How to Make Money as an Internet Marketing Affiliate – 5 Golden Rules and Steps to Get Started

This is a Post on Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing.

What it means to be an Affiliate Marketer
5 Rules of Internet Marketing
Best Affiliate Offers in the Online Marketing Space
How to Become an Affiliate
Popular Affilate Networks
How to Promote Affiliate Offers
Case Study – How much can you Earn?

What it means to be an Affiliate Marketer

Being an affiliate means you vouch for a person, product or service. Chances are you have recommended a family member, or friend to a great restaurant, lawyer, doctor, mechanic, and a specific movie. When you did this you didn’t get paid with currency, but your social trust increased (if you gave a good referral). Being an affiliate online has all of the positives of real life referrals with the added bonus of being able to help thousands (a good affiliate referral is one that is needed), make commission for the quality referral, and gaining social influence on a much larger scale than just friends and family.

Let’s also not forget that your word / reputation is at stake. I had a friend refer me to a mechanic that overcharged and the car “died” a week later (I would be fine with overpaying if it ran!). Because it’s not your own product / service you must do due diligence when recommending it to others – yes, this means actually practicing what you preach.

Before we get into specific examples of how you can begin making money as an affiliate online let’s understand these 5 Golden Rules of Affiliate / Recommendation Marketing

5 Rules of Internet Marketing

1). Never Promote a Product You do not use, would not use, or have not used
Your reputation is all you have. If you are willing to sell your friends or network of like minded individuals on an inferior product, it speaks volumes to your personal integrity and you will never recover. Promote enough junk and you’ll be just another “marketer” trying to squeeze $$$ out of people. I’m sure it’s a dark, lonely road, pushing Viagra products…don’t let it happen to you, unless of course you use, recommend and trust the product 🙂

2). Be 100% honest with your Reviews

A common tactic of Internet Marketers is to use the words “Don’t Buy Before Reading”, or “Is it a Scam?” after a products name. Of course they never had any intention of actually bad mouthing the product. I’m sure you come across some that are legit, but hundreds of searches later, they typically all follow the same formula. Soft bash the service followed by hype, followed by an affiliate link.

3). Add Value to your Review – Everyone Loves Case Studies
Testing out services or products helps let others know you aren’t just summarizing what everyone else has already said. Take the time and put a test together of your own. This is the perfect opportunity to create a video of you using the product, or a blog post showing exactly why “X” product is a smart purchase decision. From pajamas to laser guns, we like to see things in action, whether video, images, and text.

4). Promote Recurring Subscription Offers
Getting affiliate sales can be difficult. You should avoid heavily promoting products that are only one time gains in commmission. You will be helping someone else grow their members list, and put revenue in their pocket. The least they can do is give you lifetime commissions on all sales from that customer.

5). Expand Your Horizons by Testing New Products / Services
Since you’ll want to follow rule 1, you will inevitably find yourself trying out new things, reading about new product launches, and be more open minded to not only products and services in your “niche” but also ones outside of it. There is nothing wrong with having multiple interests. As humans we all have basic needs and wants. As long as you are honest (2) and add value (3) you can give a great recommendation on a pair of sunglasses and a subscription to Netflix without feeling dirty or unfocused.

If you are in the Online Marketing space you can promote BacklinksVault goods and services. As you know we follow the 5 rules and never put out products or promote services we don’t actively use ourselves. Not everyone needs online marketing services, but chances are you know a friend, or family member that runs a website or business online. Here are some example services you can promote for recurring subscriptions each month.

Best Affiliate Offers in the Online Marketing Space

index backlinks

twitter retweets

automatic backlinks

pinterest repins

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer

For most affiliate offers, it requires a basic registration with a username, password and account information (how you get paid!), i.e. linking your paypal or credit card information. You’ll then receive special link and banner codes so you get credit for every person that clicks these links/images and makes a sale.

Don’t want to Promote Internet Marketing Related Goods and Services? No problem, here are some networks.

Popular Affiliate Networks

Amazon Affiliate Program

Amazon Affiliate Program

Amazon is by far my favorite. I caught myself shopping online and telling my fiance “I trust it because it’s Amazon.” Now of course that statement doesn’t make the most sense, because it’s millions of sellers all around the world, but they have so much trust and brand equity that you can leverage. Best thing is people tend to add to cart random things before purchase which helps increase your earnings. One of the biggest negatives is the 1 day old cookie (I believe) so you don’t have long until the referral doesn’t get credited to you.

I was closing in on $100, Passive, in sales each month with Squidoo + Amazon (check my other blog posts) using modules that shared the revenue with Squidoo. This means 4%. If you can send a lot of traffic to Amazon you’ll get rewarded but if you are willing to look for better affiliate deals, you will most likely find them – but will they convert? I err on the side of big brands and equity with online purchases, maybe others do as well.

Under this network you can promote socks, TVS, jewelry, and just about anything and everything listed on Amazon.

Ebay Affiliate Partner Network

eBay Affiliate Partner Network

eBay is another major brand that people trust. I’ve found in head to head comparisons that more people were purchasing from Amazon than eBay when doing my Squidoo lenses (the lenses were unfairly banned on Squidoo so don’t have future updates). Unlike Amazon, it’s not as convenient to add to cart, but I have noticed multi purchase sales.

ClickBank Affiliate Marketplace Program
ClickBank Affiliate MarketPlace

ClickBank seems to be the preferred place for Internet Marketing Affiliates. They have a wide range of products to promote in multiple niches. You can do some research and find great payout / high converting ones, and even sort by Recurring commissions.

WarriorForum Affiliate Deals

WarriorForum Affiliate Deals

Here you can find some high % offerings, but like anything you need to trust the person / network you decide to deal with. If you are just getting started, amazon, ebay and clickbank offer a more secure payout structure, however bigger $$ can be made by making a deal with an affiliate manger, and WarriorForum is a very solid platform for networking.

Now you are signed up as an Affiliate, but how do you Promote?

How to Promote Affiliate Offers

Now you should be signed up to an affiliate network and ready to start promoting certain goods and services. Let’s assume you have chosen what to promote. Now the question is how? Well, of course it’s not an easy one, but it’s much simpler than many make it out to be.

Good Offer + Promotion to Targeted Traffic = $$ Sales

Let’s start with the easiest method. We want a built in audience wherever we promote. Long term you want to build a list, establish yourself as an expert, blog, social media, etc. But we want sales now! It’s much easier to justify hard work when you can have a couple mental victories sprinkled in with your long term gameplan.

YOUTUBE. Youtube is the now and future. It’s the #2 search engine in the world and people love videos. Best of all you can make a video today and see sales by tonight (if it’s a good video). If you look around your home chances are you can find something worth reviewing. Give a detailed, honest review and then in the description link to your affiliate offer. Use a url hiding / shortening service such as

Here is a sample video one of our Affiliates for BacklinksIndexer created. Again you can see as long as you help bring more information, videos can make you a lot of money.

Notice the link in the description redirects to . This is because he has cloaked his affiliate link and redirected from his website. The same thing can be achieved using a tiny url service (free).

This same strategy can be applied to non IM related services. Take for instance, Nest Thermostat. It’s like a smartphone for your thermostat. This is a video I found (non affiliate 😛 ). You can clearly see a cloaked url linking to an amazon page with their affiliate id (it’s in the description of the video; have to view in youtube to see it). This means if I click through his link and purchase, he’ll get a commission.

It’s a very basic “video” with images and music. You can use Windows Movie Maker to edit, or even a basic screen capture program such as CamStudio or Fraps.

Vimeo, DailyMotion, and Metacafe all rank very well and you can use the same video for them.

 Web 2.0s

After Google Panda / Penguin updates they tend to rank very well when the keyword is in the domain, coupled with the meta title. Here is an example of a physical product (not much competition) but you can see the potential. Google this: WaxVac Ear Cleaner review

You’ll see a blogspot page:

This is just one example: squidoo, hubpages, blogger, tumblr, wordpress, etc are all web2.0 platforms that you can piggy back off of because they rank very well in Google. You can create them and embed your videos within them. It’s a double whammy, nearly guaranteeing success.

A better version of this would be  (doesn’t exist as of now) but you get the idea.

Case Study - how much can you earn as an affiliate

We have affiliates that are earning $X,XXX every month on autopilot with recurring commissions. This doesn’t mean you will make that much right away, but if you email, create videos, and blog about these services you will reach new audiences in addition to your built in ones. If you followed my older posts you know I had a Squidoo account making nearly $100 per month passively, and it was growing. I got banned because Squidoo puts a microscope under anyone with decent earnings. If you promote outside affiliates through Squidoo they won’t be able to follow the money trail as easily. Your progression should be Video, web2.0s, email, blogging, social media. Rinse and repeat. As a test I made ONE video on youtube not in the Internet Marketing space. I only made $22, but that’s just from one video and it continues to get traffic each day. All I did was social bookmark the video and piggybacked off the natural traffic of Youtube. You can of course expand upon this with retweets, repins, backlinks, etc.

Amazon affiliate monthly earnings

Again, don’t let this discourage you. This is from ONE video with 3,000 views, which is nothing in the grand scheme of views on Youtube. If you can make a bunch of videos (try to keep quality in mind), this will become passive income for you, and it’s the most sustainable passive income I see that exists online today. But, this commission represents over $448 in Amazon’s pocket. That’s literally 5% commission, ONE time (Amazon gets a lifelong customer and you get a thank you)…so you should really mix in recurring promotions with these products if you want a less volatile passive cash flow.

Since you are reading this post you are interested in online marketing. Chances are you have friends, family members, business aquantances, etc. You can give them a great recommendation to use our services and get paid. It’s a win win situation. And/or you can venture into your other passions and begin to make reviews / opinions (if you are really struggling to get going) about other services or products. A combination of short term goals and long term planning will help make you a great Affiliate marketer. These tips above are scalable and proven, plus they take no startup capital – free to upload videos and create web2.0s. We look forward to partnering with those that believe and trust our services. You’ll be joining hundreds others and making recurring passive income each month. If you have any questions please email me or post in the comments –


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Dan and Matt Anton

Dan and Matt Anton are the creators of BacklinksVault, a community for online marketers to blog, learn, contribute and use the best tools and services available.

3 thoughts on “How to Make Money as an Internet Marketing Affiliate – 5 Golden Rules and Steps to Get Started”

  1. Good article! I’m just getting started..actually I haven’t started yet..but will be beginning some affiliate marketing ideas with a website in early’14. Thanks again for correcting the toolbar thingy. 🙂

  2. I am looking into affiliate marketing but I dont have a website… I do have a decent email list and I was looking for something my wife can do possibly on facebook so we can have an extra income is that something we can do with affiliate marketing programs or do we need to have a site

    1. hi Jim,

      Thanks for reaching out. For affiliate marketing to work well you need either a product (creator of the product/service) or the one promoting it (which sounds like you want to do). In this case you will need 2 things: traffic (targeted hopefully) and preferably a list as well.

      You can promote different affiliate products by posting on your Facebook wall but it will be difficult unless you have a lot of friends and you seriously vouch for the product/service (otherwise your friends won’t take your recommendations serious in future). Your wife could post on other fan pages and groups but it might be considered spamming and even if accepted might not produce the results you were hoping.

      The best way to get started is to do reviews of products/services and post on Youtube linking out to your affiliate program, whether it’s Amazon, Clickbank, ebay, or one of our own affiliate programs. It has built in traffic. You could also write reviews on hubpages and link out with your affiliate id links. This is probably your 2 best options if you don’t have a website.

      If you do own a website, or would consider adding content to one you can use a free blog hosting platform such as Blogger, WordPress or Tumblr. Just know there is a lot of “noise” on these platforms so your content will either have to be very compelling or have traffic to it, perhaps through SEO.

      Affiliate marketing is an investment. You either have to build out videos/content to drive traffic to the offers or you need to build websites/webpages and drive traffic to them through SEO and other methods, building up a list. Hope that helps.

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