what's the hardest thing about affiliate marketing

33 replies
UPDATE:
A lot of you have said about how hard it is to get convert traffic into sales. A lot of you mentioned to NOT focus on SEO at the beginning.
Everything you said is a very sounding advise coming from years of experience. So my next question is: IS IT POSSIBLE TO EARN $10,000 TO $20,000 PER MONTH WITHIN 10 MONTHS?

If it's possible, how? I want to hear actual experience.

===================

I am new to affiliate marketing. From what I know, here are the steps in general.
1. Pick a niche
2. Write high quality content
3. Build links to domain and pages

Let me know if I miss any steps. Here are my explanation in each step. Does that sound right? What are the hardest things to do in these steps?

1. Find a niche: You need to do a lot of keyword research. Be selective about which niche to get into
2. Write high quality content: You need 3000+ words contents and place links wisely to optimize for clicks. That means you will need to do a lot of research on the topic/niche and be a good writer
3. Link building: spend money to buy links. But where to buy links?

For me, step 1 is easy. I know what I need to do. Step 2 is not hard, but it's time consuming and depending on your writing skills or your ability to find good writers. But it's not easy to find good writers, so what you do?
Step 3 is hard for me because I don't know where to buy a legitimate links with good DA. If I go with the outreach route to build links for my high quality, it will take so much time. So how/where to buy high quality links and build brand?

Please let me know. I am desperate to learn. For experience AM, am I right about the process and its difficulty level?
#affiliate #hardest #marketing #thing
  • Profile picture of the author Tesslady
    Hi there,

    For a step-by-step process, you can check these links out:
    Create An Affiliate Marketing Site - Affiliate Marketer Training
    5 Ways To Create A Profitable Affiliate Site
    How to Create Affiliate Marketing Websites that Run on Autopilot - My Making Money Magazine

    Buddy, let me share with you about the first step: Selecting a Niche.
    You know, it's better if you select a niche you are most passionate about. Just my 2 cents. You don't wanna wake up everyday doing something that in the first place, you don't love, right?

    On Step 2: Writing High Value Content
    Yes, it's true that finding writers who keep up with your standards is quite hard. But if you can do it yourself, and devote a couple of hours everyday to write, much better. You can always find superstar writers here in WF, but you can also check out Upwork or iWriter for great writers.

    On Step 3: Link Building
    Actually, you don't need to initially spend on building your links. You can do guest blogging/posting, forum commenting or use social media to build links. Just make sure your means really allow you to build links.

    In every step, struggle can be present. It depends on how you react to the challenge at hand.

    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Miller
      Originally Posted by Tesslady View Post

      Hi there,

      For a step-by-step process, you can check these links out:
      Create An Affiliate Marketing Site - Affiliate Marketer Training
      5 Ways To Create A Profitable Affiliate Site
      How to Create Affiliate Marketing Websites that Run on Autopilot - My Making Money Magazine

      Buddy, let me share with you about the first step: Selecting a Niche.
      You know, it's better if you select a niche you are most passionate about. Just my 2 cents. You don't wanna wake up everyday doing something that in the first place, you don't love, right?

      On Step 2: Writing High Value Content
      Yes, it's true that finding writers who keep up with your standards is quite hard. But if you can do it yourself, and devote a couple of hours everyday to write, much better. You can always find superstar writers here in WF, but you can also check out Upwork or iWriter for great writers.

      On Step 3: Link Building
      Actually, you don't need to initially spend on building your links. You can do guest blogging/posting, forum commenting or use social media to build links. Just make sure your means really allow you to build links.

      In every step, struggle can be present. It depends on how you react to the challenge at hand.

      Good luck!
      Thanks for the advice.

      On step 3, I have budget for link building. I just don't know where to buy. I just don't have time to do it myself.

      Affiliate Marketing has been around for so long. Why isn't there be a good system that can take care step 2 and step 3?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tesslady
    If you're looking for guys to do the link building work, check out Fiverr.

    However, for added knowledge and reference, you can check these out:
    17 Untapped Backlink Sources (Updated)
    9 Link Building Resources That’ll Increase Your Search Rankings

    I believe that there's no solid system on how you're gonna do Steps 2 and 3, as AMers do it their style. If there's a common system for everyone, AM would just be dull, and only a few would venture on it! So it's best if you add a personal touch on how you'll do these steps. That's what makes you outstanding in this field.

    Goodluck pal!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I agree that it's easier to write about topics you're passionate about. However, it also has to be a niche where people spend money. The secret is finding the niche that fits both criteria. Otherwise you'll have a hard time making money no matter what you do.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy links from fiverrr but maybe that's just me.

    Build a list.

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Miller
    I would not buy links from fiverr as well. Then again, what do I know?

    Btw, nobody have answered my questions about the hardest things about doing Affiliate Marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author sirtiman
    For no. 2 no matter how good is your article and rank on search engine, you'll get less conversion if your readers don't trust you. I suggest to brand your self so with the quality and trust, your products will be get more sales.

    For no 3, you don't need DA/PA for your money site. All you need are the buyers with ready wallet to buy your products. Find where they hangout, can be on fb group or instagram. Build your list and relationship with them so if you have some recommend products, they love to buy from you.
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  • Profile picture of the author elmo033057
    Mike,

    In my humble opinion, there are two main aspects of Internet based business that are difficult.

    1. Traffic
    2. List Building

    Without traffic, you won't build a list very fast. Without a list, you won't be able to roll out offers and sell very fast. On average, your prospects need to see you or your marketing message about 7 times in the offline world before buying from you. If you're selling online, you can double that figure.

    This is why studying sales funnels and marketing your business everyday is extremely important. So, you really need to generate a lot of traffic to your site. Now, which path you are going to take to get that traffic is really up to you.

    I know that the real estate crazy-guy Grant Cardone loves Youtube. I think he is rolling out about 5 of those a day. Personally, I think most of them suck, but he's still a smart biz-dude. He knows the more people see his face continuously, the more he will become a recognized authority.

    Alex Jones does the same thing, loads of video content, whether you agree with his politics or not is for you, but the Internet is saturated with his video content everyday.

    But whatever mode you decide to use, you really need to find the mode that works for you the best.

    I think the reason video and webinars are so popular is because it's much easier to create massive amounts of content to get traffic. Of course, their sites are also optimized to grab butt loads of email addresses.

    Anyway, traffic and growing a massive list is the way to go. (Yep, I'm the very first to say it on here.)

    God Bless,
    Elmo
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by elmo033057 View Post

      In my humble opinion, there are two main aspects of Internet based business that are difficult.

      1. Traffic
      2. List Building
      These are probably the easiest two things to do.

      You have abundant traffic sources on tap and you can pay to put your offer in front of those sources in either time or money or both.

      Then you put something of value to the traffic you are getting and ask them to opt-in to get the lead magnet.

      Those things are not hard.

      They do require tweaking and testing to optimize.

      The harder parts are more in relation to understanding the prospect, their psychology and their behaviour.

      This can come down to having good copy that resonates with your ideal prospect.

      It can come down to your personality and how you are perceived by the prospect.

      Constructing an irresistible offer that converts to cold traffic which then bridges a potential prospect into a product they believe they need is closer to the hardest thing

      Best regards,

      Ozi
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  • Profile picture of the author Ellen Chedid
    Great thread. You are definitely on the right track.
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    I think for most is getting steady top quality traffic and learning how to convert that traffic. People need to understand this if they want any chance of success long term.
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  • Profile picture of the author VeitSchenk
    do yourself a massive favour and do NOT do SEO to begin with!

    only do that once you've figured out what niche you're going to serve, how they make their buying decisions (you do that with PAID advertising), and only once you know *for a fact* what keywords convert into buyers, THEN, and only THEN may you choose to add SEO as the icing on the cake.

    Sadly, most likely you'll get this 'intellectually', and then fall for the lure of 'free traffic', waste a couple of years of your life, only to then discover yourself what I've just told you.

    (precisely what happened to me, and countless others;-)

    best of luck

    Veit
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Miller
      Originally Posted by VeitSchenk View Post

      do yourself a massive favour and do NOT do SEO to begin with!

      only do that once you've figured out what niche you're going to serve, how they make their buying decisions (you do that with PAID advertising), and only once you know *for a fact* what keywords convert into buyers, THEN, and only THEN may you choose to add SEO as the icing on the cake.

      Sadly, most likely you'll get this 'intellectually', and then fall for the lure of 'free traffic', waste a couple of years of your life, only to then discover yourself what I've just told you.

      (precisely what happened to me, and countless others;-)

      best of luck

      Veit
      Thanks Veit. That's really helpful. What's the process for what you just advised me? Say for example, after I write my high quality content for a product review, I then, say, pick 3 keywords for PAID marketing. Say, people landing on my product review page dividing into 3 groups (one belong to each keyword). I then pick the keywords with the best conversion for buyers. Does that sound right? Is there any advice based on my process
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  • Profile picture of the author janurmas
    The hardest thing in affiliate marketing for me is, it's hard to convert traffic becomes leads. I have made so many experiments to make affiliate marketing programs become the source of my income. Now, I have my best trick to make it comes true. However, over what you do, the main key is to get the right targeted traffic first.
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  • Profile picture of the author Omarkenawy
    Simply the hardest thing on affiliate marketing lies in taking on the pivotal role of simply linking up the buyer and the seller. I see that in order to be a successful affiliate marketer, you need to stand out from the crowd because there are so many competitors on the road.
    Thanks so much
    -Omar
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I have budget for link building. I just don't know where to buy. I just don't have time to do it myself.
    Spend that money on ads. With SEO, no matter how much you spend there is no guarantee you will ever get any traffic.

    With ads, you get traffic and quite quickly. It takes learning and testing but it's the only way you can truly have control of your traffic.

    You want to find out quickly if your niche and products are going to sell.

    One of the best things I learned early on (from Steve Weber) was to fail quickly.

    Fail fast isn’t about the big issues, it’s about the little ones. It’s an approach to running a company or developing a product that embraces lots of little experiments with the idea that some will work and grow and others will fail and die.
    Here
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  • Mike,

    Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post

    What's the hardest thing about affiliate marketing?
    The most trivial things for me in affiliate marketing are:

    1. Uncovering niches where I can cost-effectively promote relevant affiliate products and services to highly convertible groups of online buyers;

    2. Finding and cost-effectively tapping traffic sources that can help me compel those groups of buyers to head straight to my affiliate offers;

    3. Creating content that can cost-effectively funnel them from those traffic sources to my offers and realistically convert a significant percentage of those groups of buyers into freemium subscribers and premium customers;

    4. Formulating cost-effective test campaigns that can allow me to tweak what I'm doing after analyzing relevant test results; and

    5. Scaling up my campaigns and expanding to other viable verticals, all while improving the sustainability of my ventures ...

    To be able to do numbers 1 and 5, I do numbers 2 to 4 first -- I want to know certain things about my prospect markets and the exact places where they hang out. This allows me to do the following things:

    * Analyze the exact types of products and services to offer them;

    * Verify if any viable affiliate offer is currently available;

    * Think of the exact types of ads and content that I can create as test materials for realistically funneling them from those traffic sources to my offers; and

    * Think of exact types of offers to create for realistically converting them as freemium and premium customers through tailor-fitted offers designed to sell my affiliate offers ...

    Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post

    What are the hardest things to do in these steps?
    Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post

    1. Find a niche: You need to do a lot of keyword research. Be selective about which niche to get into
    Yes, keyword research can help in analyzing what certain groups of buyers are looking for, but my objective with keyword research is to know why they're looking for those things. Once I can think of realistic reasons behind their actions, I'd be able to create small campaigns for testing out my assumptions ...

    Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post

    2. Write high quality content: You need 3000+ words contents and place links wisely to optimize for clicks. That means you will need to do a lot of research on the topic/niche and be a good writer
    Hmmm... Technically, yes, because you usually need to write a script to create videos. My point is - The exact types of content that you need to offer your ideal prospects and customers might vary, depending on the content viewing preferences of your target audience, where they hang out, how they would most likely react to certain types of content, etc.

    Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post

    3. Link building: spend money to buy links. But where to buy links?
    I prefer direct ads and advertorials in networks with publishers that operate Web propeties where my ideal prosspects and customers hang out. When it comes to links, I'd go with content placements with strong call to action banner and text links in my target online places and content repositories ...

    Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    What's the hardest thing about affiliate marketing?

    Getting over the notion that there is some magical process you can follow step by step that guarantees success. All you need is the right push-button system.

    I don't care how many WSO Gooroos claim it exists, it doesn't.

    Once you get past that, and start looking at what your job as an affiliate is, it gets much easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi Mike,

    The toughest part is getting over a belief in scarcity. Or, doing AM from a place of love and fun, versus from a place of fear.

    Example; many affiliates fear not having enough time - aka, believing doing the very things that will help you make money will take up too much time - so this fear goads them to create short cuts, leading to days then months then years of struggle.

    But if you create helpful content through a blog and through guest posting, and if you comment on top sites or blogs related to your niche, for the fun of creating and connecting, the bonds form, interested people flock to your site (steadily) and the sales come.

    Happy Marketing

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    Generating cost-effective traffic that turns a profit.
    or
    Paying market rates for traffic and having a funnel that can convert it at a profit.

    Building a responsive email list.

    In the end...ROI
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    It looks like you have outline one of several ways to do affiliate marketing. Give it a try and let us know how it goes.

    As for links, why not post on social media and post on blogs and other websites in the same niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
    The hardest part of affiliate marketing is having to fend off all the sexy women that throw themselves at you when they learn what you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author RefuseToLose
    Newbies like you follow those steps above and never get anywhere.

    This isn't 2007 anymore.

    You need more than just content and manual back links to rank content.

    and if you do focus on that aspect. You better be prepared to do that for 6 months to a year+ before you even see any meaningful results. And even then you'd be lucky to make a couple hundred a month if everything goes right.

    I'm sorry to say this, but any newbies reading this... you can't make it in this business half-assing it anymore. The easy times are gone.

    You are either all in or don't even bother wasting your time.

    To the OP...

    What you're doing is not enough.

    If you don't have a budget to spend on things like SEO or even better... paid advertising... Just go save up some money and treat your current plan like a hobby where you spend an hour a day writing for your website. You will at least get better at writing and writing everyday is beneficial, but don't go into this plan thinking you're going to make any money. Won't happen.

    So prepare yourself for the fact that you won't make any money with this method for a very long time and any money you do make along the way will be a welcome surprise. This way you won't set yourself up for disappointment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Miller
    A lot of you have said about how hard it is to get convert traffic into sales. A lot of you mentioned to NOT focus on SEO at the beginning.
    Everything you said is a very sounding advise coming from years of experience. So my next question is: IS IT POSSIBLE TO EARN $10,000 TO $20,000 PER MONTH WITHIN 10 MONTHS?

    If it's possible, how?
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    • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
      Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post

      IS IT POSSIBLE TO EARN $10,000 TO $20,000 PER MONTH WITHIN 10 MONTHS?
      In a word, unless you have a decent amount of money to put into paid traffic,and can survive losing money for a couple of months until you hit some winners, then no, I don't believe it's possible.

      To make that sort of money using content marketing in 10 months would require you to do some frankly incredible outreach to influential bloggers who are cool to spread the word about you and what you do, and unless I'm mistaken, you don't currently have something that you're really burning to write about, you more just want to start a profitable business.

      Using paid traffic changes the game considerably, but again, in order to make $10-20k profit on a monthly basis in less than a year will require you to put down quite a bit of money for the first couple of months until you find some campaigns that are winners.

      If you really need to do things quickly, that's the way I'd go, but you'll need to have some money to spend, and be willing to work insane hours over the next year to make it happen.

      Originally Posted by RefuseToLose View Post

      So prepare yourself for the fact that you won't make any money with this method for a very long time and any money you do make along the way will be a welcome surprise. This way you won't set yourself up for disappointment.
      This.

      If you can, I'd take the pressure off the business needing to make lots of money in a short time frame, and allow yourself a couple of years to build a sustainable online income. Less stressful, and you'll probably create a better structured business as well, as you'll be able to put more thought into your planning and decisions.

      None of this is said to dissuade you, more to give you a realistic idea of timeframes and effort required.. As Refuse To Lose has mentioned, the days of Google Cash are long gone (older marketers will remember the glory days of Google Cash!).. building a business using online marketing takes time and education, and most of all, some serious dedication.

      Best of luck, and I hope you crack it.
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      • Profile picture of the author SSSJames
        Originally Posted by johndetlefs View Post

        In a word, unless you have a decent amount of money to put into paid traffic,and can survive losing money for a couple of months until you hit some winners, then no, I don't believe it's possible.

        To make that sort of money using content marketing in 10 months would require you to do some frankly incredible outreach to influential bloggers who are cool to spread the word about you and what you do, and unless I'm mistaken, you don't currently have something that you're really burning to write about, you more just want to start a profitable business.

        Using paid traffic changes the game considerably, but again, in order to make $10-20k profit on a monthly basis in less than a year will require you to put down quite a bit of money for the first couple of months until you find some campaigns that are winners.

        If you really need to do things quickly, that's the way I'd go, but you'll need to have some money to spend, and be willing to work insane hours over the next year to make it happen.

        If you can, I'd take the pressure off the business needing to make lots of money in a short time frame, and allow yourself a couple of years to build a sustainable online income. Less stressful, and you'll probably create a better structured business as well, as you'll be able to put more thought into your planning and decisions.

        Best of luck!
        Completely agree. Money, time, effort. Pick any two.

        I'll also add: set daily/weekly/monthly goals and earning targets, and find an experienced mentor to help you achieve them. It's always handy to have something to work towards. If you find something that produces the results you want, figure out a way to replicate it by 10x.

        Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Miller
        Originally Posted by johndetlefs View Post

        In a word, unless you have a decent amount of money to put into paid traffic,and can survive losing money for a couple of months until you hit some winners, then no, I don't believe it's possible.

        To make that sort of money using content marketing in 10 months would require you to do some frankly incredible outreach to influential bloggers who are cool to spread the word about you and what you do, and unless I'm mistaken, you don't currently have something that you're really burning to write about, you more just want to start a profitable business.

        Using paid traffic changes the game considerably, but again, in order to make $10-20k profit on a monthly basis in less than a year will require you to put down quite a bit of money for the first couple of months until you find some campaigns that are winners.

        If you really need to do things quickly, that's the way I'd go, but you'll need to have some money to spend, and be willing to work insane hours over the next year to make it happen.



        This.

        If you can, I'd take the pressure off the business needing to make lots of money in a short time frame, and allow yourself a couple of years to build a sustainable online income. Less stressful, and you'll probably create a better structured business as well, as you'll be able to put more thought into your planning and decisions.

        None of this is said to dissuade you, more to give you a realistic idea of timeframes and effort required.. As Refuse To Lose has mentioned, the days of Google Cash are long gone (older marketers will remember the glory days of Google Cash!).. building a business using online marketing takes time and education, and most of all, some serious dedication.

        Best of luck, and I hope you crack it.

        Thanks so much for the advice. I will proceed with caution. It's true that I have not made a dime in AM. But I have my reasons to set high expectation. I have seen a recent case study showing that they can make this much and even more. I was very skeptical at the beginning. I read thru every single word (of course the guy left out some details). I was also afraid that he made up the number with the screenshot. So I went into similarweb to cross check. I went into ahrefs to cross check. I went into Moz to cross check.

        Guess what? Every thing is pretty much aligned with his number corresponding to the estimate traffic that I got from my research. So I believe it's possible

        Based on his case study (he is actually very surprised of the ROI as well), I just developed a blueprint that I am going to replicate in a different niche.

        I asked the question in WF because I want to know if you guys have seen something like this before.

        One thing that learned from all the answers here is: to make sure to run experiment to convert the traffic into buyers. This is something I don't have experienced in (yet).

        Btw, in case you guys are in need of a keyword research that combines both Google Autosuggest and Adwords keyword suggestions along with accurate search volume, please check out keywordplanner.pro . It's free for all.
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  • Profile picture of the author KinneyJ2014
    what's the hardest thing about affiliate marketing
    Choosing an Affiliate Program because there are such a large number of affiliate programs to choose from and many are structured differently,

    be sure you are comfortable with the product you're promoting or selling and you have confidence in the advertiser you are linking to. Check the pages on the advertiser's Web site. If it's something you yourself would never consider purchasing, or it possibly looks a bit unreliable, then chances are your visitors won't be interested in it either. If you're running a content-based site, you don't want to sell anything that might offend visitors or lower their opinion of your site.

    The best rule of thumb is to pick affiliate programs look for affiliate programs that are related to the topic.

    For example, if your Web site is about registering domain names look for affiliate programs that are related to the topic such as Web site hosting, Webmaster tools and software, Web site templates and so on.

    Webmaster tools and software, Web site templates and so on. There is nothing worse than advertisements that stand out like a sore thumb on your pages Even niche sites can find affiliate programs that are a good match



    Types of Affiliate Programs

    If you join affiliate program you most likely will be placing text links or banners to their advertisers and you'll work on a pay-per-click fee.

    E-mail list affiliates promote e-mail newsletters and are usually paid when a person joins the advertised opt-in e-mail list. Being an affiliate of any merchant usually means you are paid a commission per sale on the advertiser's Web site.

    pay-per-click affiliate programs pay the least amount, as affiliates are often paid per thousands clicks (CPC).

    Pay-per-lead programs are when you you provide the links to downloads, trial offers, e-mail opt-in lists and so on. Depending on the advertiser you may be paid per lead generation or you may not be paid unless the user subscribes and pays for a full service from the advertiser.

    Pay-per-sale affiliate programs (also called revenue sharing) usually offer the highest commissions, and you'll typically receive a set dollar amount per sale or a straight percentage of the total sale. Because a user has to purchase something, you may find this program best-suited to high-traffic affiliate sites.

    TIP: For more affiliate marketing terms,
    see Webopedia's Online Marketing category.

    Affiliate Marketing Glossary
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I don't get why people start threads with fixed dollar amounts and a tight schedule while not having made a dime yet.

    Lets be real. - Dr Phil
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    • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I don't get why people start threads with fixed dollar amounts and a tight schedule while not having made a dime yet.
      While I take your point, all you have to do is cruise through the WSO section for a couple of minutes, and I can completely understand how those expectations could be create by someone new to the gig.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by johndetlefs View Post

        While I take your point, all you have to do is cruise through the WSO section for a couple of minutes, and I can completely understand how those expectations could be create by someone new to the gig.

        He's got bigger problems than WSO pie in the sky dreams.


        ...buy a legitimate links with good DA...
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        • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          He's got bigger problems than WSO pie in the sky dreams.
          Yep, buying legitimate links with good DA Is a bit of an oxymoron... I think everyone has to get through their first "I'm gonna be rich!!" moment online... Hopefully it only happens once!
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  • Profile picture of the author shmol
    While I agree with 1 and 2 I am not big on buying links as to me seo is a gamble--while you may get a good ranking--you never know how long it will last.

    Forget about making the big money--and just focus on the basics of writing good content and driving people to your site, either with free methods, social media.

    :Once you know your site is converting or you are getting a good amount of opt-in's--I would start focusing on paid traffic.

    But, I would only do this when I knew what I was doing was working

    Hope this Helps.
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