10 Tips On How To Succeed With Affiliate Marketing


You may or may not know that since 2005 I have been making a fulltime income as an affiliate marketer so I've seen a thing or two in the industry.

And because of my experience I'm asked quit often many questions about affiliate marketing and what it takes to be successful.

Now unfortunatly many people will fail at affiliate marketing. Yeah that's probably not what you wanted to hear. But it's the truth.

Here's why:

People start out like gangbusters with high expectations but eventually give up because things are not going according to their master plan.

And that master plan is the making money part - and it's not happening like it's supposed to.

I can tell you from my own mistakes and from what I've learned from other affiliate marketers I've talked to over the years. The reason most newbies fail is because of these three things:

  1. The wrong mindset
  2. The lack of or improper training/skills (this is the biggest problem)
  3. Unrealistic income goals

Like I said I've been a fulltime affiliate marketer since 2005. And I've learned a lot about marketing in that time, in fact I'm still learning, simply because the internet is always evolving.

So to help you I've put together a collection of what I feel are the 10 most important tips on how to start with affiliate marketing and succeed in 2020 and beyond.

Let's get to it. Now these are in no particular order.

1) Run Your Business Don't Walk It

What do I mean by that? I've come across a lot of people that go into affiliate marketing with the attitude of "I'll dip my toe in the water and see how it goes".

So they don't go into affiliate marketing with the attitude of building a real business.

Well you're already set yourself up for failure. Simply because you don't have the conviction needed to build a thriving online business.

This "well I see what happens attitude" is why many people fail at affiliate marketing. Because they have no real skin in the game, so if something happens or things don't speed along like they think things should.

That can be reason enough to quit. And then they can tell themselves "I tried affiliate marketing and it doesn't work, it wasn't my fault"

Wake up call - "It was your fault!!"

You need to take building your business seriously. Now you don't have to go into things with a do or die attitude, but it wouldn't hurt you either.

I think one of the problems is that starting out building an affiliate business does not cost a heck of a lot of money to get going. In fact you can get going for free.

Becoming an affiliate for companies cost nothing, and you can get training, hosting and a website for free to start your business right here.

So with very little capital invested people feel they're not risking much so if things don't work out, it's not a big loss, and onto something else.

But it is a big loss.

It's the loss of building your own thriving business where you're in total control of your financial destiny. If that's what you want and I'm talking about creating a fulltime income online. Then you must take your business seriously and start running it right from the get go.

I bet many people would not have such a casual attitude about their business if they invested $100,000 in the real world to start a business. I bet they would live, eat and breath their business.

I doubt very much if things did not workout right away, they would say "Ah the heck with it I'll try something else".

So right from the get go - take building your online affiliate business seriously and Run It - Don't Walk It!!

2) Focus On One Niche First

There are so many opportunities in affiliate marketing. And because of that I see this happen over and over again. People think if one niche will make them money then being in multiple niches will make them more money.

Well in theory that's true. But if you're just starting out focusing on just one niche is the smart thing to do. Trying to manage multiple websites in multiple niches when you're just learning this buisness is a recipe for disaster.

Until people get into building their business I don't think people truly understand what's involved and the workload related to building their business. Now multiply that by more than one niche.

If you're in multiple niches then right off the bat every niche is lacking the true care and attention it needs to succeed, and then months later they wonder why nothing is working.

Or they can't believe how much work it takes to care for multiple niches, and again they wonder why things aren't working out.

And guess what? They quit because they are so overwhelmed and burnt out.

Laser focus on just one niche. Devote all your energy to that one niche, get it to profit and then build that profit. Once that niche is making money and I mean real money. Then you can look at other niches if you want.

And when and if you decide to go into another niche, you'll have the skill set and expertise from what you've learned building your first money making niche to make this new one a success and probably succeed faster.

But you really don't need to be in multiple niches. All it takes is one niche to make you a fulltime income.

So make sure to Laser Focus On One Niche First When Just Starting

3) Own The Products You Market

Man I see this a lot. A person gets into affiliate marketing and they don't even own or use the product(s) or services(s) they're marketing.

Big mistake in my opinion.

Honestly how can you recommend a product or service to me or anyone else if you've never used that product or service? To me you truly can't!!

Well I guess you can. But your recommendation will not have as much validity compared to someone who owns and uses the product.

Everything I market and recommend I own and use. I know these products inside and out. And because of that people trust and respect me when I talk about them.

And by owning the product I can talk about them at a deeper level and talk about things a non-owner would know nothing about.

I can defend the product because I have the personal positive results of the product. I can show social proof and I can even show it's flaws. Every product has flaws nothing is perfect.

So make the effort to you Own The Products Or Services You're Marketing

4) Get The Proper Training

For many people affiliate marketing or online marketing in general is very new.

So this does make people vulnerable to shall we say questionable training and flat out scam products and programs.

There is no denying there is a learning curve when it comes to online marketing and this is where many beginners get tripped up.

The online world is plagued with garbage scam products claiming that they have the secret to making money online. You don't have to work, you just set up a few things and your online money dreams will come true.

Well that's a load of crap.

There is no secret to making money online. There is no push button set it and forget program for making money online. Never has been never will be.

But if you're new to online marketing and you have not been exposed to these scams and can't recognize a scam pitch when you come across one it's not hard to get sucked in and get taken for a good chunk of your money.

Hey I got scammed when I first started online, but then I found the right mentor and got the right training and I never got scammed again. And NEVER can again!!

And if you have been scammed don't beat yourself up about it. These marketers know exactly what to say and what buttons to push. They tell you exactly what you want to hear.

When you see and read things like:

  • You can make X amount of dollars in 30 days with no effort
  • Get floods of traffic with a push of a button
  • Receive $3500 - $6500 or more a week
  • Million dollar blueprint
  • This offer will be gone tomorrow
  • We're not sure how long we can offer this deal
  • Want to make a fulltime income by the end of the week?

This is all scam language.

The big red flags are when the product owner tells you, you can make money overnight and with no effort or uses false scarcity saying this offer will be removed so you better buy now.

Or you're watching a video and the majority of the video talks about the lifestyle you can have and the money you can make. But really never talks about the program or how you make money.

And if you ever see some putz (girl or guy) in front of a mansion, big car talking about their lavish lifestyle - run far and run fast - that's right from the scammers handbook.

Or you hear this story "I was living in a van under a bridge and now I live in a 10,000 square foot house". The jackass from Empower Network used that BS story and scammed a lot of people.

And don't fall for the scam when they say this page or video is coming down so you need to buy now. Or you see a count down counter. Trust me the site will be there until it gets shut down by the host, the scammer is not closing anything down.

So to protect yourself from getting scammed simply slow down and take a day to put on your detective hat and research the program/product you're thinking of buying/using.

First place to start is in Google and search for reviews. But stay away from reviews that say things like "don't buy this product until you read my review". More often than not this person is an affiliate for the program/product.

Add the words like "scam" or "ripoff" to your search. Go to forums. Even places like the Rip Off Report can be a good resource. Heck you can even create a blog post here and ask the WA community.

The point is do your homework before you open your wallet.

Also avoid programs that charge you to promote their product. Many times these are disguised as MLM opportunities posing as affiliate programs when in fact they are Ponzi Schemes. Again Empower Network is the perfect example of a Ponzi scheme program.

So absolutely make sure you get the most up to date training you can. And of course we all know that's right here at the WA.

5) Focus On One Core Marketing Strategy

Everyday you're probably been hit with the latest marketing strategy. And of course more often than not the person pitching this new strategy says it's the latest greatest thing and what you're doing is old news and you better do this.

And this is where I step in and say bullshit.

Like everything it's usually someone trying to sell you on some new program or service.

Remember back in 2015 when Periscope came out?

Everyone was talking about it. And not to long after that every so-called Periscope expert now had a how to course about using Periscope.

And now you barely hear about it. The fizz is gone, and that's because there is no real money to be made promoting their useless programs for using periscope.

Yes there are a ton of marketing strategies. You have Social Media, you have Video, you have, PPC, you have Media Buys, you have CPA, you have Ezine Advertising, you have Solo Ads - you have, you have....

But you don't have to do all of them. All you really need is 1. You'll have far better success if you become 90% good at 1 thing then 10% good a 10 different things.

Why do you think the focus here in the WA is content marketing? Well first off it works, but becoming the master of content marketing will get you where you want to go with your business.

Now I'm not saying you can't try other marketing strategies, of course you can. But before you spend to much time on another strategy - master your core strategy first. And then once you have that in place and can do it with your eyes closed.

By all means if you want to learn another marketing strategy go ahead. And the advantage of the WA is there are other classes dedicated to other methods.

But even with that said if your core marketing strategy is giving you the results you want, then in my opinion what's the point of learning a different method. If it working keep using it, it's just going to get better for you anyway.

So master one marketing strategy first.

6) Have A Schedule

This not only applies to affiliate marketing this applies to working online in general.

Having a weekly schedule will have you working smart not hard. We all think we can multitask and get several things done at the same time and on the same day.

I speak from experience, that rarely happens and what usually ends up happening is you get half or none of what you wanted to get done for the day and you wondered how it happened.

Now just starting out as an affiliate marketer there is a lot to get done. But by breaking things down into manageable chunks you'll be just fine. And then having a schedule for building your business will have you further ahead of most people.

This is one reason I'm such an advocate for the wealthy affiliate for beginner affiliate marketers it provides clear manageable steps of setting up and growing your affiliate business.

Using me as an example


I repurpose my content.

Tuesday & Wednesday:

On these 2 days I create content for my site.


This is my keyword research day.


This is learning day. I set aside this time to learn what's new and what can potentially increase my skills as a marketer to keep growing my business.

Because I have this schedule I get everything I need to get done to grow my business. I'm not all over the place when it comes to my business.

Oh and don't get caught up in time wasting activities such as:

  • Chasing the latest online business opportunity
  • Checking your email throughout the day
  • Hanging out on social media (biggest time waster ever!)
  • Hanging out on YouTube or other streaming formats
  • Hanging out in chat rooms/fourms (even the WA)
  • Texting on your phone

Of course I'm not saying you cannot do these things. But there is a time and place for everything. When you're building your business - build your business.

Once you have your tasks done for the day - you can do anything you want online or off.

You'll be a lot further ahead if you create and stick to a schedule.

7) Make Wise Product Choices

It's pretty safe to say this is a very critical part of your overall affiliate business success. And there are two key factors to choosing the right product.

  • The products quality/reputation
  • The commission you earn

I have to admit it can take some time to find the perfect balance. On one hand you want to be associated with a product that is of the highest quality but you also want to make money.

Obviously you certainly don't want to be associated to a crap product. Because your reputation as a marketer is attached to the quality of the products you represent. You also have to remember you're going to be marketing this product for a very long time.

So it has to be a product you believe in and as I mentioned earlier it's one you should ultimately be using yourself. So that's why taking your time when sourcing out a product is so important.

Now there are countless places to source out products.

For big brand name physical products more often than not you'll find that they have their products or service available through affiliate networks.

An affiliate network simply acts as an intermediary between affiliates and the companies. It's also easier for you as an affiliate because you'll have access to hundreds of companies with just as many products all in one place.

With all affiliate networks you need to apply for access to the network. Once you've been approved to the network you'll have access to all the companies within that network.

However you still have to apply to each individual company within the network to become an affiliate for that companies product.

There is a ton of affiliate networks. Here's the one's I've personally used:

Now I do want to mention one other affiliate network and that's ClickBank. The reason I want to mention ClickBank is to recommend it but with a caveat.

With Clickbank you simply need to create an account. And all ClickBank represents is digital products. I been both a vendor and an affiliate.

Now with that said here's that caveat.

Not everything that ClickBank has in their network is of the best quality. There are crap products.

Now they have cleared out a lot of garbage products so there there still some really good products with great commissions and new products being added all the time.

So make sure you do your due diligence about any product you decide to represent from ClickBank. And yes you have to do that with any affiliate product no matter who it is.

Product Quality/Reputation

The quality and reputation of the product you're going to represent is very important. As I mentioned earlier the products you associate yourself with are a reflection on you.

It's pretty simple. If you market crap products you're going to be known for representing crap products. And it works the other way just as much. Market great products and you'll have the reputation of representing great products.

Not rocket science.

One thing I've seen many affiliate marketers do is get sucked into representing a product because it's offering a very high commissions. Don't let that happen to you.

If the product is crap or it doesn't sell, how much you could make is not worth your reputation or the amount you could make.

The Commission Amount

As an affiliate you want to maximize your return on your efforts. So you need to consider the commission that is being offered to you as an affiliate.

Let's say for conversation sake your goal is to earn $5000 per month. If for example you're an amazon affiliate. And as an amazon affiliate their commissions range between 4% and 8.5%.

Let's do some simple math. Let's say you're selling a product for $100 and with amazon you're making the top commission of 8.5%

In order for you to earn $5000 per month on 8.5%, which would be $8.50 per sale. You need to sell 588 units each month or just over 19 units per day. (the total would be $4998.00)

This is certainly doable and there are members here making this type of income with Amazon, but please know it will take time.

But now let's change that up and you're an affiliate with a company that offers you 25% commission for a $100 product. Now you're earning $25 per sale.

In order to earn the same $5000 per month now all you need is to sell just over 6 units per day or 200 units per month.

So do consider the math.

You'll find that within most affiliate networks the companies within these networks offer commissions on average ranging from 10% to 20%.

Whereas within ClickBank you can find products that offer commissions as high as 75%.

You also have the option to source out a private affiliate program. This of course would be an affiliate program offered by a company that is not in a affiliate network.

When sourcing out private affiliate programs simple do the search as follows. In Google type the name of the company or product name and then add "+ affiliate program" to your search query, without the quotes.

So your search query would be: "company/product name + affiliate program"

But like any affiliate program make sure you do your due diligence prior to investing all you marketing efforts with a private affiliate program. Unlike affiliate networks you're not as protected.

Now I'm not saying private programs are not worth associating with, I'm just saying do your homework.

I represent a few private affiliate programs, the WA being one of them. And like any product or service I use these products and services. So yep, I certainly did my homework first.

One last thing when it comes to earning commissions. Try and find programs that offer recurring commissions.

These would be memberships programs where the customer has to pay a monthly fee in order to use the product or service.

Representing affiliate programs that have recurring commissions gives you a residual income each month. Now you have money coming in at the start of each month before you've sold anything new for that month.

Now you know how some marketers can take a month off and still make money and even increase their monthly income.

I have several recurring affiliate programs I belong to. In fact most of my affiliate programs are residual programs including the wealthy affiliate.

Food For Thought

Still on the subject of commissions don't discount high ticket products or services. And I mean items that cost $1000, $5000, $10,000 or more.

There is this big misconception that people won't spend that kind of money online. And this is simply not true. This misconception comes from a lack mentality.

There is a price point for everyone. And I speak from experience because I'm an affiliate for a high end service starting $25,000 with upgrades to $75,000. And I make multiple
sales every month. And have been for years.

Heck I know a guy that sales a product for over $150,000 and it makes 10 to 15 sales per year.

So where are these high end affiliate programs?

You can find these private affiliate programs within your own niche. You simply have to reach out to the experts in your niche and strike up a JV deal with them.

So take your time and make wise product choices.

8) Be Patient Young Jedi

I kind of touched on this in point 1 and that's where many affiliate marketers quit because things are not happening fast enough.

Despite all the chatter and sales pitches from the self proclaimed so-called gurus. Building a online business takes time. It's not going to happen over night. Things take time to develop.

It takes time to learn the steps of building your business, it takes time to generate traffic, it takes time to build the trust of your audience so they will buy from you and it takes time to build up your income to a full time level.

Everything takes time. In fact some of the things you do today may not show results for weeks and in some cases months. That's just the way it is.

It took me 18 months from the time I found my mentor to where I could quit my day job.

Sure I could have quit my job much earlier but my goal was to make 3 times as much online as I was making at my job before I quit. Your goal may be different. But regardless, it took time. But it was time I was willing to invest to become my own boss.

And that was back in 2005 when I quit and I've been making a fulltime income online ever since.

Many people wants things to happen right away, I find lots of people expect to be making money in less than 30 days. Well sorry to burst your bubble for the majority of people that's not going to happen.

You can reasonably expect to be making money within 12 months with the right training and of course that's offered right here. How much will you make? I can't answer that anyone that can is just guessing or blowing sunshine up you ass.

Sure it some cases it can happen sooner, but I'm not here to give you false expectations.

Don't get impatient - keep taking at least one positive step towards your business goals each day and you will reach them.

In fact you'll be light years ahead of most people knowing it's going to take time to build your business. This is going to give you the edge. Give yourself 6 months to a year to build your business.

When you think about it a year is not that long be in complete control of your financial future. Compare that to where you'll be in a year financially with your current job. I'll think we can agree it's a year well spent.

So be patient young jeti.

9) Share Your Story

No one likes to be sold. I certainly don't like it and I'm pretty sure you don't either. So as an affiliate you don't want to do something that you don't like being done to you.

The most successful marketers affiliate or otherwise simply share their story. They tell people their personal experiences with the product or service they're using. And in doing so they're also recommending said product or service.

Can you see why owning the product is so important? You can speak from a place of truth and conviction. You're not selling you're helping - BIG difference.

Zig Zigler said it best:

"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want."

When people ask me about affiliate marketing and where to start. With no hesitation I tell them about the wealthy affiliate.

And I can do so because I'm intimately involved with the tools, training, resources and the community of the wealthy affiliate. I know what it has to offer and I'm proud to be associated with the WA.

I share my stories and the things that have happened since being a member of the wealthy affiliate. I don't sell anyone on the wealthy affiliate. I just recommend the wealthy affiliate and give them all the information they need so they can make their own decision on whether the WA is the place for them.

It's up to them to do what they want to do, it's not up to me. Never has been and never will be. And you have to be of the same mindset.

Not everyone is going to like what you're marketing. And that's ok. Because there will be just as many that do. And those are the people I focus on, I don't worry about the rest it's a waste of time.

So don't sell people help people.

10) You Need The Proper Mindset

This is probably the biggest thing that prevents people achieving everything they want to achieve. Not only as an affiliate but in every area of their lives.

I've already told you it's going to take hard work, determination and persistence to build your business. And there's going to be those days where you're going to be at the edge and may think of quitting. That's when you need to be the strongest.

And that strength does not all come from will power. It comes from having the right tools in place to help you get through those challenges.

I can tell you of epic failures I've had. Ones that would stop many people in their tracks. Hell they almost stopped me. But because of having the proper mindset I was able to push through those challenges and keep moving forward.

Two of the most powerful tools you can have in your mindset arsenal is understanding your "Self Talk" and knowing "Why" you're doing what you're doing.

Your self talk is that running dialogue in your head. What you say to yourself everyday determines your destiny. And having a powerful "why" is your anchor to success.

Now I did two very in depth posts inside the WA about both of these topics and I highly recommend you give them a read.

And this goes beyond the scope of building a successful affiliate marketing business. As I said understanding these two very powerful principles will help you in every single area of your life.

You can click the individual links below to read these post.

Set yourself up for success and create the proper mindset.

Well that's it. Those are my 10 tips for succeeding with affiliate marketing. I hope you found this post helpful.

And I wish nothing but abundant success for you.

I believe in you!

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Recent Comments


Wow Leo!

Awesome and in depth 10 tips on how to succeed with affiliate marketing my Friend!

I can see why you are so successful as this post alone will attract many viewers from inside the Wealthy Affiliate Community as well as outside of the Community as well.

Would it be ok for me to share this post as I find it to be extremely well thought out and informative.

Thank you Leo for sharing & caring,


Thanks Tony and of course share away my friend

Great motivational post !
Thanks for sharing with us leo,

You will be glad to know if you dont already that this post is ranking first page of google position 3 in incognito window for the title keywords of
10 Tips On How To Succeed With Affiliate Marketing

Out of 4 million results ( NOT BAD )

Great job, it just shows blogging here at WA is worth doing as kyle says the content here gets indexed really fast in google, probably faster than when we blog on our own websites!

Time to start doing some blogs here myself ( Given Time )
Great post thanks...

That was not my intent I don't post here to rank - but it's cool to hear.

Thanks, Leo for the information provided here in your recent post. It clarified quite a few questions that I had bouncing around in my head. Thank you for the insight on what it takes to be successful as an affiliate marketer and how to avoid the pitfalls along the journey.

You're welcome, glad you like it

Leo Thank you. These 10 tips simplify understanding how to be successful in affiliate marketing. I will use them as a daily reminder especially on those days when I get discouraged. Scheduling my day has been an issue of late because I lose focus going in many directions. I like the way you break down your week. Great post as always! Angela

Thanks, yep as soon as I adopted a schedule my productivity went through the roof

Excellent advice Leo! These 10 tips are great reminders of what I should be doing. After reading this, I see the areas where I've been wandering off course again. So, this is a nice and much needed kick in the backside, lol.

Thanks for sharing and have a Happy New Year!
Best wishes :) ~Sherry

You're welcome and happy new year to you as well

Leo, I want to go the video route, too. got a link I could look at to see how you do your youtube stuff?

I'd like to learn how you do the cards, thing.

Also, SEO for the videos, tags, descriptions, etc...

I can make videos with camtasia, I can make snazzy thumbnails, it's just the fiddly bits before clicking on publish that I'm guessing at right now...hoping for the best.

Cheers buddy, happy new orbit!

I don't have any training on how I do my videos - as for cards and SEO go to youtube there is all kinds of videos showing how to do both.

Just know cards can be seen on mobile devices and annotations cannot. And eventually youtube will be removing annotations and just having cards.

This is Tim's youtube channel he is the best known expert on youtube for everything youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/VideoCreatorsTV

Hope that helps and happy new year to you as well

Thank you sir, I just noticed this answer, must have missed it a couple of weeks back. 2 weeks already? wow...

How far must planet earth have travelled around the sun in those 2 weeks? 100s of thousands of miles...

Leo, this post was outstanding! I made a copy of your 10 points. These 10 principles should be taught to everyone that joins WA. They actually are, just never organized in the way that you have presented them. I like to think that I know of all these points you mentioned. But do I actually practice them - that in itself tells the story.
You are my role model (I would love to know your mentor).Thank you so mush for sharing this 'system'. hey, if it is working for you, it should work for me too, or for anyone. I owe you, Leo.

You owe me nothing my friend - I have many mentors but I would have to say the most influential was my first - Anthony Robbins

Thank you Leo, your post comes very timely to me. I was so bummed out a couple days before Christmas when my first and only referral didn't make another payment to WA, so I didn't get my monthly commission, she quit after just two payments. It hurt a lot because I've been working so hard on my site since the beginning, a lot of hours away from my kids and husband. It all built up to this I thought? I didn't want to quit, but I was very deflated.

I know this takes at least a year, I tell myself that, I've known that, but still, I let this one set back bother me so much. I took a few days off finally (I've been at it everyday, hours everyday since Sep 1)... and I come back to read your post. :)

What I will take most from your post is scheduling. I feel like l'm always working all over the place. A lot of your points, I feel I have a good handle on, if I can just be smarter with my time, I feel I can get more done and also schedule time with my family so I'm not so burnt out.

I'm really thankful to be at WA and have people like you here to guide us. It's so much needed!!


Making a schedule saved me. Once I had that daily plan, my production went through the roof and I had more time on my hands.

Thank you for the effective pieces of advice, with some dissection of affiliate marketing along the way. I have one reservation, though, about the 3rd one (owning the product). I, for instance, am in the smartwatches niche; buying couple of them would ruin my budget, let alone every model out there!

Ideally in my opinion you want to own the product but if you can't - you can't - do you know people that own one? If so talk to them.

Thank you Leo. I've been in procrastination hell for the last year after finding WA for the second time in my 11 year Wantrepeneur travels. I am starting back Jan 2nd, 2017 to find and stick to a mindset that will finally make me successful. Your words were very inspiring. I know I will be looking for your help in the future. Thanks for being a part of WA.

Ever Forward,
Joe Maggio Jr

The concept is simple yet so powerful - Change your mindset change your destiny - how you think will pull you in the direction you want to go.

And of course anytime you need a hand, just give me a buzz.

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