How I Do Affiliate Marketing

How I Do Affiliate Marketing

how i do affiliate marketing

There is a bucket load of advice around the web on how to do affiliate marketing. I found a lot of it contradictory and confusing.

Affiliate marketing is not as easy as many would have you believe. There are a lot of steps involved and decisions along the way. Get them right and you’re on your way. Miss any or make a poor decision and you’re stuffed, or at least making it harder than it could be.

I’ve played with affiliate marketing now for about four years. “Played” being the optimal word.


Market an Amazon Shop

Firstly I set up an Amazon bookshop on one of my sites. The books were selected to align with the site niche. I’ve never earned a cracker from that and haven’t been able to track my clicks – if I have ever had any. Why? Mostly because I didn’t promote the blog it was attached to.

If you don’t have eyes on your offers you won’t make sales.

Market Known Vendors

Next, I became excited when I joined a coaching program and added banners and a couple of affiliate linked articles to my website to promote some of the coaches products. I got really excited when I saw my tracking stats and the clicks. At least now some people were seeing my offers.

I still remember the day when I received my first payment notification. All of $14 but I literally jumped up and down. I had the proof that it worked. Payment is validation your marketing is working. And that was the last payment notification I received from that vendor. Why? I stopped promoting actively although the banners were live up until a few months ago.

If something works, keep doing it, don’t stop.

Put Affiliate Links in Your eBooks

Then I started including affiliate links in my free eBook offerings. I have no idea if they worked. Actually, I do – they didn’t. But I did notice yesterday when I decided to update one of my eBooks that one of my affiliate links had died – the vendor changed their affiliate network and I missed the email. Always recheck your affiliate links are still current. Better yet, control your affiliate links. I was using a vendor’s direct link eg Two problems with that: it’s a dead giveaway that you’re using an affiliate link and some people will scrub your link and buy direct; if the link changes, all the links you have out there in the wild become dead and you can’t do a thing about it. To avoid the scrubbing I started using link cloakers and shorteners. That didn’t avoid the second problem. Now I use prettylinks plugin – that way I can use my own link and simply change the target address if required, and the link still works wherever it is in the world.

Always check you’re affiliate links are still valid

Quality Products

More recently I’ve promoted the products of some online friends whose quality I’m happy with. The price point is appealing for buyers being usually at the lower end (under $100) and one of the vendors is well known, the others being rising stars. I’ve managed to make some affiliate money from these products with minimal promotion. It’s again proof that the system works. Actually as I write this  I recall I need to follow up with one of the vendors as I am on a delayed payment timing and I’m pretty sure it’s overdue!

Keep track of your payments due

The Future For Me

I am going to keep building affiliate links for relevant products although it’s not my highest priority just now. You’ll notice I do not have one affiliate link in this post – not good! I find the process fiddly and tedious.  In fact I might go through the process later this week and see if I can pop a post up about it to take you through – maybe you can show me where I go wrong!

What are your plans for affiliate marketing going forward?




8 thoughts on “How I Do Affiliate Marketing

  1. I love affiliate marketing. The second highest earner for me is promoting tangible products, but I’m trying to get info and digital products build up. The one thing I failed to do when starting out was being consistent, so I’m trying to get better at that. The best thing I ever did for my affiliate income was to get my own sites.

    Thanks for recommending the prettylinks plugin. I just saved it so I could find it when I need it. 🙂 Great tips and insight here.

  2. Mel,

    Great article! I agree, affiliate marketing is fickle. When it works you’re on top of the world, but when it stops, you wonder what the heck went wrong!

    I’ve dabbled in it now for the past 6 years. I’ve had good checks and not so good checks. Lately, I haven’t seen much of anything.

    I think there’s so much to learn about the different online business models that it’s hard to try and do the things we’re told to do to make money without having a firm understanding of what we’re doing and why.

    I’ll keep adding a link here and there until I get it right or give up. 🙂 Good idea of asking your audience to help out. Anxious to see how that goes.

    1. Yep. It seems easy but it’s connecting the dots – once you do it becomes that rinse and repeat people talk about. Keep adding those links 🙂

  3. I remember jumping up and down when I got $1 on HubPages from Amazon. It was just $1, but it was the first dollar that came through from affiliate marketing and proved to me that it CAN work 🙂

    Thanks for showing how you’ve done it and being honest about things that have and haven’t worked.

    1. I’m no expert in this area so can’t pretend to be, but I’m learning! Hang onto that feeling of your first AM income 🙂

  4. Affiliate marketing isn’t easy, but then again… it’s not rocket science either. 🙂

    It’s one of those business models that requires consistency to be effective. If you make it a point to share your travels (i.e. what you’re doing online and how things are panning out for you) – you would sell more because people can relate.

    However, there is a fine line between recommending a product and “selling” the idea to others. Once you find how to walk that road – affiliate marketing pays off much quicker.

    Go for the affiliate programs that pay you residual income such as selling hosting or a monthly autoresponder service. These affiliate programs continue to pay you month after month – long after you stopped promoting them.

    I still receive Aweber commission checks even though I haven’t actively promoted them for more than a year now. 🙂

    1. It’s not rocket science but it is frustrating putting the pieces together in a profitable pattern. Tennis looks easy when talented people play it. Not so easy for most when they first pick up the racquet:)

      True that >>>”requires consistency to be effective”. Yep, that’s been one of my weaknesses.

      I think there is an art to it and some people like yourself are great at finessing that fine line. Thanks for your input, Bonnie – always glad to pick up nuggets from those who’ve paved a way.:)

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