Wow! Thank you for such a complete description of affiliate marketing. I just started casually blogging a few months ago and your post gives me a great view into just how much work is involved if I’m going to successfully monetize my blog. I just shared a short post titled “A Blogger’s Nightmare – 0 Active Users” commenting on having blog traffic…I definitely see that there’s a lot more involved! Thanks again.
Creating blog content is a very useful and effective way of consistently building content on a site. When creating blog posts, it's a good idea to do some keyword research to figure out what it is that your audience is interested in and searching for online. Also, be sure to research competitors, forums and social media to narrow down on topics for your blog. 
Create a website. In order to work as an affiliate marketer, you'll need your own platform (a personal website or blog) on which to post links and advertise for your chosen products or services. If you already have a website or blog, you can use that platform to begin earning additional income as an affiliate marketer. If you do not yet have a website or blog, you will need to create one.
I come from an unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles didn’t monetize. I took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. After some research, I saw SiteGround was #1 in most Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… polls, tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. Now I have 0 clients and the freedom to do live my life. I wrote this tutorial because I’m actually excited to help people do the same – without the BS.
Understand affiliate marketing. Companies create affiliate programs to help push their products. When you become a program member—which is usually free—you can make links to promote the products on your website or another site. When people buy the products through your links, you will get a piece of the profits. As a member of an affiliate network, you can choose to promote any of several thousand products. It is possible to make up to 50–75% of the profit on each sale that results from your promotion.
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to get SiteGround’s $150/sale, but long-term my research paid off.

Once you have a great product you believe and a target market, you'll need to stock a site with quality content that will help drive traffic and affiliate sales. This article has some great tips on the nitty gritty of creating your own website. Once you have your website set up, you'll want to optimized it for conversions and sales. Learn about the four qualities of an effective website.

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