How to make money with affiliate marketing 2021

It is no news that people make lots and lots of money from Affiliate marketing. Most of all, my earnings online are from Affiliate marketing programs. Even our Deep Review website is based around affiliate marketing. So, here, we are going to review the most popular Affiliate Marketing programs out there.

Affiliate marketing is one sure way for social media or website content to earn money passively. Once you do the work, you can sit back and watch the money roll in. 

That’s what makes affiliate marketing so alluring. 

Click to view Shareasale Earnings

So, here is what we will be doing with this post. I will show you what affiliate marketing is and how it can make you a steady passive income up to $5,000 every month. Well, many people claim to make that amount. While it is possible, they never tell you what they do and how long they have been at it. They never share their sad stories and fails. 

We will look into the affiliate marketing programs and show you the bad side of each one to know which to put your effort (and in some cases, money) into that will make you money.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is what you do when you refer a person to buy a product or service online so that you earn a commission when they buy through your unique link. You always recommend products or places to your friends. Now imagine that the sellers of those products pay you a percent commission for helping them to make a sale.

You will get paid as an affiliate marketer for referring new clients and customers through tracked links you post in blog posts, web pages, emails, or social media posts.

You may choose a brand that is just launching a specific product and receive a percentage of the revenue generated from your referrals. Or, like many people, you could work with websites like Amazon and receive a percentage of whatever purchase a person makes through your referral links, even if they don't buy the product you specifically recommended.

The thing is, you may view affiliate marketing as a form of selling with a low initial overhead that doesn't need production, stock, or product inventory.

Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

This article may contain affiliate links. If you buy a product through one of them, I will receive a commission without additional cost to you. I only ever endorse products that I have personally used and enjoy personally. Thank you for your support!

Simply put, affiliate marketing works as a referral service. You set up a website, blog, profile, or even a Youtube channel and join affiliate programs relevant to your audience. You will create an account with the companies that provide the product. They will give you a unique link that you will use to refer your audience. You put the link on your site or wherever your audience will see them. When someone clicks the link and buys the product, the company pays you a portion of the sale as a commission.

The biggest reason why affiliate marketing is so great is that you can more or less earn on autopilot once it is up and running. You need to continue the steady flow of traffic to your website or the page where you have the link. 

However, affiliate marketing has its general downsides. Look at these instances:

If the company you are affiliated with changes its program's terms, it could affect your revenues directly. 

To earn money from affiliate marketing, you must have top-notch copywriting skills because if your content doesn't compel people to buy products or services, you will earn nothing. 

Another thing is that there is fierce competition from other marketers promoting similar products as you, so you will have to compete.

What You Need For A Successful Affiliate Marketing

It can be tricky to make a stable income from affiliate marketing and much more challenging to stick out among other marketers who are promoting similar products. Most of them would have more resources than you would only dream of. 

Here are some things you must keep in mind before you start with any affiliate marketing program:

  • Know your partners. Research every affiliate program you are thinking of joining to know how and when you will earn. That is basically the point of this tutorial. We will explain all the intrinsic aspects of these affiliate programs and help you understand them well.
  • Build trust. I always recommend that you buy the products that you want to promote on your website. That way, you can give personal testimony to the quality of the product. This is because your audience will judge you by the product you market. So concentrate on the standard of your own recommendations and your brand, not just about making money. Your followers will soon come to trust your own recommendations and be more inclined to buy from you.
  • Build a brand. Always choose affiliate products that fit your personality and the content of your website. SEO or other sharing methods alone cannot be enough to bring visitors to your site to buy the products.
  • Know the legal needs. Most visitors that come to your website will likely understand that the links you add lead to your earning. Still, if you write a review with your unique link, you need to explicitly tell your visitors that every purchase they make using those links can generate earnings for you. This practice is required by law. So, if you don’t disclose affiliate hyperlinks, you can face financial and legal penalties.
  • Track your visitors and earnings. You have to know how your audience comes into your site or pages. You must also understand which apps are working and which products your audience likes more. That way, you will better plan future campaigns.

If you choose to earn with affiliate marketing, you must first realize that it is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and it is not an automated business model. Nonetheless, it's likely to make trusted and legit earnings as an affiliate marketer.

So, let us talk about the various affiliate programs available. 

Best Approach to Affiliate Marketing

First, you need to research what niches have a high need but where there is a little supply of that need. You can use several tools to do these kinds of research, like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google Trends, etc. 

Then, you must check that the niche has a reputable affiliate with large commissions. Cuz, why are you doing it anyway? 

However, you've got to be very patient with the earnings while creating your content.

Find Your Niche

Before you can build an audience, you want to decide on a particular niche. It is like calling for passengers into a car you have not bought yet. You must know the direction you are heading before inviting the audience. 

Your niche should be specific. Otherwise, you will have trouble finding affiliate products that resonate with your followers if you choose something too broad.

For instance, let’s say you are enthusiastic about running and want to start a blog about running. There are hundreds, if not tens of thousands of sites around the topic of running. If you ever want to get somewhere, you have to narrow it down to something that will talk about women over 40 who are starting to run. This will touch the hearts of passionate readers to be more inclined to engage with your site.

Once you have your niche ready, you have to start joining affiliate programs. It would be best if you marketed things that your audience will relate with. For example, you cannot sell skincare products to an audience that is interested in real estate.

Joining affiliate programs is free. 

This post aims to compare affiliate programs so that you will see how you can earn with all of them. Yes, you can enroll in more than three affiliate programs simultaneously running on the same site.

Create a Website or YouTube Channel (or both like Deep Review) for Your Niche

Before you can set up a platform for your affiliate marketing program, you must decide 2 things:

  • How will I build my website or YouTube channel?
  • What will my website or YouTube be about?

Luckily, anyone can build a website. But I would recommend getting a professional designer to create your affiliate website.

Having a blog and having a YouTube channel are two different platforms. The differences are more than the fact that one is for videos, and the other is for written content. The thing is, each one has different approaches to lead conversions, SEO, time, and cost.

Blogging vs. YouTube Videos

Which of them is better? Coming from someone who runs a blog and a YouTube channel, here are the differences.

  • When it comes to websites, you can own and control everything on your website, but you don’t own YouTube, and so you cannot control anything more than what YouTube allows. 
  • When you start a website, it isn't easy to get traffic, but YouTube already has enough users, and you only have to harness some SEO tactics to get traffic faster.
  • It is free to start a YouTube channel and upload videos. Whereas, you must buy your blog a domain, hosting, and also pay development costs, etc.
  • Sometimes, you may have to update your content. It is easier to update a blog post than to redo a YouTube video.
  • You must understand your audience. For example, in some niches, the audience will be more inclined to engage with videos than articles.
  • If you ask me, it is easier to make videos than writing. Check our YOUTUBE channel for how many videos we have uploaded as opposed to how many articles we have put up on here.

The Best Way to Start A Blog

While there are several more informative articles on how to start a blog, there are also videos. I will show you some things you need to get your blog running. I recommend that you choose WordPress when thinking of creating a blog. Many other people will agree with me on this even though I am not an expert website developer.

Here are the best providers of the tools you need to create a great website:

  • A simple domain: The domain is the web address of your website. The best places to buy reliable domains are GoDaddy or Namecheap.
  • Web Hosting: After that, you need to buy a good website hosting to hold your website. I recommend Bluehost, Cloudways, or Namecheap. You can watch this video on our channel for how these hosting companies work.
  • A professional website designer: Many people will say that you can create a website by yourself. If you are not a professional, I recommend that you find a professional WordPress designer. There are so many cheap website designers on freelance websites like Fiverr or Upwork.

Traffic Means Sales

Affiliate marketing can be a thorn if you are broke and you are looking at it as a means of income. I have been there. When we started, I was broke. I thought that I would enjoy the fruits of my effort like in normal business. But I was wrong and almost gave up.

Well, when you focus on money first, you would be disappointed.

Here is what I have learned from (sad) experience:

  1. You need traffic to make any sales.
  2. You cannot get traffic if you don’t know SEO.
  3. Some affiliates will even want to see that you have some traffic before they let you join their program.
  4. You will chase your visitors if you get too salesy from the start.

Even though you are doing this to make money, you must not make the audience have that impression. You must first provide value.

Now, let us talk about Popular Affiliate programs out there that you can join.

Popular Affiliate Programs

Before you join any affiliate program, you must analyze the program. It would be best if you found answers to the following questions:

  • What percentage of commission will you get for each sale?
  • Does the affiliate program have a target that you have to meet per day?
  • How much traffic do you need to earn?

Affiliate Marketplaces

Once you have found some products to promote, you will need to join affiliate programs to get the affiliate links.  

There are several ways to locate affiliate programs.

Affiliate marketplaces like ShareASale and ClickBank have hundreds (or thousands) of affiliate programs to choose from. These marketplaces make it quite easy for you to find several affiliate programs to compare.

You have to register for the marketplace. Once you have an account in the marketplace, you will look for the product you're interested in and pick up their affiliate product.

Affiliate Marketplaces allow you to access several affiliate programs under one umbrella. You might enjoy getting affiliate links within one easy-to-access location, and you make your money as you sell.

Individual Affiliate Programs

If you cannot find a specific product in an affiliate marketplace, then check out the brand’s website. Many companies have established affiliate programs that accept applications. Some companies choose this method to create a more exclusive affiliate program. Typically, these programs have stricter audience requirements than affiliate marketplaces, but it is still worth trying. When in doubt, apply for the program.

Ask Non-Affiliate Brands to Start an Affiliate Relationship

If a brand you love doesn’t currently have an affiliate program, they may be willing to work with you if you pitch your case. Explain why you love the product and how you can help them sell more by marketing it to your established audience.

Make sure to have solid numbers that support claims about your following, and present them nicely through a media kit of some kind in order to get better reception.

If you are wondering why a company would want to work with you, then consider this.  Companies want to sell their products through the path of least resistance. If the company feels that you can help sell more of its product, it may be willing to give you an incentive to do that.

Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for an affiliate incentive of some kind. The worst that could happen is they say no. Either way, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Common Affiliate Programs

If you are looking for a place to get started, consider these large marketplaces and affiliate programs:

  • Amazon Associates affiliate program
  • Shopify Affiliate Program
  • ShareASale marketplace
  • Clickbank marketplace
  • CJ Affiliate – Overstock, GoDaddy, Zappos, Walgreen, Vitamin Shoppe, Verizon Wireless, Under Armour, TurboTax, TJ Maxx, Sears, Samsung, QVC, Priceline, Petco, Old Navy, Office Depot, Office Max, Nike, Newegg, Michael Kors, Intuit,, HelloFresh, Guitar Center, GNC, FedEx Office, AT&T, American Express, Vivid Seats, TeamViewer, Sunglass Hut, Ally Invest, more. Sign up here.

Impact – ADP, Airbnb, AppSumo, Allstate, 1-800 Flowers, Avon, Constant Contact, Credit Karma Tax, Envato Market, ESPN+, Getty Images, Gravity Forms, Grubhub, Houzz, HostGator, InMotion, iQ, iStock, Kind, Kohl’s, Lending Club, Levi’s, LinkedIn Learning, Namecheap, Shutterstock, Southwest, Squarespace, StackPath CDN, Target, Turo, Uber, Uber Eats, Xfinity, more.

Rakuten Marketing – Udemy, Walmart, Macy’s, StubHub, Hulu, more.

FlexOffers – Apple Music, Amore Beds, Mac Cosmetics, Wine Of The Month Club, DirectTV, Sketchers, Barnes & Noble, GameStop, Skyscanner, more.

Popular Online Retailers

Amazon – up to 10% based on categories.

eBay – 40 – 80% based on categories (but only 24-hour cookie tracking).

Etsy – 4 – 8%.

Target – 4% in most categories.

Walmart – 4% in most categories.

Aliexpress – 3% for electronics, 7-9% for everything else.

Newegg – 0.5 – 1%.

Overstock – up to 6%.

Hosting ( Read More On Reliable Host)

Bluehost – $65 – $150/sale and most popular, but not the best choice.

Cloudways – $50 – $150/sale and not the most popular, but a great choice.

SiteGround – $50 – $150+/sale and popular, but have gone downhill since their price increases, CPU limits, worse support, and endless Facebook Groups complaints. I used to be a super affiliate for SiteGround, but not anymore.

WP Engine – $200/sale + bonuses + $50 two-tier program.

Kinsta – $50 – $500/sale + 10% recurring, but expensive for the average person.

Why I Don’t Promote WP Engine For $200/Sale – WP Engine is $200/sale with no tier program to climb, but their reversal rates are 24%! Cloudways reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine is too pricey and not a great host, meaningless conversions, and sales. Nearly every hosting company has an affiliate program. Please consider their price, commissions, user-friendliness, speed, support, and reputation in Facebook Groups.

WordPress Themes

StudioPress – 35% (usually on a $100 sale).

ThemeForest – 30% of each new person’s first purchase.

Elegant Themes – 50% on plans ranging from $89 – $250.

*Colorlib already dominates nearly every keyword related to WordPress themes.

Email Marketing

AWeber – 30% recurring (on $19 – $149+ per sale).

Constant Contact – $105 per sale and $5 per lead (signs up for free trial).

Other Affiliates

SEMrush – 40% recurring (on $40 – $160/month).

StackPath CDN – usually $10 – $20 commission per sale.

MyThemeShop – 55% ($48 commission – $244 depending on plan).

WP Rocket – 20% ($10 – $50/sale).

Freelancer – a fee of the project for the first 100 days (usually 10% of the project).

Udemy – 20% on any course.

Refer WordPress – 20% for, JetPack, and WooCommerce.

OptiMonster – 20%.

LongTail Pro – 30% (and 30% recurring) on $219/year – $377/year plans.

Elementor – 50% of $49 – $199 depending on plan.

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