Facts for Beginning Affiliate Marketers

One thing which newcomers to affiliate marketing or those looking to get involved need to know is that 90% of affiliates make under $100 per month from their affiliate marketing efforts. So don’t start planning to quit your day ob just yet, unless you are or can become an expert at:

1.  Building a good web site that converts.

2.  Search engine optimization.  You need a lot of traffic to be successful as an affiliate, since perhaps one in 200 visitors to your site will actually make a purchase. Search engine optimization can get more visitors to your site by making it easier to find.

3.  Choosing the right merchant programs to promote and figuring out the best ways to promote them.

There are many who make the mistake of thinking that affiliate marketing will make them wealthy overnight; they throw up a few banners or links on their site and wonder why they make little, if any money from the program.

How long you’ll take to become a success in this business all depends on how much you want to earn and how much effort you’re willing to put into the business. If you’re a quick study and a natural at affiliate marketing, then you could be making as much as $2,000 per month in a couple of years, assuming that you already have a full time job and can’t devote all of your time to an affiliate program.

If you do give it a go, the first few months may be difficult – you might check your stats and find out that you are making next to nothing, making you question why you got into this in the first place. Be patient. With hard work and persistence, the dales and commissions will start to grow.

Traffic is the top concern of every affiliate marketer. You may get a lot of traffic, but remember only a small fraction of these visitors will buy.

You need to know your audience and determine which affiliate programs will appeal most strongly to them. You should employ the tactic of pre-selling, which is putting your visitors into the right frame of mind to purchase the product or service you are marketing.

When you stick with it in an affiliate marketing business, you will learn more and more as you go on. You can’t expect to be an instant success – it’s going to take persistence and a lot of work. If you are willing to dedicate the necessary time and effort to your program, you can make a success of your affiliate marketing business.


  • billy martin

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hi Reed as always that is a great letter for the not just for the “newbies”

    I think everybody can learn a thing or two
    just by reading what you have to offer,

    Keep up the great work I am always looking forward to your posts

    Thank You
    Billy Martin

  • Gary

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    I have tried to sell other peoples good and I am one of those that made a few bucks.

    I paid a programmer to make me some software that I saw a need for that was in 2006.
    I still sell a few copies a month.

    I am a believer of having your own product.
    But this is not true I have many fellow marketers making tens of thousands of dollars off affiliate programs.
    My main income comes off MLM or networking.

    Every one has there own nitch and when you find it keep plunging until you are successful.

    Gary Keating

  • Pat Gunning

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    It is not only a learning curve online but an earning curve as well. There are so numerous factors in becoming successful as a marketer online and all integral to the outcome.

    The most important lesson to be learned is to carefully plan a budget and stick to it firmly. marketers can lose money very quickly online.

    Think of it as gambling if you blow your stake you end your chances.

  • lasbenols

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    This is so true at least in my case But nothing good comes without a lot of work and persistence.It’s not how many times you fall down It’s how many times you get up that matters.

    CK out Dougs blog http://makeyourownelectricity.blogspot.com/

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hey Reed, Yeah I fell for the hype and bs in the beginning, just put an ad up and get rich tomorrow. I put up 2 ads and I’m still not rich,
    what gives? I follow two words in my business,
    patience and perseverance but now I am adding a third,persistence. Have a Wonderful Day,Timothy

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Emillions-Mark Joyner Grilled for 50 minutes

  • Profit Lance

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hey Reed,
    It’s so true that Timothy says there is a lot of hype out there. There is no magic bullet. No business is successful overnight. The key is education and applying what you learn. There’s so much to learn but if you plan it right and stick to it you will make money.

  • Hi Reed,
    Onother great post. I’m glad you pointed out right at the beginning that 90% of internet marketers only make approx $100 month. It takes time to build a site and get traffic to it.
    Reed what do you think about traffic exchanges – are they worth spending time on?

  • Larry

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hey Reed… just finished reading what you said in this last blog. but I’m going to agree with Tim Millar, about the HYPE and the BS. I WAS getting E’s from your dad ? and girlfriend? and I’ll be darned the headlines are differant but the contents are the same..
    and youhave pushed more than most.. the ways and means for the newbie to get started.Becaus you know that they are gullableand don’t know any better…They are just looking for some kind of help..not more HYPE… Agreed we all have to start some where…but when you get the of the same type of hype from the same family? at the same time, try this deal, buy this..hurry six hours left, you know the OTO…autoresponders are great…now that I know about them ( I learned the hard way) give just enough to lead them in then…quick, change it before they know to much. and now that I know about the unsubscribe button….good day.

  • residualaffiliateincome

    Reply Reply November 29, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    I too burnt my pocket when I just started my internet business. From my experience, newbies starting on this venture should have a mentor who can guide them, at least, till they are ready to go on their own, and not go for all the hype. Again, they must realise that long term planning is very important to succeed in their Internet Marketing Business

  • Felix Makmur

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Great article here. I agree that building a website that converts well and getting massive traffic (especially free and organic traffic) are the requirement of success for any affiliate marketer.

    Felix Makmurs last blog post..3 Ways To Make Money Online

  • tmobil8

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Greetings Reed Thomas Richmond here, another great set of info you have. Number one to be successful overnight You must own your oun business! To be successful within time of making lasting money as well you can join affiliate programs for no money at all. To get the best of both, your personal business site must have an affiliate program, it must give the potential affilaites a good incentive to advertise your company and in the process it must give what the people what they want. Finding a niche in what you love doing is easy.I dont make a 100 bucks a month, i make more. 🙂

  • gary

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    I receive over 100 emails daily from people who want to sell me the latest, greatest money making idea. Occasionally I bite.

    But your emails are the only ones I read repeatedly. You are helpful.

    Gary Collins

  • Felix Makmur

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    I agree with you. Having a good website that converts well and also getting massive traffic (especially free or organic traffic) are really important aspects that any affiliate marketer should have to leverage their earnings online!

    Felix Makmurs last blog post..3 Ways To Make Money Online

  • Melody Baker

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hello Reed,
    How TRUE you are. I have been involved in IM for 2 years now, and have only made back less than

  • Link Analysis

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Yeah… not too many gurus are going to tell you “this” truth. No instant success.

  • David P Simpson

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Thanks for your data and input. I have been on the net for about 11 years and have made little if any money and spent about 40 times more than I have made. But I will stick it out as I am determined to make it. I do feel you need a mentor.

  • Bob Coleman

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hey Reed, Truer words were never spoken. As I see it, a major problem is that most people entering online marketing do not have basic business acumen. They believe that somehow magically they can build a business online without the basic fundemental principles upon which all successful businesses stand. There is a steep learning curve and most fall off way before reaching the pinnacle.

    Bob Colemans last blog post..Internet Marketing Newbies|Online Marketing Success Kit

  • Top Work From Home

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Reed – this post is so true and one not many would mention. For me I was making a couple of hundred a week promoting products online. Then I found the solution. I created a website with several different type of products I can promote in the same niche. Each product had different price points so the site appeals to a wider range of people, kind of like a department store in my niche. This increased my conversions and then all I needed was traffic. I then did the math on my conversions and never spent more that what I made to promote my site. Now the more traffic I get the more I make. I even have sites now that the only way I could stop the traffic / profit would be to cancel the domain.

    For those not yet successful online – DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU REACH YOUR GOALS!


  • John Bonzo

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    It’s always a pleasure to read your articles.
    As I’ve said before, I need all the help I can get. And more than that, I’m sure there’s plenty of others that also need your help.

    Affiliate marketing is where I have hung my hat and boy it is tough. It’s easy to get in, but it really takes work to make the money I need. Anything you can give is taken to heart and used.

    Thanks for your efforts,

  • Ari Lestariono

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Reed, I like your motivation on newbies and encouraging at the same time, to be honest learning as newbies is tough, but once you you’ve got the basic knowledge of Internet Marketing everything will make sense, thus all information during your study will narrow down and get the essence.Last is getting tons of traffic, that’s what at the moment I am focusing on my case study on SEO on/off page and Building Massive Traffic.One point that still becomes debate in Affiliate Marketing is how much your CTR, though you have tons of traffic there is no definite formula how to measure sales conversion, all we can do is strategize the step by step by following email that we received from our traffic,RSS, etc.That’s all I have to say.Have a nice weekend

  • Michaela

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Thanks Reed,
    I add the affiliate must come with a different picture, emails, even sale page must by a little different. If the affiliate use all the materials the author provided, and other 2,000 affiliates will promote the same digital product, the affiliate chances is minimal. If you as an affiliate are different, inventive, more informative, the people will begin to pay attention to you.
    I’ll give you a perfect example. Nowadays everybody is on the list of everybody else and for a product launch I receive 10-14 emails from 10-14 different affiliates. If Dave Guidon is amoung them, I always choose him and ignore the others. Why? he is inventive, never boring, he knows how to add value to the product, he is not promoting all under the sun products. I know that if is promoting a product it is a value on it.
    All the best Michaela

    Michaelas last blog post..Free Traffic With Google Gadgets

  • normz2

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Good post again. I am still learning the ins and outs, but it is starting to come together. I am getting a fair bit of traffic overall, but I still have to work on the conversion aspect. I have been at this for about 8 months and I do not plan to quit my day job for about another 3 months if all goes well.


    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Sir,with best wishes I like to acknowledge you
    that I am keen desire to acquire knowledge,but how it is possible?As because in every step a huge money require,exchange of money with $ seems difficult.Your process no doubt very attractive.Besides when earning is confirmed through your technique,wyh not giving chance to earn first through your guide,lateron you adjust from my income.
    With thanks
    Arup Bnerjee

  • David

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    It’s not only sticking to it, but knowing what your “getting into” before you start. If you enter thinking its going to be easy, then you are less likely to stay. Knowing that there is a learning period, that it does cost money and you do have to work at it before you start helps.

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Reed, Hi 🙂

    There is a very steep learning curve for affiliate marketing beginners. Persevere! One who truly opened my eyes was Clayton Makepeace, America’s highest paid copywriter. Google him. Clayton teaches you to empathize with the prospect and his or her *dominant resident emotion: skeptical, cynical, afraid, tight-fisted. He says deal with their fear or anxiety FIRST. I am suggesting that copy writing is possibly your No.1 skill when learning affiliate marketing. Write well your web page and your autoresponder follow-up messages. Create excitement. Share excitement about the lifestyle benefits of using your affiliate product. Make it irresistible.

    Geoff Dodd
    Perth, Australia

  • Ernie Carroll

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    I am glad you are one of the “straight up” guys of IM marketing. That’s why I am on your mailing list and read your blog daily. Affiliate marketing is a learning process, not an overnight -I’m rich-business. Patience is very inportant because you have to learn while you earn, not give up, overcome the down periods, and you will make it.

  • Misato Katsuragi

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hello Reed,
    I am glad you posted this. I make most of my online income with affiliate marketing, and I don’t do bad. I definately do more than the $100.00 a month you were talking about, but it definately is no cake walk.

    That being said, you are right on about not quiting your day job when you first start.

    What urks me the most is all of these other gurus that will say pretty much what you are saying in the internet marketing forums, especially when they are giving advice to newbies, but…

    when they get or come up with a and ebook or other product about affiliate marketing, then their so called advice does a complete 180, and then they become total hipocrites and say on their sales page that their product will show you just how easy and effortless ffiliate marketing is.

    If there is any one pet peeve that I have with the internet marketing industry, particularly the ‘lets all get rich on the internet’ niche, it’s the internet marketers (gurus and non gurus alike) that talk out of both sides of their mouth whenever it suits them.

    I think we need to see a lot more posts like this one here that you just made, especially for the internet marketing newbies. It’s hard to get good at something that you are new at, when most of the so called ‘advice’ that you get is total garbage. ;D

  • Frankie Teo

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Yes.. Reed, agree with you that you got to be patient with hard work and persistence.

    Can’t expect instant success overnight– it has to be persistence and hard work. No hype !

    Willingness to dedicate the necessary time and effort in your affiliate marketing business to make it successful as you mentioned.

    Frankie Teo

  • Frankie Teo

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Yes..Reed, you are right. We need to be patient with hard work and persistence to dedicate the necessary time and effort to our affiliate marketing business to see results.

    Can’t expect overnight success.

    Frankie Teo

  • Elizabeth Nichols

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Traffic is not so much the issue as sales. In a recent talk about 2009 plans Howie Schwartz said that in 2008 he has generated far less traffic and far more sales than in past years. The difference is his advertising is much more focused on people looking to buy than before.

    So, the quest is for buyers, not just traffic.

    Liz N.

    Elizabeth Nicholss last blog post..Here’s an under rated traffic tip you can use now

  • Paul Penafiel

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    What most people won’t tell you if you are just starting out with internet marketing or affiliate marketing is that you will struggle in the beginning.

    That’s the cold hard fact! but how often do you see that in their ad copy.

    I’m not saying that no one is succeeding at the get go, some do BUT the majority will struggle at first until they figure it out.

    It is simply amazing that people are finally waking up to reality and are not afraid to say what’s on their mind.

    Keep ’em coming.

    Paul Penafiels last blog post..Sad Day For Canadian Hockey Fans

  • Lloyd Noland

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    Thanks Reed for your take on Facts Affiliate Marketing. Great article for newbies like myself. I still adhere to the adage if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Not looking for an easy fix, I’ve been very cautious about what I even will read. I’m sure you’ve angered many a supposed guru, who would make one rich overnight. Thanks to all those who have shed light from their experiences on Affiliated Marketing and what really to expect and the journey it involves. Knowing what is really involved to be successful helps one to avoid disappointment from all the hype. Aloha and Mahalo.

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008


    Another tip for new affiliates who run their own web sites: Visit Stompernet and learn as much as possible from Brad Fallon and Andy about SEO to get better rankings in Google, Yahoo! and Live. Their Faculty is just awesome.


  • Rick Ellwood

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hi Reed,
    I just thought I would put my view on this subject having been a trainee IM for the last 6 month’s.Your statement $2k a month after 2years now doesn’t surprise me, however if I was just a couple of week’s into it I think I may have called it a day knowing that kind of information.
    Anyway I’ve not given up and I do spend as much time on learning how to make money online as I do in my day job but if you think about it you do actually get paid for your time at work and I am actually self employed.
    If this business is reciprocal then from what I’ve realized is that you must FOCUS on one thing at a time,spend less time reading email and sales pages and just concentrate your efforts on one project until it makes money.

    Rick Ellwoods last blog post..30 Day Challenge

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    I agree with you, affiliate marketing requires work and dedication.

    There are many different factors involved into affiliate marketing and if you want to be a successful affiliate you need to keep them in mind.

    However, there are two factors that are crucial and that can determine your success. They are:

    1. Traffic
    2. Conversion

    If you have lot of visitors and many of them buy from you it means that you are on the right path.

    ^PV Reymond


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

  • Anna Kindler

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hey Reed, Hope your Thanksgiving with your new son was a great one. Thanks again for a simple informative article. You always seem to know how us newbies feel. I for one am greatful for honest information and that is exactly what you give us. Thanks again Anna

  • Richard

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Another great post Reed. Any newbie to internet marketing would do well to sign up to your blog for straightforward, no hype, “tell it like it is” advice and guidance.

    Re traffic exchanges (Luca’s comment), in my experience the conversion rate is low but they can form a useful part of an overall traffic strategy – just make sure you ad will grab attention in the first few seconds of viewing.

  • bob rettman

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hey Reed, for some reason I think you made more than $100.00 when you went to the bathroom. I heard a story about you. I think it was Google. You did so well that they thought you were cheating them! When in fact, you were busting you behind and going at warp speed. Melted down three keyboards. Had to wear gloves when you typed due to the friction you were creating. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. I know you made pretty good money from the beginning. But then you are a freak when it comes to computers. That’s why I can’t wait to see what Zach will do when he grows big enough to reach the keyboard. He’ll probably be a ten year old millionaire. That would be great! He could have is own car and driver take him to school. He could pick up his little girlfriend on the way. Buy a real house to play in. It boggles the mind. Okay Reed see ya……bob

  • admin

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    @Billy thank you

    @Gary that’s great you are still making money from something created in 2006 congratulations!

    @Pat I suggest people start with a minimum amount and then reinvest their profits. As a kid I didn’t have a lot of money to invest in my business so it was slow growth but I didn’t go into debt starting one

    @lasbenols I agree keep getting up

    @Timothy those 3 words make or break you

    @Profit agreed

    @Luca I don’t use them but I have heard a few people making money with them

    @Larry Thanks for your feedback, there is HYPE and there are psychological triggers. I try to use triggers in my emails and sales copy where a lot of people will say “just pay $100 and you’ll be making millions in no time…”

    @residual a mentor can really help

    @Felix agreed

    @Thomas agreed

    @Gary thank you

    @Melody hopefully we can change that for you

    @Link unfortunately they won’t

    @David mentors lead an important role

    @Bob I completely agree a lot of people have no idea how to run a real business

    @Chris congrats

    @John you’re welcome I highly recommend building relationships with other marketers, building a list and creating your own products

    @Ari agreed it takes awhile to figure this out but once you find something that works for you it really isn’t too hard

    @Michaela that can really help make a lot of sales for someone

    @normz2 keep us posted

    @Arup what?

    @David completely agree

    @Geoff being able to write or outource great copy can make a HUGE difference

    @Ernie thanks 🙂

    @Misato thanks I’ll try my best

    @Frankie agreed

    @Elizabeth good point

    @Paul thanks will do

    @Lloyd you’re welcome

    @Geoff yeah they are good guys

    @Rick agreed

    @PV agreed

    @Anna you’re welcome

    @Richard thank you

    @Bob funny you should say that. I think this was yesterday and I was in my email and copied and message and then pasted it into a document and clicked the check email button again and $250 came in in just a few seconds. Now I’m not saying my day is like that everyday all day but it’s really fun to see what most people would consider a nice amount of cash come in in a very short time. We shall see what Zach can do if he’s interested 🙂

  • Mom Work At Home

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    It can be disheartening for someone who has been struggling to make money online to hear of someone who has only just started and is making big money.

    Are they more smarter than you. Probably not.

    What are they doing differently to you? Probably not much, but slight changes can make a big difference.

    Rest assured, it is not down to good luck but following a number of proven plans of action, with the emphasis on action.

    You only have to see what Reed is doing with
    all these blog posts to see a plan in action.

    He is getting plenty of blog comments and getting his blog noticed in the search engines which leads to more traffic.

    Commenters are getting a free backlink in return. It’s reciprocation in action, folks.

  • Rick Ellwood

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Good evening Reed,
    I want to thank you for igniting the life back into me and my blog. I made a comment earlier on here and it made me realize that I had been neglecting my own site for so long that I had to go in and write a post off the back of it.Don’t worry you got a mention and I would hope anyone who has just started out and is serious about their future in internet marketing may think about taking a look too as it totally relates to this blog.
    Cheers Rick.

  • Anna Kindler

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Hey Reed, I understand pretty much about affiliate marketing and how to get it started. My Hubs is slowly getting our web site built. I need to understand a bit more about a squeeze page and a little more about good content. Thanks for asking. Anna

  • Anna Kindler

    Reply Reply November 30, 2008

    Reed, forgot to ask if you could explain about what conversion means or direct to a good ebook on the subject. Sorry about the after thought. Anna

  • Kenneth

    Reply Reply December 1, 2008

    Ok I’m still learning the ropes and like I seen on one of the posts i dont have a lot of money but I have a lot and I mean a lot of determination to stick with this. The only thing I see with all the e-mails is that they all pretty much look at people that already make a decent income from there day (or night) J.O.B. and my feeling is that those that are looking at starting an internet biz are the people that don’t make a decent income and don’t have a lot of experience with a computer. So like most people we strugle along until finally we get fed up with the lies or information that really dont help us except to spend money they dont have and just quit trying. But i would like to thank you for the information that is given freely so thank you and to eveyones success.

  • ParentingHelp

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    One thing that I have noticed about affiliate marketing is that I don’t get the name and email of the person who bought through my affiliate link. So I am just getting a one time sell whereas the product owner can market to this person on a continuing basis.

    Reed, how do you handle this?

  • Suny Lynn

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008


    We would like to work with you setting up Dating Site for Interracial Singles.

    We can set it up for you at no cost if you have strong interest in this field or work-at-home business. You can pick the name for your own interracial dating site, own the domain and brand. We take care of all the backend and engineering work.

    Your site will share all quality profiles with other interracial sites we have already set up. Your users can immediately contact hundreds of thousands of other interracial users once they register at your interracial dating site.

    You can earn money if you have users registering with or without becoming a payment member.

    Please get back to me at suny@interracialmatch.com if you are interested.

    Marketing Manager
    Email: suny@interracialmatch.com

  • Nando

    Reply Reply December 2, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    Unrealistic expectations is probably the most common problem all beginning affiliate marketers face.

    Mostly due to the fact that there are many sales letters that paint these rosy 1-2-3 pictures of instant success. The truth is that it’s a business like any other, with a low barrier to entry.

    While being able to get in for almost nothing can be a good thing, at the same time it can cause a mental stumbling block as well.

    The thinking that develops is a push button mentality that will not stand the winds of adversity or challenge.


  • admin

    Reply Reply December 6, 2008

    @Mom Work At Home you bring up some very good points

    @Rick you are welcome

    @Anna I’ll keep those ideas in mind for future posts

    @Kenneth you’re welcome I’m sure you can make this work for you.

    @ParentingHelp I just keep building my list and offering them more value and make more sales from them

    @Suny no thanks it’s not my market

    @Nando that’s a very good point I think you are on to something.

  • patience and effort is the key 😉

  • Kaitlyn

    Reply Reply July 20, 2009

    What is the best way to find the product I am looking for ?

  • j. reeves

    Reply Reply July 14, 2010

    !wow! this is the most imformative site I have found so far, I’m really glad I found this site!

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