Have you thought about jumping into affiliate marketing but aren’t sure where to start? Without a good course or some coaching or a whole lot of research, you’ll probably do what everyone else does.

Affiliate Marketing, the Unsuccessful Way

  1. Start signing up for affiliate programs.
  2. Put banners on your blog.
  3. Check your commission earnings every day.

And you’re very likely going to be disappointed. It’s okay. It’s common. And there’s a better way. Actually, there are several better approaches to successful affiliate marketing.

Before I get to the best places to learn affiliate marketing basics, let’s cover some preliminary truths.

  • Almost no one gets rich quickly. Not ethically. Not realistically.
  • Wealth should follow work. Actual, hard work, which takes time.
  • Wealth is never the end goal. Affluence is never as important as influence.

To put it another way, don’t toss up a website and hope for cash to pour in. It doesn’t happen. And even if it did, quick easy money never makes anyone happy.

It’s going to take work, so decide now how much time you have for this, how much time and money you’re willing to invest in it and, most importantly, why you’re doing it in the first place.

Having dealt with those issues, here’s the alternative route to successful affiliate marketing. Instead of the three steps above – sign up for programs, throw up some banners, and hope for some cash – consider this alternative approach.

Affiliate Marketing, the Successful Way

  1. Build a brand by developing a web and social media presence.
  2. Find quality products you can confidently recommend to your readers.
  3. Include banners for the products, but let them be secondary.
  4. Give away good, free content to email list subscribers.
  5. Value your subscribers. Keep adding value to their lives.
  6. Occasionally promote affiliate products to your subscribers.
  7. Use social media to give and add value, and only occasionally to sell products.
  8. Develop small, niche websites that promote products with very specific keywords.
  9. Develop large, authority websites that promote a category of products.
  10. Repeat. Adapt. Keep building. Re-invest earnings into the business.

Obviously, there are plenty of tips and tricks for building brands, launching websites, building a list, and using social media.

And that’s where these information products and courses come in. Each of the products mentioned here offer, from a little bit different perspective, some specific training and tools for successful affiliate marketing.

1. Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course

Chris Guthrie has earned well over six figures in Amazon affiliate commissions and has built numerous niche websites, selling one for six figures.

He knows his stuff, and his niche marketing course is one of the best (I’ve gone through it) in terms of breaking it all down in simple terms and sharing case studies along the way that demonstrate the tactics he recommends.

(At the time I’m writing this, Chris’ course is just $10.)

Start Here

2. Affilorama

With the basic, free membership you get:

Affiliate Marketing Quick-Start Guide

How does affiliate marketing work? How do you get started? Is it even possible anymore? We’ll show you the traps you need to avoid, and the ways to make BIG money as an affiliate.

Downloadable Roadmap to Success

Confused? Overwhelmed? Don’t know how to move forward? This downloadable infographic makes it easy to see what steps you need to take next.

120 Video Lessons

Ready to start? We’ve created over 120 easy-to-follow video lessons to show you how to build your money-making business, block by block.

Join for Free Here

3. Wealthy Affiliate

Wealthy Affiliate is more than a course. It’s a community that includes a course.

One of the nice features of the Wealthy Affiliate community is the interaction with other members. It’s like a social network in that you can follow other users and they can follow you. But it’s also a community filled with questions and lots of people who want to offer advice and answers.

On top of the community, there are courses and even a site builder (which is really a handy, pre-packaged version of WordPress) to help you get going.

The one thing I don’t like about it is the emphasis on collecting wealth for wealth’s sake alone. It’s a recurring theme in the world of online marketing. Personally, I’m not motivated by a guy who earned a Ferrari. I’m motivated by entrepreneurs who change the world through their online influence.

Nonetheless, Wealthy Affiliate is a pretty great resource for learning.

Join Here

Let me be transparent about two things.

First, the links to all three of those courses are – you guessed it – affiliate links. If you were to make a purchase using those links, I’d earn a commission. Your price isn’t affected by this relationship, and I really have gone through the basic course offerings of all three products.

Second, I’m not a millionaire. I don’t really plan to be one. I don’t want to “quit my day job” – I LOVE my day job. I’m not looking to live the “dot com lifestyle.”

But in twelve years of blogging, I’ve had the blessing of meeting amazing people, sharing my heart and head in words with the world, and influencing people.

It’s been nice to earn some extra money along the way.

So, start with one or all of these three courses and become a pro blogger and make a bazillion dollars. Or, earn a couple extra hundred bucks a month and give half of it to your favorite nonprofit.