Some marketing opportunists insist they make a six-figure salary with an affiliate website without lifting a finger. Let’s start by saying that this idea is false. Affiliate marketing is a great way to make a living, and it is possible to make hundreds of thousands of dollars with these platforms, but it requires far more work than sitting around twiddling your thumbs.

Affiliate marketing requires you to dig deep into your target audience, create outstanding content, recruit subscribers, and grow/segment your lead lists. Along the way, you’ll likely want to look for the best affiliate marketing tools money can buy, which can help you grow your website. However, the tools you invest in won’t mean a thing if you’re not able to nail down a primary lead generation formula and content marketing strategy.

Learn about Your Target Audience

After you create a website, but before you have a target audience, you have the opportunity to figure out what kind of products you want to review or discuss. There are plenty of niches to choose from, including beauty, fitness, software, and even reviews of general goods like coffee.

Once you decide on a niche, you have to learn more about your target audience. Start by creating a customer persona sheet that details information about your ideal customer. For example, if you were targeting fitness, you would want to check general fitness groups on social media.

The more time you spend researching the audience you want to target, the more detailed your customer persona. Below is a sample sheet filled out so you can see what we mean.

All of the different features mentioned here are important for creating content for your audience and segmenting your lead lists, which we will discuss next. Let’s start by learning how to use the information in your customer persona to create blog content.

Create Compelling Blog Content

The success of an affiliate website pivots on its content marketing strategy. If your goal is to convince strangers to buy products with your referral code, you have to present a good case for why they should use your link instead of someone else.

Simply put, the best way to show your audience that they should use your code is by creating compelling content. If a consumer is entranced at your excellent review of Starbuck’s new Dark Roast Variety Pack, they might not even make the connection that you are getting a kickback — though you must make that factor known.

Your content should focus on the customer personas you’ve created for your target audience. For example, in the image above, we can see that Tommy wants to aggressively network to reach his goals. If you were promoting marketing software, you could write an article about how to effectively network for more traction. This topic would likely interest Tommy, which makes it more likely that he will subscribe to your mailing list and purchase a product with one of your links.

Capture and Segment Leads

Now that you have a growing audience, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll capture and expand your subscriber list. There are plenty of WordPress plugins available that can help you grow your audience on your website and through social media.

OptinMonster allows you to capture email subscribers based on their behavior on-site. If a consumer comes to your website and browses your blog, they will get a popup that suggests they subscribe for more great content and promotions.

After you’ve accumulated plenty of leads, you have to segment your lead lists. List segmentation involves you organizes the people that subscribe to your website based on their desires and interests. For example, Home Depot would likely have a lead list for people who buy supplies to build homes and a list for people who purchase gardening materials.

The content you send to your audience much match their interests. Remember that within every niche, there are people that have different reasons for enjoying the subject. Cat and dog owners are usually very different types of people, but they unite under the banner of “pets” making multiple lead lists necessary for pet supply websites.

Build Partnerships and Promote

Now you can start looking for new partnerships within your niche. New businesses are usually open to affiliate marketers, depending on their traffic and target audience. Always make sure that you’re presenting your business accurately to both your audience and potential partners. Transparency will help your business grow in the long run.

Don’t forget to keep growing your audience on social media and through your content. If you want to bring in a rush of brand new subscribers, you could try promoting a giveaway after partnering with a new business. This giveaway will benefit your website, and the partner company supplying the product.

Continue engaging with your subscribers through email, on-site forums, and social media. The more you’re willing to talk to consumers, the stronger the bond they’ll have with your business.


Despite what some marketers say, affiliate marketing websites need owners that are willing to target customers, create great content, and partner with professional, high-quality businesses. As your audience grows, so will your opportunities to work with more prominent companies, which will expand your career as an affiliate marketer.