5 Proven Affiliate Marketing Strategies

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular monetization techniques for niche publishers and is being used by hundreds of thousands of sites in a wide variety of verticals. Affiliate marketing is popular for a number of reasons, including the potential for success with a relatively small audience and the deep pool of affiliate partners willing to pay to acquire new customers.

Affiliate marketing also is a very broad term; under this umbrella there are several different strategies that can be employed to generate affiliate revenue. The most appropriate and lucrative method (or methods) can depend on a number of factors, including your site’s niche and characteristics of your audience. Below is an overview of some of the most popular affiliate marketing implementations, along with examples of each.

Model #1: Coupons

Below is a screenshot from CouponMom.com, a site that emails members with ways to save money at the grocery store and other retail outlets. Note the numerous affiliate links on the site:

CouponMom

The value proposition of these sites is pretty clear; they provide visitors with access to coupons and tips for using them that can save money. If done correctly, they can be tremendously popular. (CouponMom.com claims over 6 million members!)

There’s also a very direct and logical tie-in for affiliates; these sites inherently cater to, and attract, visitors who are in the market for a product or set of products (ideally at a discounted rate). It’s the goal of the companies that make these products to get as many people as possible to clip their coupons and eventually make a purchase; so they make affiliate payments to coupon sites who are able to help them achieve this goal.

Here’s another example of a coupon strategy from a “mommy blogger” who writes about and reviews products for parents. Note the clear disclosure of the affiliate relationships:

Last Minute Holiday Shopping Don t Miss these Deals

Model #2: Product Review

Product review sites are another popular vehicle for affiliate marketing strategies. Because these sites are inherently focused on providing information about products in which visitors are likely interested, the affiliate tie-in is pretty straightforward. The author writes about a product, highlighting the features and addressing any concerns, and then includes a link where readers can go to purchase the product.

This model works with both physical products and “e-products” such as software programs or e-books. Here are several examples of this affiliate marketing model in action:

Note that all of the sites highlighted above are very transparent about any affiliate relationships, stating up-front whenever a post contains an affiliate link or is sponsored.

There is, of course, a pretty obvious conflict of interest in many implementations of this model. The affiliate only makes money if visitors click on the affiliate links and ultimately buy the products reviewed. But while there is an obvious incentive to write falsely positive reviews, that strategy generally has a pretty limited life expectancy. In order to be successful using this model over the long term, you’ll need the trust of an audience that can only be earned through integrity and transparency.

Model #3: Boring Ole Banner Ads

Many publishers present affiliate links in the same way others would run display ads on their site. Below is a screenshot from SugarRae.com, a popular affiliate marketing blog. Notice that the right rail is labeled as “Advertisement” and includes two ads (one for Raven and the other for Genesis). These look like banner ads, but they’re actually affiliate links–in the form of an image, not text. To most viewers, there’s very little distinction between a banner ad and an affiliate link here, but the compensation structure of course matters to the affiliate and the publisher.

SugarRae

This strategy can be interchangeable with more traditional banner ads, or can be used alongside other moentization strategies.

Model #4: Partner Center / Blogroll

There are other ways to utilize affiliate links in the same manner many sites use display ads. For example, affiliate links can be housed in a section of a site presented as a “partner center” or “blogroll.”

Check out AffiliateTip.com, a popular site about affiliate marketing run by industry guru Shawn Collins. The right rail of his site features a “Blogroll” that contains affiliate links to a number of third party sites. While some of these sites have blogs, the links generally lead (through an affiliate link tracker) to landing pages where visitors can sign up for a product:

Affiliate Marketing Blog

In this case, these are affiliate links to products and services that would be of interest to affiliate marketers (and webmasters in general). These are effectively right display ads, but presented in a way that implies an endorsement from the site (which is a highly respected industry publication).

This model can be used easily alongside other models. It’s probably most effective for sites that have a relatively large audience and are generally viewed as authoritative on a particular topic or industry.

Model #5: Product Feed / Aggregation

The best example here is Shopzilla, a site that aggregates pricing and other information on a number of products. For example, the collection of digital camera prices and specs features affiliate links to dozens of third party sites where the highlighted products can be purchased.

Shopzilla adds value by aggregating pricing information and presenting an easy way for shoppers to see everything that is available to them. The revenue model revolves around these interested shoppers actually completing a purchase based on the information provided, giving Shopzilla an affiliate cut in the process.

BabyGizmo.com is another example of this model in action:

Bugaboo bee pink standard single seat stroller Product Reviews and Prices BabyGizmo.com

Bonus Model #6: Offline Model

This is a unique model because the primary traffic acquisition model is not paid or organic search, but rather word of mouth–literally. Adam Carolla has a popular daily podcast and a very loyal audience, and he regularly asks his listeners to do their online shopping through Amazon and to click through the affiliate link on his website to do so:

Support the Show

The value proposition is a bit less direct in this case, but can still be very effective. Carolla provides a service to his audience in the form of free entertainment (the podcast) and then asks for support in order to pay the bills. In this case, the “ask” can be very effective since he’s just requesting his listeners to take a few seconds to get to Amazon through his affiliate link.

Wisconsin Public Radio has also embraced this affiliate marketing strategy; their site features a customized Amazon Affiliate logo, and the on-air personalities regularly mention that listeners can support the organization by clicking through to Amazon from WPR.org:

Wisconsin Public Radio

Of course, this model really only works if you have access to a large and loyal audience. But if you have such an audience who consumes your content offline, there can still be an opportunity to generate online revenue from them.

Bottom Line

Within the realm of affiliate marketing, there are countless monetization strategies that can be implemented. Many sites use some combination or blend of the multiple methods mentioned above, and the optimization process often involves tweaking the settings of each to find an ideal implementation.

If you have more questions (or insights to share) let us know below.

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Leave a Comment:

Alexander Weiss says

I found an answer to my affiliate blog problem. I never got any sales and after reading your blog, I gained ideas on how to do it the right way. Many thanks!

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Isaac Adams says

Good thing there are still free information about affiliate marketing nowadays. A happy newbie here.

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Andrew Hoover says

Good that I found your blog. I gained knowledge about affiliate marketing. Many Thanks!

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Shawna Newton says

Interesting ideas. Thank you for sharing!

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Amba K Gir says

Thank you for sharing those ideas. It helped me a lot.

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Hassan Qayyum says

Absolutely true! I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for years and I can say those you’ve mentioned are great tips!

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Katina Ching says

Thank you for sharing this article. It is very helpful.

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Glen Adams says

I love the ideas you’ve mentioned. It could be a great help to my affiliate blog. Thanks!

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Sarah McLeod says

I totally agree with you. And affiliate marketing can be a source of living if done the right way.

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Cecilia Vasquez says

Thank you for sharing. Great post!

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Paul Cortens says

How can I thank you for publishing such informative insights about affiliate marketing. I am new to marketing world and you are a big help to me. Thank you so much!

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Richard Coriell says

Great affiliate marketing tips. I would love to read more about it. Thanks for giving a hand to a newbie like me. 🙂

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William Coufreur says

I appreciate every thing you mentioned about affiliate marketing. Absolutely accurate. Thank you for helping newbies out there. 🙂

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Justine Scanlon says

Great ideas. Thank you for sharing!

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Shakeitha Lewis says

Thank you buddy for helping a new like me. I was about to launch my first affiliate marketing site and I am not sure what to do after. Thanks to you!

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Todd Baker says

Glad to see someone still share informative stuffs about affiliate marketing. You have a good point and I did those things before and the results were great. 🙂

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Ruby Zhang says

Thank you for sharing those info. I am super excited to see good results after applying those tips.

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Glenn Moody says

Wow, they make sense to me. I do it the wrong way. Maybe I could try affiliate marketing one more time.

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Roderick Marlow says

I been looking for some strategies on how to make affiliate marketing work effectively. I got one now. Thank you for sharing!

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Edward Henke says

Great affiliate markerting insights! Thank you for sharing. Happy newbie here. 🙂

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Ronnie Richardson says

I stumbled upon your site by chance some time ago, and since then, I’ve been reading different posts in your blog and I find them quite interesting .

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shaun dandrea says

I have been ohhing and aahing for the past year about getting into affiliate marketing. I’m finally going to do it and I’m hoping to find some good tips and help from this blog

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Shane Haydin says

Good tips. Just keep blogging before we monetize our blog. Do more gives than take to our blog visitor. Anyway thanks for the tips.

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Ron Pearce says

I must commend you for this very useful article. I have been searching for tips on affiliate marketing to find out if it is a source genuine online business, or something fraudulent. Thanks for the encouragement.

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Eineke Alexander says

Thanks so much for the tips, as I am a beginner in affiliate marketing and will take heed to the advice. Less is more for sure in trying to advertise too much and money is time as time is money.

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Marissa Gaston says

The good thing about affiliate marketing is that this industry is here to stay and will always be a reliable source of revenue for affiliates and bloggers looking to turn their side hustle into a full time business.

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Jack Rainbolt says

In affiliate marketing the most important part remains innovation and how well you persuade customers through using case study, testimonials, informative content, pictures and videos. In today’s era videos play an important part in internet marketing.

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Leon Williams says

You are right , although adsense is top rank choice of blogger to make money but affiliate are also good option. like amazon affiliate.thanks for sharing.nice description.

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Rosie Wilson says

Great article! Actually i am not making decent money from AdSense. I will surely try Affiliate marketing to grow my blog’s income.

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Brian Blythe says

The issue of affiliate marketing obviously does send chills down the spin of many because how to go about it is what raises many eyebrows but this is one post which has said it all.

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linda kiehl says

This is a comprehensive post on affiliate marketing. Indeed, there are many reasons to go into affiliate marketing. The use of auto responders and email tools for this purpose should be mastered

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Jerry Grant says

Loved this post. Very informative, and a great reminder of why I need to make affiliates a bigger part of my strategy going forward.

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Stanley Stephens says

Very informative article. Thanks for sharing!

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Boruch Rappaport says

Great article currently trying to understand affiliate marketing really interested to start my own website not expecting high returns straight away but wants to experience and if possible put some hard work behind it to make it successful.

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Steve D'Agostin says

Thanks for the tips and advice as someone who has tried to get on in affiliate marketing and failed more than once it’s always useful to find information that helps point me in the right direction. As you mention, you need to be persistent in order to succeed.

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James says

Though it is an old article then also it is having abundance of knowledge. Loved your writing. Definitely we should try affiliates.

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Neha says

Till now I was using only adsense and infolinks but want to give affiliate marketing a shot. Hope it goes correct.

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Vickie Box says

Absolutely great post I loved the last point the you have to do something different rather then promoting affiliate products in traditional matter.

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Gary Stephens says

Woahhh, This is awesome, Full of information. Loved it, also this post made me bookmark your site. Good work

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John Baikie says

A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time.

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David Sievers says

Great advise for all new affiliates. It takes a long time to get a reasonable amount of traffic. This will help a lot of people out.

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Rati Chan says

Absolutely great post I loved the last point the you have to do something different rather then promoting affiliate products in traditional matter.

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Marcus DMello says

I think making money with a blog has become so easy with so many ways around and yes, affiliate marketing is surely one of the best,

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Irwin Larrier says

Rightly information about affiliate marketing, there some pro and cons on everything, if you find targeted customers to your blog then getting succeed in affiliate marketing is a cake walk. thanks for sharing the information on affiliate marketing.

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gary Cox says

Nice information about growing affiliate marketing for marketers. I am also internet marketer & blogger. I am learning & sharing my information’s with internet users.

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Nicholas Coburn says

The good thing about affiliate marketing is that this industry is here to stay and will always be a reliable source of revenue for affiliates and bloggers looking to turn their side hustle into a full time business.

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Robert D'Arcy Ryan says

You need to be very patient with affiliate marketing. It is not an overnight success kind of business model. With enough time you can begin earning consistent commissions and I believe SEO is the best approach.

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Adherbal Evangelista says

I stumbled upon your site by chance some time ago, and since then, I’ve been reading different posts in your blog and I find them quite interesting .

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Diana Kaniecki says

Thank you for this Amazing information. I have been reading many of the articles and posts that belongs to your website, Carry on the awesome work and I wish to read some more great content from you in the future.

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Konstantin Kosten says

You are right , although adsense is top rank choice of blogger to make money but affiliate are also good option. thanks for sharing.nice description.

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Robin Speed says

Great article! Actually i am not making decent money from AdSense. I will surely try Affiliate marketing to grow my blog’s income.

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Mishelle Chavez says

Great stuff you got there, I must say that really good tips, you have provided. As, i am working on a site that has affiliate program on it but i don’t know, how can i promote my site. Thanks to you!

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John Michael White says

Great post! Lots of money making tips that everyone should try and use on their websites. I certainly will be using some of these tips on my blog. Thanks very much!

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Stephen Turner says

These are good source for blogging, but I usually used email marketing because I can easily sell and exchange products and links of website. I do guest blogging and link exchange.

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Derek Barrington says

Great advise for all new affiliates. It takes a long time to get a reasonable amount of traffic. This will help a lot of people out.

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Barry Friedmann says

Thank you for helping me gain idea on what to do next. I am working on my newly built affiliate blog and can’t wait to see good results. 🙂

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Stuart Steinberg says

Great advise for all new affiliates. It takes a long time to get a reasonable amount of traffic. This will help a lot of people out

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Hamid Bait says

This is a really excellent article, I was especially impressed by the range of different tips you explained. This would be so useful to newbie marketers

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Jonathan Moss says

The issue of affiliate marketing obviously does send chills down the spin of many because how to go about it is what raises many eyebrows but this is one post which has said it all.

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Craig O'Neill says

You’ve shared some very valuable tips here in regards to affiliate marketing. I like the fact that you showed why someone would want to get into affiliate marketing, and what strategies they can use to become successful in it. Many Thanks!

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Ron Johnson says

You’ve shared some very valuable tips here in regards to affiliate marketing. I actually got out of network marketing and focused more so on affiliate marketing because of the success I had over network marketing.

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Jorge Tabarini says

First to say thanks for sharing this great article. Affiliate marketing is good way to make money online. I am starting one today. Many Thanks!

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Ray Holmes says

My affiliate blogs were stagnant for so long. I didn’t made any sales and wanted to quit, however I am very hopefull after reading your article. Seems I can see a light and feels excited again. Hope to see my first sale after I will apply what you had said. I appreacite you posted something like this to help us newbie. 🙂

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Aaradhya angel says

Nice Post Two new things I came to know that Reviews and Product Comparision Site Comes under Affiliate Marketing Strategies

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Tim Arnot says

Interesting ideas. I am new doing affiliate marketing and hope I can see a difference after trying out some of your ideas. Many Thanks!

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Sofor says

Product Review system works better.
I did this several times.

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Gaurav Verma says

Coupon and review really increase the sales. thanks

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MonetizePros says

Thanks Phil!

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Phil says

It’s awesome in favor of me to have a web site, which is useful in support of my know-how.
thanks admin

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Satya says

How to do affiliate marketing in offline mode? Can you cite some examples?

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