So, you want to be a successful affiliate marketer? Me too! I dissected the best online affiliate businesses and I’ve listed below examples of affiliate marketing strategies that work the best in 2018. Some of my findings may surprise you.
We live in this awesome digital era, where it’s easier than ever to make money online. For me, affiliate marketing is one of the best passive income opportunities around. I love the idea of having a business that gives me the time & freedom to work from home, spend more time with my family and even travel the world. As long as I have a computer and internet access, I can work from anywhere!
That being said, affiliate marketing can seem confusing, especially in the beginning. Luckily, the internet has provided us with the gift of transparency. We have access to top websites, who are already making money. This makes it super easy to discover what affiliate marketing strategies are working best.
What can you expect from this post?
I believe it’s important to always be learning new tips, tactics, and examples.
If your brand new to affiliate marketing, these examples will help you big time! You’ll be able to focus on what works, saving you countless hours putting effort into the wrong things. If you already have a blog, a YouTube or some sort of online brand, these examples will help you find new ways to monetize your business further.
I picked a handful of what I call, ‘Role Model’ businesses, that demonstrate the best examples of affiliate marketing strategies that you can start right away. This includes sites with different styles and method of generating affiliate income. Some sites are big, and some are small.
This will help you to see the many ways to monetize your site and social channels using affiliate marketing, and hopefully spark some new ideas and strategies.
Here Are 9 Role Model Affiliate Marketing Examples:
This is one of my favorite affiliate marketing sites, based on its simple yet unique concept. This is Why I’m Broke is essentially a review blog site that recommends the coolest and most eye-catching products found on Amazon. The products can range from gifts & novelty to tech & survival gear.
In this example, it’s clear to see they make their money from Amazon affiliate commissions.
The site certainly lives up to its name. They have so many awesome products; it’s hard to look on the site and not be tempted to want to buy something. There’s no surprise why this site is so successful.
Most review blogs focus good SEO to rank for competitive keyword traffic. What makes this site so unique is that fact that almost all their traffic is generated virally. They post awesome content that is highly sharable on social media that people not only want to buy the products, but they also want to share them with their friends.
The reason I love this site is that its such a simple strategy, that requires so little work. Minimum effort with super-high conversions.
On average they post 5 products per day, which is easy as they do hardly any long-form articles. They’ve included a ‘Submit a Product’ page on the site; which will keep their research time to a minimum, as their audience is doing work for them! Genius.
Tim Ferriss is a well-known blogger, investor; and the author to a catalog of best-selling books; including The 4-Hour Workweek & The 4-Hour Body. Tim also runs a podcast, where he interviews and deconstructs the minds of top leaders, entrepreneurs, and athletes.
Personally, I’ve been a fan of his for some time. Through his podcast, various books and blog, Tim has always provided an overwhelming amount of highly valuable content. This is what makes this affiliate marketing example so great…
It’s hard to imagine that Tim Ferriss even has an affiliate marketing strategy. However, once you study his blog, it’s clear that he makes a lot of money from affiliates. He includes a witty disclosure page that details this.
In fact, if you’ve ever read his books (if you haven’t, I recommend you do – they’re awesome!), you’ll notice a resource page in the back of the books. This details all the gadgets, sites and services mentioned throughout the book. The resource page includes a URL that redirects users to a page on his website. That page, of course, includes affiliate links to the various products.
If you listen to his podcast, he will often say ‘this episode is sponsored by…”; which is followed by a product or service recommendation and a website address to go to. Not every link Tim mentions will be an affiliate link, he may also have other agreements, but I’m sure it is some of the time.
What I like about Tim’s approach to affiliate marketing is the fact he’s not actively trying to find offers to promote. It’s totally ethical and he simply links out to the products he uses and recommends himself.
Also, by providing so much incredible value and knowledge over the years, he’s built a strong brand reputation and trust with his audience. When Tim shares a link, it doesn’t feel like he’s trying to make an affiliate commission. If anything he’s doing his audience a favor, as they want to know where hey can buy it from.
In my opinion, this is the best, as well as the most ethical example of affiliate marketing. And, although not all of us can build a brand as huge as Tim Ferriss, there are many lessons to be learned from the way he does things.
Owned by Patt Flynn, this site is designed to teach you how to make passive income. The site provides a lot of great content including guides, tutorials, and reviews.
What makes the Smart Passive Income site so great is the fact Patt Flynn is extremely transparent with his earnings. So much so, he includes a detailed income report; which breaks exactly how he has made money over the last 12 months.
In this report, you’ll see he’s made a small amount from selling ebooks and course, but the majority is made through affiliate sales. You’ll also be able to see how much he earns each month, and which affiliate programs make him the most money.
Not only is he providing great content, he also has an audience that has followed his journey. His transparency inspires his audience and in return, they use his affiliate links.
A lot of affiliate marketers hide a lot of things. Patt Flynn’s blog is proof that an audience can appreciate transparency and honesty.
This is the UK’s biggest consumer site, which helps UK citizens to save money on utility bills, insurance, credit cards, and other things. Martin Lewis is the founder and the face of the site and he’s become a well-known person in the UK.
He’s built a brand that’s known for its ethical responsibilities to the consumer. They test, compare and expose the market to make sure UK consumers get the best deals.
Through their well-researched articles, comparisons, and newsletters, they make their money mainly from recommending insurance, credit cards, and loans. These types of affiliate programmes bring in a lot of money! However, it’s difficult to sell these products without a trustworthy brand as big and as strong as Money Saving Expert.
This is clearly a monster of a site with tons of content, an entire team, and over 15 million users every month. There’s so many extremely in-depth guides, reviews, comparison tools, and even forum. They make A LOT of money.
You may be thinking that this is impossible, you’ll never be able to create an affiliate site like this. Which is exactly why I’ve added it to this list of affiliate marketing examples…
Martin Lewis created this blog back in 2003 on just £100. It started as a basic blog with little content. Over the years he’s built a strong brand reputation and a site that’s kept growing bigger and bigger.
No blog starts huge. I thought this was the perfect example to demonstrate the possibilities of affiliate marketing.
This beautiful looking lifestyle blog focuses on making personal finance simple. It’s truly stunning to look at; plus the content is great and easy to understand. Michelle is the founder, blogger, and face behind the blog. She created the blog after deciding to clear her $38,000 student loan, which she achieved in just 7 months!
Michelle has built a great looking blog and a strong following, but she also earns a lot of money through affiliate sales. The site has a lot of beginner guides and tutorials where Michelle recommends the tools and services she uses. Just like Patt Flynn, Michelle includes income reports that break down how she earns $100,000 per month – 70% of which is made from affiliate marketing.
Another interesting thing I discovered about this blog is traffic. Unlike a lot of blogs in this post, Making Sense of Cents generates huge amounts of traffic from Pinterest. One of her blog posts has been shared on thirty-two thousand times on Pinterest alone.
If you’re looking for the best travel deals, accommodation recommendations, and credit card points, you need The Points Guy aka Brian Kelly (now the CEO). I’m sure a lot of you reading this have come across this website at some point.
This is another huge affiliate marketing example with many full-time employees and over 9 million visitors every month. Brian Kelly built this site from a small blog, where he would give tips on the best travel credit cards; earning an affiliate commission in return.
Today the site posts over 20 articles everyday! Ranging from news articles, reviews and the best travel deals. But the revenue model is still the same; affiliate commissions.
The secret behind this sites success seems to be the content. Up-to-date deals, news and guides keeps the audience connected. I also noticed a lot of repurposed content in different forms. For example; blog posts turned into videos; and videos turned into a podcast.
I guess when you have an audience this big, you have to serve them the different ways they want.
For me, the important message is, this didn’t happen over night. It took time for Brian to build it to this level.
I’m sure you have heard of TripAdvisor before. You have even use them before. If you don’t know, Trip Advisor is a search comparison tools that simplify and finds the best travel deals for you.
They are a big trustworthy name and the site works extremely well. And, it’s free! Hmm, so how do they make money?
Most people are so happy with the free tool and the fact Trip Advisor just saved them money that they don’t notice, nor do they care, that they’re actually an affiliate site.
Trip Advisor has huge affiliate partnerships with some of the biggest travel companies in the world. And, when you book a vacation, flight or accommodation through the site, they make an affiliate commission. And, with well over 100 million visitors every month, it’s safe to say they make a lot of money from affiliate programmes.
I added this to my list because it’s a great example of an affiliate marketing strategy that’s different from most.
Affiliate sites don’t have to be long from blog articles and Trip Advisor is proof of that. If you can find a niche, where a comparison tool like this could be useful you could make a lot of money.
This is an advanced blog, dedicate to survival gear, skills, and tips. I say advanced because this site was built with affiliate marketing in mind. They tons of examples of affiliate marketing strategies to see. I’m not saying that you should build a site solely for affiliate sales. However, once you’re ready to monetize your site, there are tons to learn from the Survival Life blog.
They have tons of high-quality content articles, product reviews, and tutorials. I found their internal link structure impressive and I like the way they embed Amazon products into posts. They clearly generate a lot of affiliate commission from Amazon Associates Programme.
Marques have over 6 millions subscribers on high YouTube channel, where he reviews the latest tech products. Each of his videos gets millions of hits and he has a lot of videos.
The reason this is on my list of affiliate marketing examples is that…
Yep, you’ve guessed it Marques generates his income from affiliate sales; primarily through Amazon Associates.
Every-time Marques makes a video where he mentions or reviews a product, he includes a link to where you can buy that product on Amazon.
I like this because it’s another alternative example of an affiliate marketing strategy that’s different from a blog. In fact, you don’t even need a website for this strategy. Plus, people see Marques’ face. They get to know him and they trust him. He’s not hiding behind a WordPress account.
I know this method isn’t for everyone. Personally, the idea of being on camera every day scares me. But, if you’re comfortable being on camera and you have a niche with loads of products on Amazon, this could be a winning affiliate strategy for you.
- Want to learn about how to make money from YouTube? Check out this post I wrote.
- How to Make Money on Instagram With Clickbank in 7 Easy Steps
What Did I Learn From These Affiliate Marketing Examples?
Studying the examples was interesting and I learned a lot of tips for my affiliate marketing strategies. I also noticed similarities between the affiliate businesses; as well as a few unique concepts. Here are a few of my top takeaways:
Build an email list
Out of all the affiliate sites I studied, every site had an email opt-in form somewhere on the site. That just shows how important and valuable it is to build a high-quality email list. This is something I already do, but I think it’s an important similarity to mention.
You don’t have to build a blog
Although the majority of affiliate sites I studied are in the form of a blog, I discovered it doesn’t have to be. If you hate the idea of writing long-form blog pots, this must be good news to you!
You can find success with affiliate marketing from YouTube, Podcasting and even comparison sites such as TripAdvisor. And there must be tons of other channels and strategies that can also be effective. Knowing this will open my mind to new affiliate marketing ideas in the future.
Big affiliate sites start small
One of the biggest worries about getting into affiliate marketing is that everyone else is already huge and established. I often think to myself, I can’t compete with these massive companies, they have an entire team behind them.
This is true; and although I maybe never able to compete against sites like MoneySavingExpert & ThatPointsGuy, it’s reassuring that they too started as a one-man blog. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a brand this big…but it’s possible.
Also, as I think about this, do I even want to be that big? I mean the reason a lot of us like the idea of affiliate marketing is for freedom and passive income. Running a huge site with a team of 25 people takes that element away.
That being said, even if you made just 1% of what some of these huge affiliate businesses are generating, that could be enough to change your life forever.
Be ethical. Be honest.
Sometimes I feel like I need to hide things. I think maybe people won’t understand or they don’t want to click on my links if they know it’s an affiliate link. This may be true sometimes, but seeing how transparent some of the sites are, made me realize that people respect the truth.
I don’t focus on affiliate programmes, I focus on producing the best and most helpful content for my audience. I’ll think about monetizing later. I also won’t recommend a product or service that I wouldn’t use myself. This is something that Time Ferriss does extremely well on his blog, and it shows.
I also think it’s important to include a disclosure page, explaining that you can potentially make affiliate commissions from referral traffic.
Having a face helps.
Personally, I’m too shy to have my face everywhere. But, I didn’t notice that putting your face to the brand can have a huge impact. People can relate to and trust someone they see. Patt Flynn from Smart Passive Income and Marques Browniee are good examples of this.
What did you learn? Let me know your thoughts and questions on this post. Or, maybe there’s an affiliate site you want me to study and perhaps add to the list. Comment below and I’ll respond as soon as I can.