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My Experience with Affiliate Marketing

Updated on April 1, 2013

The Power of the internet

Time Tested Trial and Error

Like myself there are many people out there in the world looking to earn extra income online. It took me a couple years of trial and error to figure out how it all works. There are multiple ways to earn income online and unfortunately not always are effective for everyone. Some methods even with time and dedication are not as lucrative as others. There is also the forever changing payout programs on the internet and the forever changing demand of the consumer.

Let me explain: One of your methods of earning income may be affiliate marketing. This sort of income earning is made possible by promoting products and or services of various companies for consumers to buy using your own personal affiliate links provided to you by your affiliate network such as "ClickBank, ClickSure, Amazon Associates, and Ebay." These are some of the most well known affiliate sites on the internet today. These personal affiliate links are a way of tracking back to your account when a customer uses your link and makes a purchase. Allowing you to make a percentage of the sale based on the agreed upon contract through your affiliate company. Sounds good right? Yes, it is wonderful. It can be great passive income for those looking to make a little cash on the side. Now, here is the tricky part: You have to get traffic to your links. How you ask? Some methods used although passive and requiring less time on your part, a set it and forget it method, will cost you money. Less Time on your part=More money. However, there are places to promote that do not cost money. Using places that cost zero dollars on your behalf just take longer to promote, and maintain. Less money=more time.

Most of what I learned about making money online through affiliate marketing is what I actually paid for in order to gain knowledge. Someone just starting out online learning to make money on their own does not know where to look. Selling information online is also another method of making money online besides affiliate marketing.

I began making money online and learning about affiliate marketing back in 2008. I paid for information, set up my own websites, purchased the "At Home Kit" and bought many Ebooks, and began writing articles.

Obtaining Traffic

One effective way to gain traffic and possible customers without having your own website is by placing small ads in social networks. Places like "Facebook, Twitter, Plenty of Fish, Google, and Yahoo." These are effective areas because you can specifically "Target" the audience that you want to view your ads. This allows you to reach larger audiences of potential buyers. That way you aren't receiving "dead traffic". For example you wouldn't want to target Men if you were selling beauty supplies, or if you were promoting extreme video game sports you wouldn't want to target an older crowd. The same way you wouldn't want to target "Quit smoking campaigns" to non smokers.

When you use your affiliate links to create those ads you normally see off to the side of your Facebook account, on your Yahoo page, Google or a dating site that you may frequent, these are called campaigns. Each ad you place is considered a campaign and traffic progress and clicks can be tracked for each campaign. You can set up your campaigns to run as PPC (Pay per click) or CPM (Clicks per 1,000 impressions). Personally I prefer to use Clicks per 1,000 impressions. You have a higher chance of gaining a sale when using this option. You pay for this service of course and end up paying 0.05-0.16 for each thousand impressions you get. Whereas if you use PPC you pay a higher fee. Sometimes in the range of 1.00-12.00 per click with no guarantee that click will become a sale or just a curious clicker. Whether or not "clicker" or potential buyer will make a purchase depends upon several factors: Are you promoting a quality product or service? How much is the product/service? Is there a trial period? Are there negative or positive reviews about this product/service floating around in cyberspace? Is there a money back guarantee? These are questions you want to ask yourself before committing to promoting any product/service. This will save you time, money, and heartache in the long run.

One great free way to promote your affiliate links is to write an article or blog reviewing the product/service and make sure you include your personal affiliate link within the context. The following websites are great sources to write articles/blogs in order to promote your affiliate links:

  • The writers Coffee Shop
  • Link Post
  • Review me
  • Bloggerwave
  • Blog to Profit
  • Creative Weblogging
  • Day Tipper
  • Squidoo
  • Wise Bread
  • Smorty
  • Shvoong
  • Loud Launch

Another Great way of promoting your affiliate links would be to join social networking sites. This is another way to connect with a vast number of people online, but this is a method that takes much longer than other methods even if you are already established in a social networking community. In order to prevent spamming and to properly promote and keep people interested you would need to interact and be part of each social community. Comment on other's pages, read other peoples posts and generally build up a good reputation. The following are great social networking sites:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Buzznet
  • CafeMom
  • Daily Booth
  • Deviant ART
  • eToro
  • Flickr
  • Kiwibox
  • Crunchyroll
  • Netlog
  • Tagged
  • Playfire
  • Meet up
  • MyLife
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest

Sometimes The Only way to Make Money is to Spend Money

You could also establish your own website/blogger site, but to do so would require you to set up a domain name and pay a hosting service. if you are interested in beginning your own website you may pay anywhere from $120- $360 to set it up. Most hosting sites claim to be cheap and charge $4.95- $19.95 a month average. However this low monthly average is an upfront yearly fee that can be paid annually or bi- annually. Here is a list of hosting sites to choose from:

  • HostCheese
  • HostGator
  • BlueHost

One other way to obtain traffic is through direct email marketing. You can attain lists of emails from companies for a fee or join safelist companies and send out mailings through the safelists companies. I am not a fan of this particular marketing because I consider it spamming and more often than not the emails are sent directly to junk box email folders, but for some online marketers this method is effective.

Get Socializing

Try joining various forums online that are closely related to the product/service you are trying to promote with your affiliate links. Like Social Networking sites as mentioned above you will need to invest time and energy in order to succeed. Participate in discussions, review other sites and services, talk to other members, give oppinions then you may promote your affiliate links. This is another effective yet time consuming method to gain traffic to your affiliate links. However, It is a method that costs zero dollars on your part.

Post ads on popular websites like Craigslist or Backpages. This can be done in minutes and for the most part does not require any posting fees. You can post in several states and cities. Just be sure to choose highly populated areas and reword your postings otherwise you will be flagged as spam.

With so many ways to promote your affiliate links you just need three things to actually succeed.

  • Patience
  • Small amount of Capitol
  • Time

Using several methods rather than one method is the most effective way to be successful with any online venture. Especially online marketing.


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    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      23 months ago from Philippines

      You give a great deal of practical information, and constantly remind us that it calls for real, down to earth work. Thank you for this great article and for telling us that there is no magic button, we must act, and for leading us on the direction that we must act upon.

    • Followtheexperts profile image


      3 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thanks for the list under the coffee shop, plan on checking that out.

    • Heather Ann Sharp profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Ann Sharp Blesh 

      5 years ago from Monterey

      Thank you Joan. I appreciate the input. :)

    • Heather Ann Sharp profile imageAUTHOR

      Heather Ann Sharp Blesh 

      5 years ago from Monterey

      Very good points Marisa. Yes is definitely harder to join and honestly I forgot about Heliums no affiliate link posting policy. There are different rules for each Article/Blog site. Along with Hubpages Ehow used to be my favorite site to write for, that is BEFORE they stopped their WLC program and Demand Studios took over..sigh.. Thank you for reading. :)

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      5 years ago from Sydney

      Some good information here, however last time I looked, Helium did not allow affiliate links - has that changed? It's also very hard to get accepted at - you have to be an expert in a field they don't already have covered.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 

      5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi there, Welcome to Hubpages! This is a good site with a nice community so I hope you will be happy here. You write well, and those lists you included in this Hub are very useful. Voted useful and interesting. Have a nice day!


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