Thousands of people just like you are building residual income through affiliate marketing, and you can, too.  Becoming an affiliate marketer is quick and easy, not to mention lucrative.  Just imagine the places you'll go once you've got your programs set up and making money for you while you sleep!  

Here are all the affiliate program tips you need to get started.

According to ISSUU's annual Affiliate Stats Report[1], nearly a third (32.9%) of survey respondents reported earning more than $25,000 during the previous year.  Another third reported earning less than $5,000 in commissions as well, but it's safe to assume they were just starting out, like you.  The point is

There's tons of money to be made in affiliate programs.

Many affiliate programs exist to help the hosting company serve more customers.  Some of the most popular are commission junction[2], clickbank[3], and audible.com[4].  

One of the best affiliate programs available, however, is with Amazon. You not only get access to the leading online store in the world, but they make it very easy to place affiliate links and start earning money with them today. Once you get the basics down, it won't take you more than a couple of minutes to put an affiliate link into your content.

The very first step, of course, is for you to sign up for Amazon's affiliate program. Just visit "affiliate-program.amazon.com" to sign up if you haven't already done so.  That's not a referral link.  Amazon doesn't have a referral program anymore, so you keep 100% of your affiliate commissions.

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What Are Contextual Affiliate Links?

Contextual affiliate links are links that are placed within the actual body of the text in your article. Instead of seeing a long URL address they will instead see some words that stand out in some way (different color).

Imagine you're having a conversation with a friend.  During the course of the conversation, you talk about the dinner party you're hosting next week, and she mentions some new kitchen gadgets that would be awesome to have in your kitchen.  You make a mental note, and later go purchase those items.  

In the real world, there's no way to track your friend's referral to the store.  But in the online world, she would receive a commission for those purchases because the article (conversation) had a direct link to the products, and the topic came up very naturally.  

That's what is meant by 'contextual', as in "in context of the conversation."  Be sure to choose words that relate as closely to your product or products as possible.

Below are a few examples of how some words are better to use than others.  Be as specific as you can.

  • Warm winter socks would be better than warm clothes.
  • Popular country songs would be better than popular songs.
  • Levi Men's 501 Jeans would be better than Levi jeans. 
  • Top Christmas Gifts would perform better than top gifts.

Remember, your job as an affiliate marketer is to help consumers find exactly what it is they want to buy.  There's a reason it's called Amazon, because it truly is a 'jungle out there'.

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Adding the Affiliate Links - Four Easy Steps

1 – Open up two separate browser windows- the first one with your article in which you want to place the Amazon affiliate link (the article should be in edit mode). Sign in to Amazon on the other window.  If you've already registered as an affiliate, your sign-in will be the same.

2 – Search Amazon for a product that you want to sell through contextual links in your article. Click on the actual item from the results.

• Note- the actual product page highlights one particular product. If at some time in the future this product becomes unavailable, the link will go bad.  You may want to link only to the search results page, but that can be confusing to your audience.

• The affiliate links to the search page, which shows several different products at a time, should never go bad. The page is dynamic and is constantly updated from Amazon's database of items available for sale, based upon the search query embedded in the affiliate link.

3 – Click "link to this page" button from the gray Amazon bar at the top of the window. Below is an example from a single item page (only one product) that will
Amazon Affiliate Codecome up. In the 'Customize and Get HTML' box click 'Text Only' and highlight and copy the affiliate link portion shown highlighted.

4 – Move over to your article (which should be in edit mode). Highlight the text in which you want to anchor your link and then click on the link icon available in most programs. A box will come up allowing you to right click on link URL section and paste in the Amazon affiliates link. Then click "insert" or similar command. And you're finished!

5 – If you are inserting your affiliate link into an Amazon Element using InfoBarrel's article editor, the same steps apply with one minor change: Place the code from step 3 into the field labeled 'Amazon Product URL,' then click 'Save.' 

These simple steps should be part of every article/blog post you put online.  

Steps 1-4 will work for adding affiliate links from any affiliate program, and will work on WordPress, Blogger, and all other publishing platforms.

If you take the time to add affiliate links to all your content, you won't be disappointed (here's what your routine should look like).  Of course, always add value, but after that, it's okay to promote some tools that have helped you along your way.  Better yet, create new tools.

One thing I learned from my days selling jewelry was this:  

You can't sell what you don't show.

We used to tell ourselves that as a reminder to get as much on display as we could.  If a piece of jewelry was locked in the safe, how could a customer know to ask for it?  Worse, they couldn't purchase it!  

The long and short of it is this:  Affiliate Marketing works.  You just have to get started.  

Click here to sign up for a free InfoBarrel account; the writer forums here are the best on the web, and you can start writing right away!

Do you know of other affiliate programs or tips for affiliate marketing success?  What works best for you?  Please share in the comments below.

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