Dos & Don’ts for Successful Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be called a controversial business. Some believe that they can earn their bread getting passive income from signing up to an affiliate program, while others harp on that it’s impossible. However, the truth lies somewhere in between, as always.

On the one hand lots of people try affiliate marketing for themselves and fail, but on the other hand there are plenty of examples where such ventures are a success. Affiliate marketing is a science as well as an art. If you are at the crossroads now, we guess this article will be helpful as we have collected the main dos and don’ts for successful affiliate marketing from people who have been in the business for a decent period of time. They have some simple tips that will save you from experiencing problems along the way.

Successful Practices


  • First and foremost you need to understand the basics of affiliate marketing. Think of affiliate marketing as commissioned-based sales. A company creates a product and commissions people to sell it for them in exchange for a percentage of the sale. Amazon, Best Buy and other major retail outlets have affiliate programs. You can set up an account with say, Best Buy, start selling flat screen TVs, for instance, and earn about 4% commission. It's the affiliate marketer’s job to direct people to an offer promoted by Best Buy, and if that prospect buys, they earn a commission.
  • Be ready to work hard, learn, adjust to the changing landscape, and to invest your time. You need to write quality content (ideally a minimum of 1500 words every day). You need to keep up with the latest news and trends relating to your niche. You need to stay updated on SEO dos and don’ts. You need to keep track of your campaigns, and fine tune as necessary.
  • Build your site and post quality content on it regularly (see above). Focus on creating a quality web site or service that people need and where you are looking at the long-term business model. This works whether you incorporate affiliate marketing or not.
  • You may partner with some other affiliates to launch a site and maintain it together if you prefer team work, or are not ready to sail in rough waters on your own.
  • Market heavily for months (6 - 9) and you’ll be rewarded, say, during the holiday shopping season.
  • Think of a funnel. 1000 people come to your website. 100 of them click the affiliate link. Only 1 of them buys. The average sales conversion is about 1%. If you sell a $1000 flat screen for a 4% commission, you earn $40. If you sell one per day, every day, in a 30-day month, then you earn $1,200 per month, which is not bad for starters.
  • How do you get at least 1000 people to your site every day? The answer is, it is a lot of work, planning and, sometimes, cutting your losses. It is about finding what marketing technique works for you. If you stick with it, you will learn a lot, and can potentially earn money.
  • You can also earn a little bit, say $500 a month and start over with another site. Imagine building 10 sites, all bringing in $500 or more per month. It’s possible, but not as easy as it first seems. Outsource everything. Make 20, 30, 50 websites. There are people who have more than 300 websites. Everything is outsourced.
  • A site making $200 a month can easily be sold for $2,000, which means that you are making online properties which you can resell later for 10x the monthly revenue easily on Flippa.
  • The art of online affiliate sales is promotion and substance. For example, you have to promote to get traffic and let’s say you use Amazon affiliates. You have to provide real value to the reader so that they decide to buy from you and not just go directly to Amazon.
  • The following experience comes from a person who did affiliate marketing for 3 years. You need to spend nearly 12 months learning, making, promoting and finding keywords, writing content, learning about how to improve conversion rates, studying the products you review and understanding your market. You spend nearly $300 for that and only then are you starting to earn some money (only around $200 a month). But this is a real learning experience for you and although that is not a large amount, you can reinvest in bigger undertakings to make more in the future. You will learn some really valuable things that will help you with your next project. Your first attempt might be a failure, but if you keep on going and learn from your mistakes; you will make money.
  • Jump into affiliate marketing. You might fail a lot of times in the beginning. But through making mistakes you will learn a lot. Even experienced people fail. If you find people saying it's not possible to make much money with this, remember they probably never did anything correctly.
  • Have realistic expectations. You can make significant amounts of money as an affiliate. But you will be able to make that only if you learn, invest and improve. It’s quite realistic to earn an extra $2,000 a month and we are sure that many people would be very happy with a sum like that. You should try and become an affiliate marketer only if you understand that it takes work, but, eventually, you will make some money.
  • Here is one of hundreds of legitimate ways to make money with affiliate marketing. Let's take an example of SEO and affiliate marketing. There are thousands of weight loss diet pills being launched every month. Many of them are being heavily advertised on TV and other media to get traction and create public awareness. What merchants use to do was SEO the name of the diet pill on their sites (after obtaining permission, of course) and get heavy traffic and sales.
  • Ask people who are launching WSOs (Warrior Special Offers) how much they are making daily... And you will start hating your day job. Believe us, there are people making so much more money than you can imagine. Who knows? You may be one of them.
  • You have to be aware that what worked yesterday may not work today and most likely will not work tomorrow. Peoples’ desires and needs change over time. As a marketer, you have to change as well.
  • There are people making upwards of $400k a day (via email) and many making 5 figures daily (via media buying). If you are good at marketing, affiliate programs will seem an easily accessible industry to generate much money for you. It's child's play to make several hundred dollars daily if you have a reliable source of traffic. Anyone who tells you differently doesn't know much about the industry.
  • The key to making money as an affiliate is being able to find and convert massive amounts of traffic. If you can do that you will never have to work a day job again.
  • There's enough free info available out there to learn the business quickly. There's real money to be made and you don't really need anyone to help you do it. Just read and try what seems easiest and most interesting for you.
  • You have to be a little creative and find new ideas to promote a product. There is no surefire way to make sales. But if you are smart enough you can find the ones that are just right for you.
  • If you promote a product that's not being promoted by many others, and also if you are in a small market, there is a huge chance of being successful.
  • Affiliate marketing is not difficult. But you must find the right products to promote. By saying right products we mean the products that you know a lot about and believe will sell well, and they also fall into a niche market. Promoting digital products online is much better than physical products. Make sure that you choose a good product with good reviews.
  • A great way to get started is with an affiliate account with a big company like Amazon and building out a few niche sites and understanding how it all works.
  • Sometimes you don't even need your own site to bring traffic to your clients, you can simply buy certain traffic somewhere and then lead it where you need it to be led, and get paid your commission.
  • An affiliate program is truly global and does not even require a bank account for affiliates to take part and start earning. This means that entrepreneurs from all over the world can take part in the earning potential and flourish as a result.
  • If you actively promote your affiliate link, and put in a minimum amount of effort, affiliate programs can produce some of the highest ROI of any job or investment of time and money out there today.
  • Go for companies with higher payouts. For example, the ones like ProfitPress pay out $100 per sale. Focus on programs like that in the B2B industry for higher payouts.
  • If you expect to get an income similar to what you could make working full time, then you can make it yourself. But if you want to become a millionaire, you are going to need a really good team of highly qualified individuals working full time writing content and marketing continuously. For all that you will need a pretty big budget. To get big you will certainly need a dedicated team that shares the same vision for your business as you do.
  • Hosting and domain services are very popular for their affiliate programs. You simply need to sign up or purchase a hosting service and then you are provided with an affiliate link which you can share on your website, social media or emails to friends. Each qualified referral can earn you $50. Payoneer also has "Refer a Friend” affiliate program which lets you earn $25 for each referral and the person being referred also earns $25 after he/she loads at least $100 payment. Many freelancers working on websites like Fiverr, Odesk, Elance and Freelancer use the Payoneer MasterCard for getting payments. So, using the affiliate links, new Payoneer users can actually earn the $25 reward easily.
  • If you are a person who can't create any products, can’t write sales letter, then affiliate marketing might work for you. What you need to do is to generate lists, and convert them into sales. You would need to invest time and money in generating your lists, after which you would need to build a certain relationship with the people on it.


[tweet_box]How many #affiliates does it take to change a light bulb?[/tweet_box]

Possible Slips


  • It's harder to get into the industry today, and it depends on what amount of income is significant for you to start taking action.
  • Affiliate marketing can be tough for beginners. That is because you need a lot of traffic to be able to sell affiliate products.
  • You don't need a $47 eBook; there are no shortcuts to successful affiliate marketing.
  • If you don't have a year to invest in building your site with quality content, and aren't willing to learn the right way to do things, don't bother.
  • The problem many people have, not just with affiliate marketing, but with any online business, is that it takes just as much hard work as if you were building a traditional bricks and mortar business. It takes time to create a presence, it takes persistence to experiment with different marketing methods to find not one but several that will work for you. It takes time to develop interesting content that will encourage more people to identify with you and therefore with the products you are promoting.
  • Don’t think that you can just build a website, throw up some affiliate products and watch the money roll in.
  • You have to be prepared to spend money, like hundreds of dollars, to get any real sales. The days of free Internet income are over and also the words ‘passive income’ are a myth, it is real work and it is hard work.
  • Your website better have some value. Whether it is informative or entertaining, you can't just expect to make bundles with scammy pages that are put together. For one you won't get any Google SEO, they aren't very fond of it, and two you won't get any word of mouth or social shares.
  • If you think there is a magic phrase, an irresistible product or that people will flock to your door with no effort on your part - well you're going to be disappointed.
  • There will always be new and exciting ways to make money online, but there is no need to buy courses and guides to figure it out. Most of these courses are outdated and will just keep upselling you on more useless products.
  • Placing one or two links and waiting, is not going to make you rich.
  • Don't waste time on products that only pay a few bucks per sale.
  • If you're looking to "get rich quick", it's not going to happen, so give up now. There is no quick route to wealth. Affiliate marketing is a business model. Just as with any other business, it takes time to build. If you stick with it, and treat it as the business it is, then you could see a nice income as a result. But it's not going to happen overnight. Overnight successes are rare.
  • Many online retailers have certain requirements or criteria for people to qualify for their affiliate program, and if you have low traffic, your affiliate application will be declined.

Wrap Up

If you have read all the listed dos and don’ts of successful affiliate marketing, your conclusions are likely to coincide with ours. It’s true that you can make money with affiliate marketing, though it can hardly be called a "get rich quick" method.

You can become an affiliate for a product or business that you know a lot about or you can start learning about this affiliate marketing industry and then decide on a niche. The next step after that would be to set up a website or blog that can promote such products or businesses.

You'll need an attractive brand, quality content, and then you'll need to promote your content via SEM, social media, ads and so on. Your main object here is to gain as much traffic as possible so you'll need to develop content that not only promotes certain products and services but also provides useful information to visitors.

You don't want to appear as a website that is set up with the sole intention of earning money - you will not gain many visitors if you just post crap content with affiliate links. If your recommendations are genuine then you will have lots of followers and a chance to earn lots of money via referrals.

As you can see there are many ways to earn affiliate money online. You'll just need to do your research and then start with a single affiliate program first. As you learn more and more, you will get the hang of the whole affiliate marketing process, but in order to succeed you must be prepared to spend a lot of time studying and experimenting. You would need to invest time and money on building your website, list and conversion.

But, You Can Do It!

Have anything to add to our lists? Your feedback and experience are welcome at the comment section. And don’t forget to like and share the article if you believe that the content is worthy. Thanks a bunch!

join affilaite program

We're open to your ideas, in case you find some statements worth to be argued, welcome to the comments section.

Tina Jameson

Would you like to learn more about affiliate marketing and TemplateMonster affiliate program? My articles will give you more information about different marketing features and blogging. You can also ask me some questions in Quora.

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