“Ultimate” is right! Thank you for this thorough and thought-provoking post. I have yet to venture into affiliate marketing; I’m standing in the doorway, thinking of how to connect my interests and knowledge to an appropriate product. I feel I’ve read plenty to get me started once I have a product, but this is the hardest part, isn’t it? I have just subscribed to Blog Tyrant and will continue to follow Viper Chill — I just want to put all this information to work, and soon!
The need for people with your knowledge to help us majority, could really help our country as a whole. Please take into consideration not just monetary value of your life, but what you can do to help us in need. I had a 3.9 in highschool, 3.7 at Purdue engineering, life happenings made me drop out of college, i had to earn money for my family, and help support them. I am now 41, a single mom of two girls, was able to leave a highly abusive marriage alive, working my ass off to make ends meet and it is never ending….We could use someone with your knowledge to help the millions that have had “bad luck”, been “dealt a shitty hand at life”. I guarantee the majority of us are the hardest working Americans in the country.
Another problem that I see with Internet marketing in general is that ther are always too many bonuses attached to the product. I wonder if those bonuses are really better than the product itself? Imagine going into Wal-Mart and at the checkout line before you pay for your stuff, the casheer starts spouting off all of the bonuses and offers that you could get before you even purchased that product? Can you imagine how much time that would take? And all yo wanted to do was just purchase a bag of Oreos.

I am so glad you speak so openly and honestly about being paid what you’re worth. As an ESL teacher who’s a contractor, I find it hard to give up my contractual gig to jump on the salary scale of a school because I feel like I would be underpaid. And unfortunately, I still find it hard to shake the feeling that what I’m paid equates to what I’m worth, professionally speaking. Despite teachers’ relatively lower earning trajectories, though, Thomas Stanley of The Millionaire Next Door found they were more than twice as likely as the average American to be prodigious accumulators of wealth. So, despite low pay, or perhaps because of it, teachers tend to save and invest more than doctors, lawyers, and other traditionally higher paid professions. So I hold that thought close.

The "mean annual salary" is the average salary being paid for a job or position. Your annual salary is the amount that you will get paid in a year assuming you work the entire year at that salary. For example, if you are paid semi-monthly (such as US military pay, 1st and 15th of each month), and your annual salary is $24,000, your gross paycheck (before taxes) will be $2,000.


Education. Your thirst for education should be constant and voracious. I don't care if you're reading this in your twenties or your sixties. There's always something new to learn that you can add to your well of knowledge to draw upon. So take that improv class you've been thinking about or buy that course you're interested in. It's always worth it if you learn just one thing from it.
Hi Jennifer, you could target people in the “get a better job” space. This is the prime market for your offer. There are plenty of high-authority blogs out there in this niche and if you can partner with some influencers, you can see some amazing results. That said, it’s not as easy a 123. Your affiliate offer needs to be amazing. Your website should be beautiful, and your need to have a strategy for reaching out to these people in your industry. You can’t just send them an email and expect them to sign up to your affiliate program.
The reality in affiliate marketing is that it's like most other work-at-home ventures; there are a few who are filthy rich, a good number who are successful enough to meet their goals, and a ton who aren't making anything. So, the question isn't really whether or not affiliate marketing is a viable income option (it is), but whether or not you can make affiliate marketing work for you. Only you can decide that. But to help, here are some tips.
I do have to comment though on your section where you mention pursuing an MBA for a higher salary. This is risky. In order to attend one of those top universities full-time (because I’m fairly certain those universities don’t have part-time programs, and if so, part-time programs are not looked at with the same respect as full-time from recruiters), one must give up 21-24 months of employment (which, in my current situation is about $140-145K) as well as pay $120-140 for the program. That’s $280,000 in costs.
In the old days of SEO you’d build backlinks using relevant anchor text. So, for example, if you wanted to rank for “bonsai trees” that would be the link text you’d use in your guest posts. And then the Panda update happened and Google took a swipe at unnatural link profiles which meant that SEOs started making their anchor text more natural (things like “click here to read the rest”).

I think you are on the right track about his willingness, or lack thereof to relocate. Knowing him, he is quite passive and possibly only limiting himself to local options. He has interned and maintained good grades. Despite his lack of ambition and possible reluctance to relocate, I am still surprised that he is having such a hard time finding something local as if there are no jobs in NY in Chem Eng field at all. Any advise I can pass on to my passive friend other than relocating?
I rarely work more than 40 hours (neither does my boss), my job is challenging in terms of problem solving but not stressful- read i’m not bored, my coworkers generally keep to themselves – no office drama, I get a nice raise and bonus every year, time off is generous, I work from home 25% of the time and I make around 150k all in. Graduate school was free through research and my undergrad degree cost less than my annual salary – paid for by bank of daddy. My house costs less than my annual salary. I don’t know of any other field that gives you such a high reward for very little effort. I didn’t have to go to med school for 10 years neither do I have to work 60 hour weeks or wear a stuffy suit. I wear blouses and jeans to work everyday and I’m easily the best dressed. Instead of jumping ship to management like many Engineers I’m developing my skills in a highly technical and specialized area with hopes of becoming an Independent Contractor around the 12 year mark, targeting around $220 and hour. You can do anything with a Chemical Engineering degree – both the diploma and the skills you will learn, I can’t sell this dream enough!

Thanks for sharing this information. I actually work as a Project Management consultant in the technology and healthcare industry but I really want to get into construction project management because I love architecture I was also interested in natural resources project management just for a change but, it is very difficult to switch from one industry to another any advice?

And don't forget, in order to truly make personal recommendations, you'll need to be a CUSTOMER as well. I see far too many affiliates making personal recommendations without even making the investment in the product or service they are promoting. Not only will you lose credibility when you do this, you'll be limiting your marketing potential by not knowing the product like you should.
I make six figures and have for a long time. It is nice but in retrospect not as important as I once thought. It is simply a number. I admire you for following your passion. Unfortunately income and passion often intersect and you need to choose one or the other. I think we all try to straddle that path for a while but eventually it seems that we often have to choose.
I’m 26, and I have served 6 years in the Navy. I am out, and using my GI bill at The University of Nevada Reno. I was an engineer in the navy, and I worked on potable (drinkable) water systems. My degree is going to be in Hydrology. My 6 years of solid experience and 5 years in school, I feel are going to give me one hell of a leg up in the working world. I am also a yacht captain at Lake Tahoe. One thing that is driving me is getting property in the most beautiful part of the country for my future wife.
Two income-earner households are more common among the top quintile of households than the general population: 2006 U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that over three quarters, 76%, of households in the top quintile, with annual incomes exceeding $91,200, had two or more income earners compared to just 42% among the general population and a small minority in the bottom three quintiles. As a result, much of the rising income inequity between the upper and lower percentiles can be explained through the increasing percentage of households with two or more incomes.[15][19]
Love this story! I finished college in 3 years back in the 80’s because of AP/community college credits and stayed another year to finish my Master’s degree (which was required in my state for professional certification). And I swam fast and got money to help each year. I also got my entire doctorate paid for which was awesome! Not an engineer though – a teacher, but still got me to FI earlier than many!
I post around 2 articles per week related to my niche, I mainly link back to other blog posts within my site where the anchor would fit it’s purpose but I also link to the homepage with various anchor texts. I build guest posts on a regular basis as well (1 per week or so) and one of the links posts to a blog post on my site and the other to my homepage with varying anchors.
Here’s how Amazon Associates works. People Googled “gifts for writers,” then clicked on the ideas we shared in our post, which took them over to Amazon.com. Regardless of whether they bought that item we recommended, they then continued to do their holiday shopping, stocking up on all sorts of random gifts, from electronics to clothing to books. And because they clicked on our link initially, we earned somewhere between four to 10 percent of whatever they spent on Amazon during the next 24 hours.
First I want to just say well done with what you have accomplished. You have done an amazing job. I’m not really one to post a comment on blogs as I’m sure everyone says. But the thing that struck me the most about you is I can tell your a great individual. You love cats, as my wife and I do. We also have rescue cats. You are a very generous and honest person and that is most likely why you also have done well. Very authentic and honest. I’m in the process of building an affiliate amazon site. So I can relate to the content side of things. I’m already a customer of siteground but If I wasn’t I’d happily sign up through you. I have bookmarked your site as I’d like to come back and read a little more and keep an eye on your progress. Thanks for taking the time to write this post. It’s one of the best blog posts I’ve read. Take care Tom
Also at this stage, I’m not collecting E-mails. How do you think I should approach this? I’ve got a sidebar and I was thinking of using OptinSkin on the sidebar and also at the bottom of my posts but I’m worried my posts don’t get visited as often as the homepage and review pages. Do you think I should add a form to those specific pages as those are my pitch pages promoting the affiliate products? Would definitely get more subscribers that way but I’m worried I’ll lead them away from the sale.
100k in the Bay area is like 50k in most of the country adjusted for cost of living. I really wish we used adjusted salary more frequently in the US – including welfare, taxes etc. So many T10, T20 B schools are graded based off average nominal salary, which drastically overstates NE and California B-Schools in terms of their value due to their typical placement location.
As I read further to post this, I saw a next post about marrying for money. How dare…..I know it happens. I did it. After a 7 year extremely abusive marriage, which ended in debt over my head and my children still get to see this abuser and still has more time than should be allowed, due to a horrid system, with his perfect on paper persona, Works for the DOD, contractor, writing programs and coding for them, white collar perfect portrayal of family, to only be a devil in his own home behind closed doors…..
You’re right that there’s tons of variables in teaching. I used to work at a Title 1 school that was almost 90% free and reduced lunch/low income. I would still work there today if it were up to me, but their funding was so bad. 🙁 It’s also interesting to look at how teachers are paid. We live in a very high COL suburb *for the Midwest*. But that’s also why my salary is so high. My district can pay what they do, at least in part, because of property taxes. It gets far more complicated when states have universal salary schedules and other things I don’t really understand 😉

Ha! I not only lost 75% of it, I lost it in 3 weeks while wandering around in the Nepalese Himalayas…found out it was gone when I stumbled into an internet cafe after getting out of the mountains. I’d just had some perspective-altering experiences, including a night of protection from the Nepalese army while I watched Maoists firebomb a mountain town I’d just passed through…and an earlier surreal moment when I had to step over the dead bodies of a mother and child in India so I could get cash from a Citibank cash machine. At the exact moment my account came up in that Nepalese cafe and I blinked twice to make sure that small number was right, I heard bells ringing from outside the screenless window to my left. I looked over at an old man slumped down in the seat of his wooden cart absently flicking a donkey’s ass (is that redundant?) to keep them rolling down the dirt street. The cart passed malnourished children standing under prayer flags, snot running from their nostrils to their mouths, ignored, as usual. I turned back to my screen and laughed – sold most of what was left, logged off and got something to eat. That was the year 2000.
Thanks for the tips, Tiffany! It was very helpful. I just started my blog about a month ago and just signed up for Shareasale. I do have a further question. Do you know what blog post on Shareasale’s blog, gives me the best information in getting started and what I need to do? I am finding it hard to navigate my way through and really get an idea of the best way to start. It’s all quite overwhelming. Or is there a post that you have to guide me better?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this page above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

As a service provider to several different types of business owners over the past 25 years, I think it is not the education but rather the execution of process and people that make the difference. More times than not I have seen educations get in the way of continuing education than not. Truly the learning or connection making does not stop at school and to imagine that it only starts there is foolish.

Amazon Associates – for pretty much anything sold on Amazon. If you have links to your books on your website (and you should do!), this is a good way to start with affiliate marketing and you will receive a little bit extra if people shop through your link, as well as a percentage of other products that people buy within a 24 hour period. You can use your existing Amazon account and then find your books, copy the special link and then use that on your site. You can also use a site like Booklinker.net or Books2Read.com to create one link that works for all stores and contains affiliate links.


My grades were terrible in high school. I did better in college. I still graduated debt-free, and made very little money the first few years in business. With positive mental attitude and a game plan in place, I was able become debt-free by 35, and my income is very good for my age. Now that I’m debt-free, I’ve been able to save for retirement (what I should have done first).

i just couldn’t resist jumping in here. even though i’m a b.s. chemist i’m in a union at this big company as more of a technician. we just allowed our first tier system on the plant this year and it’s the beginning of the end. even though i’m in the higher tier i would have conceded something in my future in order for the people coming in to make what i make. nobody ever wants to address the sacred “higher tiered” people. geez, about 15 years ago i knew of home-ec teachers pulling down 80 or 90k while the physics and math teachers unlikely reach that level, much less with the lifetime gold-plated benefits. i say, share the pain. now i’m fired up and need a drink.
Before we dive in and take a hard, close look I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you my personal experiences before joining this program. I have been an internet entrepreneur for years. I have studied with some of the greatest marketers online from Jonathan Mizell to Jon Thornhill and I have tried a number of different business models.

Long-Tail Keywords – specific keywords usually with 3-7 individual words in a phrase. They are highly targeted and MUCH easier to rank for than broad keywords (all mine are long-tail). The lower your domain authority (check using OSE), the less competitive (more long-tail) your keywords should be. If you can get more specific and the keyword still shows up in Google Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer and other keyword tools… choose the SPECIFIC one.

Well, things got expensive. Starting with taxes, we lose about 30 percent of our paychecks to state and federal dudes like FICA and Social Security. Before you go asking “Who’s FICA and why is he getting all my money?” remember that taxes go to good things like roads and bridges (or at least they’re supposed to) and also to paying for incomes when we get old and can’t work. But still, that bite off the top stings a bit.

Before jumping into starting an affiliate marketing business, learn all that's involved in making it a success. More importantly, if you decide to pursue an affiliate marketing business, or want to add affiliate marketing to an existing business, understand that it's not fast, automatic, nor without effort. Like all home businesses, ​you need a plan and daily involvement to make money with an online affiliate marketing.
I’m also a subscriber of Nichehacks. He promoted Commission Black Opt, I bought it because I trust him, but totally it’s crappy. Recently, he’s promoted something like “The Affiliate Godfather” or “The Cartel” from same Micheal Cheney. I don’t know if it is a good crappy product. I wonder why he can recommend his list about under-qualified products. I wasted too much time and money in such that product.
Hi, thanks for another awesome article. I understand EVERYTHING on this subject but what’s the best course of action when your website is lacking a tight focus? My site is based around the concept of stop doing the things you hate and start doing what you really want. Which started out with ‘how to quit your job’ but I thought that was too limiting so now it now covers all aspects of lifestyle, interacting with others, thoughts on life and health & fitness. (using personal experience where applicable).
Thanks for sharing this information. I actually work as a Project Management consultant in the technology and healthcare industry but I really want to get into construction project management because I love architecture I was also interested in natural resources project management just for a change but, it is very difficult to switch from one industry to another any advice?

The Seven Figure Franchise almost sounds a bit similar to the Empower Network for those of you who remember that program. The Empower Network was a scam and a lot of people lost their money in it. That program flopped big time! In my personal opinion, what I would recommend is that you sell some affiliate products on the side and instead, invest in selling your own products where you will be making constant income rather than trying to make some huge marketer even richer. And there’s a reason why getting a refund is so dad gum hard with the Seven Figure Franchise. It is because they don’t want to really give a refund in the first place.

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