Special Links) from your Site at any time without our approval. Special Links must link to Products (as defined in the Products Statement). When linking to pages with Product lists you must have additional original content on your Site that is relevant to the Special Link. Product lists include search results, events (e.g. Prime Day), or a department homepage (e.g. grocery).
It's deceptive to misrepresent - directly or indirectly - that a product offers a general environmental benefit. Your ads should qualify broad environmental claims - or avoid them altogether - to prevent deception about the specific nature of the benefit. In addition, your ads shouldn't imply significant environmental benefits if the benefit isn't significant. Say a trash bag is labeled "recyclable" without qualification. Because trash bags ordinarily are not separated from other trash for recycling at a landfill or incinerator, it is unlikely that they will be used again. Technically, the bag may be "recyclable," but the claim is deceptive because it asserts an environmental benefit where there is no significant or meaningful benefit.
Wow, this was definitely an information explode but very good information. Without even joining the program I can feel the frustration of upsells and never-ending talking videos of what you are just about to get. This drives my crazy. I’ve jumped in some sellers like this in the past and I wanted to run away because that didn’t sound right at all. The same feeling I have with this program reading your review.
Hi, Jamie! Very good list. I needed something like this for 2018 so that I know what to target in the future blogs I create. As for now, I’m comfortable using SiteGround affiliate network and it’s pretty good actually. Their hosting service is pretty much the best considered its price. I’ve tried others but SiteGround stands out. I’ll also try new affiliate networks, something from the list you have just provided. I think Amazon is too saturated at the moment, and I need a better network. 2018 will be interesting indeed.
If you get THAT clear and believe in some product, go ahead. Your audience trusts your word. But most folks need to use or experience before they can get clear, because they have a fear: the fear of using trust. I am slowly losing that fear but still use what I promote, before I promote it. I also just sell my stuff mainly. Since I have quite a few products and eBooks and services to sell.
This metric is a way of summarizing the conversion rate, average ticket price, and commission percentage. It does not take into account the click rate that an offer will receive. So while EPC is certainly a useful stat to consider when evaluating potential affiliate offers, it must be considered alongside the click rate an offer will receive. A great EPC combined with a bad click rate won’t translate to great earnings. (In other words, the highest EPC isn’t necessarily the best offer.)
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.

Using an omni-channel strategy is becoming increasingly important for enterprises who must adapt to the changing expectations of consumers who want ever-more sophisticated offerings throughout the purchasing journey. Retailers are increasingly focusing on their online presence, including online shops that operate alongside existing store-based outlets. The "endless aisle" within the retail space can lead consumers to purchase products online that fit their needs while retailers do not have to carry the inventory within the physical location of the store. Solely Internet-based retailers are also entering the market; some are establishing corresponding store-based outlets to provide personal services, professional help, and tangible experiences with their products.[24]

Does affiliate marketing still work, as Google doesn’t allow affiliate links or the promotion of affiliate links. So I can’t create an ad directing to an affiliate link, and I can’t create a landing page (and promoting the landing page), with a single purpose of sending users to the affiliate link. Except RTB platforms and Blog based SEO that takes years to build, how can I do affiliate marketing ?
This is the first time I have heard of a copy and paste method to make money. I guess it could be legit, but would take some time to build an email list. There’s no doubt that WA is the real deal. Have you used copy and paste metthods. I just read further where you state you would avoid the copy paste methods. Thanks a whole lot for your honesty. I am looking for something for my daughter to work at home. I will research some of your other suggestions. Thanks for a good read.

This works out pretty good for a marketer when referred user signup for their monthly billing. Their affiliate team is also very responsive & will offer you all the materials such as swipe copies, social media updates to make the sales happen for you. Their affiliate program is available only for Leadpages customer. This actually makes sense, because you can’t really write genuine words for a product which you haven’t used.
Produce infographics. Infographics are visual displays of information. They display your content using visual design elements. They can illustrate a point from an article, but they also usually convey a self-contained message. Infographics are effective because they can quickly communicate complex information in a visually-pleasing, easily-understood way.[8] Use infographics to present survey data, explain how your product or service works or to compare products or services.[9]
There’s a good reason why ClickBank is still a strong contender, however it does tend to focus more on digital products which may be of questionable quality. Yes, the review process is more professional these days, but it’s still primarily focused on selling digital products, especially “how to make money” courses and the like. That being said, there are some genuinely high-quality products on offer, and few affiliate programs are bigger than ClickBank, especially in selling (primarily digital) books.
You may add or delete Products (and related Special Links) from your Site at any time without our approval. Special Links must link to Products (as defined in the Products Statement). When linking to pages with Product lists you must have additional original content on your Site that is relevant to the Special Link. Product lists include search results, events (e.g. Prime Day), or a department homepage (e.g. grocery).
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is a set of regulations governing the use of personal data across the EU. This is forcing some affiliates to obtain user data through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even if they are not located in the European Union. This new regulation should also remind you to follow FTC guidelines and clearly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your recommendations. 

You won’t simply set up a website and be making thousands your first month. In addition to setting up a website you’ll want to start an email list, publish useful content, create ads, and more… and that’s the bare minimum. As people begin and start to put in the hours as an affiliate marketer, they quickly become irritated to discover it’s not as easy as they thought it was. Additionally, many people think that once an affiliate site is set up, it will just “run itself.” Not so. While it might not require constant work, you can’t just set up a bunch of links and forget about it while the money rolls in.
It’s great to see performance marketers thinking about the affiliate channel in relation to budget because the same budget challenges apply in all channels. As an affiliate, I used to get angry every time I got an email telling me an affiliate commission was reduced. Nobody likes being told they are getting less per sale, but I started asking why. Often the answers were incredibly fair. The reality is, there are plenty of valid reasons an affiliate commission isn’t a static number.
While I was doing WordPress speed optimization I noticed lots of people needed it, but very few people supplied it (there were a lack of services and tutorials when I researched Google). I also knew hosting was the #1 factor of website speed factor and these companies paid up to $200/sale. Hosting is a competitive space but the commissions and lack of supply enticed me.
I see your point about how some people wouldn’t be able to afford it if he charged $97 for everything. That is valid and I agree with you on that. What I don’t like is the way it’s sold. It’s not up front. When he’s giving the sales pitch he only talks about the low price which makes the reader feel like that price will get you everything included. It’s worded with intent to mislead the customer into thinking that there is only one price. It’s only after you pay that you learn that you aren’t actually getting everything and that you’ll have to pay more if you want to get everything. That is misleading and I assure you I’m not the only person who gets upset by this. In fact I would go out on a limb and say that most people would be annoyed by this. It’s a common sales tactic that really does work (for the seller) but it is annoying for the buyer.
Learn the definition of content marketing. Content marketing is a strategy for selling your goods or services. It involves setting yourself up as an expert in your field by creating and sharing content that is closely related to what you are selling. The content can include blog posts, videos, online courses or e-books. The goal is to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience who will purchase your goods or services.[2]

“In the midst of chaos, there’s also opportunity.” Those are the words of Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese warrior, as quoted by Michael Cheney and Omar Martin to drive their point home. They remind you that over 4 million dollars in affiliate commissions doesn’t happen by accident. They highlight how they worked very hard through 23 years of making mistakes, taking note of what worked and what didn’t, tweaking, failing, dusting up and starting over again until it clicked.

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