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 –


Top 10 Ways to Use Pinterest Marketing for your Business

Tired of hearing about Pinterest? You don’t have to use it, but you’d be leaving a stone boulder unturned. As business owners and marketers our mission is to establish a company message and disseminate it as efficiently as possible. Whether you run a local hotdog stand, a website, or a multi-national corporation, Pinterest offers some unique opportunities.

Pinterest at it’s most basic level of marketing
Pinterest for branding
Pinterest for bloggers
Pinterest for infographics, informative images
Pinterest for “viral” funny or bizarre images (that get you backlinks)
Pinterest for videos untapped way you can gain more Youtube subscribers / views.
Pinterest for ecommerce
Pinterest for brick and mortars
Pinterest for Travel Agencies / vacations
Pinterest for News outlets

How to Create a Board for Best SEO and Target Markets:
How to Create a Pin
Pinterest Marketing Services

1) Pinterest – basic level of marketing:
This is for website owners that don’t have a physical presence, and don’t plan on creating or updating a blog daily. The reality is most websites don’t use a blog, and that’s okay. But you should still exist on Pinterest for the added exposure and SEO benefits since Google, Yahoo and Bing trust the social signals from this Pagerank 8 platform. In the example you see this is how we are currently using the network. Since I plan on creating more quality blog posts and videos we would like to shift to fit into more of these categories, but for now the first one is a good start. Here is the url to the pin:


As you can see it’s just the image directly from the website. Nothing ground breaking, but helps get us established



2) Pinterest for branding:

Branding is usually met with ROI people screaming it’s not real, but on Pinterest there is a difference between having your logo pinned and repinned and having your entire brand identity present on the platform. Here is an example search for Coca Cola: . Notice how the brand message immediately confirms that yes, this is Coca Cola. Now, unless you are trying to establish a certain brand identity this might not be the best way to approach pinterest, but the more unique pins you can have up about “Joe’s Famous Sandwiches” or “Insert Your Business here” the better.

3) Pinterest for bloggers:

Blogs can be boring and filled with empty content (let’s hope not all the time). This is where a well placed image comes into play. Your blog post instantly becomes much more “shareable”. It also helps your readership know exactly what they are getting into it; afterall a picture is worth a 1000 words. With a Paint program, or Photoshop and some novice skills you can create and modify existing images on the web to get your point across. Or you can hire a freelancer designer to create an image for each of your blog posts depending on your budget and quality of work. This then blurs the line to the next method. Even webpronews uses non unique images you can see here:  . I would be shocked if this was exclusive to them, all the way from China…

     <<Stock Image (left) compared to a more unique image (right) –>

cartoon images, or something unique of course works best, but if you have a blog you should incorporate images, then pin them.

If all else fails you can throw up random pictures of woman in tight clothing such as shoemoney. He didn’t even bother to try to have it make sense, haha….if he can do that ladies and gentlemen, you can add random images to your blog posts.

4) Pinterest for infographics / information:

Some infographics depict data in such an awful way, while others are simply brilliant. It’s going to either take a lot of time or $$ to create one, but can really help get your point across. Here is an example of someone that had a great social network / Pinterest campaign through their horror infographic

Checking the Pinterest count API we can see over 750 repins. A perfect way to leverage infographics, offers, and relevance to his website (also became a PR 4 which is very respectable)

5) Pinterest for viral images, funny, bizarre, weird:

No one said you can’t pin something if it has already been pinned. 99% of the time you won’t be the one creating these images or photos but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them. Here is an image I found online, pinned as my own (on a random account), edited and added a link back to my website. Warning, I think this is rated PG13 but you might get hot and bothered by this. At the very least you’ll want to crack open some egg nog and get ready for the holiday spirit



:). You get the idea. If you see something trending on Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms (not pinterest itself, that would be a little late), then you can save the image, upload and link to your website. Instant repins and interaction.

6) Pinterest for videos:

Many people think Pinterest is just for images, but it’s a top 50 site on the web that allows video. Youtube is #2. Together you can cover some serious ground. The competition right now on Pinterest is weak for videos but still has a ton of traffic

This is a great opportunity to pin all of your videos whether it be Youtube, vimeo, etc. They seem to get randomly placed within the videos section so it’s a numbers game. Get enough of your videos posted and repinned and you’ll be sure to grab the spotlight on occassion.

7) Pinterest for ecommerce:

This is what mostly everyone has been talking about. Sites like amazon and ecommerce sites can post images and descriptions of their products. If you create the pin you can simply plug in the description and you have a ready made pin. Most of pinterest frontpage seems to focus heavily on female interests, dresses, purses, beautiful young women out on the town, food, etc, but there are males as well. It’s such a large demographic that if you sell something online you really can’t afford to miss out on easy sales and links back to your product pages. If you sell 5000 products you should have 5000 pins at the minimum.


8) Pinterest for brick and mortar (restaurants, doctors, lawyers, etc):

Google places is a great concept along with Yelp and other local business sites. Here the experience is 1000% more rewarding and informative when you can actually see photos of the restaurant or business. Have you ever looked up restaurants in your area and you only see the fake / ready made image as their logo and that’s it? Well, you hate it and so do your potential customers. If you own a brick and mortar business you should take a 360 degree photo spread of the outside of your business, staff, inside, and some videos. All of this should then be posted on Pinterest. Do you want to go to the friendly doctor that shows you his work area, or the one with the creepy large pixels of a broken stock smiley face?

This is easily one of the most under utilized tactics next to video. If you have a physical address where you conduct business upload everything on Pinterest and the other networks. It will create trust, familiarty and sales.

9) Pinterest for Travel agencies / Vacations and get aways:

The grass is always greener on the other side. Seeing images of far off distances, exotic destinations and vacation locations make us want to be there, which makes us call up a travel agency, which makes us purchase the tickets…then next thing you know, you’re on the beach sipping margaritas all because of a visual image or video found on Pinterest.

10) Pinterest for News / Gossip / Industry leaders:

If you are an industry leader you have to stay abreast of the latest happenings in your niche. Just because you aren’t TMZ doesn’t mean you can’t report on the news, give you own advice and angle on the situation. This is true whether you are selling health products, services, internet marketing, etc. By going to Google News you can see a wide range of news topics. Many of them already exist on Facebook and Twitter, but have a considerable void in Pinterest. To put things in perspective, Pinterest is exponentially more powerful than NYtimes which has an Alexa rating of 108 compared to 38. Stories are visual experiences as well, and the sky is the limit with affiliate marketing promoting other news outlets, or of course your own or your clients.


Those are currently the best ways to utilize Pinterest. As business owners our job is to create a brandable, systematic message and then disseminate it as efficiently as possible. I would avoid wasting time on Pinterest following others, liking their pins, etc. It’s fine to do from time to time when bored, or to get a better feel of the platform and its users, but you bring value to the network by posting your content, regardless of what category you fall in above. Let’s also not forget that for every $ spent marketing on Pinterest is a vote for multiple traffic sources on the internet. It’s not just a “good” thing to be on Pinterest, but to grow with it makes us all stronger and less likely to be limited to one source of traffic.

If you are struggling with Pinterest or using it in a way not talked about please leave us a comment. We also run the largest network of hundreds of thousands of real Pinterest users around the world that can help pin, repin, like, and comment on your images / videos. Again, all this can be done manually or you can use our system PinterestBacklinks and/or BookmarkingBeast (which incorporates all of the popular platforms but doesn’t focus on one).

P.S. notice the image for this blog. It has a beautiful woman (check), a crowd of people indicating marketing (check), a random arrow (check), and novice like editing to bring it all together (check). See, anyone can create an image for their blog. I know you want to share this on Pinterest, so stop fighting the urge and hit that Pin button!