How to Succeed With Affiliate Marketing: My Best 12 Pro Tips

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The 3-step system I used to make 7-figures of Affiliate Commissions in my first 3 years as an affiliate marketer.

During my first year as an affiliate marketer, I did things the way most affiliate marketers do, which is why I worked over 1,000 hours and only made $500.

By my second year, though, I got smart. I changed the way I was thinking and the way I acted, and as a result, I ended up earning six figures that year and winning this car.

Spencer Mecham recurring commissions

Honestly though, I got lucky. Knowing how to succeed with affiliate marketing isn’t always as cut and dry as it may seem.

If you feel like you’re chasing your tail or even if you’re doing okay in this industry, there are some very simple strategies that can be absolute game changers for you, and that’s what I want to show you in this article.

Looking for high ticket affiliate programs? Check out my video below:


Making Money w/ Affiliate Marketing

79% of marketers use affiliate marketing to make money with their audience, yet only 9% of affiliate marketers make more than $50,000 a year.

That means 90% of people fail or partially fail at affiliate marketing.

To succeed at affiliate marketing, you need to think differently about it then most affiliate marketers. You have to be in it for the long game instead of trying to make a fast dollar.

I know of few (if any) affiliates that have been profitable in their first few months. That means if you don’t have the mindset to survive those months you’ll be in trouble.

It’s about building passive income, which doesn’t come overnight, and you shouldn’t expect it to be easy.

Want to know which affiliate marketing method works best for you? Answer the short quiz below:

12 Best Affiliate Marketing Tips

I’ve compiled my 12 best affiliate marketing tips for you below. If you follow them, you’re sure to catapult your business into six figure success.

Use White Hat Methods

It can be easy to be romanced into wanting to use black-hat methods in order to make a quick buck. But doing so typically leads to more trouble in the end.

Something like this.

youtube suspension

What I’m talking about is things like channel spamming, hidden text, article spinning, comment spam, link farms, etc.

Those methods tend to work for a short time, but then you’ll get your hand slapped by the platform you are using and you’ll have a hard time recovering from it.

What you want to do instead is focus on the tried and true methods that build income over time. The best way to do this is by creating a long term asset like a blog or a YouTube channel where content can live forever.


best way to make money online


Think about it; that’s what Google and YouTube want. They certainly don’t want to show search results that the user won’t be happy with.

When you make what you’re putting out about your audience and not about trying to get rich quickly, the algorithms will love you and so will your audience.

Promote High Ticket Products

Why chase your tail trying to sell thousands of products that only earn you $5 per sale or less when you could spend less time selling less products by earning $100 per sale?

Probably the most important tip for knowing how to make money with affiliate marketing is to promote products that will earn you a decent commission.

It’s just as easy to sell a mattress to someone looking for a mattress as it is to sell a soccer ball to someone looking for a soccer ball. As long as you’re reaching the right audience, you can sell them anything, no matter the cost.

This is one of the major changes I made in my second year as an affiliate marketer and it made all the difference.

Wix is a great example of a high ticket affiliate program. Their affiliates earn $100 commissions a pop.

Wix affiliate program

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Always remember, less is more in affiliate marketing. Don’t try to promote hundreds of products. Pick a few high ticket products and make those your bread and butter.

You’ll find it so much easier to keep track of what you’re doing, you’ll become an expert at selling those products, and you’ll be able to spend less time making more money.

Promote Recurring Programs 

The next thing you want to promote are recurring affiliate programs because they will earn you money month after month.

If passive income is what you’re after, this is definitely the way to go. You’ll do the work once and then every single month, you’ll earn commissions without doing any more work.

This is the next biggest change I made that took me from barely making anything to knowing how to succeed with affiliate marketing. The sooner you do this, the easier affiliate marketing will be for you.

Recurring programs are things like software subscriptions, product subscriptions, memberships, and services that are billed on a monthly basis.

Not every company who offers these kinds of things gives their affiliates recurring commissions, but plenty of them do!

ActiveCampaign is one of my favorite recurring programs to promote. They offer 30% commissions every month.

affiliate marketing tips activecampaign

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Promote Digital Products

If you’re trying to make a living doing Amazon affiliate marketing, knowing how to succeed with affiliate marketing will always elude you.

Why? Because Amazon sells mostly physical products, which have much lower commission rates since there isn’t enough margin to pass around.

Digital products, on the other hand, typically earn 50% commissions, and sometimes even as high as 75% or 100%.

Once the product is created, the profits are 100%, so the companies have no problem sharing a much larger piece of the pot.

Depending on your niche, you might think there aren’t any digital products for you to promote, but that is typically not true. These days, there are digital products in almost all niches.

For example, Udemy offers online courses in tons of different niches.

how to succeed with affiliate marketing Udemy

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Range of Price Points & a Good Cookie

The best companies to promote are the ones who offer a range of product price points and a good 90+ day cookie. 

These companies have typically developed funnels that have been tested and proven to work.

  1. They offer a free or low-priced product that you get to promote.
  2. Once you get referrals in their door with the easy sale of a free or low-priced item, the company then sets out marketing to them to purchase their higher priced products.
  3. You’ve done your part and don’t need to do any more work from that point on, but it is very likely that you’ll see additional commissions on high ticket items and recurring programs as a result of the marketing the company does.

That’s a sweet, sweet deal, and it’s what you want to look for when learning how to succeed with affiliate marketing.

Legendary Marketer is my all time favorite affiliate program. They have a big range of price points, a great cookie, as well as high ticket products and recurring products. It ticks all the boxes!

how to make money with affiliate marketing ClickFunnels

Do Content Marketing

Gone are the days when affiliate marketers could just put out a link and get lots of takers. These days, people expect something for free from you first.

And what they expect is content. They want to be provided with some value before they will even think about purchasing from you.

  • Teach them something they want to learn.
  • Give them the answer to how to solve a problem.
  • Gain their trust by relating to them on their level and showing them you understand what they are going through.
  • Provide them with tools and resources to make their lives easier.
  • Give them hope and help them see that they can accomplish what they desire.

That’s why a blog or a YouTube channel is the best answer for how to succeed with affiliate marketing. By writing articles or creating videos that answer questions, you can then solve their problems with your affiliate products.

Buildapreneur Blog

For example, on my YouTube channel, I provide weekly informational videos about affiliate marketing, entrepreneurship, online marketing, passive income, and ClickFunnels affiliate marketing. On my blog, I do the same thing through articles.

I focus on the content first and foremost, and then I provide solutions based on that content through the affiliate links I share.

I never try to sell my audience something before I’ve provided them with a ton of value first, and the promotion is always an extension of that value because it provides them with a way to accomplish the thing they are learning to do.

Build Relationships & Lists

Knowing how to succeed with affiliate marketing is really about building relationships with your audience.

If you aren’t building an email list, you have no way of communicating with your audience on a regular basis.

Developing a following on social media is a good thing to do, but it will never replace the effectiveness of email marketing because you can never be sure that your social media audience will actually see what you put out.

Email marketing, on the other hand, is your biggest asset as a digital marketer.

Follow these steps for an effective email marketing campaign:

1) Free Opt In

Make sure you have a free opt in on your website (something that your visitors can download for free in exchange for their email address). For example, one of my opt ins looks like this:

Free Affiliate Marketing Webinar


2) Autoresponder

Set up autoresponder emails that will go out automatically over a couple months following the initial opt in. That way, you’ll be able to keep in contact with them in a hands-free manner.

3) Broadcast Emails

Send out broadcast emails (emails that you send out to your list at a certain time) so that you can address timely topics and stay in touch beyond the length of your autoresponder emails.

Know Your Audience

If you don’t fully understand your audience, you won’t understand what they’re looking for, what issues they are having, what they love, what they hate, what attracts them to products like the ones you’re promoting, what makes them buy something, or even where to find them.

Too many affiliate marketers make assumptions about their audience, and as a result, they never make a real connection with them. Without a connection, they aren’t going to purchase from you.

When you’re able to catch their attention with a headline that is so laser focused on an issue they want to solve, for example, you’re going to be their new best friend.

They are going to think you are reading their mind, and they are going to be so grateful to have found you (or that you found them).

That’s when you’ll know how to succeed with affiliate marketing.

It’s all about understanding them and giving them the right solutions at the right time in the right way.

If you have to spend months grasping who your audience really is and what they want, it will be the best time you’ve ever spent.

Choose a Niche Where You Can Make a Difference

There is something that you have expertise in, and that is where you should be focusing your affiliate marketing efforts.

For example, if you have a flair for home decorating, consider making that your niche. Maybe you’re amazing at saving money or gardening or copywriting. Any of these things could be effective affiliate marketing niches.

Not every niche is a good one. You do need to make sure it has an engaged audience, but as long as it does, it is critical that you are able to contribute something unique to the niche. 

Even consider narrowing your niche to become a true expert. For example, instead of the broad niche of copywriting, you might narrow it down to copywriting for realtors.

That is a very effective strategy because most realtors would be more drawn to someone who teaches about copywriting for realtors than just copywriting in general.

It’s the best way to make yourself stand out and create an audience of raving fans that pays attention to everything you put out. And it’s one of the keys to knowing how to succeed with affiliate marketing.

You Won’t Succeed Without Traffic

It’s easy to think you’re going to make a ton of money in affiliate marketing only to forget that you won’t make any sales at all without traffic to your website.

Honestly, affiliate marketing is more about generating traffic and attracting an audience than it is about promoting products. That is what marketing means.

To know how to succeed with affiliate marketing, you’ll need to build traffic everyday, and there are several ways to do it:

  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – When you create a blog or a YouTube channel or a Pinterest account, you’re building traffic through SEO. This method builds traffic slowly, but it lasts for much longer than other methods. For example, when you get an article to rank on Google, it often does so for years without you doing any other work but continuing to build more content.
  2. Social Media – This is a much faster way to generate traffic, but it disappears within a couple days.
  3. Ads – Of course, Google ads and social media ads are the fastest way to generate traffic, but it will cost you a pretty penny, and once you stop running the ads, you won’t generate any more traffic.

There are additional methods for generating traffic, of course, but these are the main ones.

None of them are right or wrong, although SEO is my favorite because I’m all about doing work now that I’ll continue to get results from for years to come.

Having said that, I use all of these methods, and it’s good to not put all of your eggs in one basket.

Keep Going Even When You Feel Like Quitting

Consistency is what brings results, however, most people who try affiliate marketing give up on it before they see any real results. 

The only way to ensure failure is to quit. If, on the other hand, you stay consistent and follow the tips in this article, you will eventually reach the level of success you desire.

So, even if you feel like what you’re doing isn’t getting you results, don’t change tactics for at least 6 months to a year. 

Just stick with it (as long as you’re following tried and true strategies) and then evaluate where you are after you’ve been consistent for 6-12 months.

If you aren’t seeing results at that point, then reevaluating your methods makes sense.

Remember, affiliate marketing is a long game. You are building passive income, which doesn’t happen overnight.

Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Once you start to have some success as an affiliate marketer, you can take it to a new level by personalizing your marketing methods. (Of course, you can do this from the get go as well, but most people need to work up to it).

We talked about knowing your audience already, and this tip takes that idea even further by bringing it down to each individual person.

My favorite way to do this is with email marketing software like ActiveCampaign.


Visual Automatons in ActiveCampaign are why they are the best email marketing platform

For as low as $9 per month, ActiveCampaign allows you to create a fully automated system that moves your contacts into different groups and segments based on certain links they click on and purchases they make.

Then, you can market to them in a much more personalized way.

This sounds advanced, but the software makes it easy, and this is how you take your affiliate marketing business to a new level.

Why Affiliate Marketing ROCKS

Without a doubt, affiliate marketing is the best way to make money online, and there are many reasons why this is true…

Low Investment

Getting started as an affiliate marketer takes little to no investment

I’ve outlined several ways to do affiliate marketing with no money in a previous article, so I’ll just mention here that you can certainly promote affiliate products on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest for free, just to name a few.

This is often a great way to get started with affiliate marketing. It allows you to build an audience while you start bringing in some affiliate commissions.

Then, from there, you can add in some marketing strategies that cost a little bit of money to speed up your results.

Plus, there are tons of free trainings and information to help you learn the ropes without having to invest in courses.

Check out my YouTube channel, for example, take my free affiliate marketing webinar, and check out my free courses.

Free Online Marketing Courses

Niche Choices

Affiliate marketing can be done in almost any niche, which means you can reduce your competition and improve your results by specializing in something you enjoy.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of profitable niches you can tap into, including: online dating, travel, gaming, home security, golf, home decor, fitness, weight loss, beauty, wellness, automotive, cryptocurrencies, baby, investing, organic, pets, prepping, healthy cooking, personal development, sports, debt consolidation, alternative health, camping, fishing, education, gardening, credit cards, internet marketing, fashion, and many more.

No Website Necessary

When you’re just starting out as an affiliate marketer, you can even do affiliate marketing without a website.

You can simply promote affiliate products using your affiliate link as long as you’re doing it on websites that allow it, such as Pinterest or YouTube.

Once you start making some money and want to take it to the next level, I highly suggest having a website because it will open up a lot more opportunities for you, but it is certainly possible to keep it really simple and do it without a website.

Few Administrative Tasks

Probably the biggest reason affiliate marketing is the best way to make money online is because you don’t need to handle the administrative tasks that most other businesses require, such as collecting payments, customer service, shipping products, etc.

The real beauty of affiliate marketing is that you just focus on promoting another company’s products to the right audience, and any time your affiliate links lead to sales, you earn a commission.

That means you just promote and collect money. That’s it!

Next Steps

Affiliate marketing has a lot going for it, but if you aren’t using the affiliate marketing tips outlined above, it’ll be easy for you to experience first hand why most people who try it don’t succeed at it.

In this article, I’ve given you my best tips for how to succeed with affiliate marketing, and now you might be wondering where you should go from here.

How about a free training where I take you inside my six-figure affiliate marketing business and show you the ropes?

Sign up for my free affiliate course here! 

Free Affiliate Marketing Webinar

Affiliate Disclaimer: I may (and probably do) receive affiliate commissions from any products I recommend or links I put on this page. My opinions are my own but they are truthful and I do my best to recommend products that I have vetted and/or purchased myself.