Get Paid to Write

Enter your name and email address to sign up to my newsletter and get my list of 47 Websites that Pay Writers $50+ Per Article (including a site that pays up to $1,000 per article)

How to Really Make Money from Affiliate Marketing

affiliate marketing

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a blogger or you don’t have a website yet, affiliate marketing can be a great source of income for you. I’ve seen bloggers who make as high as $20,000 online monthly from affiliate marketing alone and I’ve also seen bloggers who only make a few $100 online every month from affiliate marketing. I took a look at some of these bloggers to see what they’re doing to get the results they get and I applied that which I can apply without being offensive to my readers.


I’d like you to know that affiliate marketing success does not have to do with you implementing some shady tactics just to make some quick bucks because doing this usually end up in a bad way – it usually destroys your trust and relationship with your readers and makes it difficult for them to trust you again. Your readers are everything, they listen to you and buy from you so it doesn’t matter which tactic you know or is recommended to you, make sure you don’t implement it if it will cost you your readers’ trust.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

In case you’re new to making money online or blogging affiliate marketing is the process of making money online by promoting other people’s product. In this case you don’t have to go through the stress of creating products or answering support questions, the only thing you have to do is drive traffic to your affiliate link, make a few sales and then get a cut of the income. Affiliate marketers can give you anything from 25% of a sale to 75% (“typical”). For example, if you’re a blogger blogging about shaving products and there is a great shaving product sold for $100 whose producer gives 50% of sales to affiliate marketers you have the potential of making $50 per sale and $500 for 10 product sales. You don’t have to do any extra work or anything, just market and start making money online automatically.

Affiliate Marketing is Passive Income

I know you might not be interested in affiliate marketing because you have a particular solid income strategy in place but it doesn’t hurt to try. One of the great things I love about affiliate marketing is that it can be a huge source of passive income for you especially if you apply the right principles. Most of the products making me money from affiliate marketing now didn’t make me a cent when I reviewed them, but as soon as my overall blog and search engine traffic increased I started waking up to see I have made a sale, and believe me, even if it is $100 per month it still adds up, and the same principle that made you $100 in one month can make you $1000 very soon.

Most of my income comes from my writing services and as you all know, this all depends on how hard I could work i.e. if I fall sick or I’m incapacitated my income stops. This is not the case with affiliate marketing and, as long as you have a solid system in place, it doesn’t matter whether you do something for months or not you will still be making money from affiliate products you promote.

You Have to Build Credibility

It couldn’t be a coincidence that I started making most of my affiliate sales when I started displaying my income reports. We all want to make money online and there are millions of blogs online talking about how to make money online, almost all these blogs promote an affiliate product with the belief that they will make a sale or two and if you take a look at these it becomes really difficult for people to know who to trust so you have to let them know you’re worthy of their trust.

People will take action based on the President’s recommendation compared to that of a civil servant because they see the president as a figure of authority. In the same way people will buy something based on Darren Rowse’s recommendation compared to mine so what matters most is making people to trust you. And if you know anything about humans you will know that it isn’t really easy to gain their trust. It takes a lot of time; sometimes it takes years, sometimes months and even sometimes days, depending on you and what you’re ready to do. So if you’re ready to gain their trust real quick your best bet will be to give them genuine value without thinking about what you will be gaining in return. Give them a lot of free helpful content, give them a lot of coupons and let them know about any helpful product that can transform your blogging career.

Another thing about gaining readers’ trust is that personal recommendation is far more effective than any form of advertising. The more you could help people and make them to trust you the more they will do their best to spread the word about you and your brand thereby leading to more raving fans and in turn more success for you.

Whether you like to hear this or not, there is no secret to gaining people’s trust. It doesn’t matter how many things you know or how good you are at manipulating, you can never manipulate people to trust you, you can only earn it, and the best way to earn it is by giving true value.

Only Promote Good and Relevant Products

A sure-fire way to quickly destroy your credibility as a blogger is by promoting every single product you come across so that you can make some quick cash.

You don’t just make money from affiliate marketing by promoting just any product but by promoting great products you’ve used and trusted. It wouldn’t make sense if I start promoting products about losing weight or having big stomachs on this blog because it is completely irrelevant to my audience and I’d have little to no results with it. This blog is only about entrepreneurship and making money online and that is only what my readers want to learn from me, so I will get the best result by promoting products that my readers want.

Avoid the “Copycat Bloggers Syndrome”

Just take a look at some of the big blogs in the industry and you will notice that the day they promote a product is the day other smaller bloggers will start promoting the product. Many of these small bloggers believe that what they are doing will help them make more money but the truth is, it won’t. If you read my blog there’s every chance you also read Problogger, Copyblogger and some of the biggest blogs in the industry. Many of these bloggers are highly successful than I am and you know that, so, when the 3 of us review a product you’d rather buy through their link than through mine so the best thing to do is not share the same bone with these big dogs, because you might never get a bite.

If you see that a lot of people are promoting the same product it is a good sign of you not getting results from it so don’t promote it. Rather, look for a better alternative with even more features that hasn’t been beaten to death and start promoting it.

The fewer people promoting the same product as you are, the better your chances of success.

Get “Quality” Traffic

If you try to read the success stories of most affiliate marketers you will notice that they usually recommend and attribute their success to search engine traffic; this is because search engine traffic is quality traffic and a really great source of traffic. Affiliate marketing requires you to not only have traffic but quality traffic. Instead of wasting your time trying to spam forums with links to your affiliate reviews or using some other shady tactics to get traffic to your affiliate links you would have a better chance by focusing your efforts on getting quality traffic to your blog. This means you also have to understand one of the rules of getting quality traffic, you have to understand that it takes time!

There are so many ways to get quality traffic to your blog and I have lots of articles on the subject on this blog so I will be doing both of us good not to write about it again. So in case you want to know which traffic method you should focus on I will recommend focusing on Search Engine Traffic, Direct Traffic and Quality Social Media Traffic (like Twitter and Facebook – not Stumbleupon and Digg).

Utilize Underutilized Spaces

While I know that I’m not doing this to the fullest I’m really excited to see that the little I’m doing is bringing in significant results. I can only wonder how many more affiliate sales I will be making if I start using affiliate banners on this blog.

There are so many parts of our blog that can yield great results when it comes to affiliate marketing but unfortunately most of these parts are often ignored. We give them little to no importance and then wonder why sales aren’t coming in. I have postponed having a resources page on this blog for so long and my new design also made it possible to have affiliate links at the footer (Thanks so much Devesh for the suggestion), you wouldn’t believe that implementing these two things made a significant impact on the results I get from affiliate marketing…the more traffic I get, the more sales I make.

Don’t let your sidebar waste, don’t ignore the importance of having a resource page and don’t link to products you’re an affiliate of without including your affiliate link.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Many people have a very limited belief in themselves and their readers that it often costs them a lot of success. You will see a lot of people promoting products that are relatively cheap because they believe their readers will never buy something expensive, this eventually leads them to believing affiliate marketing doesn’t work and ends up making a hole in their online business. As long as a product is valuable to you and your readers, it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, make sure you promote it – believe me, sooner or later, you will begin to make sales from your efforts.

If you love this post you can follow me on twitter here.

Category: blogging

80 Comments on "How to Really Make Money from Affiliate Marketing"

  1. Lye Kuek Hin says:

    Hi Oni,

    This is indeed not the method of making quick bucks. It’s a test of patience. People need to understand building trust and credibility is the foundation of successful affiliate marketing.

    Awe advice you have here Oni. Thanks for sharing.


    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Lye,

      You’re right about that. Success takes time, it requires you building trust with your audience and people don’t just come to trust each others overnight.

  2. Samuel says:

    Awesome post hommie 🙂 haha, you don’t have to share the same bones with the big dogs! You’re right bro. Make sure you only promote products that will be of great help to your readers or else you get kicked in the ass. Sure, a blogger who wants to earn online must not ignore a resource page. Awesome post once again! You rock.

    • Jon says:

      @Samuel I liked the “do not share the same bone with these big dogs,” and it’s true. There are plenty of quality products out there to promote (and on different days than the big guys) so don’t get in your own way, right?

      @Onibalusi: spot on with your instruction to only promote products you truly believe in. That’s the only way to go because once you burn your credibility; you’re done.

      Above all – remove self-limiting beliefs!

      • Onibalusi says:

        I’m glad you loved the post Jon. Keep on rocking 🙂

  3. Jagan Mangat says:

    Huge and directly from inside,that is what post made me say.
    You are really a kiss ass blogger(Blogger on Entrepreneurial path).
    Good Job Nigerian,this Indian always love your posts.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Aha Jagan,

      That’s really cool to hear and I’m so glad to hear that. I will be even happier if you can spread the word about it by stumbling and liking it on Facebook 🙂

  4. Dele, these are really good tips to employ in ones blogging career. Thanks for taking your time to share this.

  5. good tips, as always, I’d much prefer your personal insights from affiliate marketing instead of general stuff, you know 🙂

    I got addicted to your post on how you published 270+ guest posts last year.

    Those are the kind of articles I like to learn from the most, personal-experience style.

  6. John@Skin Mole Removal says:

    Hey Onibalusi,

    I agree with your point that getting your readers’ trust will make your personal recommendations far more effective than any other advertising.

    I think displaying your income reports is a great way to build credibility, and you could also build credibility by associating yourself with other top bloggers by doing interviews or collaborating with them on certain projects.

    The best thing you can do as an Affiliate Marketer is to always promote products that provide value to your readers.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Aha, I was smiling while reading the bit about displaying income reports and I bet it really works 🙂

  7. ragunath says:

    surely, onibalusi s a great legend on writing,, Hope he will get succeded in all his foot steps..

  8. Pumama says:

    I like the last paragraph. Beliefs is very important!

  9. Mark says:

    Another idea is to place affiliate links of related or complimentary products in your content. In other words, if you are writing an e-book on building WordPress sites, you might place affiliate links to hosting companies or paid WP plug-ins that make WP sites more functional, etc… People are more inclined to buy “complimentary” products.


    • Onibalusi says:

      Sure, that is something everybody should really consider (especially me!)

  10. ed henry says:

    good infro.I am learning patience is important.

    • Onibalusi says:

      I’m glad you are 🙂

  11. TsarShu says:

    From all the list I think promoting the right products – the products you believe in – is essential. I know many people who do affiliate marketing with the goods they think bad or non profitable. When I ask why they do it, they say ‘Because it’s a modern trend and MAYBE i can earn one dollar a day’.
    For me it’s nonsense. I’d better do it for fun than waiting for this one dollar.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Aha, I’d better not earn the one dollar that will make me lose thousands of dollars, NEVER!


    • Onibalusi says:

      You bet 🙂

  13. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Oni,

    Simple and powerful advice here. Gaining your buyer’s trust is a biggie. People buy from people they trust, and more so they buy from authorities. Establish your authority by becoming trusted in your niche and you can generate a substantial affiliate income.

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Ryan,

      You’re on spot here. Trust is the most important thing: I know people whom when they recommend a product I don’t real the sales page. In fact, I NEVER read sales page, it’s either I buy based on a trusted person’s recommendation or I don’t.

      • Ah Oni well said. I NEVER EVER read sales pages. I first of all don’t have the patience, and secondly I don’t believe in a single word written on a sales page. But if the product is promoted by a person I trust, I buy it (if I need it) without reading the sales page.


  14. Eugene says:

    Great point about not promoting a product just because some of the big name guys do it.

    In fact, I think it might be more effective to take the opposite approach and promote an alternative product to the one they promote (especially if you are going to be launching a new promotion at the same time).

    • Onibalusi says:

      I’m glad you got my point 🙂

  15. Fabrizio Van Marciano says:

    Top article, I recently made my first affilate sale which was inspiring and prompted me to do more, thanks for your tips.

    • Onibalusi says:

      I also know that feeling. I was also very happy when I made my first affiliate sales, it made me happy and kept me moving forward.

  16. Liberty Reserve says:

    Excellent Information. i really love this post. I always make low money online from blogging, and this post makes me think that promoting the right products is must to earn money.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Aha, I hope you really see a change.

  17. semmy @ Make Money Online says:

    Hello Ony like usually you write a good quality of article! Nice man!

  18. Oni – great post. I really like what you had to say about not limiting yourself. I definitely think that at some level people can sense the type of person you are or how you feel about yourself as an internet entrepreneur, by what you project into the market. I am a big believer in investing in yourself first and to be honest, those types of products are not cheap. However, most educational products out there also have affiliate opportunities attached to them.

    You should only be promoting products or services that you’ve tried and/or have used yourself but if all you are promoting is $50 here and $20 products there, people can definitely sense that you may not necessarily be taking your business seriously. You’re not willing to invest heavily into yourself and you’re only an affiliate to try to make a quick buck.

    Of course, I’m not saying that all you should be doing is marketing 1K plus products but if you truly believe that something is valuable and can have life or business altering effects on your readers, then promoting something in that price category should not be a problem. In the end, all that product will do, if it truly is as awesome as you think it is, is enhance your authority as a leader and as someone who is serious about his/her business and who wants the best for his/her readers.

    • Onibalusi says:

      You’re so right about that Hector and a lot of people make the same mistake when it comes to deciding a price for their product. Many people believe cheap products bring more sales but most people decide the quality of a product and the person selling it by its price.

      • True. Personally, I can tell you that I associate price with quality. I’ll do my research on you first but you better believe that if you’re an established entrepreneur that has a positive influence, if I’m interested in your product or service I don’t care what it cost (as long as it’s reasonable 🙂 ), I’m getting it!

  19. Tinh says:

    Hard, challenging but safe! you can earn passive income from it, my affiliate revenue now are most passive and it is much better than adsense at least 🙂

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly Tinh. You’re a really great example of a successful affiliate marketer, just keep doing the great work!

      • Tinh says:

        Thanks Oni but I am still newbie in this niche, need to learn more 🙂

        • Onibalusi says:

          Aha, then it will be newbies teaching newbies 🙂

          • Tinh says:

            Newbies so I need to learn more 🙂 Pro then nothing to learn more LOL

  20. French says:

    Hi Oni, do you find that affiliate marketing is getting harder with Google and others also doing the same?

    • Onibalusi says:

      I don’t think so. Google isn’t even affecting me, it is helping me. So you have to give TRUE value if you want to achieve affiliate marketing success.

  21. Ricoh toners says:

    I still need to prove myself in affiliate marketing because it is difficult to sell online considering that there are many businesses completing online. For example, in the printer toner industry, there are many business competing in the industry in California alone.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Then it means you have to distinguish yourself. Start building trust and stop focusing on quick sales. Let people know you’re truly there to help them and you will find it very easy to get results.

  22. SEO services says:

    Thats a really great option for making online money…. its little challenging but your great tips will definately work with little patience. Thanks

    • Onibalusi says:

      I’m glad I could help 🙂

  23. Jeff says:

    Great share. I know some of the concepts already. The only BIG problem I am having is getting traffic. This is really a barrier for me. and I am getting traffic to my page. 🙁

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Jeff,

      You might want to search this blog, there are a lot of posts on getting traffic and I’m sure you will get value from them 😉

  24. Maria Pavel says:

    Thanks for the quality tips, i agree most marketers out there have no idea what they’re doing, you can see this easily just looking at their mediocre websites.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Exactly Maria. To really make money you have to build trust, and to really build trust you have to give value 🙂

  25. Hi Onibalusi,

    I was very curious about affiliate marketing and I got the everything in this post which I wanted to know.

    I want to know one more thing from you Onibalusi, This may be funny to you but I have no idea about it. Is it possible to earn money just by publishing ads on our site.

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Sam,

      What do you really mean by posting ads on your blog? I’d like to know more.

      Thanks so much and have a great day!

      • I mean is it possible to publish other people products/services ads on our site and they pay us just for publishing their ads. No matter wheater they get any sale or not.

  26. What’s up, Oni? 🙂

    You make some great points in your post. Credibility especially is huge. It trumps other “conversion tricks” every day of the week…

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi George,

      I’m fine 🙂

      You’re so right and I’m glad you loved the post. I also noticed you linked to me on your latest blog post. Thanks so much for it and have a great day!

  27. Trust and credibility is defnitely of key importance. Whenever I attemp something new online, I try to put myself in my client’s shoes.
    The same with marketing any product. i market it in such a way that I would want to buy it myself.

    • Tinh says:

      You are definitely right and I think putting ourselves in client’s shoes will help us very much in convincing them to order via our affiliate links 🙂

      • Anne Sales says:

        @Tinh…It’s a strategy that works for me. 😀

        • Tinh says:

          Thanks as it did help you 🙂

  28. Brittany Rubinstein says:

    Wow. I never thought about having a resources page, but that’s a good suggestion. Great tips in this article. Thanks!

  29. I Agree with you but there are some other ways where you can make better money.

  30. Nick says:

    Great post, Oni. A lot of people tend to only want to make money the fast way through shady techniques, but the right way is to build trust with your viewers. Honesty really is the best policy.

  31. VNG says:

    Good topic.Where i can find good Affiliatepartners?

  32. silpada says:

    You have explained all concepts of affiliate marketing in good and excellent way.

  33. Mukundan Srinivasan says:

    Affiliate marketing seems to be a hard one. Which traffic gets converted into sales? regular blog readers or readers from search engine? Also I have a doubt whether site design will affect affiliate sales in any way? What you think

    • Onibalusi says:

      Really great question Mukundan,

      Both! It depends on your niche and influence. And yes, your design can affect the results you get from affiliate marketing.

  34. steven papas says:

    hey Oni, great post; usefull tips. I need to exploit more of my blank space. I ‘m in the affiliate marketing too and I ‘ve seen also another aspect: that where there are big blogs promoting an industry, means that there is also big money there and a huge pie. If you find a niche in this big pie, it’ll mean a nice affiliate commission for you too. Of course this may not apply everywhere, but it happens too.

  35. Rakesh Kumar says:

    There are thousands or even million people out there who getting huge profit from affiliate marketing but this strategy is still strange for me. But Thanks Onibalusi I will keep this tips in my mind and I will consider that which products is suitable for me.

  36. Anna says:

    Great article and really good tips. Congratulations and good luck for the future

  37. silpada says:

    Relevant traffic is the main factor in affiliate marketing. Without quality traffic you can do nothing.
    Implementation of your idea give courage to move forward at rapid speed.

  38. zidiniai says:

    Wow, that made me to reconsider affiliate for new. I just need come will and believe, and good writing 😉

  39. I strongly agree with this statement that “Many people have a very limited belief in themselves and their readers that it often costs them a lot of success. You will see a lot of people promoting products that are relatively cheap because they believe their readers will never buy something expensive, this eventually leads them to believing affiliate marketing doesn’t work and ends up making a hole in their online business. As long as a product is valuable to you and your readers, it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, make sure you promote it – believe me, sooner or later, you will begin to make sales from your efforts.” because it is very important that if run an online business you must have the right attitude for it. Stumbling and falling is just part of the game your playing because, who says that success comes on easy ways? Thus, you mustn’t limit your self to things that can help you attain success.

  40. Java Nature says:

    Onibalusi, I am very hard to get “Quality” Traffic…

  41. I’ve heard that you can make money from affiliate Marketing. Is it worth pursuing? Is it the same as blogging? What is the best way to make money and how much can you make per month.thanks

  42. mole removal says:

    I just hope that you put the names of the bloggers who has earn 20,000 dollars monthly, I am very interested on their techniques on how they get 20,000 dollars monthly and some are 100 dollars only.

  43. Java Nature says:

    I do not know about this before … thanks for nice info…

  44. One of the best advantage is that Affiliate Marketing uses Pay for Performance so business owners prefer this type of marketing and business owner can be benefited by initial set up cost.

  45. want to know how to choose affiliate for website ? choose highest paying ?

  46. Cheolsu says:

    Hi Onibalusi,

    I have only recently got into affiliate marketing. This article is very informative. Thank you for sharing it. As most websites have a set minimum payout defined, patience is the key. Sel Belief is very important like you mentioned.


Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

Find out more »