Small-scale bloggers like Robey won’t be the only ones hit by the rate changes. Publications like The Wirecutter have built thriving businesses entirely on affiliate payments, which are made by vendors like Amazon whenever a referred customer buys a product. Though a number of companies offer similar programs, Amazon’s affiliate system is the most lucrative, and auto-tagged product links have become a significant part of many online businesses’ revenue. (That includes The Verge, which auto-generates affiliate links in some cases.) Though the relationship can be lucrative, it’s also entirely subject to Amazon’s discretion — and as Robey and others are learning, it can often change with little to no warning.
Sometimes, individual entrepreneurs with great products are worth a look, although you should check them out first and do some research. Entrepreneurs or companies may run their own affiliate program and you can apply directly to them to promote their products and services. Finally, Amazon is always an option as you can be an affiliate for just about any type of physical product on their network.
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The next method would be paid traffic. This by far is the best method, but of course, requires money. The beauty of paid traffic is that you can reach a lot of people fast. The bigger the budget, the more people you can get to view your content. Mastering the skill of paid traffic can result in huge returns. Some individuals make up to $10k/day by using paid traffic. Obviously it would cost them a couple of thousand dollars in ad spend every day to generate $10k/day, but those are still massive profit gains. And if you have no idea how it’s done, you could easily spy on other affiliate marketers. All you have to do is find what the most profitable affiliate marketing offers are. Paid traffic also increases your organic traffic if your SEO is done right. You’re essentially killing two birds with one stone. But like I said earlier, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Affiliate marketing is difficult but hundreds of people are creating a passive income doing it, so it definitely works. All it requires is mastering the art of online marketing. My MarketerMilk blog goes into full detail of the art of creative marketing, so go check it out (shameless plug).
One of the key elements to success with affiliate marketing is picking the right products to promote. They could be digital information products, memberships, physical products, online services… there are many industries that use this model. When promotiing to your target market, you may be promoting one or many of these different types of products as an affiliate.