What resources should you use to guide you through affiliate marketing? There are endless forums, blogs, courses, and books that can help you break into affiliate marketing, but sometimes too much information can be a bad thing. Which is why we compiled this list of resources you absolutely must make use of.

The Basics: How to be An Affiliate Marketer

You don’t really understand affiliate marketing, or you still have a few questions about how the process works. The basics are a great place to start and will cover everything you need to know to get started with making money online.

» How does affiliate marketing work?

Affilorama offers an 8-minute video (free if you sign up for the site) that covers the very basics of affiliate marketing. There’s also a complete written guide that offers:

  • Examples of how affiliate sites layout their content.
  • Reasons to become an affiliate marketer.
  • How money is earned.
  • How much money you can make.

This is an overview of the affiliate marketing process, and a lot of the basics are covered. The offers are a little dated, but the rest of the information is still relevant today.

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» Get started with affiliate marketing

Bryan Haines does a great job explaining the basics of using affiliate marketing to monetize your site. If you want a fast-track way to get started in the industry, this is a must-read guide. You’ll learn the following:

  • What affiliate marketing is, and how it all works.
  • How to make money as an affiliate.
  • Which affiliate networks to use.

This isn’t an exhaustive resource on any of these topics, but it’s a great overview of affiliate marketing that you can read in less than 10 minutes.

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» How affiliate marketing works

Rae Hoffman, a veteran in the industry, does a great job of showing visitors how affiliate marketing works – using a visual representation. You’ll learn:

  • How to sign up for affiliate offers.
  • How website owners make money through sales.
  • How money is dispersed.

It’s a simple guide, but one that allows you to visualize the process of affiliate marketing.

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Finding Affiliate Networks

Marketers use a variety of avenues to promote affiliate offers. Web sites, mailing lists, and PPC are just a few of the many avenues of promotion. Offers need to be found before they can be marketed, so finding the right network takes time and patience.

» The top 20 affiliate networks of 2015

The top 20 list from mThink is a great place to start looking for affiliate networks. This resource allows you to look through the offers on your own and provides just a small summary of the listed company.

If you’re just testing the waters with affiliate marketing, this is a great starting list of networks to apply with.

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» 10 popular affiliate programs for small and medium blogs

ProBlogger’s list of 10 popular affiliate programs is older, but it still includes many relevant programs and networks available today. This guide provides more information than mThink, and offers a short review of each listed program.

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» Choosing an affiliate network

Smart Insights offers a lot of great material, but there’s one post on how to choose an affiliate network that’s a must-read. This is a very brief post, but it covers a lot of concerns, including:

  • Payments
  • Awards
  • Client lists

The information isn’t exhaustive, but it provides readers with the basic tools needed to research networks and find one that works best for their niche.

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» Choosing an affiliate program

Missy Ward provides a thorough overview to help you pick an affiliate program. Missy’s personal writing style keeps readers engaged, and she covers important information, like:

  • Major affiliate networks
  • Digital product networks
  • CPA networks
  • Independent affiliate programs

Missy also explains the process of evaluating networks, so you can find the right one for your niche or industry. This is a well-rounded overview on how to choose an affiliate network and a great resource for all marketers.

Why should you listen to Missy? She has been in the business since 1999, and is the co-founder and president of Affiliate Summit, Inc.

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Advice on Adding Offers to Your Site

If you’re adding offers to your existing website, the last thing you want to do is chase recurring visitors away with repeated affiliate links. The goal is to have a balance of affiliate links and substance within your content. Remember, you want to keep your site visitor’s happy while also adding extra income to your bottom line.

» Multiple strategies I use for affiliate marketing

Pat Flynn is a leader in the industry. Honest and reputable, Pat runs Smart Passive Income and now makes over 6 figures a month. Back in 2010, he wrote a very good article mentioning where he puts his affiliate links.

Note: These methods are still the most prominent ways to add affiliate links to websites.

Pat’s article covers:

  • Resource pages
  • Extension pages
  • Sidebar ads
  • Blog posts
  • Products

You’ll find a lot of smart and tested ways to begin adding affiliate links into your site after reading Pat’s post.

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» 8 principles for effective affiliate marketing on a blog

Another post by Pat Flynn that focuses on your blog. This posts goes into various methods of making money directly from your blog using affiliate marketing, and a lot of ethical procedures that Pat uses along the way.

A few of the points I really enjoyed were:

  • Only promote products you’ve used.
  • Describe the products you’re promoting.
  • Focus on content first – then your affiliate link.

Pat covers 8 principles that allow you to use your blog, and even some of your current content, to start making money as an affiliate marketer.

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» 4 steps to monetize your blog through affiliate marketing

Mashable has a 4-step guide that’s great for new affiliate marketers looking for a streamlined path to monetizing their blog. You’ll learn:

  • How to choose relevant affiliate programs.
  • About affiliate aggregator services.
  • How to create content that bolsters sales.
  • How to integrate affiliate links into your existing content.

These are basic tips, but they’re built on very accurate information. If you have an existing site with content, this is a resource that will have you making money as quickly as possible.

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» How to run a successful affiliate campaign

The worst thing you can do as an affiliate marketer is run a campaign that makes you look “scammy” or unprofessional. Your visitors need to trust you and the information you provide before they’ll even think about signing up for an offer or product that you recommend.

First, you’ll learn the most important thing – writing regular content.

Afterward, you’ll read the myriad of great information that teaches you how to:

  • Select affiliate programs.
  • Disclose affiliate links properly.
  • Integrate affiliate links.
  • Place ads and banner in the right
  • Split-test affiliate banners to drive higher conversions.

Carrie Dils does an amazing job at guiding you through the affiliate process. Plus, the post was updated in February to ensure all of the content is relevant in 2015 – just as it was in 2013 when the post was originally written.

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Landing Page Design: Turning Visitors Into Profit

Affiliate offers aren’t always integrated into your blog or existing content. Many marketers will make specific landing pages for offers and simply drive traffic to them. A great example of this is creating an offer and using Google AdWords to deliver highly targeted traffic to the offer.

» My secret tools to make killer landing pages

Charles Ngo knows that a lot of marketers aren’t graphic or web designers. They either hire other professionals to make their landing pages, or they use tools to help with the creation process.

You’ll learn:

  • How to code your own landing page.
  • Which programs offer a WYSIWYG design feature.
  • Tools meant for landing page creation (mostly paid).
  • How to hire programmers to make your page for you.
  • How to hire translators to attract visitors that aren’t English speakers.

This is just some of what this post offers. Charles Ngo offers a wealth of valuable information here.

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» Best landing page builders for affiliate marketers

Zac Johnson is known for being a “Super Affiliate.” A seasoned marketer, Zac has been in the business for years and goes through the best landing page builders in the industry. You’ll uncover:

  • Several landing page builders.
  • Restrictions that each builder includes.
  • The price of the landing page builder (where applicable).

In total, there are 8 tools that have all been reviewed by Zac. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating your own landing page, this is an invaluable resource.

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» Create killer landing pages – free template

Not sure what a landing page should look like, or need a template to get your creative juices going? Zac Johnson offers another great post that covers:

  • The basics of a landing page (with pictures).
  • Tips to help you boost your conversions.

You’ll also be able to download a free landing page template – no strings attached.

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Strategies to Optimize Affiliate Revenue

Even the best offers will perform poorly if you don’t implement them properly. You’ll need an implementation strategy as well as in-depth A/B testing to optimize revenue. Even just 2% increase in conversions can lead to a massive boost in revenue.

Also, since affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing, wherein each affiliate is rewarded for every visitor/customer brought, there is often the need for a tool or platform to streamline and track this whole working.

Trackier has been one of the best performance marketing software used by ad agencies, ad networks, and professional advertisers to track and optimize their affiliate revenue, along with managing relationships and communication with publishers. The software is highly customizable to address unique business needs and requirements.

» 5 Proven Affiliate Marketing Strategies

Michael Johnston wrote a post back in 2014 that every beginner affiliate marketing should read. If you’ve tried banner or text links but have had little success, there are several other opportunities to make money.

Michael goes through 5 different strategies, including:

  • Using coupons to entice visitors.
  • Writing product reviews to boost sales.
  • Implementing banner ads.
  • Using blogrolls and partner links to promote products.
  • Implementing product feeds and aggregation.

The best part is that you can use a combination of monetization strategies to boost profits.

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» A/B Testing For Beginners: 70 Resources to Get You Started

Neil Patel of QuickSprout is one of the most recognized faces in the marketing and advertising world. Neil is also the author of hundreds of blog posts across some of the biggest websites in the world. When Neil shares information, you know that it comes from a trusted source.

This post lists 70 resources that will help you master A/B testing and covers:

  • What is A/B testing?
  • How to come up with test ideas.
  • How to prioritize and pick tests to evaluate.
  • How to run tests.
  • Tools and resources for testing.
  • Analyzing results.
  • Writing copy that leads to higher conversions.

This is just the start of the information covered. There are more categories listed as well, including mobile and ecommerce-specific sections.

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» How to A/B Test Landing Pages

HubSpot is one of the leaders in the world of inbound marketing. Offering a wide range of tools, the company often promotes their own products as a solution. But they also provide solid information that can be used across all landing pages.

What this post offers is:

  • 10 guidelines when testing a landing page.
  • Instructions on creating a landing page.

These are basic tips, but they’re an essential part of all A/B tests.

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» 5 real life examples of successful affiliate websites

Authority Hacker published the last resource on our list, and this is a little different than the previous resources. Why? You’ll be guided through an analytical approach of landing pages by looking at 5 different affiliate websites that are highly successful.

You’ll find out how:

  • Each site makes money (blog posts, coupons, reviews, etc).
  • Specific, top content is written, including content length, backlinks and shares.
  • Large affiliate sites make their money, and what offers they promote.

After every site’s analysis, a breakdown is given on what you can learn from the site. This is a long read, but it really digs deep into the analysis process to learn how other sites are making money in affiliate marketing.

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