How To Make Your Affiliate Marketing Business Successful

There are thousands of people out there every day getting in on the world of affiliate marketing. With e-commerce being a growing part of the business world and the internet nearly omnipresent, there are a lot of benefits to being an affiliate marketer.

To make a success of your affiliate marketing business you need to learn a bit about how the business works and what effort will be needed on your part. To make it to the top of the heap, you’ll need to be willing to put in some hard work.

Before you sign up with any affiliate marketing program, you should learn everything you can about the company. Search engines are the easiest way to do this research; make sure that the company and the affiliate program has been in existence for a while – you don’t want to get involved with a fly-by-night operation.

If the company is a startup, talk to the owner to get a sense of whether they can be trusted. You should always use caution when looking to get involved in an affiliate program.

A lot of people think that you can build great wealth in affiliate marketing without putting in any of your own money. While these programs are almost always free to join and overhead costs are low, at some point you will need to invest some money into the business.

Most likely, these funds will go towards advertising costs – but these costs are generally easy to recoup quickly if you spend your advertising dollars wisely.

It takes time, patience and most importantly hard work to succeed as an affiliate marketer. The more effort you put forth towards your business, the better the results will be. You have to be persistent if you want to make money in this business.

You will also need to use a variety of different marketing tactics, from building websites to promoting the products. You’ll have to do some form of advertising and keep in contact with your affiliate partners. You’ll have to put in the most time as you begin your business – but thee work load will ease as you become more established in the business.

Affiliate marketing may seem like a lot of work once you begin, but there is a lot of support out there for you to take advantage of. There are many others in the same situation as you.

There are many 24/7 forums and affiliate support for those who can use a little guidance. There are e-books, articles, tutorials and other resources to help you make the process of building a successful affiliate marketing business just a little bit easier.


  • Paul Livingston

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Yep, advertising is key. If you can master the art, you can make a ton!

    Thanks Reed.

    Paul Livingstons last blog post..21 Simple Ways to Make More with any size list!

  • Bruno Auger

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    I think the biggest problem people have affiliate making is the lack focus. People like the concept of marketing other peoples products but neglect to stay with it long enough to any kind of a profit on that particular product.

  • Jay

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    My first website is totally an affiliate site and runs without me. With any kind of attention, it gets commissionable sales and I don’t have the inventory or the shipping to contend with–however, the profit margin is low so aggressiveness is the key as is volume of sales. If you have picked a winner, it can add a few dollars to other avenues of income you have in place and gives you a preview of what a particular product will return–then the “affiliate testing” may guide you to a market worth pursing without first investing in the business.

    Jays last blog post..My first site–and my second–and my third, how easy it is!

  • lasbenols

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    It is a lot of hard work no I take that back it isn’t work if you like to do it but it does take a lot of time so I’m finding out especially if you don’t know what you’re doing {i.e. me} but I’m persistent so I’m not giving up.I am currently an affiliate of two companies but have made next to nothing on both of them. feedback would be appreciated.

    Doug [lasbnenols]

  • Jim

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Great tips but very general. The #1 problem that most newbies have is FOCUS. I know it’s hard to have focus when you are new and are like a kid in a candy store. Everything looks good. It takes a while to learn who to listen to. Focus on what the Big name people in the industry are doing and copy them. You need a mentor. Even mentors have mentors. It’s very important to know WHAT to do as well as what NOT to do. It’s a given that newbies are attracted to things that don’t work. The whole process of becoming successful online is liken to setting up a display of dominos. It takes some time to stand up all the dominos(put a system into place) But once you are ready, you tip over the first domino and the rest runs automatically. I have been struggling for two years until I finally got a mentor. I have learned much more in the last two months than I did in the last two years. It’s really easy too…it just takes time and patience.
    So the bottom line is….1)You have to know what you want to do. 2)Find a mentor so you don’t waste time and money running after worthless things. 3)Stay FOCUSED and DISCIPLINED….and finally 4)PERSEVERENCE…..You can never fail if you never give up!!

  • erfan hettini

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    This is good information on affiliate marketing. If I was to add to this, I would advise anyone getting into affiliate marketing to get involved in opportunities that have at least two core requirement.

    1- Make sure to market product and a person that you found very helpful to you and felt that the information you learned gave you a leap of a new insight or perspective, more like an AHA moment for you.

    2- Make sure it pays you fairly for your efforts 40 % or more on digital products, and 15-30 % on physical products.

    Once those two core requirements are met, you’re success rate will increase dramatically.

    Of course they have to be very transparent and clear with you on the method of payment and how they will do that and when .

    My first affiliate payment was the sweetest and fastest money I’ve ever earned in my entire life and that was 2005. I promoted a super consultant that I learned so much from to only 86 people on my list, just to test. I sent out one pre-written email and followed by another the same day as instructed . At the end of the day , I checked my email and found out I made $440 from one sale only , with two emails to only 86 people. That affiliate opportunity met the two core requirements mentioned above.

    Best of Luck to all.
    Erfan Hettini
    America’s Ambassador of Entrepreneurship

  • Luca

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    I agree with Bruno. It’s easy to start with affiliate marketing but also easy to give up too quickly. Best thing is to start with just one or two products and learn how to promote them. It will take time

  • Jerry Goodwin

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Hi Reed and others,

    Affilliate Marketing is definitely the way to get “started”. Many big name marketers today started out doing just that.

    I heard that Matt Bacak who is pretty well known started out doing just that type of marketing. I have done some. The easiest way to be sure is to use a service like Clickbank, Commission Junction or Link Share.

    I have had some success with a few products, all of them have been through some service. I have promoted some others, but only from marketers that I know or that have a good reputation.

  • Profit Lance

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Hey Reed great post.
    Doug [lasbnenols] I think that education is the key to making it in this business. Reading this post and others like it will help. The most importan thing is to apply what you learn.
    Skills you will need are:
    Finding your Niche/product
    Promoting – with blog/website – ppc
    Building a list –
    Building Traffic.

    Again this does not happen overnight – keep at it and keep learning

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Informative post as usual Reed. I think the thing that most budding internet entrepeneurs suffer from the most is lack of a clear plan of action. It is too easy to get distracted, spending hours reading e-mail, surfing web sites or downloading free products you will never have time to read or use. A clear concise plan of action is essential. Set aside blocks of time to devote to various essential tasks, such as writing articles, participating in forums, or replying to Reeds blog posts 🙂

    Set daily, weekly, monthly goals for tasks you need to complete. Be specific, be realistic, then outline the tasks you will have to complete to reach the goals, break them down into daily to do lists and get them done.

    Take action, get up off your butt and be productive. Nothing is going to happen for you until you do something to make it happen

    Jeffs last blog post..Mistakes to avoid – Know what you are sending to your subscribers

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Response to Doug.

    Doug, alternative energy is a hot nich right now (probably more so this summer with $4.00 per gallon gas), I looked at the web site you linked to, and while the premise is good, I would suggest learning all you can about writing for the web, from writing compelling headlines, to espousing benefits to your prospects. The idea of saving 80% on my electric bill sounds great, but I was not gripped by what I saw… The text in the right side bar would make a better headline than the headline you are using for instance. The opt in form is above the fold, which is good, then you go straight into a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo about batteries and converters, and my attention level disipated quickly. You hadn’t sold me on why I need this information before you started getting all technical on me.

    I had to click on the scroll bar 12 times to get past all the white space at the bottom to see the offer for three free gifts. This should be right at the top, as an incentive to give you my subscriber information.

    I hope this is the kind of feedback you were looking for. I knwo we all hate to hear criticism. Best of luck, Doug. I think you have found a great niche, just gotta work on the delivery of your message. All the traffic in the world won’t mean a thing without being able to close the deal.

    Jeffs last blog post..Mistakes to avoid – Know what you are sending to your subscribers

  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    What you need to do is research the product and competition, after it has to get tons of traffic and make sales conversions.

    Ari Lestarionos last blog post..Home Remedies for Sore Throat


    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Hi Reed, You really are the best! I’ve been a big fan of yours for some time. I talk about you on twitter even gave your site a twit. Problem is I’ve had this site a year and havn’t made a dime yet. I’ve used every means possible to get traffic but nothing seem to help. Please help!

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Hey Reed, Affiliate Marketing is the best way to get started and getting people to the offer is not the biggest problem, Getting them to purchase is the key to success. Have a wonderful day, Timothy Millar

  • Terence

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Good post Reed. It does require a lot of hard work and reinvesting some of your profits wisely will have an exponential effect on your success.

    I have a number of free reports which might be of use on my blog for anyone who needs to know about internet marketing.

    Terences last blog post..Google must be dead by now, surely?

  • kristi qualley

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Reed, Good advice as usual! Thanks. Kristi

  • arllan

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Good post yes researching the company and researching different marketing tactics and how you will employ them is a must again proper planning and research.

    arllans last blog post..Change Your SEO Campaign

  • ParentingHelp

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    I am just beginning to get into affiliate marketing. Up to this point, I have been getting paid for impressions. Now, I am beginning to add some amazon products when a product is mentioned in a blog post. I will be adding clickbank products next.

  • Pat Gunning

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    The two biggest problems we see with our affiliates are focus and persistence.

    I can’t tell you the number of affiliates that market something new every week sometimes everyday while complaining that they aren’t getting sales. Good grief it takes a while to launch a decent marketing campaign.

    The other complaint is I got no results from my advertising. When asked how many ads were run the answer is between 1 and 4. Are you serious?

    It takes some work to market, you must be focused and persistent to be successful…

  • ParentingHelp

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    you are correct about budding Internet entrepeneurs surrering from a clear plan of action.

    This has been my problem. I signed up for everyone’s free report or ebook. Then I spent too much time reading all of the emails from these people. If I had used this time creating my own blogs and promoting them I would have been a lot better off.

    I have now refocused, opting out of so many email lists, and using this time taking profitable action.

  • Matthew Lord

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    I agree completely, many people just simply will not put in the hard work. I tried affiliate marketing a few years ago and failed. Recently I have started again, promoting products via article marketing and ebay classified ads. They both are working well for me. If you are a new affiliate just be patient, it often takes months for your sales to start!

  • normz2

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Good topic again. It is stirring the creative juices of the other marketers. Promoting is a good part of affiliate marketing. I propose to blog on several topics. This should be quite effective and cheap.

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    That’s true, affiliate marketing is a good way to make money online but it takes a lot of work.

    In the beginning it is harder because you don’t have experience. You need to learn a lot of things, for this reason it is important to take advantage of all the support the affiliate program provides.

    Also, there are forums, blogs, communities that can help you. When you don’t know nothing you have to ask, there is always someone willing to help you.

    The most important thing is don’t let the lack of knowledge stop you… this way you can keep moving forward.

    ^PV Reymond

    PV Reymonds last blog post..Internet Marketing For Newbies… The First Step

  • Dora Kok

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Indeed you need to spend some money on advertising otherwise it’s difficult to get sales. When I said advertising I mean effective advertising and from my experience not all ads can generate sales. Initially, I’d spent a bit on advertising but didn’t see much results considering the fact that I’d tried using various kinds of ads. Also, the sales letter is important. If you keep following the same sales letter, people are tired of reading it.

  • bet

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    I’m just starting out as an affiliate for Amazon and haven’t sold anything yet. Will keep plugging away. Thanks for info.

  • B&B Marketing

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    MY BIGGEST DOWN FALL IS THAT WHEN I FIRST LEARNT HOW TO USE COMPUTERS ONLY 14 MONTHS AGO I had no one to work with and I still dont WORKING ALONE takes longer in order to absorbing everything and then putting it to work and most importantly the right way ,for instance I never new exactly what a blog was WELL DONE to those that have already made money using their Computer CHEERS B& B Marketing Search Engines to your site is very Important

  • Anna Kindler

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Hey Reed, Of course another informative Read. I just wanted to say thanks to the people who make coments also, This just means that your articles are working. This newbie granne is learning a lot of good information from just reading the responces that everyone gives. Just keep up all the good articles you are writing, Reed. Thanks Anna

  • Frankie Teo

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Great Tips shared for those who starts Affiliate Marketing. You can get support if you find the right marketer..Period !

    It sure needs Work & Action to see results over a period of time.

    Thanks, Reed..

    Frankie Teo

    Frankie Teos last blog post..Here’s A Way You Can Learn To Make Money On-Line

  • Richard

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Nice work yet again, Reed.It’s best to focus on one affiliate program at a time, get it into profit, then move on to the next and repeat the process. It’s all too easy (particularly for the newbie) to try to promote too much at once. Without focus, all that results is frustration for the marketer.

    Richards last blog post..Why Should I Have A List?

  • Jenny George

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    You always give the best advise..Keep up the great work and thank you for all of your support..

    Jen George

  • Nando

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    You ain’t kidding about the amount of work that goes into building a successful business online, but anything worth having is worth working for.

    The point you made about the resources available is right on the money. Outside of all the sources you mentioned, the articles that you’re posting based on your success and experience are especially helpful.


  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply December 3, 2008


    Hi. If there are two ways to make your affiliate marketing business successful, they are:
    1. learn how to write irresistible copy and improve upon the merchant’s emotional appeal to the prospect. Then,
    2. Get an account at or or a similar good quality autoresponder. Use your skills to follow up and lure in the prospect with your email copy.
    Follow up forever.

    Geoff Dodd

  • Ernie Carroll

    Reply Reply December 3, 2008

    Forums are a great place to pick up “what is working” for other marketers. I’ve also made a lot of money from my “signature” in forums.

    Ernie Carrolls last blog post..Blogging to the Bank 3.0 – Honest Review

  • michael

    Reply Reply December 3, 2008

    i have to ask this question. is there a legit person really trying to show people how to make a go at this. i have tried about five products before i woke up. the scenario is always the same. you read the promises, pay your money, read the material, and pop—not a damn things happens as it was laid out to. then, to add insult to injury, you have that same “guru” using your email to push someone else’s next big thing off on you. so is the real secret just come up with a bunch of lies, fire it out shot gun style, and hope to hit as many suckers as you can. get rich with no conscious, is this who everyone is thats pushing work at home via the internet. and u all seem to know each other, go figure. im confused and dismayed. with as much bunk as i have tried, im lucky to have a good job

  • admin

    Reply Reply December 6, 2008

    @Paul agreed

    @Bruno yeah that happens way to often

    @Jay congrats

    @Doug how are you driving traffic to the offers?

    @Jim I like your domino analogy thanks

    @Erfan congrats good tip

    @Luca agreed

    @Jerry I think just about every successful internet marketer has done some sort of affiliate marketing at some point

    @Profit agreed knowledge + action are key

    @Jeff good tips

    @Ari yep in a nutshell

    @Patricia have you tried list building?

    @Timothy getting them to purchase can be the hard part that’s why I encourage everyone to build a list

    @Terence agreed we should reinvest atleast 10% of our incomes and I’d recommend more… especially since it’s oftentimes tax-deductible in America and a lot of other places as well.

    @Kristi you’re welcome

    @arllan thanks

    @ParentingHelp keep us posted

    @Pat agreed

    @Matthew congrats on the new found success keep it up

    @Normz2 thanks

    @PV agreed

    @Dora testing and tracking are very important

    @bet you’re welcome

    @B&B I agree it takes a long time to have success as a self-taught person

    @Anna you’re welcome

    @Frankie agreed it’s not overnight success but once you have it running you can have automatic success

    @Richard agreed

    @Jen you’re welcome

    @Nando glad to help

    @Geoff agreed

    @Ernie forums can be useful but be careful a lot of people who can spend all day in forums are not that successful

    @Michael I feel my strategies work for me and my clients but you do have to follow the step-by-step plans and take action. It’s like a recipe from a cookbook if you miss one crucial ingredient you have to through the whole thing out.

  • delords

    Reply Reply December 13, 2008

    Affiliate marketing is hard at the beginning but gets easier as one keeps working on it and gets more understanding,

    If you can build a good list that can make it more easier.

    delordss last blog post..Get Yanik Silver’s 14-Point Web Copy Analysis Free

  • admin

    Reply Reply December 14, 2008

    @delords building a list is a major turning point for most people.

  • It is important to focus on a specific niche market when you are just starting out rather than trying to offer everything under the sun. Do not scatter your efforts in an attempt to speed things up. Remember that success will not happen overnight. It is a long and slow process which requires a lot effort, patience and persistence.

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