How To Make Money In Affiliate Marketing Online 9 Tips

Updated: May 3, 2016
by Ray Alexander

Many people struggle to find how to make money in affiliate marketing online. On a weekly basis I receive emails asking for ways to make a living from it. I suggest that they subscribe to my weekly newsletter and, they seem happy to learn tips and advice from me – I hope!

However I also receive many messages asking how quickly they can get rich. But you know the answer, unless you are in some form of contract (e.g. contract of employment) no one can promise you a high level of income!

I have been asked three times in the last couple of months (6 times actually, but 4 of them came from the same IP address), whether it’s possible to “earn six figures from affiliate marketing”. That’s why I decided to make this video.

How To Make Money In Affiliate Marketing Online

It’s super easy to become an affiliate marketer. Anyone can start as long as the law of the country of residence allows. It’s just that there is no magical trick available in affiliate marketing and, you will certainly never get rich overnight.

On top of that, whether you receive a good income or not really depends on the price and popularity of the products you’re promoting. I hope the following tips will help to get you successful in affiliate marketing that I have tried and tested over the years.

#1 Choose A Niche That You Are Truly Passionate About

Choose A Niche That You Are Truly Passionate AboutYou have to have at least better than the average knowledge about the niche – a particular class of products and its industry. And you have to love it. You have to have loved it for a while…in order for you to be able to write millions of things about it.

Otherwise you’ll easily get stuck or get bored after a few months. Longevity is a key to make money in affiliate marketing online.

#2 Research The Market Demand

I said earlier anyone could become an affiliate marketer, which means low barrier to entry, means it’s a very competitive business. So here is a dilemma. You have a niche that you really love, but…

  • The higher the demand of niche you’ve chosen is, the more competitive your business will be. But you’ll be successful once you become better than your competitors.
  • The lower the demand of niche you’ve chosen is, the higher the chance for you to become the “specialist”, therefore you’ll gain more trust from your site visitors.

Additionally, how much you can earn depends on the unit price of the product too. Household necessities, dental care products for example may be low in price, but the demand is continual.

Keeping these elements in mind, it’s good to research the demand condition of your niche. What kind of audience needs it? Which countries? Is the market still in demand comparing to 5 years ago, 3 years ago, comparing to last year?

#3 Don’t Be Fooled by Expensive Niches

How to make money in affiliate marketing Expensive NicheChoosing an expensive niche such as, luxury vacations, yacht hire, private jet charter, jewellery and watches… On paper they sound fantastic and, the higher the niche is, the more commission you may receive per sale.

The chances are that you’ll unlikely to win rich customers so easy.

I have a couple of multi-millionaire friends, who are both very difficult to please and I’ve learned it directly from them. You see what I mean, it would be very hard to convince them unless you’ve tried all the luxury destinations yourself, with a private jet, bought authentic jewellery and honestly believe they’re worthy. You’re not in their league and they won’t trust you so easily.

I’m not saying these friends of mine represent typical rich people, but in my opinion I couldn’t see things in “millionaire’s eyes” enough to get them to buy me.

So, think about it again if you are to choose an expensive niche!

#4 Helping Rather Than Selling

All about affiliate marketing is to help your readers choose products by giving your honest view. The best of my experience tells me that my readers tend to buy products when I don’t exaggerate. When I started affiliate marketing, I often input my own emotion by saying how much I loved the product. Not addressing why my readers should buy it and what sort of benefit it may bring, my initial approach like many other new affiliates take, was a big mistake.

You as an affiliate are not a seller, you should always try to give good advice to your readers and, the decision whether to buy or not is always up to them. So don’t push them hard.

#5 Don’t Lie, Be Honest

Don't lie, be honest to make money in affiliate marketing onlineIf you’re trying to help your readers, you don’t lie. So you shouldn’t promote any stuff that you don’t believe good enough. That would be you’re falsifying your opinion.

On the other hand in a product review, you can criticise as much as you want, but I personally don’t like to cast a black, negative shadow over my article page. I believe in karma you see, I don’t want a negative energy to come back and haunt my own products!

So I tend to simply avoid products that I don’t like. But by all means, negative reviews such as “scam alert” will help your readers stay away from bad schemes.

#6 Make Use Of Other Traffic Sources

Your website is not the only platform to promote products. Social media including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google Plus, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram….. all allow you to advertise for free. As well as IBO Toolbox where you can promote your business itself with so much in detail. Needless to say, by advertising your affiliate products and link back to your website, you’ll be able to boost the traffic. This is the start to make money in affiliate marketing online.

#7 Keep Track Of Your Campaigns

Although you should not “sell” products, you need to check how the visitors like your website. The key to make your site more profitable is to keep testing it.

A/B Testing (split testing) by changing the position of the button, banners and links, to see which alternative layout provides the best conversion rate. Heat Maps also help, using SpyVisit for example, is a great way to find out which part of your site is liked or ignored by your visitors.

#8 Keep Yourself Inspired

The Big Bang Theory Most Watched SitcomPieces of advice from online marketing experts will help you build up your knowledge. But everything around you really, is a source of inspirations. Be it a conversation with your friends, information from newspapers and brochures. What’s on trend and talked about in the latest TV programs. What kind of problems people have or raise questions about in Quora, what bloggers write about in Medium.

Why is this important? Because you should always be able to have a fair view on general subjects. Your uniqueness will be valued by your readers, but a biased opinion can alienate them. “Is it just me, or I find the Big Bang Theory so irritating?” – I’m afraid it is just you, it’s one of America’s most popular sitcoms, you know.

#9 Keep Up With New Marketing Techniques

Google decides its page ranking (PageRank) by using its algorithm and it updates its method every few months, some major and some minor. So it’s essential to constantly update your SEO strategy accordingly in order to get your web pages ranked high in search engines. It is important to keep up with the latest techniques.

However I find making my own judgement from the news extremely difficult. “What to do” advice from one marketing expert can be “what not to do” from another.

Wealthy Affiliate community helps me in great deal. With over 400,000 members just like you & me, and with variety of experts, I can raise any technical questions freely, any confusions can be cleared. Equally I can share my opinions and give advices to others. It is I believe the best place to learn how to make money in affiliate marketing online.


About the author 

Ray Alexander

ASD. Recovering alcoholic. LGBTQ+ advocate. Semi-retired. 15+ years of web-designing experience. 10+ years affiliate marketing. Ex-accountant. I'm nice and real. Ask me if you need any help in starting up your home business.

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  1. Absolutely great post I loved the last point the you have to do something different rather then promoting affiliate products in traditional manner.

  2. Great post! Lots of money making tips that everyone should try and use on their websites. I certainly will be using some of these tips on my blog. Thanks very much!

  3. This is a very good overview of affiliate marketing. Also very much enjoyed your SEO series of emails. I am learning more about both areas and appreciate this information.

  4. Great article you got there, I must admit it was very encouraging to me since am a full time affiliate marketer considering blogging.

    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for your comment. It’s great if your affiliate marketing business is going well without blogging though. But your daily/weekly blog routine will give you another dimension in your business strategy for sure. Good luck with every success. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

  5. Rightly information about affiliate marketing, there some pro and cons on everything, if you find targeted customers to your blog then getting succeed in affiliate marketing is a cake walk. thanks for sharing the information on affiliate marketing.

  6. The good thing about affiliate marketing is that this industry is here to stay and will always be a reliable source of revenue for affiliates and bloggers looking to turn their side hustle into a full time business.

    1. Thanks for your comment Nicholas, affiliate marketing only started like 20+ years ago, but yes it looks like it’s going to stay with us for a while. Great way for sellers to increase their revenue, for now at least. It takes a hard work for affiliates to make it a full time business but by mastering the right methods and with dedication, anyone can achieve it. Thanks for your visit!

  7. Thanks so much for the tips, as I am a beginner in affiliate marketing and will take heed to the advice. Less is more for sure in trying to advertise too much and money is time as time is money.

    1. Hi Brian, thanks for your comment. I don’t see any problem in trying to “advertise too much” though – depending on how you do it. People have a short span of attention, so sometimes it’s effective to ‘blitz out’ using social media or several different websites and forums, as long as you’re not spamming!
      Good luck with making good money in affiliate marketing!

  8. First to say thanks for sharing this great article. Affiliated marketing is good way to make money online. I am just start my blog and make my first affiliate with Michael Cheney. Hope I am doing the right thing.

    1. Hi Carlos, thanks for your comment. I like Michael Cheney’s site, he provides a lot of useful information and I learn a lot from his site. I didn’t know that he was offering an affiliate partnership, I should have a look at it (unless we’re talking about different Michael Cheney?) Thanks for your visit!

  9. Thanks for the tips and advice as someone who has tried to get on in affiliate marketing and failed more than once it’s always useful to find information that helps point me in the right direction.

  10. Ray, really good article here. I really like how you caution folks to research their niche by seeing if there is a demand for information. Sometimes it’s just too narrow. Your emphasis on content over selling reveals a common sense approach- no one will click on any affiliate link if your site just looks like a giant billboard. I was not aware of page rank so I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the good info.

  11. Hi Raymundo, I just discovered your site tonight & have been browsing lots of your posts.
    Thanks for making & sharing them.
    One thing found in your blog is that folks in Vermont cannot use the AA program; this is a bit of a shock to me & wonder if it remains true now in 2017 ??

    Another thing I find disquieting is the process one must complete to get accepted by the AA program.
    Please see the text quoted in below – it was directly copied from the affiliate application:
    >> “List all of your top level website domains and/or mobile application app
    >> store links where you will be placing ads from Amazon Associates.
    >> Your application will be reviewed shortly after you make your first
    >> referral. Your account will be closed if you do not make any referrals
    >> within first 180 days.
    >> You can re-apply once you\’ve made adjustments to your website or app.
    >> All these websites must be fully developed prior to the first referral and
    >> application review. ”

    Yes, I have a couple of domains and even a blog started – but nothing fully developed – no idea how to make that magical 1st referral and I’m not active on any social media accounts purely by choice.

    This is exactly what I’ve tried asking about – and have yet to find out if there is a way to satisfy it easily, or if perhaps I have read it incorrectly somehow ??

    Perhaps you are able to explain & clear these things in your very helpful manner ??

    Also, I have been looking into WA & not quite ready to join up yet.

    Thanks for reading my comment & for any helpful info you may provide !!

    1. Hi Diane, thank you for your comment & questions!

      First of all about Amazon Associates that disallow certain US States to participate – yes I did mention in my post last year, and now the information is outdated – sorry. I’ve checked the AA’s operation agreement and it does no longer mention this. Whether an affiliate marketing is allowed or not is up to each State’s sales tax law, and looks like the upper threshold is generally very high (?) Maybe that’s the reason AA has decided to take off that clause, but that’s just my speculation. (So correct me if I’m wrong)

      Secondly the application process – I don’t think it’s as difficult as you think… I believe anyone who has a ‘decent’ website can join (pre-approved) Amazon’s affiliate program. If you’ve just started a website with one page post, with for example a menu bar without broken link, that’s a decent website. You just submit your website URL.

      Only when you’ve made your first referral (=someone has bought a product via your affiliate link), Amazon will fully review your application. Providing the way you promote is genuine, Amazon will approve your application and pay! What not to do is explained in the policy…though it may be daunting to go through such a lengthy document. I think a common sense will apply, e.g. you cannot say “Sale ONLY TODAY!” when it’s not.

      And the 180-day rule – is pretty simple, I’ve been there! I made no sales for the first 180 days, received an email from AA and my affiliate account was closed. AA says you can simply apply again, which I did the next day. So you can keep applying every 180 days, but hopefully you’ll make some sales soon, of course!

      You don’t have to own a social media account in order to promote Amazon products.

      I hope this explains, but if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to ask again – thank you so much again for your input to my website!

    1. Hi Matthew, thanks for your comment, I hope the article helps a little. I wish you the very best of luck with every success with your affiliate marketing business. Any questions or anything that you think I may be able to help, please don’t hesitate to get back to me.

      Thanks for visiting!

  12. Affiliate marketing has been making me some nice income online through my blog for a while now and I recommend everyone to do so just like in the post! A lot of helpful information, I have to write some of this stuff down.

    1. Thanks Thomas for your comment. If you are prepared to build a website and know a few tips in how to make money in affiliate marketing, the monetary success is definitely there. It’s good to know that you’re doing well with your blog. I wish you the very best of luck with all the prosperity. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Thanks for the tips and advice as someone who has tried to get on in affiliate marketing and failed more than once it’s always useful to find information that helps point me in the right direction.

    1. Thanks Shreya, I’m glad the article has helped a little. There are many ways to make money using the internet, but how to make money in affiliate marketing can be quite specific. I wish you the very best of luck with continuing success. Any more questions or comments please don’t hesitate to get back to me. Thanks again for your comment.

  14. You are a big help to me. I just made my blog and started doing affiliate marketing however I am struggling on the next step. I don’t know how will make people buy through my blog. It’s frustrating you know. What you said lifted up my spirit and I hope I can see sales next month or so. Cheers!

    1. Hi Brendan, thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. There are 1.8 billion websites currently exist, but only 173 million (i.e. 1%) of them are active, other 99% of websites are dormant. You see how people enthusiastically start up but can so easily give up too; it doesn’t cost a lot to build a website and it doesn’t cost to quit either, there’s nothing to lose. We just need to be persistent, carry on what we’re doing and always look for improvements to survive, no matter how long it may take to reach the goals.

      I too get frustrated, it feels like I’m not going anywhere at times but I’ve never thought of giving it up. So hang in there, I wish you the best of luck with success. Any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to get back to me!

  15. It a worth of my time to read your article as it is a great help to me as new affiliate marketer. I’ve been doing affiliate marketing and wishing to see more sales. Thank you for being the light to my online journey. Hope to read more from you soon.

    1. Hi Allan, thanks for your comment, I wish you the very best of luck with all the success. If there’s anything else that you think I might be able to help, please don’t hesitate to get back to me!

  16. Hey Raymundo, I agree with you about the expensive niche. I was trying to sell luxury travel incl. private jet hire a while ago but I’ve never been on a private jet myself, I can’t afford to travel luxury myself either, nothing I was working on was realistic to be honest. I like traveling, but I started to feel stupid after came back from a budget travel and wrote about more expensive hotels in the same resort that I never stayed lol. Keep up the good work Raymundo, speak soon 🙂

    1. Hi Seb, how’re you doing? Thanks for your comment. You’re right, you need to experience the niche yourself to be ‘real’… One of my friends has recently told me about the niche he’s promoting in his website – drones. Drones are pricey and popular, hence there are already hundreds of drone affiliate sites. The friend of mine has never been able to own one because of the price and what he’s “reviewing” on his site is all theoretical.

      Whether the niche is expensive or not, I think you should have the experience as well as the knowledge. And as I mentioned in #1, you need to be passionate about it and get your readers to feel it. If you’re still in niche marketing, I with you the best of luck with continuing success. Thanks Seb,

  17. That you for a great post! As an online entrepreneur, I agree with the many suggestions you have made about making money with affiliate marketing. Social media seems to be a good way of driving traffic to one’s website. I have noticed the increase in the traffic to my sites. I also like the suggestions about expensive niches and not to be fooled by them. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Rodney, thanks for your comment. Yes social media engagement is essential to connect with your site visitors, and it’s definitely a good idea to use as many as possible to promote. With expensive niches, it’s not that I disapprove them but I think the hurdle is very high for new affiliates. Thank you!

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