The Affiliate Marketing Playbook To Skyrocket Your Commissions This Year

The ultimate internet marketing dream – sit by the beach somewhere on a remote island sipping a margarita while wads of cash are credited to your bank account, aka passive income.

It’s a beautiful dream, but I’m sure you’ve finally figured out that passive income isn’t truly passive. That’s why I’m writing this, to help you with one form of “passive” income today – affiliate marketing. Because these days, you can still earn money from affiliate marketing, but the rules have changed.

This post will save you hours, days, and months of frustration; show you the right path, and help you make more money via affiliate marketing in 2018. This is what you need to do to succeed.

1. Choose the right product(s)

For most affiliate marketers, this is the hardest part, but it’s an important first step. Generally, you can promote physical products, software, services, or courses. And note that those three categories are quite broad.

For example, physical products can be books, clothes, or fitness equipment. You’re only limited by your own imagination. The question is, how can you choose the right product(s)?

To answer this question, you need to find out what your audience’s goals are or what they’re trying to accomplish. That way, you can recommend products that can help them accomplish their goals. The simplest way to decide what your audience wants to achieve is by asking them. You can do this in one or all of the following ways – notice how it’s eerily similar to deciding topics for your content:

  • Ask readers who have subscribed to your email list
  • Discover their goals by creating a survey
  • Read some feedback on current posts through emails or comments
  • Visit forums they’re active on

Remember that your final goal isn’t to choose products that offer the most commission, but products that will truly help your audience.

To give you some ideas, consider the following sites in diverse niches doing affiliate marketing. You can visit them later too for inspiration.

Landlordology is a real estate site.


Lucas Hall was inspired by Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income to start his own “resources page” on his website. He promotes legal services for property owners, repairs and cleaning services, and real estate books.

Julie Fagan runs Peanut Butter Fingers, a site about food, fitness, family, and travel.

Julie Fagan runs Peanut Butter Fingers

She is largely an Amazon affiliate and promotes handbags, shoes, supplements, fitness books, fitness equipment, soundtracks, etc in her weekly column “Things I’m Loving Friday.” Sometimes, as a certified personal trainer, she writes about a workout routine and includes affiliate links to what she wore – shoes, headbands, tank tops – at the end of the post.

Remember I mentioned choosing products or services that help your audience achieve their goals. That means what your audience needs may not even be products or services in your niche.

For example, Just a Girl and Her Blog is primarily a home decor site, and she makes money by promoting certain products or services as an affiliate.

Just a Girl and Her Blog

You’d be forgiven for thinking that she’s an affiliate for only home improvement services, home security systems, and the likes. Instead, prior to stopping her monthly income reports, her biggest affiliate revenue often came from Bluehost, a web hosting provider.

Just a Girl and Her Blog income report for June 2016
Just a Girl and Her Blog income report for June 2016

That emphasizes how important it is to give your audience what they want and not what you think they want or products and services that will bring you the highest commissions. And it means your highest revenue-generating affiliate product or service may not be related to your niche. Choose the right product.

2. Create and promote valuable content

If you’ve used Google to do a search for reviews of products or services for a while, I’m sure you encountered reviews that were written solely for the affiliate commission.

Typically, they’re reviews praising the product and listing, with little commentary, the features of the product you can easily find on the product’s official page. Such reviews…