Affiliate marketing can be a big source of revenue. The key to maximizing your affiliate earnings is to provide additional value and to engage your readers. Unlike traditional ads where you are paid for impressions or clicks, affiliates are only paid if or when a specific action is performed. The action might be something as simple as signing up for a newsletter to submitting their zip code information up to having a sale completed. Regardless, you are not paid until you've compelled your readers to take some type of action.
Google Trends - A good tool for understanding seasonal content. It also displays results in a more visual way but presents much simpler results than Keyword Planner. It shows interest in keywords and search queries, but doesn't give you the exact number of searches or your organic position. It is definitely worth having with Keyword Planner, but I wouldn't recommend only using Trends. 
Hey guys. Great post with detailed, actionable content. I would like to add my ‘2 cents’ if that’s ok. You are absolutely right with offering a ‘free gift’ in exchange for someone’s name and email address but I have found short reports have worked best for me. If you give away too much information for free they don’t tend to get consumed so the trust isn’t built with your subscriber. Your free gift is the first point of contact with your prospect so it’s unlikely they will read an entire ebook but if you give them a short report which they are able to consume in about 20 mins and they get tremendous value from they are more likely to listen to you in the future and buy your recommendations. A big mistake i see a lot of affiliates make is the content they use for their free giveaway. They think just because it’s given away for free that they can just throw together some PLR material and use that. Unfortunately that doesn’t cut it these days and will damage your relationship with your prospect rather than strengthen it. The best way is to carry out some research in your marketplace and see what pains and frustrations your prospects have and create your free giveaway around that.

Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ad will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
Ask for VIP (sometimes called “tiered”) commissions. Many affiliate programs have different commission levels. Usually the standard commission level is made public, but higher commissions are offered to higher performing affiliates. Sometimes you may be bumped up to “VIP affiliate” status by the advertiser, but most times you have to ask if there’s a higher tier and how you can get there.
Yoast - a very useful and FREE (or freemium) WordPress plugin which analyses page copy in a traffic light signal basis for how SEO friendly the copy is based on keyword density, alt-attributes, SEO titles and Meta descriptions, slug etc. It cannot guarantee ranking, as it in no way affects search engine algorithms, but gives a great estimate of how well your copy is written based on your keyword. This is great to use as a guided SEO editor whilst you write and makes you aware of key on-page SEO techniques you should be utilizing.
The best way to obtain website traffic is through free search engine referrals. However, obtaining traffic from the search engines takes time. You should expect to create content for your site for about 6 to 12 months before the search engines really start showing you some love. In the meantime, there are so many other places you can obtain website traffic from. That’s what these tutorial videos will show you. Everything form creating email marketing lists to social media marketing and even how to write a blog post to increase how many people share it – it’s all there. This is the best tutorial section to go through first because it will lead to returns sooner.
Great post and right on target. I found that if you blog and/or do videos that sharing little stories will help connect you to potential leads. I do how-to videos and posts and I always tell personal stories or my own experiences that relate to the subject. It works and I get personal messages from people about it. It makes you more real and down to earth in the viewer's eyes. Once they like you and trust you they will become a lead and hopefully a sale. They may very well become a regular buyer because you will be their go to person. For best results it's best to blog daily and do at least one video a day.

So whenever you mention a product or a brand, add outbound links to where people can find them. Language is important to, the difference in conversions between the phrases “click here” and “buy here” is 60% in the latter’s favour. You can also compare prices adding in similar products at a range of price points, to cater for readers’ of all budgets.
Interests & Remarketing -This type of targeting means that you can target people based on what Google they might be interested in. The cool thing is that here you have a couple of options. You can choose “Affinity Audiences” — Target People in large numbers based on their long-term interests, “In-market Audiences” — Reach people that are actively searching and comparing products like yours, “Remarketing” — Target people that already had interaction with your website or app, “Customer email lists” — You can show ads in Gmail to people that have provided you with their Gmail email address.
Our site gets traffic from around the world and most of our affiliate links point to Amazon. If we were to direct every site visitor to Amazon, we would miss out on many opportunities for conversions for people outside the United States. Instead, we added a plug-in to our site that redirects the user to the country-specific version of Amazon to make sure that they find the page that they’re looking for. Specifically, we use the WordPress plug-in VigLink as it’s free and is easy to set up.
Hi, Nice article. I am not sure about the process though. I can understand, finding a niche. But, when it comes to affiliate programs I get a little lost. Would I be promoting someone else's products? If so, no problem. I know I need to research high end products with gravity, are these products ones in certain stores, or companies, etc.?? If so, do I need to get permissions to be on an affiliate program with that company? Also, if it is products with a company, then how do I offer promotions on their products since they are not mine? Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich
Finally, pop into your ad account and look at the keyword prices because expensive keywords can also drive up the payout to make the final earnings competitive but still not be necessarily outrageously high. Avoid running campaigns just because of high payouts. Otherwise, surprise factors like the ones outlined above can quickly eat up your expected earnings.
For beginners, it’s best to start with the basics so you don’t end up on spammy websites or being flagged for deceptive practices. First, get acquainted with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines for affiliate marketers. The original document is a bit heady, but there are blogs that have summaries of what to avoid. Second, vet each program fully. There can be a tendency to go after every affiliate program in your niche to make quick cash, but just make sure to be upfront with your readers and follow the rules. The last thing you want is to ruin your readers’ trust with scams.
For those who want to figure out how to sell Amazon products and make money off it, this course on 2017 Affiliate Marketing + SEO Strategy could be ideal for you. It’s a quick course that teaches how to build an amazon affiliate website, brushes you on the latest SEO techniques but may not be enough if you are looking at an advanced curriculum. The trainer Isli Hoxha, Website Developer & Growth Hacker will teach you marketing in depth.
One mistake that you should avoid at all costs is to put all your eggs in one basket, such as relying on a single traffic source. Anyone who has spent even a few months in the world of Internet marketing will be able to tell you that everything is changing constantly. Google’s Penguin algorithm led to many affiliate sites shutting down and recently, Facebook decreased the organic reach of pages. There is nothing worse than having to go to sleep worried about Google rolling in a new update and penalizing your websites. That is why you should focus on diversifying and driving traffic through multiple sources.
Contact the company directly. If you use a product or service and want to recommend it but you can’t find evidence of an affiliate program, consider approaching them and asking if they are willing to set one up (maybe with your help). Highlight your audience and the value of your recommendation. Explain that an affiliate program is simply rewarding happy customers (you!) for promoting, and they don’t have to pay until a sale is made.
As the name implies, 1MC is a program that allows you to rack up a sizable number of clicks to your website in a very short time. It advertises itself as a “fake traffic generator” and that’s really what it is; it’s not going to earn you any money through commissions or referrals. It may earn you cash through pay per view ads, particularly if you use a proxy list, but its primary purpose is typically for testing. If you want to make sure your analytics are accurately reporting clicks, you can schedule a number of clicks through the software and track them. You can also set it to freely spam a site with clicks, to test the server under load. You should, of course, avoid targeting competitors; they won’t take kindly to an unwanted server stress test.
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