Affiliate Marketing Success tips

I had mentioned some time back that the affiliate marketing income contributes to almost 75% of my online income. Well, this was the case almost six months ago and now based on the stats for the first quarter of 2011, it stands at a whopping 90%. The following is the break up of my income as of today.

90% – Affiliate or referral income
10% – Private ad sales, Paid reviews, AdSense etc combined

Out of the affiliate income, 45-50% is really passive in nature and the rest is achieved via PPC advertising. The affiliate marketing success via the passive route is the story today in this little post.

I have the records of all my online activities, incomes and expenses in an excel sheet that’s maintained since March 2008. Today, I just took a look at the top 5 income generators for me and I have the following conclusion, which can be categorized into three tips.

1. Niche products

Since this blog is about blogging and make money online tips, the best performing affiliate products were in the WordPress plugins, themes, shared hosting and forex affiliate marketing categories. Fortunately, I had written enough review posts – i.e at least one money making post every two months – that some of them dating back to 2008 is still yielding results. Even if I have forgotten those posts, the MaxBlogPress Affiliate Ninja plugin and its keywords haven’t quite so.

2. Tier 2 or multi-tier income

Some of the product that I reviewed in the past had tier 2 affiliate commission and this means that over the years, some people will become your sub-affiliates and they start making money for you. This is one feature that a lot of affiliate marketers overlook because they want to make quick money out of their direct signups.

3. Commission for life and recurring commissions

Well, it cannot get any better than that. If you have endorsed a product that makes money for you on a recurring subscription basis that’s the best thing that can happen to you in terms of making passive income. There are several products out there that charge their subscribers on a monthly use basis and as an affiliate you keep getting a portion of that money without having to do anything beyond the first sign up.

The above tips are based on my true experience.

In addition, I also do proactive affiliate marketing via PPC advertising. I make it a point not to focus more than 3-4 products at any given month so that I can control and assess the effectiveness of my online campaigns. At the moment, I spent a max of $250 per month on these online campaigns and during the right course of time I plan to increase it to a significant budget figure. Today’s topic being passive income generation, I would like to stress once again on writing the right kind of review posts at the right frequency about the right products topped with a little bit of SEO.

And for beginners, please work with at most 4-5 products in your niche and at a time and max 2-3 campaigns a month.

Happy money making!


  1. Good for you, Ajith. I haven’t figured it all out yet, as I wrote on my blog yesterday. Hey, one of these days…

  2. Excellent information for a new blogger. I always assumed that adsense would be much more successful than any affiliate programs, but you have put that misconception to rest. Keep the good advice coming.

    • @Maroon, AdSense is still the greatest option as long as you have huge organic traffic. But why not club AdSense with a few affiliate products, reviews and landing pages to maximize your income. After all we cannot depend on Google forever, can we?

  3. Curt :

    Thank for the great info. The thing is, as a beginner nobody ever gives you the basic overview of the steps to apply inorder to start generating profits as an affiliate marketer. And I also appreciate the fact that you keep records of your online business activites, this will only help in identifying the weakness and stregnths of the various campaigns. Great info.

    • @Curt, keeping track of the activities including search rankings, important events, traffic-other stats, income-expenses report etc really helped me to do better analysis and corrective measures. Thanks for your comment :)

  4. I agree that affliate marketting is a great income source, but how can we increase 2 tier income, As it is too difficult to get refferals these days.

  5. Yes, its true that people are making thousands of dollars on the internet not as a monthly figure but as a daily figures. There are so many proven ways as there are people making money online. Sticking to one strategy will be the best course of action when starting. Once successful, we can explore other methods. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  6. Trisno :

    Great info Ajith.
    I will learn more from your good article.
    Thanks for sharing…..

  7. Hi Ajit, thanks for sharing success tips in affiliate marketing. Can you suggest how and where we can get the affiliate links..?

    • @Mahendar, sign up with those affiliate programs individually. Virtually every online offering has some kind of affiliate program or the other. If you don’t want individual signups, you can use affiliate networks such as Shareasale, Commission junction, Clickbank, e-Junkie etc.

  8. Nihar :

    Hi Ajith,

    Great post from you again. Thanks for sharing your success and experience.

    I hope i get some time and try to start doing some progress on affiliate marketing side as well.

  9. Alex A :

    Hey Thanks for sharing this info! Im starting with internet business, and any information I get is good for me! I learnt a lot in this blog! Thanks Ajith

  10. Praveen :

    Hi Ajith,
    This is excellent information. I still need to get into the affiliate marketing stuff, taking things one at a time for now. Hope to catch up with you. Thanks again.

    • @Praveen, you will get there. Many people start only with AdSense and other CPC networks and slowly get into Internet marketing.

      • Praveen :

        Ajith – I just signed up for ShareASale, but am not sure which direction I need to proceed. I see the merchants with their programs for me to join, but not sure how it works. I do not want to end up giving away my personal information to unwanted spams. Your tips will be grateful.


        • @Praveen, since your site is very new chances of merchants approving it (or accepting your individual product affiliate request) is low. I suggest that you wait till a time where your site authority goes up – i.e. Good page rank, around 100 posts published and good amount of organic traffic. Have you checked your organic traffic stats from Google analytics? If it’s at least something like 100 organic visits, you can potentially get some conversions.

          As for most networks, you have to individually requests for product affiliation approval. The only exception probably is Clickbank where you can start promoting products immediately once you have a CB account.

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