How to Be a Successful Affiliate Marketer (With Tips and Examples)

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Affiliate marketing can help advertisers drive sales and reach new audiences beyond the confines of paid advertising, social media and search engines.

Ready to learn how?

You’ve come to the right place—and at the right time, since affiliate marketing is growing, with spend set to reach $8.2 billion by 2022, up from $6.8 billion this year.

That’s why we’re providing top tips for how to become a successful affiliate marketer.

Here’s what you need to know.

How to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer

By launching affiliate marketing campaigns across high-quality blogs and publications, brands will be well-positioned to drive traffic back to their e-commerce pages and engage niche communities of customers who are ready to discover new products.

Use these strategies to optimize your campaigns and start making money with affiliate marketing.

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1. Build High-Quality Creative

With engaging ads at your fingertips, you’ll be more likely to generate interest from affiliate publishing partners and, of course, drive results among your target audience.

When building your affiliate promotions, consider which products can be most easily incorporated into affiliate blogs or articles. Whether you’re creating display ads, banner ads, native ads, or affiliate links, it’s important to choose visuals and copy that will hook new readers.

BuzzFeed Reviews, for example, works with affiliate advertisers to create custom images for their ads, like this one on their article, “The Best Everyday Sneakers That Keep It Casual.”

buzzfeed - Build High-Quality Creative

2. Dominate Your Niche

When it comes to affiliate marketing, you don’t want to use a spray-and-pray approach. It’s best to choose a specific niche and audience segment. This way, you know you’re reaching customers with the most relevant content that meets their interests and needs. And you can partner with publishers who’ve built hyper-targeted and engaged communities.

Common affiliate niches include: real estatefinance, fitness, and technology.

PCPartPicker.com, for instance, provides guides and lists of computer parts specifically for people who want to build their own systems and find compatible components.

dominate your niche PCPartPicker.com

3. Set Competitive Payment Rates

Decide how you’ll pay your affiliate advertising partners based on the follow options:

  • Cost per click. Every time a reader clicks on your affiliate link or ad, the publisher receives a payment.
  • Cost per lead. Every time a reader completes a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or starting a free trial, the publisher receives a payment.
  • Cost per sale. Every time the publisher drives a consumer to your website, and that consumer makes a purchase, the publisher receives a commission.

It’s important to choose the payment rates that make most sense for your products, audience, and creative. If your ads are meant to simply drive awareness, for example, you might use a cost-per-click model instead of a cost-per-sale model.

For more guidance on how to price your campaigns, check out this step-by-step affiliate marketing tutorial from from the point of view of a successful publisher:

4. Partner with Top Publishers

Research publishers, influencers, and blog owners in your niche to find the most relevant and brand-safe affiliate partners. You can do this with a simple Google search or by finding top-ranking sites through keyword search tools like SpyFu and SEMrush. Also, check out the comments sections on these websites to see if and how the audience engages with content and product recommendations.

Take The Points Guy, which has grown to be a top affiliate publisher in the travel industry. The website includes a disclaimer: “The credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation.” So products like this one in their article, “The best travel credit cards of 2020,” may be sponsored by affiliate marketers.

the points guy - Partner with Top Publishers

5. Choose the Right Affiliate Network

The right affiliate network can make or break your affiliate marketing operation. You’ll need to partner with a high ticket platform that connects you with premium, brand-safe publishers.

That’s why Taboola has exclusive partnerships with the top digital publishers across the globe, helping advertisers deliver recommended articles and videos to the most relevant audience segments.

Brands like NerdWallet and Consumer Cellular, for instance, can reach Business Insider’s audience of over 83 million readers by advertising with Taboola.

Taboola - Choose the Right Affiliate Network

Who Is The Most Successful Affiliate Marketer?

Successful affiliate marketers generate income from their campaigns on a consistent basis, and engage targeted customers with high-quality content that delivers results.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the most successful affiliate marketers.

Top 10 Affiliate Marketers

These top affiliate marketers set a high bar for making money online, and serve as inspiration for new affiliate marketers who are getting started with this strategy.

1. Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn - smart passive income

Pat Flynn runs the Smart Passive Income blog to help entrepreneurs build their online businesses and generate revenue.

He’s also written books, such as:

Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business

Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money

He also advises companies like CovertKit, Teachable, and Squadcast.

2. Ian Fernando

Ian Fernando

For over 15 years, Ian Fernando has built his career as an affiliate marketing and Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) expert in e-commerce.

Visitors to his site IanFernando.com can check out training courses, such as:

Discover the Hard Truth of a Successful Affiliate Campaign

How to Start an Affiliate Blog and Earn Passive Income Just by Writing

Internet marketing toolbox.

3. John Chow

John Chow

Called “the original dot com mogul,” John Chow went viral in the marketing world for his post, “How I Make $40,000 a Month From a Blog.”

His money-making blog now welcome love 200,000 active daily readers.

Chow is also the author of books such as:

Blogging Secrets: An Uncommon Guide to Generating Six Figures on the Internet

Make Money Online: Roadmap of a Dot Com Mogul

4. Nate O’Brien

Nate O’Brien

Nate O’Brien and his brother, Mike O’Brien, run Santrel Media, offering “innovative marketing solutions to improve business profitability and efficiency.”

With over 100,000 subscribers, their YouTube channel includes popular tutorials, such as:

Affiliate Marketing Tutorial For Beginners 2020 (Step by Step)

How To Build An Affiliate Marketing Website in 2020 (Make Money Online)

5. Missy Ward

Missy Ward

Missy Ward has been in the affiliate marketing space since 1999, managing marketing departments for various companies and running a range of affiliate sites.

Ward is also the co-founder of Affiliate Summit Corporation, and author and editor of books, such as:

Make Money With Your WordPress Blog: Learn How To Monetize Your Blog Using Affiliate Marketing

Internet Marketing from the Real Experts

6. Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins co-founded Affiliate Summit, the leading industry conference for affiliate marketing.

He shares updated tips and strategies for affiliate marketing on his own blog, including his guide, “Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants.”

Collins has also authored:

Extra Money Answer: How to Create, Promote, and Monetize an Affiliate Site

Affiliate Manager Boot Camp: Recruiting, Educating, and Retaining Affiliates.”

7. Charles Ngo

Charles Ngo

Charles Ngo offers “the cheat codes to affiliate marketing” on his website and affiliate marketing blog for over 75,000 readers.

He also provides a range of helpful resources, including”

The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing toolkit

8. Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson has been using affiliate marketing to make money online for over 20 years.

He’s been documenting his entrepreneurial journey and sharing strategies for success on his affiliate marketing blog.

Johnson also runs:

Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing & Blogging

Rise of the Entrepreneur podcast.

9. Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman

After earning her GED, Rae Hoffman, a.k.a. Sugarrae, went on to build a multi-million-dollar business and become a highly revered entrepreneur.

Visitors to her website can learn more about her SEO consulting services and SEO and affiliate marketing toolbox for success.

10. Matthew Woodward

Matthew Woodward

Matthew Woodward helps entrepreneurs and digital business owners increase traffic and sales.

He created his own blog in 2012 as an SEO experiment and generated so much success, he published his income reports for nearly six years.

Woodward’s site offers over 240 tutorials, including:

Do You Want More Search Traffic?

Build a Blog That Matters

Conclusion

Anyone can become a successful affiliate marketer with the right strategies and tools. You just have to make sure you’re deliberate about the content you create and partners you team up with. Use these tips and examples to guide you, and start building your successful affiliate marketing program today so you can begin driving revenue and reaching new customers.

Create Your Content Campaign Today!