The easiest thing to do is to sign up for an affiliate marketing network like Commission Junction. They provide a marketplace where your affiliate program will be advertised to other affiliate marketers. They also provide the tracking software for your affiliates so you don’t have to build your own tracking system. In some ways this is better because it takes care of the trust issues. Affiliates are always suspicious of whether or not they’re getting credited for the sales they generate. By having an intermediary take care of transaction tracking and payments, the fear of being cheated is alleviated. 
MozBar – MozBar is a Google Chrome extension that lets you Google any keyword and see how competitive the search results are. The higher the DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) the more competitive the keyword is. However you still want to click on the top results and browse the content to make sure you can creating an article/video that is better than whoever’s in the top results. That is really what “researching the competition” is all about.
Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.

This guide is designed for you to read cover-to-cover. Each new chapter builds upon the previous one. A core idea that we want to reinforce is that marketing should be evaluated holistically. What you need to do is this in terms of growth frameworks and systems as opposed to campaigns. Reading this guide from start to finish will help you connect the many moving parts of marketing to your big-picture goal, which is ROI.
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to get SiteGround’s $150/sale, but long-term my research paid off.
How established is your site/blog/social media following?  Do you already have an audience of 1 million or are you just getting started?  Early on in your affiliate marketing journey you will probably want to have multiple options to make sure you can cover a broad field. You might want to become an Amazon Associate as well as joining one of the networks so you will have a product link to drop into any posts you do.  An easy place to start is to promote the services you are using if you are enjoying their product - web hosting or email management systems like Aweber.
Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to gain control of their own income by focusing on performance-based revenue options. Working in tandem with a seller, a motivated affiliate marketer will be able to achieve a passive income from the comfort of their home without worrying about producing their own product or service. Although the success of the job does depend on the affiliate’s marketing skills, it can prove to be an effective way to meet your income goals as either a primary career or a profitable second job.
Before Sharpe ever came into close proximity with the internet marketing field, he was a construction worker. Needing a way to make ends meet, like millions of other people around the world, he turned to a field that could hopefully pay the bills. But try as he might, he was never able to actually get ahead. Until one day, when Sharpe discovered the amount of money being made online by internet marketers, his entire mindset changed.

Content marketing: Writing articles or blog posts related to your business and submitting them to be published on other websites is another great way to reach your target market for free. Although mass distribution of a single article across the web doesn't have the same SEO benefits it once had, submitting exclusive articles to a specific site can still reap many rewards including SEO, boosting your credibility, and reaching a market that might not otherwise know about you. Because writing can be time-consuming, you may want to consider how you can repurpose what you write into other forms of content or with new angles for other audiences.
In short, both the affiliate marketer and the merchant will benefit in this program as the merchant will sell more goods and the affiliate marketer will get a commission for every product bought through his/her website.  Many affiliate marketers earn a nice monthly income from selling other peoples’ products!  Later, YOU TOO could be producing your very own products and collaborating with one of the top 10 affiliate programs below to enlist an army of bloggers and website owners to help you become financially free.
Susan, thanks for the comment, particularly helping clarify some confusing misimpressions I may have created in the post. I did say, and do mean (at least for B2B) that marketing is repsonisble to support sales–meaning both the sales function and revenue generation in general, but I didn’t mean that was it’s only responsibility of marketing. There are many other function that marketing is responsible for, that could include product marketing and other functions. Having made that disclaimer, you raise several other interesting points, I’ll kind of react randomly.
3. I believe a commssion or variable comp plan is not inconsistent with a balanced perspective between long and short term programs. In the sales world, we have lots of sales that have very long sales cycles and very long fulfillment cycles. From an incentive program design point of view, there are a number of methods that can handle these scenarios. This way a balance between long and short term activities can be achieved as well as a balance on payment for results over time.
As an affiliate marketer, you usually get affiliate links with unique codes from the merchant whose products or services you are promoting. When you get customers to click on those links, they are redirected from your website to the merchant’s website to complete the sale. The code in your link lets the merchant know that the sale was made from that particular link of yours, getting you a percentage of the sale.
The internet is full of business potential, but it is also rife with competition. In this situation, it becomes really tough to sell your products or services. Affiliate marketing can help you effectively promote your product on the web. By helping you reach out to a large potential customer base, affiliate programs help you to connect with millions of customers across the globe.
In November 1994, CDNow launched its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take visitors directly to CDNow to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose from conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists' CD's directly from its website but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could design a program where CDNow would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNow could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen's website, bypassing the CDNow home page and going directly to an artist's music page.[14]
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