How To Earn Commissions Online [Affiliate Marketing]

Do you want to know how to earn commissions online the right way? Then you're in the right page. This guide will show you the way to set up your own successful web platform. You'll be learning how millions of others do to 'legitimately' earn commissions online as affiliates.

How To Earn Commissions Online

I Was Trained To Be A Spammer

Have you ever tried to claim your commission by the way, because someone told you there was some 'money for you to collect'?

I receive the same question from my subscribed members from time to time - asking where the money is. They keep receiving emails that say they are entitled to some commissions, but the emails never tell them where the money is or how to collect it. 

Does it make sense? Yes it does to me.

These emails are simply and officially, from spammers. They would say anything to get you to click the link in their email. You'll be directed to the spammer's client's website, and of course there's nothing for you to 'claim'.

You're neither gaining nor losing anything, you're just wasting your precious time. But every time you click their link, the spammer will receive $0.30 - $1.00 from their client. So you're actually helping spamming businesses just by clicking to see what it is.

Why do I know this? Because I was trained to be a spammer when I was brand new to the online business (by a wrong group of mentors!) Wow, how deceptive! That's how things work? ...I was naïve enough to listen to all they said.


Anyway, stating the obvious - a commission is only awarded to you when you've done some for a company and they've made a profit. You have to work for it. If someone tells you that you've made a commission but you have no recollection of it - then there isn't such a thing. You must forget that. Don't even try to threaten to sue whoever advise you to claim money out of nowhere. Because there are millions of them and they don't care. You'd only be wasting more of your time. Let's see how the authorities come up with better way to crack them down.

In case you want to know what happened to me as a spammer - did I become one? Yes, but only for a short while, then I quit. I found it too stupid. Do you see a value, a quality, a meaning of life, in the way of making money by lying to people? Some people may do, but I don't!

Affiliate Marketing

The most popular commission-based work online is undoubtedly, affiliate marketing. People choose to work as an affiliate, because it's easy to become one. There is almost an infinite number of affiliate programs that you can choose from, many of which will let you join without strict approval process.

Manufacturers, online stores and brands need affiliates, because they need people to spread the word and create buzz, you see? And when they make a profit as a result of it, they're happy to reward their affiliates.

For that reason, affiliate marketing is fairly sustainable for you to make money online. The commission rates vary anywhere from 3% the sales price, 10%, 30%, 50% and even 100%. Yes, some companies are happy to pay their affiliates 100% of the sales price in exchange for promoting their brand on their behalf. 

But how hard for you to work as an affiliate?

How To Enjoy Earning Commissions

Working for commission can be stressful even online. It's most likely the case with network marketing (or MLM - multi level marketing), where they reach out to other people on internet markers' forums and social media. All depending how they approach it, but what many of them are doing is essentially cold-calling. They deserve to be bitten back, "get the f- out of my life, or I'll report you to the admin!"

No, you're not doing that. 

Affiliate marketing is never supposed to be about selling. It's about recommending. You share your interest with internet users, and make product recommendations. Therefore inevitably, you choose a niche that you love in the first place. Your hobby, things that you have a good knowledge of, professional career that you are proud of.

Affiliate Marketing Recommendation

You write about what you love or know a lot of in your website. You can broadcast it on YouTube too, if you're good at talking. Then you recommend related products. People in the same interest will find your site (or video) useful, and buy products that you recommend. That's when you earn your commission.

This way, you're not pushing anybody but you're pulling visitors by sharing what you're good at on your website. They will find you. With pressure of sales quota or deadline, no stress. What's not to enjoy?

Every time someone buys a product via your site, you'll receive a commission, and as long as your website exists, this will continue in years to come. That's your passive income source.

What Kind Of 'Niches' Are Available?

What can you write about, and what kind of affiliate products are available? The answer is "anything you can think of"!

There are two ways to find out.

1. Browse Topic Categories

Visit a social/news sharing sites. Flipboard is great. Click the top menu that says "Whats your passion?" - it will come up with topic categories, such as News, Business, Travel, Celebrity, Workouts, Street Art, Parenting...

If you love celebrity gossips, then it is. You can start a website, blogging about celebrity news and promote related merchandises as an affiliate. Movie or audio streaming services, calendars, magazine subscriptions, vinyl records, rarity collections...etc.

Visit an online superstore such as Amazon and Walmart and browse through the categories/departments. Think about what kind of products you often buy. The categories will remind you what kind of class of products you know a lot about. Then you can decide to promote (recommend) these products as an affiliate too.

Amazon Categories

Browse categories on Amazon

2. Look At Your "Life Story" So Far

You might get a good inspirational idea by checking these topic/product categories, but it's not necessarily the best way to find out your niche, because;

  • They might give you a false idea. You think of Travel, for instance. "That's great, I love backpacking. I can write about budget traveling and promote travel goods!" But if you've backpacked twice in your life, and the last time was 3 years ago... Do you still have the same passion for traveling right now?
  • You might look at these categories and none of them might interest you. "I don't have a hobby. I don't have any products to recommend to anyone!" Is that right, really?

Think about what you've invested a lot of time in your life so far - not just professional or educational aspects, but anything in general that's affecting you physically or mentally. Good or bad.

You may be suffering from say, acne or diabetes. You have a good knowledge, enough to write about it and to give tips and advice to your readers. Or you have overcome an alcohol/nicotine/drug related addiction. With things like that, you can recommend natural remedies or any related products including books, services such as counseling. 

So you really can be a niche affiliate marketer, promoting anything in the world based on something that you know the best about. Relationships, magic, something supernatural, reincarnations, ghosts... There are always related products or services to promote.

High-Paid Commissions Online

With all that said... There are 3  x particular niches that are proven to serve well, that are health, wealth and romance.

  • Health & beauty: weight loss, anti-aging and beauty products
  • Wealth: business opportunities, make-money-online, forex and cryptocurrencies
  • Romance: online dating, marriage and relationship counseling

People continually search for such information and look to buy better products in order to improve themselves or fix the problem that they have. So these 3 niches are said to be evergreen.

But then again, how you define "high-paid commission" depends on the (a) product's unit price, (b) commission payout rate and (c) popularity of the product.

How many book lovers out there in the world? So many. And how often do they buy books? Monthly or even weekly. How many people buy drones, which are more expensive than books? Not as many. And how often do they buy drones? Once every few years or less. Here are an example scenario;

  • 1,000 people bought a $10 book this week via your website link (=$10,000 in total).
  • 15 people bought a $200 drones this week via your website link (=$3,000 in total).

It seems much more beneficial to promote books other than gadgets such as drones? But what about the commission payout rates? If the book company only pays you 5% of the sales price, but the drone company pays you 20%?

  • Books: 5% x $10,000 = you will receive $500 commission.
  • Drones: 20% x $3,000 = you will receive $600 commission.

That's pretty tricky! In the beginning, you should really start with the niche that you're most confident with. And once you get yourself on track, you can start building a new website for the 2nd niche. And then some more... Believe me, you'll know more about the industries as you go along.

How Does This All Work?

Many companies offer an affiliate program (or they call it a "partnership" program). If you want to check it, you can google it. For example you love products from a furniture store called "MyFurnitureStore". Then google search it by the keywords "myfurniturestore affiliate program". Something should come up in most cases! If they do offer an affiliate program, there will be a joining instruction in the page.

Here's how to join Amazon Associate affiliate program: How To Make Money As Amazon Affiliate

You can also join affiliate networks. An affiliate network is a marketplace where hundreds of brands or product holders advertise to offer their affiliate program. There are so many; big networks includes, ShareASale and Clickbank.

Signing up with an affiliate program is always free. But you know, none of them just randomly lets anybody to join. They usually offer it to people who are ready to become their affiliate. It means, upon signing up, you'll be asked your website address. You have to have one.

So here are typical steps to become an affiliate, and earn commissions online;

  1. Decide your niche (what kind of category of products).
  2. Build a website - actual setup won't take you more than a few minutes!
  3. Request to join affiliate programs - it may take up to 24-48 hours for them to approve your request. It can be instant.
  4. When approved, you can log in to your affiliate dashboard where you'll find your special affiliate links.
  5. Start writing blog posts. You'll be writing about products that you recommend, or product comparison reviews. And place your affiliate link(s) in your blog post.
  6. People visit your site, and when they click your affiliate link, they'll be directed to the seller's store site.
  7. When they make a purchase, you'll be rewarded a commission.

Isn't it so easy? No!!

How will people find your website? That's the main technique you want to learn.

Learn How To Earn Commissions Online

Join Wealthy Affiliate. This is definitely the perfect place for beginners. Wealthy Affiliate is an online business learning community, where you can also build your own website using WordPress for free. You'll also have an access to the keyword tool for free (so that people will find your website!)

Wealthy Affiliate

You know at the beginning of this post, I mentioned about a 'legitimate' way to earn commissions. This is where it is.

The difference between Wealthy Affiliate and other online training courses is the availability of knowledge-sharing spaces. It is so beginner-friendly that you'll never be intimidated by jargons or any kind of arrogance that can often exist in internet marketers' forums. You can ask any kind of questions, however trivial they may seem, other members will guide you through almost immediately.

You can join free and stay as a free member as long as you like. You'll have access to;

  • Create up to 2  websites
  • The first 10 essential online training
  • Plus 2 extra classrooms
  • Raise questions as often as you like
  • Live chat (first 7 days)
  • 1-on-1 coaching (first 7 days)

And if you feel you want to receive in-depth training, the premium membership will offer a lot more. It's not cheap ($49 per month - $39 per month if you pay 6 months in advance - or $30 if you pay 12 months in advance). But the membership will give you more than the money's worth, including;

  • Create up to 50 websites
  • Over 120 training lessons
  • Plus 12 classrooms
  • Live chat 24/7
  • Weekly live webinars
  • Unlimited 1-on-1 coaching
  • Unlimited keyword searches

How Much Affiliate Commissions Can I Earn?

It's been over 3 years since I joined Wealthy Affiliate, and it allowed me to earn my first $1,000. But first 8 months, I struggled. That's partly because I was occupied with two other businesses that I had. First one year, my monthly affiliate income was somewhere between $100 - $200. But I knew there was always a big learning curve in the beginning and I was never going to quit.

Income Report Chart to Jan 2019

My 2nd year, my affiliate income was steadily on the rise. Currently I receive other income online and offline and how much work I put in reflects the level of income. But my affiliate commissions are passive income -  I make $3,000 - $5,000 in total every month.

Some successful members from Wealthy Affiliate earn well over $10k every single month. If you are willing to become a full-time affiliate marketer, you know that's where you want to get to!

Ray Alexander

Hi! I’m Ray. Over the past 15+ years I have been involved with web designing, programming and online marketing. I work from home and have a passion for exploring new tools, services and programs in order to make money online. I’m here to help you succeed in building a profitable business by sharing my experiences. Any question, don’t hesitate to ask!

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