Here’s How Affiliate Marketing Works

Here’s How Affiliate Marketing Works

Reader Comments (60)

  1. Very nice indeed. It’s awesome to see someone put good advice to work and then be able to hand out more good advice afterward (and score a nice check at the same time!).

  2. I wish I would have seen this article four years ago when I was getting started and learning about Affiliate marketing. I spun my wheels while a whole lot of gurus in that industry pitched and confused me.

    This article is really the essence of what needs to be done everything else is just details to worry about later in the process instead.

  3. Great tips, Rae. The articles on your website were one of the things that convinced me to buy Thesis when I was looking for a good WordPress theme. Like you, I’ve been very happy with it and have provided some tips and tutorials that I hope people like. Now you’ve given me even more ideas. Thanks for the advice!

  4. This write-up, and the links you provide, are superb, Rae. I’ve been using Thesis since it came out, but you’ve given me great ideas (through your links) on how to use it more fully, and you have great advice on marketing. Thank you.

  5. My affiliate profitability is directly connected to my making a page that states my position on the product, plus blogging about the product. I don’t have a high traffic website, (sigh), so I am always amazed when someone there is impressed enough to link through and buy!

  6. Sounds great and spot on. Many times bloggers try to affiliate market a product no one knows about, so educate them! Tell them what it does, what it’s for, and how to use it.

  7. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to get your guest post on a blog that has been heavily promoting Thesis (which BTW, I too purchased) and that has tons of readers who may be on the fence about Thesis ;).

  8. I must admit, I gave up affiliate marketing because I simply cannot make a sale. I think it is also my fault because I just leave the banner ad on my homepage and never promoted it.

    With this informative article, I think it is high time to try again.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Does this post signify the coming of the low tide on CopyBlogger? Very nice, Very good… I’m getting bored. Sorry guys. Chris Pearson is an average web designer. This post is regurgitation. Copyblogger is one of the best blogs on the net. Don’t dilute your great content Brian and Sonia. Remember your roots. Remember your core content?

  10. >>>Sorry guys. Chris Pearson is an average web designer. This post is regurgitation.

    Except that this post was not about Chris Pearson or Thesis… Thesis was simply the easily verifiable example used. I’m a professional affiliate marketer who employs an entire staff with the process. Sugarrae is one personal blog and thesis is one small program. The post was about how to really make some cash via affiliate marketing and was done to illustrate that if people get off their rears and actually follow the great advice given here, they’ll find success with it. So if you think it was about Thesis/Pearson, you might want to read it again. But you’re right, this isn’t a “writers” piece. But by now, I’d imagine all the great writing advice has given a lot of the copyblogger readers an audience – and if they don’t learn how to monetize that audience – writing for many will always be a pastime.

  11. Great case study in affiliate marketing — something I’m looking to implement very soon. Thanks for sharing the tips! It’s always fantastic to see theory in action.

  12. I personally found this to be a smart, useful post about monetizing a content site. Yes, it’s simple, but it’s also something that many readers here can go out today and *act* on, instead of nodding their heads & doing nothing.

    Not everyone will find every post useful, of course.

  13. I think this post is fantastic, and thanks to Rae for doing it. People are always asking for real-life examples, and she certainly didn’t have to share.

    Chris Pearson is an average designer? I guess I have bad taste given that he’s *my* designer and business partner. 🙂

  14. Nice post, Rae. Thanks for sharing.

    Of course, it doesn’t hurt having a blog that already has wide readership…these tactics alone don’t result in a “four-figure commission check.”

  15. >>>it doesn’t hurt having a blog that already has wide readership

    I know you specifically probably didn’t mean it “like this” Mike but, I wasn’t handed a blog with a readership… I built it up, same as I have any of the affiliate sites I own. My “wide readership” isn’t the sole reason I sold themes. If I hadn’t done the above, I’d have sold a few, but no where near as many as I did. I can say that with certainty after a decade in this industry. Secondly, you’d probably be surprised at how “not as wide as you think” my readership is. I break a lot of rules with my language and brash ways. 😉 There is no reason someone else can’t build up their site same as I have with many of them, and use these tactics with four, five and six figure success. Except maybe their own willingness to accept defeat.

  16. I like Chris Pearson’s work and you guys have done a great job together. I subscribe to The Best Damn Blog On the Planet (lol) as well and I don’t need to wish you guys all the best — you’ve already done that and will continue to do so — and I really love your work. I’m just finding the current subject a little over done (not majority, just a little crispy on the edges).

    And I take back what I said — his work is WELL ABOVE AVERAGE. So I apologise.

    I’m not a big fan of affiliate marketing. And I think my underlying dislike for that subject area materialized as a criticism against Thesis — which it shouldn’t have.

    In honesty I haven’t had a good look at Thesis but I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about it. There are some amazing themes out there. But we’re not writing reviews for fun right? So that’s affiliate marketing. It can degrade the value of something to those of us who see through it.

    I guess my comment sought to highlight that. Not the place for it, so once again, apologies to all.

    I shall continue to subscribe. But I won’t be using the words ‘very nice’ and such. Sorry! lol

    I shan’t be so hasty when again I next comment.

  17. >>>It can degrade the value of something to those of us who see through it.

    I’m curious as to what you “saw through”? I’ve never pushed a product in a *personal* manner as suggested above unless I believed in it. I value my reputation too much to sacrifice it for some affiliate sales… but my readers also know that. If you noticed, I pointed out that I reviewed it honestly – warts and all. Of course people can see through insincerity. And trust me… I a lot of things, but insincere isn’t one of them.

  18. >>>big fan of affiliate marketing

    Lastly, this usually amounts to people not being a fan of affiliates they’ve had contact with or exposure to in the past… and not of affiliate marketing itself.

  19. @ChrisJB – I can appreciate your position as I’m not a fan of marketing that feels like hype, either. But I don’t feel that is the case here. Not for me, at least. Here is more of my story.

    I recently decided to create a blog to present my thoughts on software engineering and engineering management ( and purchased a domain and hosting from Then I couldn’t find a theme I liked, and learned that you are limited in your choices on So I went looking for a theme. Along the way I ran into Chris Pearson and Thesis. After a good deal of research (including reading Rae’s blog) I bought Thesis (and moved the domain to my own host).

    Because I have an interest in marketing, know a thing or two about web hosting, domain names, adwords and such, I figured what the heck – why not become an affiliate for this theme? If it was good enough for me (and I can be a picky bastard) then surely there are others like me that would benefit from it. So I set up as my affiliate site.

    My basic message is that Thesis was good enough for me, so it might be good enough for you, and you should at least check it out. If I make a few bucks from this effort, great. If not, no big deal. I’ve spent way more of my time and effort promoting free, open source software for zero compensation (because I believe in it) than I ever will spend promoting Thesis.

    But I will try to watch myself so that when I’m wearing my “enthusiastic marketing hat” I’m not inadvertently diluting my message or shortchanging my principles. Your post was a good wake-up call in that regard. Thanks for keeping us all on our toes.

  20. The trick of substituting an affiliate link in the footer alone made the whole post worth it: that was golden. I also like what you said about choosing to accept defeat in a comment above. It is a choice, and it’s most people’s choice, even though all the while they claim to be dreaming of success. And that is the difference between simply reading good advice and implementing it.

    If any of you are on Twitter, Rae is a hoot to follow:

  21. I think you’re both right. And let’s face it, we needn’t get too bogged down in ethics when it comes to WordPress themes. Sell as many as you can I say. If I could withdraw my first comment I would.

    My personal opinion on Thesis. I’d change the font weight to normal on p#logo. Bold’s a bit chunky.

  22. Hi,

    Nice to meet you online. I am an affiliate marketing specialist working for online B2B trading company in China. We use Performics a lot. Also have some knowledge of Google Adwords. I hope to share some ideas with you and establish a link with your blog. I have added your blog to my website. My blog is:

    Thank you


  23. To be honest this reminds me a little more about how marketing informational products works and less about physical products … but I guess that was your intention.

    Good read.

  24. Hi Rae

    I read thru the five steps that you wrote, and i truely belive it works. Like mysef. I always register a domain name with my keywords on it.Then try to get the domain name like This is one of the techq which does helps in affliate marketing. True enough though. There is also another way. And its getting lots of traffics from some of the sites. I share here. if you are a good copy writer.
    Write the site as SPAM or negative reviews for the start. It rather difficult to do that. But i found some sites doing this method.
    And there are high seraches on it better then review sites. Imgine when we do a product serach and finding out reviews on it. If you happen to see this. link. saying. Do not know wether this product is positive or not>??? people will click and read. at the end of the review. They will end up recomending the products itself.

    hope my point can contribute to your blog

  25. Great post.Of the 5 steps I find article marketing to be particularly effective. Articles submitted to the bigger article directories tend to get ranked well in the search engines

    Bonuses are retty relevant if you want to make a sale or get an opt in these days

    In fact most savvy internet users have come to expect a bunch of freebies

  26. Your monetization points are step by step and excellent. You don’t have to be an A list blogger to make $$ online, if I can do it anyone can do it 😉

  27. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. Thank you

  28. Things sure do change with a little time. Thesis or Genesis, which is the best framework to use is a current question. The competition will be good for everybody in the future.

    Keyword density, use more or use less, it is an ever changing marketing world.

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