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The One Best Way to Make Money With Affiliate Programs

By Keegan Michaels
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2004

Affiliate programs are the number one most popular way to market on the Internet. There are thousands of affiliate and reseller programs covering everything from books to baseball bats.

I make a better bat, you put my banner on your site, and if someone buys a bat after coming through your link, I pay you 25 percent of the selling price. Killer idea, right?

That one sale won't be enough money to pay the mortgage or even enough to take your kid to the movies. And to make matters worse, how many of your site's visitors are going to buy my bat?

Once you get past the first blush of affiliate programs, the sparkle starts to fade. You quickly see if you make any money at all, it's going to be mere pocket change.

This is one of the reasons affiliate programs have started getting a bad name. Small site owners feel they can't make serious money with them and affiliate program owners can't get members motivated to push the program.


I don't mean to insult anyone. But let me force you and myself to face a cold fact. Putting an affiliate banner at the bottom of your web page--crammed in there with four or five other affiliate banners--isn't going to sell anything.

Lots of sites approach the affiliate problem by making themselves a one-stop-shop for loads of links to other sites. This doesn't work very well either. People come to the Web to find sites that SPECIALIZE in something particular. They rarely buy from a site trying to be a jack of all trades.


Get yourself a web site that specializes in one particular subject. The narrower the better. If I'm hunting all over the Net for a site that tells me how to get heavy metal distortion from my little guitar amp, I jump for joy when I find your site telling me how to do it.

You could have a photo of you holding your Eric Claption guitart and leaning against your amp. You could have articles by you and other experts that tell step-by-step how to get the same sonic crunch all my favorite bands use.

And incidentally, you could feature the related products sold by GuitarCity (affiliate program) and more in-depth personal lessons from LearnGuitar (affiliate program).

What did you just do here? Realizing you don't have a weird uncle living in the basement who invents the hot new product everyone wants, and knowing you don't currently provide a service lots of businesses need, you built a fine site around one or two products someone else makes.


1. Start by thinking about what REALLY punches your buttons. You can't build an in-depth site unless you LOVE the subject you're focusing on. Don't think about this for months, days, or even for a couple of hours. Whatever hits you dead on as you read this is probably the one thing you can make fly.

2. Search for an affiliate program or two that sells a core product or service related to your interest. Most of the time you can simply use search engines to find sites that also focus on your topic. Nine times out of ten several of them will offer affiliate programs.

3. Get your own domain name. Have your main topic as part of the name. I love to go to at this stage. You get a domain and hosting for a year for about $50. You may be able to find somebody else who does it cheaper.

4. A site that looks like your very first won't cut it. You need to have the appearance of an old hand. Do this by getting a professionally designed logo. If you have a sharp looking logo at the top of the page, the rest of it can be plain text.

I found the guys at via an affiliate link. They designed a half dozen logos for us, all for just $25 each. You can't get the "pro" look any cheaper.

5. Get a professional writer to create the first 300 words of your web site. Start at where they'll craft text that gets your visitors' juices flowing. They write cheap. Once people get excited on your first 300 words, it isn't' hard to keep them on your site until they have read everything else you have to offer.

6. Promote, promote, promote. Put your good advice (which you can borrow from books at the library--it's called research) on discussion forums. Place ads in email newsletters. Send your own press release to the media every month. Call your local talk radio station and see if they have 5 minutes to speak with you on-air. Provide advice their listeners can use.

Finally, I want you to chuckle, sneer, and laugh assuredly when the media starts up about how the Internet is having a hard time. Good! That's great news for you. With so many big corporate sites running out of money and so many little sites getting spooked out of existence, there has never been a better time for YOU to make YOUR mark online.

About the Author
Keegan Michaels knows affiliate programs. He knows what to look for and what pitfalls to avoid. Let him show you the roadmap to affiliate profits. Contact him today at or 801-328-9006. Get his Extra Money Newsletter FREE at (


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